Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

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Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby razorseal » March 5th, 2016, 1:56 pm

Hello,

Our neato just started having some issues. It continuously says to open the bin and to turn the switch to on when it's already on. When you do this, it forgets battery charge and starts to recharge the already full battery.

It does this often enough as few hours. (Had the turn switch on warning at 11pm last night, switched it on and let it recharge full battery. Was supposed to do a scheduled run at 3am, and it skipped it and at 5am just now when I woke up for work to check it and realized the same warning was there again.)

It's been doing this for few weeks now and I've had enough of it.

Please help.

I contacted neato tech support via email and I was told I need a new battery (wtf?) I told them it's not a battery issue and they pretty much told me the battery warranty expired (this is after I asked them how it has anything to do with the battery) it's almost they ignored me and sent some generic response.

I wrote them twice after this, and nobody even replied (last message I sent was 2/17)

Does neato have a horrible customer support or is it just bad luck for me?

Not sure what to do.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby vic7767 » March 5th, 2016, 2:27 pm

It helps in generating a good response if we knew what model Neato you are having issues with. In the meantime, disconnect and reconnect your battery / batteries and make sure the wires are making good contact within their respective connectors both male and female.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby razorseal » March 5th, 2016, 4:37 pm

oops! Botvac 75. Purchased 4/15
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby Brett » March 6th, 2016, 9:34 am

From
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18906&p=134002#p134002

Brett wrote:I had a BotVac come in (not a D) with the unit saying "Switch the power switch to "ON" when it already was on {while docked}... Rest of the time it was dead.

The switch is soldered directly to the motherboard, so that was an unlikely source of problems, but I looked into the plug connector of the battery. The connectors/pins are much smaller than the older type but appeared to have "opened up" so not making good contact. The small size makes it really fiddly, but I was able to pinch the "C" shapes a bit using the point of a pin (needlework pin) and since then I have not been able to replicate the problem... (IE: So I think I've solved it - time will tell?)

Sad that another 'problem' in the old design appears to have been transferred to the new design...

|,8'
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby ebretern » March 6th, 2016, 12:16 pm

I have the same problem with my Botvac.

No solution yet. Two times after flickering with on/off switch, New battery option and docking/undocking
I was able to get it to show charging (orange battery icon animation) and when green (full battery) it worked
(vacuumned) for 40 minutes. after that, back to dead.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby Medtech » March 6th, 2016, 4:21 pm

when this message appears, it is time to change the battery, the battery has a high internal resistance and the robot determines the battery charges at intermediate as a fault, the voltage rises too quickly to the rated battery capacity lost and must be replaced. There may be problems in the power switch and battery wiring.
The manufacturer wants you to buy a new battery, support producer :angry-tappingfoot:
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby VoronServer » March 6th, 2016, 5:51 pm

Yes, it look like battery issue. If vacuum was used on the daily basis it might be already out of order (from 4/15 - about year old). Remember, it is NI-MH one. However, my experience says that battery can live longer than one year. But I started to notice degradation in performance with my BotVac 7Oe some time ago. Hopefully, LI-Ion will last 3 times longer.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby glnc222 » March 6th, 2016, 6:29 pm

There are no after-market lithium batteries for Botvac and may not be with the lower 12v system (12v does not divide evenly into voltages of lithium cells, compared to 15v XV models; a range around 12v is involved). The only lithium battery is DIY experimental, still needing long term testing http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19149&start=20
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby ccp » April 20th, 2016, 2:09 pm

I've had my Botvac 75 (Bertie) for 13 months now and I typically run him two or three times per week. A run in this particular case requires a charge part way through to complete the cleaning task. I don't use the schedule timer to start it off - I prefer to start it manually when I know the house is staged ready for Bertie to do his thing and not get caught on anything.

Lately it has started to report the famous "Please open my dirt bin & push switch DOWN to ON" message when I try to start him off. This doesn't happen every time but it is becoming more frequent. I contacted Neato and they advised to reset him by pressing the "house" button for 10-20 seconds, and if that had no effect then to try setting the switch to off when not on the charging dock and then turning him back on again, place on the dock and allowing the charging cycle to complete.

Both of these had no effect; Neato's recommendation is that a new battery is required. I decided to test the battery before going down this road. I used a battery charger / analyser (the sort that will charge battery packs for RC models) to both charge and discharge the battery pack. I measured a capacity of around 3700mAh (discharge rate of 0.5A) on both occasions - perfectly acceptable for a pack of that age that is specified for 3600mAh. More importantly the voltage / time discharge curve looked as I would expect for a NiMh pack.

Another possible cause of this sort of fault is the battery connector, I've inspected this visually and all appears ok, and it feels positive when inserting it. (I personally feel it is a bit lightweight for the battery connector duty, but then I guess space is at a premium in this device)

I've also used the Neato control application to discharge the battery to its cutoff voltage and then fully charge. I did this to re-educate the fuel gauge. The numbers displayed during the discharging and charging phases looked acceptable here too.

So, before I send this robot off to robot shop for repair under their 5 year warranty, what else should I check? Could it still be the battery and I am simply misunderstanding something?

