Author Topic: RM400 installation and setup thoughts  (Read 3650 times)


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RM400 installation and setup thoughts
« on: August 03, 2013, 04:57:15 PM »
Just got a new RM400 and wanted to share my experience and thoughts so far. As i have not completed my setup yet this isn't a complete run down will be poorly organized until i finish.

Initial delays

Several small but noteworthy problems i had were the unit never powered up upon inserting the fuse as stated in the manual, as i made the assumption the battery could be drained from warehouse storage i plugged in the winter charger and the display came to life stating that it was charging for about 30 seconds until it started alarming and asking me to insert the fuse that i had already inserted. It turns out that one of the battery negatives had been disconnected (i assume at the warehouse or factory to protect the batteries during storage) however this isn't stated anywhere in the documentation.

Since i ran out of perimeter wire i picked up some sprinkler wire of the same gauge (18) at a local hardware store, it can be cheaper per wire as your essentially buying in bulk but the array of colors doesn't work well unless your planning to bury your wire. Also it's a pain get them out of their bundle, the insulation isn't as thick and they tend to pigtail if your not careful. Honestly i think brown works better than the green provided as it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb when you install it.

Unless you like to buy shiny new covers or just don't mind yours getting scratched up you may want to place tape or something protective along the edging side upon initial setup as it's bound to scrape several times while you fine tune things.

The second small issue i came across was during setup of the base station position, after the base station positioning test Robomow backed out of the dock and requested me to peg the base and then continue which i did, however upon pressing go it proceeded back into the dock and then backed out and again asked me to peg the base station and continue, this repeated itself several times until i pressed go directly after it asked me to peg the base and press go to continue....there must be a time delay that was causing it to repeat.

While running the perimeter wire test i found that robomow does not handle 90 degree fenced turns well if pegging the corner using the roboruler, I ended up pegging the corner using the 45 degree method setting the pegs 28 in. from the fencing at each 45 to keep it from hitting the fence on the turn. This may not always be the case, as i had another corner that seemed to work fine, however it would be nice if robomow backed up in the same fashion it arrived at the obstacle so it doesn't end up backing into another one requiring you to turn it off and pick it up each time.

Divots are your worst enemy, unfortunately my lawn isn't the most evenly graded and there are several area's where planters and a play set have been removed and have yet to be graded or backfilled with sod. You'll want to look for these low or high spots and tree roots on your initial inspection as they are perfect traps the your robomow, Mostly the font wheel.

While the robobuler works ok for setting up the perimeter wire i feel like a hard plastic rule with holes or slots cut for the pegs would ensure the most trouble free setup, a flip out rule for 45 degree corners would be nice as well.

Speaking of plastic the pegs provided work well with soft sod dirt but are easily broken in harder soil, easily evident when the green starts to fade indicating stress. Be sure and follow the instructions for watering your lawn prior to installing these pegs or search for something more resilient.

In Short:
  • Check your battery terminals if you have problems with initial start up
  • sprinkler wire works but may not be as resilient and tends to pigtail, brown or black may be better suited for aesthetic appeal
  • Tape the edging side of your cover before initial base position and wiring test
  • Press go immediately after you complete the pegged base test to continue to the wire test
  • peg fenced corners at 45 degree angles (pegs 28 in. from obstacle in front of/behind wire worked best for me)
  • having robomow back up in the same fashion it arrived if it bumps into a obstacle during the wire position test would be nice
  • hard plastic rule with peg holes/notches and flip out fenced corner rule would be nice
  • check for sinkholes/high spots and tree roots on initial lawn inspection and plan accordingly
  • water your lawn prior to pegging or find more resilient pegs


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Re: RM400 installation and setup thoughts
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 11:16:25 AM »
After finally completing my installation this spring, due to some issues last fall I've had a few thoughts change on the installation process

Setting the perimeter wire is a more vital step than setting the base as long as you have a good idea where you want the base and give it room for it to properly dock. The reason I state this is that setting the perimeter wire is the most time sensitive and consuming part of the installation, you may have to adjust several times during the process if your unfamiliar with robomow's operation behaviors.

to best accomplish this I chose a base position but didn't peg it, I started laying the perimeter wire lightly pegging at each corner (45 degree angles at fenced corners, 8in between pegs as recommended) at rounded area's I simply laid the wire around the bend.
     once back to the base station I pulled 12-18 in. of wire from the other end of the spool to connect to the base in order to test the perimeter (this allowed me to use the least amount of wire and make up for unaccounted wiring requirements during installation.) I then started measuring and pegging until I reached 6 feet past the first corner at which point I would set the robomow at the starting point and run a wire test to ensure it was properly edging and rounding the corners to my satisfaction and then stop it. Afterwards  I would peg until 6 feet past the next corner and test again, repeating this process until I reached the base station.
       Once I was satisfied with the edging and had reached the base station I ran several docking tests adjusting as needed until it was good, made my final wire cut and connection to the base and pegged it down.

The other discovery should be obvious but wasn't for me immediately. Make sure you set your mowing height before setup as the mower ships with the deck at the lowest position. This will cause headaches as the mower will get stuck easily during edging setup until you do so. I set mine to 2.5in, any low spots you may encounter can easily be filled in later so don't worry about pegging around them, the mower will most likely have no problem with these with the correct deck height set.