Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge - SOLVED!

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Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge - SOLVED!

Postby Shanew » July 26th, 2017, 10:23 am

Hi Everyone,

I have trawled through a number of threads for an answer to this, and have yet to find the solution (that's not to say someone has already posted one!). Although there are lots of very similar issues, I've not yet come across my exact one. Here goes....

I have an interesting problem with my Neato XV Signature Pro. In short, the robot always says that the battery is too low to clean. It will not charge, and after being docked for some time it asks to restart, with error code 8006 displayed.

I have tried charging from another (working) base, and the same error message popped up. I have replaced the batteries and also replaced the whole board but the problem still exists. The 'interesting' bit is that when I use Neato Control software to 'SetFuelGauge 100' the robot will run a cleaning cycle - several cycles, in fact. It will run until the batteries are depleted and I then place it back on the base unit to be charged. After a few hours, 8006 pops up and apparently the batteries are too low to start another charge BUT if I then set the fuel gauge to 100 again, I can run another cleaning cycle.

So, it seems that the batteries are actually taking a charge but somehow the Neato wont read the true value from the batteries. It always seems to think that the batteries are too low to run a cycle. I have connected with Neato Control while the unit is docked and appearing to charge, but according to the sensor log ChargingActive is 0 and so is ChargingEnabled. ExtPwrPresent is , and VextV is 24.

Any help would be massively appreciated!

Thanks
Last edited by Shanew on August 17th, 2017, 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » July 26th, 2017, 12:57 pm

Readings of battery voltage, charging current, temperature, and Fuel Gauge at intervals during the charging process are needed -- what is it doing?. The run time -- capacity of the batteries -- is needed.
When the error occurs, the battery voltage and temperature is needed -- is it reading the battery? One wonders about condition of the battery connector on the robot side (since batteries changed), or to the system board -- since replaced. There have been some defects in the battery cut off switch.

There is a data logging feature in Neato Control but am not sure how to use it. There is a timer parameter for repeated readings, filing etc. Get it working on something first then apply to monitoring charging.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » July 26th, 2017, 2:31 pm

Thanks for replying. I'll investigate further and post up results as I get them. For now, here's a snapshot:


____ Discrete: ____=
SNSR_DC_JACK_CONNECT=False
SNSR_DUSTBIN_IS_IN=True
SNSR_LEFT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
SNSR_RIGHT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
LSIDEBIT=False
LFRONTBIT=False
RSIDEBIT=False
RFRONTBIT=False
____ Analog: ____=
WallSensorInMM=66
BatteryVoltageInmV=16133
LeftDropInMM=60
RightDropInMM=60
LeftMagSensor=-1
RightMagSensor=-3
UIButtonInmV=3341
VacuumCurrentInmA=0
ChargeVoltInmV=23899
BatteryTemp0InC=32
BatteryTemp1InC=30
CurrentInmA=306
SideBrushCurrentInmA=0
VoltageReferenceInmV=1225
AccelXInmG=0
AccelYInmG=20
AccelZInmG=1012
____ Buttons: ____=
BTN_SOFT_KEY=False
BTN_SCROLL_UP=False
BTN_START=False
BTN_BACK=False
BTN_SCROLL_DOWN=False
____ Charger: ____=
FuelPercent=24
BatteryOverTemp=0
ChargingActive=0
ChargingEnabled=0
ConfidentOnFuel=0
OnReservedFuel=0
EmptyFuel=0
BatteryFailure=0
ExtPwrPresent=1
ThermistorPresent[0]=1
ThermistorPresent[1]=1
BattTempCAvg[0]=32
BattTempCAvg[1]=30
VBattV=16.08
VExtV=23.94
Charger_mAH=0


This was taken while the unit is 'docked' at it's charging base.

