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Invacare TDX SR w/ Motion Concepts UltraLow System, Vent Tray & Sip-N-Puff Head Array

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    Invacare TDX SR w/ Motion Concepts UltraLow System, Vent Tray & Sip-N-Puff Head Array

    Who says CareCure is only a good site to learn about manual wheelchairs?

    This is probably the most-complex powerchair I have ever done. It was configured for the needs of a veteran with high quadriplegia who was ventilator dependent, had no movement in his extremities, and had only limited ability to turn his head.

    I started with an Invacare TDX SR powerbase equipped with a 3 22NF battery tray (the extra battery powers the vent). The TDX base was shipped to Motion Concepts for installation of an 18x19 UltraLow power seating system with the following features:

    - 55 degrees tilt
    - 174 degrees power recline
    - Pivot Plus power elevating legrests
    - Articulating Compact Vent Tray
    - 18.5" Seat-To-Floor
    - 18"H MaTRx Contour Back
    - Ergonomic Arm Troughs with Multiaxis Mounting Hardware
    - Swingaway Lateral Thigh Supports

    - Stealth TWB Lateral Supports

    Here is the chair when it arrived.

    My initial objectives were to clean up the wiring, relocate the attendant control, install the alternative driving system, and make space for the vent "circuit" (tubing).

    The chair is operated using an ASL109 Stealth Ultra Sip-N-Puff Head Array. With this system, the sip-n-puff straw is used to drive the chair forward or backward and proximity switches embedded in the lateral headrest pads are used to turn the chair left and right. The sip-n-puff mount was custom fabricated out of Loc-Line modular hose and relocated from the headrest to the backrest to allow the headrest to be removed and the sip-n-puff system swung out of the way for transfers.

    To switch between driving profiles, access the power seating, or operate the infrared/mouse emulation features I fabricated a "double lip" switch using two roller lever switches to replace the single push button "lip switch" that ASL provides with the system.

    I ordered the chair with Stealth's TWB laterals, but I have not had good success using them to achieve stable positioning without excess pressure. I ended up replacing them with fixed offset laterals from a MaTRx PB Elite back. Believe it or not, they could be bolted on using existing holes.

    To keep the his arms from coming out of the arm troughs when tilting, I modified the Motion Concepts Ergonomic Arm Troughs with custom elbow stops made from aluminum strapping, ABS plastic and Roho Adaptor cells. They mount in the channels underneath the arm trough and will not interfere with flipping the armrests back. I don't understand why Motion Concepts or Otto Bock haven't came out with something similar themselves since it solves a common problem, is simple, and seems to be such an obvious solution.

    I was pleased with how cleanly I was able re-reroute the electronics harnesses, but I didn't realize I would face almost as difficult a challenge routing the vent circuit. The amount of tubing is excessively long for a powerchair and can not be trimmed to length. I was especially concerned about it getting snagged on something in the surrounding environment or getting crushed in the power seating system. I fabricated the following system of hooks...

    While I wish they made a shorter circuit with black tubing, but here is the end result...

    These chairs take a lot of work, but it is rewarding when the end user is able to use it successfully and you know your efforts played a major role.
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 6 Nov 2009, 8:07 AM.

    Wow SCI OTR,
    That is quite the chair. I salute you for doing such an outstanding job equipping this chair to the MAX for a fellow Veteran. I use to have a vent tray on the back of my old INVACARE Action Arrow Storm power wheelchair.It stuck out in the back aways & I was always backing into things w/the vent tray. It almost doesn't look like the original chair after you doing your magic. It is a job well done & you should be proud of your accomplishment. Hope it serves my fellow Veteran well & hope he/she will be real comfortable in it.


      Another WOW from me too. Amazing chair, and you really, really know your stuff.


        Very interesting read/look see! It's so obvious you enjoy doing your best for your patients/clients. They are fortunate. Thanks for sharing.


          Wowzer. I've said it before and I'm gonna say it again: You have a super cool job!
          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty


            That is a beautiful chair. It brings tears to my eyes. Can you tell me about what one like that would cost? You really thought of everything. Thank God for people like you.
            Veni.Vidi,Velcro...I came, I saw, I stuck around.

            Vidi, Vici, et Veni, et Veni, et Veni...


              Originally posted by MarkPals View Post
              Can you tell me about what one like that would cost?
              I was intrigued by this question myself. As best as I can tell, the total MSRP would come in somewhere between $36-37,000 based on the order forms. The VA is the largest purchaser of wheelchairs in the world, so the actual cost to the taxpayer is much less because of "trade discounts".

              Oh, and throw in another $50 or so if you include the Loc-Line and other materials used to fabricate custom items such as the sip-n-puff mount, double lip switch, elbow stops, and system for routing the vent circuit.

              Isn't it amazing what can be done with a little thought and a few inexpensive items from Lowes, Home Depot and RadioShack?

              Thanks to all for the compliments. It can be a lot of work, but most days it is a pretty cool job.


                How long would it take to do a set up like that?


                  25-30 hours (not all of which were on the clock). It would probably take about 10 hours to duplicate it.


                    Fortunately I don't need most of the stuff on that chair, but the footpedals intrigue me. I have never seen a set like that before and wish I could have gotten them on my tilt chair. I have size 9 shoes, so I always feel like my feet are at risk coming through doors because the toe part of my foot is just hanging over air.
                    I hope the person who is getting this chair has many many miles of pleasure and adventure ahead. Your dedication and skills are awe inspiring!


                      Wow and I thought I had a high tech wheelchair. If only all DME's showed the commitment to their clients that you've shown to yours. Bravo to you sir!

                      The chair I'm currently using is an Invacare TDX5 with power tilt/recline, shear and legs. The drive system on this chair is the NewAbilities UCS1000 Tongue Touch Keypad (TTK) System. With nothing more than the tip of my tongue I can drive the chair, adjust the seating, make a phone call, operate my TV, computer/mouse, lights, automatic doors, thermostat and more. Unfortunately the company that makes this is now out of business so I'm going to have to switch to something else and you've show me some pretty good ideas.
                      TX RAS Lic #0450


                        Just wanted to say that I did order and have received my new chair that was built very similarly to the one you've shown here. Thanks again for the great ideas.
                        TX RAS Lic #0450


                          Invacare TDX SR w/ Motion UltraLow System & Sip-n-Puff Driving System

                          Glad to help. I recently issued a sip-n-puff operated TDX SR with a Motion Concepts UltraLow system that I've been meaning to post. Lately, work has been extremely hectic and my CareCure time has been focused largely on finding out about the TiLite ZR/ZRA Series 2, so I haven't had much time to discuss some of the "other chairs" that I do.

                          Started a separate thread here....


                          Last edited by SCI_OTR; 3 Nov 2010, 6:16 PM. Reason: Started a separate thread for this specific chair


                            Impressive. The quality of life of the Vets concerned must have increased by leaps and bounds. Now, if only we can get someone like you over here to make the necessary adaptations for people with high tetraplegia.
                            C5-C6 ASIA C - October 15, 1984
                            Tilite ZRA Series 2
                            The DIGITAL AWAKENING
                            Living One Day At A Time


                              that looks good! thats a cool thing you did
                              Aspergers,hypotonic CP, Autonomic Issues.

                              Disney OBSESSED family