IntelliCenter Home Automation Integration and Control

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Please could you try:
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"VAL03","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
and see if this turns your valve number 3 on. Replace 'VAL03' with 'VALxx' where xx is the number of the valve you want to control and "ON" for "OFF" to turn off. I doubt this will work, but its worth a try.

Good luck, and please let me know anything I have missed or messed up. I plan to try to keep this google sheet up to date with findings from this thread and also work to add documentation for understanding the status updates sent from the IntelliCenter.
mcqwerty
First, I tried port 6680 per the latest from kyleaa but I was not using a reverse proxy.
PuTTY did not like that port at all.
Next I used port 6681 and tried your test command. Valve 3 did not move and this was the response..
109505

Ah, experimentation :p
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Just wanted take a moment to note that jonpcar is making some tremendous progress with his"home brew pool automation" project as addressed in his thread: My DIY HomeBrew Pool Automation Controller.
I was just thinking that it would be great to be able to dovetail his successes with our own intentions of being able to integrate and improve our IntelliCenter systems with home brew automation.
I'll have to admit that I would need to "piggyback" off others abilities in this realm since much of the skill sets needed for this project will be above my "pay grade (at least for now anyway :p). But I am certainly willing to contribute in any way I can in order to move this project towards the "goal post".
r.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
mcqwerty, kyleaa, jonpcar, mrweber, guinness, dschlic1, mguzzy, RonsPlc

I wanted to open up a discussion on a particular topic regarding the RS-485 capabilities of the newer Pentair IntelliValve.

BACKGROUND:
As some of you may or may not know, the newer Pentair IntelliValve is fully capable of RS-485 communications (with intentions to target the IntelliCenter mostly). There are two extra wires from the IntelliValve (green & yellow) that connect to the RS-485 bus. These wires are currently not used because Pentair has still not released the promised firmware update that would allow the IntelliValve to have multiple automated pre-programmed positioning. This does require RS-485 communications between the automation and the IntelliValve, since the automation would need to know what position the valve is currently at, so that it can command the valve to move to another pre-programmed position from there.

To open up the discussion, my first couple of questions are as follows:
What is the possibility of writing a script/code that could be uploaded to IntelliCenter to allow this capability to be realized by the automation? Hence, I'm so tired of Pentair telling me, "standby its coming in early 19, in middle 19, now in 3rd qtr of 19. How hard could this be, that they just keep dragging their feet with this?​
How exactly do you think RS-485 communications between the automation and the IntelliValve would work exactly?​
I have been told from a reliable source that Pentair will allow for five (5) pre-programmed positions for the IntelliValve. I guess this would mean that they would completely need to redesign some of their GUI's on the IntelliCenter control panel, Web-Client, and mobile apps.

Any thoughts, comments, input, etc is highly encouraged and certainly welcome. I think I have "tagged" most of the really smart "home-brew" guru's that I could find to participate. If there are other's that I have missed, then my apologies and please feel free to comment/participate.
I have some additional information regarding the IntelliValve (maximum positions available etc.) that I am happy to share if things like that are needed for this discussion.

I'm optimistic that we can possibly break through a barrier here and maybe arrive at a solution to move this along. I'm so tired of waiting on Pentair to make this happen.

Thanks in advance and all the best...
r.
 

mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
30
TN
Hi @MyAZPool,

Some thoughts based on nothing more than my own guesses (remember I don't even own an IntelliCenter... yet ;) )
What is the possibility of writing a script/code that could be uploaded to IntelliCenter
While technically, probably possible, practically this is a no-go. One would need to access the source code of the firmware, then modify it to support the IntelliValve communication (no easy feat). Without, this is some hard-core hacking that would require dedication and a lot of specialist knowledge.
Additionally, I guess that the valves themselves would require a firmware update in order to support this control. It is possible that the currently shipping valves contain the required firmware already, but if so, then is seems strange that it would take Pentair so long to release the IntelliCenter update as they would already have had to have it all figured out to have shipped the correct firmware on the valves. Hacking and updating the valve firmware is certainly not a task for the faint of heart.

How exactly do you think RS-485 communications between the automation and the IntelliValve would work exactly?
Tough question. Two possible ways spring to mind:
1) The firmware in the valve does the work - user selects each of the 5 positions and 'locks in' the position into a slot in the valve memory. IntelliCenter then tells the valve "go to position stored in slot x". There would likely be other methods that allow the intelliCenter to 'set' a position remotely and also a way for the valve to notify the IntelliCenter that is it moving to a given position. (in case the user moves the valve manually).
2) The IntelliCenter does the work and the valve is 'dumb' - All possible positions on the valve are addressable and the IntelliCenter commands the valve to position coordinates x. Therefore all presets are stored in the IntelliCenter and the valve just goes to the absolute position requested.