Batteries are 7.2V 3500mAh NiMH. Power Brick is 24V 2.0A
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » July 26th, 2017, 3:44 pm

16v is for a nearly full battery -- whatever the actual capacity, which can only be tested by loading and run time.
Charging voltage NiMh peaks around 18.5v charging, falling to 16.5v or so resting, and then falls near 14.4v at end of runs -- with 30 per cent charge buffer retained against deep discharge. There is a "discharge curve". The system can monitor both voltage and charge usage by integrating current x time. It reduces run time as battery wear is detected, reset with the LCD option "New Battery". To get the charger to start in the Orange indicator light, it must be discharged close to 15v, otherwise blinking Green. You can discharge batteries running the fan only over USB, about 1 amp load on a clean filter, compared 3 amps cleaning with drive wheel and brush loads.
After the indicator goes solid green, there can still be a timed low current topping off phase of the convoluted NiMh charging, compared to simpler lithium. Temperature rise terminates the main phase of NiMh charging.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby robocleaner » July 27th, 2017, 4:02 am

Shanew wrote:The 'interesting' bit is that when I use Neato Control software to 'SetFuelGauge 100' the robot will run a cleaning cycle - several cycles, in fact. It will run until the batteries are depleted and I then place it back on the base unit to be charged.

As I understand it, you're supposed to run ONE cleaning cycle, and then the bot returns to the dock to recharge/trickle until a new cleaning cycle is started. You're not supposed to run several cleaning cycles until the batteries are totally screwed before then recharging.

That's an important point, since the "fuel gauge" is only an approximate calculation of the power used and thus how much it thinks is remaining. The true amount of battery power remaining after several successive cleaning cycles without intermediate charging could be far worse than the bot has calculated... to the point that the batteries could deplete well beyond any form of recovery.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » July 27th, 2017, 8:13 am

Thanks guys.

I have tried charging after discharging the batteries, although I did not test to see what the voltage was. I discharged them by running a few cleaning cycles on thick carpet until the bot gave up. This was done without the base unit, so once it finished a cycle it returns to the start position. I'll discharge to below 15V tonight using the fan only and try that.

By the way, the robot never gets to the green light stage - it is always orange (unless I set fuel gauge to 100), and the "my battery is low - please charge me" message is displayed even when I set the fuel gauge to 100)

I can charge the robot for a few hours but once I go to run a cleaning cycle from the base, it says that its battery is too low to clean. If I then force the fuel gauge to 100, it will start a cycle and return to the base when finished (or starting position, depending on whether or not the base is present). When it goes back to the base it will, after a few hours, present the 8006 error and get rebooted. Once restarted, it states that the battery is too low.

In other words, no matter how charged the batteries are, the bot will always think that the batteries are too low when started up. Could it be that the system doesn't know how much 'fuel' was used and therefore can't work out the fuel gauge level and maybe defaults to a number?

@robocleaner - Thanks. I won't be doing several cycles anymore! I can't do an intermediate charge because once the robot goes back to base, it game over. The 8006 error code is due to a charge taking too long, so the problem is that when the bot goes back to base it charges until it thinks it is charged, but never recognises that it is fully charged, and keeps going until eventually it times out and pops up the error code and asks to be rebooted.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby vic7767 » July 27th, 2017, 10:14 am

Since you've replaced the packs and replaced the circuit board, attention to the components that have not been replaced are now suspect. The most common failure area to investigate is wiring and connectors as well as home base and power supply,under load.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » July 27th, 2017, 1:57 pm

Thanks Vic7767. I previously tried to rule out the power supply by charging it from different supply. It was one from a botvac and I believe the supplies are backwards compatible. The 8006 error came up again indicating it was taking too long to charge. I've measured 24V from the charger but haven't done a load test yet.

I now suspect the pins in the battery connector on the bot and will take a closer look later tonight....
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » July 27th, 2017, 11:08 pm

When experimenting with DIY batteries some features of the Neato charging procedure were observed. The indicator light switches from orange to green -- blinking -- when about 1ah of charge has been delivered to the battery (enough for cleaning one room only, in the manual). In the orange light state, a high temperature reading normally terminating charging, produces only a pause to cool the battery. When the battery is charged when already mostly full according to the voltage reading, the charging starts in the green light state. In the green light, temperature rise terminates the main charging phase. A low current timed topping-off phase then follows even with the light solid green.

Charging begins in the orange light state when the voltage is below around 15v. A full battery can read as high as 16.8v, except when charging, up to 18.5v (for NiMh batteries).

That the battery never leaves the orange indicator state suggests a low charging voltage and little current sent to the battery. The charging current and voltage can be observed over USB with the Neato Control program, during the charging process. The voltage gradually rises while charging with constant current 2 amps, with possible momentary interruptions -- which allow reading the actual battery voltage. Charging terminates when temperature rises faster than 1C per minute (by the high voltage side pack thermistor).

