MemberMarch 30, 2016 at 3:25 pm
My elderly father has a Brooks 180 curved stairlift which has just developed a fault. The chairlift has started to stop after only travelling a meter or so up the stairs. I suspected the batteries so have left it on charge overnight with no use, however, it is still doing the same thing this morning. Just before it stops a slight grating noise is heard but nothing very loud. It seems to stop at random places so is nothing to do with the track, the track is also clear of debris or obstructions. The conclusion I have come to so far is that the batteries either aren’t getting an appropriate charge from the power supply unit or the batteries themselves have become faulty. I have noticed that the little green LED on the power supply unit is very dim & flickers from time to time. Can anyone please advise on how I can test further to prove either the charger or the batteries? I have a multimeter but don’t know what the values should be (volts, watts etc)? I believe there are 2 batteries 12V each NI-CD. Also assuming worse case scenario can anyone advise of the best batteries to get (heavy duty) and the best place to get them from at a decent price. Any help would be most appreciated.
MemberMarch 31, 2016 at 9:51 am
How old are the batteries?
MemberApril 3, 2016 at 6:49 am
I think the batteries are about 2.5 years old. The charger has a very dim green power LED on it but I have since checked and it is supplying 36V on the charging contact points. The chairlift does not ‘Beep’ when on the charing points and the front of the battery panel is warm so I believe power is being supplied as expected, so in my opinion would definitely point to batteries (unless your expert opinion can point otherwise). Please let me know what you recommend. If new batteries are required I would really appreciate knowing what the best make is to get for heavy duty use, also where to get them from for the best price. Not sure if replacing the batteries is an easy job for a DIYer like myself or whether it will need re-programming afterwards (perhaps there is a trick to get around this? Replacing them one at a time perhaps?). Any help would be most appreciated. Thank-you.
MemberApril 3, 2016 at 9:06 am
Batteries are available from various dealers. Suggest u Google stairlift suppliers in you local area. These are a custom battery pack, they are not cheap, there is only one size/type /capacity…… When the new batteries are fitted there is a small reprogramming sequence to be done . Most independent dealers would normally only charge a call out and the price of the batteries as it’s quite an easy job ……..
MemberApril 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm
Many thanks for your reply. From what you are saying, unlike most things in this world, I take it that even a simple task like replacing the batteries is not a job the customer/owner can do themselves. With expensive custom battery packs that only last 2 years etc it seems like the priority of manufacturers when designing and developing stairlifts it to make sure they are ‘Custom built cash cows’ for the duration of their lifespan. Even my TV remote control has a built in temporary memory to keep settings etc whilst you change the battery. This especially seems to be the case with ‘Acorn’ who seem to think that money grows on trees as well (excuse the pun!!). Extortion of money from elderly/disabled people seems to be their speciality! Rather than designing a chairlift that is cost effective and easy to maintain for the vulnerable people they serve. It’s fair enough to pay for a service or when things go wrong but not even being able to replace the batteries yourself is pushing things to the extreme. Not impressed.
MemberApril 4, 2016 at 6:36 am
Do you get a fault code when the unit stops moving? Also what is the dispaly doing when its ment to be charging? Is the green led on the charger on when the unit is on a charge point? Is the rail hinge? What is the battery’s charging current? All good things to look at before paying out around Â£200 for new batts.
MemberApril 4, 2016 at 8:03 am
In all fairness Acorn did not design the lift, they inherited it from Bison. They have also improved it so it does hold the program settings now in the event of a battery failure
I’m not a Acorn fan but it is unfair to blame them for “extorting money”
However, batteries are available here
It is a simple re-program of the datum after fitting with instructions hereHow to program bison 80 curved lift – Stairlift Forum
Hi everyone, I’m looking for some help on programming a bison 80 curved stair lift. I believe I’ve fixed the power supply issue but think it has lost the
MemberApril 5, 2016 at 5:10 am
The stairlift starts as normal but the power quickly diminishes (you can physically hear the power loss) at this point it stops with an error code 2 which relates to battery charge. The display when charging displays a code of 5 with either a solid or flashing dot next to it which is normal (fast/trickle charge). The LED on the charger is green while it is on the charging point and a basic tester shows in the region of 33V being provided on the rail charging contact point. There is no rail hinge. I have’nt tested the battery charging current as yet but will do, do I measure this directly from the battery terminals whilst on charge? What should the expected current values be?
