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Zig zag RL800

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  • harryturner2002
    Anyone know why my Robomower is zig zagging instead of mowing in a straight line? It has studded tyres but moves straight with manual control. Looks like it s
    Message 1 of 23 , Jun 28, 2014
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      Anyone know why my Robomower is zig zagging instead of mowing in a straight line?


      It has studded tyres but moves straight with manual control.


      Looks like it's doing the honeybee waggle dance.

    • D Dresser
      Does it do this while cutting the edge, or while cutting the interior? From: mailto:RoboMower@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2014 2:33 PM To:
      Message 2 of 23 , Jun 28, 2014
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        Does it do this while cutting the edge, or while cutting the interior?
         
         
        Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2014 2:33 PM
        Subject: [RoboMower] Zig zag RL800
         
         

        Anyone know why my Robomower is zig zagging instead of mowing in a straight line?


        It has studded tyres but moves straight with manual control.


        Looks like it's doing the honeybee waggle dance.

      • Danny Miller
        Yep, you ve gotta calibrate the Direction Keeper. get on flat, level ground, Service- 12321- DK Calibrate IIRC. Will turn around by itself a few times and it
        Message 3 of 23 , Jun 28, 2014
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          Yep, you've gotta calibrate the Direction Keeper.

          get on flat, level ground, Service->12321->DK Calibrate IIRC.

          Will turn around by itself a few times and it should be able to work from there.

          Danny

          On 6/28/2014 2:33 PM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:

          Anyone know why my Robomower is zig zagging instead of mowing in a straight line?


          It has studded tyres but moves straight with manual control.


          Looks like it's doing the honeybee waggle dance.


        • harryturner2002
          OK thanks. Done that but it is still running stiff and slow with zig zagging. Took a video - may put it on Youtube. Think the drive motors may need servicing.
          Message 4 of 23 , Jun 29, 2014
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            OK thanks.

            Done that but it is still running stiff and slow with zig zagging.

            Took a video - may put it on Youtube.

            Think the drive motors may need servicing.

            Anyone know how to get the drive chassis out to strip the motors down?
          • rann_georgia
            I have had mine run to one side which turned out to be a stick lodged in it. I assume you ve checked that. I d take the rear wheels off the ground and
            Message 5 of 23 , Jun 29, 2014
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              I have had mine run  to one side which turned out to be a stick lodged in it.  I assume you've checked that.   I'd take the rear wheels off the ground and rotate them.  They should turn with an even resistance.  If suddenly they turn very freely and the sound changes, you may have stripped the pinon gears out.

              To my knowledge, the little motors aren't serviceable.   Last I checked they run about 100 to 120 bucks new. BTW, the motors are about the size of a Coke can.
            • harryturner2002
              I have 2 videos. How do I get these hosted - i don t have a Youtube account. Thanks.
              Message 6 of 23 , Jun 29, 2014
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                I have 2 videos. How do I get these hosted - i don't have a Youtube account. Thanks.
              • harryturner2002
                Ok I ve taken both drive motors off the rear chassis. Both have small cracks at the top of the pinion - not sure if that is a frequent finding. I can t see the
                Message 7 of 23 , Jun 30, 2014
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                  Ok I've taken both drive motors off the rear chassis. Both have small cracks at the top of the pinion - not sure if that is a frequent finding. I can't see the cracks further down the pinions into the gear body, but I guess the pinion could be slipping under stress.

                  Anyone know if you can just buy the pinion and refit to the motors?

                  Thanks.
                • R T
                  Yeah, those are available and shouldn t be a back order item. Might set you back 40 bucks for a pair. They are set with brass bushings and it s not a
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jun 30, 2014
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                    Yeah, those are available and shouldn't be a back order item.   Might set you back 40 bucks for a pair.    They are set with brass bushings and it's not a picnic to get them off.    Because  a great deal of force is required to push the new pinions on the motor, usually a machine shop is the way to go.

