Sunday 26 November 2017

Pimping my wheels

Whilst waiting for my wheels to be repaired I am planning some upgrades

Unless Genny Mobility is salvaged from receivership and production starts again, there will be fewer and fewer replacement parts available for these rather unique hybrid wheelchairs. Except for Genny’s central circuit board and a few sensors, everything is mechanical so could be fabricated if required. The bits that will be difficult to replace are therefore the covers. 
I love my wheels but always fancied a red one. I spent an afternoon a week back checking Genny dealers across Europe, looking for a new set of red covers. Genny in Spain had a set at €795 + postage but that is too much. The 2nd option I found was a set of silver covers from the UK that can be professionally coloured. I have gone for these
This picture is from the Genny Switzerland website

Genny lends itself to a bit of bling but when I was offered covers & wheels in gold - for just a little extra, I recognised my limits

What I do want however is a Segway skid plate. These are available but expensive but an obvious addition to protect the very expensive batteries . They come as an anodised aluminium accessory from Switzerland but are currently out of stock. I have a reminder set to check back in the new year but this is probably an accessory I can make myself out of some 3mm aluminium plate. I would form the simple shape and get someone to do the simple welding that requires equipment I don't have. I also need to get used to the idea that I will have to be making parts myself as the company is in administration

In addition I have ordered a number of stainless steel nuts and bolts to replace the rusting hardware on my wheels, wheelnuts and the like

Another change is on the Segway side of things. The base unit for the Genny wheelchair is the Segway i2 platform. The i2 SE came onto the market in June 2016 replacing the i2. In my communications with Segway UK I understand that replacement parts will  become increasingly difficult to get hold of. I hate the increasing redundancy of life

The good news is my wheels were repaired and have passed testing. The EO24 error could not be replicated but it was recommended that the problem was the pivot unit. This is a set of sensors that translate the right left movement of the handlebar into the turn. I'm now looking forward to the postman

Thursday 16 November 2017

Autumn 2017

So it's been quite a while since my last post - life goes on and Genny is firmly part of my life now

My last post back in June 2017 was the start of a fantastic summer with lots of memories down at the beach and long wandering trips rediscovering places I have not visited for many year but can now once again explore

At the beach
High tide
Sunday morning swim

More recently my 1000 miles and still smiling has unfortunately turned into 1650 miles and an EO24 error in the little display window. I have also discovered that the international company Gemmy Mobility has gone into administration as I understand it. The effect of this is the UK distributor are unable to offer service or do guarantee work but they may be able to get me some parts

This has been a real quandary for me. These machines are expensive, even with the fantastic price I got, however one year down the road I have a unique machine that when it breaks, cannot be supported by the people that sold it

With investigation I was able to determine the EO24 error in the display is a Segway code for "CU A YAW B FAULT" according this reference list I came across: When this error occurs it initiates a lot of bleeping, shaking and in 10 seconds does an emergency shutdown procedure. It is alarming for everyone within 50m if this happens in a supermarket or other public arena. Although it is reset by switching of/on I don’t like the attention.

Genny chairs are advertised as the only Segway chair supported by Segway, I made some enquiries and discovered the UK Segway dealers are willing to repair the Segway part of things, but didn’t want to be involved in any complicated guarantee issues. I therefore needed to separate the Segway from the rest of the wheelchair

I did not know how integrated the Segway was to the Genny. There are functions where the Genny actions are affected by state of the Segway like: no legs down whilst moving and no legs up if not sufficiently level. To my delight I have discovered that the Genny is a completely separate entity and the integration works by monitoring the LEDs on the central consul display of the Segway rather than some bespoke hack that would render my Segway effectively unsupported

This means that even if the Segway dies completely I could get a replacement and with relative ease, rebuild the powerbase of my chair

I spent a whole day stripping out and packing the core Segway base unit to post off to Segway UK for repair. I await the verdict as to how repairable my unit is and am hopeful that within a week or so, I will have my newly serviced chair back in action and the assurance that at least the Segway can be supported.

I now feel reassured and am planning trips that take me out into the world again without the worry I'll need to ditch my wheels and hitch 

I will do a blog detailing a step-by-step how to take your Genny wheelchair to pieces and separate the Segway powerbase - Available HERE