Diagnostics Questions

plus/minusAll of the speed indication LEDs on my powerchair controller are flashing. What does this mean?

This will depend on which type of powerchair controller is fitted to the chair. If the unit is a VSI or VR2, then the speed of the powerchair is being reduced by an inhibit signal. Some manufacturers require the speed of a chair to be reduced in a particular instance e.g. a seating actuator has been raised above a certain height. As the seat moves above the desired height, it will switch in a particular electrical resistance, which the controller is able to detect. The VSI or VR2 will then reduce the speed of the chair accordingly. The flashing speed indicators show the end-user that the reduction in speed is due to the action of a specified inhibit rather than as a result of a fault
 
If the controller fitted to the powerchair is a Pilot+ system, then the flashing LEDs can mean one of 2 things. If all 5 LEDs are flashing & the battery gauge is steady, then the end user has simply pressed the 'mode' button. This causes the LEDs to flash, indicating to the end user that they are in 'speed adjust' mode. The powerchair's speed is then adjusted in the normal way by moving the joystick to the left or right. Once the joystick is moved forward or backwards, drive mode is entered & the LEDs will stop flashing. If the battery gauge is showing 7 flashing bars, in addition to the 5 flashing speed LEDs, then the control system is indicating a communications fault. The most likely cause of a communications error is a defective cable between the power module & joystick module. The cable should be checked for continuity and replaced if found to have a fault. If the problem persists then either the power module or the joystick module could be defective. If possible, eliminate the faulty part by 'swapping out' & then return the unit to our Technical Aftersales Service for repair.

plus/minusIs it possible to view how long a scooter or powerchair has been driven for?

Yes, provided you have an Egis, S-drive, Pilot+, VSI or VR2 control system fitted. Simply plug in your SP1a or PP1a hand-held programmer, turn the scooter or powerchair on & scroll down to the option 'Read Timer'. This will show how many hours the control system has 'driven' for, not the number of hours the control system has been switched on for. Alternatively, if you're using the PC based programmer, go to the 'Tools' menu and choose the 'Timers' option. This feature can be particularly useful in servicing or prescriptive environments. If you have access to a 'B' or 'O.E.M.' level programmer, the timer can be reset to '0'.

plus/minusMy controller has failed. Can I replace it with another one that looks the same?

Possibly, but this depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the product must be labelled with the same 'D' type number. This unique number identifies the exact hardware & software specification of the controller. There are 2 basic types, 'generic' & 'customer specific'. 'Generic' units are programmed with parameters that may work on a variety of different vehicles and are available in an assortment of power ratings. However, to optimise the performance of the 'generic' controller on a powerchair or scooter, an engineering programmer will probably be required. 'Customer specific' 'D' type numbers are only available to the manufacturer who first requested the hardware & software options on that particular product e.g. Pride, Invacare, Sunrise etc. As a company, we are under contract to sell this product, only to that manufacturer. To determine if you have a 'generic' or 'customer specific' controller, please contact us here at PGDT with the 'D' type number of your unit.
 
Once you have determined that you have the correct 'D' type number, you must decide whether or not the controller has any programmable settings. If it does not, then you can replace the existing controller with one of the same 'D' type. Product that falls into this category includes Pilot+ joystick modules, chin modules, dual modules, auxiliary control modules, actuator & lighting modules, VR2 joystick modules and dual modules, R-net joystick modules, intelligent seating & lighting modules, input/output modules and dual modules. 
 
Products that include programmable settings, are found in the following units, Pilot, Pilot+ power modules, VSI, VR2 & R-net power modules, Solo, Egis & S-drive. In addition to determining that you have the same 'D' type number, these controllers must also be checked to ensure they have the same programmable parameters. If you have 'generic' product and an engineering level programmer this will be relatively straightforward, especially if you are using a PC programmer. However, if you have a 'customer specific' controller you must contact the relevant manufacturer for advice. Some of these products contain safety fences, which are only accessible using manufacturing level software.
 
If you have the necessary programmer and a 'generic' unit, it is possible to reduce the maximum current of a controller. For example, it is possible to program a 40A Pilot down to a current limit of 25A for use on an indoor chair, however, at the same time it would be necessary to reprogram the maximum & minimum speeds for forward, reverse & turning. As a rule of thumb, we would suggest that all three of these parameters are set to half of the standard settings, if the donor chair is a normal 4 mph product. Going the other way, there is no great hazard in fitting a 25A unit to an outdoor chair; however, its performance on gradients would be significantly impaired, as it would not be able to provide the necessary current. It is not possible to program a lower powered controller to a higher current limit, due to hardware & software constraints.
 
If you would like more advice on this subject, please contact either PGDT or the manufacturer of the vehicle.

plus/minusMy PGDT controller has been damaged. Can I get it repaired & how much will it cost?