Temperature reading: thermistor resistance and voltage detected falls with rising temperature. Therefore a bad thermistor connection reads very cold. The software requires a minimum temperature to operate and issues a "cold battery" error message in freezing conditions. Similarly very high temps around 60C report over-heating, fire hazard, shuts down. An unstable thermistor connection could confuse the charging software, unknown. The thermistor is 10K ohms at 25C (complete table in thread "lithium ion revisited"), read in series with 21K ohms on the 5v logic supply.

To check the connector press on the robot side male pins to see they do not depress. The most common failure is widening the hollow pins on the battery side, which can be pinched in with needle nose pliers to tighten. Molex .062" diameter series used (smaller than ones in hardware stores, for household and auto wiring).
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » July 29th, 2017, 6:10 am

Thanks again. I haven't had a chance to properly examine the battery pins and connector but here are few results taken at various stages:

Before Charging

____ Discrete: ____=
SNSR_DC_JACK_CONNECT=False
SNSR_DUSTBIN_IS_IN=True
SNSR_LEFT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
SNSR_RIGHT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
LSIDEBIT=False
LFRONTBIT=False
RSIDEBIT=False
RFRONTBIT=False
____ Analog: ____=
WallSensorInMM=66
BatteryVoltageInmV=16348
LeftDropInMM=60
RightDropInMM=60
LeftMagSensor=0
RightMagSensor=-1
UIButtonInmV=3338
VacuumCurrentInmA=0
ChargeVoltInmV=23992
BatteryTemp0InC=33
BatteryTemp1InC=32
CurrentInmA=325
SideBrushCurrentInmA=0
VoltageReferenceInmV=1224
AccelXInmG=8
AccelYInmG=32
AccelZInmG=992
____ Buttons: ____=
BTN_SOFT_KEY=False
BTN_SCROLL_UP=False
BTN_START=False
BTN_BACK=False
BTN_SCROLL_DOWN=False
____ Charger: ____=
FuelPercent=9
BatteryOverTemp=0
ChargingActive=0
ChargingEnabled=0
ConfidentOnFuel=0
OnReservedFuel=1
EmptyFuel=0
BatteryFailure=0
ExtPwrPresent=1
ThermistorPresent[0]=1
ThermistorPresent[1]=1
BattTempCAvg[0]=33
BattTempCAvg[1]=32
VBattV=16.37
VExtV=23.90
Charger_mAH=0


After 2 hours of charging

____ Discrete: ____=
SNSR_DC_JACK_CONNECT=False
SNSR_DUSTBIN_IS_IN=True
SNSR_LEFT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
SNSR_RIGHT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
LSIDEBIT=False
LFRONTBIT=False
RSIDEBIT=False
RFRONTBIT=False
____ Analog: ____=
WallSensorInMM=67
BatteryVoltageInmV=16294
LeftDropInMM=60
RightDropInMM=60
LeftMagSensor=0
RightMagSensor=0
UIButtonInmV=3334
VacuumCurrentInmA=0
ChargeVoltInmV=288
BatteryTemp0InC=43
BatteryTemp1InC=42
CurrentInmA=508
SideBrushCurrentInmA=0
VoltageReferenceInmV=1225
AccelXInmG=0
AccelYInmG=16
AccelZInmG=1004
____ Buttons: ____=
BTN_SOFT_KEY=False
BTN_SCROLL_UP=False
BTN_START=False
BTN_BACK=False
BTN_SCROLL_DOWN=False
____ Charger: ____=
FuelPercent=13
BatteryOverTemp=0
ChargingActive=0
ChargingEnabled=0
ConfidentOnFuel=0
OnReservedFuel=1
EmptyFuel=0
BatteryFailure=0
ExtPwrPresent=0
ThermistorPresent[0]=1
ThermistorPresent[1]=1
BattTempCAvg[0]=44
BattTempCAvg[1]=42
VBattV=16.29
VExtV=0.29
Charger_mAH=0