                    However, that was the beginning of the downfall of mine.   The machine shop made a mistake and pushed the pinon gear on the shaft  damaging one of the motors, making it very stiff to turn.  I didn't realize that until a few weeks later when I was putting it back together.

                    If you use a machine shop, check the tension that it takes to turn these motors before you take them in.  Then when they're done, turn them while in the shop, if they're very, very difficult to turn, they've ruined the motor.   Complain before you leave the shop.



                    On Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 4:38 PM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] <RoboMower@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     

                    Ok I've taken both drive motors off the rear chassis. Both have small cracks at the top of the pinion - not sure if that is a frequent finding. I can't see the cracks further down the pinions into the gear body, but I guess the pinion could be slipping under stress.


                    Anyone know if you can just buy the pinion and refit to the motors?

                    Thanks.


                  • kendo_j@ymail.com
                    I had a similar problem  which was due to a poor perimeter signal.   Check the impedance of the loop & repair bad connections.  If its a battery operated
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jun 30, 2014
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                      I had a similar problem which was due to a poor perimeter signal. Check the impedance of the loop & repair bad connections. If its a battery operated perimeter switch they're prone to oxidisation of the battery connections and the small plastic connector that fits onto the pcb.
                      Alternatively you could try laying small temporary permiter wire to check the signal.
                      Good luck with it.
                      Ken - Scotland UK

                      Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android



                      From: harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] <RoboMower@yahoogroups.com>;
                      To: <RoboMower@yahoogroups.com>;
                      Subject: [RoboMower] Re: Zig zag RL800
                      Sent: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 8:38:12 PM

                       

                      Ok I've taken both drive motors off the rear chassis. Both have small cracks at the top of the pinion - not sure if that is a frequent finding. I can't see the cracks further down the pinions into the gear body, but I guess the pinion could be slipping under stress.


                      Anyone know if you can just buy the pinion and refit to the motors?

                      Thanks.
                    • harryturner2002
                      What does Roboscan look like? Maybe it s just doing that.
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jul 2, 2014
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                        What does Roboscan look like? Maybe it's just doing that.
                      • harryturner2002
                        Video at http://tinypic.com/r/2aabmlh/8
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jul 2, 2014
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                          Video at http://tinypic.com/r/2aabmlh/8
                        • harryturner2002
                          Don t mean to be rude but I can t believe that no one knows if this is normal RL800 movement. Seems pretty quiet in this forum. Are there any other forums for
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jul 8, 2014
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                            Don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that no one knows if this is normal RL800 movement.
                            Seems pretty quiet in this forum.
                            Are there any other forums for Robomowers?

                          • Austin Morgan
                            Nothing wrong with a ping. I am not aware of another forum for Robomowers. I have never owned a 800, but my 1000 and 550 s follow a line (the edge) turn toward
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jul 8, 2014
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                              Nothing wrong with a ping. I am not aware of another forum for
                              Robomowers. I have never owned a 800, but my 1000 and 550's follow a
                              line (the edge) turn toward the middle and approximate a straight line
                              (not a very good one) until it hits an obstacle or another edge. I
                              wouldn't call any of the movements zig zag.

                              Austin

                              On Tue, Jul 08, 2014 at 05:34:59PM -0700, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                              > Don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that no one knows if this is normal RL800 movement. Seems pretty quiet in this forum.
                              > Are there any other forums for Robomowers?
                              >
                              >
                            • CZ Unit
                              ... Sorry, the advice team is all on vacation. My RL550 does not wander, it pretty much drives straight and if you try to kick it to knock it off course it
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jul 8, 2014
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                                On 7/8/2014 7:34 PM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                > Don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that no one knows if this is
                                > normal RL800 movement.
                                >
                                > Seems pretty quiet in this forum.
                                > Are there any other forums for Robomowers?
                                >

                                Sorry, the advice team is all on vacation.

                                My RL550 does not wander, it pretty much drives straight and if you try
                                to kick it to knock it off course it will turn back to the same direction.

                                This is due to the direction keeper, which keeps it aligned with
                                magnetic north or whatever it thinks is north.

