Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

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Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » March 11th, 2018, 3:16 pm

Recently got the error "My fan is stuck, please press ok to reset".

I used the diag program to turn on the side brush and main brush but the vacuum does not turn on. When I issue the command to turn on the vacuum at 5000 rpm, the GetMotors command shows 0 mA to the Vacuum. Not sure if its a fan problem or a power problem. Any ideas how to figure this out? Or where to find a new vacuum motor?
Last edited by justinh20 on March 12th, 2018, 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby Medtech » March 12th, 2018, 5:28 pm

connect the fan directly to the power supply or battery, red +, black -, 8-16V. current up to 3A. here and check, the fan is easy to find on Ebay
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » March 12th, 2018, 5:38 pm

Thanks for the reply. I reworded my original post as it might have been a bit unclear to some readers (and why I didn't get much response).

What's the best way to connect directly to the battery? Just jumper it and hold the wires there and see if it comes on?
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » April 7th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Finally replaced the fan and still doesn't work. Now what should I look at?
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 8:51 pm

On the XV anyway, the fan has internal feedback control of RPM. There is a PWM (pulse width modulation for speed control) input and a tachometer output, but the cpu does not have to regulate, just supply a signal to select RPM. Over USB, setting Test Mode on (for motor control commands), turns on the 15v motor power line, but the fan doesn't run until an RPM signal is sent with the SetMotor VacuumOn [Off] command. I never played with the fan in the Botvac and just assume it is similar, though I did notice it seems much more efficient than the XV fan, compensating for the wider intake etc. Also the ammeter on the system board reporting fan current gave a very tiny wrong reading on the Botvac fan, maybe wired into just the control circuit, and you have to read the total system current increase to see the actual fan load (in the USB reports). Fan load varies with the clogging state of the filter, going to near zero on a fully blocked intake, as no work needed to maintain rpm (constant rpm working opposite some regular vacuum cleaners). The default speed setting for the vacuum fan is 90 per cent (command parameter settable if wanted), and a much higher load occurs at 100, not suitable for the battery capacity (studied on the XV, thread "electronic filter monitoring").

The tachometer output allows the cpu to detect failure of the fan to turn generating the blocked fan error msg.

It is possible the per cent parameter is the actual PWM duty cycle but I never checked. Supplying a constant voltage from a battery would be 100 and maybe run the fan at top speed, higher than the normal cleaning speed -- just verify the fan is good... I never did that experiment. Data sheets for the fan model may identify the signal wiring, or you can tell by which one varies with changes in the speed setting over USB.
Last edited by glnc222 on April 7th, 2018, 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » April 7th, 2018, 8:58 pm

So you're saying maybe the tach isn't working? How can I check that?
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 9:03 pm

A multimeter can have frequency and duty cycle scales for measuring PWM control and similar signals. That is what seemed to show the smart internal control as the tach line did not vary with changes in the filter state. Try searching for the data sheet with the model number label on the motor. It might be posted somewhere here but I forget where (there were two different botvac fans noticed, with photos).
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 9:05 pm

The red wire is power, black ground, and the two colored wires are the PWM input and the tach output, but I don't know which offhand.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 9:10 pm

Given a new fan motor, the cable and connector for the signals could be suspect -- measure at both ends. Worst case is defects in system board components for those data lines.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » April 7th, 2018, 9:11 pm

I replaced the entire fan, wire and connector so I don't think that's it. It has to be external to the fan. What should I check on the board?
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 9:30 pm

Engineers have not worked much on Botvac boards except to identify the Maxim battery mgt IC used. Beyond my pay grade.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 7th, 2018, 9:35 pm

A first question to answer with a meter is whether the cpu is sending an RPM control signal to the motor. The cpu might be working but something driving that signal failed. The problem is one of tracing signals through the system board trying to identify components (which engineers know better, having used such things before).
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » April 9th, 2018, 12:55 pm

Hm, not sure where to get starting with that one. Any help? Or should I look at getting a used board on eBay?
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby mfortuna » April 9th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Some vacuum motors are designed to run at a certain RPM with no PWM signal. Check if the motor has voltage on both the power and PWM inputs. The PWM input is usually a waveform and should be measurable using the AC setting on a voltmeter.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby justinh20 » April 9th, 2018, 1:48 pm

OK, i'll try that when I get home later this week. Regardless of the root cause, is there really any repair other than replacing the board? If it's CPU, will have to replace the board.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby glnc222 » April 9th, 2018, 4:37 pm

Some skilled and equipped technicians and engineers do component level repair on boards, but they are designed to be entirely replaced as cheaper than labor costs. You probably need a new board, but it helps to identify the board failure to be sure.
The PWM signal from the system can be identified with the frequency and duty cycle scales on a multimeter -- relative to the black ground wire -- by observing effects of different per cent speed parameters in the USB SetMotor VacuumOn command. Of course, if the motor isn't turning the tach signal won't show anything. I think the tach line will show only a frequency, produced by a spinning magnetic disk on a pickup, while the PWM may show varied duty cycles with different speed settings.

The easy way to test a board is swap in another or use another robot, what a repair shop would do. To repair these things it helps to have more than one.
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Re: Botvac D85 - vacuum motor not working

Postby Medtech » April 21st, 2018, 3:18 pm

Have you tried to connect your old and new fan directly to the battery? red to red, black to black?
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