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MODULAR CONTROLLERS ARE VASTLY SUPERIOR TO INTEGRALS

Integral controllers for Power wheelchairs are cheaper to build but will cost more in the long run.

oldcontroller

Bulky integrals make it difficult
for you to get close to table/desk

Integrals are much more
expensive to repair and maintain

Very inefficient for average
or Bariatric use and life.

Compromised design can leave user
stranded or burn them.

 

newcontroller

 

Smaller joystick models allow you
to get much closer to table/desk.

Modular have inexpensive, easy
to repair, plug in components.

Shorter power lines, bigger heat
sink, produces much longer range

Power module provides much more
power and stays cooler.

 


We have used moderately priced dual modular component controllers exclusively for 4 years. While they are more expensive than the “built for cheapest initial cost integrals”, modular controllers are vastly superior in performance, safety and total cost.

Joystick module.
Control only joystick modules are an uncompromised design that is much smaller so the user can get several critical inches closer to tables or desks in everyday use. They are an ergonomically optimized design for ease of use. Front bumper ramps protect critical components like the joystick throttle from impact damage providing protection for greater reliability, fewer replacements and less down time.

Integrals must compromise combining controller and power function in one box and do both functions poorly when compared to modules.

Modular controllers are much less costly and easier to maintain over the life of the chair. Minor component repairs that are quick and inexpensive to repair on a module can require you to replace the entire $1,000.00 retail integral controller. If you damage the modular control circuit line, between the joystick and power module, it is a simple quick plug in of an inexpensive cable with no programming. With the joystick module the worst case is replacing the much less expensive joystick module. No programming required. In many cases the joystick throttle is easily replaced as a component and does not require replacing the joystick module. No programming required. Separate power modules, because they are an uncompromised design, have much bigger heat sinks protecting the power components much better and providing longer life and reliability.


On integral controllers if you damage the power control cable badly, in many cases you will have to replace the entire $1,000.00 controller. If you run the joystick throttle into/under a table (which is easy to do) damaging it, you could have to replace the entire integral controller. Integral controllers overheat much more quickly doing the same load of work, significantly reducing controller life.

Replacing an integral requires much higher labor costs. The product knowledge and time required to reprogram, remove and replace wiring from the battery to the controller and motor is much greater than simply plugging a control cable into the two modules.

Modular controllers are much more efficient and powerful.
Modular controllers have two to three times shorter energy wasting power lines than integrals. Modules can provide up to two hundred watts more power to the motors because they have only 2 - 3 feet of power cable between the battery, controller and motor. This is critically important for bariatric and all day chair users.

Inefficient integrals waste power because high current must travel 8 or more feet from the battery up to the arm mounted integral controller and back down to the motor. Because of wasting more power per trip from the heating of wires, batteries can get deeply discharged sooner. Deep cycling batteries dramatically reduces battery life. This inefficiency also means less use time per day and less range for heavy users.

Uncompromised Power Module.
The optimized power module provides much greater power output without endangering users. This is critical for bariatric and all day chair users.

Separate power modules have much bigger heat sinks (more metal to absorb heat) which makes the chair controller run much cooler and longer. The separate power modules provide much greater power efficiently. We use power modules providing massive 90 amp peak power per channel, 180 amp total in a moderately priced modular controller. With uncompromised power modules we do not see the FDA incidents other manufacturers are reporting of controllers rolling back or dying, leaving users stranded on hills or in the middle of streets. Even if the power module gets hot it is not next to the user’s arm or leg so it can’t burn them like integrals do.

The integral compromised design has much smaller heat sinks because of limited space. Small heat sinks cause the metal case to get very hot. One manufacturer reported to the FDA several users burning their legs. One user required plastic surgery with skin grafts to repair third degree burns. Manufacturers have tried putting insulation pads on the inside of integral controllers to protect users from hot surfaces but this insulation caused the controller to over heat even faster, causing thermal roll-back and stranding more users.

The modular controller design is inherently less prone to EMI malfunctions. Because high power lines are not touching and wrapped inside the same cable as the sensitive micro amp control lines, the electromagnetic waves created from the high power lines are not transmitted into the control cable causing erratic performance.

When comparing power wheelchairs the controller is the first and most important quality feature to consider.

 







 
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