                                Now, if you have buried power lines, metal seams, or heck knows what it
                                could be tracking those and wiggling. Did you try recalibrating the
                                direction keeper (DK)? The calibration routine (12321 is the code for
                                the advanced stuff) will cause the RL550 (and the 800, they're the same
                                thing) to turn 360 degrees in steps and figure out your local magnetic
                                field.

                                Does this help?

                                C
                              • Charles Grenkow
                                Agree with CZ - do the recal and if that doesn t work then send it back if under warranty. Two of my 4 R1000 excessively wiggled so I sent them back to Costco
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jul 9, 2014
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                                  Agree with CZ - do the recal and if that doesn't work then send it back if under warranty.  Two of my 4 R1000 excessively wiggled so I sent them back to Costco and ordered a new one.  Could be a poor/failing motor or non-tight contact on the motor (two wires, red and a black connecting power to the motor) sometimes they arc inside and need to be cleaned and then tighten the connector on the spade connector.
                                   
                                  Chuck
                                   

                                  To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 21:20:44 -0500
                                  Subject: Re: [RoboMower] Re: Zig zag RL800

                                   
                                  On 7/8/2014 7:34 PM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                  > Don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that no one knows if this is
                                  > normal RL800 movement.
                                  >
                                  > Seems pretty quiet in this forum.
                                  > Are there any other forums for Robomowers?
                                  >

                                  Sorry, the advice team is all on vacation.

                                  My RL550 does not wander, it pretty much drives straight and if you try
                                  to kick it to knock it off course it will turn back to the same direction.

                                  This is due to the direction keeper, which keeps it aligned with
                                  magnetic north or whatever it thinks is north.

                                  Now, if you have buried power lines, metal seams, or heck knows what it
                                  could be tracking those and wiggling. Did you try recalibrating the
                                  direction keeper (DK)? The calibration routine (12321 is the code for
                                  the advanced stuff) will cause the RL550 (and the 800, they're the same
                                  thing) to turn 360 degrees in steps and figure out your local magnetic
                                  field.

                                  Does this help?

                                  C


                                • Lee Hart
                                  ... Harry, I saw your request. Such behavior is certainly not normal for my RL850. The only time I ve seen my robomower zig-zag about is when it passes over
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jul 9, 2014
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                                    harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                    > Don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that no one knows if this is
                                    > normal RL800 movement.
                                    > Seems pretty quiet in this forum.
                                    > Are there any other forums for Robomowers?

                                    Harry, I saw your request. Such behavior is certainly not normal for my
                                    RL850. The only time I've seen my robomower zig-zag about is when it
                                    passes over the buried water meter and iron pipe that feeds it.

                                    But, I only have a sample of one, and have no idea what could be causing
                                    the problem. So all I can post is "no information". :-(

                                    --
                                    The most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing one that
                                    is just good enough. -- Eric S. Raymond
                                    --
                                    Lee Hart's EV projects are at http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
                                  • harryturner2002
                                    Thanks for all the replies. Story gets more interesting. Apologies for the long post but I m excited. I decided to grease the gearing and then noticed that an
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jul 9, 2014
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                                      Thanks for all the replies.

                                      Story gets more interesting.

                                      Apologies for the long post but I'm excited.

                                      I decided to grease the gearing and then noticed that an odometer magnet had become dislodged. Closer inspection showed that one of the 2 plastic retaining brackets on the pinion had cracked. The result of this was that, when I tried to glue the magnet back in place, it was slightly off centre as the intact bracket was pushing the magnet over to the side with no bracket. I cut the intact bracket off and have glued the magnet in the centre of the pinion. I will glue down both sides tomorrow to increase the bond strength. 50% chance that I've got the magnet polarity correct. Not sure if that matters.

