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My powerchairMY TOTALLY RE-DESIGNED BM2 POWERCHAIR (2004?)

AFTER LOOKING AT AND EXAMINING MOST OF THE WORLDS "HI END" POWERCHAIRS, I QUIT LOOKING AND BUILT MY OWN.

Because I need a good compact power wheelchair with a really tight / small footprint for true Indoor capability and great manoeuvrability. But I also want true outdoor capability!  Sand, snow, smooth ride, huge range, etc. All in ONE power wheelchair. To do this took serious thought, lots of metalwork and welding! About 50 percent of this chair is now neither sunrise or powerchair!

Well trust me when I say that the "real" manufacturers don't make anything worth buying if you want to use one chair for everything.  You have to choose, indoor, or out and accept that there is no chair that can do both properly.

This new powerchair really suits Active Paraplegic users that love a "sport" manual chair.  It wheelies, and goes exactly where you aim it. Due to C of G and real programming and big real world sized wheels and tyres. Want to drive your van to the beach and walk the dog along it?  Call in the pub on the way back? No problem. Its INDOOR friendly too.

 

MY LATEST HOME DESIGNED & BUILT, BM3 POWERCHAIR (2011)

45V LITHIUM BATTERY, 45+ MILES RANGE, 15 MPH, FAST CHARGE, (WEEKLY!), KEVLAR REINFORCED PUNCTURE PROOF "K SHIELD" TUBELESS TYRES, SNOW, SAND, OFF ROAD CAPABLE, INDOOR SMALL FOOTPRINT AND MORE... 

I am currently building the 3rd and latest incarnation, known as the BM3 which has a huge 45 mile+ range, 15mph speed, massive lithium battery and works indoors and out... properly. 

And a mass of other tweaks, with much more power and torque than normal powerchairs that make it vastly superior to any other powerchair on the planet. A quantum leap in every single direction.

Under construction, chair, and pages:

 

cool powerchairOLD ORIGINAL BM1 (1998)

This self built powerchair stuff, all started with the stock Sunrise Medical F55s powerchair, in 97. It was abysmal so I started to fix it. A bit at a time. And ended up with a much modified but better BM1 many years ago. All of these small but effective changes were subsequently used on the BM2, & BM3 chairs too, so even though old now, its worth a read.


I built 2 of these, before I built the Off Road BM2 Version above here. They are pretty similar and the only real difference is that they use more "normal" tyres. And are MUCH easier to build with only simple fabrication skills and some attention to detail needed. This is great if you don't go off road much and this powerchair has MANY drastic improvements that should be incorporated into all powerchairs. This was way better than any bought powerchair up until I improved it again above... These pages should be read completely before the BM2 / BM3 Version if you design or build powerchairs or are just interested in the details and the "why's" of it all. Badly scribbled, excuse the mess!

 

off road powerchairINDOOR/OUTDOOR ALL TERRAIN POWER WHEELCHAIRS

  • Indoor/Outdoor All Terrain/Off Road PowerChairs 
    These chairs are all supposed to be Powerchairs that can be used in the pub, in your house, in your van to drive from etc.

    In other words a true INDOOR small footprint all day full sized powerchair with great OUTDOOR capability as well as some all terrain/beach/mud capability. There are very few of these so far! They all have issues one way or another...


 

 

off road powerchairOFF ROAD ONLY "POWERCHAIRS"

These are powerchairs (or conveyances) that are not indoor / outdoor solutions. They are generally too big or don't turn tight enough so are OUTDOOR only.

You will need to be able to transfer from one wheelchair to another or not be "that" disabled to use most of these things. More to be added soon. 

You will also likely need a trailer or other transport device to take them to your venue. These are real All Terrain or Off Road powerchairs. They will not fit in my house, the pub or my van. But some are fun!  They are just not really powerchairs. If you can handle transfers and transport or want to swap about from one wheelchair to another then maybe something like this is for you. Some here are home built..

 

rough streetALL POWER WHEELCHAIRS NEED TO BE "OFF ROAD" CAPABLE.  

