Burgerman - Site Owner

You dont have to, but its interesting!

MAIN WEBSITE: www.wheelchairdriver.com

Burgerman - Site Owner

Postby Burgerman » 02 Jan 2010, 11:49

Site owner. This forum, but mostly http://www.wheelchairdriver.com website and http://www.nitrous.info

I am a 12 year T4 paraplegic, that has a rather good grasp of engineering, physics, power wheelchairs and vehicles generally. Can design, fix, redesign and improve anything! Its what I do. Or did...

Before my accident I used to build big drag race V8 powered cars, and turbocharged and nitrous injected very fast bikes. And also design and build Nitrous injection systems, jet engines, automotive dynamometers. Much of it commercially. So dont I find wheelchairs very complicated at all! In fact I find them pretty under developed and overweight.

I live with Arnie (German Shepard), Vera (small young fit blond - another one of my interests) in an adapted house in a quiet Grimsby street in the UK (East Coast near the Humber Bridge)

Am also into computers, photography, beer, model planes and helicopters and far too many other things.

If your wheel has fell off ask here how to fix it. You wont get the usual "contact your healthcare professional" bullshit on here!

Burgerman :roll:
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Postby Oukie » 20 Mar 2012, 15:18

Hello
My name is Frik Lloyd and I'm from South Africa

I would like to correspond with the creator of the BM3 wheelchair
Being in a third world country is even more of a problem as far as wheelchairs are concerned never mind a better than average chair

I truly would appreciate your help in my quest to also build my own BM3
Any help as far as detailed plans and sources of components would be
Highly appreciateted as i'm not mechanical minded at all

In anticipation,
Yours gratefully
Frik
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Postby Burgerman » 20 Mar 2012, 16:27

Well you need to start by readiong the site. At least a lot of it... I know, bad writing, bad grammer, repeated sentences... I never proof read anything!

But really much of it is ebay, home made, other online, and mostly explained in those pages.

Its not really meant as a kit or a design, just a chair I built as I went along designed to suit myself. There are others building similar stuff, although mostly not lithium powered here that can help too.
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Postby Oukie » 21 Mar 2012, 09:05

Hi,

I stand corrected !!

In my excitement over your chair I neglected to take time to read your posts

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction i will read and digest


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BM2/3

Postby Oukie » 18 Apr 2012, 10:40

Hi,

I have read and digested a lot of the material you have kindy made available in building your own chairs

If I look at your photo I would guess that I am slighly heavier than you but other than that your own built chairs and the setup of them is exactly as I would have it as well.
I have read that you do not build the chairs for resale and understand that perfectly and do not wish to add to the ad-nusea questions about that, but would like to know if you do not have one of your home built chairs that you no longer have a use for that you would consider selling

Best wishes,

Frik Lloyd
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Postby Burgerman » 18 Apr 2012, 12:50

They get rebuilt, recycled, re engineered, and are brand new again every few years. I have 4 now. Couldnt manage without one of them.

I have one BM2 in use getting trashed...
One finished BM2 as new and ready to go with a sheet over it but no batteries.
One under construction... (always one or two at a time, and usually bulk buy tyres, bolts, bearings, cables, andersons, rose joints etc)

And one wrecked abused bent and ultra tatty chair to use in cleaning driveways, decorating, emergencies in case of breakdown.

Its the only way to work.
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Postby moonstroller » 21 Apr 2012, 15:34

Hi. I don't think I've properly introduced myself to the people on this site.

My name is John Ray. I live in the state of Georgia in the U.S. I ran away and joined the Army when I was 17 and was severely wounded in the Vietnam (conflict/war/police action), by a mortar round when I was 19. I lost my right eye, my right little finger and have multiple shrapnel wounds in my lower limbs. My right face was heavily impacted by a big piece of metal and crushed my right cheek. I'm the lucky one who survived the ambush. My legs have been giving me trouble since that day. I live in pretty bad constant pain in my legs but have learned, over the years to not let it drive me mad. I take pain medication and I'm tired a lot. If I use me legs, in about 30 min, I'm exhausted. If I use my wheelchair, I can work a pretty good bit of the day.

