Intellicenter Automation Help Needed - FIXED!

setsailsoon

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Folks,

In keeping with my "everything breaks at the worst time" philosophy my Intellicenter WiFi stopped working just days after rotator/bicep tendon repair. Rehab is long-term (4-6 months). I'm right-handed so guess what shoulder? So I'm working left-handed with no right arm and I've managed to track it down. My left hand and arm combined with wife's right works fine... communication not so good though. Therefore any help to short-cut the repair process will be very helpful plus maybe avoid marriage counselor visits.

This unit uses an Engenius ENS 202EXT transceiver that looks like this:

1602954911786.png

You can't see the green light too well on the back but it's definitely lit indicating power. But the LAN and WAN lights are solid yellow, they used to (for at least a year) blink green. Here's a photo of them on the back while plugged in:
1602955110132.png

So here are my questions:

  1. The unit appears to be a generic access point transceiver by EnGenius. I've seen them used and other products like this for security systems, gate openers etc. I can buy a new system including the network bridge (not pictured but it's inside the control panel) for about $80 online. Pentair part is $250 at several outlets. Any reason why the online product shouldn't work?
  2. Is there a way to test the incoming Ethernet signal coming from the iPS8 control board just to be sure it's working OK before I replace?
  3. Could I just run a wire from the control board to my router to verify the control board?
My wifi signal is great at the panel. Router is just inside the wall and I speedtest with Ookla at about 100mbps.

Any answers and comments/suggestions would be much appreciated.

Chris
 

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
Based on your image, the bridge is connected to the IC via Ethernet but not to your WiFi access point. What happens when you go to the OCP and select "Connect to a Wireless Network" does it list available AP's?

LightDescription
PWROFF = ENS202EXT is not receiving power
ON = ENS202EXT is receiving power
LAN 1 / LAN 2OFF = ENS202EXT is not connected to the network.
ON = ENS202EXT is connected to the network, but not sending or receiving data
Blinking = ENS202EXT is sending or receiving data
WLANOFF = ENS202EXT radio is off and the device is not sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
ON = ENS202EXT radio is on, and the device is not sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
Blinking = ENS202EXT radio is on, and the device is sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
Signal IndicatorGreen = Signal is good
Orange = Signal is normal
Red = Signal is weak or non-existent

To answer your questions:
  1. The unit appears to be a generic access point transceiver by EnGenius. I've seen them used and other products like this for security systems, gate openers etc. I can buy a new system including the network bridge (not pictured but it's inside the control panel) for about $80 online. Pentair part is $250 at several outlets. Any reason why the online product shouldn't work?
    The model numbers are ENS202EXT and ENS202EXT-PTC respectively. I suspect the hardware is identical, but the latter has custom firmware to allow configuration from the IC and lacks the web interface.
  2. Is there a way to test the incoming Ethernet signal coming from the iPS8 control board just to be sure it's working OK before I replace?
    It depends on what gear you have available, but you could use a laptop if that has an ethernet port.
  3. Could I just run a wire from the control board to my router to verify the control board?
    Yes, you can hardwire your IC directly (bypassing PoE injector) to a router using an Ethernet cable.
 
Last edited:

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
I just noticed that you appear to have the Ethernet cable plugged into LAN 1 instead of LAN 2 which won't work.

2019-05-24_20-40-34-jpg.102966
 

setsailsoon

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Based on your image, the bridge is connected to the IC via Ethernet but not to your WiFi access point. What happens when you go to the OCP and select "Connect to a Wireless Network" does it list available AP's?

