4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

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4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 4th, 2017, 11:05 am

I've just recently gotten into Roomba repair, mods, and hacking after fixing a Disco 2.1 that I've been dragging around the country for the last 10 years.

My current project is a Scheduler that I recently picked up from someone who had taken it apart and lost interest prior to fixing it. The previous owner stated that it wouldn't charge and they'd started the process of replacing the U2/U4 mosfets. I don't think they had a soldering station because it appeared that they tried to cut the U4 mosfet off the board rather than desolder it. There appeared to be some contact foil remaining on the PCB so I went ahead and soldered the new mosfet in place. I have not yet been able to confirm that this was a successful repair so keep this in mind as we troubleshoot.

After replacing the mosfets I reassembled the bot, installed a fully charged battery, and attempted startup. The bot powered up when I pressed POWER and started to clean when I pressed CLEAN; however, the power button started glowing red within a few seconds. The bot continued to clean in what appeared to be a normal navigational pattern. I then attempted to run the BIT but the bot doesn't enter the BIT routine. I've used the BIT on other bots by holding CLEAN and SPOT while momentarily pressing POWER but this bot just starts cleaning with the CLEAN and SPOT buttons blinking green. I've also tried holding CLEAN while inserting the battery to no avail.

My Create cable is supposed to be delivered today so I'm hoping that I'll be able to initiate the BIT via the SCI. I'd appreciate any tips or guidance on how to go about doing this. I don't have my notes with me right now but I believe the firmware is dated August 15th, 2006 (dits and dahs = _- _--- _ _ _).

Much of the information that I've found appears to be way out of date so I'm having difficulty separating the valuable information from the obsolete. I'd appreciate it if anyone could point me to a program that will help me troubleshoot and learn some hacking techniques. Thanks!
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby vic7767 » December 4th, 2017, 11:48 am

Head over to either of the two websites in my signature and use the Contact Me page to request a copy of the 4XXX Roomba iRobot Service Manual. Then I can email you your own pdf copy.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 4th, 2017, 2:29 pm

Thanks vic7767. Will do.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 5th, 2017, 8:14 pm

I figured out that the battery needed to be charged so the Roomba's LED responses were appropriate. I popped a fresh battery in and it still goes into "dock" mode instead of initiating the BiT.

The good news is that my mosfet RR appears to have been successful. The bot docked itself and appeared to charge properly. The POWER LED pulsed amber for an hour or two and then went solid green. I'm running him now to see if he can complete a mission and return to home base. He's been running for 20 minutes without problems so I'm pretty pumped about it.

I haven't been able to find anything online discussing a Roomba that won't initiate the BiT. Please speak up if anyone's seen this before. The fact that it seems to be fully operational in all functions other than the BiT leads me to believe that this may simply be operator error and I need to review the procedure a bit more thoroughly.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby mfortuna » December 5th, 2017, 8:26 pm

What I have done on my reds and Disco is hold down spot and clean and then press the power button. Sometimes it is a little tough because the contacts get dirty.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 6th, 2017, 1:15 am

Thanks, Mike. That's exactly what I'm doing but it just goes into docking mode the same way it does when the power is already on and I press CLEAN and SPOT.

Despite the BiT issue I can confirm that the charging circuit is now good to go.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 6th, 2017, 4:49 pm

I swapped out the cover and button module with one from another unit to try to narrow down my troubleshooting but there was no change in behavior. I also successfully initiated the BiT on another bot so I've eliminated operator error as the culprit.

It's certainly not relevant but everybody loves pics so here you go. I'm calling him Commando B.O.B. (Bug Out Bot).

Image
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby vic7767 » December 6th, 2017, 5:20 pm

Nice color scheme on your bot. To get that non-BiTs Scheduler to co-operate may require dis-assembly to access the User Interface buttons and clean out the built up dust bunnies and other debris.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 6th, 2017, 8:26 pm

Thanks, vic7767. Tiger stripe camo is my old standby. I just threw it together quick and dirty like, so I’ll probably revisit it at some point and put some more effort into it. To do the paint job I removed the button pcb and cleaned the whole area inside and out. I have another button pcb laying around in preparation for another paint job so my next step will be to try it with just the pcb and no cover.

My 5 year old daughter wants hers to have the same scheme; just in shades of pink and purple. Should be interesting.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby smithb » December 6th, 2017, 11:03 pm

Problem solved.

I took a closer look at the button PCBs that I was using to troubleshoot with and both of them had some corrosion that I'd initially overlooked. The bots that these came from were pretty filthy and sticky, which leads me to believe that their home bases might have been located under an office coffee mess or next to Junior's high chair. One of them had a a broken wire and the other actually smoked one of the board components when I attempted to power it up. Luckily, I had a third one on hand. Those donor bots sure are paying off. With the new button PCB installed I was able to initiate the BiT without any problems.

I'll run through the BiT tomorrow to make sure everything is green. Then, I'll start fumbling my way through Realterm and try to learn me some command codes.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and encouragement.
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Re: 4230 Refuses to Initiate BIT

Postby vic7767 » December 6th, 2017, 11:11 pm

:cheers:
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