Ariel Surface bot and Maytronics Dolphin Deconfliction

MyAZPool

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Last November, I pre-ordered an “Ariel by Solar-Breeze” surface bot. Before the actual delivery of Ariel, I had then decided to also make the switch from a suction-side cleaner to a Dolphin Robot by Maytronics for cleaning the bottom, sides and tile.

In my research, I noticed several threads that indicated that folks whom had both types of cleaning bots, had voiced concerns that the surface robot would come in conflict with the floating control/low voltage power cable attached to the cleaning robot. I also had conversations with a couple of folks who were owners of both bots that also indicated that this was a problem if both robots were in the water at the same time. Since I didn’t particularly want to be dragging two different robots in and out of the water on a continuous basis, I needed to find a solution that would allow me leave them both in the water 24x7.

My Maytronics Active 60 had arrived and I was expecting delivery of Ariel any day. So, I set out to try to come up with some sort of solution to get that control/low voltage power cable from floating on the surface where it would come in conflict with Ariel.

First, I could not find any type of device that is actually designed and sold for that very purpose. I looked at many different options and suggestions, but frankly, I was not overly impressed with some of the “MacGyver” solutions that I had seen up to this point.

I kept looking around and spent several hours on the net and on Amazon and here is what I came up with as a solution to this problem.

1. I noticed the following items that looked as though they would fit on/around the control/low voltage cable. For the remainder of this thread, I will refer to these at "Cable Pods".

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SWM963M?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I was hoping that the cutout groove shown for the cable was the right size but I figured that if it was too small, then I could solve that problem with my trusty Dremel tool. But, I determined that I would still need to weigh these down in order to get that cable to sink down a bit below the surface.

2. I looked at many different items (weights), that I could use to put inside these plastic cord covers. Fishing weights came to mind but I didn’t particularly want a bunch of lead fishing weights in my pool although they could be put in heavy duty zip locks I guess. Then I came across these plastic-coated practice casting plugs. Perfect.

Amazon.com : 12 Pieces Fishing Practice Plug Fishing Casting Plug Baitcasting Rubber Practice Plug Suitable for Kids Improving Casting Skill, 6 Sizes : Sports & Outdoors

So, I placed my order. I ordered two sets of four of the extension cord protective covers and twelve of the casting plug sets. I figured that whatever I didn’t need, then I could just send back any extra to Amazon.

The order arrived and I tried one of the cable protectors out and it fit the control cable perfectly. I removed the two little sliding cord management thingys and I then began to play around with what amount of weight that I would need in each "cable pod" so that the control cable would sink down maybe a foot or so below the surface. I came up with approximately 110 grams. A couple of notes here.
1. I found that the first pod where the cable goes in the water should have a bit more weight than the rest of them.​
2. Using this method, you’ll have to play around with the different weights of the casting plugs until you get the right combination that will provide just the right buoyancy, so that the control cable “hovers" below the surface but does not sink down to the bottom. And I’m not saying that the control cable never touches the surface of the water or touches the bottom. But if it does, it’s typically not at either for very long and seems to depend on how the control cable is stretched out, direction of travel of the Maytronics robot etc.​

I used all eight of the extension cord protective covers evenly spaced out over the approximate 50’ of the control cable that was actually in the water.

So far, everything seems to be working out really good. It doesn’t appear like the Maytronics Robot is negatively affected at all by the control cable being below the water line or being slightly weighted down and Ariel is very happy that she is not being interrupted by the Maytronics control/power cable floating on the surface.

I guess time will tell now if this is a viable solution or if any problems arrive from this method of de conflicting the two bots.


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r.
 
Last edited:

cowboycasey

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MyAZPool

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I am trying something the same just different :)

Found these sinkers Amazon.com : HRC Fish Fishing Sinker Lead Weights 1oz - 40oz : Sports & Outdoors

Love me some Plastdip.. Amazon.com: Performix 12219 Plasti Dip Clear - 22 oz. Dip Can: Automotive

I have had a Plastdiped piece of PVC pipe in the pool for 5 years, it has no problem with the FC levels we run.. So I am going to dip the weights and see what we get :)

Thank you so much for this... perfect...
@cowboycasey
Oh See.... There ya go. I knew once I threw out an idea there would be many more variations to follow. I like it!!! One of the beauty's of TFP. :goodjob:
Before you know it, one of our enterprising members will perfect the solution and then we can just buy the complete kits on Amazon. :p
Thanks...
r.
 

