Wake Neato up from dead mode

News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby glnc222 » March 3rd, 2015, 3:24 am

You may already have done, but comm with the bot is tested by giving text commands through a terminal emulator, e.g. getversion to start, or running NeatoControl Program graphics display (see mods&repairs list main page here).
The USB manual shows the firmware install command used by the web page, so this is how it communicates for flashing.
Rebooting would presumably cut the USB connection and require restarting it, so no telling what they are doing.

If you access the web page through the serial number etc. entry forms, specifying the last installed version to identify compatibility, older systems cannot be updated beyond 3.1 (those with a side jack for direct charging plug).
If comm is working then all else is some deeper problem or the web site. The firmware install requires battery power off the dock, I guess because power mgt routines are shut down in the process of switching programs.

Customer Service has discouraged updating except in the case of hardware problems, error msgs on LCD, which is odd because bad hardware could be hard to update... I suppose they imagine software corruption issues, which seem very rare -- the hardware is a lot more flaky.
It doesn't take more than a couple minutes to flash the firmware; maybe it was done already?
There is not a whole lot new in v3.4 far as I can tell.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Lewiy » March 3rd, 2015, 5:57 am

mmm2000 wrote: The updater tool starts communicating with the robot, reboots the robot and after a total of about 2 minutes I get a communication error and it gives me the option to retry. I'm stuck.

The log of upgrade process can be found in the file NeatoUpgrader.log, which is located in the folder C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\NeatoUpgrader\Logs\NeatoUpgrader.log.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Gordon » March 3rd, 2015, 11:56 am

mmm2000 is attempting use of a Windows 7, 64 bit PC to accomplish Neato's update.

I may be suffering a brain spasm, but I am recalling a member's report saying success did not occur until stepping away from use of the 64-bit OS (and possibly reverting to a Win XP box). I've not been able to think of a fruitful search string to find / confirm my memory. Anyone else recall that post?
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Lewiy » March 3rd, 2015, 12:39 pm

I have successfully updated the firmware on my Neato using Windows 7x64 PC.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Gordon » March 3rd, 2015, 1:26 pm

"Brain spasm" confirmed!
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby glnc222 » March 3rd, 2015, 2:35 pm

A sticky thread atop the main page "Neato Upgrade Fails" here is for updating problems http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=15197 and I will add the log file info thanks to Lewiy. I don't recall any reports of problems with Windows 64 bit, which is supplied in most computers for a few years now with processor advances. Some small netbooks might have 32 bit. The main problem has been some USB support in older AMD/Nvidia chipset drivers in PC's vs Intel, something unique to Neato's USB methods. That shows up testing via terminal emulator.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby nln » March 7th, 2015, 2:04 am

THANK YOU m00 for your advice in the first post. We woke our neato after it died/dimmed after ill-advice to turn it off at the mains to conserve the battery life (this was techie advice for navibot). Sad and guilty as they were new replacement batteries.

Our plain straight mini-to-normal-usb cable didn't work and the laptop did not notice the h/w but the cable has the cylindrical part (whatever it is) along the cable worked. I hope this point helps those in a similiar situation.

A big thank you once again, m00.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby doui14 » March 7th, 2015, 6:43 am

hi, i'm french i have a botvac 85 in dead mode. Does anyone have ever had this problem ? i try unplug battery , connect to usb but not recognize by the computer. i measure battery 7.8V
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby mfortuna » March 7th, 2015, 8:30 am

7.84 V is way too low for a 10 cell battery. You could try charging it on an external hobby grade charger. A hobby store may charge it for little or no cost.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby glnc222 » March 7th, 2015, 2:53 pm

Neato's work on the dock without any battery connected (and with urgent error msgs...where's my battery?). If the battery is merely over-discharged but still viable, the Neato should charge it. Something else caused the battery to get so low (causes vs symptoms). Such things usually give error msgs. The completely "dead mode" involves component failure on the system board preventing the processor running. Perhaps that could lead to a battery discharge over long periods.
First report of "dead mode" on Botac, which has a different system board than XV and lower board voltages. Probably has a similar cpu power supply with an electrolytic capacitor like the XV, maybe not labeled C10.

The battery discharged so far may be damaged.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby mmm2000 » March 7th, 2015, 3:53 pm

C10 replacement update:

Yesterday I tried to set the robot for a clean run, but after I turned it on and watched it for about 1 minute I realized something was wrong. The navigation seemed off, with the robot trying to back up into walls, for no reason. The radar I think works because it was able to navigate somewhat. When it did that left to right spin in the middle of the room, to find its location, like it usually does, it span very fast. It seemed like the robot was on steroids or something. Before the move would take maybe about 2 seconds, now it would take half that time and the robot seemed "crazy" for moving so fast. Anyway, after a few minutes I stopped it and today I will be buying the lower voltage capacitors: 100mf at 25v and 220mf at 25v. Originally I installed the 220mf at 35v.

I am assuming my robot acts like this only because of that higher capacity/voltage on the replacement C10 capacitor.
I think I will go for the standard 100mf at 25v this time. The store is about 10 miles away, so I will be getting the 220mf 25v just in case I want to go with that. I will post an update when I am done. I will also recheck everything and make sure it is plugged in right, which I am pretty sure it was after the C10 replacement.

