I intended to document what was to be a simple hardware hack. I ultimately used a microcontroller to do this, but it could also be done by snipping a wire. I demonstrate 2 oblique ways to solving this problem which circumvent the need to completely disassemble the device in order to find the buzzer. The journey provides a glimpse into practical digital electronics and hardware hacking. And it could inspire you to break - err, fix - your own stuff one day.
Step 1: What is a SpotBot?
The SpotBot is a carpet cleaning thingy. I don't receive any money for endorsing the SpotBot, but I endorse it, anyway. It's like a wet vac with rotating brushes for cleaning up stuff from your carpet. You just set it down over [motor oil, cat vomit, etc] and push a button.
There's something very satisfying about setting this thing on a stain, pressing the button, then simply going on with your life. But every SpotBot owner knows there's a dark side. When SpotBot is done doing your dirty work, it starts to beep. Loudly. Incessantly.
What's the big deal? Well, imagine you have a maid. You tell your maid to clean a spot on the carpet. Then you go about your business. You're relaxing in your recliner, sipping a marguerita, when your maid cries out, "All done! Come look and see what a great job I did."
You say, "Great! You're the best! Why don't you go home early, today?"
"No, come look! I did an amazing job!"
"Shut up, already."
"No, really! Come and see!"
"No, really! Come and see! I have my nose in the carpet and I can't smell any cat pee, at all!!"
"You're so mean. You're a lousy client. I don't need you. I'll be going, now.... as soon as you come and see this!!!"
So you basically have to get up and tell the SpotBot "good job, now shut up" by pressing the stop button. I don't know who decided that a loud wet vac machine needed an even louder beep to tell you when it was done (you'd think the sound of silence would be good enough), but I'd like to give him my 2 cents on the matter.