While fixing my Neato I killed it

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While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 13th, 2010, 8:04 pm

My Neato started having trouble, saying its brush was stuck. So I took it apart and found a bunch of hair had gotten wrapped around the motor that drives the belt that runs the brush. However, during the disassembly the very delicate flexible flat cable that connects the LCD daughterboard to the motherboard got disconnected.

Cable attached
Image

It's difficult to see in the image, but the connection on the daughterboard is quite tenuous, with only the tiniest amount of solder and glue holding it on there. Whereas on the motherboard, there's an actual connector that it slides and locks into.

http://imgur.com/ugI8E.jpg Cable
http://imgur.com/cKalF.jpg Daughterboard
http://imgur.com/d2FnC.jpg Motherboard (the connector for the cable is the brown slot below the large yellow square)

So, is it possible to reattach the FFC to the LCD panel?
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby sageman » December 14th, 2010, 4:51 am

it looks like a connecter also

the plastic things things on either side move a little like a switch im sure you will be able to work out how to move them

plase the ribbon in the hole the plastic things will probally move in the direction they need to be moved to fully connect the ribbon and youre done
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 :)

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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby Fraggboy » December 14th, 2010, 10:48 am

sageman wrote:it looks like a connecter also

the plastic things things on either side move a little like a switch im sure you will be able to work out how to move them

plase the ribbon in the hole the plastic things will probally move in the direction they need to be moved to fully connect the ribbon and youre done


It's not a connector. It only connects to the main board via a connector (Follow the white ribbon cable, and you will find the other end)



garthanthaclops,
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Sorry to hear that this has happened. If you are good at soldering, I'm sure you can fix it.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby sageman » December 14th, 2010, 11:38 am

Fraggboy wrote:
It's not a connector. It only connects to the main board via a connector (Follow the white ribbon cable, and you will find the other end)





ahh i see now (was half asleep when i looked cos just got up) thanks for clearing that up
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: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 14th, 2010, 2:46 pm

sageman wrote:
Fraggboy wrote:
It's not a connector. It only connects to the main board via a connector (Follow the white ribbon cable, and you will find the other end)



ahh i see now (was half asleep when i looked cos just got up) thanks for clearing that up


Yeah as was said, the main board isn't an issue. I just can't figure out how to reattach to the LCD. Thanks though.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby pjnagel » December 14th, 2010, 5:11 pm

garthanthaclops wrote:My Neato started having trouble, saying its brush was stuck. So I took it apart and found a bunch of hair had gotten wrapped around the motor that drives the belt that runs the brush.


It would seem that Neato has got the "robot" part down pat, but they need a bit of input from an old-school vacuum cleaner engineer to get the "vacuum cleaner" part debugged.

Domestic environments seem harsher than they anticipated the robot would need to survive in.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 14th, 2010, 5:45 pm

pjnagel wrote:
garthanthaclops wrote:My Neato started having trouble, saying its brush was stuck. So I took it apart and found a bunch of hair had gotten wrapped around the motor that drives the belt that runs the brush.


It would seem that Neato has got the "robot" part down pat, but they need a bit of input from an old-school vacuum cleaner engineer to get the "vacuum cleaner" part debugged.

Domestic environments seem harsher than they anticipated the robot would need to survive in.


I'm surprised more people haven't gotten hair wrapped around the internals.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby pjnagel » December 16th, 2010, 6:18 am

garthanthaclops wrote:I'm surprised more people haven't gotten hair wrapped around the internals.


In my experience hair is a problem for most vacuum cleaners that incorporate any kind of rotary brush, although the neato is the first one in my experience where the hair clogs the non user-cleanable parts of the vacuum.

I have a strong preference for vacuums that work by suction only, although I don't think that's possible for robotic vacuums until battery technology improves.

It all makes me wonder how vacuum cleaner manufacturers test their vacuums in the presence of hair. Human hair of wig-grade quality is quite expensive, but shorter hair should be quite cheap from local barbershops.

Do manufacturers actually sprinkle some human hair over carpets when testing their products? Did neato?
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 16th, 2010, 3:09 pm

pjnagel wrote:
garthanthaclops wrote:I'm surprised more people haven't gotten hair wrapped around the internals.


In my experience hair is a problem for most vacuum cleaners that incorporate any kind of rotary brush, although the neato is the first one in my experience where the hair clogs the non user-cleanable parts of the vacuum.

I have a strong preference for vacuums that work by suction only, although I don't think that's possible for robotic vacuums until battery technology improves.

It all makes me wonder how vacuum cleaner manufacturers test their vacuums in the presence of hair. Human hair of wig-grade quality is quite expensive, but shorter hair should be quite cheap from local barbershops.

Do manufacturers actually sprinkle some human hair over carpets when testing their products? Did neato?


Part of the problem is the motor has vents on the sides for to let out heat, but they're also good at letting hair get in and wrapping around it. Moot now for my neato, but I'd recommend against letting it vacuum if there's someone in the house that has very long hair.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby pjnagel » December 16th, 2010, 4:57 pm

garthanthaclops wrote:Moot now for my neato, but I'd recommend against letting it vacuum if there's someone in the house that has very long hair.


Not very useful advice if the owner and sole occupant has long hair!
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby pjnagel » December 16th, 2010, 5:07 pm

garthanthaclops wrote:Part of the problem is the motor has vents on the sides for to let out heat, but they're also good at letting hair get in and wrapping around it.


