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Author Topic: ODD QUESTION  (Read 1691 times)

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Offline I_am_A_cyborgTopic starter

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ODD QUESTION
« on: January 07, 2010, 04:23:30 PM »
I am a powered wheelchair user. I use a special headrest controller that allows me to drive the chair with head movements because I am paralyzed from the neck down.  a few years ago, I got a new chair with a new headrest controller.  This new headrest controller totally sucks!  The wheelchair itself is great... but the controller sucks.  I still have two of the original headrest controllers from previous wheelchairs that are still fully functional.  These headrest controllers are freaking awesome and I miss their functionality terribly.  To be honest, this new headrest has made a seriously negative impact on my quality of life.  we did try to hook the old headrest up to the new chair, but it did not work.  The wheelchair vendor is a total dork and if it doesn't plug-in directly they can't help you.  I have had this chair for about three years now so there's no warrantee anymore.  I think some kind of an interface box could be created that would allow my old headrests to work with the new wheelchair. (Invacare Storm TDX5)  is there anyone on this forum who knows enough about powered wheelchair electronics who could tell me if this could be possible or even better help me figure out how to do it? 

Offline SmAsH

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 04:32:12 PM »
Well, if the type of interface is the same i don't see why not, i take it the old wheelchairs had a different plug?
Do you have any more info about the previous wheelchairs as well as links to the old headrest controllers?
Howdy

Offline I_am_A_cyborgTopic starter

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:33 PM »
I have this information...  I know it's not much, but I'm looking for more.

http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm?pageid=19327&top=14664&productid=83008&trail=22,12999&discontinued=1

Offline SmAsH

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 04:50:37 PM »
Hmmm, do you have any pictures of the head controllers themselves or the connectors on them?
Howdy

Offline rgcustodio

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 05:04:38 PM »
I_am_A_cyborg
Sorry to hear the problem that you are encountering.
Most manufacturers create their own proprietary interface. This prevents other people from using unapproved peripherals (ie attaching a different controller) to protect the company, the actual product and specially the user.


If the connectors are not directly compatible (specially if the wire-count is different, most probably it is not color coded) only a very knowledgeable person can reverse engineer the interface. I am afraid this is not a task that can be done over a forum.

Using an interface box could be possible but not after you know what the wires on the controller side and the wires on the wheelchair side are for. I will tell you, it is not as easy as you think it maybe.

Have you tried contacting the manufacturer of the controller you want to hack? They should be able to provide some kind of help.
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. - H. W. Longfellow

understanding is the path to enlightenment

Offline Soeren

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, 08:26:08 AM »
Hi,

I think some kind of an interface box could be created that would allow my old headrests to work with the new wheelchair. (Invacare Storm TDX5)  is there anyone on this forum who knows enough about powered wheelchair electronics who could tell me if this could be possible or even better help me figure out how to do it? 
Do you have anyone local with a bit of electronics skills helping you?
You need someone to test the outputs of both the controllers when specific actions are taken - like when commanded forward, what happens on the wires from the two controllers.

Do you have make and model numbers of the controllers (that should be printed on them somewhere.

If you cannot get someone to test the outputs from those controllers (or enough data can be found on them), it will be impossible to find out whether a swap can be made.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline I_am_A_cyborgTopic starter

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 08:28:41 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/46563093@N04/

Sorry abt the quality.  In the center there is a large contact that acts as a button with an auditory beep as a haptic feedback.  You can key in different numbers of "beeps" to enter different modes. 5 beeps puts you in drive mode.  Once in drive mode, you can key in 2 for reverse, 3 for drive1 and 4 for drive2,  1 stops you and holding the key resets you to the main menu.

When in drive mode, the proximity sensors (aluminum plates on the left and right)  measure the distance between the user's head and the headrest. the further you get from the headrest, the faster you go.  If you lean to one side, then it turns in that direction.  the proximity sensors can also be used in other modes to control whatever you want.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 09:48:03 PM by I_am_A_cyborg »

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 09:06:36 PM »
It really feels sad hearing your condition, really come to regret some things I've done and doing... Still...

It seems like a easy to hack device. If you are "lucky" enough the circuit board is mainly working with analog circuits,
meaning that someone with some expertise may be able to help you.
 
It would require great effort to try to understand only with photos and even greater for you opening the case of the circuit board taking photos both sides etc etc etc...

A adapter box must be able to be made, but you will need someone experience.


Personally, I'm a little bit shocked, I mean... good luck with it


Best Regards, Lefteris
Greece
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline Soeren

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 06:34:35 AM »
Hi,

Sorry abt the quality.
Don't worry, with a bit of explanation they're readable I think :)


In the center there is a large contact that acts as a button with an auditory beep as a haptic feedback.
Which is which?
There's two boxes in the pictures (one with a broken "UP" push button).
The one with a broken switch has got a female(?) 9 pole Sub-D connector that's very rusty.
The head rest with the two aluminum sensor plates has got a male 9 pole sub-D connector lying up against it in one pic, but in another pic it looks like a female connector?

In other words... If you add a comment to each picture, so we'll know what we're looking at, it will help.
I got the impression that you have 3 controllers, one that you don't like and two that is better. Would the photos be of the two old controllers?
What kind of connectors (type and gender) are there on the controller you're using now?

And once more... Do you have anyone local that can help you measure signals and perhaps open a box for a photo session?
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline I_am_A_cyborgTopic starter

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 11:49:10 AM »
You are correct.  There are two units being shown there.   I have added notes to clarify and eliminated redundant images.  my plan is to make both units use the same connector so that they are interchangeable.  You can see that they use two different styles of 9-pin connectors. 

to answer some of the previous questions:  my father is an electronic engineer and he knows how to  solder, build circuits, etc. (he's an old-school ham radio guy) I think we can figure it out with a little help.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: ODD QUESTION
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 04:31:25 PM »
When you say "plug" or "connector" im slightly confused...
You say "plug for unit two", it this the chair side plug while the connectors one and two are the unit connectors?
If i am understanding which plugs belong to what both of the unit plugs appear to be db9 female plugs while the chair has a female db9 plug?
My question is, do both the headrest controllers have the same plug?
Quote
The head rest with the two aluminum sensor plates has got a male 9 pole sub-D connector lying up against it in one pic, but in another pic it looks like a female connector?
I think its a male and the other picture has a different connector in it?
Howdy

 


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