Pentair IntelliCenter Pool Control Dashboard Instructional Guide

jerryt

In The Industry
Nov 25, 2011
207
Could someone be so kind as to give an overview of the MQTT support, and provide a recommendation of a Homeseer MQTT broker ?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
Could someone be so kind as to give an overview of the MQTT support, and provide a recommendation of a Homeseer MQTT broker ?
jerryt
A couple of resources that may be available to ask are @tagyoureit and/or @rstrouse. No doubt they can provide some useful information to you.
In addition, here are a couple of resources that you may take a look at in the meantime, until they come along and see your post.
crsherman/nodejs-poolController-mqtt
tagyoureit/nodejs-poolController

Thanks...
r.
 

baudfather

New member
Sep 18, 2020
2
BC, Canada
Thanks for this incredibly well presented and thoroughly informative writeup, @MyAZPool ! I've got things working with HomeSeer, and when I get a bit of free time I'm going to put together a writeup on the MQTT integration for that automation platform - I'll likely link to this post since I doubt I'd be able to cover the initial setup as thoroughly.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
Thanks for this incredibly well presented and thoroughly informative writeup, @MyAZPool ! I've got things working with HomeSeer, and when I get a bit of free time I'm going to put together a writeup on the MQTT integration for that automation platform - I'll likely link to this post since I doubt I'd be able to cover the initial setup as thoroughly.
Thanks and yea, getting a write-up on the MQTT integration with HomeSeer would be great. The information and your experiences that you can provide / share, will no doubt help others regarding that platform. The more the better when it comes to alternative pool control/automation.
Thank you!!
r.
 

jerryt

In The Industry
Nov 25, 2011
207
Well I did not get far, get the error below on the CLI of the command in bold...

(5) # At the next command prompt, type or copy/paste: bash <(curl -sLhttps://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered) #Tap the Enter/Return key.

[email protected]:~ $ bash <(curl -sLhttps://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered)
/dev/fd/63: line 1: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'
/dev/fd/63: line 1: `Usage: curl [options...] <url>'

SOLVED Correct command is;
bash <(curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered)
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
Well I did not get far, get the error below on the CLI of the command in bold...

(5) # At the next command prompt, type or copy/paste: bash <(curl -sLhttps://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered) #Tap the Enter/Return key.

[email protected]:~ $ bash <(curl -sLhttps://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered)
/dev/fd/63: line 1: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'
/dev/fd/63: line 1: `Usage: curl [options...] <url>'

SOLVED Correct command is;
bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered)

Remove the L
Yea, there should have been a space between the L and h. When I copy/pasted some of the commands originally, the bb code/software munged up some of the commands with http in them. I thought I got them all fixed, but guess I missed one. :p
All fixed now. Thanks for the heads up!
r.

EDIT. I checked it out just to be sure. The correct command is:
echo "**************************************************************************************************"
echo "The command that got you this script has been updated."
echo "In the future please use the following version:"
echo " "
echo " bash <(curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/linux-installers/master/deb/update-nodejs-and-nodered)"
echo " "
echo "See node-red/linux-installers for details."
echo "Thank you."
echo "**************************************************************************************************"

See the following for details.
 
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jerryt

In The Industry
Nov 25, 2011
207
(Really fantastic job of putting all this together MyAZPool, Super Awesome !!!)

OK, my next sticking point;

Type or copy/paste: sudo nano /etc/rc.local #Tap the Enter/Return key. This command will open a GNU text editor on the RPi desktop.
(3) # Arrow down to between the “exit 0” and the “fi”, Type or copy/paste the following script within the GNU text editing field, between the “exit 0” and the “fi”:
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController
npm start&
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController-dashPanel
npm start&


These "npm start&" commands never run. I can open a terminal and run the commands manually and everything works fine, just not automatically on boot or login

SOLVED - Had to provide "absolute directory name". Pasted;
cd /home/pi/nodejs-poolController
npm start&
cd /home/pi/nodejs-poolController-dashPanel
npm start&
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
Type or copy/paste: sudo nano /etc/rc.local #Tap the Enter/Return key. This command will open a GNU text editor on the RPi desktop.
(3) # Arrow down to between the “exit 0” and the “fi”, Type or copy/paste the following script within the GNU text editing field, between the “exit 0” and the “fi”:
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController
npm start&
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController-dashPanel
npm start&


These "npm start&" commands never run. I can open a terminal and run the commands manually and everything works fine, just not automatically on boot or login

I also tried;
sudo nano /home/pi/.bashrc

editing the file by adding;

echo Running at boot
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController
npm start&
cd ~pi/nodejs-poolController-dashPanel
npm start&


this also does not run, but when I open a terminal it show errors on finding the directories; nodejs-poolController & nodejs-poolController-dashPanel
Open a CLI window and at the command prompt, type or copy/ paste
sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Does your GNU text editor look like this?
2020-09-20_08-31-45.jpg

If it doesn't then you will need to edit it so it does.