 
What I discovered after building my latest powerchair was that with correct design there are simply no downsides at all. Only huge benefits. They need not be any bigger. Why make them uncomfortable with small hard tyres and a harsh ride unless they are JUST for indoors? 

And no, "suspension" isn't the answer because that does not deform around objects, curbs or cobbles like big fat low pressure balloon tyres do. In a slow powerchair suspension just isn't as effective.

 

rampTHAT ESSENTIAL SMALL PORTABLE FOLDING RAMP!

Do you have a powerchair? Do you leave the house? Then you NEED one of these in your car or van!  No excuses. Saved my bacon many times.

 

POWERCHAIR TYRES (TIRES)

A page discussing the types of powerchair tyres we have, can get, and which are best and why. Advantages and disadvantages of each type. So you know what to look for or to swap over to!  Tyres are not as simple as you think!
 

 

POWERCHAIR TYRE (TIRE) PRESSURES

What should they be and why? Forget the "recommended" pressures in the manual!
 

 

Powerchair Tyres TiresPOWER WHEELCHAIR TYRES, TUBELESS, TUBED, SOLID?

Advantages and disadvantages of each type. Which should you fit and why?

 

Puncture proof kevlar tyre tirePUNCTURE PROOF TYRES

I mean real puncture proof, like the military use. NOT solid they give an unacceptable ride and eat our limited battery power, Not foam filled or, inserts or and of the other "mobility solutions" that jar your spine every few yards. There are better ways.

These Kevlar re-enforced tyres that I use on my chairs are both tubeless as well as basically bullet proof... I don't like punctures!

 

Tyre tire foam

TYRE (TIRE) WELD IN A CAN

Punctures. We just love those! At least get et a can of tyre repair foam today! This is pretty effective on tubeless tyres but works at least some of the time on tube type tyres that most powerchairs have.

 

WHAT TYPICALLY GOES WRONG WITH POWERED WHEELCHAIRS?

Things that fail. Or have failed me over the years. And others. But only the things that can leave you stranded. A sudden stop. Broken down. And how to avoid that happening to you. There a a lot of things that go wrong repeatedly. Like batteries! But they seldom die suddenly. On the other hand some things just do fail!  If you know what DOES go wrong, and how to fix it you will be able to avoid it happening at 2Am on a cold train station...
 

 

ALL ABOUT POWERCHAIR "RANGE" AND WHAT AFFECTS OR CHANGES IT

The things that effect the Range of a Powerchair. The differences speed or gearing make, user weight, terrain etc. What to realistically expect and why.  How you can improve it. You wont make India!

 

DRIVE YOUR POWER WHEELCHAIR BY REMOTE CONTROL, OR RADIO CONTROL

As much as this seems either plain silly, or a game for fun, its UNBELIEVABLY useful to do this. I work on many powerchairs, and am disabled so sat in one. How else can I move a 2nd chair from workshop to house or van? Or away from my bed to "swap chairs" as and when I need to do so.

How I do it and why I do it. And why you would want to do it!  It should be offered as an option on all powerchairs. Its safe, reliable and makes a number of jobs really easy.

 

MANUAL OR POWER WHEELCHAIR?

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED!!!

 

When you really examine ALL the pros and cons a manual wheelchair just isn't as good at ANYTHING! For most full time wheelchair users. Its all about brainwashing! So then, if you are using a manual wheelchair, and are a full time wheelchair user this means you are brainwashed by the system!

 

POWER WHEELCHAIRS & SPEED!

EVERYONE WANTS A FASTER POWERCHAIR

Its much safer & allows you to escape the daily reversing car that hasn't seen you etc, or allows you to safely cross a busy junction without being badly killed by a bus. So why do they make slow powerchairs if they are a liability?

There are very good REASONS why a 4 mph chair isn't capable of 6 mph. There's no simple fix. There is also a reason that outdoor chairs are pretty much limited to 6 or 8 mph maximum. All explained here in detail... 
 

 

CHOOSING A SUITABLE POWERCHAIR

Powerchair dynamics, size, types and what to look for in a powered wheelchair when looking for one for yourself. By understanding WHY powerchairs have different controllers, battery sizes, wheel and motors, or speed "packages" you can better understand the differences between so many different models. Its impossible to choose a chair if you are clueless about how/why all these things affect you or the chair.
 

