Saturday, December 24, 2011

roomba red battery woes

we have been using a roomba red for a few years now. back then, there was only the red and a scheduler. nowadays the red could be considered a dinosaur.

this little fella makes your life a lot more convenient. sure, cleaning the floor doesn't take much time but one could easily be short of time especially on busy days. this little fella, has all the time in the world. so why not use his time rather than your time to clean up the place?

especially now that we have tonto, having roomba clean up all the hair this fella sheds is really awesome. we appreciate having a roomba more than ever!

and the roomba red is pretty tough. been running fine for at least 5 years now, except for... its batteries. its batteries suck! big time! have replaced them twice and a replacement battery cost rm350 here. YES! RM350! SCREW ME!!!

despite paying so much for the replacement battery, it's not very comforting to know that the warranty for the replacement battery is only 1 month (and they only tell you AFTER you paid for it). what? is that a harbinger of impending doom?

true enough, few months later, the replacement battery gave up as well.

well, i had enough! i searched around and found that there are folks who reconstruct the batteries themselves. this i got to try!

the worst part was prying open the battery cover. damn, it uses some special triangle screws. damn, the cover is glued.

fortunately you could get this special screw driver from jalan pasar. a bit more work later (and some scratches on the battery), managed to remove the cover. i already know what's inside. it's just 12 C size batteries in series.

now C batteries aren't common here. a pair cost rm50. we need 6 pairs, so this isn't cost effective. worse still, the batts are spot welded, 12 in series. damn.

then i got an idea! why not just replace the C batts with something that's more common here?

and that's what i did! bought AA size holders which house 4 in a pack. so some panasonic hermatite batts too. 3 holders is needed for 12 batts. secured them back, soldered the connections and...

our roomba is working again! and the 12 AA batts only cost rm150. best part is, you could replace them any time you want as these are cheap and common.


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