Also, you should have two directories or folders that look like this...
2020-09-20_08-36-14.jpg
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
The reason is, is because your cd command is from "/home/pi" and not from "pi".
The tilde IS the shortcut for home. On it's own, the command cd ~ returns you to your accounts home folder.
No big deal. If it works now, that's all that matters.... :p
r.
 

Pprior

Gold Supporter
Feb 14, 2018
56
Englewood, FL
I have an Intellitouch I5+3, it has communication to my network via the wireless Screenlogic wireless protocol adapter. I assume since it was not mentioned that this is not a substitute for running a hardwire.

I assume I will also have to buy the communication port expander board - i.e. you can't "double up" wires in an existing com port? I would like to keep the stock Screenlogic interface available for our pool service people, can these two co-exist?

And finally, is there any option to run these services in a docker rather than on a rasp pi? I have a pi, but I've migrated almost everything to docker containers running from my Synology NAS.

Thanks so much, an absolutely superb document and effort.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
Pprior
I can really only answer questions with 100% certainty as they pertain to equipment and methods that I have personally used (IntelliCenter/Raspberry Pi). I can however, give you a bit of information that I am somewhat familiar with but I will call on some assistance from others that have experience with the IntelliTouch/nodejs-poolController and/or possibly Docker.

I have an Intellitouch I5+3, it has communication to my network via the wireless Screenlogic wireless protocol adapter. I assume since it was not mentioned that this is not a substitute for running a hardwire.
I am of the understanding from information gained from other sources (it was mentioned in the guide) that as long as you have a ScreenLogic protocol adapter (wired or wireless to your OCP), that it will allow for the correct RS485 connection to the IntelliTouch RS485 bus.
Calling @tagyoureit or @rstrouse for assistance.

I assume I will also have to buy the communication port expander board - i.e. you can't "double up" wires in an existing com port? I would like to keep the stock Screenlogic interface available for our pool service people, can these two co-exist?
Not necessarily. I know of a lot of people who "double up" connections to a COM Port. I am unaware of any negative effects of this practice. However, that being said, do I think it's the best operating practice? Not really sure. I can only say that I don't do it (that's just me. I use a COM Port Expansion Board). I don't really think you will have an issue doing so.

As far as the co-existing question, I can only tell you that the Pentair webClient for the IntelliCenter and the nodejs-poolController co-exist just fine in my experience. I can only assume, the same holds true for ScreenLogic. Those two I tagged above will absolutely know for sure.

And finally, is there any option to run these services in a docker rather than on a rasp pi? I have a pi, but I've migrated almost everything to docker containers running from my Synology NAS.
I don't know the answer to that question. I did a bit of looking around on the internet (coz you piqued my curiosity (y)), but I don't want to give you any false information. Certainly, looks as though you can (see link below) Those two that I gave a "shout-out" to above can certainly answer this question along with @Katodude, @cmc0619 or @mcqwerty. They will see the tags here and I know that they can help you with more specific information regarding this question.

In the meantime, you can check this out.
Thanks....
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
And finally, is there any option to run these services in a docker rather than on a rasp pi? I have a pi, but I've migrated almost everything to docker containers running from my Synology NAS.
@Pprior
Please also see this regarding Docker as it relates to nodejs-poolController.
r.
 

mcqwerty

Active member
Aug 27, 2018
35
TN
Re 'doubling up' on the RS485 bus: You can absolutely do this with no problems. RS485 communication is via a 'bus' which means all messages are pushed onto the same cable pair and all components 'hear' all messages. They just choose to ignore the ones that do not concern them. When you use a port expander all you are doing is giving yourself an easier way of connecting the cables together, it is not doing any magic. So you could just as effectively buy a couple of these https://www.lowes.com/pd/Square-D-1-in-Ground-Bar-Kit/3364860 (one for each of the wires in the pair) and achieve the same effect. Or you could just shove them all into a couple of wire nuts like I do haha!

As for Docker support, the link to the njspc issue @MyAZPool provided is the latest I had heard. I have not tired this yet but I believe the changes were merged into the latest (6.1.0) release of njspc.
 
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Candurin

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2017
66
Southern NJ
@MyAZPool How practical is it to always run the RPi using virtual desktop? My dilemma is that I can run a Cat5e cable (to use as the physical RS485 COM connection) between the physical intellicenter and the RPi. However, I have two options:

1. Run a 100' Cat5e cable to the IC and keep the RPi in my home office where I can connect to it and also connect it to my network switch in my office. This way it is in the house and on my desk.
2. Keep the RPi in the garage and then run a smaller Cat5e (again, acting as the RS485 COM cable) from the RPi to the IC, about 20', and then connect the RPi to the AP router in my garage.

No matter what, I am hardwired LAN for networking. No Wifi needed.

Basically both do the same, but, how often do I need to make the physical connection to the RPi instead of using virtual desktop connection? I hope this makes sense? If I keep the Pi in the garage, it is less cables, but then I'll need the mini monitor and keyboard to actually access it outside of the virtual desktop. If I keep the Pi in my office, I can simply connect it to my existing keyboard and mouse and connect it to my existing monitor.

