Air horn on a powerchair…

The Air Zound cyclists’ air horn has been a constant companion for about 12 years, moved from powerchair to scooter and, now, back to powerchair.

It’s easy to fit to a scooter, as most have handlebars of some sort, but powerchairs don’t, and present rather more of a challenge. This is my solution for the Shoprider Lugano, or any other chair with similar armrests.

An air horn is vital, by the way, for waking up half-asleep motorists reversing blindly out of driveways (no idea why the buggers can’t reverse IN!), or alerting drivers of trucks or buses that might be reversing towards you – trust me, it happens, and shouting doesn’t work! This thing does.

As in the previous post, I have cycle pannier mounts fitted (D-rings strapped to the arms), and it occurred to me that a suitable piece of tubing, or even wood, could be fitted under the arm, where there’s a recess to locate it, and the straps would hold it in place.

I’m not short of tubing, having used walking sticks and crutches since 1986, and never thrown away those I’ve worn out (I’m a great believer in “It’ll come in useful one day!”). Sod’s Law got in the way, and I couldn’t find any parts of dead crutches, but I did find a relic of my archery days, a metal-tube bow-stand.

Fortuitously, the tube was the right diameter for the handlebar clamp, so I loosened one of the D-ring straps, inserted the tube, and snugged it down tight again.

The air reservoir – it can be topped up with pretty much any type of a pump with a Schrader connection, except a garage air line, or even a CO2 inflator, with care (I use a track pump), lives in the side pocket of the seat-back rucksack, with the tubing tucked neatly out of harm’s way. It’s not a perfect solution – if you press on the horn button too vigorously it can rotate a little –  but it gets the job done. A little superglue applied where the tube abuts the arm, underneath, will fix it in place, but will need a sharp knife when it’s time to remove it.

Take care you don’t set it off when getting into the chair, it won’t endear you to your neighbours! These things are loud! (115 decibels.)

And, believe me, one day it will save your life.

NB: It can be reversed so it faces inwards, but while that reduces the risk of accidentally triggering it, it does present the risk of getting it scraped off in a doorway.

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