JoyfulNoise

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I think the one downside to sinking the cable is that it is going to be a lot easier for it to form a knot. You’ll have to keep us posted on the data you acquire for the 3-dimensional knotting geometry in a viscous medium with a variable buoyancy 1-dimensional cord … I hope you’ve brushed up on your differential topology in non-Euclidean N-manifold spaces, it will help.
 

Katodude

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I think the one downside to sinking the cable is that it is going to be a lot easier for it to form a knot. You’ll have to keep us posted on the data you acquire for the 3-dimensional knotting geometry in a viscous medium with a variable buoyancy 1-dimensional cord … I hope you’ve brushed up on your differential topology in non-Euclidean N-manifold spaces, it will help.

Uhhhhh. I just turn the solarbreeze off when I run the other robot.
 
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MyAZPool

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I think the one downside to sinking the cable is that it is going to be a lot easier for it to form a knot. You’ll have to keep us posted on the data you acquire for the 3-dimensional knotting geometry in a viscous medium with a variable buoyancy 1-dimensional cord … I hope you’ve brushed up on your differential topology in non-Euclidean N-manifold spaces, it will help.
Well, um, uh yea. I guess... What??? :scratch:
GIF by Hey Arnold
 
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MyAZPool

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UPDATE:
So, it appears that @JoyfulNoise scientific hypothesis :p may have some merit. (y)
I had two knots in the Maytronics cable this morning.
I eliminated three of those "cable pods" and adjusted the weights of the others which should prevent the cable from getting too close to the bottom which should prevent the Maytronics from rolling over the cable and creating a knot.

An "experiment in progress", so we'll see.
r.
 

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Orion7319

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I have had an instapark betta for a while now. With these solar robots if you have a few days in a row that are overcast, it’s not going to run, especially if you run it all night. I find that I really need it more during the day then at night because unless a storm blows though in the middle of the night, it’s typically more windy during the day. So I run my skimmer bot during the day and the maytronics dolphin at night. What these need is some way to charge the battery other then solar. I guarantee that you will be somewhat annoyed the first time your skimmer bot runs out of juice and you can’t run it for several days in a row because it’s too cloudy. It’s the main design flaw with these things in my opinion.
 

MyAZPool

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@cowboycasey
Since adjusting the weights in the pods which was 3 days ago, I've only had one knot since.
Some additional tweaks to weights and position of pods are needed.
Here is a video of the two bots at work at the same time in 4x speed. Ariel does bump into the control cable here and there but always seems to make it over eventually.
 
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MyAZPool

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That must be one crazy clean pool with all those robots working all the time
:p @Katodude
You know, with all of the crazy stuff we do with automation, chemical sensing/control, etc., maybe we loose sight of the fact sometimes, that a "super clean pool" with the least amount of work really is the "end-state" :goodjob:
 

JoyfulNoise

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You should just tie the Ariel to the Dolphin cord and let the Dolphin drag it around. Then you can disable the paddle wheel on the Ariel and just have it run it's suction motor for the skimmer ...
 
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MyAZPool

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You should just tie the Ariel to the Dolphin cord and let the Dolphin drag it around. Then you can disable the paddle wheel on the Ariel and just have it run it's suction motor for the skimmer ...
Matt,
Funny... If I have to do one more mod to existing pool equipment, I think I'm going to lose it. In fact, Pentair wouldn't even recognize their original Load Center..Shhhhh..:ROFLMAO:
BTW, I'm happy to report that after finally running out of Borate test strips, I broke down and ordered up all the Mannitol test kit items from your list.
A new procedure to learn once everything gets here. :rolleyes:
r.
 

DanF

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@MyAZPool Thanks for the writeup! Another reason I love TFP.

I don't have a surface skimmer yet (only a Dolphin bottom feeder) but I am seriously looking into one. I typically do not leave my Dolphin in the pool 24/7; instead I remove it once its cleaning cycle is done. So...I guess I could turn off the solar skimmer whenever the Dolphin is in the pool and avoid the confliction solution you so eloquently documented :).

However, I could see your solution as a great one for times when we are away from home. Being retired we tend to pack up and leave for 2-3 weeks at a time and during these times I would want to have both robots in the pool concurrently.

I am envisioning needing to run the Dolphin less frequently after deploying a surface skimmer such as the Ariel, simply because the debris won't have a chance to sink. Do others find that to be the case?
 

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