Taken while the bot is displaying the 8006

____ Discrete: ____=
SNSR_DC_JACK_CONNECT=False
SNSR_DUSTBIN_IS_IN=True
SNSR_LEFT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
SNSR_RIGHT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
LSIDEBIT=False
LFRONTBIT=False
RSIDEBIT=False
RFRONTBIT=False
____ Analog: ____=
WallSensorInMM=67
BatteryVoltageInmV=16160
LeftDropInMM=60
RightDropInMM=60
LeftMagSensor=0
RightMagSensor=0
UIButtonInmV=3329
VacuumCurrentInmA=0
ChargeVoltInmV=23852
BatteryTemp0InC=27
BatteryTemp1InC=25
CurrentInmA=318
SideBrushCurrentInmA=0
VoltageReferenceInmV=1224
AccelXInmG=8
AccelYInmG=24
AccelZInmG=1004
____ Buttons: ____=
BTN_SOFT_KEY=False
BTN_SCROLL_UP=False
BTN_START=False
BTN_BACK=False
BTN_SCROLL_DOWN=False
____ Charger: ____=
FuelPercent=0
BatteryOverTemp=0
ChargingActive=0
ChargingEnabled=0
ConfidentOnFuel=0
OnReservedFuel=1
EmptyFuel=0
BatteryFailure=1
ExtPwrPresent=1
ThermistorPresent[0]=1
ThermistorPresent[1]=1
BattTempCAvg[0]=27
BattTempCAvg[1]=25
VBattV=16.16
VExtV=23.86
Charger_mAH=0



Then taken right after the restart

____ Discrete: ____=
SNSR_DC_JACK_CONNECT=False
SNSR_DUSTBIN_IS_IN=True
SNSR_LEFT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
SNSR_RIGHT_WHEEL_EXTENDED=False
LSIDEBIT=False
LFRONTBIT=False
RSIDEBIT=False
RFRONTBIT=False
____ Analog: ____=
WallSensorInMM=67
BatteryVoltageInmV=15999
LeftDropInMM=60
RightDropInMM=60
LeftMagSensor=0
RightMagSensor=-1
UIButtonInmV=3336
VacuumCurrentInmA=0
ChargeVoltInmV=444
BatteryTemp0InC=27
BatteryTemp1InC=25
CurrentInmA=518
SideBrushCurrentInmA=0
VoltageReferenceInmV=1225
AccelXInmG=4
AccelYInmG=16
AccelZInmG=988
____ Buttons: ____=
BTN_SOFT_KEY=False
BTN_SCROLL_UP=False
BTN_START=False
BTN_BACK=False
BTN_SCROLL_DOWN=False
____ Charger: ____=
FuelPercent=19
BatteryOverTemp=0
ChargingActive=0
ChargingEnabled=0
ConfidentOnFuel=0
OnReservedFuel=0
EmptyFuel=0
BatteryFailure=0
ExtPwrPresent=0
ThermistorPresent[0]=1
ThermistorPresent[1]=1
BattTempCAvg[0]=27
BattTempCAvg[1]=25
VBattV=15.99
VExtV=0.44
Charger_mAH=0
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » July 29th, 2017, 12:49 pm

Bit of a mystery. Battery voltage indicates a nearly full battery before charging. Temperature high (under 25C room temp -- a tropical location? No room A/C?).
Charging should have begun with green indicator blinking and terminating within a few minutes.
The temperature after charging 44C is very high for this as though over charged (when full the NIMh battery dissipates charging current as heat -- the charger should terminate before then).
Charging at room temp in the 20'sC can terminate under 30C.
System current looks high; only about 100ma on a resting system for the cpu alone.
The .5 amp current shown suggests a possible short circuit somewhere like a blown component, maybe the infamous diode D14 in the charging circuit. I don't know all the related measurements.
Charging current shows zero so the low current charging phase half amp does not seem in progress.
What error 8006 means is not published.

With DIY lithium batteries using synthetic temp control, it has sometimes been necessary to start charging with the battery mostly discharged to get a proper transition from orange light to green -- so the system measures a good charge delivery. Batteries can be warm after the load of running just before charging.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » August 1st, 2017, 11:33 am

Thanks. I had a good look at the battery pins and they look fine, to me. Big news though - earlier today I discovered that my test to rule out the base charger was flawed. Badly flawed! I used a base unit from a Botvac to try charge my XV signature. I believed that they would be compatible but according to Neato, they most certainly are not. I misunderstood that 'newer' bases are compatible with 'older' bases. This means newer and older XV models - not Botvac and XV :oops:

So, I accessed the circuit board on my base unit and visible signs of damage can be seen. I'm having difficulty uploading the image though - I get "The image file you tried to attach is invalid". Is there a restriction on the file size, or file type? Or is it just that uploads are restricted?

