Removing the Brakes

Wheel chairs are meant to carry somebody, usually somebody that can not walk. It should be of no surprise that in the last few decades, architectural constructions have been mandated to take this into account.  Wherever you go, there are ramps to make sure people in any form of wheel chair have access to the building in question.

This poses a problem because what if the user has to stop in one of these ramps? Sure enough, conventional wheel chairs have a brake the user can apply in situations like this. For electric wheelchairs it is no different. Except that the brake is an automatic feature the user has not to worry about.

As it turns out, both wheelchairs I managed to acquire have a solenoid based brake the controller activates whenever the motors are not meant to be moving. In other words, whenever the joystick is not actuated, the motors are disabled and right after, the brakes come up. This is an annoyance from my point of view as I am not interested in positioning my robot on a slope for long periods of time. Hence, needing a driver to be continuously engaging this 24V load as it drains my batteries is not what I had in mind. Hence, they must come up.

In this video I detail how painful it was to remove the frigging things! It should have been as easy as removing six screws but they had been glued making it basically impossible to go the easy way. The Allen thread would start slipping long before the screws started to bulge. Matters not! As you will see, a little rage at the right moment works wonders!

 

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