neato xv-21 serial port wifi

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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » October 28th, 2014, 1:13 pm

So step one is to find a bootloader that will then allow the user to load OpenWrt. A lot of verification of available memory and rework of TMP memory is necessary first or the HAME A15 device becomes a doorstop.

Oh, and OpenWrt itself cannot be loaded but a shorter version must be used.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby Pavel.Kab » November 10th, 2014, 1:37 pm

So far I've seen only two significantly different versions of vendor software on HAME MPR-A1 and similar/clone boards.
The first version had crippled bootloader with weird checksumming but allowed full telnet access. It also featured an "mtd" utility (obviously stolen from OpenWrt) that allowed to reflash the bootloader easily. The version to use is the one Jiapeng Li puts on his Github, no mods necessary.
The other version had an uncrippled bootloader (so there's no need to reflash it) but exposed only a limited custom shell over the telnet. With that version the easiest way to install OpenWrt is to tftp it to the bootloader (it goes to tftp mode automatically upon a button press, but of course it's easier to do it monitoring its serial output).
In neither case did I notice any potential issues with the OpenWrt image size, it can be as big as needed. If you know of any particular issues, please add the relevant information to the OpenWrt wikipage for HAME MPR-A1.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby glnc222 » November 27th, 2014, 9:57 pm

Another Small Router

Another small router with OpenWrt firmware which I understand converts the standard device side USB port to a Host port, though haven't used myself.

http://www.tp-link.us/products/details/?model=TL-WR702N#spec

http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr703n#serial.console

That firmware change to convert the port is the key to all these routers using the Neato USB connector instead of a serial header on oldest system boards Rev113 "Cruze". They are made to add WiFi to a laptop operating as Host.

This router says 100ma power load (at 5v -- with a buck voltage converter would be only 1/3 that on the battery).
I wonder about any load attached to the battery when charging, how that would affect the charging algorithm, confusing recognition of battery charge state. An alternative power source is a cell phone battery for the router.
Neato does periodic topping off charging of the NiMh battery when docked. The system may be powered off the charger when docked, but no power will be applied to the battery. It gets complicated.

Some analysis of the charging circuit on the system board is shown in thread http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17617&p=126901&hilit=diode+D14#p126901
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby ThisGuyDave » January 3rd, 2015, 1:47 am

I have the
Neato XV-21
Hame A15
TP-link TL-WR703n -> Heads up the 702N looks identical but is different and isn't supported by dd-wrt or openwrt.

Using ... http://www.neatorobotics.com/resources/programmersmanual_20140305.pdf

The HAME A15 (userid - hame password - hame) works easy enough. The Neato shows up as /dev/ttyACMO

telnet into the HAME A15 via the Ethernet cable.
plug the Neato into the hame.
The hame runs busybox and no dmesg so run the command logread and it shows the Neato attaching on /dev/ttyACM0

run
echo "PlaySound 0" > /dev/ttyACM0 - plays the sound.

echo "GetVersion" > /dev/ttyACM0 | cat /dev/ttyACM0

gives..

GetVersion
Component,Major,Minor,Build
ModelID,-1,XV21,
ConfigID,2,,
Serial Number,WTD46512DD,0095191,P
Software,3,4,24079
BatteryType,1,NIMH_12CELL,
BlowerType,1,BLOWER_ORIG,
BrushSpeed,1200,,
BrushMotorType,1,BRUSH_MOTOR_ORIG,
SideBrushType,1,SIDE_BRUSH_NONE,
WheelPodType,1,WHEEL_POD_ORIG,
DropSensorType,1,DROP_SENSOR_ORIG,
MagSensorType,1,MAG_SENSOR_ORIG,
WallSensorType,1,WALL_SENSOR_ORIG,
Locale,1,LOCALE_USA,
LDS Software,V2.6.15295,0000000000,
LDS Serial,WTD46312AA-0200425,,
LDS CPU,F2802x/c001,,
MainBoard Vendor ID,543,,
MainBoard Serial Number,95191,,
BootLoader Software,17347,P,p
MainBoard Software,23179,1,
MainBoard Boot,16219,
MainBoard Version,4,0,
ChassisRev,2,,
UIPanelRev,1,,

trying
echo "Clean Spot" > /dev/ttyACM0

The Neato doesn't start the clean... just get the message on the LCD
"Please unplug my USB Cable when you want me to clean."

