Neato brush noise

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Neato brush noise

Postby a4refillpad » March 24th, 2012, 5:07 am

I've been reading the forum for a couple of weeks and I thought I'd share something with the community.
My neato is horrendously loud vacuuming on my hardwood floors that prevented me from using it overnight which is my preferred schedule due to the fact that i have an alarmed house which is triggered by my neato when i am out.
I found that removing the brush made the system sound great with no motorboat noise and worked relatively well.
I was a little concerned when i read that i might break the drive train so I decided to trim the blades on the brush instead as i was supplied with a spare brush anyway.
I took off only 1mm or less off the edge of the blades and the noise is gone. The whole device sounds much more professional and all you hear is the whooshing of the vacuum most of the time. I've also tried the neato on carpets and mats and you can immediately hear the brush engage as before and I can see from the markings and the dirt collected that it is working just as well as before.
So from my point of view, even if the performance is ever so slightly decreased (which I've seen no evidence of) it is a massive improvement. Anyone else suffering as i was might want to try it especially if they have a spare brush as i do. I now run it every night and am loving the mod. :)

Kind regards.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » March 24th, 2012, 1:44 pm

Worth noting as a "Beater Noise Reduction Mod".

The XV-21 helical form brush accomplishes the same thing with advertised 10 point reduction in Decibels to 69, from continuous brush contact instead of straight edge slapping. Announced as an upgrade kit for older XV's late April 2012 for the "buy now" section of the website. The noise is so obvious the factory could not ignore it. The higher air flow filters compensate for any reduction in brush effect, equally useful for trimmed back vanes.

Probably hard to damage the drive train, i.e. brush motor and belt, as controlled with temperature sensors and rpm; it detects slow downs as clogs to report anyway, and over-speed would drain power. Putting the cylinder in without vanes one could check for out of control spinning (it can even be turned on using the USB interface and the command language in terminal apps).
Last edited by glnc222 on March 24th, 2012, 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby a4refillpad » March 24th, 2012, 6:02 pm

Another plus note I've noticed over the last few days is the increased battery life. In the past my neato would struggle to complete an entire run of the ground floor on a single charge. On occasions I found that the neato would go back to re-charge even though there was only a small amount left of the hallway. Ever since the change the neato would complete with at least a quarter charge remaining on the display. It seems the constant slapping of the beaters onto the hard floor was consuming power too. Double bonus! :cheers:
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby Wing Nut » March 24th, 2012, 7:33 pm

Or it could be that the degraded floor/vane air seal also offers less vacuum motor resistance, allowing a longer run time? :think:

If scheduled vacuuming can't be used because it triggers alarms, night runs are too noisy, but with a genuine spiral beater brush only a few weeks away, instead of experimenting with and maybe damaging a good Mk.1 beater (and future spare), maybe use a set of ear plugs at bedtime on nights when Neato is active? And maybe a mag-strip to seal off the bedroom on vacuuming nights, leaving it for a convenient time while you're home and busy in the kitchen or bathroom? Just till sometime in April.

glnc222 wrote:The noise is so obvious the factory could not ignore it (did anyone there ever use this product themselves? they probably have maid service).

There's a video mentioned elsewhere in this forum of a fairly long lecture given by a Neato associated engineer. In it he relates how he and others took Neatos home to use in 'anger' away from lab set ups, and how his family would be upset if/when he took it away.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » March 24th, 2012, 9:24 pm

I've removed that nasty remark. The polite opinion is Neato's limited resources -- just a start-up after all -- were concentrated in the high tech end of the product, and for whatever reason the more practical end has gaps in polish frustrating to customers. If customers can go to the trouble to make it useful with some work required, that's great, and then families will like it and so on, because it's actually working; but that limits the market. The name is a great double entendre because way back when, when life was slow and oh so mellow, fine engineering was called neat -- neatest way to get a neat house (if that slang is out of fashion, just not awesome enough).

Shouldn't all the staff have Neato's at home, even more than one -- if only for the Tupperware effect (sorry if you don't remember)? Doesn't sound like much for their scale of distribution. This reminds me of a little start up I was with once that could not even keep development systems for the programmers, and kept selling them to the clients, absolutely weird.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby a4refillpad » March 25th, 2012, 4:27 am

I am definitely interested in the new brush when it is available (eta June/July according to neato support for uk) but I thought I'd mention this mod for anyone else who found the noise unbearable. The suggestion of blocking the bedroom is funny though. I find the noise so unbearable even when the doors are closed with it running on hardwood downstairs. Can anyone sleep with that thing going into bedrooms even with a new rush bar? Lol.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby a4refillpad » April 11th, 2012, 6:30 am

Anyone else spot this on youtube?



