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Re: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?

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  • Ben Sporl
    That s strange that the RL1000 shouldn t be run everyday. I thought all the components were beefed up (compared with the RL500), built for long runs, and
    Message 1 of 10 , May 6, 2009
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      That's strange that the RL1000 shouldn't be run everyday. I thought all the components were beefed up (compared with the RL500), built for long runs, and meant big yards. The only thing I can guess is the increased battery cycling shortens their finite life.

      Any dealers have any comments?




      ________________________________
      From: jnorris235 <jon@...>
      To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 4:35:59 PM
      Subject: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?





      I just bought Robot (pronounced Robert) RL 1000 heavy duty for use on my Herefordshire, England, grass.
      I was told that I must NOT use Robot everyday - in fact 3 times a week maximum. Otherwise he would die young.
      Yet I have a lawn that is a bit larger than 2000 sq metres, and the perimeter wire would also be well over 600 metres. Therefor it has to be in two separate zones.
      In April and May at least he will have to work most days, and be rested later in the summer, and of course, all winter.
      I couldn't get any answer that I could understand as to why I must rest him every other day. Something about 'bearings'. Surely they can be replaced, possibly earlier than normal but what is the problem?







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Barclay
      The main thing I watch is to be sure the batteries have time to *fully* charge and maybe cool down from the charge. If it mows for 3 to 4 hours and you assume
      Message 2 of 10 , May 6, 2009
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        The main thing I watch is to be sure the batteries have time to *fully*
        charge and maybe cool down from the charge. If it mows for 3 to 4 hours and
        you assume it takes 24 hours to charge, you can't run it every 24 hours.



        I have areas that require more than a couple of cycles per week. During max
        growing season I run a mower, for example, at 08:00 one day, then 18:00 (or
        maybe 14:00) the next day, etc. I'd make sure the RL1000 has 28 to 30 hours
        or so *in the dock* between mowing and you should be safe in my opinion.



        There is nothing wrong with mowing at night, unless you get a lot of dew
        (wet grass) so you can use that time in the schedule as well.



        Others may have different opinions, but I've run mine that way with success.
        The main thing is to monitor the battery status and make sure you're getting
        them fully charged or the batteries will die young.



        Dan







        From: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RoboMower@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of jnorris235
        Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 4:36 PM
        To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?








        I just bought Robot (pronounced Robert) RL 1000 heavy duty for use on my
        Herefordshire, England, grass.
        I was told that I must NOT use Robot everyday - in fact 3 times a week
        maximum. Otherwise he would die young.
        Yet I have a lawn that is a bit larger than 2000 sq metres, and the
        perimeter wire would also be well over 600 metres. Therefor it has to be in
        two separate zones.
        In April and May at least he will have to work most days, and be rested
        later in the summer, and of course, all winter.
        I couldn't get any answer that I could understand as to why I must rest him
        every other day. Something about 'bearings'. Surely they can be replaced,
        possibly earlier than normal but what is the problem?





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tom Stewart
        I ve just started my 4th season of cutting 20,000 square feet with my RL1000.  I have 4 zones and my wire is approx 2,000 feet long.  I initially had trouble
        Message 3 of 10 , May 6, 2009
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          I've just started my 4th season of cutting 20,000 square feet with my RL1000.  I have 4 zones and my wire is approx 2,000 feet long.  I initially had trouble with the long wire, but working with Frien\dly and Tyler, I found out there were two charging/perimeter wire boards for the charging station.  New board, no problem.  As I said, starting my 4th \year.  We have had 14 days of rain, and haven't been able to start cutting grass til today.  Robo is out there cutting grass that is a foot tall.

          I normally use the mower near everyday.  It's protected against overheating/over loading.  My suggestion, use it.

          Tom

          --- On Wed, 5/6/09, Danny Miller <dannym@...> wrote:

          From: Danny Miller <dannym@...>
          Subject: Re: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?
          To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 6:50 PM

















          The old plastic-bushing drive train was limited to a few hundred hours

          of service before it gave up.

          The newer ball-bearing gears should last pretty much forever. They

          certainly don't need a day to cool off.



          There is really no factor which will make the mower wear out in a

          shorter number of runtime hours just because the hours are closer

          together, except for running and charging the battery hot by doing

          back-to-back cycles with the fast charger will shorten battery life. I

          have never even heard someone say "3/wk max" before.



          I don't think the perimeter switch will even drive 600m of wire, would

          it? You're gonna need some special zones.



          This is a huge task for one RL1000. It may not be able to keep it mowed

          even if it's charged and run constantly.



          The best lead-acid battery is probably going to last about 200 cycles,

          figure about 800 runtime-hours, at a cost of $120 plus shipping.



          Danny



          jnorris235 wrote:

          > I just bought Robot (pronounced Robert) RL 1000 heavy duty for use on my Herefordshire, England, grass.

          > I was told that I must NOT use Robot everyday - in fact 3 times a week maximum. Otherwise he would die young.

          > Yet I have a lawn that is a bit larger than 2000 sq metres, and the perimeter wire would also be well over 600 metres. Therefor it has to be in two separate zones.

