Battery improved - Max discharge

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Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby neat99 » August 3rd, 2013, 1:39 pm

The poor mans way. Accidentally left Neato for several days undocked. Battery fully discharged. Re-docked for 10 hours and it seems to run longer. Is this a fluke?
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 3rd, 2013, 3:37 pm

This is a normal result from NiMH batteries. It's well know that to keep the batteries in a better performing state the packs should be run down to 1 volt per cell every 6 to 8 weeks then perform a full charge.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby BradI » August 7th, 2013, 11:29 am

vic7767 wrote:This is a normal result from NiMH batteries. It's well know that to keep the batteries in a better performing state the packs should be run down to 1 volt per cell every 6 to 8 weeks then perform a full charge.


Can you please recommend a way to run the batteries down? How would I test each cell without unpacking the batteries? Thanks
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 7th, 2013, 12:46 pm

I use a 25 watt 12 vdc lamp (presents a 2 amp load) that can be purchased from any RV retailer or even on my website. You will need some alligator clip leads, some insulated wire to connect the two packs together in series as well as the positive and negative test points to extend to the voltmeter and dc lamp.

You will not be able to access each individual 4/3 cell in the Neato packs but the average calculation is to present the 2 amp load to the battery pair while monitoring the voltmeter and disconnect the load when the voltmeter indicates 12 vdc. If you are lucky at 12 vdc all individual cells (12) will be at 1 vdc. Not all cells in these packs will be at exactly 1 volt each but may be very close to that.

If wanting to perform a load test on the battery pair, a 3 amp load should be presented to the battery pair while monitoring the voltage and shutoff at about 13.5 vdc. This seems to be where Neato would just stop working.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 7th, 2013, 7:26 pm

There is an alternative method that will only require you to set up your USB to mini USB cable between the Neato and your PC then fire up your favorite Comm package like Tera Term or Realterm and send some commands to your Neato to turn on some motors and check the battery level from time to time.

use the API commands.

Testmode On

Setmotor Vacuumon

Getanalog

This will turn on the vacuum for a relatively high load on the battery. You can turn on the brush too if you want. Then the getanalog will show the battery voltage. You repeat the getanalog until the voltage reaches 1v per cell (12v) and then stop the discharge. The advantage is you don't need any external hardware other than the terminal setup with the robot.

After this level of discharge the Neato will shut off due to low battery voltage level. It will need to be pushed against the base to start up and charge the battery so it can stay on.

Of course I'm shooting myself in the foot with this info since you won't need to purchase any of the goodies off my website, lol.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby BradI » August 8th, 2013, 8:31 am

Of course I'm shooting myself in the foot with this info since you won't need to purchase any of the goodies off my website, lol.


Thank you for the help. And contrary to your worry, I didn't realize you had a site. Now I do. And I am a fiercely loyal customer. So I'll be stopping there every time I need some robot goodies. :D
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby johnnyh » August 8th, 2013, 8:39 am

This sounds like its begging for an app. As a matter of fact, if I have some spare time I think I'll write it. Pretty easy way to condition your batteries.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby jorgeli » August 8th, 2013, 1:31 pm

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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 8th, 2013, 1:51 pm

This is the one I use for charging all my Roomba 4XX, 4XXX, 5XX, 6XX, 7XX, and All Neato packs.

http://www.onlybatteries.com/showitem.a ... 2&uid=1041
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby neat99 » August 8th, 2013, 4:21 pm

How about just running Neato until it stops. Don't dock it. Just let it drain itself to full discharge for a day. Then dock and charge it up. It simulates reconditioning the "lazy" way :).
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 8th, 2013, 4:55 pm

neat99 wrote:How about just running Neato until it stops. Don't dock it. Just let it drain itself to full discharge for a day. Then dock and charge it up. It simulates reconditioning the "lazy" way :).


You could certainly do that but you run the chance of cells discharging below 1 volt per cell which could then result in a cell reversal condition during a recharge cycle which is not a good idea.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby glnc222 » August 8th, 2013, 5:21 pm

I don't think Neato will clean when the battery is down to 30 per cent of capacity, not a full discharge (from measurements made); it monitors the battery. Running the fan over USB as in a post above may be able to more fully discharge, and there it was reported Neato has over-discharge prevention. The load (and the noise) can be increased around 50 per cent by setting full 100 fan speed instead of 90 default. Should take 2-3 hours. I just used a relay circuit happening to have the parts already ("battery Run Times" http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=15765). Cheaper unless you have some other use for a smart charger, and a 12v power supply for it adding to cost.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby BradI » August 9th, 2013, 5:21 pm

What's weird about my batteries is when the neato dies, I pull out the batteries and test with a multimeter. They are always 7.9 to 8.0 volts each.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 9th, 2013, 6:12 pm

What needs to be tested is the amount of load that the packs will support not the unloaded battery voltage.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby BradI » August 10th, 2013, 3:23 pm

vic7767 wrote:What needs to be tested is the amount of load that the packs will support not the unloaded battery voltage.


Ahh, ok. Well, here's the result of my discharge/recharge. I ran the batteries using the terminal API commands. It ran about 15 seconds before shutting off. I couldn't even grab the voltage before it shut off.

So I plugged it into the dock. Set it to new battery. It charged for maybe 30 minutes and went solid green. So I ran it. On a carpeted room, it ran for 18 mins before going home to recharge.

Thoughts?
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » August 10th, 2013, 3:34 pm

BradI wrote:Thoughts?


Of the 12 cells that make up the twin pack pair within your Neato, one or more are defective and can no longer store a charge thus indicating a full charge even though that cell or cells are actually empty.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby BradI » August 11th, 2013, 9:57 am

Thanks Vic. I surrender. I'll buy a new battery.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby chris-s » October 1st, 2014, 5:27 pm

Hi all !

I've received my Botvac yesterday, and I notice that the runtime is shorter than my old XV-15 wich runs a chinese 3800mAh batteries for 18 months. These batteries last same time as when they were new.
After cleaning my house, I can launch another cycle.
But, with the Botvac, after cleaning the same surface, I can't run another cycle.

So, I would like to improve Botvac battery by running full charge/discharge cycles.

I've got an IMAX B6 from here :
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... UINE_.html

How should I configure the charger ?
1/ How many Amps for charging ?
2/ How many Amps for discharging ?
3/ Low voltage level value for discharging ? (is it still 1V per cell, so would be 10V ?)

Thanks for you help !
Last edited by chris-s on October 2nd, 2014, 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby vic7767 » October 1st, 2014, 5:38 pm

You may not have to do anything to the Botvac battery but run it through several normal charge/discharge cleaning cycles. Maximum battery is not reached until after 4 to 5 cleaning runs.

If you do plan to use that external unit, normal discharge current on the Botvac will be about 2.5 amps. Be kind to your Botvac battery and don't use more than .5 amps to charge the pack.
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Re: Battery improved - Max discharge

Postby chris-s » October 1st, 2014, 5:43 pm

Thanks Vic for fast reply.
But I'm not confident with the charging base of the Botvac.

=> My Botvac was on its base for 6 hours, means it was fully charged.
But after removing the battery and pluggin into my IMAX-B6, I was able to charge at 500mA for 20 mins, and charge is not finished. Battery is all cold, so confirm that it is not fully charged.

So, I will be more confident by doing 4 or 5 full charge discharge by myself.
Also because the Botvac don't allow to fully discharge the battery...

What do you think about this ?
Last edited by chris-s on October 1st, 2014, 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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