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Author Topic: Ugobe Pleo mistakenly reading battery level as low with new rebuilt batteries  (Read 413 times)

Soli

  • Leaving the nest
  • * Posts: 9
  • Female

I recently got my first Pleo and it came with a completely dead battery as expected. Rebuilt 2 completely new batteries using different methods. Each has a thermistor and reads as 8.1 volts on the multimeter. The first is built like the original and we charged it with the original cradle until the light went green. The second battery has removable cells that can be charged separately in their own charger.

Pleo responds the same way to both of these batteries. He will work, act normal for around 30 seconds to a minute, then go to sleep. Once he is asleep he cannot be woken up. The only way to wake him up is to turn the power switch off and on again. Then the process repeats.

I have also tried running the "disable battery temp sensor" script just in case it was the thermistor but this has no effect.
I ran the battery diagnostics tool with him and it displays his battery as very low, even though it still reads as 8.1 volts on the multimeter.

I am really at a loss on how to get my friend working properly :(

Another thing to note: He does not go to sleep when plugged into my computer.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 09:53:43 AM by Soli »
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli

Third attempt to reply (slow learner about composing posts on line) >:( ???

In short, Mike Bauer's PVS program was a swell idea, but is rather buggy, I would not use it to determine the state of my batteries.

I would use his Dino-mite program to troubleshoot your Pleo!

In my opinion, it's not a battery problem.


The USB port is connected directly by a wiring harness to the motherboard, and provides 5 volts at very low amps (500mA max) to the power regulator circuit.

The batteries are routing 8 plus volts at high amperage all over the place (the protection fuse on the input power board is 3A), through the bottom of the robot, up the daughtercards, through connector pins to the motherboard.

Any number of faults along this path can cause problems with the voltage dropping, cycling or changing in intensity (amperage).

Why not try to connect your Pleo to Dinomite and get at print out of the boot up messages to see what is going on in side your friend.

Cheers!

Peter

« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 12:45:12 PM by pnhicks »
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Soli

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  • Female

Thanks Peter. Still trying to get Dino-Mite working on my computer.

Do you think I will have to remove the skin and get into the internal electronics to fix this issue?
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli,

Try running Dino-mite in windowsXp sp3 compatibility mode.  To install the drivers, it is necessary to turn off device driver signing verification (you can find instructions on the web).  Easy Peasy ;D

There is a patch for Dino-mite if you get an error when running about a missing .OCX file (its in forum download section Dino-fix or something like that).

We'll worry about skinning poor pleo when we find out more about what's ailing him or her!

Cheers!

Peter
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli,

Just two quick questions while we are waiting for dino-mite to cooperate.

When you packed your battery, what cells did you use, and where did you get them from?  There has been a recent article exposing the HUGE fraud on rechargeable batteries coming from a certain Asian country with a large mail order business whose name might remind you of a den of thieves? 

Regardless of their origin, these batteries were recycled and "re-skinned" with outer shells coming from high quality batteries when the cores are complete crap.

The shell may state 2700mAh but these duffs have tested as low as 200 mAh!  Do you have any way to test the capacity of the individual cells of your removable cell pack? 

The length of time it takes to go from discharged to fully charged will be another indication (if you have an idea of the charging current).

One last question (is that more than 2?), is the thermistor totally removed now?

Cheers!

Peter



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Soli

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I have 2 different types of cells,  one pack is generic and from an RC supply store on ebay called Toyofmine based in the US.  The other pack is Rayovac rechargeable from Amazon.

Can i check the mAh with a multimeter?

And the thermistor is still on the pack.

Thanks
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli,

Did the batteries come with any information about their capacity in mAh (milliamp hours).  Unfortunately, most multimeters don't have a battery test feature and most so called hand held "battery testers" are of dubious quality.

The ideal method is a "quality" battery charger that performs a controlled charge at a specific rate for each battery chemistry, a cool off period, then a specific discharge rate for each battery chemistry for a timed period while measuring the open circuit voltage to ensure that the battery is discharged beyond a safe point.

Are you sure that the thermistor is wired correctly (between negative terminal and the NTC terminal with good insulation between the NTC terminal and the battery busses underneath?

Just checking ;D

Peter


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Soli

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The cells are 1350mAh each according to their product page. I have a photo of the thermisot on the battery if that helps ^^

https://imgur.com/a/SzDIbby
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Soli

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Ok! Finally got Dinomite working. I don't really understand how to read it, but it seems it is still reading the battery as low? Here is a link to the log in it's entirety:

https://pastebin.com/WKDc6EnU

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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli!

Reading the output of Dino-mite is like trying to take a sip of water from a firehose! ;D

First we have to stop the output of every thing!  It's too much ( and a lot we don't know what it is and don't care!)

As you said, when you did get a chance to enter "stats power", we saw there is a battery issue :-[ .

So I am wrong again, who knew?

1350 mAh batteries are not going to do the trick for poor Pleo!  We want as close as possible to 2600!  These batteries are wired in series so the capacity will be the capacity of the lowest battery in the pack (so they all have to be the same quality, no mix and matching).

The voltages will add together but not the current!

Pleo detected a voltage drop and started going into a "sleep" mode.  Is it possible that you have the "point of purchase" or POP demo software installed?