I have a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from college but I've spent most of my life in Computers and interfacing equipment. I had a stroke last year and have some trouble with my memory. It's not a big problem but you would be surprised how dependent we are on memory. I use the computer and store a lot of data, organized so I can retrieve it when necessary. I think the Thumb drive is the most amazing device ever invented. My whole life in one one, 16 GB thumb drive which I carry in my pocket everywhere I go.

I remove viruses from computers, repair them, build them, etc. for my friends and family, usually not charging for my work. I live at the mercy of the tax payer in the US so it's my way of paying everyone back for the support I receive.

I study science, all of them and spend loads of time at MIT online listening to the educators in each subject. I spend a lot of time viewing and digesting the videos and data on "www.ted.com", a website that feeds the hunger of the insatiably curious mind. I study at home and have an expanded sense of curiosity about the reality we live in. I love the internet and in the past, contributed to it's expansion via the Open Source software outlet where I have worked with many people from around the world, contributing in any way I could.

I like people and never grow tired of engaging with them, as long as they don't get too boring. I have a problem with people who let their emotions get the better of them and enter into discussions. I like to keep a level head and I'm open to most any idea if it can be reasonable supported by science and math. I love to discuss issues relating to future probabilities, where science may take us.
I live a life of absolute simplicity. If my mind an body doesn't need it, I usually don't mess with it. Food, Drink, shelter and education are all I need most of the time. I do like to play with toys when they contribute to my understanding of the world.

I do have a General ham radio operators Lic.

John Ray aka moonstroller.

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Postby Burgerman » 21 Apr 2012, 16:27

http://www.ted.com/talks/tal_golesworth ... heart.html

Interesting site.

This above was something I too suggested (and guess what, I too am used to working on boilers!) a few years ago when a freinds dad was told he had an inoperable decending very expanded main artery. Theres a name for it that I forget. It killed him soon after.
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Postby jcel » 19 May 2012, 14:33

Hi John,

I am Jim Celone, age 51, a.k.a. "Capt Jim" to my mathematics/engineering students at University of New Haven, in West Haven, CT. USA. I am a new powerchair user due to spinal cord injury and have only right arm (left arm amputee) and limited use of right leg.

I am being fitted for a Pride R4400 with seat elevate/tilt/recline. I like your BM3 chair (for speed and range and torque), but wondered if it could be fitted with same (or better) seating system. I found your website as I was researching powerchairs, and I am interested in your BM3 construction details as I think it would be a great engineering project for my students in the School of Engineering. My background is Yale, mathematics/statistics, Master Captain, US Merchant Marine, chess player, but recently helped start an engineering middle school in New Haven. We built a robot that does the rubik's cube. I teach Calculus and Statistics. Any help you (or anyone out there) can give would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance. :)

Jim Celone
http://www.edutechchess.com
jcel@aol.com
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Postby Burgerman » 19 May 2012, 15:00

It could be fitted with any seating system. But its very short, and sensitive to c of g position. And very narrow. As in the effective track, is 3 inches narrower than a R4000 each side, to the centre of the tyre. So is sensitive to roll as well as pitch if the c of g is raised even a little.

Fitting any heavy aftermarket seating is therefore a bad idea. And especially so if it raises you up, or forwards as they all tend to do. The result will be casters leaving the deck on transverse salopes or while turning tight, and general instability on less than level surfaces. So very unwise.

But I designed and built this for myself, as a rather lively wheelie prone powerful beast with 3x the range and speed of other powerchairs, while being extremely compact. If you built it say 2 inches wider, 3 inches longer wheelbase then you would likely find it OK with aftermarket seating. These things are all a balance. The reason I built the bm3 centre section very heavy, is exactly this. The lithium pack, although 3x the effective watt hours, is some 50+ lb lighter. And the previous BM2 lead battery chair is already a bit lively, and borderline with its C og G... height.
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Postby jcel » 19 May 2012, 19:56

H.i John,

Sounds like you are very familiar with the R4000.
Is it possible to modify a R4000 to increase speed/torque/range and still accommodate the lift/tilt/recline seating? I'm 6'1" tall and 170 lbs. Or is there a different stock RWD you would recommend to accomplish this?