          > In April and May at least he will have to work most days, and be rested later in the summer, and of course, all winter.

          > I couldn't get any answer that I could understand as to why I must rest him every other day. Something about 'bearings'. Surely they can be replaced, possibly earlier than normal but what is the problem?

          >

          >































          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Matt Cooper
          Jnorris, What is the s/n on your mower? I m not familiar with your type of Herefordshire, England, grass.. Is it like fescue? Matt Cooper, Owner of AutoMate
          Message 4 of 10 , May 6, 2009
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            Jnorris,

            What is the s/n on your mower? I'm not familiar with your type of Herefordshire, England, grass.. Is it like fescue?

            Matt Cooper, Owner of AutoMate Tools
            Friendly Robotics Authorized Sales & Service,
            New RL & RM Robomowers

            Mesquite, Texas

            --- On Wed, 5/6/09, jnorris235 <jon@...> wrote:

            > From: jnorris235 <jon@...>
            > Subject: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?
            > To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 4:35 PM
            > I just bought Robot (pronounced Robert) RL 1000 heavy duty
            > for use on my Herefordshire, England, grass.
            > I was told that I must NOT use Robot everyday - in fact 3
            > times a week maximum. Otherwise he would die young.
            > Yet I have a lawn that is a bit larger than 2000 sq metres,
            > and the perimeter wire would also be well over 600 metres.
            > Therefor it has to be in two separate zones.
            > In April and May at least he will have to work most days,
            > and be rested later in the summer, and of course, all
            > winter.
            > I couldn't get any answer that I could understand as to
            > why I must rest him every other day. Something about
            > 'bearings'. Surely they can be replaced, possibly
            > earlier than normal but what is the problem?
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • Matt Cooper
            Tom, I d be ever careful with your 4 yr old RL1000... During the last two years, FR has improved the drive motors with heatsink aluminum framing that keeps the
            Message 5 of 10 , May 6, 2009
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              Tom,

              I'd be ever careful with your 4 yr old RL1000... During the last two years, FR has improved the drive motors with heatsink aluminum framing that keeps the motors aligned when treated to harsh cutting conditions that you are talking about. To prevent your mower in such conditions from overheating you will need to lower your overload shutdown/restartor get new 2009 software that overlaps the cutting path so you don't take as big of a "swath" through your 1 foot tall Amazon jungle of grass. The later Your mower is protected against overheating with the thermisters (to a degree). But overtaxing drive motors with a the heavy amperage draw is risky as well. You may be fortunate that your lawn is even and your mower never has a "rut" or "mogul" to get stuck on. give me a call and I can tell you how to set to lower overload threshold settings so you don't risk damaging your older non-heatsink/nylon bearing gearcase assembly.

              Matt Cooper, Owner of AutoMate Tools
              Friendly Robotics Authorized Sales & Service,
              New RL & RM Robomowers

              --- On Wed, 5/6/09, Tom Stewart <tstewartjr@...> wrote:

              > From: Tom Stewart <tstewartjr@...>
              > Subject: Re: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die young?
              > To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 6:04 PM
              > I've just started my 4th season of cutting 20,000 square
              > feet with my RL1000.  I have 4 zones and my wire is approx
              > 2,000 feet long.  I initially had trouble with the long
              > wire, but working with Frien\dly and Tyler, I found out
              > there were two charging/perimeter wire boards for the
              > charging station.  New board, no problem.  As I said,
              > starting my 4th \year.  We have had 14 days of rain,
              > and haven't been able to start cutting grass til
              > today.  Robo is out there cutting grass that is a foot
              > tall.
              >
              > I normally use the mower near everyday.  It's
              > protected against overheating/over loading.  My suggestion,
              > use it.
              >
              > Tom
              >
              > --- On Wed, 5/6/09, Danny Miller
              > <dannym@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: Danny Miller <dannym@...>
              > Subject: Re: [RoboMower] My Electric Sheep - will he die
              > young?
              > To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 6:50 PM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > The old plastic-bushing drive train was limited to a
              > few hundred hours
              >
              > of service before it gave up.
              >
              > The newer ball-bearing gears should last pretty much
              > forever. They
              >
              > certainly don't need a day to cool off.
              >
              >
              >
              > There is really no factor which will make the mower wear
              > out in a
              >
              > shorter number of runtime hours just because the hours are
              > closer
              >
              > together, except for running and charging the battery hot
              > by doing
              >
              > back-to-back cycles with the fast charger will shorten
              > battery life. I
              >
              > have never even heard someone say "3/wk max"
              > before.
              >
              >
              >
              > I don't think the perimeter switch will even drive 600m
              > of wire, would
              >
              > it? You're gonna need some special zones.
              >
              >
              >
              > This is a huge task for one RL1000. It may not be able to
              > keep it mowed
              >
              > even if it's charged and run constantly.
              >
              >
              >
              > The best lead-acid battery is probably going to last about
              > 200 cycles,
              >
              > figure about 800 runtime-hours, at a cost of $120 plus
              > shipping.
              >
              >
              >
              > Danny
              >
              >
              >
              > jnorris235 wrote:
              >
              > > I just bought Robot (pronounced Robert) RL 1000 heavy
              > duty for use on my Herefordshire, England, grass.
              >
              > > I was told that I must NOT use Robot everyday - in
              > fact 3 times a week maximum. Otherwise he would die young.
              >
              > > Yet I have a lawn that is a bit larger than 2000 sq
              > metres, and the perimeter wire would also be well over 600
              > metres. Therefor it has to be in two separate zones.
              >
              > > In April and May at least he will have to work most
              > days, and be rested later in the summer, and of course, all
              > winter.
              >
              > > I couldn't get any answer that I could understand
              > as to why I must rest him every other day. Something about
              > 'bearings'. Surely they can be replaced, possibly
              > earlier than normal but what is the problem?
              >
              > >
              >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • trentc@aol.com
              I have a RL1000 that doesn t seem to charge at the dock. I currently have to bring the battery in and charge it with one of the two RL500 s that I have in
              Message 6 of 10 , May 7, 2009
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                I have a RL1000 that doesn't seem to charge at the dock. I currently have
                to bring the battery in and charge it with one of the two RL500's that I
                have in the garage. Anyway - I would like to get this to charge at the dock
                again. I have tested the power supply and it seems to be putting out
                plenty of power. (38 volts). The power on the charging horns when the robot is
                undocked is about 12 volts. The power on the horns when docked seem to be
                about 24 volts.

