The Roomba's Lighthouse get the job done, but they have a defect: the battery last only 2 months.
And why do they last so little? It's easy: because there is no switch, the Roomba's lighthouse are always on.
Let me think... my Roomba works about 6 hours/week... and it's Lighthouse receive and emit signal for 168 hours/week (24*7=168).
This doesn't make sense to me...
So I hacked a Lighthouse and added a switch to it.
The rest of this post is divided in 3 sections:
1) How to dismantle an iRobots Roomba Lighthouse/Virtualwall
2) How to NOT glue a switch with hot glue
3) How to CORRECTLY glue a switch with hot glue, to a Roomba Lighthouse
So, first things first:
1 - How to dismantle an iRobots Roomba Lighthouse/Virtualwall
Here is the Roomba Lighthouse
The top piece of plastic is hooked to the lower part with 4 plastic clip, in the 4 corner.
You can then remove all the 5 screws.
Then you can lift up the top part.
And you are left with this:
The Roomba Lighthouse dismantled:
2 - How to NOT glue a switch with hot glue
The hack to add a switch seemed ridiculously easy: cut the red wire, and put a switch in between.
But when you think a job is dead easy, the mistake is waiting to happen...
So, here is the switch, salvaged from a broken ADSL router:
After some cutting/desoldering, I have a usable switch:
I tough I would place the switch there:
Something like that, but with a hole for the switch:
So I made the hole, and I glued the switch with with hot glue... and when I pushed the switch on it's new hot-glue bed... the hot glue happily entered INSIDE the switch trough the switch venting hole... :-|
Here is the top of the switch, with the (now glue-filled) venting hole.
And this is the inside of the switch: a total loss.
3 - How to CORRECTLY glue a switch with hot glue, to a Roomba Lighthouse
So, let's go on with the Plan B: use another switch I had lying around, and glue it in the correct way.
Here is the new switch connected to the Lighthouse.
This switch is bigger, it wont fit inside the lighthouse, so I created a plane spot (with some hot glue) on the external side of the Lighthouse.
Now, after the previous failure, I covered any hole in the switch BEFORE gluing it. :-)
And here is the glued switch in my brand new Roomba Franken -Lighthouse
Now, some black tape to make it look a little better:
And I'm done!
My Roomba Lighthouse finally finished eating my batteries.
Now it's an Eco-friendly Lighthouse :-)