Easytouch + screenlogic + thunderstorm = chaos

eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
Long-time lurker, first-time poster...

I have an Easytouch system (V2.14) with a single in-house panel and a screenlogic 2 protocol adapter (I connect with my Iphone). Last night we had a serious thunderstorm but weren't hit directly by lightning or anything, however, I woke to find my indoor control panel reporting "no comm". This has happened before a few years back, and I wound up replacing my controller board and an in-house panel myself (just board swapping).

The symptoms are pretty similar, with what looks like a regulator on the underside of the in-house panel getting seriously hot to the touch. I happened to have an extra panel that I was going to use at a remote location, and thankfully that works in the location of the old in-house panel, so I guess that panel is cooked? The other odd thing was that my protocol adapter would read information from the system, but could not control anything. I updated the protocol adapter, and now the strange thing is that it can see certain things on the pool (status of things), but doesn't even show the normal control screens for the lighting, pump/spa, features (on my iPhone).

Am I missing some setup in screenlogic? (I did download the new version for Windows and have been trying to kickstart things from there). One thing I notice in screen logic connect is that it shows the system controller firmware as 0.000, but if I do at least tell it that I have an intelliflow VS pump, it does get information back from the pump about its status.

All very strange, I've tried the usual resets and power up/downs, which is what's gotten me to the "basically working with the swapped out panel" stage.

Another footnote, If I recall, the system is often not happy when the pump breaker is turned off, that is it sometimes won't control the lights when the pump breaker is off, even though the panels seem to have power.
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
23,108
Bedford, TX
E,

You can't really tell if the ScreenLogic data is new or old.. If ScreenLogic can't talk to the EasyTouch it will just display whatever is in its memory.

I suspect that your com port is bad or that something is loading it down..

With the system in the Auto and Pool mode, go out to your IntelliFlo pump and look at the display and see if it says "Display Not Active"... If it does not say that, then you have most like lost your com port or something is loading it down..

To trouble shoot this problem, the first thing you need to do is disconnect everything on the J20 com port except the IntelliFlo pump. This will mean that your ScreenLogic will not work. Or your inside panel will not work. etc..

With just the just pump connected to J20 and in the Auto Pool mode, see if the pump's display now says "Display not active"... If it does, this means the J20 com port is working ok and that one of the other inputs is loading it down. If with only the pump connected, it still does not say Display not Active, then most likely the com port on the main board is bad..

If the com port works with just the pump connected, then start reconnecting the other com port connections, one at a time, until you find the bad one.

Keep in mind that you don't want to be connecting or disconnecting the com port connections with any power on the system.

Let us know what you find..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
I did put it in and out of service mode, and the pump did go back to "display not active" and the system has even been running its schedule as normal. I'll have to try disconnecting everything if you think that might reset it.

I'm watching the Intelliflo pump screen in screenlogic on my Windows computer at the moment, and I can actually see the Power Usage (Watts) changing, so it seems to be communicating ( the display in my iOS app matches this behavior). It's just really bizarre that it doesn't put the normal "pool/spa/lights" controls on the screen. Everything can be controlled as normal from the in-house panel, which is on the same com port as the protocol adapter. Is it possible that only one side of the RS-485 on the protocol adapter got cooked?

I just turned the main pump on and off from the easytouch in-house panel, and immediately saw the changes on the screenlogic screens.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Is it possible that only one side of the RS-485 on the protocol adapter got cooked?
It can. I purchased a used protocol adapter that had that issue. Luckily the seller had an electronics business. They replaced the very low cost chip and it works great.
 

eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
Update:

On a whim, I tried plugging in an old protocol adapter I had, no dice, but a little while after I plugged in the newer one I can now see all the normal control pages and whatnot, but I still can't actually change anything from the computer or the iPhone, only from the control panels.

I ordered a few Max 391CPD+ RS485 driver chips to try and replace the one in the protocol adapter...
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,108
Bedford, TX
E,

If your pump is working then that means your com port is working..

I suspect that your Transceiver at the pad has gone bad..

You can just run a 4 wire cable between the EasyTouch the Protocol adapter to see if it works that way...

Jim R.
 

eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
E,

If your pump is working then that means your com port is working..

