Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

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Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby YuvalHad_ » April 13th, 2018, 9:02 am

Hey everyone, I weren't here for a long time :P

In this time I replaced my XV signature for a Roomba 980 which so far has been doing great.

While cleaning my storage room I remembered that I have the neato laying around in there- with its batteries connected.

Tried to boot it up - and it worked! let it charge and it EVEN CLEANED- but happiness ended early when after about 20 minutes of cleaning the robot threw me a "Battery level is low" issue.

I thought that maybe it's calibration issue so I have let it charge while I slept. Tried to fire it up again, and before 5 minutes passed it said that it has a LIDAR error (3000).

Now I remebered why I have even replaced it in the first time: My lidar was causing problems, replaced the motor and it worked again. Then it would clean for very shorts periods of time, so I replaced the battery and it threw LIDAR problems again.

Anyway, I didn't give up and because I read somewhere that maybe the LIDAR fails because the batteries (which might make sense becaue they haven't work well from the start) are bad.

Before spending even more money on a dodgy robot, I calibrated it via "recharge" tab through neatocontrol.
I let the fan work at full speed, and monitored how long it blew. 55Mins before it turend off. Is it normal or should I invesigate money on a battery pack?

I really want to make the robot working again becuase it may be nice to have a 2nd robot to clean regularly on the 2nd floor, but I don't wanna risk spending too much on that :P

And how about you? Is the 55mins fan runtime is OK or not? if not, it may be the cause for the failure of the LIDAR?

Too many questions and the internet doesn't seem to make me less confused :oops:


Anyway, any help will be appreaciated, and I thank all of you in advance!
Currently: a happy roomba 980 owner :D

robots I had: neato signature XV
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby glnc222 » April 13th, 2018, 6:14 pm

The fan load on the battery is examined in thread "electronic filter monitoring", and is around 1 amp depending on the filter clogging state (more clogged the lower the amps). This is about one third to one half the running load cleaning, depending on maneuvering and the drive wheel load, larger than about 1/2 amp for the brush. So a 55 minute run on the fan alone could be similar to a half hour cleaning run time, much shorter than the hour or more specified for a new battery, and indicative of wear and lost capacity -- or less than full charging -- of the battery. The NiMh batteries don't last much over 200-300 charging cycles, so the usage history can be suggestive of possible battery wear.

Battery wear could affect the lidar from being so severe the voltage falls below the operating requirements of the system causing erratic functioning. There is no single cause of failures, however, with many components involved in a system, and only analysis with instruments could identify exactly what happens. The practical procedure is to replace entire modules until it works.
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby YuvalHad_ » April 13th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Understood. So you suggest that I should try to replace the battery first?

I suspect that it's actually the battery fault because before I replaced it everything worked flawlessly (except the short run times) and when you say that the ~hour of fan load translates to 30mins of cleaning, it leads me to believe that the battery really is the problem.

Any suggested brands or it doesn't matter? I live outside the US so almost any Li battery would be too expensive, so Ni-MH is my best option
Currently: a happy roomba 980 owner :D

robots I had: neato signature XV
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2018, 3:13 pm

I do not know particular brands of batteries outside the U.S. It depends on who is distributing in your particular location. Some dealers may have a warranty at higher prices. Be sure to get the entire pair, two, not just one. Look at what ratings are available at Amazon etc. for the vendor.
The lithium ion replacements for the XV models, from AnewPow in Europe etc., last much longer but are priced accordingly. They could be of interest to users with large spaces and several charging cycles each time the residence is cleaned, which will use up the batteries faster.
It is also possible to make your own lithium ion battery if interested, simpler than the commercial version if you have the newer Rev64 Binky system board (likely in the last, Signature models). This depends on having a good dealer in battery cells, to get the proper type. Good results by users in France.
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby YuvalHad_ » April 15th, 2018, 3:48 pm

Thank you !

I have actually bought branded batteries, it's my best shot there I guess.. :P

If it won't work I'll just return them.

BTW, I'm going to teardown the neato and clean it. Any special places I need to look for?
Currently: a happy roomba 980 owner :D

robots I had: neato signature XV
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby glnc222 » April 15th, 2018, 10:01 pm

If you have never worked on this kind of equipment consult thread on disassembly precautions
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16021&p=108527&hilit=disassembly+precautions#p108527
(one link in the Mods & Repairs list top of forum).
This long video shows work on an XV by expert technician/engineer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSLGBzEumAM&list=UUllFkMo5A0V5UKYNltNEt4Q&index=9

Especially important is not pulling on the ribbon cable to the LCD module in the top cover when unplugging from the bottom, because the cable is surface mount soldered to the LCD without a strain relief, and almost impossible to repair without factory equipment or special skills. Some dealers applied an epoxy glue cover on it for a strain relief, something to do while the unit is opened. The suspension springs should be unhooked before lifting the top cover to avoid sudden pulls from them.

Another vulnerable area is the levers on the little microswitches in the drive wheel well to detect extension of the suspension arm, pivoting. Especially when reinstalling the drive assembly or attaching the springs, the levers can get ripped off, and are best held covered with a screw driver while fitting the wheels.
A chip puller tweezer tool can be used to pull tight plugs off the system board.

If any sockets on the board come off with a plug, put them back to preserve the polarization orientation of the plugs when reassembling.
I prefer not to tighten the screws into the plastic with a powered driver, not to over tighten in the soft plastic where the threads can be stripped.
Another tricky part for some can be the paddles or "actuators" for the bumper switches, with shaft stubs into holes on both the top and bottom cover. It is possible to close the cover with a stub out of alignment, so check the bumper action after closing before fastening all screws, to insure properly fitted.

As far as cleaning goes, over long periods dirt can get into the drive wheel motors and the brush motor, and into the brush drive belt. Also dirt can get onto the contacts of the dust bin conductive rubber plunger button, which are on a little board and cleaned with alcohol.

The case is fastened with metric size self-tapping (sheet metal...) screws available only mail order, so don't lose them.
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby YuvalHad_ » April 16th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Thank you!
(un)fortunately it isn't the first time I open the robot (I replaced the LIDAR motor long time ago), So I'm kind of familiar.

The robot sits next to me with all of its screws off, waiting for me to pull the traditional vaccum and clean it :P
Currently: a happy roomba 980 owner :D

robots I had: neato signature XV
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Re: Is the problem in the battery or the LIDAR?

Postby Wing Nut » April 16th, 2018, 5:23 pm

YuvalHad_ wrote:The robot sits next to me with all of its screws off, waiting for me to pull the traditional vaccum and clean it :P

That's about all I did to a dead XV-11 that a friend tossed out - vacuumed a thick layer of 'moon dust' off the circuit board and bingo! :dance:
#1 Neato XV-11 SW 2.0 Board Rev 113 / 4400mAh Lithium Power battery installed Jan 2018 / Pet & Allergy pack installed Sept 2013. In July 2014, received and repaired a faulty #2 Neato XV-11, running Lithium Power 4400mAh battery since July 2015
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