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The momentary switch is bad on a Pride Quantum 600 power wheelchair. The picture is below. It turns on, but you have to hold the rubber button/switch in the correct spot with the right temperature before it will turn on. What could be the problem or cheapest way to fix this? The part to replace the entire controller (what you see in the picture is $1750). The part number says J6, but the Jazzy and Quantum use the same controller.

Pride J6 Joystick Controller with Flying Leads (Part #: ELEASMB5009)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks pretty new. I gather it is past the warranty period. If less than 2 or 3 years I would complain and assert that it is a quality defect, not normal wear. There are 3rd party repair facilities. wheelchairelectronicsrepair.com that sell refurbs for $169 us, but may not have your model so you can call them about ,plan B sending for repair. .. Any history such are sudden failure , feels loose.. etc. gradual failure? \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Nov 30 '16 at 2:36
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After a lot of investigation and internet searching, I came across this YouTube video, which was very helpful in understanding what was inside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UYn138cKCI

This did not solve the issue, but it helped me understand what to look for. In the video, he mentions you need a T10 security torx screwdriver. It actually requires a T10 torx (normal) screwdriver before removing the shell of the controller.

To solve the issue, I ended up buying a new controller keypad on Ebay for $33.90. MAKE SURE TO UNPLUG THE WIRES IN THE BACK OF THE WHEELCHAIR BEFORE REPLACING.

Pride part # RECPART1061
Merits part # P75736
Shoprider part # P75736

Keypad for 6 Key Button VSI Joystick Controller Pride, Merits, Shoprider. NEW

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As you can see, the on/off switch was worn down to the nub! See top switch/button in the first image.

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Finished product!

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If you need to buy a new controller, purchase a used one with the following name, not the part number shown in the question, as suggested by my durable medical provider. Pride (manufacturer) will not let you ask questions unless you have an account with them, so you have to trust the staff at a distributer, who in my case were wrong, and would have charged me for the copay of a $1750 controller, which was the wrong part number. The serial number of the chair did not give them the correct part number, so never trust that. Always look at the number on the actual component!

Correct part name:

6 Key 50 Amp VSI Joystick Controller with Flying Leads

Here's some detail if the keypad is bad, and you need to replace the entire controller.

Pride Mobility: CTLDC1419

PG Drives Technology: D50693.01

Compatible Models :
Jazzy 600
Jazzy 610
Jazzy 1103
Jazzy 1103 Ultra
Jazzy 1143 Ultra
Jazzy J6
Pride J6

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ These companies are disgusting. Charging silly money for a product with a failure mode as trivial to avoid as that! I know there are compliance hurdles to jump when designing "medical" apparatus, but $1750 for a few switches and potentiometers? Please. Anyway, well done for repairing it yourself and recording it in detail here for others to benefit from. Great work :) \$\endgroup\$ – Wossname Nov 30 '16 at 8:38
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This isn't an answer to guide your repair, but it is an answer for how to deal with it, if you live in the US.

The Wheelchair is a medical device. The maker is required to do post market surveillance for adverse events. This crappy switch preventing you from using your medical device is an adverse event.

Call the company that made the chair, and tell them that your plan is to report this as an adverse event to the MAUDE system through Medwatch (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home), and ask if they can offer you service before you do that. This system can actually trigger FDA recalls, and I believe manufacturers are required to respond to such reports.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I fixed this issue by buying the keypad for $33.90. But I'll keep this in mind for other equipment in the future. Thanks for posting Scott! \$\endgroup\$ – MacGyver Dec 1 '16 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I love Scott's suggestion, Pride already have some alert notices on former products and your keypad probably wont last long either. get a spare, while your machine is young.... Like the automotive market, printers, etc and many other ripoffs, cost of replacements is about 10x factory cost. Which is ok for many levels of food chain, but not for inferior quality that can leave you stranded in the cold. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Dec 1 '16 at 14:31
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The joystick looks fairly new (<3yrs old) . Unless there was excessive force, I would suggest it is a defective component and that you request an RMA for free repair.

LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY For the lifetime of your power chair from the date of purchase, Pride will repair or replace at our option to the original purchaser, free of charge, any of the following parts found upon examination by an authorized representative of Pride to be defective in material and/or workmanship: Structural frame components, including: Main Frame

TWO-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY For two (2) years from the date of purchase, Pride will repair or replace at our option to the original purchaser, free of charge, any of the following parts found upon examination by an authorized representative of Pride to be defective in material and/or workmanship: Electronic components, including: Main frame assemblies, including: Charger Assembly Caster forks Metal seat framing Controller Caster beam Joystick

If they refuse to assist, then make a You Tube video exposing the quality defects of the part and send it for refurbishment to a 3rd party.

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I misunderstood the problem to be the joystick rather than the ON/ON tactile button. These Carbon membrane contact switches are notorious for excess force degradation and surface oxidation with dust and smoke acting as insulation.

Cotton Q tips with pure alcohol usually resolve cleaning the carbon surface.

The contacts on the PCB must be gold (Au) plated and not any other method (Sn-Pb-Ni-Ag-Cu etc). In Fact ALL metal contacts must be Au gold plated for any contact rating <=2A, which is true for mechanical switches and relays. If not, premature failures will occur.

In the 70's Hewlett Packard made all their circuit boards dip gold-plated 20~30u" thick (not flash e-plated 1~2u") and the card edge fingers needed servicing from time to time from regular use. In every maintenance manual, HP specified the exact part number of the PINK PEARL ©®™ eraser to clean the gold plated finger contacts.

However I have seen escalation of failures in carwash kiosks where the (ab)users found their car key tips would make the membrane button work, until it was totally destroyed.

In the 80's our factory in Flemington NJ, designed a robot for testing the quality of their keyboards for the B21 computers to simulate 10 years of daily use.

Attention to quality reliability with accelerated life testing is something I find lacking in our field of Design and Test Engineering and those who are in volume production need to educate themselves on HALT/HASS/ORT life testing to fix reliability issues.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What was interesting is that in cold weather (less than 20 degrees F) and at a curling club, it was even more difficult to turn on. The cold weather must make the rubber contract, maybe? I wonder how the switches could be better designed? It was smart for the engineer who designed the controller! To keep the keypad a purchasable item! \$\endgroup\$ – MacGyver Dec 1 '16 at 5:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should clarify the word "joystick" in both my question and your answer. The manufacturer calls it a "gimble". \$\endgroup\$ – MacGyver Dec 1 '16 at 5:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ most things shrink when cold and moisture loses dielectric constant of 80 and expands when frozen, which can make or break contact. . . . . . I once had an HP instrument rack mounted card fail at my 1st job in aerospace in late '70's due to heat yet every time on a card extender it passed. So, I guessed right, finally got a heat gun and made it fail. It was an internal faulty wirebond on an IC out f about 50 IC's. That took me at least an hour to debug! It acted like a bi-metalic switch for the TTL logic signals. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Dec 1 '16 at 14:21

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