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Thread: iAqualink crash course...

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    iAqualink crash course...

    I did some quick searches and found a smattering of questions... so I know some of you have this thing and some of you know a bit about it? Are there guru's here or is there another forum for this beast?

    Short intro - we did our own GC and the plumber spec'd out the iAqualink and installed the valves, pump, SWG etc. The electrician SAID he had done these before but now the electrician and plumber are both calling the other one names, so I'm feeling I'm on my own now.

    The box is all wired up and I've made many functions work... but now I'm trying to get my cascaded valves set up and I'm having issues. One valve is clearly assigned to AUX3 and 3 valves seem to operate off panel presets... but two valves are a mystery to me and only the AUX3 valve can be programmed via the GUI. Worse... the cascade depends on 3 position valves and the box treats them as 2 position on/off.

    Any hints? I will be calling the plumber and electrician in the morning... though the electrician has once claimed "it works, call Jandy if you can't figure it out"...

    And finally -- a gripe here. When this thing was spec'd I was told it could be "controlled by any PC on the internet", which - I (wrongly?) assumed meant it could be accessed via a GUI on my wireless LAN. Apparently they really ONLY allow the PC GUI to run over the server Zodiac operates? That is lame... why? Has anyone hacked this yet so it can just be used locally via wifi?
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Quote Originally Posted by davelinde
    Worse... the cascade depends on 3 position valves and the box treats them as 2 position on/off.
    If I am reading that correctly, you might have a big problem. Valve actuators move to one of two positions, period, end of story. If you need to be able to set a valve into one of three different positions it will never work. Now the two positions can be any two positions anywhere in the full travel range of the valve, but only two. So it really depends on what exactly you meant when you wrote that. The specific positions it moves to are setup on the valve actuator, the controller just knows on/off, ie position 1 or 2.

    Do you know which specific model of the AquaLink control unit you have? I believe that the base version is designed to control only three valves, and the spa takes up two of those. The remaining controls control relays, which can be adapted to control valves with additional parts but don't do so by default. I suppose it is possible you already have those converters. If so you need to know which relays they are installed on.

    You have to have an active Internet connection. The software and the controller have no way of finding each other without coordinating through the Zodiac server.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    "you might have a big problem. Valve actuators move to one of two positions, period, end of story. If you need to be able to set a valve into one of three different positions it will never work"

    I've been reading the actuator manuals and had just reached the same conclusion - eg that you only get two choices (because there are only two limit switches)... but there is something called a "cam adjustment" that may be what I need. I was thinking the controller did that - but I see it's not really that smart. I was about to confirm I have a big problem, but as I pondered the schematic of my valves I realized that I can choose the outflow combos I want with only two positions per valve. THANKS! btw... because I had not seen that option until you told me it was my only choice.

    "The remaining controls control relays, which can be adapted to control valves with additional parts but don't do so by default. I suppose it is possible you already have those converters. If so you need to know which relays they are installed on."

    This was an item of no small amount of discussion... The plumber said it would control 5 valves with one extra part... the electrician said "no way". Finally the Jandy rep showed up and replaced one part and added a second... when he left the electrician said we were good (but that the plumber was 'not to be trusted'... ironically the same thing the plumber said about the electrician). Anyway - tomorrow I'll call the electrician because I agree that I need to know which relays match which valve and how I'm supposed to test them. He said he did it and I believed him... now he needs to explain how he tested.

    "You have to have an active Internet connection. The software and the controller have no way of finding each other without coordinating through the Zodiac server"

    Yep... it had not dawned on me that anyone would do such stupid thing but it does seem that they have. I'm all set up and running over the internet so this is not causing troubles at the moment -- still it had not dawned on me that someone would set up remote access (internet) while not providing local access (wifi lan). The NIC on this thing is DCHP'd through my router and responds to a ping but will not respond to telnet or http. After I get this sorted out and working I might put a sniffer on my LAN and find out how this thing does talk - I was just hoping someone else had done that already to save me the effort.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    THANKS! for the guidance here. I was also reading manuals and learned how to manually switch the actuators - they are all powered. I also learned about the idea of setting a cam in the actuator to select valve positions... All my actuators are operating on a 180 range, I think they need to be switched to 90's. Hopefully easy enough to do?

    My control box is a Jandy Aqualink RS.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to best use the relay assignments and the three preset buttons in the box. I swear I read they were configurable via a dipswitch... but I skimmed so many manuals last night I can't remember where I read that. At this point I still want to understand the preset configs and confirm this thing will control my SWG correctly.