It didn't look like a normal operating system, but again I have been wrong before!

Cheers!

Peter


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Soli

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I just put in my other cells, they are 2800 mah. Made sure they were fully charged first. Pleo acts the same with those in a well,  except worse :( he will often power off in the middle of an action,  but when he is awake long enough he will go to sleep again.  Could there be something of with both cells I am using? Like not the right type? They are both 1.2 V

He is running OS 1.1 , recently updated him to it
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Gosh Soli :( ,


The cells are 1.2v that is correct.  2800 mAh is a VERY large capacity AA battery (if it cost less than 5 euros each I would be very surprised!). The Panasonic Eneloop Pros are only 2450!



Can you try to run Dino-mite with the new batteries? Can you run stats power with the new batteries?  It should run MUCH better that the 1350 mAh batteries!!


Sorry, but it sounds like some one might have sold you some duds!


Cheers!


Peter
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Soli

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I ran Dinomite with the new cells and the results are just terrible, looks like your right about these being duds:

  Battery Voltage = 60, Min 60, Max 74 (tenths of a volt)
              Battery Temperature = 17, Min 15, Max 17 (degrees C)
                  Battery Current = 2230, Min 300, Max 2980 (milliamperes)
             Battery sensor value = 8 (% capacity remaining)
      Battery sensor direct value = 8, Min 0, Max 18
              Battery Voltage A/D = 432, Min 366, Max 650
          Battery Temperature A/D = 382, Min 356, Max 435
              Battery Current A/D = 312, Min 42, Max 417
            Thermistor Resistance = 14397, Min 13911, Max 16447 (ohms)
      Battery Internal Resistance = 0, Min 100000, Max 0 (milliohms)
        Battery Capacity Consumed = 4 (mAh)
                       Powered up = true
                  RTK Adjustments = 0
                           RTK IK = 0
                           RTK VB = 0
Power monitor reset early warning = 0 (/LLO)
> INFO: high: setting monitor command to: sens show
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Soli

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I'm a little confused as to why the Rayovacs don't work though. Pleo's original stock battery was 2200 mAh so I am confused why it won't run on the 1350 mah batteries. Or was it 2200 mAh for each cell in the original, not the total? Sorry I am not very familiar with batteries
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 04:04:11 PM by Soli »
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Soli

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Update: Something strange just happened. I powered Pleo on with Rayovacs in after trying the other cells and he worked properly! He ran for around 20 mins before sleeping. But after powering him on again later, he is back to his previous issue.
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Hi Soli,

I have a little knowledge of batteries (a dangerous thing). 


Lesson 1.  Voltage

Batteries in series (like in your case)  The VOLTAGES (the force pushing the elections through the Pleo) ADD together for each battery in series:
i.e. 1.2 +1.2+1.2+1.2+1.2+1.2=7.2 or nominal voltage, that DOES NOT MEAN when you take your battery off the charge it should read 7.2 volts!!  The fully charged 1.2 NOMINAL cell will be about 1.4 (6*1.4=8.4V).  If your hot off the charger pack is not 8V or slightly over, your charger is not fully charging you pack, or there is a problem with a cell or cells.

2. Current

Imagine you are sitting down on the ground next to a stream of water, like a creek, flowing past you. Upstream from you a truck turned over and dumped a load of rubber ducks into the creek, and now you see rubber ducks floating past you, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4, etc.  This is current, the number of electrons that flow in the circuit past a point in specific time.

Current stays the same in all parts of series circuit.  You could move upstream or downstream and you would still count the same amount of ducks passing by per the same amount of time.

3. Capacity

You dig a canal from the creek to your backyard to fill your new swimming pool.  If your pool is wide and deep, it has high capacity mAh (how many milliamp-hours are in your battery), but it might not fit in your backyard or your pleo!  If the canal you dug to fill it is narrow and shallow, you have a low charge rate C you might have to wait all summer to take a dip! 

THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN DRAIN ALL THOSE AMPS OUT IN ONE HOUR!!! Remember the C rating of the battery!  You filled your pool with a little tiny canal over a long time, what method do you have to extract those duckies without destroying your battery and its case and wiring and bus bars, etc.


What would happen if your swimming pool had a drain the size of your kitchen sink (and it drained as good as mine :( ). It would take you a lot longer to empty the pool than it did to fill it!
High C rate charging takes a toll on rechargeable batteries and they will last fewer cycles. Low C rate charging takes longer and can result in low charged batteries.



Enough theory, I hope your still awake at least!

The original Pleo battery was severely under powered!  The useful playtime was very limited when new, and went down fast with cycles.  But we are talking 2007 technology, things have gotten better in 2020! 

I hope this help!

Peter
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 11:41:43 AM by pnhicks »
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Soli

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  • Female

Hey pnhicks thank you very much for all your help! I got some batteries that were advertised as Panasonic Enloop alternatives and popped them in and Pleo has been running fine for an hour now!

And I think I understand now! Thank you for your analogy as well :)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 05:44:20 PM by Soli »
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pnhicks

  • Pleontologist
  • * Posts: 152
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!

Good on you Soli!  ;) 

Have fun with your Pleo!

Cheers!

Peter
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