I hope that makes sense. I'm thinking option #1 may work out best in the long run and it it just the simple matter of running a longer Cat5e cable (RS485).
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
@MyAZPool How practical is it to always run the RPi using virtual desktop? My dilemma is that I can run a Cat5e cable (to use as the physical RS485 COM connection) between the physical intellicenter and the RPi. However, I have two options:

1. Run a 100' Cat5e cable to the IC and keep the RPi in my home office where I can connect to it and also connect it to my network switch in my office. This way it is in the house and on my desk.
2. Keep the RPi in the garage and then run a smaller Cat5e (again, acting as the RS485 COM cable) from the RPi to the IC, about 20', and then connect the RPi to the AP router in my garage.

No matter what, I am hardwired LAN for networking. No Wifi needed.

Basically both do the same, but, how often do I need to make the physical connection to the RPi instead of using virtual desktop connection? I hope this makes sense? If I keep the Pi in the garage, it is less cables, but then I'll need the mini monitor and keyboard to actually access it outside of the virtual desktop. If I keep the Pi in my office, I can simply connect it to my existing keyboard and mouse and connect it to my existing monitor.

I hope that makes sense. I'm thinking option #1 may work out best in the long run and it it just the simple matter of running a longer Cat5e cable (RS485).
Candurin
No need to have a dedicated monitor, keyboard, mouse connected to the RPi once you get it initially set up and then use SSH or another remote desktop solution to access the RPi desktop..
That is discussed in detail in the guide.

You can put that RPi anywhere you want so long as 1. It has the RS485 connection to the bus. And 2. It has a LAN connection (wired or Wi-Fi).
Once set up, put it in your garage if you want a shorter RS-485 connection or put it inside. Doesn't matter. You can access the RPi desktop from any computer. But once all configured you will not even need to do that except for occasionally updating the nodejs-poolController and njsPc-dashPanel (git pull).

As far as accessing the dashPanel webClient, well you can do that from any device. Computer, iPad, mobile device whatever...
BTW, max distance for RS485 is about 4000' so don't worry about that.

So in summary,
If you want your RPi to live in the garage, that's fine as long as it has a connection to your local network (by whatever means) and the physical connection to the OCP bus.
If you want it inside, again, the same.
Once configured so you can "remote in" to the RPi, you never need to connect a monitor, keyboard or mouse to it ever again in most cases.

Hope that helps.
r.

EDIT: Oh btw, remote desktop software or ssh works great in my opinion. I use VNC Connect viewer and it's a super easy setup. There are others out there as well. Maybe some of the more "technically inclined", can weigh-in here and give you some other great options as well, depending if you are a Windows user or Mac user.

I have 4 RPi's and my original little 7" monitor and USB Keyboard/Mouse combo are just collecting dust now. :p I control the Raspberry Pi's all from my computer desktop.
2020-09-21_12-52-40.jpg
 
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Candurin

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2017
66
Southern NJ
Very familiar with VNCViewer. Used it extensively at my last job where we would remote connect to AllenBradley (Rockwell Automation) PLCs. Worked great.

Thanks for the heads up. I think I’ll keep the RPi in the house. Then I can just use my FLIRC case for it and never worry about summer and winter temps inside the garage.

I’ll turn my existing Pi 3B into the pool controller unit and get a new Pi 4 as a replacement game emulator for my son. We’ve been really enjoying the retropie on the 3B!
 

el duderino

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
155
Austin, TX
This is incredible. Thank you for taking the time to document all of this. I’m running 5.3 but am going to upgrade. This detailed play by play would have saved me a ton of time my first go round!
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,541
Arizona
This is incredible. Thank you for taking the time to document all of this. I’m running 5.3 but am going to upgrade. This detailed play by play would have saved me a ton of time my first go round!
el duderino
Thanks, but if it hadn't been for the efforts of the other folks that I collaborated with on this, this guide would not have been possible. And in the course of putting the info together, I learned a tremendous amount.

I definitely know what you mean. In the beginning, there were many times that I thought attempting this type of venture might just be a "bridge too far" for me. But now that I understand some of it (although, I'm still a big-time noob), it's not all that bad.

But I got a LOT of help. After what I went through (and the other's helping me), I thought it might be a good idea to save other's here from the same grief. A start-to-finish, step-by-step instructional guide.

In fact, now that I have breached this latest hurdle, I've decided to "capture another bridge". (y) D'oh!

I'm now in the research/planning phase to jump another big hurdle (for me anyway) and add industrial type pH, ORP, Electrical Conductivity (E.C.) (salt content), Filter Pressure, improved ambient air temp and H2O temp (RTD), Muriatic Acid Tank Sensor and pool refill Flow Rate/Totalizer information to the mix. This additional pool and chemistry information can then be used to take advantage of the poolcontroller-manager v2.0.0 and the relayEquipmentManager, which in the end should help me with capturing real-time information about Mr. Pool and further my pool automation project.

But again, I'm not doing anything that hasn't already been done by many here. Many of the "DIY/Homebrew" guys here are the pioneers with much of this stuff. I'm just attempting to learn from their experiences.

Yes, definitely take advantage of nodejs-poolController v6.1.0

Thanks,
r.
 
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