Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

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Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Anthony » August 22nd, 2015, 11:47 am

Hello!

I've been having a lot of issues with Neato robots and I am finally turning to a community for some help. I'll keep my story short.

January 2014 I purchased a Neato XV Pro, 3 months later it's battery failed, it was replaced under warranty with another XV Pro. This one lasted 6 months and the battery also failed. I was given a third replacement, the Botvac 80. This one worked great for about 4 months and is now having some problems. Neato will no longer offer me a replacement since my 1 year warranty period is over on the original XV Pro.

What's wrong with it.. The Botvac 80 does some really annoying things. It first started with it getting stuck places randomly, sometimes in a corner, sometimes against a closed door, sometimes on the edge of the stairs. Producing the error "Please clear my path (2009)" which I would move it away from the area it got stuck and let it continue. Sometimes it would keep going, other times it would just get stuck again in the same spot. It sometimes drives right into a wall and just sits there pushing against the baseboard, the cabinets, the stove, the couch.. It will not clean in ANY sort of smart method or pattern. It just randomly smashes around the house and doesn't even finish it's job in most cases. It will sometimes say it is done, but it hasn't cleaned even a quarter of the room. It just spins around like an idiot sometimes and keeps trying to clean the same spot over and over again. It worked absolutely fine for the first few months but has continually gone down hill since. As I write this it has been doing circles around my desk chair. It's on it's 4th lap around me right now. Perhaps right now it's being extra dumb because I am moving things around but usually I clean everything up off the floor (lately even putting chairs up on the table and blocking off closets so it has an easier time) and start the Neato before I leave the house for work. When I get home I always find it stuck somewhere simple, in a corner or the middle of the room with the clear path error or a dead battery.

Things I've tried.. I've cleaned it very well. Q-Tips on the sensors to remove any dust, air compressor to blow out the filter and dust bin, clean off the brushes, remove any hair from anywhere I can. Soft resets, flipping the on/off switch. Leaving it off for hours, letting the battery die completely, removing the battery and plugging it back in.. Neato customer support told me to make sure the bumpers all click nicely, which they seem to. The website says my vacuum is up to date with it's software which the Neato displays as 1.1.97. I have also tried moving the charge station to a different wall, and simply starting the vacuum in a separate spot all together.

Right now I am mostly hoping to just find other people who are having similar problems to me so I don't feel so cheated. I love the vacuums when they work but I have been having horrible luck lately. Is anybody having similar issues? Anything else I can try perhaps?

Some videos of the vacuum being stupid:

https://youtu.be/OMj7t4MAGS8
https://youtu.be/lRGrdyIHInY
https://youtu.be/H8pFnYC9w7Y
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby vic7767 » August 22nd, 2015, 12:27 pm

You might consider downloading the NeatoControl program and check that all sensors and LIDAR are working correctly.

FROM HERE: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18173
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby TechGuy » August 22nd, 2015, 2:07 pm

From the last videos, it seems to me that the Neato is trying 360 degrees clockwise U turn. But it is not smart enough to back up more before trying the clockwise U again or doing the anti-clockwise U turn. For sure, your Neato was confused.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Anthony » August 22nd, 2015, 3:06 pm

It's always confused it seems.

I downloaded the NeatoControl program. It seems as if the bumper sensors (RSIDEBIT and RFRONTBIT) are not responding. I can't get them to switch to "True". Which would explain why it just mashes into things and doesn't figure out anything is there.. I never did anything (that I am aware of) to damage the sensors on the bumper. I live alone with a dog that's never in the house so I can't blame anybody else. I am also unsure of how to test the other sensors, the LLDS and RLDS.

Thanks for the replies, I feel like I'm getting somewhere now. Any other ideas?
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby vic7767 » August 22nd, 2015, 3:39 pm

Remove the front bumper and check that the micro switches are not stuck closed or damaged in some way.

Here is a youtube video of how to remove your front bumper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwcTcr0Wpwo
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Medtech » August 22nd, 2015, 4:07 pm

Switches bumper over time become clogged with dust and stop working, although clearly emit a sound when pressed.
The first fails bumper microswitch that is next to the side brush, then fail and others. This defect has repeatedly appeared in the robot operating in Russia.
It is necessary to change the switches to new and desirable to seal them during installation.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Anthony » August 22nd, 2015, 5:30 pm

I removed the front bumper and blew some air around the switches. If I push them so they click they do not register but if I press them down pretty hard then they are returning a "True" in the program. This isn't fixed yet, but I feel like it's some progress?
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Medtech » August 22nd, 2015, 6:04 pm

The switches must be replaced or disassembled and cleaned. If you have a good fine motor skills and there is a thin knife - this is not a problem ..
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Anthony » August 22nd, 2015, 7:30 pm

Does there happen to be a tutorial for this sort of thing? I am pretty confident in taking apart electronic devices, I just need to know exactly what I am supposed to do and what I am looking for.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby vic7767 » August 22nd, 2015, 7:40 pm

I have not attempted to tear down a dome button switch but if there is any type of opening that can be seen it may be possible to spray some "Contact" cleaner into the switch that may remove enough of the debris to allow normal electrical operation.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Medtech » August 23rd, 2015, 5:20 pm

1. Remove the spring
2. cut the 4 cover fixing switch
3. Remove the switch cover
4. Remove the pressure switch contact
5. clean from oxides switch contacts
6. clean from oxides the pressure switch contact
7. put the pressure switch contact
8. install the switch cover
9. soldering iron or any remnants of the heated subject of oplavit cover fixing
10. Carefully place the spring
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby Anthony » August 23rd, 2015, 6:31 pm

Thank you very much both of you for all of your help. I am quite sure I will wreck something if I start doing that :( perhaps I will take it to a repair shop!

