Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

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Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » November 23rd, 2015, 3:52 pm

I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned already. Is there a source for replacement drive belts for the Botvac's side brush?

The belt inside my unit (which resembles a small rubber band) snapped, most likely due to the brush getting caught and the brass motor spindle heating it up to the point of failure.

I temporarily co-opted a band from my son's rainbow loom kit in a pinch, but would rather have the correct part installed. Neato Robotics was of little help even though the unit is under warranty.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby vic7767 » November 23rd, 2015, 4:39 pm

Presently the only place for internal replacement parts for your Botvac will be from a donor Botvac. There are no 3rd party suppliers for those type of parts.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » November 24th, 2015, 9:53 am

Thanks.
That doesn't make sense in this instance and I'm not too keen on going through Neato's 3-week wait warranty exchange procedure, so I'm going to be trying parts I found from this supplier:http://www.ebay.com/itm/50pcs-Small-Fine-Pulley-Belt-Engine-Drive-Belts-for-DIY-Toys-Modle-Car-Module-US-/361390805110?hash=item5424921076:g:r~kAAOSwKIpV-3x7

I'll let everyone know how I make out when the belts arrive in about a week.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » November 24th, 2015, 3:02 pm

Several dealers specialize in robotic construction parts, motors, gears, belts etc. such as servocity, trossen robotics, robotshop on the web. It may be a standard size belt or O-ring, even plumbing supplies.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » November 30th, 2015, 12:26 pm

Update:
Well the rainbow loom rubber bands lasted 1 week, through 5 complete cycles. No big surprise there!
The order from the supplier mentioned in my previous post came in and in the belt set there was one size that was small enough to try. It is installed and it is working but it is fractionally larger diameter than the original part and slips more and is thinner. So I'm not 100% satisfied this is the best approach..

Looking at the original "belt" much more closely, it does appear to be an O-ring of some sort. I matched it with a AS568-022 (ID=1.0" width=1/16"). I found a number of suppliers and went with a 25mm x 2mm as my next test. I will update once the new part comes in and is installed, and if that works I'll post the source link.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby evuraan » December 5th, 2015, 8:31 pm

Fillimerica wrote:Update:

Looking at the original "belt" much more closely, it does appear to be an O-ring of some sort. I matched it with a AS568-022 (ID=1.0" width=1/16"). I found a number of suppliers and went with a 25mm x 2mm as my next test. I will update once the new part comes in and is installed, and if that works I'll post the source link.


Hello,

Did the AS568-022 O-belt work for you?

turns out my boatvac's side brush has slipped off, so I need to figure this out too! So I have to ask - How to get to replace the belt ? Do you have any suggestions that might make this easy?

Many thanks in advance!
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » December 10th, 2015, 12:02 am

I did receive the replacement and matched it to the original. It looks spot on. However, my previous replacement which was thinner and a little larger is still in the bot so I haven't been so motivated to open it up yet again since it is working. I'm giving it a few more runs so that I can get an accurate condition check.
Especially on carpet the design is for the belt to slip on the brass pulley. Heat and friction wear looks to be a contributing factor on the failure of the stock belt, although I did notice it was chafed and cracked in spots other than the break.

I did plan on posting a pictorial disassembly diagram, but if you want to get in there now I suggest you watch this excellent disassembly video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQg0CTiWReE by member vic7767.
Stop the video at the 6:19 mark and you'll see where the side brush drive motor is located. There are two visible torx screws (same size as the case screws) which need to be removed. Unfortunately, there is a 3rd screw nestled underneath the circuit board. Here is how I got to that one:

You will notice that there are 7 connections to the circuit board in that area for the harness on that side of the bot. The larger connection has a push lock to release and the remaining connectors just carefully pull off. Then what I did is release the circuit board from the two white retention tabs which allowed the board to be lifted partially away. You then have enough clearance to gently get the screw driver in and remove the third screw. Once you have done that the entire motor, belt, pulley assembly simply lifts out for easy belt replacement.

