Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby a1robotrepair » June 19th, 2016, 2:20 pm

880 date code 140925 with integrated home base w/ smooth contacts double face taped to hardwood floor @120V 60Hz running 2 to 3 times a week cleaning an office, foyer and 3 bedrooms, 800sqft: No problems after adding a a few holes between the battery compartment and bumper sensor array compartment to aid in cooling the battery while charging and running, it ran and charged warmer than my 500s and 780.
I would like to know how many were 220@60Hz, 220@50Hz, 120@60Hz or 120@50Hz.
Our power system on the Island isn't the best, fluctuating from storms and salt outs.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby robocleaner » June 19th, 2016, 5:27 pm

a1robotrepair wrote:I would like to know how many were 220@60Hz, 220@50Hz, 120@60Hz or 120@50Hz.

There should only be 220/230v at 50Hz or 110/120v at 60Hz... the frequency is standardised according to country, so the other variants you mention shouldn't exist.

a1robotrepair wrote:Our power system on the Island isn't the best, fluctuating from storms and salt outs.

That would be an issue with an unregulated transformer-based charger, but it shouldn't matter with a switch-mode power supply... the DC output should remain relatively constant despite a wildly fluctuating AC input.

The issue of battery heating (and to some extent the melting contact issue) is trying to charge the cells too quickly with too high a current. It's not dissimilar to the original Neato issue with it's melted charging contacts... which IIRC Neato helped solve with (apart from a modified bum wiggle routine to ensure better contact) an updated, lower current switch-mode power supply in later charger models.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby a1robotrepair » June 19th, 2016, 5:52 pm

Japan 100 50Hz
South Korea 220 60Hz
Guyana 240 60Hz
Montserrat 240 60Hz
St. Vincent 120 50Hz
And many many more
Spikes and dips are hard on our appliances. 2 refrigerators in 12 years, they don't make them like they used to.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby robocleaner » June 19th, 2016, 6:48 pm

St Vincent is the same supply as mainland Europe... but point taken (Does iRobot even distribute in a market as small as the Caribbean?). Even so, the wide latitude of acceptable input voltages of switch mode (100-120 volt, 220-240 volts) shouldn't affect the output... and frequency really isn't that critical either for that matter... SMPS output is usually tightly regulated and very stable no matter what you put into it (within reason). Technically, the UK is 230 volts 50Hz, but I often measure my home supply voltage at anywhere between 215 volts and 253 volts and frequency drifting by a few % too depending upon time-of-day demand... DC output of SMPS here doesn't drift at all when I've measured/monitored it for technical reviews I've sometimes had to write.

If you're concerned about mains noise, ripple, surges or spikes, use suppression capacitors, snubber networks, and/or VDR's (MOV's/metal oxide varistors) on your incoming mains supply... they only cost a few cents each. It's quite likely these suppression components could already be built into iRobot's own SMPS (they often are, except on really horrible, cheaply made tat).

I'd be more concerned trying to shove high DC current through contacts that really can't take it or into cells which really aren't comfortable with it... as demonstrated by contacts melting and cells heating.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby a1robotrepair » June 19th, 2016, 7:54 pm

I'm pretty sure they distribute to Japan and South Korea.
I agree that a regulated dc output shouldn't determine the affects some have seen with the melted charging plates. I am wondering if the 220-240 V systems are the only ones seeing the melted contacts or if it is happening reguardless of supply. Many EU users have reported clicking, water dropping noises from the base while US users, as far as I can tell, have not. Wondering if there's a design flaw. The older charger with separate base are a very simple design on the charging side. I haven't taken apart a integrated home base to see the differences, only read that they are rated 100-240 50-60.
Typical minimum requirements for US home supply is 216V to 254V, center tap transformer 108V to 127V @60Hz. Our freq doesn't drift but may shift. Grid requirements. You can set your clock to it.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby robocleaner » June 20th, 2016, 5:03 am

a1robotrepair wrote:Many EU users have reported clicking, water dropping noises from the base while US users, as far as I can tell, have not. Wondering if there's a design flaw.