LightDescription
PWROFF = ENS202EXT is not receiving power
ON = ENS202EXT is receiving power
LAN 1 / LAN 2OFF = ENS202EXT is not connected to the network.
ON = ENS202EXT is connected to the network, but not sending or receiving data
Blinking = ENS202EXT is sending or receiving data
WLANOFF = ENS202EXT radio is off and the device is not sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
ON = ENS202EXT radio is on, and the device is not sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
Blinking = ENS202EXT radio is on, and the device is sending or receiving data over the wireless LAN
Signal IndicatorGreen = Signal is good
Orange = Signal is normal
Red = Signal is weak or non-existent

To answer your questions:
  1. The unit appears to be a generic access point transceiver by EnGenius. I've seen them used and other products like this for security systems, gate openers etc. I can buy a new system including the network bridge (not pictured but it's inside the control panel) for about $80 online. Pentair part is $250 at several outlets. Any reason why the online product shouldn't work?
    The model numbers are ENS202EXT and ENS202EXT-PTC respectively. I suspect the hardware is identical, but the latter has custom firmware to allow configuration from the IC and lacks the web interface.
  2. Is there a way to test the incoming Ethernet signal coming from the iPS8 control board just to be sure it's working OK before I replace?
    It depends on what gear you have available, but you could use a laptop if that has an ethernet port.
  3. Could I just run a wire from the control board to my router to verify the control board?
    Yes, you can hardwire your IC directly to a router using an Ethernet cable.
Very helpful, thanks much!

Chris
 

setsailsoon

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I just noticed that you appear to have the Ethernet cable plugged into LAN 1 instead of LAN 2 which won't work.

2019-05-24_20-40-34-jpg.102966

The drawing is a little confusing, the port on the right is lan 1 with POE if you look closely at the bridge labeling. The light for it is on the left. I have it wired into the port on the right as shown. But since you know way more than I do about this stuff, I tried the other port on the left. It's not POE so no power to the unit and doesn't work. Here is the wiring that I have now and have had all year+ since installation:
1602962129563.png

Thanks for your effort and please let me know if you come up with anything else. I think I'll try to hard wire through the window to the router. If that works I'll order the Engenius. I did check the part number and as you can see it doesn't have -PTC so I should be good with the Engenius part.

When I hook it up with a hard wire I'm assuming the app should work as it used to if the board is communicating properly, right?

Chris
 

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
So you have it connected correctly, but you seem to have a different model from me. Did you order an IC bundle, or did you purchase it separately?

Yes, if you connect an Ethernet cable directly from the panel to the router it'll work as before - this is how MyAZPool and others have done theirs.

Your PWR light seems off or very dim, it could be that your PoE injector isn't working - can you check that your 24VDC cable is connected to the main board and power module properly?

1587735156801-png.134612


Based on the following datasheet, you should be able to measure DC voltage on the RJ-45 connector with a multimeter.

 
Last edited:
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setsailsoon

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Did you order an IC bundle, or did you purchase it separately?
Mine came with the Intellicenter bundle from Polytec. Weird the bridge is re-labeled as a Pentair part. The antenna isn't. There are a lot of online WiFi parts stores and there appears to be a lot of different brands that serve the same function for around $70. The Pentair part number is 522475Z.

The power light does look dim in the photos but it's the camera. It's at least as bright as the yellow lights in real life. Just to be sure I checked voltage is over 24v. All of my valve actuators work fine and they're on 24vac also. The system works fine when controlled at the power center. Starting to look like it's the bridge or antenna/transceiver board. I should be able to do the hard wire test on it tomorrow.

As always, thanks so much for all you do on here!

Chris
 
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setsailsoon

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I went to HD and made up a 100' Ethernet cable today then used it as a jumper directly to my Orbi Mesh Network modem. Then set up the panel for an Ethernet connection. Voila! it worked. Got assigned an ip address and passed the internet connection. Guess this confirms the WiFi transceiver board or network bridge is faulty. I'll order the generic version tomorrow and see if it works. Will report back when it's installed and hopefully save others some $.

For anybody interested here are some photos of how to convert from WiFi to Ethernet please see the notations and photos below.

I hope this helps somebody. Guinness, thanks again for all your help.

Chris


Disconnect the black cat5 plug from the on board Ethernet connector and replace it with my home made 100' cable that goes to the house:
1603058923764.png

Run the other end to the house and plug in to a spare slot in the WiFi modem. I was on shaky ground here since this is my wife's quilting room.