Thanks,
Capt Jim
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Postby Burgerman » 19 May 2012, 22:53

Theres a new pride rear drive chair about to be released.

Whats wrong with the R4000?
Extremely harsh ride, too long, front heavy, and generally very heavy. This impacts range and requires more torque for thresholds and turning on grass or ramps etc.
With this in mind dont get an 8mph one because the 6 mph already struggles for torque. The taller geared 8mph one is probably OK if you weight very little, dont expect too much torque or control. Otherwise the 6mph one ios a better bet.

All that fancy aftermarket seating and tilt/recline/elev stuff is seriously heavy too further compounding this issue.

But the biggest issue with all pride chairs is the programming. Be sure you can get a real OEM level programmer or access to one too. Without it you will always have an evil steering hard to control chair. And pride keep access to all this stuff under lock and key... They will tell you the dealer can program it properly. He cant.
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Postby Burgerman » 19 May 2012, 22:54

Sounds like you are very familiar with the R4000.


ten mins...

But I understand whats "in it" so to speak too.
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Postby jcel » 20 May 2012, 12:49

Hi John,

Problem is I need a lift mechanism for reaching the higher front classroom desk in the (not so) "smart" classrooms I teach in. Are there any other stock chairs you would recommend to accomplish this, plus have speed/torque/range to propel me quickly across a rather hilly campus multiple times a day?

Thanks for your assistance.

Capt Jim

PS. If you increased width on BM3 to say, R4000 width, and flipped lithium-ion batteries sideways coud this lower C G enough to accommodate lift/tilt mechanism? Just a rather naive afterthought probably....my goal is to obtain a new stock chair that accomplishes the above, so that I gain enough experience so that my engineering students get to build something cool and functional
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Postby jcel » 20 May 2012, 12:53

PPS. Think I owe you a beer already...
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Postby Burgerman » 20 May 2012, 17:07

With the fat tyres the BM2 / BM3 chairs ARE the same width as the R4000 at about 26 inches. They roll more because the tyres are at about 5 to 7 psi, and because they have much more sidewall to collapse. And because the EFFECTIVE track is 6 inches narrower. Measured from the tyres central contact patch. Overall width across the tyres is the same.

C of G is affected dramatically because even though the lithium has 3x the usable stored power, it has half the weight. But even the LEAD powered BM2 lacks enough stability for heavy / higher seating. Unless you widen and lengthen the chair.
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Postby LROBBINS » 20 May 2012, 17:10

Captain Jim,

If you aim for something like 6 mph (after all, that's 1 1/2 x a fairly fast walking clip), and slow down when the seat elevator is up, you should be OK with something like the BM2. A lift mechanism by itself may add just 1 - 2" to height, and less to CG because most of the chair remains below it, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT ELEVATED. If you have good enough batteries and enough motor torque, you should be able to keep up this speed even going up hill. If you have gel batteries, or cheap AGM, or under-gauge wiring, you'll slow down on hills even with husky motors, so, as John says, it's a system. Before going from Pb to Li, take a good think about how you'll be using the chair. Do you really need more than 6 mph for your activities? Do you ever travel by airline? Do you have a charger that lets you fully charge the batteries, whether Pb or Li? Do you regularly cross streets with fast traffic and no stop lights (a good reason to want to sprint)? How much rough-terrain capability do you need? Snow? What are the sidewalks like in West Haven? Can you remember to slow down if the seat is raised or ground is rough (especially tilted sideways)? I think Ferraris are beautiful, but even if I could afford one it wouldn't suit our needs the way a dropped-floor WC van does.

Remember too that the BM3 is an experiment "in progress". John is bold enough to go where no one has gone before, but do you want to do the same before he knows what the results of his bold design are?

