Firmware 3.4

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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 13th, 2014, 1:04 am

I do have an area large enough that two cleaning sessions are needed to finish. Using some new LI-ion packs 4400 mAH I get 90 minute run times on rev113 (3.1) and 80 minute run times on rev 64 (3.2) but only 70 minutes on rev64 (3.4).
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 13th, 2014, 1:26 am

Lithium batteries are adapted to the NiMh charger in the Neato in a complex way which could be affected by changes in Neato's algorithms for charging and power management (discussed in the lithium battery thread). Power management changes were one of the changes mentioned in the description of V3.4. A discharge capacity test of the lithium batteries as charged full by Neato might reveal some slight difference in the charge reached. The lithium batteries also have a different discharge voltage curve which could affect how Neato calculates its reserve to return to base. Voltage measurements when returned to base under the two software versions might show a difference. Also just repeating the tests with the regular NiMh batteries would reveal whether the charger adaptation is the source of difference, and would seem the easiest test to make.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 13th, 2014, 1:42 am

I should add the "fuel level" over USB GetCharger command might show a difference with the batteries charged in the different software versions. Easier than an external discharge test.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 13th, 2014, 2:22 am

vic7767 wrote:80 minute run times on rev 64 (3.2) but only 70 minutes on rev64 (3.4).

Quote from Neato site:
Software Version 3.4 has improved the battery management software that optimizes run time, while at the same time making sure your robot gets back to its charge base when it needs to recharge.

Maybe they have increased the share of reserve charge to ensure a return to base. And consequently reduced quota of charge for cleaning. 'Optimization run time' does not mean increasing run time. Your results are obtained at the same Neato (rev.64)? Or two different robots, one is 3.2, and another 3.4?
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 13th, 2014, 2:41 am

Very likely given a very old problem of failing to complete return to base, which I think some users reported was improved with the v3.4. It was very glaring in having the unit stop only a foot away from the base. Given a 30 per cent unused buffer in the battery against deep-discharge, I do not know why they cannot be a little more sophisticated than just increasing the reserve, but that has never been their style.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 13th, 2014, 3:17 am

glnc222 wrote:Given a 30 per cent unused buffer in the battery against deep-discharge

At first sihgt, it's a good idea to drain the battery when cleaning - not to 13 volts as Neato does, but below - to 12.5 or even to 12 volts (dispose an unused buffer, if I understand you correctly). New batteries will survive such a discharge. But the weak cells in old batteries will fall significantly below 0.9 volts. And then it is not a good idea.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 13th, 2014, 4:49 am

I do not have the reference, but something I read said deep discharge wears out the battery faster, reduces cycle life. Hybrid cars with NiMh batteries do not discharge below 30 per cent according to the manual. Seems to be a standard.
Lithium cells could be different. Those 4400mah lithium mentioned may get charged only 50-60 per cent on the NIMh charger, to the switch over between constant current and constant voltage charging for lithium (Neato only does the CC, and a full CC-CV charger cannot be derived from that without very high heat dissipation not practical inside the Neato). Neato seems to use about 2ah running, leaving only a 200-300mah buffer, maybe enough. Exact specs for that system not yet known, maybe the battery is larger. Deep discharging used to be a practice with NiCd cells, for their memory issue, not applicable to the other types.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 13th, 2014, 10:45 am

Lewiy wrote:Your results are obtained at the same Neato (rev.64)? Or two different robots, one is 3.2, and another 3.4?


Test results are from the same Neato. Four test runs while using 3.2 and four tests using 3.4. The one really good result from these test runs is that the Neato has never failed to successfully dock.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby brianleith » November 14th, 2014, 11:42 am

the tag on the bottom of my XV is unreadable and they tell me i need the serial number to do any updates i had it registered before thye seem intent on not allowing a update does anyone have the update files you could share. i can get part of the serial number on the lcd but not the whole one so they say sorry
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 14th, 2014, 12:13 pm

the tag on the bottom of my XV is unreadable

If your Neato has the jack on the vacuum for connection of the power brick without the dock, it cannot be updated beyond v3.1 (for incompatible hardware). The LCD menu shows what is installed. For updating without the factory website see above post http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=127302#p127302. Installing v3.4 in old systems with this method might not function, like installing the wrong OS in a PC. It might even be impossible to fix it, if the firmware installed over-writes the functions needed to do the update, needed to go back to another version.
[edit] The files above actually will not work on old systems anyway, made for the newer systems. Updating old systems from say, 2.1, to v3.1 the last, still requires the website and the serial number.
The files above were probably obtained by logging the USB traffic with the bot when updating, using common servicing tools for IT technicians. There is a firmware loading command in the Neato USB programming manual.
Last edited by glnc222 on November 14th, 2014, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 14th, 2014, 12:38 pm