Well, apart from noisy components (ceramic caps, ferrite cores etc which create more of a low level whine or hissing sound), the normal switching frequencies are supposed to occur well above the audible band.

But in Europe at least, with concerns of global warming and all that, there’s increasing regulation for improved power efficiency (power factor correction, efficiency identified on the casing by class IV, class V etc). In the few newer more power efficient SMPS I have looked at, that is usually being achieved using a pulsing technique (sometimes called “burst mode”), which occurs when the load on the supply needs less than full power (constant voltage but diminishing current phase of the charging cycle)... i.e. towards the end of battery charging as the cells are nearing “full”, and into the trickle charging phase. That constant pulsing is often heard as a soft, repetitive clicking sound.

It depends how much iRobot can justify spending (or are forced to spend to meet tightening efficiency regulation) on their charger design and component quality as to how quiet it will be. Hissing, whining and clicking isn’t that uncommon in budget switch-mode charger designs, but the charger output should still be "normal" - irrespective of whether the input voltage is 100/110/120/220/230/240 volts at 50 or 60Hz.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby akenyon » October 8th, 2016, 1:03 pm

roomba.jpg
[

My 3 or 4 year old 880 recently melted the contacts, too. After reading the thread, I have contacted Roomba and am hoping to get some resolution. For those interested, the base was on a wood floor using 110 current. Prior to the last charge, the Roomba had "died" so that I had to position the machine on the charger by hand. I did not use it then for a few weeks. I did smell something, like something burning, but could never determine the source. No clicking, but the charger is not near where we sit. I've tried to attach a photo. If I get no help from Roomba, would a local repair shop be able to fix it?
Grateful to have found this thread.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby gregj » October 8th, 2016, 4:08 pm

3 roombas later, never cleaned the contacts on any of mine, and never had these issues. I think this is a manufacturing tolerance defect, that causes these. Otherwise most of these would go up in smoke.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby Brett » October 8th, 2016, 8:05 pm

akenyon wrote:
roomba.jpg
... If I get no help from Roomba, would a local repair shop be able to fix it? ...

I repair these using plastic welding type technique to rebuild the affected area.

Give it a go.

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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby Micro1000 » December 10th, 2016, 11:01 am

I have an 880 that has that exact problem. It won't dock because the charging base tab plastic is melted and you can not depress the tab like it should. Also the vacuum charging tab is bent and recessed in to the unit. Where can I get parts to repair this? Thanks
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby vic7767 » December 10th, 2016, 12:05 pm

If possible contact iRobot for a replacement. If they won't replace your 880 then the alternative will be to purchase a (for parts) 800 series Roomba and get the parts you need from your parts robot.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby piokrza » December 11th, 2016, 10:12 am

I have 870 since April/May and I'm terrified reading this thread. When the dock was placed on the parquet and one Roomba half (drive wheels) on 7mm carpet, second half (front wheel, contacts) on dock then it used to make "clicking" noise while charging and sometimes getting off it, trying to escape and dock again like it couldn't sense contacts, of course without result until I manually re-docked it. Since I place dock and Roomba on carpet (same level) problem disappeared. One thing I've noticed is that metal contacts in my 870 are placed maybe 2mm "deeper" inside than in my 620 which were more outside the shell. :think:
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby GTRetro87 » December 15th, 2016, 12:09 am

First post here, be gentle lol.

I'm debating between the 880, 860 and 650 (or two 650s lol). However I'm not sure which route to go, though I'm leaning towards the 880 just for the battery life (though 860 should be same plus 860 already being lithium with same time length) -- 800 series come with brushless design and HEPA filter, 650 uses brushes and no HEPA.

Also the 880 has multi room nav so that's a plus but I think it all depends how I will use one/or two..

But besides that, this scares me. I definitely have engineer hands and I'm not afraid to try and fix things (messy or not), but to think this could happen and how? Don't wanna leave home with this on is there's arcing involved.


Anyway... aside from all that, which I know deserves its own thread.. any issues relating to charging/melting as of lately?? Because Xmas is right around the corner and I want to buy the wife a new toy (for fun when not using our fusion ball to clean our apartment).

