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Magic Mobility Frontier

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Diary Entry

Well it’s been a few days since my last entry. I am beginning to feel a lot better as the days pass. The weather is so much better which always makes for a better mood.

Over the last four days or so I’ve been using my Magic Mobility Frontier All-Terrain wheelchair to good effect!

After months of being on the charger this thing is finally getting some great use in this wonderful weather we are having, every time I reacquaint myself with his wheelchair, I fall in love with it all over again.

I’m still waiting for some repair work to be done on my everyday wheelchair (the TA mid wheel drive from Denmark) from what I understand it at the very least needs a new suspension fork and various other fixes done to it maybe some new tires at the front.

This may take some time to implement.

Next week I’ve also having a couple of wheelchair specialists coming to look at it and look at my seating in particular to see is that anything that they can do to improve it.

I must admit I find the seating in my magic wheelchair to be far superior to that on my everyday chair. Maybe this just relates to the bitter suspension that my all-terrain wheelchair has compared to anything else I’ve only clocked up 1220 km in four years on this beast; as opposed to over 3217 km on my other wheelchair.

That’s all I’ve got a report for now but watch this space. Thank you for reading

Malcolm.

Hospital Visit

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Hospital Visit

From 9 November 2019 for approximately nine days I was in hospital having and recovering from kidney stone removal.

Truly, it’s another world going into hospital it’s another realm completely. Has very vague references to the outside world, the hospital’s internal processes are very much of their own making and it probably be entrenched for a number of years.

After about three days of being in there despite myself, I became used to these routines and I kind of relaxed into it. I surrendered in many ways my sense of self, because I had so much physical involvement with the nurses and medical staff in general that any pretense to modesty went out the window.

There were long periods of being extremely bored, where nothing particularly happened and again, I had to surrender my sense of time passing to the hospital routine!

My biggest challenges while in their was communicating the basic need of not being released to soon as I had tubes and bags coming out of me and I really needed to communicate that releasing me to quickly from the hospital would radically mean that I couldn’t function properly at home.

I basically waited for this operation roughly about a year and four months, so I had a lot of time to over this. Since release from hospital I have actually had a rethink about medical procedures and so forth; no longer do I stress unnecessarily about the idea of these things if they need to happen, they will happen, hopefully for my own good.

The fact that I ended up there for nine days I think was a win for me, because it meant that I had an opportunity to recover properly before coming home.

wheelchair shenanigans

Blog (wheelchair shenanigans)

As many of you might know I have two power wheelchairs:

1. The hospital funded wheelchair which I gently used as a daily driver just because of its size and nimble turning circle, plus also this wheelchair if Repairs are needed will be funded by the state. So this means that in many ways the TA (hospital funded wheelchair is more practical uses an everyday driver)

2. The second wheelchair which I personally own is called A Frontier V6 by magic mobility of Australia. This wheelchair is truly bigger than life, and this is the wheelchair during the summer that I prefer to use if possible. Recently I had new tires fitted at a pretty reasonable price and I started using this wheelchair again particularly as my everyday driver wheelchair due to given service soon.

Yesterday I took the frontier out on a reasonably long run for the first time August of this year, I think it is a real advantage to have two different kinds of wheelchairs on tap for different use cases

The quality of caregivers

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Blog entry

The quality of care givers if you are dependent on people to assist you with daily living is imperative! Just putting anybody into the caring routine does not work! They must be quality people with personal dignity and empathy towards others.

The most difficult times I have is dealing with people that don’t have communication skills, don’t have the desire to actually be in your home and don’t view the work seriously!

Over the 27+ years that I’ve had experience with carers I’ve seen the good bad and the ugly in terms of service provision. Unfortunately, because of the numbers now, it is very difficult to get the quality up of the individual service you get.

Yesterday and today I’ve had some challenges with getting clearance support luckily right in the middle of writing this blog entry this had been resolved.

There is a limited pool of very good carers, for high needs people like myself there is a certain stress level involved with this, this has always been a case, but I think communication has improved I’m pleased to say

TA IQ (power chair update article May 2018)

TA IQ (power chair update article May 2018)
Saturday, 12 May 2018
I've taken, to use this wheelchair as my primary mode of transport mainly because it's nimble and it's easier to use inside the house and also quick!
 
But very soon I think I will definitely need a new set of tyres across the 2000 km mark in the wheelchair now not particularly excessive as far as mileage is concerned in four years I know :-).
 
2009 km and miles is 1248.33 miles for those of you that don't use kilometres, by comparison my other wheelchair a frontier V6 has approximately about 960 km may be slightly more but under a thousand anyway from my recollection :-).
 
It was definitely the best decision I made to get lights on both my wheelchairs and I would strongly press if you do much with your wheelchairs at all to get lights of some kind, as these greatly aid and visibility and safety when in darker conditions :-).
 