Our Customer Services department can repair all current products and will always to endeavour to repair older controllers where spares are still available. The cost of the repair will depend on the extent of the damage. We only charge for the parts used and the time taken to complete the repair. Prices are therefore levied on an individual basis
 
Mobility products are extremely safety-critical devices and use of inappropriate spare parts or incorrect calibration and test procedures, could result in a potentially hazardous condition. By using a factory repair service, you can be guaranteed that only parts approved by the original design engineers are used to effect repairs. Using calibration and test procedures identical to the original production process proves the validity of these repairs. PGDT therefore offer a repair service of unique quality for our own products, giving you peace of mind that the controller will operate and perform exactly as the original.
 
In addition to a basic repair service, various other options are available such as cosmetic refurbishment, fast track service & collection of defective units from your premises. Aggressive repair time targets have been set and in the majority of cases, these are bettered. A free estimate prior to repair is available on request and all units are despatched with a full investigation report on the fault and its likely cause.
 
Please contact our Technical Aftersales Service for further details.

plus/minusMy PP1a hand-held programmer is showing a diagnostic fault code that does not appear in the PP1a manual. What should I do?

Firstly, check you have the latest PP1a manual & therefore the latest fault code tables! If you are unsure if you have the latest issue, please give us a call.
 
If you have the latest manual, it's possible the controller maybe faulty. The fault codes listed in the manuals relate to the electrical system of the vehicle e.g. motors, batteries etc. Codes that do not appear in these tables generally therefore point to a controller failure. The reason why we do not list all of these additional codes is because there are no user serviceable parts in any of our products. Before rejecting the main unit however, is still worth checking that all the connections, wiring & batteries are in a good condition. If you are in any doubt, please contact PGDT for further advice.
 
For more information on individual fault codes please click here.

plus/minusMy PP1a programmer isn't working with Pilot+, VSI or VR2. Can I get an upgrade & how much will it cost?

Yes, you can get an upgrade & best of all it's free! The original PP1a handheld programmers were designed to work with our 'Pilot' controllers. As we brought out new products such as Pilot+, VSI & VR2, the PP1a evolved to give access to the new parameters found in these units. If you would like your programmer to be upgraded, please return it for the attention of our Customer Services department at PGDT. Mark your returns paperwork with 'please upgrade to latest issue'.
 
If you have any other handheld programmers, e.g. SP1a, that you would like brought to the latest issue, please contact the Technical Aftersales Service for additional information.

plus/minusMy scooter has stopped driving, is the controller faulty?

Not necessarily! There are many other components that make up a scooter, all of which can potentially cause the vehicle to stop working. Before assuming the controller is at fault, you should conduct some basic checks first.
 
Does the scooter power-up? If not, check the batteries are not worn or damaged & have been fully charged. Ensure the wiring loom between the controller, the motor, the batteries & the status indicator, (usually a green LED on the tiller head), is connected securely & correctly. If after performing these checks, the scooter will still not power up, you are welcome to return the controller to our Customer Services department for checking. Remember, all of our scooter products have a label affixed to the metal base-plate of the unit, displaying a 'D' type number & serial number. Our current scooter products are the Solo, Egis & S-drive; photos of each of these controllers can be found on www.pgdt.com under Products. 
 
If the scooter does power-up, wait a few seconds and then plug an SP1 hand-held programmer into the controller's charger socket. Alternatively, if the scooter is fitted with an Egis or S-drive, you can use our PC based programmer. Is the programmer displaying a 'trip' code, e.g. '1502'? If the answer to this question is yes, refer to your SP1 manual or use the PC based software's help menu, to provide you with diagnostic assistance. Of course, you're always welcome to give us a call! The manual & PC programmer also give additional information on other symptoms that do not always produce a 'trip'. If the fault still persists you should either contact the scooter manufacturer or call us for further advice.
 
For more information on diagnostics, please click here.

plus/minusThe battery indicator on my powerchair controller is 'stepping up'. What does this mean?

This sequence will be seen if your powerchair controller is either a VSI or VR2 and the batteries on the chair are being charged through the controller. Each L.E.D. on the battery gauge will light in turn until 10 L.E.D.s are lit. The gauge will then briefly go off before stepping up through the L.E.D.s once more. During the stepping cycle, it will not be possible to drive the chair. Once charging is complete, the charging plug must be removed from the controller and the power cycled, i.e. turn the VSI / VR2 off and then on, using the appropriate button. (Our older control systems, such as Pilot & Pilot+, will constantly flash 6 bars on the gauge, to indicate charging, rather than 'stepping up').
 
For more information on diagnostics, please click here.

plus/minusThe lights on my powerchair controller are flashing quickly. Should I return the unit for repair?

Not necessarily! All of our powerchair controllers are fitted with a 10 segment TruCharge © display. This display gives an accurate reading of the amount of battery charge available to the controller. In addition to its use as a 'fuel gauge', the bargraph can also offer low-level diagnostic assistance.
 
