Unhappy with Roomba vacuum

My wife had a roomba vacuum, that worked ok - barely - for about a year. Then the rechargeable battery pack died beyond fixing, so many of the cells died. A neighbor gave me one that has the "go to home" feature, but its battery has also died beyond repairing. Is this typical of Roomba's in general, being made with crappy rechargeable batteries? When 3/4 of the total cells in a battery pack won't hold a charge, I think that's pretty crummy. The Roomba manufacturerer had a good idea, but I wouldn't buy one now even at 1/4 the normal price because of my bad experiences.
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2011 21:32:25 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Probably cheap batteries. Send the pack to www.primecell.com (or one of a bunch of similar places) and have it rebuilt with better, longer lasting batteries.
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That's a good idea, or buy replacements from these guys:
http://www.all-battery.com/search.aspx?find=roomba
At least they have them for the 400 series because I've bought three already. Roomba does seem to come with pretty crappy batteries that last around 18 months for me. That's using them every third day or so.
The replacements have been much better I think.
I do love the roombas though. I have one upstairs and one downstairs and four cats. The Roombas do a very good job cleaning up after them but I suggest not letting Roomba process the occasional hairball if it's still wet.
My floors are wood but I've heard that they do a good job on carpet as well.
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wrote: <stuff snipped>

I bought some yellow NiMH Tenergy replacements for half of IRobber charges for NiCads. The trick to longevity is to remove the batteries after fulling charging them. The ones that sat in the self-recharging base died the fastest, probably from overcharging. Now that I pull the batteries after each recharge they seem to last much longer and are ready to go once reloaded.

Yes. The NiMH batteries run much longer and seem more tolerant of charging abuse. If you read the manual it gives a very detailed, step by step method of recharging batteries that indicates to me that charging is in part controlled by the Roomba's on-board circuitry. I had a little trouble with short run times with the new battery until I read how to "recondition" them.

I find it a bitch to clean the rollers all the time and heaven help you if you let the onboard bin fill up because the Roomba will then start packing dirt into the inside of the machine. I have five of them (Fry's at one time sold the red jobs and the Dirt Dog for as low as $60 each. The prices have since skyrocketed. What they are most useful for, to me at least, is when I have to do a "speed clean" of the house. I let three of them loose while I spot vacuum and straighten up and worry about cleaning them out later. Drives the dog nuts but three of them working at once can really vacuum up a place pronto. Gets dog hair up (because of the beater brushes - the Dirt Dog has two) that regular vacuuming misses.

Mine have lasted quite a while now that I make sure to never let them overload with dust and dirt. Killed two that way (gritty dust got into the motorized wheels) but Roomba sent two free replacements and let me keep the defective units which will serve as "hangar queens" (Air Force maintenance term) for the other working units. There's nothing better for cleaning dog hair under beds.
-- Bobby G.
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I just rebuilt mine with aftermarket battery cells - a piece of cake and real cheap.
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On 10/19/2011 11:32 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

We have four Roomba's and of course the batteries go bad after a lot of use, that is just the nature of any battery. Simply go to e-bay and buy a new one. Next to the round wire ball that picks up walnuts it is one of the best inventions ever!
Don
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IGot2P wrote:

Second that. Replacement batteries are about 1/4th the price of official Roomba batteries.
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driving us nuts (so to speak). That HAS to be a lot easier than picking them up by hand.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
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On 10/20/2011 4:21 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

They should work great for buckeyes. The only time that they lose a nut is when you try to pick up a nut that is exceptionally larger than the ones already in the ball. What happens is the big nut will open the wires wide enough to let smaller ones drop through. Really no problem as all you have to do is roll over the small ones again and they are picked up. Actually, they do have different sizes. Some are even used to pick up spent brass at shooting ranges. Search Amazon.com for "nut picker upper" (without the quotes).
Don
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Oren wrote:

Yep. Roomba has free APIs that you can use on your computer to control the beast.
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