Is there anyway to over ride the USB cable connected safe guard, so I can mess with the NEATO with out breaking the NEATO open ? initially just have it sit on top of the NEATO etc.

Managed to get both DD-wrt and openwrt on to the TP-Link 703N.
Using the Openwrt build from .. http://www.madox.net/blog/projects/tp-link-tl-wr703n/
Could SSH into the 703N and this build comes with the graphical luci interface so it's easy enough configure via the network.

dmesg works with openwrt on the 703N
and
echo "PlaySound 0" > /dev/ttyACM0 - plays the sound.

But can't get any feed back with
echo "GetVersion" > /dev/ttyACM0 | cat /dev/ttyACM0

Tried to get Minicom onto the 703N, but as yet no success, not enough room on the HAME A15.

Any tips on how to get minicom on or if there is any other easy ways to communicate with the NEATO to use the feed back commands etc.

Thanks.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby glnc222 » January 3rd, 2015, 3:41 am

The Neato firmware assumes the bot cannot clean when restrained by a cable, so it cannot be monitored while cleaning except with separate telemetry instruments. It cannot distinguish an externally attached wireless link from a cable -- needs to be built-in. Something saved for future models.

[edit] USB monitoring while cleaning possible after a momentary disconnect for "unplug" msg; see later post below http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=128343#p128343

The test mode SetMotor commands can be used to move the bot with the USB active. The commands are lowest level so you must supply all control algorithms for whatever motion is wanted.

See Neato Control Program link in the top of page mods list for handy access via USB with a gui instead of text commands.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 5th, 2015, 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » January 3rd, 2015, 3:51 pm

I've found another way to telnet into the Neato USB port. There is a small LI-ion powered unit that provides its own AP Network name that can be connected to the USB port then either a Telnet session or a virtual comm port can be used to access the Neato. The small unit is called "Air Console" and has a built in TCP/IP to Comm port using four digit port numbers after the IP address. Port 3696 is the Com port, port 2167 is the Raw serial port, and the Web socket port is 8080.

As others have mentioned there is still a need to electrically defeat the hardware USB connect detection.

Also the Virtual com port access to the Neato using the NeatoController GUI does not work for some reason. Possibly Hex can tell what is going on.
Attachments
IMG_0088.JPG
Air Console device connected via USB cable to Neato
IMG_0089.JPG
Air Console access to the Neato via USB TCP/IP Putty terminal using Linux Ubuntu
IMG_0090.JPG
Air Console access to the Neato via USB / IP Tera Term Windows 8.1
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby ThisGuyDave » January 3rd, 2015, 6:04 pm

looks very interesting and cool....

but a little spendy..


http://www.get-console.com/shop/en/16-airconsole
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » January 3rd, 2015, 6:21 pm

No more expensive than some WiFi boards or even some Bluetooth units. ex. Roomba robot - Rootooth.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby ThisGuyDave » January 3rd, 2015, 6:34 pm

vic7767 wrote:No more expensive than some WiFi boards or even some Bluetooth units. ex. Roomba robot - Rootooth.


True.. plus if if works... its dead cheap... still banging on the TP-Link 703N.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » January 3rd, 2015, 7:29 pm

ThisGuyDave wrote:still banging on the TP-Link 703N
I'm still watching your progress since I also have a couple of the HAME A15s that I would like to get going.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby ThisGuyDave » January 3rd, 2015, 8:44 pm

vic7767 wrote:
ThisGuyDave wrote:still banging on the TP-Link 703N
I'm still watching your progress since I also have a couple of the HAME A15s that I would like to get going.


The Hame seems pretty good straight out of the box. able to telnet to it and run commands directly.
What is your goal with the HAME ?

So to get past the USB plug issue you have to solder directly to the board ? Has anyone been successful with this regarding the XV-21 ?
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » January 3rd, 2015, 9:13 pm

ThisGuyDave wrote:What is your goal with the HAME ?
Basically to do wireless communication with the Neato and Roomba. The difficulty appears to be telnet conversion to USB Master (Neato/Botvac) as well as UART TTL (Roomba).