Appears someone has modded the beater bar and changed the vanes to use soft brushes instead.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby voicegy » April 11th, 2012, 12:21 pm

If the poster of the video really wanted to drive home the point of his modification, he should have done a before/after to show the dramatic difference in noise reduction.

I'm happy with the German brush/filter that I purchased for my XV-11 and am glad that Neato will begin selling these for all owners soon. The combination of the brush and vane, with helical design to help guide debris to the vacuums throat, is much more efficient on carpet and bare floors - along with the improved filter. The modification in the video lacks the helical design, which I think is pretty important.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » April 11th, 2012, 6:38 pm

VR brush: On carpet are you getting fiber build up on the bristle brush requiring it's cleaning?
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby voicegy » April 12th, 2012, 6:01 pm

glnc222 wrote:VR brush: On carpet are you getting fiber build up on the bristle brush requiring it's cleaning?


No, not at all - but individual's mileage may vary! Forum member djos stated in the forum post titled "Vorwerk Kobold VR-100 (imp. Neato XV-11) in Germany/Aust", 'The Neato with VR100 brush does get some "fluff" caught on it but nothing like what was shown on the Samsung brush, I clean my VR100 brush once a week with my barrel vac and a comb to remove it. We have 2 Cats, 40% carpets and one wife who sheds hair.'

I'm in a home environment that is less "involved" than the above - no pets, 2 short haired men, 50% carpet, the remainder hard floor. I've been running the VR100 brush on the XV-11 for over a month 3x a week, and there's not a speck on it yet, perhaps due to the great suction in part. (Which, in turn, is due to the VR100 filter and, from what I understand, somewhat mysteriously, ver. 2.6 firmware.)
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » April 13th, 2012, 1:47 am

Because Neato bundles the brush with filters in the upgrade pkg announced, useful to know if worth getting the brush or just filters, for carpets. Besides the advantage with pets do you notice any other improvement on carpet? Another poster didn't see much difference, maybe even a slight advantage to the 6-vane beater over the 4-element pet brush, I think without pets. It's marketed for pets, with no particular mention of anything else, and even comes with the old brush in the new pet model -- implying there might be a use for the old brush, odd if it is inherently weaker.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby voicegy » April 14th, 2012, 1:05 pm

In my opinion the biggest "advantage" with the "new bristled brush" (to quote Neato's web site) is the dramatic noise reduction on hard flooring. It picks up from my low-pile carpeting and hard floors basically as well as their first-generation 6-vane beater-only element.

Neato is fairly clear in their phrasing regarding these elements - this is their quote for the bristled brush:
"A new bristled brush improves the pick-up of pet hair, dander and fibers."

This is their quote for the XV-11:
"Neato gets all of your debris, dirt and even tough pet hair into your dirt bin resulting in very low maintenance."

So even Neato felt justified in inserting the word "improves" in advertising the new brush element. This may also be because of the helical design - it makes sense that more debris may be guided towards the intake throat with such a design change - and, let's face it, most traditional vacuums incorporate that design as well.

The interesting part is that nowhere does Neato officially state "experience less motorboat noise on hard floors with our new brush!" That would imply a negative to part of their lineup, and that's not good business practice. On the other hand, as it is programmable, if you're out of the house, who cares how loud it gets?

As to the traditional 6-vane beater, I don't think its inherently weaker per se; it may be an option, though not clearly stated, for those with higher-pile carpeting or rugs, where the brush element may experience issues. One may have to wait to see what the instruction manual states for the consumer when it comes to Neato's recommendations in choosing which element, and for what scenario's, a choice would be made. (If, indeed, the XV-21 ends up coming shipped with both.)

Of course, the undeniable advantage is in the redesigned filter, which is NOT an option on the upcoming XV-21. Again, to quote Neato:
"(The) special filter retains more than three times the amount of fine dust particles of standard filters, which is perfect for those with allergies."