If a controller detects a fault in a powerchair system, it will stop the chair & then flash a series of segments on the bargraph. It is important to realise that even though the controller is signalling a fault, it may not be the controller itself that is defective. This is because the controller is able to detect problems in other electrical components, (motors, batteries, solenoid brakes etc.) or, more importantly, the wiring to them. Counting the number of bars that are flashing, will give you a guide to whereabouts in the system, the fault is likely to lie. 
 
Please click here for further information.

plus/minusThe speed indication L.E.D.s on my VSI controller are moving rapidly from left to right & back again. Has the unit developed a fault?

No! The VSI is simply in a locked state. TÜV requires that the powerchair must have a means of preventing unauthorized use. This can be implemented electronically via a sequence of key presses and joystick movements. This method has been chosen to prevent problems arising from lost keys. Details of the locking & unlocking sequence can be found in the VSI technical manual.
 
Please click here to see the VSI lock 'pattern'.

plus/minusWhat does the ‘padlock’ symbol represent on an R-net Joystick Module LCD?

The ‘padlock’ symbol is indicating to the user that the R-net Joystick Module is in a locked state.
 
This feature prevents unauthorized use of the powerchair. Depending on the chair manufacturer’s programming preference, the JSM can be unlocked in one of two different ways - either with a security key (our part number SA74784) or via a sequence of key presses and joystick movements.
 
To unlock the R-net JSM with a security key, follow the instructions listed below…
  • Use the ‘on/off’ button to switch the control system on. The ‘padlock’ symbol will be displayed on the screen.
  • Insert the key into the JSM charger socket until a short ‘beep’ is heard and then withdraw it.
  • The standard ‘drive’ screen will be displayed - the controller is now unlocked.

To unlock the R-net via the sequence method, follow the instructions listed below…

  • Use the ‘on/off’ button to switch the control system on. The ‘padlock’ symbol will be displayed on the screen.
  • Deflect the joystick ‘forwards’ until the JSM beeps.
  • Deflect the joystick ‘backwards’ until the JSM beeps.
  • Release the joystick. There will be a long beep and then the standard ‘drive’ screen will be displayed - the controller is now unlocked.

Further details of R-net screens and icons can be found in the product technical manual.

plus/minusWhat does the code '2F00' mean?

If a unit detects a problem with the control system, it will produce a fault or 'trip' code. Fault codes can be read with a hand-held programmer such as a PP1a or by using the PC Programmer. The most common cause of a '2F00' error is if the user has displaced the joystick away from centre, before they switch the controller on. This is for the safety of the end user. The joystick must be in its neutral position when the controller is first switched on. If this were not the case, the powerchair could move in an unexpected direction. If the end user is operating the controller correctly & '2F00' is still reported, the joystick itself may be faulty or damaged. In this case, the unit should be returned to PGDT for repair.
 
Please click here for further information on repairs.

plus/minusWhat does the code '4401' mean?

The fault code '4401' may be seen from time to time in the fault logs of VSI, VR2, Egis & S-drive. If our controllers detect a fault with the electrical system of a mobility vehicle, they will bring the powerchair or scooter to a stop & output a 4-digit diagnostic code. This code can be read with one of our hand-held or PC programmers. In addition to this 'live' information; the code is stored in a historical system 'log' which assists dealers in investigating intermittent faults.
 
If the 'live' code is classed as a possible controller fault, it will be recorded in the system log of a VSI, VR2, Egis or S-drive as a '4401'. (On older products the code will simply be stored as it appeared at the time). Our system logs can hold up to 8 different fault codes & record up to a maximum of 31, (Egis) 99, (VSI) or 255, (S-drive) instances of each of these individual codes. Recording suspected controller faults in this way, by utilising one unique code, '4401', means the other 7 log locations are kept free for system faults such as low batteries, open circuit motor connections etc. which you the customer can address yourself.
 
If when investigating the historical log of a VSI, VR2, Egis or S-drive, you come across '4401' faults, start by checking the connections, motors & batteries. If further '4401' codes are recorded after this initial check, you can return the controller to our Customer Services department who will repair & return it to your company, free of charge, provided the controller has not been damaged by the end-user. As a general rule, a '4401' error will point to a possible controller fault but occasionally a '4401' error may be recorded as a result of a system problem. The controller will always try to assume the safest condition, which is to 'trip' if there is any doubt. One such example has been observed on small scooters with removable batteries, if the batteries are replaced with the keyswitch still in the 'on' position a '4401' fault may occasionally be recorded.
 
If you have access to O.E.M. or 'B' level programming software, it is possible to break down the '4401' entries into their original constituent codes. As always, if you are unsure about whether or not to return a controller, please contact us for further advice, we're here to help!