Option 2) would be the best for us hackers since we could just issue the commands directly to move the valve to whatever position we want. The limit of 5 is likely due to memory limitations on either the IntelliValve (option 1) or the IntelliCenter (option 2).

When Pentair release the update then replicating the calls on the RS485 bus will likely be fairly simple and I would expect the node.js based project to add support for this also. Since snooping the traffic and the 'replaying' the required commands is not complex. Knowing the command and more importantly having the updated firmware on the Valve/IntelliCenter are the critical items. I would hope, and expect that the API would be updated also. My guess is that it would be something like the way we are able to directly control pump RPM/GPM today except 'position' for 'IntelliValves'.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
jonpcar
Thanks.... Yea, I was kind afraid of that and certainly mcqwerty answers make a whole lot of sense. Very well thought out and expressed and thanks to mcqwerty for his outstanding answers. Oh well, it was a thought. :p...

I'm going to continue to use the "squeaky wheel" approach with Pentair's CSRs and see if I can get them to continue to bring this RS-485/IntelliValve issue up in their weekly IntelliCenter Working Group meetings. It really should not be this hard I'm thinking. :)
Thanks to all who participate in this group thread.
r.
 

kyleaa

Silver Supporter
May 26, 2019
8
Nevada
I assume it’s a laughable suggestion, but if the valve does not require a firmware update then they could theoretically publish documentation for the intellivalve RS485 command protocol to enable us to tinker. If you’re feeling ambitious you could ask them for that if they keep punting on IntelliCenter support 😛
 

mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
30
TN
EDIT: Looks like the mods moved this post that I posted in reply to @MyAZPool 's post referencing his post in this thread before I realised I should have posted it here... :confused:😖

For those IntelliCenter users who wish to utilize the Pentair Color Hold/Recall feature.
This is something I had been wondering about so thanks for posting!
Since we know that the way to 'hold' a colour is 13 on/off cycles and the way to 'recall' a colour is 14 on/off cycles then I'm assuming we could save a trip to the panel by replicating the on/off using the API. However I am not sure how quickly the cycling must occur vs the maximum rate the IntelliCenter will react to API calls.

Would you mind testing:
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Repeated 14 times where xx is replaced with the number of a circuit connected to a light.
This should... maybe.. recall the 'held' colour.

Also, I wonder is there is a secret 'ACT' value that could shortcut this, similar to ACT 'REDR' turns the relay on/off the required number of times to activate red colour.
Maybe you could try a few possibilities:

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"ACT":"RECALL"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Maybe also try:
REC
RECA

You could see if it would work for hold:
HOLD
HLD

Obviously I'm just guessing but it seems logical that if this feature is exposed via the API then it would be accessible by sending an 'ACT' and then a "STATUS':ON in the same way as on/off cycle sequences are for specific colours or light shows.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
kyleaa,
Yep, in all my dealings with Pentair, one thing that I have discovered is something like that would just be a total waste of time. :) In fact, if I were to pose that question (and I could view the Tech Support Rep (TSR) over the phone), I would clearly see a "deer-in-the-headlight" look on the other end. :mrgreen:

Don't get me wrong, I have had consistently good service with their "level or tier 1" TSRs. I have found them to be for the most part, personable and with a willingness to help. That's all well and good if you have a simple question or issue or just require assistance with a warranty issue.
BUT, if you want to talk a highly technical issue or you have a in-depth problem, my experience is that the tier1 TSRs will not be able to help much.
Every time I ask a question about this or that, I get answers that lead me to believe that only the tier 2 folks, leads and supervisors are technically proficient enough to help and then not always. Sometimes getting these folks on the phone is difficult and many times a "case#" has to be opened so that the tier 2 people/leads can respond at a later time.

The other observation that I have on this topic, is that Pentair very closely guards information, especially information that may be regarded as "proprietary" in any way. Many times, I get answers from the tier 1 folks such as: "I don't know anything about that" or "we have not been informed of that feature". There have been instances where I have felt that I am educating them when it comes to the IntelliCenter anyway. :p

Anyway, thanks for letting me "vent" about this topic and thanks for all of the excellent input on this thread. Please take care and talk with you soon.
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
This is something I had been wondering about so thanks for posting!
Since we know that the way to 'hold' a colour is 13 on/off cycles and the way to 'recall' a colour is 14 on/off cycles then I'm assuming we could save a trip to the panel by replicating the on/off using the API. However I am not sure how quickly the cycling must occur vs the maximum rate the IntelliCenter will react to API calls.

Would you mind testing:
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Repeated 14 times where xx is replaced with the number of a circuit connected to a light.
This should... maybe.. recall the 'held' colour.