Many thanks to Northern Mobility for supplying the info above, it is really appreciated. From what’s detailed here it does after all look like a task which I can do myself, although I’m not an engineer I am technically minded and am more than happy to give this a go. Can I just ask when replacing the batteries is there a technique in doing so which will preserve memory etc? (i.e. do you replace one battery at a time so as to keep some power to the chairlift?). Once complete I take it that I then perform the actions you describe on your previous reply (#10), from what you have stated it seems like a simple reset is required and the speed, bends data etc is still retained (i.e a full re-program is not required?). Sorry to sound stupid (not familiar with all the terminology) but what is involved in checking both the top & bottom stops & final limits? Is it just a case of taking the chairlift to the top & bottom of the track to check the stop points? What is required if they do need adjusting. As always your help is very much appreciated.
MemberApril 5, 2016 at 7:52 am
No special technique, it will lose its memory of the datum only. Following the instructions exactly will reset the datum, if you get it wrong i.e. the lift over runs or stops short even then you have programmed wrong. You would need to disconnect battery and re-program datum again.
If I were you while you do have some power take the lift to the top charge point and mark with a pencil on the charge points where the plungers finish and then when you re-program you will get it exactly
You can as an alternative change them while on the charge point and you may get away without a program if your quick but I change batteries a foot off the top charge point so it’s a two minute job to program after.
MemberMay 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm
Sorry for the late reply. I just wanted to thank Northern Mobility for all their helpful advice. The instruction quoted worked perfectly. Such an easy job when you know how. Your time and guidance was very much appreciated and I hope this post will go on to help others in the same situation. 🙂
MemberMay 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm
I have a similar problem. My wife has the Acorn 180 curve and the batteries failed. Replaced them with two new ones and now I can only move the chair with the remote and it moves about 3 inches, when it stops and you have turn off the power and it will move another 3 inches. It ‘s showing error code 2. I have tried to re programme by sending it to the last charging point but as previously stated it only moves inches at the time .which would have taken days.
Any help would be gratefully appreciated
MemberMay 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm
Further to my previous item I decided to pull out the PCB and check the components. There are two diodes in the charger circuit which were open circuit.
Replacing them did the trick. And after reprogramming as per Northern Mobility previous article restored it back to normal.
MemberJune 22, 2017 at 7:55 am
I’ve tried the following link, but it does not appear to be working. Do you have an alternative please?
MemberJune 23, 2017 at 8:05 am
Drop the front panel, flick switch on the board to program. You will then be able to drive the lift to the top charge point, this will reset the datum
Drive the lift off the charge point, flick the program switch off and now the lift will remember its old program
This will get the lift running but I recommend you get an engineer in to check final limits etc are programmed
MemberJune 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Thanks. I flicked it to program and ran it all the way. Flicked the curve switch on going into the bends and off when out the other side. Also switched the fast switch on at the start of the long straight and off at the end of it. It seems to be running pretty well. Does that procedure sound right? I am a mobility engineer, but it’s the first time I’ve come across this stairlift.
MemberJune 24, 2017 at 8:53 am
Sounds like you have done a full re-program which probably was not necessary but hey ho if it’s working ok
MemberJune 24, 2017 at 9:52 am
The only thing I’m not totally happy with is the fact that there are a few places where it goes really slowly, it’s making me think that I’m better off doing it again, but leaving the the curve switch on all the time. I’m trying to avoid contacting Acorn as they keep contacting me about doing sales and I’ve told them that I’m not interested, I only do service and repair and LOLER testing. They even turned up at my house, which really annoyed me.
MemberJune 24, 2017 at 10:16 am
It should run at “creep speed” for the first few inches of travel and the last few only
Any incline changes or bends at “bend speed” and the rest at full speed.
If your not happy, disconnect battery near to the top charge point and reconnect to reset and then put in program mode and fully re-program.
MemberJune 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm
Thank you very much
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