modifying Dirt dog to a Roomba (add vacuum)

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modifying Dirt dog to a Roomba (add vacuum)

Postby rj5555 » July 14th, 2007, 6:51 pm

I few weeks ago I bought a dirt dog from ebay, I had no direct need for it as I have three working roombas but for the 'dirt cheap' price of $34.33 I could not resist buying it. I was going to use the dd as source for parts for my Roombas but when it arrived both my wife as my daughter wanted to keep the dd just for the looks. The only problem... the dog doesn't suck as it lacks the vacuum, I decided to sacrifice my red in order to add vacuum to the dog.

I made some photos of the transformation for those who want to do the same.

By the way these modifications are not very difficult (took me an hour or so including taking the pictures) but there are a few things I want to point out:
a) It will void your warranty for sure
b) on the dirt dog's dirt bin the modifications are irreversable, there is no way back!!
c) You need a Roomba Red or Sage model as donor, The other Discoveries have a slightly different model dustbin and I'm not sure that you can make it fit


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Postby vic7767 » July 14th, 2007, 7:02 pm

Very nice job rj5555, glad to see you kept the original dust bin. It has much personality.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/
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Postby rj5555 » July 14th, 2007, 7:16 pm

That was the main objective, using the dustbin of a red or sage would be much easier as you only have to add the power rails to to dirt dog... but it doesn't look good. (I will actually spray paint the red grill black or yellow on day to finish it up)
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Postby ProTech Robotics » July 14th, 2007, 8:24 pm

:D Very nice! this topic came up in the hacker section a few weeks ago and I called it a "RooDog" I knew the conversion would be easy but had no time to do my mine. For the vacuum couldn't you just solder the connections on the PCB or is the power supply to the missing vacuum connection diverted. If it is not you could also add the connection from off a dead or parted PCB if available.
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Postby rj5555 » July 14th, 2007, 9:15 pm

RECON_SUPPLY_STORE wrote::D Very nice! this topic came up in the hacker section a few weeks ago and I called it a "RooDog" I knew the conversion would be easy but had no time to do my mine.
For the vacuum couldn't you just solder the connections on the PCB or is the power supply to the missing vacuum connection diverted.
if it is not you could also add the connection from off a dead or parted PCB if available.


No, it's not only the connector, the fet, protection diode and resistors are also missing, Adding those would be too difficult (at least for me it isn't) but there is no guarantee the firmware actually turns the vacuum on/off. Although the hardware is the same (but some parts missing) the dirt dog might have different firmware. I was lazy to test it... Connecting it to the sidebrush supply does seem to the job.

Replacing the PCB with one of a Roomba would have done the trick as well, probably. (then you can even add the dirt detection)
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Postby ProTech Robotics » July 14th, 2007, 10:21 pm

rj5555, I had planned on doing this so you are taking the steps first and providing a details map to follow for future use. I think it would almost be better and easier to convert a Red (or any 4000) to a RooDog vs a DirtDog to a RooDog simply for the PCB availability of the connection without soldering. And as you pointed out you could also add dirtdetection then.

oh, I've read alot of your older posts throughout this past year and I am glad to see you back!
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Postby rj5555 » July 15th, 2007, 7:06 am

The only problem might be the lack of a power on the shell of the dirt dog. I decided to use the dirt dog as basis as it was brand new.
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Relative schematics:

Postby Gordon » July 15th, 2007, 2:48 pm

Here are a couple pertinent schematics (Schematic_7 & Schematic_8).
{Schematic7,Schematic#7 & Schematic8,Schematic#8}
schematic#8.jpg
Edge-Brush Motor Driver
Revised, 090425, to delete extra connector.

The Side-Brush diagram will show you that current from two motors will go through RJ's switching-xstr, Q36, and its current-sense resistor, R149. {Part-IDs are for a 4210, so may not apply to the DD.}

No big deal about the over-load, unless Roomba complains in some fashion. If it does, you'll have some idea what the problem is.

You can see the O/L trip point is at 0.5A. As I look at some archived motor's current-draw data, I see the brush takes about 0.27A, and the blower about 0.11A: Total ~ 0.38; Margin: 0.12A. Go for it!

The Impeller Driver schematic reveals the parts that are missing from the Dog's PWB. But, as RJ pointed out: If the Dog's MCU is not programmed to wag U8-71, the Dog's tail won't spin!
Attachments
schematic#7.JPG
Impeller Motor Driver
schematic#7.JPG (57.07 KiB) Viewed 7260 times
Last edited by Gordon on April 25th, 2009, 12:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby rj5555 » July 16th, 2007, 4:48 am

Great schematics Gordon (also the power section in the other thread) do have a complete schematic of the Roomba yet?

Connecting the vacuum together with the side brush didn?t trip over current protection of the sidebrush circuit. If the protection starts to trip when the sidebush motor is a bit older (dirt and hair buildup causing more friction) I could lower the current sensor resistor a bit. (making the trip point higher)

If I have some time I will test if the steering signal from the MCU works. I think the firmware of the DD might be 100% the same as the Roombas... at least the same as the Roomba model 400 which has a vacuum. (I just found out that a Roomba, at least with 2.1 firmware, behaves the same as a dirtdog: if you permanently hold down (or short the button) the clean button. (if you press power it starts to clean, if you press and hold the power button it sings it manufacturing date)
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Postby Gordon » July 16th, 2007, 2:35 pm

rj5555 wrote:Great schematics Gordon... do {you} have a complete schematic of the Roomba yet?
Thanks Robin, I enjoy them too.

Re the "complete schematic" question: At outset, I did not intend to do 'all' sections, however, I have identified 14 sub-schematics of interest. These are tabled at:
http://mysite.verizon.net/gsplews/schem ... ctions.htm
The table shows you: a) the circuit portions I currently intend to ignore; b) which schematics are in final-draft (have no '{...}' qualifier shown) form; c) which are in pencil format; and, d) those that require 'decoding' (i.e., H/W-to-drawing) work.

When searching rr for the schematics, remove the pound-sign (#) so the number becomes part of the word 'schematic', e.g., 'schematic1'.
... If the protection starts to trip...I could lower the current sensor resistor a bit.
Ya, easy access to it, too!
... I think the firmware of the DD might be 100% the same as the Roombas...
I agree, certainly it is the most economical way to have gone. Only the PWB's 'stuffing instructions' would need alteration for a DD's main_PWB.
Last edited by Gordon on June 16th, 2009, 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby roadknightlabs » July 16th, 2007, 3:54 pm

Very cool. Nice job on hooking the vacuum into the side brush motor circuit :)
Congrats! How does it perform?
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Postby rj5555 » July 16th, 2007, 5:23 pm

It functions like a .... Roomba .... I get the same amount of dirt in the dust bin and dust on the filter as with my roombas... I think I like the brushes of the dirt dog a little bit more.
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Postby geekgranny » July 29th, 2007, 1:37 pm

rj5555 wrote:It functions like a .... Roomba .... I get the same amount of dirt in the dust bin and dust on the filter as with my roombas... I think I like the brushes of the dirt dog a little bit more.


Nice job rj. And thanks for the idea. I'm going to put DirtDog's small brushes on a couple of Roombas in a few minutes and then run them along with two Roombas, with normal beater, all doing a gang cleaning of downstairs, and then see what the results in bins look like. I'll not do my normal DirtDog gang cleaning first, as I usually do before Roombaing.

As far as large brushes go, I don't see a whole lot of difference in the DirtDog and Roomba large brushes. DirtDog's large brush bristles don't seem any stiffer than Roomba's to my feel and sight.

Will report results.

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