I'm just down the road a bit in Macon. Yes, lightening is one of the Achilles heels of these beasts.
In Macon we have the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds which is either a state or national park Ancient Indians built these mounds, one of which I would say is about four stories or higher. They recently bought a robotic lawn mower designed to mow steep inclines sometimes using a tether rope. I believe it's made in Denmark, is gasoline powered and operated by direct remote control. The only draw-back to this model is it's $38,000.
Since I have no garage, my unit is covered up with a tarp and plastic, as you know, because of the endless rain we're having.
On the first docking board, the insurance paid for the replacement as it was a really bad strike taking out 13k of stuff in the house. The second one, I never screwed into the base so that I could disconnect it when a storm was approaching. However, the wind blew it over and laying upsidedown, like a turtle on its back, rain water gathered in it and shorted it out.
A local electronics store looked at the board and said it couldn't be repaired because the short went through both sides of the board. So, if in the future, someone has a similar problem but the problem doesn't burn through the board, it might be possible to repair the docking station board.
The next problem--when the rain stops--is cleaning a bit of corrosion off the board where the power connectors come in. I fear once I get that down that I'll be replacing the rightside motor. Took it to a local machine shop to have new pinon gears pressed on. I don't think he knew how to do it as now that one motor will turn only with great effort. Oh, well, it's a soap opera but a learning experience. I'm getting to the point now I can almost create a troubleshooting diagram.
--- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "TinaP" <tinapropes@...> wrote:
> Hi Rann,
> Being in Atlanta all three of my docking boards have been destroyed by lightning. One of them so bad that all of the capacitors were actually blown off the board. On all three I replaced the power supply with a 32V power supply from an HP printer and they all charge fine. I just plug the perimeter switch in behind the docking station so my RL-1000's still return to base after they are finished cutting.
> Good Luck,
> --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "rann_georgia" <southbound03@> wrote:
> > Your question about charging gave me a great idea.
> > A couple of years ago the base docking charging/transmitter board shorted out but the charger, I assume, is still good. I bought the indoor charger, just ran the cord out of a shed and use a perimeter switch.
> > Having now become intimate with the workings of this machine since I've taken it apart, I see no reason why I can't hook that outdoor charger up to the charging metal bars on the original docking station.
> > From looking at the board that both the indoor charger hooks into and the docking station charger which are the same, the unit shouldn't notice that the docking station board has been fried.
> > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Lee Hart wrote:
> > > >> The Robomower comes with a dumb old constant-voltage type charger...
> > >
> > > Visti wrote:
> > > > This is not quite my experience. I did measure charging of my first RL1000 for 16 hours. This is the result.
> > > > http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MI8MUtIxo6J__9YXUJay7moHgbdvBUgZQgQU-8hSKLS1Ns8Y5yk-IyRyRUPxSRW5VtMMkzU0h5o8r7Gs58KteCOgQdStYdfnZP9xQ6Q/RL1000%20charging.GIF (you can find it in the files section).
> > > > It is now running every day on its 7th season using the original batteries.
> > > > I never exhaust the batteries. Mowing time is 1 hour 40 minutes and has been since day one.
> > >
> > > Hi Visti,
> > >
> > > Your link didn't work for me, so I can't see your data. Perhaps your
> > > RL1000 has a different charger?
> > >
> > > I have an RL850. I measured the stock charger voltage: It delivered
> > > about 3.5 amps peak at the start of the charging cycle, which tapered
> > > down as the battery voltage rose. It ended up at 27.6v, which is 13.8v
> > > per 12v battery at the end of the charge cycle. There was no
> > > equalization step; it appeared to be a simple current limited constant
> > > voltage charger.
> > >
> > > My present charger charges at 4 amps until the battery reaches 14.7v;
> > > then it holds it at 14.7v until the current falls to 200ma; then it
> > > switches to 13.5v float. The 14.7v equalization step, and lower float
> > > voltage step helps the life of AGMs.
> > > --
> > > In life's great adventures, keep in mind thy cause.
> > > Be neither moved by critics, nor multitude's applause.
> > > -- Nasreddin
> > > --
> > > Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
> > >