Thanks
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » August 1st, 2017, 12:12 pm

Never mind - I managed to upload now :D I think my file was just too large. I've changed the picture size and lost some resolution but it should suffice.

board.jpg


You can see from the picture Diode D3 is damaged. My electronics knowledge is limited to say the least, so can someone please help to interpret the writing on the diode (A34 VNE46)? I've googled the part number to try find somewhere that might sell one but no joy. I'm hoping the A34 VNE46 translates to a value, or something that I can use to get a replacement?

Or do you think the board is too damaged to be reused at all?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » August 1st, 2017, 12:51 pm

The Botvac has an 18v dock for 12v batteries, XV 24v dock for 15v batteries. The charger steps down the voltage to charge, so the Botvac might not go high enough for full charge (18.5v at maximum when charging XV). Both charge at constant 2amps, raising voltage as needed.
I do not know about diode D3. Diode D14 is discussed in other threads, often replaced (locked in charging mode). There have been XV dock failures. There are two XV docks, old ones labeled 2.4 amps, newer ones less. The system was redesigned so the old docks do not charge new robots (the system for detecting the bot changed, eliminating a hot resistor across the old charging contacts). New docks charge old bots.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby mfortuna » August 1st, 2017, 4:28 pm

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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby glnc222 » August 1st, 2017, 11:28 pm

FYI the dock is not a simple power supply. A power management circuit is inside. It may not turn on full power unless connected to the bot, for safety. Part of the voltage step-down circuit for charging may also have been moved from inside the bot into the new dock circuits (complete schematic not available). These are buck voltage converters (switching power supplies), regulated for constant current (2 amps) when charging with gradually rising voltage as charge accumulates. For NiMh the charging stops on rising temperature, with LiOn on a maximum voltage reached (unpublished USB command SetConfig BatteryType <X> configures Vorwerk vs Neato model XV's, but only on newer Rev64 Binky system boards).
The older Rev113 Cruz system board XV's (with side jacks for charging besides dock connection) had a half watt small resistor around 300 ohms across the charging contacts in the back which would load the dock when connected to trigger operation. Some better system was created for newer models.
The Neato charger is fussy in that it will try to detect defective batteries before charging, possibly a safety issue, but which can be a catch-22, if lack of charge is the problem. External chargers like those from batteryspace.com are not so fussy. There is a red indicator light phase seldom seen for deeply discharged batteries charging, until going to normal orange.
XV docks had separate power supply bricks like a lot of electronics, but the Botvac integrates their own brick power supply with the rest in the case, presumably more economical.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » August 2nd, 2017, 8:26 am

Thank you both.

Glnc222, thank you for confirming the Botvac dock would never have worked. This is what led me to the circuit board on my dock. The picture I posted shows the damage to this board and the Diode D3. This is now my prime suspect :)

For info, my charger is the 220VAC, 24V 2.0A version. I also note you talked about a resistor across the charging contacts? My bot is the XV Signature Pro, with a Rev64 Binky system board and I still have this resistor. See picture attached.

charging contacts.jpg


Mfortuna, Thank you very much for pointing me in the direction of the correct diode. Do you happen to know how I can determine what voltage and current rating I need?

Thanks!
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby mfortuna » August 2nd, 2017, 11:47 am

I think they are pretty much all the same: 3A, 40V.
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby Shanew » August 2nd, 2017, 12:10 pm

:cheers: 8-)

I'll order the part and replace as soon as it arrives. I'm hoping the track on the board is still in working condition. Otherwise I guess I could use a small wire to make the connection.

I'll post back once this moves forward

Thanks all
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Re: Neato XV Low Battery Despite Taking a Charge

Postby mfortuna » August 2nd, 2017, 2:28 pm

That is a wide trace. You probably want to use thick wire if the trace is blown.

Also, when a part blows it could mean something else went bad. You may want to order a couple diodes.
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