                                      So I figure what was happening was that the odometer on the left side wheel (as you look from the back of the mower) was sending out of phase data to the motor control processor. These data will conflict with the direction sensor data and cause mucho confusion to the mower processor. For example, when both motors are actually spinning at the same speed and the mower is travelling in a straight line, the data from the left wheel odometer will indicate that, on a single revolution, pulse 1 will be in phase with pulse 1 from the right wheel. But pulse 2 will either be early or late with respect to pulse 2 from the right wheel. Motor control cpu will then adjust the left motor causing a change in direction of the mower. Direction indicator will tell cpu that the mower is not travelling in a straight line. Motor cpu will start adjusting currents again etc. Result will be that the mower will stutter and stumble.

                                      If glue doesn't work I will have to buy a new drive motor. Not sure pinion replacement is going to be easy as I don't have a press or access to an engineering works.
                                    • harryturner2002
                                      Now fully working - well chuffed. Anyone know why my RL550 doesn t have an anti-theft pin number option in the menu? Maybe it needs a software update.
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                        Now fully working - well chuffed.

                                        Anyone know why my RL550 doesn't have an anti-theft pin number option in the menu?

                                        Maybe it needs a software update.
                                      • CZ Unit
                                        ... Was it the DK recalibrate? Or fixing that magnet? C
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                          On 7/13/2014 11:56 AM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                          > Now fully working - well chuffed.

                                          Was it the DK recalibrate? Or fixing that magnet?

                                          C
                                        • harryturner2002
                                          Fixing the magnet. I ve taken a new video which I can post. The before fixing and after fixing comparison is pretty impressive. Clearly there was a logic
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                            Fixing the magnet.

                                            I've taken a new video which I can post.

                                            The before fixing and after fixing comparison is pretty impressive.

                                            Clearly there was a logic conflict which totally paralysed the mower.

                                            Hopefully this thread will help others with zigzag mowers.

                                            Think I'll start a new topic for the 550 anti theft.
                                          • Danny Miller
                                            Come on, seriously. What methhead driving by saying there s a big yellow piece of equipment unattended, I bet I could sell that for $50 is gonna play with
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                              Come on, seriously.  What methhead driving by saying "there's a big yellow piece of equipment unattended, I bet I could sell that for $50" is gonna play with the menu there and say "oh darn it's got a PIN I won't be able to sell this" and leave it there unstolen?

                                              It'll get stolen either way.  A PIN could in theory put this person out of the business of stealing them once he's stolen a few and finds no buyers because they're unusable.  But almost certainly there would be a procedure to reset the PIN that would negate the problem. 

                                              Well if there was NO WAY to reset the PIN, then it'd be like 100x more likely the rightful owner won't be able to use his mower.  We'd be knee-deep in unusable Robomowers that people forgot the code for, or bought used where they'd been used for a couple of weeks, stored in the garage for a couple of years, and the guy didn't remember the code anymore.

                                              Danny

                                              On 7/13/2014 11:56 AM, harryturner2002@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                              Now fully working - well chuffed.

                                              Anyone know why my RL550 doesn't have an anti-theft pin number option in the menu?

                                              Maybe it needs a software update.

                                            • harryturner2002
                                              I agree that the pin is not really effective. My point is that the RL550 should have this option (as does the RL800 & RL850), but mine doesn t. Just wondering
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                                I agree that the pin is not really effective.

                                                My point is that the RL550 should have this option (as does the RL800 & RL850), but mine doesn't.

                                                Just wondering if this was an option on these units and not default.
                                              • CZ Unit
                                                ... I liked the guy who put a sticker on it saying for support, call and his number. When it got stolen he found the thief pretty quickly. C
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Jul 13, 2014
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                                                  On 7/13/2014 1:18 PM, Danny Miller dannym@... [RoboMower] wrote:
                                                  > Come on, seriously. What methhead driving by saying "there's a big
                                                  > yellow piece of equipment unattended, I bet I could sell that for $50"
                                                  > is gonna play with the menu there and say "oh darn it's got a PIN I
                                                  > won't be able to sell this" and leave it there unstolen?

                                                  I liked the guy who put a sticker on it saying "for support, call" and
                                                  his number. When it got stolen he found the thief pretty quickly.

                                                  C
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