                I don't know if the docking board is bad or the RL1000 - it is only two
                years old and seems to run fine otherwise. Any ideas would be greatly
                appreciated!
              • jnorris235
                ... Thanks all for your help. I have learnt from you that it needs 24hr+ recharging (I thought it was 21hrs charging 3hrs work) so thats easy to program in.
                Message 7 of 10 , May 7, 2009
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                  --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "jnorris235" <jon@...>
                  Thanks all for your help. I have learnt from you that it needs 24hr+ recharging (I thought it was 21hrs charging 3hrs work) so thats easy to program in. I'll go for a 28hr charge as you suggest.

                  Also that the new bearings should NOT get hot - and anyway this daily use, when you take into account rain, and the fact that it is only for the fast growing months, should be well within its remit.

                  I'm not using a *fast charger* (I don't think?) - it just came with the docking station. So the battery should last 200 cycles - that means 200 cuts? - which means it should just about last out the year.

                  I'm not sure what "What is the s/n on your mower" means, Matt!! Our grass is rubbish - old lawn one bit, old field another.

                  It certainly is a fantastically rugged and game machine - not some namby-pamby pair of scissors on castors. Well impressed!
                • Danny Miller
                  Even the old bushings (pre-bearings) had no problem with being run too often . They wear out quickly is all, whether you use up its life 4x faster by running
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 7, 2009
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                    Even the old bushings (pre-bearings) had no problem with being run "too
                    often". They wear out quickly is all, whether you use up its life 4x
                    faster by running it every day instead of every 4th day will yield the
                    same runtime hours before they're worn out. The plastic gets deformed
                    and ground up as it runs, which giving it days of "resting time" will do
                    nothing to change.

                    The gearbox (drive train) is replaceable at fairly reasonable cost. The
                    swap will also replace all the parts that it can wear out or break as a
                    result of the problem. So actually you can wait for the gearbox to die
                    and it won't make the problem "worse", be harder to replace, or cost
                    anything different to replace. You can just run it and don't need to
                    worry until it breaks.

                    As per what I put on the Robomower Wiki, I'm strongly recommending the
                    Tempest TD22-12 or BB Battery EB20-12 (supplier links on the Robomower
                    wiki). I'd say go for the TD22-12 and I hope you can get them shipped
                    to England ok. There are a thousand battery products sold in that same
                    half-U1 case style but few handle this duty well. The GP stuff which is
                    like 90% of the batteries sold can degrade or die within like 50 cycles
                    or so, maybe within a season, because its despite being rechargeable its
                    construction can't handle repeated deep cycling. Many users have gotten
                    these, thought they got a fine runtime at first, then are all angry next
                    year.

                    Danny

                    jnorris235 wrote:
                    > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "jnorris235" <jon@...>
                    > Thanks all for your help. I have learnt from you that it needs 24hr+ recharging (I thought it was 21hrs charging 3hrs work) so thats easy to program in. I'll go for a 28hr charge as you suggest.
                    >
                    > Also that the new bearings should NOT get hot - and anyway this daily use, when you take into account rain, and the fact that it is only for the fast growing months, should be well within its remit.
                    >
                    > I'm not using a *fast charger* (I don't think?) - it just came with the docking station. So the battery should last 200 cycles - that means 200 cuts? - which means it should just about last out the year.
                    >
                    > I'm not sure what "What is the s/n on your mower" means, Matt!! Our grass is rubbish - old lawn one bit, old field another.
                    >
                    > It certainly is a fantastically rugged and game machine - not some namby-pamby pair of scissors on castors. Well impressed!
                    >
                    >
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