Also, I wonder is there is a secret 'ACT' value that could shortcut this, similar to ACT 'REDR' turns the relay on/off the required number of times to activate red colour.
Maybe you could try a few possibilities:

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"ACT":"RECALL"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Maybe also try:
REC
RECA

You could see if it would work for hold:
HOLD
HLD

Obviously I'm just guessing but it seems logical that if this feature is exposed via the API then it would be accessible by sending an 'ACT' and then a "STATUS':ON in the same way as on/off cycle sequences are for specific colours or light shows.
Hi mcqwerty

I'll give it a try and see what happens later on when it gets dark, so I can look out my office window and see the colors of the light and what happens.
I'll let you know.
Thanks...
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Would you mind testing:
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Repeated 14 times where xx is replaced with the number of a circuit connected to a light.
This should... maybe.. recall the 'held' colour.

Also, I wonder is there is a secret 'ACT' value that could shortcut this, similar to ACT 'REDR' turns the relay on/off the required number of times to activate red colour.
Maybe you could try a few possibilities:

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"ACT":"RECALL"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C00xx","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


Maybe also try:
REC
RECA

You could see if it would work for hold:
HOLD
HLD

Obviously I'm just guessing but it seems logical that if this feature is exposed via the API then it would be accessible by sending an 'ACT' and then a "STATUS':ON in the same way as on/off cycle sequences are for specific colours or light shows.
Hi mcqwerty
I might have been doing something wrong, but I tried all of those examples and all of my responses were "404" and nothing changed with the lighting. I know that I was communicating with the panel because when I queried the hardware definitions, I got the proper response from the system.
r.
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
177
Austin, TX
kyleaa,
Yep, in all my dealings with Pentair, one thing that I have discovered is something like that would just be a total waste of time. :) In fact, if I were to pose that question (and I could view the Tech Support Rep (TSR) over the phone), I would clearly see a "deer-in-the-headlight" look on the other end. :mrgreen:

Don't get me wrong, I have had consistently good service with their "level or tier 1" TSRs. I have found them to be for the most part, personable and with a willingness to help. That's all well and good if you have a simple question or issue or just require assistance with a warranty issue.
BUT, if you want to talk a highly technical issue or you have a in-depth problem, my experience is that the tier1 TSRs will not be able to help much.
Every time I ask a question about this or that, I get answers that lead me to believe that only the tier 2 folks, leads and supervisors are technically proficient enough to help and then not always. Sometimes getting these folks on the phone is difficult and many times a "case#" has to be opened so that the tier 2 people/leads can respond at a later time.

The other observation that I have on this topic, is that Pentair very closely guards information, especially information that may be regarded as "proprietary" in any way. Many times, I get answers from the tier 1 folks such as: "I don't know anything about that" or "we have not been informed of that feature". There have been instances where I have felt that I am educating them when it comes to the IntelliCenter anyway. :p

Anyway, thanks for letting me "vent" about this topic and thanks for all of the excellent input on this thread. Please take care and talk with you soon.
r.
This is my experience with every tech support call I ever make (ISP, cell phone, etc). I’m fairly technical, so if I’m calling, it’s not a level 1 issue!
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
This is my experience with every tech support call I ever make (ISP, cell phone, etc). I’m fairly technical, so if I’m calling, it’s not a level 1 issue!
jimbethesda
Yes sir, I completely agree. My same experiences as well. Guess I'm living in a dream world to think that I might be able to speak to a TSR that has a better grasp of a particular system or device, than I might have.
As I have said somewhere else, "If I go to a doctor and complain of a high temperature, I don't expect to have to explain to him first, how the human immune system works." :p...
Thanks Jim and take care.
r.
 
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mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
30
TN
I tried all of those examples and all of my responses were "404"
Thanks for testing, I didn't expect it to work, but it was worth a go in case there was a hidden feature. :)

What happened when you tried cycling the lights manually with the STATUS OFF and STATUS ON calls? The lights should at least go off and on and, depending on how quickly the messages are processed and acted upon, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to select a colour or light show that way (based on the number off/on iterations).
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Thanks for testing, I didn't expect it to work, but it was worth a go in case there was a hidden feature. :)

What happened when you tried cycling the lights manually with the STATUS OFF and STATUS ON calls? The lights should at least go off and on and, depending on how quickly the messages are processed and acted upon, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to select a colour or light show that way (based on the number off/on iterations).
Hi mcqwerty
Nothing happened when I tried cycling the lights manually (using PuTTY) with the STATUS OFF and STATUS ON calls, except that I got the 404 error.
However, I have made a new discovery (does not involve sending commands through PuTTY), regarding the IntelliBrite Hold and Recall feature as it pertains to the IntelliCenter. Not sure if you saw these or not. Please see the Pentair - Color Hold/Recall thread, post #16 and post #18.
Now I need just need to see if I can convince Pentair to work the known bugs out of the feature and hopefully put the fix in a future update. I am told that several updates are forthcoming in the near future. Like I noted in that thread, I have called and have a Case# on the issue (as well as the IntelliValve issue). Just waiting on someone higher up in the food chain to get back with me.
Talk with you soon.
r.
 

mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
30
TN
happened when I tried cycling the lights manually
Hi @MyAZPool,
Cycling the lights through the API with STATUS ON/OFF should have worked. Did you replace 'xx' with the number of your light relay circuit as described in my google sheet in post 39?
If you are still having trouble, please could you paste in the request that is casing a 404.

