Intermittent problem won't start. Possibly angle sensors.

by Eric Marsh
(La Drova, Spain)

My Dolphin Easykleen is prone to not wanting to run some times but having no problem at other times. It seems like it might have something to do with the angle sensors. It will stop when it hits the wall at an angle other than straight up and down.

When it's out of the water sometimes it runs and sometimes it doesn't. For some reason it seems like it has less problems when the bag is out of the machine. I've had times when I turn it upside down and it's happy to run but turn it over again and it won't start up.

Any idea what might be happening? Is it someone who is reasonably skilled mechanically can do anything about?

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Apr 22, 2018
I think I figured it out
by: Eric Marsh

I opened up the motor and inspected it. There was a small package of desiccant moisture remover inside that had come open and the contents were scattered around inside. I blew it clean and did some experimenting.

The level indicators are interesting little devices that consist of a led light source, a light sensor and a black plastic box that carries a ball bearing. When the robot is at certain angles the ball bearing will block the light. Thinking that perhaps some of the desiccant got into them I blew them out but no joy.

I noticed that sometimes when the impeller would start up the robot would immediately shut down. I pulled the power to the impeller motor and the robot would run. I thought that perhaps there was too much drag on it so I pulled the armature and lubed the seal and the shaft with electric silicone grease. But I still seemed to have intermittent problems.

Finally I started looking at the power cable where it goes into the robot. With the robot sitting on it's side and running I noticed that if I wiggled the cable it would stop. I pulled the cable out and saw that the connectors that go into the motor box were a mess. I'm thinking that constant movement as the cable is dragged behind the robot may have caused the wire to degrade. The impeller motor was probably pulling enough of a load that with the bad cables the robot shut down when it saw that there wasn't enough voltage.

I cut a foot of cable off and tomorrow I'll try to find some replacement connectors. Also the handles are in bad shape. I'd buy new ones but they are out of production. I'm trying to come up with an idea of how to replace them.

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