Anyway, yesterday I was vacuuming with my old school vacuum... :cry: :cry:

Has anybody had this symptom of robot on steroids after the C10 replacement?
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby vic7767 » March 7th, 2015, 5:09 pm

You need to connect the robot to the NeatoControl program and run the Lidar image test to see if the unit is working. The capacitor value pf 220 uF and 35 volts will not cause the symptoms you describe.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby mmm2000 » March 7th, 2015, 6:59 pm

vic7767 wrote:You need to connect the robot to the NeatoControl program and run the Lidar image test to see if the unit is working. The capacitor value pf 220 uF and 35 volts will not cause the symptoms you describe.


I did run the lidar test and I think it works fine. The lidar is spinning first of all and it produces an image and I am moving my foot around and it seems to see it. Is the lidar pattern supposed to look in one way or another?

Also I tested all the sensors and buttons and they all work.

I wonder what I could have done to cause this behavior...
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Lewiy » March 8th, 2015, 5:52 am

mmm2000 wrote:I wonder what I could have done to cause this behavior...

Try GetLifeStatLog. Lay out the response here in text file.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby mmm2000 » March 8th, 2015, 6:50 pm

Lewiy wrote:
mmm2000 wrote:I wonder what I could have done to cause this behavior...

Try GetLifeStatLog. Lay out the response here in text file.


I found out what the problem was and fixed it !

The front and side sensors were getting stuck for some reason. I think the way I reassembled the front cover, where the 4 sensors are, might have caused it to get stuck. So when the robot hit an obstacle either in front or on the side, the sensor (on/off switch) under the front cover would get stuck in the ON position and it would stay like that even after the robot backed up from the obstacle. When that happened the robot would keep on trying to back up, thinking that it keeps on hitting an obstacle in the front.

When I was testing the 4 sensors with the robot on my table I noticed how they would sometimes get stuck, because you can hear the click (ON position) but not the other click (for OFF position). The front cover was very hard to move.

So I removed the 10 or so screws from the front cover and moved it a bit and I think it snapped into place. I tested the front cover and the sensors a bunch of times on my table and it seemed to be working fine. Then I set the robot free to a bedroom and bathroom cleaning job and it worked flawlessly!

So I learned to carefully assemble the robot and check all the sensors/switches to make sure they don't get stuck and they work smooth. I hope my experience will help others with similar issues.

Thanks all for the feedback.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Jinster » March 10th, 2015, 7:56 pm

Hi guys.

My Neato suffered the same dim green light of death immediately after I attempted to upgrade the firmware to 3.4. Prior to this, I had had to wake it up with the USB method a number of times, so I am guessing my C10 is culpable. (sounds like the symptoms you had, mmm2000)

I have been to two local electronic component stores and neither stock an electrolytic 220uF 35V. I have found and bought (just to save myself multiple trips for a couple of dollars worth of components) the following:
1. 220uF 35V Low ESR - the ESR is ridiculously low on this one, and according to the data sheet, not suitable for our regulator
2. 220uF 25V
3. 220uF 50V

So it's between the 25V and 50V. My electric component knowledge is a bit rusty, but I am guessing that since the chip won't see anywhere near 25V, the 25V capacitor is probably adequate for the task?
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby vic7767 » March 10th, 2015, 8:32 pm

Jinster wrote:the 25V capacitor is probably adequate for the task?
The capacitor you're replacing was rated at 25 vdc so yes you should be fine.
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Jinster » March 12th, 2015, 6:08 am

220uF 25V went in. And.... it's alive!!!! Huge props to whoever discovered this fix first. That's some proper electronics detective work!
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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby Brett » March 12th, 2015, 10:46 am

Yes - I did my first C10 swap today on a customers machine and all appears well. Before it would sometimes wake up, but would not finish even one charge worth of cleaning. After doing the swap it woke right up, charged up and I sent it off on a mission. It covered 3/4 of the house and went back to charge. I had to go out so I cut some tiny strips of white paper on to the floor in a couple of places that it had not yet been. Just got home and presto - the paper is magically all in the Neato bin.

You guys are indeed LEAD-wait-for-it-GINNED!

I will return the machine to the customer tomorrow and call her to check up in a few weeks.

FTR: I used 100uF - 35V for C10. Bought a whole bag of them.

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Re: Wake Neato up from dead mode

Postby pbastian » March 20th, 2015, 5:25 pm

Did the C10 cap replacement with a 220 microfarad, 25 V capacitor a number of weeks ago. Neato XV-21 woke up immediately, charged, behaved. Its been doing house cleanings for a few weeks now. Sits in the dock most of the time, but when I want it to clean, it cleans. Interestingly, once, it got stuck in a room and was "dead" when I walked up to it. BUT, pushed the big red button on it, and it woke up! Very different. Like others on this thread, the C10 cap replacement did for this robot what no other method would (power cycle, battery drain, USB cable hookup, etc). I'd rate this a success. All you need to do is brush up on your soldering skills.
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