The TA IQ has been the most reliable power wheelchair I have owned. The only true weak points with this brand I think is some of the drive inhibits which are enabled when the wheelchair goes into elevation mode. You can barely move (especially backwards). I know there are some manufacturers of other brands wheelchairs that have enabled their brands to go at a higher speed.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Rogue Water Urn
 
blog entry for Saturday, 12 May 2018
 
Wonders will never cease! I always seem to have trouble with kettles or water urns. Previously I had one that kept leaking all the time necessitating that water was needing to be wiped up on a continued basis.
 
Now while my current one is working well I have encountered an intriguing (and slightly annoying problem relating to it.
 
Namely, the temperature dial keeps moving up of its own accord (so what this means if you leave it alone it will just creep up over a period of a couple of hours so that the water gets to a boiling point and most of the water would evaporate away! My temporary solution is that I turned it off and only boil water when I need a cup of tea.
 
I'm curious as to what might be the cause of this problem?
 
Malcolm.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Really, it has been such a long time since a later blog entry is almost embarrassing! Since I last caught up with you I’ve been up to a few things

1. I now have Sky TV

2. I am now thoroughly familiar with my Frontier V6 (power wheelchair); now that the weather has improved I’m looking forward to doing some more fun things with it out in the community.

3. I will finally get round to posting my Life Story Online (this is a big deal because it’s something that I wanted to do for a long long time).

I hope that you will get something positive out of my website and it might give you something to think about

Best wishes,

Malcolm.

Show Your Ability 2017 Report

Recently I attended the show which was a showcase for all disability related products available in New Zealand. Among these products were a number of wheelchair vendor's (power wheelchair vendor's) that I was interested in having a look at.

I spoke to these companies:

1 Invacare.

2. Permobil.

3. Sunrise Medical.

4. TA Services.

5. Pride Mobility (Quantum Rehab).

6. Magic Mobility.

I will start talking about number 6 (Magic Mobility):

They had all their wheelchairs on display, including the Compact 40 and 73 models plus the Frontier V6 and X8 models, plus the frontier V4. The compact 40 and 73 are smaller versions of the frontier V6 (by this I mean they have the same suspension set ups. The numbers 40 and 73 denote the ratings of the batteries fitted. I'd been to several of these shows over about 5 or 6 years at least and never before had magic mobility had or their models on display (I'm talking about the New Zealand agents); because previously they had only focused on the frontier V6 and the X8 mainly; but I was told the reason why all the models were bought in was there was an increased interest in the complete range.

These smaller compact models were significantly smaller than the traditional Frontier and Hybrid models.

While at the booth I really pressed the question regarding the use of lithium batteries!

I was told "yes magic mobility has tested lithium batteries on all their products, the two issues are:

A). "There is not an easy method to accurately measure battery range, they needed to fit an external metre" I'm not exactly sure from memory whether that was exactly the way that they phrased it but that was the gist of it.

B). Also they mentioned along with other vendor's that lithium batteries are significantly lighter, and in their view would cause a problem altering the balance of the wheelchair by making it significantly lighter! Personally I don't feel that this would be as much of a problem as they care to admit although, somebody better qualified than myself would be able to talk to this?

C). That lithium batteries just tended to stop dead without any discharge curve (I think this has been talked about at some length on other posts on this website.

I would be interested John whether you have some accurate method via a gauge on your wheelchair about measuring lithium battery usage (or whether you just know it instinctively)?

Quantum Rehab

I am very sceptical about this brand because of what I've read about it on a couple of websites (yours John and various troubles that people have had on Mark A Smith's website forum). So I was very interested to see these wheelchairs up close and to ask some questions particularly about the Ilevel function. I was met with a particularly enthusiastic and engaging representative. Looking at the wheelchairs up close the build quality appeared to be no better or no worse than anybody else's. While I was at the quantum rehab booth there was a different kind of control input being demonstrated that used an iPad type input device! Various members of the public and family members of people with disabilities plus therapists were trying to drive this :-). Surprisingly they didn't really appear to do a particularly good job. I think had I been given a turn I would have made a better fist of it. But it was interesting to me because it offered an alternative drive method for people with very limited motor control, and at least it would get them out and about.

The quantum rehab wheelchairs are the preferred wheelchair that is given to people through our social welfare system. They made sure that they had a big sign saying that this wheelchair was very easily government funded and has been alluded to before they were speaking directly to therapists and family members who would possibly recommend their products. I prefer vendor is that don't focus on just one group.

Before I got my current TA IQ, I told the therapist that I would not accept a quantum rehab wheelchair under any circumstances; this new crop seemed quite well put together but I think I wouldn't necessarily like it apart from the Ilevel which means the speed inhibitor is taken off :-)

They were very shiny with lots of plastic :-).