 

WHEELCHAIRS AND WIDTH!

What not to do. What to avoid and why.
 

 

SICK OF WAITING FOR YOUR POWERCHAIR OR SCOOTER TO BE CHARGED?

WANT TO "TOP UP THE POWER" FAST, SO YOU CAN GO OUT OR CONTINUE YOUR TRIP? 
WELL YOU CAN  DO THIS. I DO THIS ALL THE TIME. LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO WAIT!

If you are the type of person that actually uses your powerchair a LOT and has a struggle with batteries not lasting the whole day, then boost charge your powerchair to around 95 percent fully charged in an hour while you check your email!  So you are ready to go out fully charged and confident in the evening.

Contrary to what many manufacturers who really don't understand batteries well and other self appointed "experts" will tell you, it is perfectly safe to charge deep cycle batteries at a much faster rate than your cheap and cheerful mobility charger can do.

As long as you use a separate direct battery connection lead/cable and a powerful modern switch mode voltage controlled multi stage charger. Even the enlightened battery manufacturers say so!  I have been doing this daily for 25 months now without an issue and my batteries never lasted as long as this before. And it feels great to know that you are fully charged and ready to go!
 

 

DO YOU USE LEAD BASED BATTERIES (GEL / AGM) IN YOUR CAR OR IN YOUR POWERCHAIR?  

Do you drive or own a power wheelchair or scooter? Or a Disabled converted vehicle? You really should read and understand this piece on batteries!
 

 

WHAT BATTERIES TO BUY FOR YOUR POWERCHAIR OR SCOOTER

What to buy and why.  I have tested many to destruction because that's the kind of guy I am... Really I am not normal. I do it because I WANT TO KNOW - brain like a sponge!  And measured their destruction too. I even cut them open to see why they die...  A sort of post mortem.
 

 

ORGANIZE YOURSELF!

How to organise yourself for every eventuality!
 

 

FUSES! TRIPS, FUSIBLE LINKS, CIRCUIT BREAKERS

Unknown to most people FUSES (or sometimes breakers) can even stop your powerchair dead in the street. They really do not pop off often but it is not completely unknown. You do have a spare one ready stored in your battery box don't you?  Well get one then!  Today preferably or that will be when it leaves you out in the cold and rain at 2am.  Much better to be safe than sorry.
 

 

STORE OR MAINTAIN UNUSED CHAIRS/BATTERIES

How and why its important. Store your wheelchair batteries incorrectly and they may be ruined in as little as a month.
 

 

WANT "MAINS" POWER ON BOARD YOUR POWERCHAIR? OR 12V OUT? OR CHARGE "ON THE MOVE" IN A CAR?

Want to run your computer from your powerchair? Want to use power tools from your powerchair? Want to charge your powerchair while driving inside your car? Want to have mains electricity available wherever you go in your powerchair or scooter?

Want to charge a powerchair FROM a powerchair or scooter? Its all easy... What works and what doesn't and what's available. I have all of these gadgets...

 

CHARGING BATTERIES - BASIC INFO

What you should know.
 

 

A BETTER POWERCHAIR CHARGER
 

It balances your batteries to make sure both are charged to the same exact state and is a little faster than a stock Powerchair charger.
 

 

CHARGE YOUR POWERCHAIR FROM YOUR CAR

Its easy and safe if you understand what you are doing. If not skip this! No charger needed  --  (SIMPLE METHOD, ONE BATTERY AT A TIME).
 

 

CHARGE YOUR POWERCHAIR FROM YOUR CAR MUCH FASTER

This allows you to charge your scooter or powerchair directly and safely from your cars alternator with some simple rewiring. Typically 30 to 45 mins for a pair of good powerchair batteries to around 95 percent charge.
 

 

FIT ANDERSON CONNECTORS TO YOUR POWERCHAIR!

to allow fast charging or the connection of many varied devices, including inverters and the power to run many mains powered items or to charge your chairs batteries (individually) from your cars battery/engine.
 