Since you already opened yours, do you think an out-of-warranty user mod where one cleans the hair of the motors and then glues some sort of mesh over the vents would help?

Based on your misfortune, do you think it is possible to open the robot without repeating your mistakes if one is forewarned?
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 16th, 2010, 7:45 pm

pjnagel wrote:
garthanthaclops wrote:Part of the problem is the motor has vents on the sides for to let out heat, but they're also good at letting hair get in and wrapping around it.


Since you already opened yours, do you think an out-of-warranty user mod where one cleans the hair of the motors and then glues some sort of mesh over the vents would help?

Based on your misfortune, do you think it is possible to open the robot without repeating your mistakes if one is forewarned?


Good questions.

You can definitely open up the robot without breaking it, as many people have. It's just really important to understand how delicate the connection is on the top part and make sure to disconnect it on the motherboard side as soon as possible. Also, the FFC* is much shorter than I thought it would be. There's really only a few inches of play available.

As to the mods, let me illustrate where the trouble areas are:
Image
The belt connects to the brush. This connection is open to letting debris inside. The debris wraps around the wheel that runs the belt and can end up getting inside the motor as well. The second arrow shows the vents, which was where I was pulling a lot of hair out of, but I think the hair enters more through the belt side than through there.

Image
This is where the belt would be and another view of the open area that lets debris inside to attack the motor. I'm not sure what mod would be best to prevent hair from getting through there, but if I ever get it up and running again I'll try some out and report back.


* FYI, FFCs are pretty expensive (as I learned when trying to find a replacement) and have to undergo rigorous testing. One of a longer length that would allow easier access would probably have been prohibitively expensive.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby warlock79 » December 17th, 2010, 5:37 am

Cheez... I would rather get a heart attack if I was in your place...
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby djos » December 20th, 2010, 12:08 am

I've gotta say, bummer that you killed your screen module, if it's surface mount you may be able to fix it with some precision placement and the careful use of a heat gun - failing that take it to your local specialist old-school electronics store and they'll help you out.

Regarding the hair some folk have had issues with; imo there is only one likely cause, folk aren't cleaning their bin and filter daily or properly. I have a wife with longish hair and we have 2 black cats with long fine hair and I've only ever found 1 hair around the brush and none in the drive system.

I clean our bin and filter daily and use a vacuum (lives in a laundry cupboard with easy access) to remove dust from the filter to keep it in top shape - as a result they last for months and are still mostly white.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby garthanthaclops » December 20th, 2010, 3:32 pm

djos wrote:I've gotta say, bummer that you killed your screen module, if it's surface mount you may be able to fix it with some precision placement and the careful use of a heat gun - failing that take it to your local specialist old-school electronics store and they'll help you out.


Yeah, currently trying to find an old-school electronics store. Here's hoping.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby pjnagel » December 21st, 2010, 1:33 am

djos wrote:Regarding the hair some folk have had issues with; imo there is only one likely cause, folk aren't cleaning their bin and filter daily or properly.


I've cleaned my bin twice per mission for the first few days, after that, I cleaned it directly after each mission. And I cleaned the filter each time I emptied the bin.

I've had to clean my brush at least once per mission for the first few days, and after that I had to clean it at least every other mission.

Despite that, my robot died after only two weeks of use; so do not leap to conclusions.

I fail to see what else I could have done more, other than not use the robot in the first place.

Nothing in the manual warned me to use another vacuum first if the floor hadn't been vacuumed for a few weeks.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby roboroomba » December 23rd, 2010, 7:11 pm

I had the exact same thing happen with my cannon photo inc-jet printer. The printer cartage thing got inside of it and I decided to open it up, When I opened it up the ribbon cable connecting the LCD display on the top tore. I ended up using it for parts and going back to my reliable hp desk-jet 920c, It is one of the early color inc-jet printer and has both a parallel port and a usb port, it has worked for several of my computers and although the pictures might not look as good.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby tmnCA » December 25th, 2010, 9:49 pm

garthanthaclops wrote:Part of the problem is the motor has vents on the sides for to let out heat, but they're also good at letting hair get in and wrapping around it. Moot now for my neato, but I'd recommend against letting it vacuum if there's someone in the house that has very long hair.


Uh oh - that's exactly what I have been worried about, I have long hair and it ends up all over the house. My roomba has burned out the original CHM and a modded CHM bought for $90 on eBay (that one didn't last any longer than the original un-modded) so obviously my hair is a challenge to these robots. I was hoping the Neato would have less trouble with it, but it sounds like it might just have less *visible* trouble...
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby djos » December 25th, 2010, 10:00 pm

1 person out of everyone here has had an issue with hair, IMO it's operator error or an excessively harsh environment.

I have 2 fluffy black cats and a wife who sheds too which killed a normal roomba chm and yet our neato has had all of 1 hair wrapped around it's brush on 2 occasions and nothing ever around in the brush power system after 4 months.
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Re: While fixing my Neato I killed it

Postby tmnCA » December 26th, 2010, 6:20 pm

djos wrote:
I have 2 fluffy black cats and a wife who sheds too which killed a normal roomba chm and yet our neato has had all of 1 hair wrapped around it's brush on 2 occasions and nothing ever around in the brush power system after 4 months.


I have heard that the brush system stays clean - but you're saying the brush motor drive system described above stays clean? That's good to know. I am still planning to give the Neato a try but was waiting for Hammacher to get them in stock as I want a full warranty. Now that they are at Costco I might try getting one there.
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