Dirt Dog problems

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Dirt Dog problems

Postby kmmatney » May 30th, 2010, 3:53 pm

I've been using a Dirt Dog (model 1100) since August, and its now having some serious trouble. The problem is the brushes have stopped spinning. If I remove the brushes, then the drive mechanicsm will spin - however any small amount of resistance will cause it to stop turning. I've looked at the gearbox, at the connection between the second drive gear and the smaller brush gear is very weak. I cleaned out the gearbox, relubed everything, but still have the same problem. In particular, the gear which drives the smaller brush seems very loose, so its easy to imagine that it can move a little and not be driven at all.

So, first, is it common for the gears to get worn down in these devices? Second, can you buy new gears for the Dirt Dog? They don't offer a CHM module or much in the way of spare parts on their web site, which is a bit dissappointing.

I also have 2 Roomba 530 modules, both with the red CHM modules. These have also been troublesome, but at least the gears haven't worn out. I have the new Aerovac bin on both Roombas, and that seems to help.

The Dirt Dog was actually may favorite, since it was very little maintenance until now. But I hope its not dead - especially if the problem is a few plastic gears.
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby sageman » May 30th, 2010, 4:16 pm

ebay do gears for the dirt dog (descovory) all the 400's are the same underneeth bacicly i thinks also i reckon it might be the motor wering out not sure tho but mines starting to do the same
400/disco disassembly's (everything down to the PCB)
http://www.robotreviews.com/wiki/400disco-disassembly

one day many years from now a person will say "right I'll just ROOMBA downstairs" instead of hoover
oh wait I already do :)

main bot: neato xv-15 (Europe xv-11)
to sell (one day): roomba sage and silver (both 400's)
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby vic7767 » May 30th, 2010, 4:27 pm

Your DD as well as your 500 model Roombas all have plastic gears both in the motor reduction gear box and the brush gear box. Both suffer from the entry of debris into the brush gear box leading to early failure and lots of plastic wear on the brush gear shafts and openings they spin in. There is a fix for this issue in both models and involves the installation of ball bearings to eliminate the problem. You can find more into about the ball bearing modification at my website in my signature.

You can purchase new gear sets for both model Roombas on ebay with seller "casino187" or you can go to http://www.ProTechRobotics.com.

I can also offer a DD bare brush deck with just the 3 main gears that are already modified with the ball bearing set and all you do is install your existing DD deck parts onto the new deck.
Last edited by vic7767 on May 30th, 2010, 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby kmmatney » May 30th, 2010, 9:54 pm

Thanks for the replies. I think the motor is OK, and the problem is the gears - they just don't seem to all touch anymore. However I need to do more testing to confirm. Technically my DD is stil under warranty, and I have put in a question to customer service. However I've hacked up my DD a bit already, with all the cliff sensors LEDs and sensors taped together (tricky for the center sensors). This should have nothing to do with the gears, though.

I'll probably just buy some gears first (Ebay - thanks for the links), just to see of that at least gets the brushes working again. The brush deck mod sounds like the way to go in the long run, but i want to at least make sure the motor is OK, etc...
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby mfortuna » May 31st, 2010, 9:26 am

You may have a worn brush deck as well so the new gears may not last long. Best thing to do is install bearings. If you don't want to do the bearing mod then get a new brush deck.
Mike
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby kmmatney » June 1st, 2010, 4:57 pm

I looked at things a bit more closely - the second and third gears no longer touch each other. These gears are on fixed pins, and the teeth are just ground down. Although the DD is still under warranty, their customer service treats you like an idiot, so I just bought ordered a new set of gears from Ebay. I don't want to spend too much, since I bought the whole thing for $89 shipped (and you can get a new one for $99 shipped from Frys). I'll still see if I can hit up iRobot for replacement gears, but not holding my breath.
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby vic7767 » June 1st, 2010, 5:19 pm

kmmatney wrote: I'll still see if I can hit up iRobot for replacement gears, but not holding my breath.
Good thing, because iRobot doesn't provide internal parts for their robots. If you can find internal parts via ebay or places like ProTechRobotics that will be your only resolve. iRobot will however send you a new robot if yours is covered under their warranty.
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Re: Dirt Dog problems

Postby kmmatney » June 3rd, 2010, 2:17 pm

As you say - they have offered a "warrenty exchange". I'm not sure if this will work out if I have to send my current DD back, though. I've permanently disabled the cliff sensors on it, and it has a small crack and a slightly bent wheel from being sidewapped by my wife's car. The crack and bent wheel happened 4 months ago, and doesn't effect the gear issue - it worked fine for 4 months until the gears simply wore down.
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