Ciao,
Lenny

BTW, there are other RWD chairs available in the U.S. For example, there's now the AmySystem chair. I haven't seen nor ridden it, and it is rather long, but there have been some positive comments and Amy might have a better attitude about making programmers available than does Pride - and programming that doesn't put a damped rubber band between you and the chair is, in my view, perhaps the single most important thing you can do (but do remember: batteries, wiring, charging, motors, programming - they all go together.).
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Postby Burgerman » 20 May 2012, 19:05

All as above with the exeption that I think 2 inches higher is a massive difference, I can feel a huge difference between 2 cushions that are just 1/2 inch difference in thickness.

Because it puts the heaviest bit of the chair, me, higher up. It wheelies easier, and tips side to side more in turns, causing the inboard caster to leave the deck, or shake. And you may remember this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2108

It fell sideways when I wheelied back on a transverse camber. With heavy lead batteries, and low, light seat!
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Postby LROBBINS » 20 May 2012, 19:15

John, I think you weigh a good bit more than Capt. Jim's 170 lbs, and you go "hell for leather". I think he'd basically be OK at more moderate speeds even with a lift (but not when it's raised up - then it's time to slow down, or try the accelerometer-based auto slow-down idea). Ciao, Lenny
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Postby AsboGranny » 23 Jul 2012, 18:19

Hi

I am AsboGranny from Cheshire. First time with a mobility scooter which is driving me insane. Nice to have a site where I can vent my frustrations.
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Postby Burgerman » 23 Jul 2012, 21:14

Well granny, you posted in the wrong place! :D

Not that anyone is bothered...
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Postby Malibu » 11 Dec 2012, 18:48

Awesome info. This is what I was looking for. A gear head that's needs a cool chair.
I have progressive MS and will likely be in a power chair in the next year or so. Will be following along.
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Postby Quirisrer » 04 Jan 2013, 12:09

Hi John,
I'm Alan, a 69 year old next week, disabled pensioner. I live near Fakenham in rural Norfolk. I have an Active8 made in Israel by Tzora and marketed here in the UK by Aquasoothe Ltd. It is a three wheeled class 3 scooter which is about 8 years old. I bought this recently for several reasons: It had to be road legal as there are no pavements where I live and I must travel the 3 miles to the nearest village with a shop, doctor & pub, It has large 12" wheels to cope with the poor state of the local roads, it is designed to fold and split into two parts to fit into the boot of my car, as a retired engineer I appreciated it's design features and at £150 it was the right price. The advertised top speed is 7mph however this is only achieved rarely down hill and with a folloeing wind! I came across your website by searching to see if it was possible to speed it up slightly. Here is a picture & details of it at http://www.activelite.com/_xc/et_active8.htm
I totally agree with your argument for greater speed for safety reasons.
Now to get down to the "nitty gritty" - Is there any way that we can lobby the manufacturers and the "Powers that be" to review the 8mph global limit?
I know that there are some doddery old farts who are a danger even at 4mph but it isn't fair that the rest of us should have to suffer because of them. Maybe a driving test or assessment as to one's ability to control a faster machine safely would ensure that only capable scooter drivers were allowed onto the roads.
What do you think?
Thanks
Alan
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Postby Burgerman » 04 Jan 2013, 12:26

Well its already the case that you can drive a scooter up to the speed limit if you are using a type aproved scooter / quad bike / buggy etc with licence, insurance etc.

The 4mph on footpath and up to 8 anywhere else applies to non licenced or insured vehicles. Ones that can go on footpaths and in public areas.

Seems to me that the best solution is to build something that can go faster, and only use it with some common sense descretely and dont take the piss. Nobody will know or care as long as you use some sense and go faster when sensible and safe. Mixing it on roads with fast cars needs some ability to get out of the way fast at times... And when theres noone about and you want to save some time...