TA Services

These are the people that make my TA IQ from Denmark! Of all the wheelchair distributors I spoke to they seemed to be the most uninformed unfortunately. When I got the TA in 2014 I had my centre hubs and springs powder coated bright orange :-). Just because I could! The staff on this particular booth commented how clean my wheelchair was and even though it was approaching three years old it looked almost brand-new. To me it's so important to keep your wheelchair in good condition, I didn't think that it was so remarkable that I would want to keep it clean? Like many of the other booths they had a variety of wheelchairs including rearwheel drive, mid wheel drive, front wheel drive, and paediatric.

Sunrise Medical

I was interested in the Quickie 710 because of its so-called different suspension spider track and the many options you could get with it. I think if it had been readily available when I got the TA IQ I would have gone with the 710 instead just because I think the suspension seems to be much superior. In the latest design along with the articulating spider track arms they have included an extra spring, I think to make the whole thing just a little bit more rigid I'm not sure I can't remember.

It's interesting that all these companies are basically chasing the same market; there is very little innovation truly and I can't understand why they insist on making wheelchairs heavy (well I know why they do it) to make the wheelchairs less likely to tip in different scenarios – but my argument is if you are experienced and physically able enough you don't put the wheelchair in scenarios that they would tip over. By reducing the weight of a wheelchair by 15 or 20% you would possibly be able to increase the amount of kilometres or miles you could get on a charge?

I've been using power wheelchairs for a very long time since the early 1970s when I was a very small child, and in those days wheelchair bodies were no more then a deck chair with batteries and a couple of motors attached the brand I used was called a BEC 40 ( there was another one during my teenage years called which I ran for over 16 years from memory and when I was in my early 20s around 1988 I graduated to a Bec 80 which was like a bigger version but no advance these wheelchairs had absolutely no rehab seating of any kind and were just like foldable deck chairs ypu would take to a beach (made of aluminium very easy to flip over backwards (trust me I used to do that a lot).

But I really don't believe in the making power wheelchairs as heavy as they do now, I think it's just overkill.

I can understand with my Frontier V6 that perhaps some weight could be an advantage (I remember in the early days of wheelchair use they drastically had reduced the weight to increase battery range) I think possibly health and safety has gone mad?

Permobil

I was delighted to see this brand properly represented this year in New Zealand. I had the most interesting conversation with some technical responses to my questions thrown in. Obviously the gentleman was not just a sales rep but had some real knowledge compared to the others. This made for an enjoyable interaction where I didn't fall asleep :-)

The build quality of the wheelchair is on display seem to be quite a bit higher than many of the others:

Both the F3 and the F5 plus F5 stander were on display along with the M 300 and various other models I think. But what I was really interested in was the possible introduction of lithium. The guy I was talking to parroted basically what everybody else had said but in a little bit more detail, highlighting the need to add weight to a wheelchair if lithium was fitted. He said the only thing stopping it wasn't safety but the ability to accurately measure battery usage and not have the lithium batteries stop dead when charge depleted suddenly. He told me that lithium was not that far away. That was far more than I got from anybody else.

Invacare

Surprisingly I also got a very good response from them! I didn't expect this and in some respects it was the most interesting. In the New Zealand market we have the TDX range of wheelchairs but I don't think or at least I haven't seen the storm series mentioned or referred to anyway.

The guy I was talking to was telling me that next year there is going to be a whole new range of models. That Invacare have now put the descent decree behind them and are manufacturing again (at least I think that's what he said). And that they are committed to the brushless motor technology and they are made or are made significant improvements to these this which will be released next year. I remember some time ago Mark a Smith mentioned on his website that 2018 was going to be a significant breakthrough year for new products across the whole industry? What that really means is anybody's guess.

Having previously owned a TDX 5 which had brushless motors I know they had their faults but there was nothing that could compete with it for the battery range using conventional lead acid batteries.

For what it was I really enjoyed the show.

Cheers,

Malcolm.

March 6, 2017

My sincerest apologies! It has been months and months since my last update. I have been using my Frontier V6 wheelchair more or less as my primary mode of transport these days. DragonDictate for the Mac has finally caught up with its PC brethren as far as accuracy is concerned and so I can use either the Macintosh or a bona fide PC machine using Windows 10.

I'd say the two systems have advantages!

(By the way I failed to mention that I sold one of my Macintoshes and bought a PC box) because I found running Windows 10 under Mac emulation did not quite cut it for me).

I'm certainly going to be very active in updating my website with new material:

Updating the video section, updating some of the icons and getting word of others.

There is so much that I want to say now and the main focus for me will be writing my book of my life to date.

Of course technology has always been a preoccupation of mine and this focus will continue; the difference being that the site will be updated often. I've got something to say so why not say it – welcome to 2017.

Program Upgrades

A Major Update to Rapid Weaver

Just in the last couple of days there has been a major update to Rapid Weaver (it's the major program I use for updating and publishing content on my website. Rapid Weaver is now up to version 7.0 Along with this came also the cost of registering my domain name and various other technical aspects around hosting. This is not in an expensive business costing me around $150 NZ per year.

Also in addition one other program I use for titling also got a major upgrade (Art Text 3) previously version 2, this is the program I use all the time.