The main circuit board Revision can be found using the Menu display. If you have a Rev 113 board then you cannot upgrade to the 3.4 firmware release. Only the Rev 64 board supports the latest firmware 3.4 release.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 14th, 2014, 3:31 pm

OK, just used the tools linked by Lewiy in an attempt to flash my 3.4 Neato back to 3.0. The Neato did flash back but did not load the 3.0 firmware file but instead reverted back to the 3.2 firmware which is what this Neato came with.

I then attempted a second flash back to 3.0 from 3.2 firmware but the Neato will not load the 3.0 firmware file and remains on 3.2. Also get a nice little message on the LCD that "There is a later firmware version available for my Neato".

I'm going to stay on 3.2 for a bit and do further LI-ion pack run time tests and see if there are any differences.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby hal9000 » November 15th, 2014, 3:13 pm

"There is a later firmware version available for my Neato"

This means that the flashed version failed to load and the robot reverted to the fallback, factory-installed version.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby mfortuna » November 15th, 2014, 9:00 pm

I think that is what was reported. Read the previous post by vic7767.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby hal9000 » November 16th, 2014, 3:02 am

Sorry. My point was that he probably never really (successfully) flashed 3.0, and that he corrupted the default boot image on the robot so that now it is only booting the fallback factory image.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby vic7767 » November 16th, 2014, 10:43 am

I suspect that the XV-25 that was used for the flashing tests could not be flashed back to 3.0 because it started as a 3.2 Neato and never had the 3.0 image. It did flash from 3.2 to 3.4.

Has anyone else tried using the flashing procedure on their Neato ?
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Lewiy » November 17th, 2014, 4:18 am

hal9000 wrote:...that he corrupted the default boot image on the robot so that now it is only booting the fallback factory image.

If it happened, it is not as bad as may seem. To make sure that the image is corrupted, will be enough to restart Neato. By default, the CPU (LPC3143), when restarted, first tries to load the image from NAND (NAND128W3A2BN6). If he can not (for example, image is damaged), then it switches to DFU-mode. It looks as if Neato is dead: the LED shines dim green and no reactions to any buttons. In fact, it is waiting for USB-stisk with properly image. We have no the stick.
But 'yes' - always retained the ability to reboot with the fallback factory image (by simultaneously pressing the Start button and Back; or click in the front left corner of the bumper towards the center of the robot instead of the Back button for rev.64). And then it becomes possible flashing NAND again. Online or offline.
DFU driver http://www.lpcware.com/lpcxpresso/downloads/windows
Datasheet LPC3143 http://www.nxp.com/documents/data_sheet/LPC3141_43.pdf
Datasheet NAND128W3A2BN6 http://datasheet.elcodis.com/pdf/9/95/99528/nand128w3a2bn6e.pdf)
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby PythonNF » November 18th, 2014, 12:43 pm

PythonNF wrote:Recently upgraded my Neato XV-14 firmware to 3.4 & have noticed significant improvement in run times and 100% docking. It just finished my downstairs which has berber carpet in 55 minutes without re-charging. Something it never did even when the batteries were new.


I've since done 2 full runs upstairs and both times got 75 minutes of run time before recharging. This is more than I've ever gotten even when brand new. My observation is that the vacuum is shut off more frequently, especially after cleaning under chairs and then navigating it's way back out.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby glnc222 » November 23rd, 2014, 10:29 pm

Signs of power mgt changes: on Botvac at least, when the system was Shut Down by menu a few hours, when restarted on the dock it did not initiate a charging cycle, as I think the XV used to do. Might be in v3.4. It still inititiates charging on a disconnect.
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Re: Firmware 3.4

Postby Yemanja » November 24th, 2014, 7:18 am

I upgradet to 3.4 (XV 25) and have longer run times now, but some strange side effects.
After a few days I got error 002, connect batteries, they are connected properly.
Today I had switch my button to on in the dirt bin, but there is no button in the dirt bin.
Anybody an idea what is happening. Today also the time was reset.
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