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LawnBott LB3500 King of the Mow
Hello and welcome to my LawnBott LB3500 review. You are getting the first peak at the most complex residential robot mower on the market. The LawnBott LB3500 looks great, but is it all show and no mow?
This by far is the most comprehensive review of the LawnBott LB3500. The information in this LawnBott LB3500 review is going to have dealers and other manufacturers drooling for weeks. So if you want to know as much as they know, relax and enjoy!
The LawnBott Evolution has come a long way since my review in 2005. Sales have taken off and it is now a legitimate contender against the Robomower RL1000. I was going to make this a Robomower RL1000 and Evolution comparison review, but quite honestly it would take the LawnBott Super Evolution all it can handle to keep up with the most basic LB3500 features.
LawnBott Evolution, LB3500 and Robomower RL1000
This LawnBott LB3500 review is so large it has to be broken down into 8 parts! We have worked very hard field testing the LawnBott LB3500 and writing this review. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did putting it together.
Move over LawnBott Evolution. Make room Robomower RL1000. There is a new King of the Mow. The LawnBott LB3500 has all the features (and more!) of the LawnBott Super Evolution plus the full size, look and feel of a serious mower.
The LawnBott LB3500 has more bells and whistles than a fire engine. I will try and cover everything, but there is a lot to this baby. Since it is so new, expect updates- LOTS and LOTS of updates and improvements.
LawnBott LB3500 for Early Adopters
For early adopters, you are going to love the future software improvements and future accessories. The free internet upgrades mean that you can always have the newest machine. I have a 2005 LawnBott Evolution with the absolutely latest software. In fact, I have newer software in my LawnBott Evolution 2005 model than those being sold by the distributor. (Which is a big reason why we stock our own inventory, so our customers get the latest and greatest upgrades before we ship them.)
I Really Just Want my LawnBott LB3500 to Work
For those who want something that will work now and is easy to use, this an excellent mower. The LawnBott LB3500 is easy to install and easy to maintain. If it works when you put it down, it will work 10 years from now just fine.
Think of the LawnBott LB3500 as an Investment
I know what is coming down the pipe, I also know the price tags!
Since the days of the original Robomower RL500, prices have steadily increased. Every little technological gain has come with a major price increase. The future, ladies and gentlemen, is more of the same. Unlike computers, that as new models came out prices of the old ones dropped, with robotic lawnmowers, the cost of the old models are going up even as new models come out. Go figure.
Some chef on TV was talking about investing in a good thermometer. A cooking thermometer is about as advanced as its going to get. You don't invest in a cooking thermometer, you buy one.
Robotic Lawnmowers on the other hand are an investment. Part of the money you pay (in the case of LawnBott, a surprisingly high percentage) goes into research and development. In other words, the robot mower you buy today is going toward improving your life 5 years from now when you want a new one.
A case in point is LawnBott Evolution owners who have upgraded to the LB3500. Our Message Forum is chockfull of comparisons. The LB3500 technological advance was paid for by Evolution sales.
The LawnBott LB3500 is the middle box
From the Beginning
As soon as the first LawnBott LB3500's cleared customs I was there to pick up my test units. Man, production delays, shipping delays and customs delays were all conspiring against me. Has anyone ever heard of editorial deadlines? But finally it got here.
Whoa! What a box, at least compared to the LawnBott Evolution. The box is roughly the size of the Robomower RL850 box. Preston is not going to be happy since he does the shipping! Dealers aren't going to be happy because of the extra shipping cost.
The LB3500 itself is boxed inside another box, sideways to the docking station. It all fits together very well and is packaged much better than the LawnBott Evolution. The box itself is much sturdier than the Robomower box which is usually only good for a one-way trip before it disintegrates.
Opening the box was a real treat. The charging station is already fully assembled. The contents are well secured and should be able to take the punishment of even the most careless courier.
The LawnBott LB3500 box comes with:
Complete LawnBott LB3500 Kit
The LawnBott LB3500 manual is no big deal since there is an online English manual. There are going to be so many advancements and software upgrades, any paper manual will probably be obsolete before the ink is dry on the printing press.
Check back here for updates.
LawnBott LB3500 Docking Station
The LawnBott LB3500 docking station is amazingly sturdy! The arch is actually two interlocking pieces bolted securely to the base. There are grooves that serve as guides for the perimeter wire. It is not the way I would have designed the docking station, but it works.
Unfortunately, the LawnBott LB3500 docking station does not come with a cover like the LawnBott Evolution. The good news is there will be lots of fancy cover options. I have seen these and they are going to be very popular!
LawnBott LB3500 Wire
600 ft. of perimeter wire is 100 ft. more than what's included with the LawnBott Evolution. It is still woefully inadequate, considering it takes roughly 1,000 ft for a standard 3/4 acre yard and approximately 3,000 ft for nearly 3 acres.
Now is a good time to talk about the wire. The LawnBott wire is a stranded tinned copper wire, and expensive. For installations of less than 1,500 ft. I prefer 16 gauge thhn (Thermoplastic High Heat Resistant Nylon Coated) solid copper from the local hardware store. Not only is it much cheaper, it also lays down better.
Past 1,500 ft, use the LawnBott wire. The tinned copper wire carries the signal much better and over a longer distance. Under 1,500 ft, the LawnBott wire is not only overkill, but transmits the signal much farther than needed.
Sinusoidal Transmitter and Charger
The sinusoidal transmitter and charger are the same ones used for the LawnBott Evolution. That puts the max range of the transmitter at about 2,000 ft. An optional signal booster can extend that limit beyond 3,000 ft.
The sinusoidal transmitter is very powerful! Actually, too powerful for yards under 1/2 acre. That is why I prefer the solid copper wire, it acts as a noise dampener. The transmitter sends out a 24 volt DC signal through the wire that the LawnBott can pick up more than 75 feet away.
Since the voltage through the wire is DC, it is very safe with no chance of being shocked.
The charger is also way overbuilt. Why build when you can overbuild? A simple transformer would probably be adequate. On the other hand, now with the possibility of charging 6 lithium ion batteries, maybe it isn't overkill anymore.
All this and we haven't even talked about the mower itself! If at this point you are saying this is a lot of reading, well please remember, it is also A LOT of typing for someone else! Not to mention research, compiling data, and trying to make this interesting!
So without further adieu let's introduce the star of this review!