GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 2nd, 2016, 5:36 am

Hi All, while restoring an old XV-11 I discovered the removal of Neato's clumsy upgrade process and while there is a new manual method, it's no good for the older rev113 "Cruz" XV's and it's prolly got a high risk of bricking if you stuff it up.

So based on a couple of clues glnc222 left lying around, I figured out a better way.

Part 1 - Getting the Software
* Download the NeatoControl.exe program
* Download and install the Neato Update Software glnc222 has found the links for (you need the drivers)
* Download and install the Vorwerk VR100 Update Software

Part 2 - Updating Your XV Bot
* Run the NeatoControl.exe software, press "Connect"
* On the "Commands" Tab, enter and run the command "SetConfig ModelID VR100"
* Back on the main tab, select "disconnect", then "connect" - your model should show as a VR100 now.
* Before you exit NeatoControl, use the "disconnect" button to put your Neato back into normal mode.
* Run the Vorwerk VR100 update software, just accept all the defaults and let it do it's thing automatically.
* Once you have updated your Bot, use the NeatoControl.exe program (as described above) to send the command "SetConfig ModelID XV11" and you have a Neato VX11 (or 14/15/21 etc) again.
* Before you exit NeatoControl, use the "disconnect" button to put your Neato back into normal mode.


Enjoy, this will work for all XV Series using the rev 113 "Cruz" board and will give the latest Firmware available for your revision (mine was v3.2 for rev113).

Warning I've had several reports of this method NOT working on newer Rev64 "Binky" boards - please proceed with caution.

:cheers:
Last edited by djos on January 27th, 2016, 5:05 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby robocleaner » January 2nd, 2016, 8:55 am

What happens when you impose a Lithium charging algorithm (VR100) onto a standard NiMh cell (XV) battery pack - assuming that algorithm programming is an integral part of Vorwerks normal VR100 firmware? Or is that control - together with cell balancing - done by a control circuit in the VR100's own battery pack(s) as it is with add-on 3rd-party Neato Lithium packs?
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby aliby » January 2nd, 2016, 12:45 pm

djos, thank you very much for this. As I mentioned in the 3.4 Firmware thread (viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18064&start=100#p134925), I agree you have found a much easier method for updating the Rev 113/Cruz boards than the one I discovered/ended up using.

Long story short, In my case I pulled the firmware ZIP files of Vorwerk's website and happened to find the password for the ZIP files on Twitter. Then I used the same method for offline firmware flashing that heXor originally posted to his Bitbucket with the .enc firmware files provided by Vorwerk.

In case anyone's interested, I posted the necessary files for Rev 113/Cruz to my Github, as well as the details on how I came about this process here: https://github.com/NoahJaehnert/Neato-X ... 113-Update.

Using these, I now have a fully functioning Neato XV-21 with the following firmware versions:

SW 3.2.18755
LDS V2.6.15295
Board Rev 113

Again, I suggest following djos' method above rather than my own, as it is much easier. But, I wanted to provide my details for reference, especially in case Vorwerk randomly decides to change/modify/remove their update process as well.

Finally, as always, use the information I've provided at your own risk. I take no responsibility if these cause any damage to your Neato if you so choose to use them!
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby glnc222 » January 2nd, 2016, 2:44 pm

When Neato Robotics supplied online updates the last update for rev113 Cruz system boards was v3.1. Supposedly v3.2 and later incompatible with older cpu. So be careful of damaging older systems with wrong firmware.
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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 2nd, 2016, 5:24 pm

robocleaner wrote:What happens when you impose a Lithium charging algorithm (VR100) onto a standard NiMh cell (XV) battery pack - assuming that algorithm programming is an integral part of Vorwerks normal VR100 firmware? Or is that control - together with cell balancing - done by a control circuit in the VR100's own battery pack(s) as it is with add-on 3rd-party Neato Lithium packs?


The battery setting doesn't get overwritten using the guide above. None of the config settings do, including brush speed.
Last edited by djos on January 2nd, 2016, 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 2nd, 2016, 5:27 pm

glnc222 wrote:When Neato Robotics supplied online updates the last update for rev113 Cruz system boards was v3.1. Supposedly v3.2 and later incompatible with older cpu. So be careful of damaging older systems with wrong firmware.


Clearly Vorwerk created a 3.2 update for the rev 113 boards or it wouldn't have worked. I used the automatic update option and didn't force 3.2.
Current Robot's:
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iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby shirgal » January 2nd, 2016, 6:32 pm

djos ,appreciate your work here..."out of the box" thinking!
I have few Cruz to test with this upgrade, i have both lithium and nimh battery to test,
will try it very soon.
Thank you !
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby glnc222 » January 2nd, 2016, 7:56 pm

robocleaner wrote:
What happens when you impose a Lithium charging algorithm (VR100) onto a standard NiMh cell (XV) battery pack - assuming that algorithm programming is an integral part of Vorwerks normal VR100 firmware? Or is that control - together with cell balancing - done by a control circuit in the VR100's own battery pack(s) as it is with add-on 3rd-party Neato Lithium packs?

covered in "lithium battery revisited" but the key is Vorwerk does not execute the 2nd, constant voltage phase of lithium charging, and therefore performs an NiMh constant current procedure which just terminates at the maximum voltage for lithium, much lower than for NiMh leaving only a partial fill. NiMh terminates around 18.5v vs 16.8v for lithium. A lot of current is passed as heat near the end of NiMh charging while lithium does not get hot.
Don't know Vorwerk pack construction, try Roboter-Forum Germany. No Vorwerk's in the U.S.