Allergy relief is a big selling point these days, and they have a winner with promoting it this way; however, the improved airflow is more important to me, and is obvious. But "improved airflow" wouldn't necessarily be incorporated into Neato's promotional language, as, again, that implies a negative to part of their lineup.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2012, 2:48 pm

Thanks for the review. The helical form could be less for sweeping towards the center than noise reduction by maintaining constant contact instead of slapping the entire edge all at once. Suction moves to the center.
There was some question that a brush pulls stuff out of carpet better than beaters, but I also notice they tear fibers out of the carpets as well, not sure that's so good. But the full size vacuums use bristles.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby Blind Guy » April 14th, 2012, 3:18 pm

I'll be curious to see how the new brush works on certain carpet, for example, our house has a reletively short pile carpet, for which Neato does fine, however, we have a dining room throw rug under the table that seems to be of nearly the same heighth, density and consistancy, but when it comes to vacuuming (or at least attempting to) that dining room throw rug, Neato becomes bogged down to the point of nearly stopping.

This happens with the stock XV-11 filter, I'm curious as to what will happens when Neato attempts vacuuming either of those two carpets when equipped with the new brush. since it seems to me a brush will tend to grip the carpet more than the blades, which would seem to slip past the the carpet fibres during its rortational movement.

This "gripping" of the carpet would seem to cause the Neato to bog even more.

Hopefully all the supposition is for naught, for I am anxiously awaiting the New brush and heppa filter!

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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » April 14th, 2012, 4:23 pm

helical brush symmetry
Forgot one detail: the helical brush sides point into the center to balance on both sides the sideways screw effect on movement from contact, to not swerve, separately from any cleaning.

deep carpet
Needs a higher ground clearance, like off-road trucks. The brush guard needs to skim the top and sinks into the weeds without bigger tires.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby djos » April 18th, 2012, 7:34 am

voicegy wrote:
glnc222 wrote:VR brush: On carpet are you getting fiber build up on the bristle brush requiring it's cleaning?


No, not at all - but individual's mileage may vary! Forum member djos stated in the forum post titled "Vorwerk Kobold VR-100 (imp. Neato XV-11) in Germany/Aust", 'The Neato with VR100 brush does get some "fluff" caught on it but nothing like what was shown on the Samsung brush, I clean my VR100 brush once a week with my barrel vac and a comb to remove it. We have 2 Cats, 40% carpets and one wife who sheds hair.'


Actually I had a Roomba 562 Pet Edition with AeroVac Bin but your recollection is otherwise correct - i get a couple of hairs max around the end of the brush and only need to strip it down once a week as opposed to daily tear-downs and cutting out of hair for the roomba.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby chris-s » May 18th, 2012, 11:10 am

I've made pretty the same mod as a4refillpad.
But I have not cutted 100% of each blade.

The brush has 6 blades.
A blade has 6 parts. 4 bigs, 2 smalls.

I have cutted 5 parts of each blade.

Blade #1 : O X X X X X
Blade #2 : X O X X X X
Blade #3 : X X O X X X
Blade #4 : X X X O X X
Blade #5 : X X X X O X
Blade #6 : X X X X X O

O = original not cutted
X = cutted (0,5mm)

I have used a cutter, not scissors to have a straight cut line.

I wanted some blades to touch the floor, to have a better result on hard floors, like a "mopping" action.

Here's a video :
Last edited by chris-s on May 20th, 2012, 8:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby glnc222 » May 19th, 2012, 1:01 am

So how does that mixed cut/uncut combination work on the noise level? 1/6th original?

I presume you referenced paper cutters, with the attached meat-cleaver things. Not common at home unless handling art work or what not, but often in offices, schools.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby chris-s » May 19th, 2012, 4:14 am

As you can hear on my video, the noise was much reduced. I estimate divided by 6 the beater bar noise on hard floors (remember that I cut 5/6th of the beater bar).
You can hear a bit the helicopter noise, but not always and not so loud than before.

On thick carpet, the noise is always here, a bit reduced probably but not significant.

To cut in straight line, I have disassembled the blades and used these tools (pictures better than my poor english) :

1/ http://www.amazon.com/Install-Bay-Knife ... 960&sr=8-7

2/ http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-6508123 ... round.html

This is a temporary mod, till I can order the pet brush in France.
I will also modify the pet brush, by removing the hairs of the brush and keeping the blades, in order to avoid human hairs staying into the hair brush.
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Re: Neato brush noise

Postby chris-s » May 20th, 2012, 8:20 am

Full run with the brush mod :

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