ThisGuyDave wrote:So to get past the USB plug issue you have to solder directly to the board ? Has anyone been successful with this regarding the XV-21 ?
I have not seen a posted solution to this issue. It appears that a tear-down will be necessary to be able to solder the USB leads as well as somehow hiding the interface hardware.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby glnc222 » January 3rd, 2015, 11:24 pm

So to get past the USB plug issue you have to solder directly to the board ? Has anyone been successful with this regarding the XV-21 ?

I do not think this is fixable with any hardware connection as a feature built into software: communication operation in software is suspended in cleaning mode, whatever hardware connection is made.
[edit] the test below was performed later post; you can use USB while cleaning http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=128343#p128343
It is fairly easy to test: unplug a USB cable at the PC end instead of the bot, and plug it back in after it starts cleaning (no need to wait past start of motion). See if there is any com after cleaning begins.
Unless there is some way a device can detect a USB plug to a bare cable? Some resistor inside the connector?
It will become clear testing it.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 4th, 2015, 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby Loshki » January 4th, 2015, 7:48 pm

Mention of these things remind me that I made some progress on hacking up a wr703n mini-router to talk to
my Neato. I have started a new thread in the Hacking section "Using a wr703n for wifi connectivity" to make it easier to find for posterity. Warning: it isn't (ever) finished...

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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby glnc222 » January 4th, 2015, 9:12 pm

Loshki's report in Hacking http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18262
includes the test I mentioned for the "disconnect USB cable to clean" issue above; apparently the USB can be used while cleaning. It needs a momentary interruption in response to the unplug message.
the unit would complain about the
USB cable being connected. If I pulled the USB plug out, then plugged
it back in straight away, the XV would start cleaning and continue
issuing and responding to telemetry!


[edit] It was posted that Botvac does not require the unplug in the first place.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 14th, 2015, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby Pavel.Kab » January 14th, 2015, 5:05 am

I did already managed to compleate a "user-ready" device with that HameA15. (Look 2 or 3 pages earlier in this thread.)
So "Unplug USB" problem a bit overrated. :)
Here is the link to my wiki again: http://xv11hacking.wikispaces.com/Neato+XV+series+WiFi+remote+control.

However recently i have encountered a new problem - it seems that neato never shuts down completely and the router gets the opportunity to discharge batteries very deep. So i ended up with dead batteries.

Now i looking towards LiPo batteries.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby glnc222 » January 14th, 2015, 1:59 pm

WiFi hubs will use a substantial amount of power relative to Neato's loads and capacities. Some users mention using a separate cell phone battery, charged separately, for WiFi interfaces. I wonder if BlueTooth might be more efficient. A Bluetooth connection to a PC could be mapped in the PC to the WiFi network.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby vic7767 » January 14th, 2015, 3:48 pm

Pavel.Kab wrote:it seems that neato never shuts down completely and the router gets the opportunity to discharge batteries very deep. So i ended up with dead batteries.
Might be overcome using the home base when the Neato is not running a cleaning session.. Also consider installing a small on/off switch.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby Pavel.Kab » January 15th, 2015, 5:20 am

vic7767 wrote:
Pavel.Kab wrote:it seems that neato never shuts down completely and the router gets the opportunity to discharge batteries very deep. So i ended up with dead batteries.
Might be overcome using the home base when the Neato is not running a cleaning session.. Also consider installing a small on/off switch.


The problem is more deep... As i can see many users of stock Neato's are also suffer from deep discharge. It's all about Neato it self!

So only 2 options: protect batteries from deep discharge by self made controller or some kind of relay scheme, or exchange them by LiPo with safe circuit.

The WiFi only makes the problem more obvious! So no need of additional batteries.
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Re: neato xv-21 serial port wifi

Postby mrduffey » February 4th, 2017, 5:04 pm

Hi, just wanted to let others know of another option, the Onion Omega2 which has built in wifi. I have it connected to one of my XVs. The USB host power is still an issue, but this device is very very small.

The first thing I'm going to try to do is see if the 3.3V gpio pins are enough to wake up the usb connection on the XV ... I'm assuming other have tried this, but not with the Omega2.

If not, I seem to recall someone finding the serial (not USB?) RX TX pins on the XV which maybe we could then bypass the USB host powering issue altogether.
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