Wheelchair Realities

Gentlemen,

As promised, here is a set of before and after pictures regarding my wheelchair.

Before:

And after:

In truth, the pictures do not do justice to the work that was done. You can only see one of the crumbling terminal strips in the first shot. Dave might not recognize the name Anderson PowerPoles, but Darrel probably does. It’s a type of connector that has been around since, as I remarked to a friend, Jesus Christ was an ankle-biter. The wheelchair manufacturers used PowerPoles of the various sizes for several decades. Ironically, I never thought of those connectors as the solution to our issue until immediately after my last email to Dave Murphy. I needed to check out the website of an Amateur Radio equipment supplier for another project, and saw they happen to make a line of what they refer to as Rigrunners. That’s their brand name for what are essentially large terminal blocks employing PowerPole connections to distribute power, typically in the mobile context. Mine is rated at 45 amps continuous, with protection and metering. Of course each PowerPole connector set in my size, the smallest, is also rated for 45A continuous so the line to your adapter has a mini-blade fuse in the Rigrunner for 25 amps.

Once I started recognizing that what we were trying to achieve had requirements almost identical to those for a mobile radio installation, the problem of finding people to do the work also vanished. Houston may not have Mobile Mounts, but we do have River Oaks Car Stereo (ROCS). As the name suggests, ROCS makes the bulk of its income on installing car stereos, but all of the senior technicians are Hams. The shop thus has a brisk sideline business in mobile two-way communication installs. In my case, a technician opened my bustle, studied the box of new parts I had brought, and knew what work was needed.

Here are a couple of pictures showing the other end where your adapter connects to the system:

Yep, nothing more complicated than another set of PowerPole connectors, and they work fine. Remember that even the smallest PowerPoles are rated at 45 amps continuous so your adapter has all the juice it could use. I get no problems from your adapter regardless of how hard I push the laptop. The connector poor Cody brought was far larger, clunky, with a latch on one side. I could easily imagine that latch having a very short life. Sure, PowerPole housings can be crushed too, but those housings can be replaced in the field. Somehow, I don’t think the same could be said for Mobile Mount’s big ol’ connector.

Look, I do appreciate that you sent Mobile Mount down here at least partly out of the noblest motives. However, I also caught the very strong whiff of a lot of CYA going on, and that ruined your efforts for me. I have no idea who Tom Martin is, but I would be unsurprised to learn he’s a corporate lawyer. I’m enough of a “good ol’ boy” for my hackles to rise at the mere suggestion of a legal presence. What needed to happen is what finally did happen. We backed away from the problem, and a solution immediately came to me. As I’ve said before, a big part of me wants to permanently drop-kick Lind, but I realize that it is the sole source of DC adapters suitable for my requirements so I’m rather stuck with it. Don’t expect me to not speak my opinion, though.

As it happens, one of the 240W adapters apparently did go down (no output) just before this work was done. I say “apparently” because I have no way to double-check it at this point since it doesn’t yet have PowerPoles installed. I’m going to assume for the moment that Darrel doesn’t have an issue with installing PowerPoles as well. Please ask him to issue a RMA number to me so I can ship the adapter to be checked and equipped with the connectors. Thank you.

Scott

P.S.

Ari died two weeks ago from heat stroke.

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