1603059068062.png

Scroll down to "Advanced..." on the main menu then go to Ethernet settings and turn it "ON". Make a note of the IP address.

1603059396157.png

Back out one step on the menu then select "Internet Test". Hopefully you get a screen that looks something like this:

1603059601348.png
 
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setsailsoon

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Folks,

After the surgery and pump case problem I finally got around to finishing this repair. It works! But it wasn't as straight-forward as I had hoped. Here's what I found and how I addressed the problem:
  • My Intellicenter has been installed and working flawlessly for about a year using their WiFi bridge to obtain internet connectivity. All of a sudden a few weeks ago it stopped connecting to the internet. Apps all displayed "offline".
  • I guessed that something happened to the POE injector or antenna itself but wasn't completely certain that maybe the board had a failure and wasn't sending the signal through the Ethernet connection. So I disconnected the wire to the POE injector and ran a wire to my router through the window. This worked fine and gave me a great test result at the panel ("test internet" option on the screen in "Advanced" menu).
  • So I looked up the internet bridge part on the parts list and began searching. $250, wow! I had purchased similar devices for other projects way less than $100. After a little searching I found the bridge is actually made by Engenius and relabeled. Many resellers have this part for about $70. It's used for a variety of different WiFi connectivity purposes in large buildings, camera systems, and security systems. This was actually going to cause me a little frustration for a couple days.
  • So I purchased my cheapo solution for $70 including shipping and includes the antenna plus a 110v POE injector. This is actually the wrong injector but was useful to trouble shoot inside the house. If you want the correct 24 volt POE injector you need a POE 1212 and it's only about $24. If your antenna is getting power you probably don't need a new one anyway.
  • Problem was that the new one worked just like the old one... still had the danged error message "no network connections found" and some additional things to check like the cable connection and power to the antenna. Frustrating!
  • So I brought the thing in the house and played around with it by connecting to a laptop through an Ethernet adapter. It seemed to be acting more like an Access Point than an bridge. After a considerable amount of playing around, reading the really crappy cryptic instructions and internet articles about the antenna I found out it's shipped as the default "AP mode". It is actually possible to change to about 5 modes.
  • So I switched to Client Bridge mode by logging in to the configuration page on the antenna at IP 192.168.1.1. Even this was a little tricky though since many WiFi routers have this same address so you have to disable WiFi on the laptop first then just plug the antenna into the Ethernet connection on your laptop. I used the 110 v POE injector to power the antenna and just ran the LAN wire to my laptop. You also have to configure the TCP/IPV4 as shown in the instructions first. This seemed certain to work but no. Still couldn't get the unit to pick up WiFi networks. A little more reading led me to try "Repeater" mode. Voila! In the configuration screen for this mode you also can scan for networks and select your plus enter the password. As soon as you save it the WiFi signal goes from none to max.
  • Next installed it and set the Pentair controller to Ethernet mode. Internet connection test on the board showed a good connection... finally!
  • If I could easily connect to the router with a wire I would do it that way but in my house that's a major ordeal due to the required wire routing. I would need a very well trained 3' tall installer that doesn't mind swimming through fiberglass insulation to get this accomplished.
I did also try to "install wireless connection" to see if it would pick up any now. Doesn't give me an error message but never picked up any... just displayed "searching for connections" forever. My guess is that it really uses bridge mode from the factory and the factory version has some special software in the firmware that allows the user to connect the bridge to the network which is a lot easier than providing that information in the Engenius configuration screens using a laptop computer. But this does work and for me it's a LOT better than an additional $200 for the fix. In Repeater Mode the Engenius just converts a WiFi signal to a wired Ethernet signal directly out of the unit so the Intellicenter treats it like a wired connection.

I hope this is helpful to some of you Intellicenter users that have to use a WiFi connection to your router.

Chris
 
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