new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 2nd, 2017, 6:24 pm

It is for such larger spaces requiring multiple charges on the smaller robots that the larger Samsung robots are made, with wider intakes and more area coverage in less time. But with the double or more prices including battery prices, it is not clear whether any cheaper in the end. With two floors a popular approach is two smaller robots one for each floor.
The larger robots will also have more problems with tight spaces and dining chairs, though with camera guidance avoid any over head pinch problems.
Experience with the cheaper robot may indicate in the future what kind of improvement is available when wanted.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby calypso » April 3rd, 2017, 1:53 am

glnc222 wrote:It is not clear any larger D5 battery will make any difference in the D3 operation as battery parameters have to be coded into the software. The robot is not equipped to detect the battery size which requires measuring the capacity by charging and discharging cycles, normally done with instruments, unless they have found some new tricks. In the past larger batteries just get fully charged but only the old portion of the charge is ever used (batteries indicate when full without indicating their capacity -- as in charging an already partly charged battery etc. and also defective or worn out batteries; only the discharge time is indicative). I am not sure there is any difference between D3 and D5 batteries anyway, you would have to check.


You keep mentioning this, but multiple people have confirmed the larger D5 battery does work in the D3. Even Neato staff have confirmed this.

https://www.amazon.com/Neato-Robotics-9 ... d5+battery

Just read the comments.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 3rd, 2017, 4:16 am

Great news. Amazon poster comment on the larger battery compatible both D3 and D5:
Additionally, even though it's "only" double the capacity, it seems to have almost tripled the area it can clean on a single charge. Cleaning my 1300sqf house ran the other battery down 2.5 times - the new battery finished it in a single cycle with some juice left to spare.


Tripling the run time can occur from keeping an unused part of the capacity as a buffer against damaging deep discharge. The additional capacity of the larger battery all goes into usable run time keeping the same buffer. Instead of say, one half the smaller battery unused, only one fourth of the double size battery is unused.

It looks like the voltage discharge curve allows the robot to detect the larger capacity of the battery when running, just the reverse of detecting loss of capacity with aging and adjusting the algorithms accordingly. Fine work by Neato Robotics. Old models with NiMh batteries instead of lithium did not seem to do this, and it may be from having different size official batteries for the first time with additions to the software for this case, besides maybe more practical with lithium instead of NiMh, unknown.

So the cheaper model is sold with just a "starter" battery with the higher capacity available in replacements (I vaguely recall something like that with old Roomba's). The smaller battery is not even sold for replacements? This kind of thing is not made clear in the advertising.

I raised the question originally because all sorts of details are left out of the sales information and even reviews, oriented to promote higher priced models etc. User input like here is needed to understand the offerings fully.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby monkeyboy » April 11th, 2017, 9:29 pm

re: D3/D5 battery, from what the Amazon page says about the D5 battery, it is definitely at least 2X in capacity, and will work in the D3, extending its running time by more than 2X. I've seen the posts on the older NiMH batteries and can only guess that the D3/D5 lithium battery designs are set to take either capacity -- probably shared circuit design.

Another point: the 3 cycle limit. Just wondering if there is any way to get the D3 to do 4 or 5 cleaning cycles rather than just 3 (2 charge cycles). I don't see any real reason to have such an arbitrary limit except "market shaping", which is unfortunate.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 11th, 2017, 10:16 pm

I suspect the cycle limit is a matter of warranty and expected durability. With running and charging time (usually slower than running to have a reasonably sized dock power supply without a cooling fan), three cycles will consume most of a day. Running more and every day could wear out the battery in less than a year, and put more wear on the machine than the insurance company is betting on. Thought I saw a separate 6 month battery warranty. I guess you could go to 6 to 8 cycle per day 24/7, 1080 cycles in 6 months exceeding 6-800 cycle lithium cell specs.

I think that with two defined factory batteries it is easier to program recognition of the two from their performance, compared to a range of different batteries with unknown properties. Apparently the Roomba 960 may not take the larger battery in the 980 in similar manner.
[edit] Correction: owner reported iRobot sells an Xlife larger battery for the Roomba 960 adding half an hour run time over original, approaching the 980 capacity if not exactly.
Last edited by glnc222 on April 22nd, 2017, 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby monkeyboy » April 14th, 2017, 7:32 pm

we're only running our D3 once a week...

a slight diffferent question then: If the floor of a house is too large for a D3 to handle with its 3 cleaning cycles, what happens? does the D3 let you know, some kind of "could not finish" message?

We consistently get "cleaning finished" messages, but it seems to be at the END of a charging cycle, NOT at the end of a return-to-base, which is when I would expect a "cleaning finished" notification should happen. So I'm wondering if it goes out, charges, goes out, charges, goes out, charges THEN realizes that it was the 3rd cycle and just says DONE, even if it wasn't finished cleaning the whole house floor. I guess I'm going to have to religiously watch for its behavior at the end of the 3rd cycle to see what it is really doing...
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2017, 7:50 pm

Sounds like the substantial increase in run time from the full capacity replacement battery would add much to satisfaction with the unit in this case. It would probably complete the entire premises in only two charges and eliminate annoying uncertainty. Not too expensive as these things go.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby monkeyboy » April 14th, 2017, 10:05 pm

yes I'm strongly considering getting the D5 battery... but still would like to know what is the expected behavior when these Neato's can't finish the floor in the allotted 3 cycles? Does it tell you?

And is there a way to change the set 3 cycles to allow it to do 4 cycles? I'm sure there is a "3" sitting somewhere in its firmware...
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 15th, 2017, 12:10 am

Software in these things is not perfect in every way and I expect it just says "END" because that is all it will do. Three cycles will consume most of a day to finish so is a reasonable approach. It does not analyze the house for you beyond the usage in what cleaning is done. The cycles are limited to three not to wear out the battery in potential 24/7 intensive use exceeding assumptions of the six month battery warranty and limited life cycles, besides mechanical wear exceeding warranty assumptions.

The software cannot be modified to change the parameters with user settings. The design presents no obvious need to adjust this setting, given the economics.

It would also not be economical to push more cycles on the smaller battery. Batteries last a certain number of charge cycles, and covering more area on each cycle reduces the wear on the battery from overall cleaning usage.

One strategy is doing a separate portion of the house on alternate days, starting from different ends of the house.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby glnc222 » April 15th, 2017, 1:00 am

I vaguely recall that Neato's showed "END" on the LCD when returning to base but would show a message while charging that it would continue, not if it were done for the day, not sure. There might be more info in the smartphone app.
i noticed because the Samsung did not indicate whether it was going to continue later contrary to the Botvac I had. You will have to observe the behavior on your unit -- customer service is not likely to know much more, often less. The engineers probably never even mentioned it to anyone.
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Re: new D3 customer: mostly happy, but...

Postby monkeyboy » April 22nd, 2017, 10:42 pm

I didnt post this before as I wasnt sure, but after today's D3 run... I'm 98% sure that the D3 *will* and does do more than 3 cleaning cycles per run -- at least 4. Our first floor appears to require about 3.3 cycles for our D3 and it does them, charging *3* times in between, not just twice. It takes 6-7 hours to do the whole floor. At the end, the D3 reports "I'm finished cleaning". This is good. I have no idea now what the limit of cleaning cycles is on the D3.

On the other hand, several times now, I have observed the D3 go completely bonkers, some times spinning around for 10-20secs in the middle of the floor. Other times (frequently) just halting for 10secs as if it were "thinking" -- I can't imagine that it really needs 10secs to decide what to do next... And then sometimes it will bounce back and forth as if it were confined within a small 2x2foot box even though it is not confined at all. Do all Neatos do this?
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