I plan on trying the replacement belt/O-ring this weekend. I'll post an update once I see how that works out.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » December 11th, 2015, 7:48 pm

ServoCity formula for calculating belt size with stretch factor
https://www.servocity.com/html/smooth_belts.html#.VmtdXeKI8Ys
They carry English measure sizes and a metric size may be needed.
It would appear to be easier just to measure an old belt.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby quasar » January 5th, 2016, 5:39 pm

Thanks for this detailed post - I have the same problem with a side brush that no longer spins and the cause seems consistent with a broken belt. It is definitely not due to looseness in the connection to the botvac.

Will give it a try this week-end.

Did the AS568-022 O-belt end up working well? Otherwise, do you have measurements for the belt?


Fillimerica wrote:I did receive the replacement and matched it to the original. It looks spot on. However, my previous replacement which was thinner and a little larger is still in the bot so I haven't been so motivated to open it up yet again since it is working. I'm giving it a few more runs so that I can get an accurate condition check.
Especially on carpet the design is for the belt to slip on the brass pulley. Heat and friction wear looks to be a contributing factor on the failure of the stock belt, although I did notice it was chafed and cracked in spots other than the break.

I did plan on posting a pictorial disassembly diagram, but if you want to get in there now I suggest you watch this excellent disassembly video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQg0CTiWReE by member vic7767.
Stop the video at the 6:19 mark and you'll see where the side brush drive motor is located. There are two visible torx screws (same size as the case screws) which need to be removed. Unfortunately, there is a 3rd screw nestled underneath the circuit board. Here is how I got to that one:

You will notice that there are 7 connections to the circuit board in that area for the harness on that side of the bot. The larger connection has a push lock to release and the remaining connectors just carefully pull off. Then what I did is release the circuit board from the two white retention tabs which allowed the board to be lifted partially away. You then have enough clearance to gently get the screw driver in and remove the third screw. Once you have done that the entire motor, belt, pulley assembly simply lifts out for easy belt replacement.

I plan on trying the replacement belt/O-ring this weekend. I'll post an update once I see how that works out.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » January 6th, 2016, 5:36 pm

I have not tried the replacement o-ring based belt yet. The smallest "belt" from the supplier I linked selling multi-packs is still working in the bot, and the slightly larger size is causing the brush to slip a lot on carpeting but not at all on the floor. I think this is a good thing because it certainly puts less stress on the belt and the side motor.

I'll take the bot apart tonight and try the correct size belt and post the results here.

My best effort at measuring the existing red belt came up to this: I matched it with a AS568-022 (ID=1.0" width=1/16"). I found a number of suppliers and went with a 25mm x 2mm as the closest exact size to the oem belt.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby quasar » January 8th, 2016, 2:34 am

Thanks Filimerica!

I'm in Australia and will need to look for an alternative seller.

I've seen a hobby shop sellinG parts for RC vehicles and the like, hope they will have a matching belt.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » January 8th, 2016, 1:10 pm

Some O-rings for plumbing seals are in hardware stores. Don't know if useful. Assortments on ebay, amazon.
Compressed air and gas lines use O-ring seals.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby quasar » January 10th, 2016, 12:36 am

Hey Glnc222 - yes unfortunately, the plumbing stores I checked here only sell 18mm o-rings at most.

They said that auto, hydraulic, and irriigation stores were more likely to sell such large o-rings.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » January 10th, 2016, 1:35 am

Big assortments of plumbing O-rings on ebay and amazon, maybe too much money. Servocity.com robotics supply has drive O-rings in English sizes. There are some European robotics stores, or RC hobby anyway. 28mm is 1.1 inches so maybe the 1 inch ring would work. U.S. mail overseas is pricey compared to direct supply from Asia, Aliexpress. Look on there and ebay Chinese dealers all over the U.S. ebay, usually from Hong Kong or mainland. I think they subsidize mail over there, for export promotion.
I will have to check in the nearby Ace Hardware because I seem to recall larger O-rings there. 1 inch pipe isn't so big.
Most are for faucets though, definitely smaller. Also Amazon Small Parts division (main website).

