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Neato Vacuum and Li Ion Cells

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The Neato finally acted as though I replaced with different cells.

TL;DR:

  1. plug in a USB to a Mac
  2. screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1411
  3. GetVersion to see that we’re talking
    • …BatteryType,1,NIMH, (or similar)
  4. SetConfig BatteryType 3
    • BatteryType,3,LIION_4CELL,

I’ve been using a Neato-XV for a while, and after the first year, the battery wouldn’t hold a charge as well. Since I was replacing them, I decided to go with a Lithium-Ion stack.

Li-Ion on Amazon was very quick, and there was a vendor selling an exact drop-in. Arrived in good shape, half-charged as they should be, dropped them in, charged and ran like expected.

Now we’re a few years out, and either the Li-Ion has degraded, or has finally started acting like Li-Ion cells: the batteries’ Protection Circuit Module drops all connection when it’s fully charged. This is after it’s been charging all night as it usually does, but it seems the charge has gotten high enough to trigger the PCM cutting out.

This one change, mentioned in Neato XV 21 and Lithium battery converts the charging logic to expect a complete cut-out of power when charged rather than a slight drop — or at least accept the cut-out as a better sign.

Connecting to the Neato is described in the first page of the Neato Robotics Programmer’s Manual but not so much in terms of a Mac which has a serial connection client by default. I found that watching the difference before/after allowed be to see that the /dev/tty.usbmodem1411 device was being created on connection, so screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1411 is the way in. The first attempt failed, but starting up the Neato with a USB connected may have resolved that.

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