 

WHEELCHAIR BATTERY SIZES

What they are, why it matters and the actual physical sizes
 

 

LEFT YOUR BATTERIES TO GO FLAT? SCOOTER/POWERCHAIR WILL NOT CHARGE?

Why your Powerchair wont charge and how to fix it!
 

 

PILOT PLUS DISPLAYHOW TO MEASURE YOUR BATTERIES TO DETERMINE THE STATE OF CHARGE

Measuring it and what it means  and a chart showing different battery types voltages.

 

HYPERION'S EXTRAORDINARY BATTERY CHARGERS

This thing can charge your powerchair or scooter from your car. Your car from your powerchair. And charge every single type of battery currently available!  It can also graph and test your chairs batteries via a PC in detail over time. For the guy who wants to know what's happening with his batteries, that wants to be able to test them, and have maximum flexibility in choosing charge rates, voltages, etc. Too much to explain.

As above but now even more powerful! I have three!   Charges at up to 20 Amps, any battery type. If you are a control freak and use a powerchair this is ESSENTIAL kit!

 

WHEN ARE MY BATTERIES READY FOR REPLACEMENT?

As it says. How do you know when its time to replace your powerchair or scooters batteries?

 

LITHIUM POWERCHAIR & SCOOTER BATTERIES

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
ADD ON POWER UNITS, ADD ON POWERED WHEELS FOR MANUAL WHEELCHAIRS

A discussion about these devices and why they are mostly a bad idea!

See also:

 

EXTEND THE RANGE OF YOUR EXISTING POWERCHAIR

Get 90km or 40 miles from an average top end power wheelchair. Seriously!  Some have been doing this for years.

 

POWER WHEELCHAIR "RANGE"

What affects it, how to maximize it, compromises with speed or battery sizes etc.
 

 

POWER WHEELCHAIRS AND SNOW

(or Soft Surfaces like Sand / Mud) What works, what doesn't and why! And why I did it my way...
 

 

POWER WHEELCHAIRS AND RAIN

 

HI END POWERCHAIR CONTROL SYSTEMS

Looking for ramp climbing, wheelies, off road power, etc? Which is best. Dynamic or Penny and Giles? And why? There are differences...
 

 

ROBOTEQ HI POWER ROBOTICS CONTROLLER AS USED ON MY LATEST POWERCHAIR

WAY more powerful than any other controller!!! 36v, (up to 50v) 300 amps (2x 150A) controller. As used on my latest project powerchair for 15mph and enough power to plough a field...
 

 

PP1b Programmer hand held devicePROGRAMMING YOUR POWERCHAIR

What you need to know and why you need a programmer today! Unless you do this your powerchair will always be sluggish, delayed and hard to steer. And no, your dealer cannot do it.
 

 

JOYSTICK FLASHING ERROR CODES

Power wheelchair flashing error codes and programmer error codes lookup!
 

 

MOTOR BRUSHES

All you need to know and how to swap and check them - BEFORE you break down! Knowledge is power!
 

 

BACKUP POWERCHAIRS

Why you need one and how to get one and what to look for!
 

 

COST OF OWNING AND RUNNING A HI END POWER WHEELCHAIR. ITS NOT PRETTY!

Detailed breakdown of typical running, maintenance, charging costs as well as depreciation.
 

 

POWER WHEELCHAIR DESIGN - THE COMPROMISES

Why they are designed how they are, and what to look for when choosing a chair.
 

 

POWERCHAIRS AND HEAT

Having problems? Read this...

 

ADD A USB PORT TO YOUR POWERCHAIR

 

CHARGE UP YOUR POWERCHAIR FOR FREE FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS!

 

HOW TO CRIMP AND SOLDER CABLES!

 

AGM or GEL BATTERY? DIFFERENCES

 

POWERCHAIR PARTS

Links to useful Powerchair Parts and components and services supplies.
 

Quiz for Powerchair "Professionals"  If you cant answer these basic questions then you should give up and go home!
 

How to Afford Everything

Quad copter camera platform TBS discovery. Un-crashable great for a wheelchair hobby!

 

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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