Programming Questions

plus/minusCan I disable the reversing alarm on my VSI or VR2?

Yes! This is easily achieved using either a PP1a or PC programmer.
 
With a PP1a, simply scroll down the user menu, via the 'arrow' buttons, until you reach the parameter, 'reverse alarm'. Change the setting to 'off', it's that easy! If this option is not available on your hand-held programmer, you can return it to us here at PGDT, for a free software upgrade.
 
If you are using a PC Programmer, simply read the programming file from the controller then amend the 'reverse driving alarm' parameter in the 'General Settings' group. Click on the 'Program' button & the alarm will be disabled.

plus/minusHow can I check if I have the latest version of the Mobility PC Programmer?

Our Mobility PC Programmer was first introduced to the market place back in 2002. Since then, there have been a number of software revisions whenever we have introduced new controllers or programmable parameters. In addition to programming, the PC Programmer can be used to perform diagnostic operations on the vehicle's electrical system.
 
To find out if you have the latest software revision, open your PC Programmer window and click on the drop down 'Help' menu, then select the 'About Box'. This will open a pop-up window showing your current software version. Now click here to view the latest PC Programmer software lists. If your version is older than the latest revision shown, simply apply for an upgrade.
 
If you have purchased a copy of the PC Programmer over the last few years, you are eligible for free upgrades. To qualify for these upgrades, first click here.
 
Please enter the necessary information and then click on 'Submit Form'.
 
We will then send you a unique user name & password by e-mail, which will allow you access to our secure FTP site. Simply log back into our website and go to the 'Service Centre' link where you will find the PC Programmer upgrades section. Select the latest folder & enter your user name & password to get your free update.

plus/minusHow can I find out the maximum current rating of my controller?

There are a number of ways to determine the maximum current rating of a particular controller. 
 
On our scooter products, Solo, Egis & S-drive, the maximum current rating is shown on the product label, bordered by a square box. On an Egis controller, for example, the number in the square box will read '70' or '110', depending on whether the model is rated at 70A or 110A. The product label can be found on the metal 'base plate' of the controller and also contains other important information such as the product 'D' number, (our part number) and the serial number of that particular unit. The maximum current rating of our Pilot+ power module can also be found using the same method.
 
For other products such as PG8, Pilot, VSI, VR2 etc. please contact our Technical Aftersales Service. They will ask you for the controller's 'D' number, which is shown on the product label, e.g. D50173. From this information, it will be possible to determine the unit's maximum current rating. It is worth noting, however, that some manufacturers may reprogram this parameter on their assembly line. Therefore, you should also consider contacting the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that the product's current rating has not been altered after leaving PGDT.

plus/minusIs it possible to alter the joystick orientation on Pilot+ chin controls?

Yes! This is a frequent request from chin module users who often find it easier to pull back on the joystick to drive the powerchair in a forward direction. With a series of joystick movements & button pushes, a mobility dealer can quickly reconfigure the system to suit the end-user, without the need to remove the joystick from the control module or alter any programmable settings. Here's how.
 
  • Ensure the unit is switched off.
  • Hold down the yellow 'mode' switch & displace the joystick away from centre, then switch the unit on. The battery indicator will ripple up & down and you should continue to hold the 'mode' switch & displace the joystick for a further 5 secs.
  • Once the battery indicator is flashing 7 bars, release the joystick & press the yellow 'mode' button. The battery indicator will rapidly ripple up & down and 1 light will flash on the maximum speed indicator.
  • Now fully deflect the joystick to the desired forward position & operate the 'mode' button. The battery indicator will continue to ripple but the maximum speed indictor will show 2 lights.
  • Now fully deflect the joystick to the desired left position & operate the 'mode' switch. The battery indicator should now flash 9 bars and the maximum speed indicator should show 1 light. To drive, the unit should be switched off & on again.

If the sequence has been unsuccessful, instead of 9 bars flashing on the battery indicator, just 2 bars will flash. In this instance, switch off the unit & repeat the sequence.

It is also possible to change the orientation of the joystick on Pilot+ 'dual' modules. For a faxed sheet or e-mailed PDF on both these options, please contact PGDT.

plus/minusIs it possible to program a 'low battery' early warning?

Yes, provided your controller is a VSI, VR2 or S-drive and you have access to a 'B' level hand-held or PC programmer.
 
All of our powerchair products are fitted with a 10-segment TruCharge© display. The display, colour-coded with red, yellow & green bars, gives an accurate reading of the amount of battery charge available. When the display shows only red bars, we advise that the batteries should be charged before a journey is attempted. To further reinforce this message, the display will start to flash slowly, when only 2 bars are illuminated.
 
On VSI, VR2 & S-drive you can reprogram the controller so that any number of bars can be set to flash slowly. For example, it is possible to reprogram the flash 'threshold' to 7 bars so that the display will flash as it falls into the yellow section. Furthermore, on these 3 products it is also possible to program an alarm, which will sound in addition to the flashing display. The alarm is a discrete 'beep' which will recur approximately every 10 seconds to alert the end-user to charge their batteries urgently. The 2 parameters that require altering are 'Low Battery Flash Level' & 'Low Battery Alarm', both located in the PC Programmer battery menu, (or within the 'Engineering Menu' on hand-held programmers).
 