    Here's a schematic of the valves if anyone has a question/suggestion.


    Bubbler ---- X ---- Sun shelf returns
    |
    |
    X ---- Therapy jets (on AUX3 now)
    |
    |
    X ---- Waterfall
    |
    | ---- SWG ---- Main Returns
    X
    |
    |
    VS Pump
    (Suction side)
    |
    |
    Skimmer ---- X
    |
    |
    Main Drains ---- X ---- Vacuum
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Quote Originally Posted by davelinde
    All my actuators are operating on a 180 range, I think they need to be switched to 90's. Hopefully easy enough to do?
    That should be simple enough. Working with the cams can be a little confusing at first, but once you have the hang of it everything goes quickly.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by davelinde
    All my actuators are operating on a 180 range, I think they need to be switched to 90's. Hopefully easy enough to do?
    That should be simple enough. Working with the cams can be a little confusing at first, but once you have the hang of it everything goes quickly.
    From looking at the pictures I got that impression... I figured that anything that needed something like an 8 by 8 3D matrix of options might make your head hurt the first time. I am thinking I might make the plumber show me how to do the first one.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    OK... next panic on this iAqualink mystery. The electrician left saying "it's all been tested". I did not want to run the pump before there was water on the suction side. Well, it's 1am and we are full of water now. I kicked on the pump relay and all that powers up is the SWG - odd? Is the pump on a delay or something? I checked the GF and the breaker (OK and on). I power cycled the whole thing. My bet is the electrician muffed it, but when a man looks me in the eye and says "tested and works" I want to think he's not that big an idiot.

    Suggestions?

    Plumber is here to help start up a few things in the morning, maybe he knows. Electrician gets a call next since the plaster guy said to run the pump for 72 hours (I'll just hot wire the dang thing if we can't get the relays and confounded automation to do it). Night all... water in = happy! Automation hosed up = no happy so much.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    OK... figured that one out. The pump type needed to be defined in iAqualink before it would work - 4 choices... third try did it.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    So... the plumber came by to finish up and was VERY helpful. I now know how to "cam" a valve and I'm glad it is as easy as I'd hoped.
    The electrician called to explain that when he said "tested" he meant the relay closed and sent power... but without the speed control the pump default was still "off".
    We went back/forth on how he wired the actuators and I'm still not getting that... for whatever reason me and the electrician cannot get on the same wavelength. He wanted to charge a service call to come back and show me so I'm going to figure this out on my own.

    The plumber thought it should all work, but was not familiar with setting up iAqualink (only using it). His theory was that there was some kind of assignment step we are missing, I thought I was doing something like that with the JVA (Jandy Valve Assignment) menu... but for whatever reason it does not seem to "take". Still open to suggestions. Next step is to find the manual and follow it step by step while checking each step. Failing that... the plumber gave us a guy to call who might be able to log in and fix it for us remotely.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    OK... just got off the phone with Jandy. Eric was very patient and eventually helpful. He stepped us through all the setup associated with a valve assignment, and as I expected a lot of it is purely cosmetic labeling. OK fine - then he asks the key question - which valve is wired to which actuator? This is what I've been trying to figure out for a week! After a bit more discussion and review we finally decided to just go ahead and pick a function and an AUX-number and see what happens. We picked "cleaner" and AUX5 and set it up... lo and behold my bubbler turned on!

    So, not only was this HUGE progress - after I watched the Jandy guy do it (a benefit to their central server is that he can drive a GUI while I watch it) I FINALLY figured out the step I was missing here. For a relay AUX port you can just pick it and it goes on or off - that is how I found my lights. However (at least this is my working theory)... for an actuator AUX port you must ALSO assign a pump speed or the valve does not move when you turn it "on". I kept poking at AUX ports to map them and never got to assigning a pump speed and got stuck being confused. Let's see how far I get before I get confused again...

    Has anyone else here done this setup before?
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Most of the time the builder does the programming.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    OK... finally all works!!

    Today the solar guy re-wired the gizmo for the solar install. As promised by Jandy, once a roof temp sensor was added the system "knew" it had solar and new choices popped up. However, the solar actuator is a dedicated position in the box (hence the re-wire). The solar guy was able to tell me that my other valves were connected to positions for "cleaner", "return", "intake" and one off the extra control port we got using a port splitter. That turned out to be helpful in a way, I think... though the programming seems to use designations of aux1 to aux7 and an "extra aux"...

