Hayward VS Omni Automation Update

todd.brock

Silver Supporter
Jan 18, 2018
224
Cincinnati/OH
Hey all- Thought I would share for those who either have, or are considering the VS OMNI automation system. Essentially it was/ is a scaled down version that will control lights, heater, pump and actuators. It would control up to 2 relays. Last year, it fit my needs so I went with it. overall- pretty happy except for a buggy wi-fi signal because router is far away.

Last year controlling a SWG was not an option. For 2019 they added a new board that allows a 3rd relay which I understand allows Aquarite support. Fort- the upgrade requires a new control board. It’s $112 to retrofit. I am going to be doing the upgrade this week to include the SWCG. I’ll let everyone know how it comes out. It now seems to be a solid alt to a full scale OmniLogic or whatever brand automation.
 

ZcottD

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2017
152
Connecticut
If the buggy wifi is enough of an issue, and the pump is within 50-60 feet of your house, you could look into a wifi range extender, TP Link make some low cost ones. Follow the directions to connect it to your network, setup its broadcast name, plug it into an outlet inside as close to the pump as you can, then connect the Omni system to the range extender.
 

todd.brock

Silver Supporter
Jan 18, 2018
224
Cincinnati/OH
I tried a wifi extender from Linksys. The extended was too close to the router to do any good. I put it in the shed, which is about 10 ft past the pool pump and it seemed to work, until this morning. I think I need to return the $48 repeater and get a roll of cat 5 and be done with it. The repeater creates another network names XXX_ext. My home wifi router is 5g and 2 g. The Pool equipment is only set up for 2g, so its dropping/adding, etc. Weird- Only change has been adding a 5 ft. vinyl privacy fence around the pool pad, so my guess its not helping things.
 

tylerpenn

New member
Jul 21, 2013
2
Thanks for posting about this, I'm actually parting out all of the pieces I need to upgrade my pool pad equipment to the OmniHub setup. I have been using three z-wave switches to control single-speed pump, heater relay (on/off), and lights. Unfortunately it's "worked" this way but the zwave connection can be spotty (my pool pad is about 60-70 feet from the zwave hub) and I also never had any temperature feedback as there is no really good zwave pool thermometer out there. So while this setup has provided some automation (it is a weekend home and mainly just want to be able to have the pump run on a schedule or whenever I want to, and also turn the heater on a day before we arrive so it's already nice and warm), I've been wanting a more robust, wholistic, and reliable setup.

So I found OmniHub and looks to be exactly what I'm looking for as I can use wifi/ethernet which are far more stable at my house. I don't want to replace my pump as I'm happy with my Hayward Super Pump II that has been rock solid and found that it's pretty tough to locate the hub for purchase just by itself.

I did find a reseller of just the hub so I'm going to be getting:
OmniHub kit
Extra relay that will be controlling my single-speed pump
Aquarite daughter board for my old AquaRite SWG

@todd.brock I'm curious if the OmniHub kit I receive will already be 3 relay compatible? Is there any way to tell based on HW rev or something? I'll be using three relays (lights, pump and swg) so hopefully it will come with the newer board.
 

todd.brock

Silver Supporter
Jan 18, 2018
224
Cincinnati/OH
Tyler, the way I read 2019 specs, it comes with ability to run 3 relays. I have a VS Omni pump, so I’m pretty sure that I didn’t need a relay. The pool light uses one relay, and I could add a second relay for landscaping lights or whatever. Mine controls 2 valve actuators for a fountain, heater, pump and lights. My pool guy is charging and hour labor to install the board. I’m not gonna argue with that. They
 

CPS Reno

In The Industry
Feb 6, 2019
33
Reno, NV
As far as your Omni VS having the ability to control 3 smart relays, the hardware/board is the same as older units but it does need the newest MSP version which is 3.01. We've updated an "older" VS with the new MSP and are controlling 3 smart relays. Programming the relays can be a bit tricky as well as wiring them all up, as they all go into the same "port".
 

tylerpenn

New member
Jul 21, 2013
2
@CPS Reno thanks for that info. Omni kit arrives tomorrow so I'll report on any HW rev IDs I see and will probably doing the install this weekend and will of course be updating it to the latest FW rev so everything should work as I've planned it.

I was curious about the RS485 comm bus, I guess it's just a wiring block and you can have multiple wires running into each terminal? I read somewhere that each piece of external hardware that uses that comm bus has a hardware address so that way they share the same comm port but can be individually communicated with.
 

CPS Reno

In The Industry
Feb 6, 2019
33
Reno, NV
You are correct about using the same com port and it's a pain in the butt when you have 3 smart relays and pump comm wires. The end result is good though. A tip, if you can't "see" all of your smart relays when you go to update their software, wire up one at a time and update/install.
 

ZcottD

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2017
152
Connecticut
I tried a wifi extender from Linksys. The extended was too close to the router to do any good. I put it in the shed, which is about 10 ft past the pool pump and it seemed to work, until this morning. I think I need to return the $48 repeater and get a roll of cat 5 and be done with it. The repeater creates another network names XXX_ext. My home wifi router is 5g and 2 g. The Pool equipment is only set up for 2g, so its dropping/adding, etc. Weird- Only change has been adding a 5 ft. vinyl privacy fence around the pool pad, so my guess its not helping things.
The fence shouldn't be an issue, its possible the wifi channel you are on is crowded, if houses are close together in your area. The pool equipment using 2.4ghz is good, slower bandwidth than 5ghz but also has a longer range. Cat5 cable is teh best solution to wifi problems and is my first choice if things won't look ugly.
 

todd.brock

Silver Supporter
Jan 18, 2018
224
Cincinnati/OH
I bought some direct burial cat 5e and tried my hand at rj45 crimps. Those are a bit fussy. 12 connectors later, the app is rock solid. No issues communicating at all. All requests are performed instantly. I’m currently working on hardwiring the TV’s lol