If you do not have access to 'B' level programming tools, you can return the controller to our Technical Aftersales Service, where they will be happy to effect the change for you.

plus/minusIs it possible to programme a VSI, so that the 'lock' function is disabled?

Yes, but you must have a 'B' level hand-held or PC programmer to access this parameter. Depressing & holding the 'on/off' button, once the unit has been powered-up will normally initialise the locking sequence on any VSI. The joystick is then moved forward & then backward to 'lock the' controller. This operation is performed purely to prevent unauthorized use but occasionally an end user may ask for this feature to be switched off. If you do not have access to a 'B' level programmer, you can return the unit to our Technical Aftersales Service, where they will be happy to effect the change for you.

plus/minusIs it possible to set a low battery cut-out on powerchair controllers?

Yes! This feature is currently available on VR2, the latest powerchair controller from PGDT. All of our control systems operate down to a minimum voltage of approximately 16V. At this point, the unit will signal a fault to the end-user by flashing the 1st red segment of the TruCharge© display, very quickly. However, if you are using a VR2 control system and have access to an 'engineering' level hand-held or PC programmer, it is possible to program two new parameters. These are 'low voltage cut out' & 'low voltage time'. 
 
The 'low voltage cut out' allows programming of the level the voltage must reach for the period set by 'low voltage time', before the control system ceases to operate. This value is programmable between 16 - 22V. The 'low voltage time' parameter sets the length of time the voltage must be below the 'low voltage cut out' level, before the control system ceases to operate. This is programmable between 1 - 255 seconds.
 
If you do not have access to 'B' level programming tools, you can return the controller to our Technical Aftersales Service, where they will be happy to effect the change for you.

plus/minusI've heard the term 'profiles' in relation to controller programming but am unsure what it means?

A 'profile' is a collection of programmable parameters that will allow a number of different drive responses, depending on the driving environment e.g. indoor & outdoor. Profiles are currently available on Pilot+, VSI & VR2 controllers. The following parameters are all adjustable within each profile; Acceleration, Deceleration, Turn Acceleration, Turn Deceleration, Forward Speed, Reverse Speed, Turn Speed & Power. In addition, Pilot+ power modules manufactured after June 2004 also feature 'Torque' & 'Tremor Damping' within each given profile. These two additional parameters are also accessible in VR2.
 
Profiles can be programmed using either a PP1a or PP1b hand-held programmer or with our PC based system. Pilot+, VSI & VR2 can operate with single or multiple drive profiles. If the value in 'Profiles' is set to 0, there is one setting for each of the parameters listed above and the control system's maximum speed setting can be changed in the normal way.
 
If the value of 'Profiles' is set to 2 - 5, there is a corresponding number of drive profiles and each parameter can be individually set within a profile. The normal method of maximum speed adjustment can then be used to switch between the available profiles. (Although the value can be set to 1, the operation is the same as setting to 0 but without the ability to change the maximum speed settings. This feature can be useful when teaching someone to operate a powerchair for the first time).
 
Profiles are available in all VSI & VR2 controllers. Likewise, all Pilot+ power modules have the ability to support up to 5 separate profiles. However, with Pilot+, to enable profiled operation, the correct type of joystick module must be used. If you are unsure if you have the correct module, try adjusting maximum speed. If the speed LEDs 'fill-in' from 1 - 5, you have a non-profile joystick module. If the speed LEDs light 'individually', then the joystick module is profiles equipped.
 

plus/minusI've just installed my PC Programmer & it will not communicate with the controller. What should I do?

Communication from the PC Programmer to your controller is shown by a 'Comms Active' message in the bottom right-hand corner of the programming window. In addition, a small downward pointing arrow near the top left of the programming window will change colour from grey to red when 'comms' are active. For the PC Programmer to communicate successfully with the controller, a number of conditions must be met.
  • The programming cable must be connected securely from the serial or USB port of your PC to the charging socket of the controller.
  • The controller must be switched on.
  • The correct 'COM' port must be selected. (The PC Programmer defaults to 'COM1' on initial installation. To change to another 'COM' port, simply open the PC programmer and select 'Comms' from the drop-down 'Tools' menu.

As most PCs are mainly fitted with USB ports these days, PGDT now supply a 'serial to USB' adapter with every PC programmer. These are also now available to buy as separate items, our part number, 63.57.001.

 
If in any doubt, please contact PGDT for further advice; we're here to help!

plus/minusWhich hand-held programmers work with VSI?

We currently have 3 models of hand-held programmers that work with the VSI controller. The most common of these is the PP1a, our part number, D49510. To ensure full compatibility with VSI, however, the programmer must be at version 6 or later. This 'issue' number is shown on the PP1a product label, e.g. D49510/'7'. The chief benefit of this programmer is that it will also work with Pilot, Pilot+ & VR2. Old PP1a's can be sent back to our Technical Aftersales Service to be upgraded, free of charge.
 
The other hand-held programmers that will work with VSI are PP1b's, our part numbers 'D49511' & 'D50172'. These are the engineering versions of the PP1a and allow access to more parameters such as drive inhibits & motor compensation, (they will also erase fault logs). The majority of our customers that require this level of access, however, generally choose to use the PC based version of the programmer. This software, our part number, 'D50145', offers considerable benefits in terms of speed, ease of use & cost. It also works with Pilot+, VR2 and two of our scooter products, the Egis & S-drive.