Sunday, 12 February 2017

Permobil: 50:50??

Just to be fair:  I was speaking with the wheelchair service technician from the same franchise I'm currently with, and I mentioned all the problems I've had with my Permobil M300 wheelchair.  His opinion was that with Permobil, "you either get a good chair and love it -or you don't".

If you feel that a fifty-fifty chance is a risk you wish to take, then by all means, choose a Permobil.  I have had so much trouble that I would not take another even if offered for free.

Good Luck!

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Quantum Battery

I had been given a Quantum powerchair by a friend who knew of all the problems I was experiencing with my Permobil M300.  He explained to me that this was a "discarded chair" which had been "cobbled together" with some spare parts to make it functional. In particular, I was advised that the quality of the batteries was unknown.

As it would happen, the Quantum chair began to experience power problems after about a month or a bit more.  The battery(s) began to lose power after about a few hours and I would have to take a break mid-day to recharge.  As the problem was getting progressively worse with each week, I decided to call and establish myself with my service provider's franchise in my new city.

Once again, they responded in a prompt manner and were very professional.  The batteries in my 'gifted' chair were not appropriate in the first place as they were of a slightly lower voltage.  The service technician replaced the batteries to the cost of ~$850 Cnd including the service call.

While this was an expensive repair, the Quantum chair was invaluable to me and I remain delighted to have it.

I currently have two Power wheelchairs and am eligible for a new replacement chair late this spring.  I really am not contemplating getting rid of any as I will have enough space to store those not in use.  While I have no confidence in the Permobil M300, it is almost a new machine with virtually every part replaced on it over the years of my owning it.  I had solid rubber tires put on it so I can use it in my shop once I get it together -no fear of running over nails and such.

Once moved in I hope to get back to building guitars as I did pre-injury.

Permobil M300 Reliability & Other Thoughts

I did receive my Permobil M300 powerchair in December of 2016 back from the service provider.  They managed to get the chair's motor operational once again -somehow resetting it.  Further consultation by my service provider with Permobil's home office failed to resolve the power problem.  Permobil was disinterested.

My service provider once again replaced the electronic control unit of which he had managed to scavenge a used unit from discarded Permobil powerchair.  I purchased a new electronic power control unit in April of 2016 when it first failed.  Althought there was no evidence that this new unit was defective and causing the motor shut-down, problems started some time after it was installed.  As Permobil was of no help, my service technician was trying anything and everything to resolve my motor power problem.  With the used electronic power control unit installed and the motor reset (by unplugging it and re plugging it into the wiring harness that comes from the controller -the chair ran properly and he was unable to reproduce the power problem under various conditions and loads.

Bottom line:  My Permobil M300 is currently running as expected, however, I still have no confidence in the chair and always wonder when, for no obvious reason, it will decide to stop running properly.

I simply have no confidence in this Permobil product!

Missing In Action

I've not added any new posts to this blog since late 2016 due to the death of my 92 year old father.  As sole beneficiary and executor of his estate, I have been quite busy, not only in my current home but in my future home.  As I have inherited his home, my preference has always been to move there as it was my childhood home.  Renovations had to be made to make it accessible.  Some renovations are completed, others will be a work in progress and still others will be deferred to a later time.

My friends "gift" of a used Quantum powerchair could not have come at a better time.  With my time split between my current home and my new home in another city some forty minutes away, I was able to leave my Permobil powerchair in my current home and transport the Quantum to my new home.  With two chargers, I now have usable powerchairs at each location which makes the transition much easier.  I can shuttle between locations using my manual wheelchair then use the powerchairs within each home without having to ship a powerchair back and forth.

I will share some of the accessibility related renovations, from my current home and my new home in upcoming posts.  I will also address some of the questions related to spinal cord injury and "recovery" as I experienced it - as I can only speak for myself.