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Powerchair joystick advice for newbie

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    Powerchair joystick advice for newbie

    OK, so I bought a Quickie P220 for those days that I have to cover a lot of ground. I'm re-learning how to open doors and other things that seemed easy to do in my manual. The joystick seems to be a bit more sensitive than I would have thought. I'm putting it in slow mode for navigating through doors, going up my van ramp and so forth. I'm having trouble going through small openings because it seems like if I slow down to make sure that I don't hit something and then start forward again, it sometimes goes a bit left or right and I hit it anyway.

    Is this just something that is going to take a lot of practice before I get good at or a problem with the programming of the controller? Any other advice?

    Thanks!
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

    #2
    It's probably the casters causing it, the chair has to move a little to get them aligned in the direction your wanting to go.
    At least that is how mine is, causes me all kinds of frustrations.
    If the joystick is to sensitive you may want to find someone with a programmer to adjust it.
    c3/c4, injured 2007

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Donno View Post
      I'm having trouble going through small openings because it seems like if I slow down to make sure that I don't hit something and then start forward again, it sometimes goes a bit left or right and I hit it anyway.

      Is this just something that is going to take a lot of practice before I get good at or a problem with the programming of the controller? Any other advice?

      Thanks!
      The only thing I can suggest Don is that you're stopping with the front casters still at a slight angle, and when you restart the chair goes slightly in the direction the casters are pointing before straightening out.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes thats right, it is the casters. I try to turn like I am driving a truck. I go past the doorway a little before beginning my turn and then hang a 90.
        C 5/6 Comp.
        No Tri's or hand function.

        Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

        Teddy Roosevelt

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          #5
          After my first full day in the PC, feels really good to be back in my TiLite!
          Don - Grad Student Emeritus
          T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

          Comment


            #6
            I would suggest that if it is not better in a few more days of getting used to it, contract your vendor as they can adjust the sensitivity of the joystick. You do need to spend some time getting used to it first though since turns are ver different in a power chair.

            Ryan recently went from an Invicare TDX-SP to a Quickie 6000 and the transition was painful for the door jams and walls in the hallway of my house. After a week in the new chair (exclusive), we went back and had the sensitivity adjusted and it helped but some doors are still getting banged severely. The new chair is wider than the old one. The only reason he got the new one is that he outgrew the old one and it was ruining his posture. Since he is only 19 (and over 6 feet with a growth spurt to go if dad and older brother are good indicators) we will probably be getting another one in a couple of years.--eak
            Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
            mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
            Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

            Comment


              #7
              I recently home demoed some MWD's after only having driven RWD since I first had to go in a chair and the MWD felt much easier. I don't know if its just cos I got 8yrs experience using powered chairs/scooters everyday for my dogs walks/shopping etc or that MWD's are easier to steer than RWD.

              My RWD's have all been standard off the shelf solutions and I also have same problem with the castors that you mentioned, although I never used my chair indoors cos it was too big I had the same probs on gravel paths and found I had to shunt back and forth a bit when got stuck to get going again.

              I once tried FWD and found that much more difficult to drive in comparison so was intially worried when NHS said they would only provide MWD cos of angle of my doorways, but found much easier to handle indoors & outdoors than the FWD.

              Comment


                #8
                Katilea, the maneuverability is what sold me on the MWD after trying all three kinds. I was a total novice and was able to manage the MWD quite well after about 5 minutes..
                You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                See my personal webpage @
                http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Donno View Post
                  Is this just something that is going to take a lot of practice before I get good at or a problem with the programming of the controller? Any other advice?

                  Thanks!
                  They can do amazing programming with the controller. They can damper any tremors out of the joystick... not your problem I know... but it may work on any jitters a new driver might have.

                  If the problem is casters, you can get solid non-pneumatic tires that tend tracks straighter.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am learning too.


                    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                    See my personal webpage @
                    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You will get better at it. I would suggest that even though you can manage around the house in your other chair and only got this for extended outings, use the power chair. You will get more comfortable with it and decide if you need the controller re-programmed. Ryan's new chair is nearly a month old and neither of us is still as comfortable as we were with the old one.

                      Also, do not worry too much about the door jams. Keep you feet on the foot plates and any crashes will not hurt you. The door jams can be repaired, your feet are not as easily repaired. When Ryan first came home, we were fixing every ding as it happened. We have since decided that until he is no longer using a chair (a possibility for him) or we are ready to sell the house, we are waiting. --eak
                      Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
                      mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
                      Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for all the replies, I was more comfortable by the time I finished the first full day out, and will try to practice for a bit every day, maybe switch to it when I get home.
                        Don - Grad Student Emeritus
                        T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is where we went last night. I swear it is an obstacle course!
                          Come give it a try Donno.
                          What do experienced chair users think of this crazy set up?
                          Mmmm-not sure why the pictures don't come up.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by LindaT View Post
                            This is where we went last night. I swear it is an obstacle course!
                            Come give it a try Donno.
                            What do experienced chair users think of this crazy set up?
                            Mmmm-not sure why the pictures don't come up.
                            That's quite clever, have they built the ramp into the steps?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Timaru View Post
                              That's quite clever, have they built the ramp into the steps?
                              Yes, but it would be very easy to slip off the sides and if someone lost control I think you could decapitate yourself on the railing going off the one end.
                              I thought it was crazy and did not let Dave sip n puff it and took control.
                              If he had not spasmed and lost control pushing the whole birdcage down the hall earlier I may have had more confidence.
                              It is at a local community theater that barely keeps alive anyhow and they were so accommodating to us I'd never complain.
                              They had a bluegrass show that was exceptional even if it is not the type of music you usally listen to.
                              He has had a couple of good days and we decided to give it a whirl.

                              Comment

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