Please see the Pentair - Color Hold/Recall thread
I have been following that thread also. I was hoping that cycling the light relay circuit through the API would be fast enough to replicate manual on/off of the lights to select a colour/show. If this is possible then we have full control of the lights including 'holding' (13 cycles), 'recalling' (14 cycles) and 'SAm' (1 cycle) even though those features are not available in the official app or officially in the API via an 'ACT' command.

Sorry for all the back and forth, when I eventually have my IntelliCenter then I will be able to test and report vs asking you to do the leg work :)
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Hi @MyAZPool,
Cycling the lights through the API with STATUS ON/OFF should have worked. Did you replace 'xx' with the number of your light relay circuit as described in my google sheet in post 39?
If you are still having trouble, please could you paste in the request that is casing a 404.

I have been following that thread also. I was hoping that cycling the light relay circuit through the API would be fast enough to replicate manual on/off of the lights to select a colour/show. If this is possible then we have full control of the lights including 'holding' (13 cycles), 'recalling' (14 cycles) and 'SAm' (1 cycle) even though those features are not available in the official app or officially in the API via an 'ACT' command.

Sorry for all the back and forth, when I eventually have my IntelliCenter then I will be able to test and report vs asking you to do the leg work :)
Hi mcqwerty,
I'm, pretty sure that I did that but it still didn't work. I'm going to try again tonight and will keep you informed. Whatever the result, I will paste the system responses that are shown on PuTTY.

Also, I'm going to be trying out the Hold and Recall features with a firmware beta that Pentair provided yesterday. I wanted to do it last night but my wife insisted that we finish our binge watching of the Horatio Hornblower series on YouTube (what a great series), so I agreed. :p

YES, I too want you to get your IntelliCenter. :poke: Let's get to digging over there (hopefully with a backhoe). :mrgreen:
I've still got your plumbing layout sitting here on my desk and I'm still marveling at its complexity. :goodjob:
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
959
Arizona
Hi @MyAZPool,
Cycling the lights through the API with STATUS ON/OFF should have worked. Did you replace 'xx' with the number of your light relay circuit as described in my google sheet in post 39?
If you are still having trouble, please could you paste in the request that is casing a 404.


I have been following that thread also. I was hoping that cycling the light relay circuit through the API would be fast enough to replicate manual on/off of the lights to select a colour/show. If this is possible then we have full control of the lights including 'holding' (13 cycles), 'recalling' (14 cycles) and 'SAm' (1 cycle) even though those features are not available in the official app or officially in the API via an 'ACT' command.

Sorry for all the back and forth, when I eventually have my IntelliCenter then I will be able to test and report vs asking you to do the leg work :)
Hi mcqwerty
So yea, I tried again and made sure I replaced xx with both 13 and 14. Nothing happened. No error but no relay activation's either. Here is screenprint. Please note that the 404 messages are just from me hitting the return key in between commands.
110957

Here is the good news. Since uploading Pentair's firmware beta's, I tried turning the light back on after it had been off (and after the Hold and Recall had been activated) and it works fine now. I will need to let my guy know that and hopefully they will soon be converting the beta's to a public release.
r.
 
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mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
30
TN
I replaced xx with both 13 and 14.
Ah! I think there is a misunderstanding... You need to replace 'xx' with the number of the aux circuit connected to the light, not with the number of on/off cycles.
So if your light is connected to Aux Circuit 3 then the commands for one off/on cycle would be:

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0003","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0003","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


You would then repeat the above two commands 14 times to recall the held colour.

Looking at a previous post of yours it looks like you have two light circuits listed 4th and 5th in your setup:
111236

I have no idea if the circuits are shown in numeric order but if they are then you could use:

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0004","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0004","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


to perform a single off/on cycle of your 'Pool Light' circuit or

{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0005","params":{"STATUS":"OFF"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}
{"command":"SETPARAMLIST","objectList":[{"objnam":"C0005","params":{"STATUS":"ON"}}],"messageID":"foobar"}


to perform a a singe off/on cycle of your 'Pool Light 2' circuit.

Once you have identified the correct numbers of each of the light circuits, you should be able to select any of the 14 colours/shows/functions of the intellibrite lights by cycling the corresponding number of times.
Here is the chart for ref with the number of off/on cycles shown for each:

111238

Good luck :)