Tom Pouce 2 manual

 

Description of the box
The Tom Pouce is a case the size of a pack of cigarettes. He weighs a hundred grams and vibrates when an obstacle is in front of him. There are three protection ranges to choose from: short, medium and long range. Clipped in the cane it protects from the pelvis to the head on the width of the right shoulders in front of you (in medium and long range). It works as well in total darkness as in full sun.
Important: this device is a complement to the cane and can in no way replace it.

The bottom of the housing is marked by a switch that has on / off function.
In the photo the switch is in the off position. On the right the vibrator with his finger is connected to the box by a cable. Smooth black windows are the areas of passage of infrared light.

On the top of the case (under the thumb) is the switch of the three ranges: 2.4 and 6 meters. When the switch is on the left, the device is in short range (2m), in the center in medium range (4m) and on the right in long range (6m) plus additional beam height. The different beams are revolving around their axis.

Fixing kit to the cane:
Rear view of Tom Thumb II without and with its mounting kit.

It is designed to be picked up only occasionally. Be careful not to break the rear switch by missing its engagement.

Cap protects the battery cover with its wrist strap avoiding the loss of the cap when changing the batteries, it also serves to hold the cable of the vibrator.

On rods with non-rubber handle, it is necessary to put a piece of air chamber so that the binding does not slip along the cane

Basic operation
Do not bring fingers near the front of the device, otherwise it vibrates by detecting the fingers, unless you want to check that the device works.
Th absence of vibration signals the absence of obstacles within the chosen range. We must look for the absence of vibration in the direction in which we advance. The device is designed to eliminate hesitant vibrations at the edge of the range. If the vibration is triggered for example at 2 meters, it will stop only 2.5 meters. The vibration-non-vibration transition is at a distance slightly greater than the non-vibration-vibration transition. This technique of eliminating hesitant vibrations is called hysteresis.
Tom Thumb II has two plans of perception: obstacle far, obstacle near. The advantage of two levels of perception is to be able to more easily slalom between obstacles and better manage narrow passages. Indeed it is useful to know that an obstacle to the right for example is closer than the one on the left which allows in priority to deviate more from the right to then avoid the left. This helps a lot to pass the "chicane" type passages.
The obstacle far is translated by a smooth perception, the near obstacle by a granular perception.
The height is translated by a third type of very strong vibration.

Relative protections by the three scopes

in light gray the horizontal area giving smooth vibrations,

in dark gray the horizontal zone giving intermittent vibrations,

in gray grid the vertical zone giving strong vibrations.

Cases of people who are very sensitive:
the vibrator is hooked directly on the cane under the device.

Good centering of the cane, very vertical device.

Cases of sensitive people:
the vibrator is hung directly on the cane above the device.

Standard case: the vibrator is hanging on the little finger.

Cases of people sensitively not sensitive, the vibrator is hooked back on the little finger.

Good pointing to the right of the cane, device remaining vertical

Good pointing to the left of the device. The device must not lose its verticality or its centering.

The sweeping is done otherwise as to the cane, when the right foot advances, the cane leaves on the left etc. Any incorrect holding of wrist style cane deported on the side, average bias position etc. makes it impossible to use the electronic help, the passage being blocked and the lateral obstacles not being protected on one side.

Formal anticipation technique

The edge of an obstacle is materialized by the direction pointed by the rod located at the limit between vibration and non-vibration. If we go towards this direction, we risk going too close to the obstacle, see to hit the shoulders.
As one advances by sweeping the cane, it is necessary to circumvent the obstacle so that the limit between vibration and non-vibration is at the end of the scan of the cane.

In practice this is done naturally, in the beginning people take a margin of safety too great, they will then reduce it until rub shoulders, then find the compromise. When this process is not done it is often due to a bad position of the wrist or a bad awareness by the wrist joint of the direction of the cane. The tradeoff is at a range of sweeping the cane protecting the width of the feet, slightly lower than that recommended to the cane alone (width of the shoulders).
The long range at 6 meters is wider than the others. For example if we find an angular passage very thin in an opening, we have plenty of room to go. In medium range, we just have room. In short range it will be necessary to pass from side to side not to touch the shoulders.

 

Height case

As an indication for the height: In short and medium range the height protection stops at the thorax. In long range it exceeds a little head. The alarm signal of the height must not be used to initiate an avoidance procedure, it is necessary to protect immediately his head with the hand and advance slowly. The alarm in height must give place to an immediate stop, the disappearance of the signal can mean that one will touch eminently, see figure below.

 

 

Do we avoid an obstacle better than near? In all cases the shoulders will be protected. With a long reach the avoidance leaves earlier and the trajectory more fluid. On the other hand in some places there is always something at 6 meters, in this case it is necessary to reduce the range and also a little the speed of displacement. If both are reduced, the quality of the avoidance will be constant. The longer the distance, the more you can relax in the process. The rule is to always use the largest reach to find a way out. If we reduce the range too early we find issues everywhere even in dead ends.

Some tips for getting started

Do not move in the direction of a vibration, even in long range, under pain of shock. We must seek to change its direction so as to disappear as soon as possible to bypass the obstacle. If you do not find the passage in stride, slow down and reduce the range or stop.
    Typically the rough vibration of the short span (less than 1m) is used indoors, climbing stairs or tight static crowd (cane very raised) and the long reach outside. It is advisable to use the medium range outdoors only if the long range obstructs the passage.
    Remember that the device does not monitor the ground holes and bumps, even held by hand. A trained user will notice that he can spot by holding the device by hand the grass path transition, some unevennesses or holes. These are only special circumstances not to be generalized. Certain types of ground obstacles are absolutely undetectable for this device designed for protection in front of you and at height.
    Even if the device gives information of all or nothing, this information is much richer than one might think a priori. It must be associated with a permanent awareness of the direction of the cane. For example one can pass through a crowd with very frequent vibrations, from the moment when one feels the direction of the small absence of vibration which represents the passage.
    The indication will be different depending on the colors encountered, in fact the thin and dark poles (case of metallic and dark car bodies, small polished black poles undetected before the cane). However, the range can be very important in front of traffic signs.
    When the cane hits and no obstacle has been detected by the device, it is in the vast majority of cases a hurdle (walk, border
etc.).

Maintenance

Rechargeable batteries can be used, preferably of 1000mAh or at least 800mAh capacity. You can also put normal alkaline batteries. Saline batteries must be excluded which will cause the device to malfunction. Remove the protective cover to access the battery box located at the top of the device. Locate the two small grooves used to open, press and pull up. Replace the batteries in the usual way, flat end on the spring side. To close the housing, apply slight pressure at the end of the stroke. The case cover fits snugly, do not try to close it too hard. The serial number is located at the bottom of the battery box, it must be lifted each time a device is assigned.

Conditions of use: - 18 degrees, + 45 degrees, the device is waterproof and can be used in the rain, it is not waterproof. In case of short accidental immersion, remove the batteries, dry the inside of the case, and leave the device in a dry place about ten hours.

Hardware Troubleshooting Guide

Cause # 1 of failure: Batteries flat, beep sound end of pile not heard, change batteries.

Cause # 2: Vibrator out of service, wire cut internally, a vibrator can last more than 5 years if it is well treated, some complete in less than 6 months. Send the device for repair, or have it shortened by eliminating the broken part by a very good handyman.

Cause # 3: Device flooded by heavy rain and poorly installed bag, normally after drying it starts again.

Cause # 4: Break the cane fixture, order another, see one in advance for the most brutal.

Cause # 5: Deterioration of the three position switch after several bad falls having landed on the switch, send the unit back to service.