[edit] 28 mm 1 1/8 inch listed at ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/O-RINGS-Black-Rubber-Buna-N-25-Sizes-to-Choose-from-7-16-ID-up-to-2-1-2-ID-/380683033872?var=&hash=item58a27a1d10:m:m5l-K7JEMydxXip39EP8nHA

Aliexpress http://www.aliexpress.com/item/50PCS-Silicone-Rubber-Red-VMQ-Outer-Diameter-28mm-thickness-4mm-Seal-Rings-O-Rings/32351095331.html?ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_3,searchweb201644_5_10001_10002_10005_10006_10003_10004_62,searchweb201560_8,searchweb1451318400_6151
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby quasar » January 10th, 2016, 6:18 pm

Thanks mate for all the sizes and sites!

I managed to open my neato and fix it yesterday night.I got an alternative locally, but will get a proper one any way just in case.

Took me a couple of hours because:
1. I didn't have the right tool to access the deeply recessed screws. You need a T10 torx screw driver that can reach a hole 8mm in diameter and 45mm deep. I used a multi-tool torx set that was just long enough, but had to stuff around because the wheels got in the way of rotating it! Will buy one off ebay/DX/AliExpress in case I have to do this again!

2. I tried to be as gentle as possible to avoid breaking things and had trouble removing the bumper cover and some of the motherboard connections.

3. The O-ring I had was too thick - there is very little clearance around the side brush pulley. The whole assembly wouldn't fit back in. I ended up using a smaller o-ring I already had from a $2.50 o-ring set and that could be stretched to fit. Hope it lasts!
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » January 11th, 2016, 12:46 am

Trick with the bumper cover, now in the disassembly video, is to pull one side out slightly to release and then completely forward. Do not pull out on both sides at once.
Took me a while to discover as paranoid with plastic.

Lowest cost very long shank torx drivers, thin shanks needed. Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002T5O5LO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage
Outside of U.S. I think is on Aliexpress for cheaper shipping.
The security bits have holes in the center for a pin, work on regular as well.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » January 12th, 2016, 5:14 pm

Well it took me a while, but I finally sat down to install the new belt.
Happy to report that the replacement I found on ebay works great so far.

I have taken the time to make two videos of my effort, the first one shows the disassembly of the Botvac up to and including the removal of the side brush motor assembly:


This second video shows the belt/o-ring replacement and re-assembly:


When I removed the belt/o-ring I matched the size by using the size chart from this source:
http://catalog.precisionassoc.com/asset/PAI%20Standard%20O-Ring%20Dimensions%20&%20Illustrations.pdf

For those of you looking for a good source, I used this vendor on ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/270800881289?roken=cUgayN&soutkn=pf3oH0
and I purchased a 25mm x2mm ring.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby rodneygt » January 14th, 2016, 1:15 pm

We've a d85. Does the side brush always spin when it vacuums or just under certain circumstances like when running down walls or cabinets? I've noticed that sometimes ours spins and sometimes it doesnt.
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby glnc222 » January 17th, 2016, 3:31 am

I would not expect the drive belt to be made for slipping on the pulley when the side brush is obstructed and the motor stalled. This may be how belt drives are made on some full size vacs (on a narrow shaft instead of a wide pulley) but the battery operated motors are digitally controlled.

The drive wheels get stalled all the time bumping obstacles (an event I think is even used to detect bumps, to the rear for example, where there is no bumper). The main brush is monitored and error conditions reported. When I added a DIY side brush to an XV model, I put in a polyfuse to shut current when the motor stalls, only because there was no digital control -- so it is easy to do one way or another.
Exactly what is on the system board for that motor unknown.
Besides, having the belt slip can damage it from friction heat. I once had a car A/C accessory belt burn up on a frozen compressor, with smoke pouring out (a useful indicator in the event).
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Re: Botvac Side Brush Drive Belt

Postby Fillimerica » January 21st, 2016, 9:45 am

The side brush runs most of the cleaning cycle. From observation it appears to be shut off by the bot when:
1. Vac motors are shut down when returning to base.
2. At certain points when the bot is navigating a tricky obstacle like a chair and needs to make multiple short movements.

From my observations and a few tests it does not appear that the brush motor is de-energized when the side brush is caught in an object. For temporary snags in furniture legs or wall moldings the side brush typically frees itself in due course of the bot moving. For more serious snags the brush is detatched and left behind.
The drive has quite a bit of torque (guess that is so the brush keeps working on carpet) so I haven't been able to test securing the brush with tape or something similar to prove otherwise.
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