Aftermarket lithium's simulate NiMh through thermistor lines for the Neato NiMh procedure. The charging procedure can be switched with a SetConfig command to make your own using the lithium procedure in Vorwerk. See other thread.
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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 2nd, 2016, 8:41 pm

shirgal wrote:djos ,appreciate your work here..."out of the box" thinking!
I have few Cruz to test with this upgrade, i have both lithium and nimh battery to test,
will try it very soon.
Thank you !


No worries, glnc222 prolly deserves most of the credit as his previous findings are what caused me to realise it was possible, then I mainly just joined the dots together and documented it.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby piokrza » January 5th, 2016, 12:50 pm

djos wrote:The battery setting doesn't get overwritten using the guide above. None of the config settings do, including brush speed.


is the brush speed different in certain fw versions/models of XV series?
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby glnc222 » January 5th, 2016, 2:01 pm

All Neato Robotics XV brush speeds 1200 RPM. Original Botvac same (I measured it). I saw something Vorwerk VR100 was faster, 1450. There must be a SetConfig command for the brush speed, I do not know. Lewiy had all that info.
There is no default speed in the test mode SetMotor USB command. In testing you must say SetMotor RPM 1200 Brush after SetMotor BrushEnable, to run the brush motor. Differences between the Neato and Vorwerk configurations are created by SetConfig commands included in the firmware updating communication. There is also a global SetConfig for the two types as a whole. [edit] wrong -- just sets the label displayed for the model.
SetConfig BrushSpeed <rpm> for the main brush speed.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 16th, 2016, 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby Lewiy » January 6th, 2016, 2:40 am

piokrza wrote:is the brush speed different in certain fw versions/models of XV series?

The configuration of the unit (including the brush speed) is determined by the SetConfig command after firmware update. About the brush speed - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17911&p=134251&hilit=setconfig#p134251. More information about SetConfig - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16982&p=130347&hilit=setconfig#p130347.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby djos » January 11th, 2016, 6:52 am

Btw, I just successfully updated a 2nd Rev113 Cruz Board based XV11 to 3.2 using the VR100 process at the top of this thread. :)
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby humanoid » January 16th, 2016, 4:19 am

glnc222 wrote:covered in "lithium battery revisited" but the key is Vorwerk does not execute the 2nd, constant voltage phase of lithium charging, and therefore performs an NiMh constant current procedure which just terminates at the maximum voltage for lithium, much lower than for NiMh leaving only a partial fill. NiMh terminates around 18.5v vs 16.8v for lithium. A lot of current is passed as heat near the end of NiMh charging while lithium does not get hot.

The question is when you set the Model ID back to XV, will it use the XV NiMh settings and not run the lithium procedure?
When switching between XV and VR models, do all the settings change? (like brush speed and battery parameters).
If so it means that it has a few profiles stored that you can switch between. Possibly added by the software engineers for testing.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby JEfromCanada » January 16th, 2016, 6:27 am

djos had stated earlier in http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19005&p=135307#p134931 that none of the settings get overwritten by using this procedure. I think this whole idea of temporarily switching the Model ID is analagous to changing the AGENT settings in a browser to "fool" a computer into thinking you're using a "different" browser in a case where a particular browser would not be supported.
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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby djos » January 16th, 2016, 7:13 am

JEfromCanada wrote:djos had stated earlier in http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19005&p=135307#p134931 that none of the settings get overwritten by using this procedure. I think this whole idea of temporarily switching the Model ID is analagous to changing the AGENT settings in a browser to "fool" a computer into thinking you're using a "different" browser in a case where a particular browser would not be supported.


Exactly, it doesn't change anything other than the model it reports to be.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80 w/ Li-NMC Battery , 2x XV11 w/ Li-NMC Battery
iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby humanoid » January 16th, 2016, 4:33 pm

djos wrote:
JEfromCanada wrote:djos had stated earlier in http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19005&p=135307#p134931 that none of the settings get overwritten by using this procedure. I think this whole idea of temporarily switching the Model ID is analagous to changing the AGENT settings in a browser to "fool" a computer into thinking you're using a "different" browser in a case where a particular browser would not be supported.


Exactly, it doesn't change anything other than the model it reports to be.

That's interesting, since VR does need different settings. Like Glen said the battery parameters of NiMh and Lithium are very different, especially charging Lithium to a higher voltage can cause it to catch fire. It can probably mean one of two things:
  • The settings are in a file that is not affected by the firmware (one settings file)
  • The profiles are settings files that you alternate, so switching models switches configuration files. (multiple files)
I wonder how VR is using a higher brush speed and you don't see it after flashing the VR firmware. Maybe its there before the switch back to XV model ID.
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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 16th, 2016, 4:35 pm

You can see all the config settings before and after the update and they are not changed by the FW update, clearly the config file is not part of the update.

Changing the model ID has no bearing on any config parameters, it's just a label, it's not a "config profile".
Current Robot's:
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iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

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Re: GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Update

Postby humanoid » January 16th, 2016, 6:31 pm

djos wrote:You can see all the config settings before and after the update and they are not changed by the FW update, clearly the config file is not part of the update.

Changing the model ID has no bearing on any config parameters, it's just a label, it's not a "config profile".

Thanks for clarifying. Now I am more comfortable trying it.
I really want the corner cleaver, so I guess I go for 3.1
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GUIDE: How to update Neato XV Series using Vorwek Updater

Postby djos » January 16th, 2016, 6:34 pm

You might as well go to v3.2 imo, it's the newest for rev 113 boards and on both mine it's been prefect.
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iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

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