Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

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Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby Markrose » April 9th, 2018, 4:16 pm

Hi guys, quick question about spare parts availability.

Do any of you know where I'd be able to order a new front left side bumper switch? It's on the side where the wall sensor is. The switch I have is dead and won't register any obstacles. I don't even know what kind of switch I need, so I might have to partially disassemble it so I can find out what I need to order. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to help.

P.S. A new post after almost four years! It's been a while...
My 'bots: Roomba 620, Neato Robotics Botvac 80.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby vic7767 » April 9th, 2018, 4:27 pm

Sent you an email with some info.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby benpieter » November 16th, 2018, 5:05 am

hi Vic, or any other person with knowledge on the matter. I have a question regarding the micro switches. My botvac 80 had 2 malfunctioning switches (the older type) and the 2 other switches were not consistently performing (determined with neato control). So i replaced the micro switches with B3F-5051 type switches. they are all working, however after sliding back the plastic bumper, the bumper is not pushed back. I think I brought the whole thing back together in proper order, but the bumper is a bit rough, it doesn't seem loose (I'm Dutch, trying to find the right words). Considering your experience, I was wondering whether you could advice on whether the switch is too soft or that I likely have done some wrong constructing the Neato back together?
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby vic7767 » November 16th, 2018, 10:30 am

Not sure of what this may be. Consider double checking the re-assembly of the front bumper.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby HiTec » November 16th, 2018, 7:13 pm

So if you press the bumper, the switch engages, but doesnt pop back?

If so, thats a problem with the plastic tabs/spring preload. Switches internal metal plate cant overcome the opposite force of the robots plastic tab/spring/bumper assembly. You can carefully bend the plastic tabs, or shorten the springs a little.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby glnc222 » November 16th, 2018, 10:02 pm

This is an old subject but there are lots of different factors, even changes in design. The Mods & Repairs List top of forum has these thread references from previous reports; I don't know whether relevant:
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18026&p=126074&hilit=botvac+bumper+switch#p126074
and http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=123905#p123905

Repairing the tact switch itself http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=132317#p132317

As mentioned it should be understood that the switches' own internal spring does not operate the bumper (and switches must be selected with the right tension to allow working on the bumper). The switch must be supplemented by a larger spring which operates the bumper, with possibly different mountings used. I recall one case where the springs were replaced, but that is kind of difficult, finding the right one. The properties of the spring must be measured, as they come in different degrees of tension and so on; a postal scale and micrometer might be used to measure it. Maybe just stretching a spring out could be used to enhance it. They might wear out and just lose tension. The exact properties are probably not critical; too much tension would prevent activation, too little will not pop it back properly.

I think the earliest Botvac may have used just the flexing of plastic cutouts on the case; these proved very unreliable, but can be adjusted with heat to allow bending position.

This was really a problem with the earliest Botvacs because of poor shipping, where the packaging pressed in the bumper, permanently bending the plastic cutouts used. Threads show fixing that various ways, heating the tabs etc., but they eventually fixed the packaging, and then I think revised the spring mechanism to a better design.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby HiTec » November 17th, 2018, 5:50 am

Good post.

Usually tactile switch failures in these robots are caused by dust entering switch internals. There is no need to change the switches because of this. I use high quality electro cleaner (potentiometer cleaner), to revive the switches. Dry electro cleaners are not as good as slightly lubricating cleaners (non-conducting). I know lubrication may cause dust build-up, but thats why i use compressed air to "dry" the switch.

Press the switch, spray electro cleaner from the corner of the button to it so it pours inside the switch and the just click the switch multiple times from different angles, dry the switch with compressed air. Repeat couple of times, check with multimeter, that the switch works in every situation.

Second problem is the dying springs, that cause massive wheel thread failure if not fixed. Bending the spring works some time, but its best to replace the springs. In my opionion, the 1 gen Botvacs silver springs were good when comparing to 2 gen black springs that are very low quality.

I have had many Botvacs and these switches are sh**.

They should be dust proof, or better yet, they should be replaced with ultrasonics. IR scanner (in like Samsung PowerBots), works very nicely as well, but they have their own limitations on dark surfaces.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 Replacement Bumper Switch

Postby glnc222 » November 17th, 2018, 11:02 pm

Just for accuracy, the Samsung Powerbot has a switch bumper, with just two snap action lever microswitches, durable, instead of the tact panel buttons used on Neatos, with a mechanical linkage to the free moving bumper. See pics in the mod thread http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=19388
The IR proximity sensors don't work well on dark colored objects, and it can bump certain shapes without pressing the narrow bumper strip, very different from Neato's -- drive wheel stalls are detected to recognize conditions, same as some Neato conditions (no bumper in the rear). Shows how complicated is that firmware.
Neato Control can test the switches apart from the bumper over USB, removing the bumper and pressing the switch itself.
A French user sells replacement Botvac bumper switch circuit boards with switches and cables for convenience, made with readily available standard parts (being nothing else on the board, so protyping perfboard can be used). See Kelrobot.fr forum.
Springs are a different matter. Mostly switches need replacement.
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