Roomba 886 cannot pass the lighthouse

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Roomba 886 cannot pass the lighthouse

Postby michal.tarana » January 10th, 2018, 11:48 am

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased my first Roomba, model 886. It arrived with one VWLH included and I bought another two lighthouses from someone on the message board.

I experience a weird behavior of Roomba communicating with the lighthouses and I would be very thankful for any advice or comment:

My Roomba cannot cross the lighthouse. When it arrives at the barrier beam of the lighthouse, it always returns back. Therefore, my lighthouses always work as virtual walls and they never "open".

Here is an overview of what I have tried so far: I restricted the "playground" for my Roomba to a single small rectangular and almost unfurnished room. I split it into two smaller rooms separated by something what looks like a door to Roomba. Then I placed the lighthouse (in the Lighthouse mode) into the door, the Home Base located along one wall of the split area. I removed the batteries from all the other lighthouses. Both robot and lighthouse were after reset. Roomba was located in the Home Base, I pressed the Clean button and let it do the job.

Roomba was cleaning the area with the Home Base forever. The green light of the lighthouse was on and occasionally blinking when the robot approached. The robot returned from the door always when it approached it. It never left the area where the home base was located and it never entered the area separated by the lighthouse.

After some time (15 minutes or so) of cleaning, the robot tried to pass the lighthouse. However, after it approached the barrier it started to spin around its axis and after 2-3 revolutions it returned back to the same area it came from.

When I stopped the cleaning cycle (after an hour or so) and pressed the Dock button, robot docked without any issues. After Roomba turned off, the lighthouse turned off as well.

Therefore, it seems to me that Roomba communicates correctly with the accessories using IR. It seems to me that the problem appears in the RF communication. The robot correctly recognized the virtual wall as well as the docking station. It just cannot open the lighthouse.

Another strange thing is that my lighthouse occasionally turns on even when the robot is docked and charging (not cleaning). I have the lighthouse on my office table and from time to time I can see that the green light turns on for short period of time. I was partially able to relate this to the famous "clicking sound" of my robot when charging. The lighthouse turned on at the same time when the docked Roomba "clicked." However, not every click turned the lighthouse on. Then I pulled out Roomba's bin and the clicking stopped. However, the lighthouse still sometimes turns on while Roomba is docked.

The most important question I have is whether this sounds to you as a consequence of the rf interference with something else or whether you think that the rf module of my Roomba is broken. Roomba is obviously communicating on the rf channels with my lighthouse (the robot turned the lighthouse on even when in different rooms) but there is something strange in the communication as the robot cannot "open" it.

Another question I have is whether it is possible that my lighthouses or robot somehow react to Roombas my neighbors may have. I live in the block of apartments and I cannot know whether my neighbors use any Roombas or lighouses. I cannot imagine how they would pair since they never "saw" each other but is it possible that they somehow interfere?

Has anyone experienced similar behavior please? I would be very thankful for any thought regarding this issue.
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Re: Roomba 886 cannot pass the lighthouse

Postby vic7767 » January 10th, 2018, 1:42 pm

Suggestion, first remove the batteries from all 3 LH/VWs. Then install good batteries into any one of the 2 that were not involved in your original setup that prevented the 886 from passing. Second, remove and then re-install the Roomba battery. Then test your new set-up and post the results.
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Re: Roomba 886 cannot pass the lighthouse

Postby michal.tarana » January 10th, 2018, 2:36 pm

Thank you very much for your advice. It seems that it helped.

The test I described in my original post was tried with each of the lighthouses I posses to prove that the lighthouse is not broken. I reset the robot every time before the test and I inserted the batteries only into the lighthouse that was tested in the experiment. In other words, the robot had to pair in every test with single and different lighthouse.

However, until now, I never tried to remove the batteries from robot itself. I always performed reset only by pressing the Clean button for 10 seconds. It seems that this was the game changing moment here.

So once again, thank you for your advice. I am going to pair my robot with all the lighthouses and try to clean all the apartment using their guidance.
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Re: Roomba 886 cannot pass the lighthouse

Postby vic7767 » January 10th, 2018, 4:05 pm

:cheers:
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