I got the I-aqualink installed this week and I thought i'd post up some thoughts on the product as well some DYI tips. Please pay in mind that these are my thoughts and assumptions, made by doing my own research and of my current understanding of this product, i'm neither an iqualink vendor, or a pool professional, but just a regular pool owner.
First I'd like to say, that iaqualink does EXACTLY what's advertised, which is giving you an ability to remotely manage your pool/spa as long as you have access to the internet and it does it very well.
I have the app installed on both the iPhone and ipad, as well as testing it through PC (no app needed, its done directly on iqualink.com), and all work very well. On the iPhone/iPad besides the iPhone type interface with toggles, you also have web option which actually gives you a full representation of the Aqualink touch panel, which is fully functional. I believe there's also an android version. So to sum up, the functionality level is very good, and you can pretty much do everything as if you're sitting at home in front of your touch or one touch controller. All that will be great once you get pass all your install hurtles that are mainly reside on your wifi side of the setup.
So here we go.
The model I purchased is the IQ-900. This model comes with the Jbox antenna, and the new cache board that you will need to swap out if the revision on your board is lower then the one that came with iqualink (mine was R and the one included in the package was T).
Now, VERY IMPORTANT, IQ-900 may not work for you depending on your aqualink power center system and the revision your running. If you have PowerCenter RS with the revision of N or newer then IQ-900 will work for you, if however, you have an older system with the older 50 pin board and older revision or non RS system without the 50 pin board, you will need to purchase IQ-900RS. This model, aside from whats included with the IQ-900 will also come with the new 50 pin board. Before doing any purchasing I would strongly recommend you check with either your pool guy or Zodiac support to make sure which model/version of the power center you have.
So since I only needed IQ-900, the next section about the installation is based on installed the IQ-900 model and not IQ900RS.
The install is actually, very straight forward.
The package comes with a pretty good set of instruction, to me the instructions looked like they were actually targeted toward a DIY install, but there is small print advising that this is not a DIY install and should only be done by a qualified professional. My comment here is simple. If you have basic understanding of your pool system (especially power center), understand how to work with electrical/electronic systems and have enough PC related knowledge to setup a wifi network you will have no issues getting this done. If not, do not attempt this and call someone that does!
Back to the install. First thing that needs to be done, you will need your laptop and you will connect the antenna via provided USB cable to your PC to join the iaqualink to your home wifi system. You actually have to take the top cover off the Jbox to reveal the USB plug as its not an external connector. Inside the box there will also find an Ethernet plug for those who may actually able to hardwire the Jbox via Ethernet cable, but that was not an option for me as I don't have Ethernet connectivity outside, only wifi.
Once you connect to your PC, the wifi tool (downloadable from Zodiac site) is ran that will guide you through steps of adding it to your wifi network, pretty straightforward, SSID, security settings, etc. pretty much as you would for any other wifi device. Once done, disconnect the USB and put the cover back on. Write down the MAC address, written on the label inside before closing the box, as you may need it for future reference.
Next, make sure electrical power to power center is fully off, remove all the covers on your power center box to expose the 50 pin board (that's the board with all the buttons), flip the board down and you will see the cache board, pop the board off and replace with the one included with iQualink (you will not lose any program settings as those are stored elsewhere).
Next locate any empty red four block connector on your power center (these are all low voltage) and connect the power cable from the antenna jbox. If all your four block connectors are in use with a single device, don't worry you can actually add a second device to each block.
And this is it! Pretty simple.
Oh yes, install the antenna jbox as far away from the equipment, and about 6' high, with as much of a direct line of sight to the location of your wife access point or router.
Oh and another thing, if you have a wired onetouch controller in your home, you can actually hard connect your iaqualink antenna to you onetouch and keep the antenna inside, that will ofcourse eliminate any wifi coverage problems or even better may give you an ability to use Ethernet instead of wifi which can pretty much eliminate all the other potential issues i'm about to describe.
Now check the indicator lights on the Jbox, there will be red (power), yellow (home network connectivity) and green (internet connectivity) lights. I suspect for many with the basic wifi setup at home, you will not need to do anything else and your iqualink should just connect with no issues, therefore you will be able to see all three lights lit up solid. If you do, your all set. Just go to iqualink.com, create and account and add your device using the serial number provided with the device. If iqualink can communicate with the zodiac's server you will see it as on-line if not it will be as off-line.
Ofcourse this was not as straight forward for me. I've spent good three hours and several calls for support to figure out all my connectivity problems.
My first issue was the fact that I did not have an access point that was in sufficient range to the antenna, therefore I was getting a blinking yellow light indicating that iaqualink was not able to connect to the network. My laptop sitting next to the antenna was still getting an ok signal, but as I was told by the support tech the iqualink's antenna is not as sensitive. Since I have three access points running inside my home, moving one closer to the side of the house were the pool is and facing the window as much possible was not an issue.
However, after fixing the signal issue came the second issue that literally sent me into shock. iaqulink uses the 802.11B. Yes B. Its friggin 2014 and they still use B!!!! I don't even have B broadcasting anymore since all the wifi devices used in our home are either 802.11G or N. So yes you will need to make sure you're broadcasting B band on your wireless access point or the router. The issue however does not end there and even with now broadcasting B, I still was not able to connect. apparently as I was told by the support, you cannot broadcast the N band AT ALL on your wifi access point as for some reason iaqialink does not like that. So if your setting on you access point is set to broadcast B, G, N that will not work and it will only have to be B or B,G. This ofcourse creates a huge problem especially for those with a single access point that will basically no longer will be able to utilize high speed 802.11N protocol. Thankfully, since I have three access points this was not a huge deal for me to set one of the access points to B, G only as the other two will continue to serve N.
But if you only have single AP, be prepared to either lose you 801.11N or dish out the $$ for a second AP.
All I can say here is BOOOO Zodiac.
With this issue out of the way, on to the next. With iaqualink now connected to my home network with a pretty good signal (getting 3/5 bars reported by power center, you can check through touch or onetouch controllers), im now getting a sold yellow light indicating a connection and I can also see iaqualink connected to the access point (you can cross reference by using the MAC address you've previously noted down by looking at your client connectivity logs in your AP), still however no green light for the web connectivity and onto a further troubleshooting.
So at this point I can definitely see iaqualink connected to my access point as I can see a good 4-way handshake, but what I don't see is it being passed through to my DHCP server, so ofcourse no IP is being assigned, essentially Iaqualink traffic being stuck at the access point level and going no further. Another call to support and another shock. Iaqualink cannot use a DHCP server outside of one that comes with your router or access point NOR you're able to setup a static IP to ellimante DHCP altogether. Basically, unless already doing so, you must turn on DHCP on your AP or router, it can only be dynamic, no static MAC based reservations either. At this point, i'm getting pretty ******... mainly about the technological ineptitude or inadequacy of this device. Its 20friggin14 for crying out loud and this device is literally about 15 years behind the technological curve. OK, so this may not be a big issue for most that do allow their wireless access points or routers serve their DHCP functionality, but I don't like that (and im sure im not alone) and would like host DHCP elsewhere. Ofcourse running two DHCP servers on my network can present various issues, so I have to be careful on how I set that up.
In any case, 3 hours later, with DHCP enabled on my AP, im now finally getting an IP lease and out to the internet. We have green light an all is working!
to sum this up, if you can get passed the wifi/tech setup hurdles of this device, this truly is a great device. The ability to remotely administer your pool, check statuses, temp, etc, etc. is really awesome and I think its well worth the money. But definitely be prepared for what I've described above.