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Doing my battery homework (a long winded message)

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  • terry_veldhuizen
    I am not sure how important run time is to some members of the group, or how much additional run time would be sufficient (other than infinity), but here is
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 30, 2003
      I am not sure how important run time is to some members of the
      group, or how much additional run time would be sufficient (other
      than infinity), but here is some additional information. As for me,
      I have two zones (soon to be three) and I just do one zone per day
      and have had no problems. However, when the batteries do die, I plan
      to replace them with the bigger ones (see below).

      I took my battery box apart to get information on the battery. I
      have included picture in the photo section of the disassembly. Sorry
      about the focus of some of the pictures.

      Here is the obligatory disclaimer – If you are not comfortable in
      opening the battery pack, or are not a do-it-yourself person, do not
      proceed. I assume no responsibility for damage or consequences to
      you, your robomower, any nearby people or animals, your
      neighborhood, your city, your state, or anything else as a result of
      following or attempting to follow these instructions. Note: Do not
      attempt to open the actual batteries, only the battery housing. Lead
      acid batteries are NOT environmentally friendly (nor people
      friendly) and should be disposed of appropriately. I use the Home
      Depot near us to dispose of all of my old batteries for recycling.
      Proceed at your own risk.

      The batteries in my unit are two 12 volt 17AH sealed lead acid
      batteries. I have identified a replacement battery with 20AH of
      power. This is a gain of over 15%. If your mower currently has a run
      time 3 hours 45 minutes, this would result an addition 33 minutes of
      run time, putting you at about 4 hours, 18 minutes.

      An exact replacement part would be Panasonic part number LC-RD1217P
      (12v 17 ah). The higher power battery is Panasonic part number LC-
      X1220P (12v 20ah). Amazingly, they are exactly the same physical
      size. The two batteries are the same technology and close enough in
      power so that changes in the charger would not be required.

      The battery supplier, part number, and price is:
      Supplier part number price (each)
      Digikey LC-RD1217P $36.23
      LC-X1220P $41.13

      MDS LC-RD1217P $58.00
      LC-X1220P $65.00

      BatteryWeb LC-X1220P $84.95

      The charging current on my unit is about 575ma, reducing to a
      trickle charge of about 115ma. At that rate, it will take (worst
      case) about 29.5 hours to charge the original batteries. Since the
      batteries are never drained down to zero, the charging time would
      actually be less. The higher capacity battery would add (worst case)
      5 hours to the charging time.

      Disassembly guidance: After the battery case has been removed from
      the robomower, there are little tabs on both sides in the middle
      top, immediately under the cover. Behind these two tabs are two
      other tabs attached to the cover that have hooks on them. To remove
      the cover, both the tabs on the lower case and the tabs attached to
      the cover must be pried out simultaneously while lifting the cover.
      Repeat the process on the other side and the cover should be free. I
      have had mine apart several times and the case appears to be very
      rugged. (I am very impressed with the design and construction of the
      mower.) After the cover is removed, the side (back) has two small
      flaps that can be opened and the side folded down. NOTE THE POLARITY
      OF THE CONNECTIONS TO THE BATTERIES AND WRITE THIS DOWN PRIOR TO
      DISCONNECTING THE BATTERIES. IMPROPER POLARITY CONNECTION DURING
      REASSEMBLE WILL DAMAGE THE ROBOMOWER. The battery closest to the
      open side is removed first, after removing the pressed on connector
      tabs. The inner battery can be removed by disconnecting it, moving
      it to the center of the battery housing, and lifting the case off
      the battery through the opening in the bottom of the case. Reverse
      the process to replace the batteries and reassemble.

      If your batteries are beginning to fail, you could replace them with
      the less expensive batteries. If you want the additional run time,
      you could replace them with the higher capacity and more expensive
      batteries.

      http://www.batteryweb.com/panasonic.cfm?sort=lbs

      http://www.digikey.com/

      http://www.mdsbattery.com/


      Good Luck
      Terry
    • Clint D
      Very interesting read there Terry. I m very curious to see how well it works for you. Sounds like you ve done a great job on your homework. If it works for
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 1, 2003
        Very interesting read there Terry. I'm very curious to
        see how well it works for you. Sounds like you've done
        a great job on your homework. If it works for you,
        I'll definately do this when my batteries die!

        It would be great if you uploaded a .txt file
        documenting these instructions. Most of us are fairly
        new users and our batteries will probably last a few
        more years before needing to upgrade them. It'll be a
        good idea to keep those photos and .txt file as a
        permanent part of our archives if it proves to be
        successful. :)


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      • becauseimjeff
        You never said which model you have (800 or 500)...I assume the batteries are different?
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 2, 2003
          You never said which model you have (800 or 500)...I assume the
          batteries are different?

          --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "terry_veldhuizen"
          <terry_veldhuizen@y...> wrote:
          > I am not sure how important run time is to some members of the
          > group, or how much additional run time would be sufficient (other
          > than infinity), but here is some additional information. As for me,
          > I have two zones (soon to be three) and I just do one zone per day
          > and have had no problems. However, when the batteries do die, I
          >plan .....
        • John Stoner
          I think the battery is the same for all models. john (www.johnsarcade.com) You never said which model you have (800 or 500)...I assume the batteries are
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 2, 2003
            I think the battery is the same for all models.
            john (www.johnsarcade.com)


            You never said which model you have (800 or 500)...I assume the
            batteries are different?

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          • terry_veldhuizen
            For the record, I have a RL500 that is about 2 years old. Terry ... me, ... day
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 2, 2003
              For the record, I have a RL500 that is about 2 years old.
              Terry

              --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "becauseimjeff"
              <becauseimjeff@y...> wrote:
              > You never said which model you have (800 or 500)...I assume the
              > batteries are different?
              >
              > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "terry_veldhuizen"
              > <terry_veldhuizen@y...> wrote:
              > > I am not sure how important run time is to some members of the
              > > group, or how much additional run time would be sufficient (other
              > > than infinity), but here is some additional information. As for
              me,
              > > I have two zones (soon to be three) and I just do one zone per
              day
              > > and have had no problems. However, when the batteries do die, I
              > >plan .....
            • please_try_another_name
              I just read Terry s post about battery replacement.... lots of really good info. I also did a lot of research on batteries a while back... for my harley.
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 12, 2003
                I just read Terry's post about battery replacement.... lots of really
                good info. I also did a lot of research on batteries a while back...
                for my harley. Probably about the same size battery. I found out some
                interesting things.....
                A new lead acid battery is shipped from the factory with, at best, a
                75% charge. If you put it into service at that point, you have
                permanently damaged it.... it will never hold more than a 75% charge
                & there's nothing you can do about it. It absolutely needs a booster
                charge before it's used. And, the robomower may not be the best place
                to charge it.
                The info used to be available at yuasa.com, maybe it still is.
                (Yuasa is the largest maker of small batteries) It can take a couple
                of days to charge it properly.... stopping, starting, monitoring
                voltage levels. You can actually get over a 100% charge if you do it
                right. I can say that the last battery I put in my bike, following
                the instructions from Yuasa, was easily 30% more powerful than the
                identical one it replaced.

                Have a good weekend.
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