    Using the Jandy menu of "JVA" or Jandy Valve Assignment I ended up making associations between the "aux" designations and the offered functions of "cleaner", "intake" and "return". Each "aux" designation was also assigned a flow rate via the "VSP" menu (Variable Speed Pump) and bingo the thing began to work! Once I figured out which valve was responding to which aux number I was able to rename the aux ports with user friendly names and put those names into the "home" menu and the system is now fool proof!

    The solar guy did give me one last bit of this puzzle I'd yet to figure out. One of the valves was doing exactly the opposite of what I wanted... eg when it thought my bubbler was "on"... it was in fact "off" and vice versa. For you who know this... it's obvious - but to me it was a mystery. I thought the manual switch was just for manual operation - but in fact it (quite logically) is determining the meaning "A side" or "B side" of a particular actuator activation - so to reverse the meaning, just flip the switch.

    Since it works now, I'm quitting. But honestly with all the trial/error work I did I'm still not sure I understand how the gizmo works. My guess is that the AUX designations are, in fact, not so meaningful while the function names are how each physical actuator is mapped? It seems the setup is geared towards making a few typical scenarios easy and turnkey (eg like the easy addition of solar) and can be used for general purpose programmed control once you map things OK. For sure it seems harder than it needed to be, but as one person told me -- I probably over think it all.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Dave,

    How to get the jva's let you assign a aux to them. Mine won't let me at all. Plus on your dip switch settings do you have S1-1 flipped to on so aux 1 is assigned to the cleaner or is it off so you can assign aux 1 to whatever you want.

    Jerry
    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    hmmm.... it's been just long enough that I need to re-read my own notes to figure out how this gizmo worked.

    I am sure I did not need to mess with switches, just give a name and a valve assignment and a pump speed... in my case for sure aux 1 and cleaner do not align btw... cleaner is aux 4 (for whatever reason). I think the sequence is to get in the JVA menu, highlight both an aux and the label... then hit assign?

    The other advice I have is to call Jandy and let them log in (do you have the i-Aqualink option and the pool is on-line?) I did that and part of how I broke the code was letting them assign one for me.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Quote Originally Posted by davelinde
    hmmm.... it's been just long enough that I need to re-read my own notes to figure out how this gizmo worked.

    I am sure I did not need to mess with switches, just give a name and a valve assignment and a pump speed... in my case for sure aux 1 and cleaner do not align btw... cleaner is aux 4 (for whatever reason). I think the sequence is to get in the JVA menu, highlight both an aux and the label... then hit assign?

    The other advice I have is to call Jandy and let them log in (do you have the i-Aqualink option and the pool is on-line?) I did that and part of how I broke the code was letting them assign one for me.
    I found out what my issue was. I called a local rep and explained to him what was happening and what I had before. He told me that I had a pool/spa combo board and needed a pool only board. The p/s board automatically assigned the intake,return and solar and you cannot change it. I called the main tech support told the, and they said to have him call to get me the pool only board as they would send it to him. Called him back he asked for a email from me and then called the main office in SoCal. He called me back and is having them send me the board directly so I can replace it. I just have to send the other board back. Should be good to go after that.

    Thanks for getting back to me. Your notes did help me turn in the right direction a few times. Especially when talking about the valves.


    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    Hey guys and gals - just ran into this nice write up I'm putting my solar in this week, but in preparation, I connected my solar sensor that just arrived to see what configuration options I have for Solar in the iAqualink. I know you mentioned that some 'new' options appeared in the GUI, but I'm not seeing much. I'm specifically looking for set temps, ect....it appears that even with solar, it's using either temp 1 or 2 (which in my case is labeled POOL and SPA). It seems like this should have it's own temp, and that it should show the temp at the solar sensor (my old suntouch controller would do that!). The manual does tend to lead to the fact that it will start at 5 degrees over air temp if the water temp is lower than the set temp - but the speed I programmed for solar is not kicking on. All my dip switches are in the default off position. I have enabled solar priority, although I only want solar running - I don't want the gas heater kicking in to take up any slack....just not sure why it didn't seem to kick solar on (observed by a speed reduction on my pump). Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    12k IG Pool / Spa - plaster
    Jandy ePump 2.0 & Hayward Power Flo II (for rock waterfall)
    Pentair CCP320 Cartridge Filter
    iAqualink RS controls & Aquapure PLC1400 SWG
    Pentair Minimax NT 400k btu heater & 6-4x12 Fafco Panels

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: iAqualink crash course...

    leibin, please ask questions in your own topic, rather than hijacking someone else's existing topic. I already made a topic for you yesterday, here.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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