Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Helping The Handicapped?

Well, maybe. I saw a video of an attachment to a wheelchair that snapped on an electric front wheel which made the basic chair quick and agile. Looked like a swell idea. Priced at about $700 or about what you would pay for one of those kits to electrify your bicycle. Sounded about right as it included all the same parts.

Later I was visiting downtown and got to see myriad people using the Lyme electric scooters, tearing up and down the sometimes steep hills there. Get on, wave your credit card, and take off. Quick transport and no long term investment.

Put the two together and suddenly a person in a conventional wheelchair can get to the 16th st food court and back on a corporate lunch hour. I happened to have a couple of Razor scooters, and with a bit of scavenger hunting, I rustled up a chair:
The attachment includes a spring since you want some down force on the scooter. With a driver, the chairs front wheels barely touch the ground and there's enough travel to avoid getting high centered.
Scoot up to a scooter, wheelie over it, and use the clamps to get attached. This scooter has lawnmower batteries installed and sits about 1-1/2" higher than normal.
And off you go. Top speed depends on the scooter, but mine top out at 15 mph. I understand that the Lymes will make 20 and the city is trying to get them off the sidewalks as a menace to pedestrians. Maybe the scooters should have horns. Like the kind Texans like to put on the hoods of their Cadillacs.

The rig is fairly agile with a 4 or 5 ft turn radius. Since the chair is attached as a 5th wheel, backing is tricky but not impossible. OTOH scooters don't come with a reverse setting so be careful about taking one of these indoors. Not impossible, but really intended for outdoor use.

Having built this and tried it out, I notice that no 2 chair makers use a common frame layout which means that the adapter needs to be peculiar to your chair. Again, I don't know enough about the wheelchair market to say, but I would guess that 2 or 3 makers account for most of the market so maybe modest mass production is possible.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

NICS checks - Another Record

November is in and is edging out November 2016 by some 14,000.
I didn't buy anything requiring a check this year, but I did get some fun stuff. How much fun remains to be seen, but I'll be reporting on it before too long.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Healthy Beer - It's Good For You

Remember they say this about everything from Yogurt to Camel cigarettes at some point.