I suspect that your Transceiver at the pad has gone bad..

You can just run a 4 wire cable between the EasyTouch the Protocol adapter to see if it works that way...

Jim R.
The protocol adapter is wired directly, but on a long run that daisy chains (parallel) to the indoor panel. The backup/replacement indoor panel works fine, so I think it's the transceiver (hopefully just the Max 491 chip) in the protocol adapter.

Has anyone ever tried resurrecting an indoor control panel that reports No Comm? The only clue so far is a very hot regulator, but I'm going to have to pull the boards out of it to see if I can figure out how the 485 port is driven.
 
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ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
734
Chico, CA
I'm pretty sure your comm chip is blown on that indoor panel... frequently the chip fails "short" and causes excessive current draw, hence the hot regulator. The normal current draw (with the backlight on) shouldn't be much more than 200mA. A bad one will often take as much as my power supply will give it... 500mA, 700mA, an amp etc. and running like that can burn up the board.

You're going to want to unsolder the display and then pull U3 (it's a MAX1483ESA or an ISL81483IBZ). The intellicenter card uses an XR3085XED-F which has higher max inputs on the D+/D- lines (safer for an accidental short with the power on), but might not handle lightning any better.

Here's one that had a little lightning problem :)

rs485.jpg
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
23,108
Bedford, TX
Tom,

Used to run a repair center for AMX audio and video stuff.. Holes in the chip tops, like the one in your pic, was our key to identifying lightning hits...

Jim R.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
734
Chico, CA
Hey Jim, that is funny! Sometimes there's no hole... and sometimes there's no chip (left)!! When lightning took your system out, did any of the various chips suffer a similar "unplanned ventilation"?

I also use a thermal camera to detect blown parts... it's fun to power something up and watch it glow!
 

eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
I'm pretty sure your comm chip is blown on that indoor panel... frequently the chip fails "short" and causes excessive current draw, hence the hot regulator. The normal current draw (with the backlight on) shouldn't be much more than 200mA. A bad one will often take as much as my power supply will give it... 500mA, 700mA, an amp etc. and running like that can burn up the board.

You're going to want to unsolder the display and then pull U3 (it's a MAX1483ESA or an ISL81483IBZ). The intellicenter card uses an XR3085XED-F which has higher max inputs on the D+/D- lines (safer for an accidental short with the power on), but might not handle lightning any better.

Here's one that had a little lightning problem :)

View attachment 352940
I noticed that little guy hiding under there and figured that was likely the culprit. Ordered a new desoldering tool yesterday...
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
734
Chico, CA
Since you're pulling out the soldering iron anyway... put a 1k resistor on r41 and r42 and you'll turn your easytouch 4 into an 8 - which will work much nicer with the 8-aux remote ;)
 
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eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
Since you're pulling out the soldering iron anyway... put a 1k resistor on r41 and r42 and you'll turn your easytouch 4 into an 8 - which will work much nicer with the 8-aux remote ;)
cool! Any tips on where the 485 driver is on one of those main control boards? I can see a few candidates under the LCD panel (of course). Are they the same as on the ICP?

(yes, I have a couple of com-less boards that I might as well try to resurrect before throwing down even more $$$)
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
734
Chico, CA
the comm chip on the outdoor board is indeed under the display (thanks pentair!!), and it's the same part number as the indoor panel. here's one with the display removed... u5 is the comm chip, u8 is the clock.

IMG_20200425_160056079.jpg

to an earlier question you asked... "Is it possible that only one side of the RS-485 on the protocol adapter got cooked?"... yes! I've come across many chips that can transmit but not receive (and vice-versa)
 
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eameres

Member
Jul 6, 2021
13
Cohoes, NY
the comm chip on the outdoor board is indeed under the display (thanks pentair!!), and it's the same part number as the indoor panel. here's one with the display removed... u5 is the comm chip, u8 is the clock.

View attachment 353180

to an earlier question you asked... "Is it possible that only one side of the RS-485 on the protocol adapter got cooked?"... yes! I've come across many chips that can transmit but not receive (and vice-versa)
I've got my work cut out for me then!

How do you protect the outdoor board from surges? How many 485 isolators would you put in a well guarded system?
 

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