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Old 26th November 2005, 12:40   #1
Tim_M
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Hand Controls

I've had a number of board members ask how my hand controls work. The throttle is electronic and interfaces directly with the FBW throttle and the brake is mechanical - it simply presses on the pedal.

I've taken some poor photos - it's difficult to hold the camera steady with one hand and a slow shutter speed.

The plunger has an adjustable T-bar which fits between two fingers of the right hand - it has a curly telephone cable with a guitar plug with plugs into a socket on the steering cowl. I've tried to get a shot of it is it's in-use position but it is tricky to do that and still see the plunger - I hold the wheel normally with my right hand - I just don't curl my thumb around it (the wheel). The brake knob sits at about 4 o'clock on the steering wheel. The lit button shows the hand controls are active - when turned off the accelerator pedal becomes live so that anyone else can drive it.

I use a superlight Titanium wheelchair (ZRA from www.tilite.com) with quick release wheels which fits quite nicely on the back seat behind the passenger seat, if I put my seat back as far down as it will go I can lift it across me with one hand.

Tim
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Last edited by Tim_M; 26th November 2005 at 12:43.
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Old 26th November 2005, 13:54   #2
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Re: Hand Controls

Thanks for the explanation, Tim. Very interesting to see how it actually works!
How do you find holding the steering wheel as well as the plunger? Does it not get in the way? I imagine paddle gearchange must be the mutt's nuts for you as it still allows you complete control while driving a manual car...
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Old 26th November 2005, 14:05   #3
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Re: Hand Controls

No problems holding the steering wheel - most of the work is done by pressing the ball of the thumb against the wheel. If you think about it that's what you do without realising it. It's really easy to heel/toe too.

Tim
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Old 26th November 2005, 14:23   #4
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Re: Hand Controls

Fascinating stuff Tim - seems to work very well. Watch out Zinardi!
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Old 26th November 2005, 14:40   #5
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Re: Hand Controls

It does work really well - it is almost as if SMG is designed to work with hand controls. SMG III is much better than II, especially now that the starting assistant is totally automatic and uses the brakes rather than the clutch. Everyone who has tried using my controls has remarked on how natural it feels to drive with them. Before SMG the only way to drive a manual was to get the clutch modified after the fact and put a button on the gear lever - very expensive and not nearly so sophisiticated.

After a bit of a mishap with a 645 last year I was sent on an NDIS course (traffic school). I had 7 hours of one-one assesment with an Advanced Driving Instructor and passed with flying colours. It still amazes me that if you have a full driving licence and loose the use of your legs you don't have to re-sit your test...

Tim
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Old 27th November 2005, 17:10   #6
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Re: Hand Controls

Titanium wheelchair (ZRA from www.tilite.com)

Hi Tim,

It is amazing that somebody in a wheelchair is driving a M6! Congratulations! I have to admit that it should not be the first car I should been thinking of, but everything is possible when you want it!

And you know...now I have been on a site with high-tec-wheelchairs...completely in titanium! I did not know that in this matter there was that much 'high performance'!

Good luck with the car, and the trottle! you made the good choice!

greetings,
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Old 28th November 2005, 11:58   #7
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Re: Hand Controls

A low-tech wheelchair wouldn't really go with an M6! I've also got an optional wheel upgrade (www.spinergy.com) with carbon fibre spokes. They have a lower rolling resistance so you go further with the same amount of pushing!

Tim
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Old 28th November 2005, 18:01   #8
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Re: Hand Controls

Carbon roof and carbon wheels! COOL!!!

The perfect match
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Old 15th March 2007, 15:55   #9
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Sorry to dig this up from the grave, Have you got a web link or contact details for the control set up you have.

I have an M5 sitting at the dealers awaiting a set of hand controls to be fitted for me ( just the normal push pull) and your system has caught my eye.

Might have to look into swapping over to it.

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Old 15th March 2007, 16:13   #10
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Brig-Ayd Controls are the manufacturers - call 01707 322322, ask for Denise and mention my name (Tim Morris). They are a company of engineers who take pride in thieir work, and have been fitting controls to 6 series cars for me since 2004 (and BMWs since 1995) so they know exactly what they're doing with the E60/3 platform. Cost is around 2k for the initial install, but the kit is transferrable. It may sound like a lot compared with a push-pull setup but it works really well and you'll have far more control. Make sure you ask for a right-hand brake, and ask them to mount the socket for the plunger on the right hand side of the column, you'll then be able to brake while changing down with the left paddle.

They do a system with a small lever fitted to the brake handle to activate the throttle but it doesn't give the right hand the same freedom of movement.

While they do have dealers that can fit the system around the country I would try to persuade your dealer to take the car up to Welwyn Garden City to get it fitted - they have the engineering facilities to manufacture the bracket that is required to clamp the brake arm to the steering column.

The only panel that needs replacing when selling the car is the lower steering column cover which needs a hole drilling in it to take the socket for the wander-lead. The brake arm fits nicely into a hole exposed when you drop out a second small panel. The steering wheel adjustment motors don't need to be disconnected either.

It is a fantastic system which will allow you to get far more out of the car.

Tim

Last edited by Tim_M; 15th March 2007 at 16:15.
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