is botvac 75 right for our family?

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is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby razorseal » April 15th, 2015, 2:22 pm

Hey guys,

Wife and I don't vacuum our place as often as we'd like. I want something in between vacuums to keep the house bit cleaner. I'm looking at some robot vacuums for this task.

Correct me if I'm wrong but these vacuums can't replace a regular upright vacuum. I had a roomba like 10 years ago when they 1st came out, but it was horrible and I returned it. I think the 10 year gap in technology is long enough for some advancement in technology though...

I looked at the XV pro but realized there is now a newer line... It appears all the botvacs are the same but higher numbers have different accesories (same battery, OS, motor etc) I think the botvac 75 is a decent price from amazon (about 340) or the 70e for roughly 320.

We have 3 cats so there is decent amount of dust/cat hair that we try to keep up with. we have medium pile carpet throughout most of the house and it's 1770 sq feet. (we mainly want to concentrate on the living room/dining room area. We can run the machine for the bedrooms at separate times.

for convenience here is our floor plan.

Image

Will the botvac serve us right? I think it will. Just want some input from people who have used it.

I don't mind the noise they make and all. I plan on running the robot when we aren't home.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby glnc222 » April 15th, 2015, 4:42 pm

The best deal on Botvac may be at Costco with their exclusive model 65, with the bristle brush, though there is the membership fee. Check the Neato website for any rebates offered at certain retailers.
A low priced drop-shipped 70e package was at SmartAccessoryNation.com, with the blade brush.
Many retailers offer the Botvac for shipping only, though it can be returned to stores. Also some free ship to stores.
The bristle brush absent in the 7x bundles is available separately on Amazon etc.
You will find the blade brush easier to maintain without the cleaning of pet hair from the bristle brush, but it will be louder on hard floors. The blades must also be replaced from wear after a year or less, depending on use.
Use the Pet filters, not the original, and with a single ply of tissue paper over them, if seeking economy.

[edit] with all the carpet the cheaper 70e with blade brush looks attractive. Check prices of pet filters sold separately.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby razorseal » April 15th, 2015, 7:06 pm

Thanks. I ordered the 75 and combo brush hoping it'll do a better job. there was a 25 dollar discount on amazon, and apparently another 50 prepaid card from neato itself. that's 75 bucks off that thing. Good deal. ($285) The brush was 39 dollars. Hopefully it's worth the extra money for a better cleaning. I do know what you mean about the bristles catching hair from our regular vacuum though. We barely have any non carpeted floors here.

Where are the pet filters? I only see standard and high performance. I assume you mean the high performance filter?
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby vic7767 » April 15th, 2015, 7:17 pm

Check that cleaning brush and make sure you have a sealed ball bearing installed. Some brushes still have the inferior shielded bearing.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby razorseal » April 15th, 2015, 8:10 pm

vic7767 wrote:Check that cleaning brush and make sure you have a sealed ball bearing installed. Some brushes still have the inferior shielded bearing.


Yes, I read that here. I will check on that. I can probably just contact Neato for them to send me the newer design that's sealed?
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby vic7767 » April 15th, 2015, 9:07 pm

razorseal wrote: I can probably just contact Neato for them to send me the newer design that's sealed?
Not sure. Your purchase is from existing stock and may not have the latest brushes and hardware.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby razorseal » April 15th, 2015, 10:39 pm

vic7767 wrote:
razorseal wrote: I can probably just contact Neato for them to send me the newer design that's sealed?
Not sure. Your purchase is from existing stock and may not have the latest brushes and hardware.


it is what it is. where else are you going to get it from besides existing stock?

I'll look at it when it arrives, and contact neato. I'm sure they'll send me a sealed one.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby glnc222 » April 16th, 2015, 12:52 am

Sealed Botvac bearings were available at reasonable prices from Vic7767.com, Robot-Doc.com, as well as elsewhere besides Neato Robotics Inc. They are a standard size widely available, sometimes from bearing distributors online with huge catalogs. Not to mention the usual suspects.
The separately sold brushes appear to have been supplied with sealed bearings, compared to the brushes enclosed in older complete vacuum packages. The separate brushes were not available until several months after the Botvac introduction.