I can't see there being issues if the charging base is double sided taped to the floor, esp tiles.. but did anybody have issues with the base taped down??

I found this video review of an 880 after 2 years of use - no issues claimed as far as charging (unless they didn't notice or weren't around during cleaning cycles). Check it out here: https://youtu.be/H9VfiJuA93E




What do guys think? Worth buying the 880 and risking it?? Or go for the 860 with HEPA or 650/s??
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby Brett » December 15th, 2016, 2:59 am

The melting is not 880 specific - in fact I have mostly seen it in 7xx models, but I have also seen it in 5xx/6xx chassis too. So it happens often enough to warrant thought, but it's not really something you should bother about. The 8xx extractors ARE better, no doubt, but the original is pretty damn good. The 8xx filters are also better, no doubt, but the original is still pretty damn good as a 'fit for purpose' statement.

I guess it depends on the comparative pricing in your market, and how much the extra money means to you. If the extra couple of hundred bucks doesn't hurt, then grab the best. If you are looking for a best value proposition, then I'm still a believer in the 6xx models. They are tougher, more durable, parts are freely available and plentiful (ie cheap!)

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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby GTRetro87 » December 15th, 2016, 10:15 am

Hmm... probably easier to repair a 650 on an electrical level too since it doesn't have as many features as an 880.
Regardless I'll have to double-side tape the base to the floor no matter what since I only have a couple area rugs, no carpeting; just tiles and laminate floor panels in the bedroom.


It's almost a $200 difference currently with the sales Best Buy is giving out over here in the US ($289 USD for 650 vs $479 USD for 880 - plus taxes, plus extra warranty).. I'll have to take a look and see where I can buy replacement brushes and filters for cheaper than a $50 Kit besides Best Buy and iRobot.


The melting issue is probably due to the Roomba not being able to just dock properly (movement of the base). I haven't really found anybody stating exactly "after double-sided taping the base to the floor, it still melted" -- so it might be a good cheap investment to just do that
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby denalope » December 26th, 2016, 2:16 pm

Hello!
I am Brazilian,I will have some communication difficulties
Need help!
1- there was a problem of fusion
2- There is a mark on the motherboard

I would like to send photos
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby cuts1968 » December 31st, 2016, 9:11 am

Roomba 770 bought a year ago.
Attachments
Roomba contact 2.jpg
Anther pic same contact. Right Hand Contact (beside rotating brush) recessed about 1/8"
Roomba contact 1.jpg
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby a1robotrepair » December 31st, 2016, 11:56 am

I have some thoughts on this subject.
1, Bad electrical connections cause heat.
2. The melting charging contacts was not prevalent on earlier R3 models.
3.
iRobot App,
Charging Contacts
Clean the charging contacts once per week by wiping the charging contacts on the Home Base and robot with a clean, dry cloth.


Suspicions:
The newer contacts, on the bot, the home base, or both, are made with cheaper, less conductive material.

Solutions:
1.
Clean the charging contacts once per week by wiping the charging contacts on the Home Base and robot with a clean, dry cloth.
Every time you dump the bin.
2. Change out the charging contacts with older R3 contacts on the bot or the bot and base.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby cuts1968 » January 2nd, 2017, 11:23 am

We clean the robot every day ensuring the contacts are clean.
I have a thought, if Roomba was a company concerned with the welfare of their customer base they would issue a recall. What happens when the contacts generate enough heat to start the plastic on fire or maybe some piece of dust catches on fire before I can clean the unit? What happens then? What happens to Roomba when somebody dies because of a house fire due to their manufacturing defect? I am upset that I paid over 600.00 for a device that has not lasted a year and has a very evident manufacturing defect.
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Re: Roomba 880 melting charging contacts

Postby a1robotrepair » January 2nd, 2017, 12:29 pm

Having worked on, sold or given away hundreds of Roombas, I haven't had 1 that had the charge plates or bot melt, 2 880s, one gone and the other waiting for a DAV to come home, many 700s, many more 600/500s, and a couple of 4000/originals.

If owners with this problem would post their date codes, utility supply, floor type and base position, one could make some data inferences. How about a SQL data management system.
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