Pimped Wheelchair
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 4:34 pm

Fit a computer to a mobility scooter?

Sun May 21, 2017 4:54 pm

Hi everyone.
I run a project called Pimp My Wheelchair Project where I've been customising my wheelchair and displaying it at shows to raise money for charity. To expand the project I now have a mobility scooter which was kindly provided by CareCo Mobility, to see what I could come up with. Well the next mod is a fully working car stereo system with a reversing cam and satnav.This car stereo has a screen and a phono video input. This got me thinking, Could Pi be a way to make it possible.

Would it be possible to install a miniature computer that runs off 12v, can connect to wifi and connects to a screen by a phono video in?

W. H. Heydt
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Fit a computer to a mobility scooter?

Sun May 21, 2017 10:19 pm

It sounds like your existing screen is probably composite video. The B series Pis (current top one is the Pi3B) have composite video out. The Pi3B also have built in WiFi and Bluetooth. You can use a UBEC to get 12v power down to the 5v the Pi uses. So, all in all, I don't see any immediate problems with your project.

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Location: San Diego, California

Re: Fit a computer to a mobility scooter?

Sun May 21, 2017 10:39 pm

The one real "gotcha" to watch out for is, as a Linux-based computer, the Raspberry Pi likes to be shut down in an orderly manner before removing power. If you put it in a situation where you routinely shut it off by the approximate equivalent of yanking the power cord out of the wall, it won't be long before it fails to boot back up properly (the microSD card will get corrupted). This is an inherent limitation you will have to accommodate somehow. Another thing to keep in mind is, the Pi does take some time to boot up (anywhere from seconds to many tens of seconds), you won't get "instant-on" performance from it, if you do, indeed, regularly shut it down. This may or may not be a problem for you.

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Re: Fit a computer to a mobility scooter?

Mon May 22, 2017 2:49 am

Power off issue can be fixed for Raspbian, if you know how ;)

But I prefer to use PiCore, it boots from SDcard to Ram and normally never needs to write back
Power offs are no issue it just reboots as normal and faster than Raspbian to.
Also it's a much smaller OS and easier to backup if you need to.
It is quite a different Linux OS and somewhat limited in what software has been ported to it.

But I found that an advantage as I really had to learn Linux to do stuff with it.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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Re: Fit a computer to a mobility scooter?

Mon May 22, 2017 6:03 am

Where would your pimping go next? Your one step forward could be performed on the Pi but what would you want next and the step after that? A Pi with a battery backup, a GPS card, and a 4G dongle could guide the driver and track your exercise for the day. A Pi gives you real flexibility for the future because you can add just about anything. A little bit of discussion and planning will help you avoid throwing bits away for replacement by more flexible options.

The only thing the Pi will not provide is the 1000 watts per channel for your sound system. :shock:

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