That scooter though cant really go faster than 6 or 7 mph without much better batteries. If you were to say double the gear ratio it would go twice as fast but take double the battery amps even at slow speeds. So you would need batteries and motors, loom, controller that were double the size to keep the same range. In fact 3x the size because of the peukert effect.

Its why my 15mph powerchair uses lithium batteries with 45 volts and 3x the stored usable energy.
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Postby hollyswheels » 23 May 2013, 22:48

Hello John,
I just sent an email to your private address, sorry to annoy you with that. I'll introduce myself here. I'm 54 years old, 5' tall, weigh about 105 lbs. (I haven't been weighed since 1996) I was a professional jockey until I went down in a spill in 1996 and became a T6 para ( I totally get, the 'need for speed'). I'm now a very active sheep rancher and farmer. I live in Northern Alberta Canada and deal with wicked winters, snow and -35 to 45 celcius often. You are amazing. I wish I was in the UK so I could get you to help me revamp my wheelchair. I currently have a quickie xplore mid-wheel drive wheelchair which is the best I've had yet. I do pound the heck out of it and it's held up for about 4 years so far. I have workers compensation coverage so they replace my chairs as needed but it's frightening to have a chair go down and then have to wait to get a new one, so I'm always searching for the 'dream chair.'
I see that you do not market the chair, I'm so sorry. I have no engineering or fabricating skills so re-doing a chair is not an option for me but I will continue to enjoy your site and your posts, I've already learned that my next chair should be a rear-wheel drive. The guys at the wheelchair store do not have a clue when I ask them what the best choice for me would be. Thank you so much for maintaining this site.
Holly Crichton.
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Postby Burgerman » 23 May 2013, 23:32

You are light, an X5 or V6 chair would likely suit your needs. But still only 7mph.
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Postby Malkav Kane » 14 Aug 2013, 00:19

Hello,I currently have an extremely bulky power chair which doesn't fit my needs,some guy from motobility measured me and told me what there was out there for my then 25(ish) stone frame. I am really interested in your BM/mk3 all terrain chair and would like to know if I could get one on finance through motobility as I receive DLA, I have since lost around 7 stone in the last 4 years so need something better to get around in,not just indoors. Many thanks for your time sincerely Malkav Kane aka John Howard.
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Postby Burgerman » 14 Aug 2013, 01:52

I don't build them for others. And all are experimental and permanently under development. I am as heavy as you though and my BM2/3 chairs don't much care.

But you cannot buy one.

It means DIY and much work to do something similar.
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Postby Wheel-less » 30 Oct 2013, 18:58

Hullo John!

I'm Lauren, 63 years old - polio in 1952.

I've been virtually housebound for 10 years but finally a wheelchair lift has been installed to rise up the 10 steps between my front door and the street. I can no longer self propel. Too old, too much carpal tunnel in the hands; But now I will be able to think about finding a powerchair.

I could not even change the washer on a water tap, so most of your engineering diy talk goes right over my pathetic little head; but I understand well enough that you have made your chairs into actual working vehicles as opposed the sad inadequate bits of junk offered to us for sale.

So I hope to learn something here.

Right now, I have applied to scootability; They are coming with a powerchair on Friday to give me a driving test. I suppose they will be petty enough to actually COUNT the pedestrians I knock over, so I will have to try to be a bit careful. Anyway, if I qualify, I will be able to borrow a powerchair from them for up to a week at a time - which will give me more time to see what might be available new at a cheap price, or a bargain second hand. First, I hope to learn.

It is not speed I long for - the London streets are not appropriate really - what I desire is RANGE. It's a big city and nothing is "as the crow flies" so the 10 miles supposed range of the scootability chairs will not get me very far!

Anyway, thanks for this site and forum. Your chairs are just AWE inspiring! I'd probably kill myself in one of those things; but I sure would like the range of the lithium batteries!

Regards, Lauren
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Postby Burgerman » 30 Oct 2013, 19:24

Well you wont get that with lead batteries. And likely the chair they bring you will be programmed badly, so steer equally badly. And will be small and weedy and not appropriate for outdoors too.
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