Sorry for the long post but I hope the background helps someone come to Bertie's aid. Thanks

Charlie
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby glnc222 » April 20th, 2016, 3:57 pm

The battery tester used is inadequate as the Neato is a high drain device with a 3amp or more load.
A substantial voltage drop occurs under this load and a worn battery may fall below the minimum Neato' system requires to reliably power it, detected in software.
The voltage may also fall this low only after running some time.
Battery tests can be performed over USB turning on the fan for about a 1 amp load, and observing the discharge curve. A 12v 25 watt lamp bulb can also be used for a higher load, as well as some ten watt resistors from Radio Shack in parallel.
Even if you do not need a new battery, you would at some time and can save the extra battery needed for testing.

A lithium battery for Botvac from the Taiwan company is now being tested at dealers and may be offered soon, likely expensive given double usual capacity. The regular NiMh battery is less expensive than the old two pack XV model batteries.
Unless the battery has been charged close to 200 times it may not be worn.

When storing an extra NiMh battery charging once every six months can prevent deterioration from self-discharge, a shelf-life problem with this chemistry. The more durable Eneloop AA size chemistry is not available in the higher drain cell types used.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby glnc222 » April 21st, 2016, 12:40 am

An indication of battery wear might be getting the error message only when the robot is running on motors.
If off the dock with the LCD lit there is no message, but a message appears when running, there is indication the motor load is not being handled by the battery. Having done it seems at least 140 charges it is possible the battery has premature wear and just poor quality, good for a few months but not the best.
As the battery wears there is often some reduction in run time before error messages appear. If the robot is never run to its full capacity and recharged in mid-cleaning this might not be observed.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby ccp » May 10th, 2016, 8:38 pm

So I've not been able to arrange a controlled high current discharge to test the typical operating capacity of the battery but Bertie seems to operate well with a full charge lasting about 1.5 hours of cleaning before a charge is needed.

What I have found is a workaround to cure the eternal message about pushing the power switch down... When this message appears, which is every time I try to start a house clean manually, I then just press and hold the house clean button until he reboots. Then I release the button and wait for the reboot to complete, press the button a few more times to wake him up and start the clean.

This process has been successful at least 5 times now. Each time I reboot he wakes up showing a full battery fuel gauge and behaves. He's been on the dock each time I've done this.

To my mind this is a software issue - the error happens only when I try to start a clean by pressing the house clean button. I'm going to set a schedule and test whether the same issue happens when a schedule tries to start a clean and will report back.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby Medtech » June 4th, 2016, 2:31 pm

Unfortunately this is not a software error, it is a physical problem that is characterized by a rapid rise of the charging voltage at intermediate charging if the voltage at the intermediate charge rises too fast and beyond a certain value of the robot believes that the batteries just do not have too high internal resistance of the battery. For the most part this is solved by replacing the battery or is in a way described by you, the same way I've already recommended to the Russian forum.
Sometimes the problem is related to the internal switch contacts or connector contacts of batteries, one battery on a single board gave such a mistake, the other board so there was no error, welds the power switch and the battery contacts to correct this problem.
This problem is seen only through several interim charges, after about a day or two after the robot once removed area for testing.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby Txag » August 18th, 2016, 4:58 pm

I was wondering if you've successfully corrected the problem. My Neato botvac is doing the same thing. I am hesitant to purchase a new battery because if I reset it it will run for a while. If it is scheduled to run, it will give the error and I have to reset it, recharge it, and then manually run it.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby Medtech » August 19th, 2016, 2:38 pm

Txag Replacing the battery eliminates this problem, you should choose what is more important, the willingness of the robot 24/7 and save time and money saving and waste their time.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby VIF » September 22nd, 2016, 11:01 am

I also have this bug on my Botvac 80. There are no dead cells on the battery.

I can work around the problem by
1. pull the unit away from the charger.
2. pull the switch up, and then pushing the switch back down.
3. put the unit back on the charger
4. telling the unit that I just replaced the battery. It then goes into a full charge cycle on the fully charged battery, and then it vacuums fine.

If I don't tell the unit that I got a new battery, it just flashes orange continually, never recognizing that the battery is charged and ready to clean.

I am getting tired of this.

Thanks for the insights from everybody, particularly Medtech.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby joker18 » September 23rd, 2016, 3:58 am

Another problem could be that silly button that you might consider is fail proof.
In the case if the Botvac Connected that I bought and fixed the button was faulty.

You can check very easily by disassembling the bot and making contact with a screwdriver between the two inferior pins. If faulty the button can be opened and adjusted without de-soldering.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby jacobig » October 10th, 2016, 11:56 pm

I read in these posts several times that a battery replacement might fix the problem. Has anyone tried that and if so, did this error message stop appearing? :?:
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby rainingducks457 » October 11th, 2016, 11:00 am

I replaced the battery with a new battery from neato and mine still displays the error. It has been showing the error for about 2 months now.
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Re: Neato keeps saying open bin and push button down to on

Postby vic7767 » October 11th, 2016, 12:43 pm

rainingducks457 wrote:It has been showing the error for about 2 months now.
Time to disassemble your Neato and check the dust bin sensor button for good electrical operation using a multi-meter.
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