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How to set up your robot lawnmower

Guide written by:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

118 guides
Robot lawnmowers are designed to cut grass without any human input whatsoever. After neatly trimming the lawn, these machines will mulch the clippings and leave them behind as fertiliser. Operating within a boundary marked out by a wire, robotic mowers will even return to their charging station when low on battery.

Important features

  • Checking the components
  • Installing the charging station
  • Setting up the cables
  • Connecting the cables
  • Starting up

Robot lawnmowers: high-tech and easy maintenance

Little marvels of technology, robot lawnmowers are the ideal solution for anyone who wants to enjoy their garden without having to lift a finger! Quiet, easy to maintain and completely autonomous, these devices also offer a high-quality cut. Once you've set everything up, the robot mower will take care of everything, making quick work of an often tedious task.

What's more, your lawn will improve in terms of density and strength thanks to a mulching system which leaves behind thin blades of grass to act as a natural fertiliser.

Is your lawn on a hill? Not to worry, as most robotic lawn mowers are able to perform a perfect cut while climbing up and down sloping ground. In short, with a robot lawnmower, you can forget about spending your sun-baked afternoons mowing!
 

Required skills

There are no special skills required to operate a robot lawnmower. Most models will come with an installation guide (either on paper or online) and a free helpline. As long as you follow all manufacturer instructions and recommendations carefully, it will be very straightforward to set up your robot lawnmower and ensure it is working as efficiently as possible

Completion time

Approx. 2 hours (for a single area with flat ground)

Number of people required

1 person

Steps

  1. Checking the components
  2. Installing the charging station
  3. Setting up the cables
  4. Connecting the cables
  5. Starting up

Tools and equipment

Checking the components

Before you start setting up, it is essential to ensure all the components have been correctly supplied. As a rule of thumb, robotic lawnmower kits come with at least the following components:

  • A charging station with a power cord;
  • A robot mower equipped with a battery;
  • roll of wires (boundary and guide);
  • Fixing pegs;
  • Crimpable connectors;
  • 3-way cable connector;
  • One or more sets of replacement blades;
  • A manual.

Installing the charging station

Installing the charging station is an important step. The spot you choose to place the charging station will impact various factors, including the wire starting points, the connection to mains power and how easily the robot can access the charging point.

Ideally, the charging station should be set up less than 10 metres away from an electrical outlet, on flat, shady ground.

If you have several spots in mind, it's best to make a sketch of the entire garden in order to better visualise the various routes the wires could take. This will help you to make the most of their length and make your set-up more efficient.

Once the charging station is in place, connect it to the power supply and dock the robot lawnmower in its slot to charge up.

Setting up the cables

There are two different types of cables that needs to be set up in your garden: the boundary wire and the guide wire.

The boundary wire

This is the wire that sets out the area to be mowed by the device. The charging station transmits a signal through this wire which is read by the robot lawnmower. As soon as the machine comes into contact with a wire, it receives the message and rotates in another direction, until the next part of the wire is reached, and so on.



Installing the boundary wire in 6 steps

  1. Start at the charging station, making sure to leave at least 50 cm of extra wire. Install a fixing peg. 
  2. Continue to unroll the wire all around the mowing area making sure to consider how much space your mower needs to rotate away from any garden borders or panels (account for around 20-40 cm, depending on the model). Place a fixing peg down every 70 to 80 cm.
  3. If there are large items in your garden (such as a swinggarden pond, etc.), simply lead the wire around them leaving a generous gap to prevent the robot from getting stuck or tipping over.
  4. Plan out a spot for the guide wire in advance (ideally opposite the charging station). Leave an extra loop of boundary wire in this area.
  5. Tighten the wire securely between each fixing peg.
  6. Once you have circled back to the charging station, leave roughly another 50 cm of cable for connection. 

Guide wire

The guide wire directs the robot lawnmower back to the charging station at the end of a cycle or when its battery is running low. This wire must be correctly placed, or else the robotic mower will never find its way back to the charging station.


Installing the guide wire in 4 steps
  1. Leaving about 50 cm of extra wire at the back of the charging station, unroll the rest of the wire.
  2. Make your way to the loop of boundary wire you created earlier, taking the most logical route so that the robot won't lose signal (check the manufacturer's instructions for information on how best to do this).
  3. Secure the wires to the ground with fixing pegs every 70 to 80 cm, and tighten the wire.
  4. Once you've reached the boundary wire loop cut the wire, leaving at least 50 cm.

Connecting the wires

Now that the wires are in place, they must be connected to each another and the charging station.

The boundary wire

If you have followed all the steps properly, the ends of the boundary wire should be positioned towards the back of the charging station. Most of the connections will be made inside the casing directly on the charging station. Thread the two ends into the slots and crimp them. Cut the excess cable.

The guide wire

The guide wire is connected in exactly the same way as the boundary wire (on the back of the charging station). However, it's important to make sure that you are connecting the guide wire to the correct terminal. Go back to the spot where you left an extra loop of wire and cut the boundary wire. You should end up with the guide wire on one side, and two ends of the boundary wire on the other. Use the 3-way coupler supplied to crimp all three wires together, paying close attention to where the different cables go inside the coupler. Remember: all it takes is one tiny mistake for your robot lawnmower to be unable to detect the boundary or the guide wire. 

Starting up

The start-up process of your robot lawnmower should be detailed in the instruction manual. Most of the time, it will run a specific program, designed to calibrate the robottest the guide wire, and make the rounds of your mowing area. 

If all the components are correctly installed, the robot will notify you with a message on its screen or via an indicator light. The same goes for any issues it may encounter. Once the machine has been calibrated, your robotic lawnmower is ready to work. You'll find it on its charging station, awaiting your orders! 
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Guide written by:

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff 118 guides écrits

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

Electrician by trade, I first worked in industrial estates where I installed, wired and fixed a large number of electrical installations. After this, I managed a team of electricians for this type of work. 10 years or so ago, I turned to building and construction. From the modest family home, to gyms and theatres; I have been able to coordinate, audit and organise all sorts of construction sites.

for 4 years now, I am restaoring and bulding an extrension to a bungalow in the heart of the welsh countyside. My experience in manual work and my knowledge means I am proud to be of service. Terraces, interior design, roofing, plumbing, electricty, anything goes! We have, my wife, daughter and I, built almost everything we have from scratch! So to answer all of your questions, and to orientate and advise you on coosing your tools? Easy!

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