Just check your bearing when the bin is emptied. If it seizes up, the brush will spin the bearing in the plastic housing heating it up and warping the plastic, if not caught in time. There could be some noise alerting to the bearing being seized up, as the brush starts to spin. Just like cars noted for having signature engine sounds, at least to skilled mechanics.

It is possible to glue or tape the bearing outer race fixed in the plastic housing, in which case when seized up the brush will spin inside the bearing, damaging the brush end. Catch 22.
If you check and clean away the bearing if needed when the bin is emptied you could preserve the bearing a long time. If it is still good after a year, maybe replace it anyway on an annual basis.

It appears the only function of that bearing is to allow the brush to be made entirely of plastic without a machined metal shaft at the end, lowering production costs; the plastic parts must be large for the required strengh, compared to thin metal shafts. It appears entirely possible to insert a metal shaft and mount a plain bushing in a rubber stopper section to fit in the housing, similar to XV model brushes. Maybe of interest should the supplied bearing actually seize up, at least to the handy users with time. Such parts are in Ace hardware stores in the U.S.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby glnc222 » April 19th, 2015, 5:01 pm

Just while on the topic of the Botvac bearing, a new possible mod has occurred to me, not tried myself:

insert a steel shaft in place of the plastic end as described above, but retain use of the regular botvac bearing to mount in the housing. Place a bushing over the steel shaft and the bearing over the bushing. Possibly adjust thickness of the bushing with layers of tape.
This would then provide a second bearing surface which might not seize up when clogged the way the bearing does, at least give more protection against damaging the housing.

Steel pins of various kinds are in better hardware stores and there is also the smooth section of wood screw shanks, cutting off the screw head. Perhaps the mechanical engineers can advise.

(I do have an extra brush not in use so might try this. I will have to see what hardware is available for it.)
[edit] Not as easy to make as may appear because instead of fastening a screw a moving part axle is made, which must be perfectly centered and perfectly straight. Jigs are required when using hand tools. Results uncertain.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby glnc222 » April 20th, 2015, 4:40 am

I hear from one engineer that he put washers in front of the Botvac bearing to trap the hairs, no details.
There are some very thin copper washers, if that is an issue.
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Re: is botvac 75 right for our family?

Postby glnc222 » April 20th, 2015, 9:58 pm

Botvac bearing discussion moved to its own thread with copies of this info
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18523#p130485

More on the alternative brush shaft for Botvac, posts above:
No fancy drilling with accuracy is needed to modify the end of the Botvac brush.

The red plastic end of the brush over which is fitted the ball bearing is a plug extending inside a hole in the brush core. The plug itself is hollow with a 4mm hole all the way through except the end (rough measurements).
So a common 1/8" or 3mm shaft or bolt could be fitted into that plastic plug with some tape around it.
Such shafts are carried by robotics and hobby supply houses online if not in hardware stores.

A 3mm ID bushing just the depth of the ball bearing is available such as this one at Ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-Plain-Oilless-Bearing-Sleeves-Composite-Bushing-3mm-x-5mm-x-5mm/321323663292?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D4d7f473ce3b541128f44d7bfad04135f%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D171739006154
The bearing ID is a little wider so this would need some tape around it.
[edit] Slicing up a rubber grommet of suitable size can also provide a thick layer.

A rubber stopper mounting could replace the ball bearing using just the bushing, Neato XV style.
Were an old XV model brush available or even just the rubber mounting and bushing, those parts might be used.

There may be more parts available in other sizes. Here is a 4mm ID bushing, too long and requires slicing with a hack saw: http://www.amazon.com/I-D-Drill-Size-Metric-Bushing/dp/B002SI4GZ2

Whether this does anything for the hair clog problem would have to be tested by pet owners.

The goal would be not having to clean it often and let the dirt pile up for cleaning every few months. The idea is the bushing would not be vulnerable to damage as much as the ball bearing with its tiny pieces.

[post further comments on the bearing problem in the new thread link above, as a bit off topic here]
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