Charge bar mod *pics*

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Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby tjhouchin » February 17th, 2013, 5:55 pm

I've been having trouble this winter with my Neato not charging. I come home with it sitting 5 inches from the base with a dead battery. It has been getting progressively worse and now it does it every day.

I have noticed two reasons that I believe it is failing.

1) the plastic around the lower charge bar is slightly melted so the bar is slightly recessed on one side...
IMG_3439.JPG


2) Pet hair statically stuck all over the rear of the Neato. It is pretty dry this winter and the hair is causing a barrier.
IMG_3441.JPG


So I pulled the rear panel and removed both contact bars. Then added solder tits across the back.
IMG_3470.JPG


The first test was a complete success. The hair was dense but it still made contact. When the unit was close to a full charge I pulled it and felt the bars for any heat build-up but it was only slightly warm... same as before the mod. The solder is soft enough that it should not cause any damage to the base I hope.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

T.J.
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby glnc222 » February 17th, 2013, 9:09 pm

Added to another fix of the contacts in the list of various mods at http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16475. Keeping a directory to separate from repairs, complaints etc.
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby a4refillpad » February 18th, 2013, 4:58 am

I like this one more as it is less likely to scratch or get caught whilst turning. Strange why so many people are complaining about this though. I assume the device is out of warranty?
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby Jubo » February 18th, 2013, 9:14 am

I was wondering if the solder would melt if the heat is capable of melting the plastic grate.
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby a4refillpad » February 18th, 2013, 10:33 am

You also have a major pet hair problem. How does it get so densely packed around the blower? Surely they should not be attracted to it but blown away?
current bots: Clebo Arte, Vorwerk VR-100 (one broken one new), Neato XV-25, Neato XV-12, Roomba 564, Evo Mint 2, Roomba 770, Hauzen VC-RE70V, Samsung SR8980, Karcher RC3000, Robomow RL350 (lawnmower)
previous bots: Samsung SR8845, Neato XV-15
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby ljunker1 » February 18th, 2013, 8:45 pm

I actually have the same problem, only not to the extreme shown in tjhouchin's pictures.

It occurs becouse of static electricty building up back there. The "hair" at least in my case only attaches as neato backs up to recharge. the blower is off when he's going back to base. Additionally, there is a small accumulation of hair around the base itself, which Neato by his nature can't reach to clean.
There are many times when My own Neato ( We call him "Diablo", short for Dust Bunny Diablo :twisted: ) will not make a good connection after his third and last trip back from a mission. He will have completed the 3 outings, but at the last one he will have a small amout of hair at the base preventing him from recharging. When i notice his light is not charging I simply wipe the base contacts and his charging wires with two fingers. That is enough to allow him to make a good contact. Most of the time I notice it before he loses his charge completly and his clock goes dead.

I also of course clean him and his base area with a very small hand vac about once a month, or every 5 weeks if I get a little lazy. It is ironic, becouse the pet hair problem we have, is the biggest reason we baught him in the first place. And frankly he is very effective at helping us manage it. If your going to have a dog or a cat, your going to have a hair problem to some degree!! :lol:

Thought for improvements would be a different kind of charging contact and/or perhaps a software change to make Neato turn his blower back on when he is an inch away or so from contacts ( call it,....fireing his retro rockets )
Yeah i know, just trying a little humor :mrgreen:

Of course if, I mean WHEN Neato elvolves to include a self empying base/chargering unit, if it includes a small exterior vac similiar to either the Karcher or Samsung SR8980 units. That could be used to "blow clean" the charging contacts area as neato approaches just before he completes his dock.

Just my humble thoughts. :?
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby Wing Nut » February 19th, 2013, 6:15 pm

ljunker1 wrote:I actually have the same problem, only not to the extreme shown in tjhouchin's pictures. It occurs becouse of static electricty building up back there.

This minor design 'fault' is similar to a static electricity problem I had with a popular coffee grinder. Grinds wouldn't simply drop out of the chute and into the 'basket', but often defy gravity as they exited and stick all over the grinder and make a mess on the counter top.

A friend was head of the appliance company's design department and was unaware of any problem with 'his' grinder, yet when he came to town to visit and saw it, he realised it was a climate thing. The grinder had been designed and tested in a typically humid city, but my grinder was located in a mostly dry semi-desert climate. Adding a short piece of plastic tubing remedied the problem for early adopters, and a modified spout fixed things in future production runs.

As far as a possible remedy for the OP, maybe run a humidifier in the house well before vacuuming? Other than that, is it possible to drain this static away? No doubt as the Neato drags itself over the carpet, and the dry air rushes by vents, it's becoming charged like a comb through hair. Would taping some foil to the casing with a metal wick or two rubbing on the floor help reduce the charge on the casing enough to keep the hair away?
#1 Neato XV-11 SW 2.0 Board Rev 113 / 3500mAh battery pack installed May 2013 / Pet & Allergy pack installed Sept 2013. In July 2014, received and repaired a faulty #2 Neato XV-11, which also runs perfectly now
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby glnc222 » February 19th, 2013, 10:41 pm

Anti-static spray or wipes for computer screens, or fabrics? Maybe the vacuum instead of floor.
3M CL600 Antistatic Electronic Equipment Cleaning Spray MMMCL600
Static Guard Static Cling Spray
Endust for Electronics LCD and Plasma Pop Up Wipes 70 CT - 11506
Many more...
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby rstark18 » February 21st, 2013, 4:21 pm

Any problems with the "contact points" scratching furniture or baseboards when climbing backwards?
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Re: Charge bar mod *pics*

Postby tjhouchin » March 8th, 2013, 11:19 pm

I've been running this mod for 3 weeks now and have some things to add.....

1) its not perfect. I would say it is a 50% improvement but it still fails to charge way too often. IMO the software should continue to try wobbling on the base for 1 minute, then drive away and start over looking for the base again. It does no one any good to try for 10 seconds and then give up and sit there waiting for the battery to die.

2) The solder points wear down alot faster than I thought. They are already fairly rounded.

3) I have not seen any problems with it scratching anything as rstark18 asked.

T.J.
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