Thanks again!

-edit-

I just thought I would update this if anybody is curious or having similar issues. I took the vacuums bumper off and took the battery out and sprayed some contact cleaner (WD40 brand made for electronics) into the areas that were affected. Everything seems to be working now! Thanks for all the help you guys offered and suggestions :cheers:
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby glnc222 » October 16th, 2015, 4:02 pm

Possible replacement switch (check exact dimensions) TC-1212T
http://www.ebay.com/itm/50PCS-TC-1212T-12x12x7-3-mm-Tact-Tactile-Push-Button-Momentary-SMD-PCB-Switch-/171907322284?hash=item28067991ac:g:erkAAOxykMpTG9jx
Square stem for matching button caps. 12mm width.
Image
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby  |?()()|\/||3@ » October 16th, 2015, 5:42 pm

How is it running ?
Click here- We introduce ourselves I have a Roomba 770 Series named
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby xx-ness-xx » August 13th, 2016, 4:40 pm

How's your Botvac doing still? My 2-years-old Botvac has recently developed the same issue as yours. I am gonna try to spray some contact cleaners as well to see if I can get this issue fixed

Update: I went to Home Depot today and bought a can of electrical contact cleaner. I was able to troubleshoot which bumper switches were faulty, and both my front right and side right bumper switches weren't working correctly. Even by pressing the switches pretty hard, the robot still did not register the switches are being pressed at all. At first, I thought I probably need to replace the bumper switches all together. Fortunately, the electrical contact cleaner fixed it! Both the front right & side right bumper switches are working properly now!
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby ofirshw » August 15th, 2016, 5:42 am

Although the bumpers were faulty in your case, I find them only as backup for the main Lidar system (It's not a Roomba!).
It seems to me like in new Neatos, the Lidar works great with roughly all surfaces, where in bit older ones (1-2 years) it is getting blind to black and somehow reflective objects.
This is clearly seen in the 3 videos in the main post, and was also reported in many other posts.

Is it possible to improve the Lidar's sight besides cleaning it with air / vacuum? It clearly degradates over time.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby repoman » September 4th, 2016, 10:17 am

glnc222 wrote:Possible replacement switch (check exact dimensions) TC-1212T
http://www.ebay.com/itm/50PCS-TC-1212T-12x12x7-3-mm-Tact-Tactile-Push-Button-Momentary-SMD-PCB-Switch-/171907322284?hash=item28067991ac:g:erkAAOxykMpTG9jx
Square stem for matching button caps. 12mm width.
Image


I registered just to say thanks and to confirm that this is an exact match. I can't tell the difference between these and the originals.

Replacing the switches is not that easy in my opinion. One has to first disassembly the Neato to get the old switches out, which is a task in itself, especially with the switch which is located on the main brush motor gear housing. However they all do come out of there, finally.

Once the switches with them tiny circuit boards are out, I was a bit puzzled as to how to remove them. I tried first to get the solder out with solder wick, which I had dipped into flux to make it work better. But that did no good, the soldering of the switches goes through the holes at least in my device, and the solder didn't want to come off easily. I ended up cutting the legs of the old switches, which is hard enough as the legs are very close to the body of the switch and the quality of my side cutters isn't exactly that great. But I got them cut out. Once the switch was away, I was able to desolder each leg one by one, by holding the leg with pliers and then heating the solder. After that, I cleaned the holes with solder wick. After which the new switches were finally possible to be soldered onto the circuit board. Do that for all four switches and it will start to feel like real work.

If you are good at these things you might be able to do this in a couple of hours but for me it took longer than that before the Neato was back in one piece. I also put some very thin plastic wrap shielding on top of the switches, glued to the sides of it, so that dust is not able to enter it anymore. Provided of course, that the plastic which I used, will last. I can't know that, but at least it should prolong the lifetime of the switches. I do not want to be desoldering them again any time soon as the task is not that quick to do.

These cheap Chinese switches don't really cost much at all. I suppose that's why Neato used such in the first place, and that's why they don't really last that long.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby glnc222 » September 4th, 2016, 12:22 pm

After cutting the pins, use the solder sucker instead of wick, accessing both sides. Push pins out with the hot iron. Perfboard can also be used to make a complete replacement.
[edit] Another method is to heat one pin at a time while prying up on the switch with a screw driver. Working around lift a bit at a time till it comes off, then suck solder out of the holes.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby mfortuna » September 4th, 2016, 4:02 pm

For something as simple as a switch that won't be harmed by too much heat, you can heat each through hole and push the pins in gradually. No need to remove the old solder. You may have to go around a few times to get the switch flush. Sometimes both solder wick and a sucker fail because the through hole is connected to a plane that absorbs heat.
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Re: Neato Botvac 80 very stupid - having issues

Postby TechGuy » September 4th, 2016, 6:49 pm

It is easier to remove multi-pins component with the help of the low melting point de-soldering wire.

This one melts at 124°C. Put some low melt solder on the pins and let it mixed with the solder on the pins. Keep the soldering iron around the pins to raise the temperature of the switch.
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