Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

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Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 18th, 2011, 4:17 pm

Once removed from the Neato, the case of the vacuum motor can be opened. Then the small snap-ring can be removed allowing one to then pull the motor housing up and off the metal shaft. There are 4 leads from the connector that plug into the printed circuit board. The red and black leads are for operating voltage to the dc motor. The yellow and blue leads serve a function but I'm unable to determine whether they provide temperature or RPM data to the MCU. The image is made in a .gif format and is three pictures. Click on the image to see all three.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby mfortuna » November 18th, 2011, 5:02 pm

That sounds like a standard 4 pin fan used in many computers. Yellow is the tach, blue is the fan control. The fan control allows the speed of the fan to be changed or turned off.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby OntheWay » November 18th, 2011, 5:55 pm

No info bout extra wires on datasheet either...

http://www.delta.com.tw/product/cp/dcfa ... 4x25mm.pdf
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Fraggboy » November 18th, 2011, 6:05 pm

Where are you guys seeing the yellow and blue wires? I looked at all 3 pics. The main pic is showing a brown, blue, black and Grey wire...
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 18th, 2011, 6:15 pm

The picture does not show the colors properly, but, my descriptions of the wire colors are accurate.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby mfortuna » November 18th, 2011, 6:17 pm

I found a datasheet that shows a 3 wire version of the fan were blue is the tach. So there are probably different versions of this fan since we have seen specs with 2 and 3 wires. Couldn't find a spec for a 4 wire version though. One of the wires has to be tach since neato detects when the blower isn't turning. The other wire could be a control to turn off the motor if a stall is detected.

I can't really tell what color the wire is either.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Geppo » November 24th, 2011, 12:55 pm

mfortuna wrote:I found a datasheet that shows a 3 wire version of the fan were blue is the tach. So there are probably different versions of this fan since we have seen specs with 2 and 3 wires. Couldn't find a spec for a 4 wire version though. One of the wires has to be tach since neato detects when the blower isn't turning. The other wire could be a control to turn off the motor if a stall is detected.

I can't really tell what color the wire is either.


If wire colours are really as described by Vic it should be a standard PC 4-wire fan (type 2)
http://www.allpinouts.org/index.php/Motherboard_(CPU)_4_Pin_Fan
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 24th, 2011, 1:15 pm

The wire colors posted are correct. The picture just does not have the visual clarity to display the real colors.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Geppo » November 24th, 2011, 1:26 pm

vic7767 wrote:The wire colors posted are correct. The picture just does not have the visual clarity to display the real colors.


I had no doubts about it! :thumbup:
The -9Q68 subcode printed on the blower, anyway make me thinking about a custom model....
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 24th, 2011, 2:19 pm

I think hash79 posted somewhere that the vacuum motor is controlled using PWM from terminals on the MCU.
Last edited by vic7767 on November 24th, 2011, 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Geppo » November 24th, 2011, 2:51 pm

vic7767 wrote:I think hash79 posted somewhere that the vacuum motor is controlled using PWM from terminals on the MCU.


That is for sure! You can easily hear the acceleration ramp after starting a cleaning job.
I found this more detailed document, but it is referred to the -F00 submodel.
http://www.delta-americas.com/products/FanUploads/Specification/BCB1012UH-F00(REV01).pdf
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 24th, 2011, 3:23 pm

Nice find Geppo, the design is very close to the Neato fan assembly.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby mfortuna » November 24th, 2011, 4:42 pm

vic7767 wrote:I think hash79 posted somewhere that the vacuum motor is controlled using PWM from terminals on the MCU.

The 4th wire is most likely a speed control wire. Most of the 4 wire fans I have seen use PWM to control the speed although the actual translation from PMW to brushless motor control is done by a controller IC inside the fan.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby vic7767 » November 24th, 2011, 4:48 pm

I agree Mike. The third picture in the .gif post shows a small circuit board with several ICs and other components inside the motor chassis.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Geppo » November 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm

mfortuna wrote:The 4th wire is most likely a speed control wire. Most of the 4 wire fans I have seen use PWM to control the speed although the actual translation from PMW to brushless motor control is done by a controller IC inside the fan.


Usually the speed is controlled by a DC voltage obtained filtering the pwm control signal (extracting its mean value).
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby mfortuna » November 24th, 2011, 6:31 pm

This is a brushless motor type fan. A controller needs to detect a magnet position and then energize the correct set of windings to keep the motor rotating. You can see the windings in the 3rd picture. So the controller is probably doing a digital filtering of the signal and using it to determine how long to keep a winding energized.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby OntheWay » November 24th, 2011, 7:45 pm

In r/c world, brushless motors need an ESC (electronic speed controller) to run, I am wondering if this one is running at full throttle..?
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby mfortuna » November 24th, 2011, 10:30 pm

I think the circuit board we see in vic7767's photo is basically an ESC. Very similar to what you would see in a micro helicopter or plane setup.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby Geppo » November 25th, 2011, 10:39 am

mfortuna wrote:This is a brushless motor type fan. A controller needs to detect a magnet position and then energize the correct set of windings to keep the motor rotating. You can see the windings in the 3rd picture. So the controller is probably doing a digital filtering of the signal and using it to determine how long to keep a winding energized.


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I'm sorry for the mistake.
I never looked at the control signal of a PC fan, although I know how a brushless motor works....
I wrongly supposed the control signal was a DC voltage, I find quite curious to use directly the unfiltered pwm signal to control the speed, instead of a more "universal" dc voltage to control an internal oscillator.
Reading at the specification, a 4 wire fan seems to require a 25KHz pwm signal to control its speed.
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Re: Inside the XV-11 Vacuum motor

Postby error1 » December 27th, 2011, 2:03 pm

Thank you for the pictures of the vacuum fan internals!
I'm ashamed to say I somehow managed to run my xv-15 a full cleaning mission with no filter installed today :(
(I was in a hurry to clean out the bin and start the neato before chasing my dog into the shower)
I've sucked out whatever dust I could with my big cannister vacuum and pulled some clumps of hair from the grate at the back of the neato, and it doesn't sound any different from before.
Looking at the fan design, it seems most likely to me that everything just got ejected out the back of the neato, but how much space is there for hairs to get drawn in between the impeller and the casing?

And they should really add another microswitch inside the bin compartment to check if the filter is there or not in a later hardware revision!
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