Pentair IntelliCenter Pool Control Dashboard Instructional Guide

wgipe

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@wgipe
I have not seen that.
I didn't have a clue that system logs were so hard on the micro SDcard. But according to that OSTechNix article as well as the GenMon Wiki, it appears that they might be.
I would really like to get opinions from @cmc0619 and @Katodude and see what they think about this. They know way more about all of this than I do, so I would be interested to get their take.
Hey, thanks very much for sharing. This info may be very beneficial to us running Raspberry Pi's for pool automation, sensor and chemical control purposes.
r.

Yeah - SD Cards were not really designed for the frequency of read/write cycles that an active o/s drives. That said, I’m going to look to see if there is a class of card that is built for more cycles. Never really thought about that until now.

I’ll post what I learn back here.
 
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cmc0619

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@wgipe
I have not seen that.
I didn't have a clue that system logs were so hard on the micro SDcard. But according to that OSTechNix article as well as the GenMon Wiki, it appears that they might be.
I would really like to get opinions from @cmc0619 and @Katodude and see what they think about this. They know way more about all of this than I do, so I would be interested to get their take.
Hey, thanks very much for sharing. This info may be very beneficial to us running Raspberry Pi's for pool automation, sensor and chemical control purposes.
r.
I'm on 2.5 years on my current SDcard. That being said, anything you can do to reduce frequency of writes is a good thing and I could see it extending the life of the card from 3-4 years to 7-8 (or more)! As is having a backup of your config data.
 
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wgipe

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OK - so it turns out Samsung Pro Endurance series are designed for bodycams, dashcams ,etc. and rated for up to 43,800 hours (which at 8,760 hrs / year comes out to exactly 5 years - which coincides with the card's warranty) of continuous read/write (128GB version). Interestingly, the 64GB is rated at half that many hours, the 32 at 25%, and so on. Basically, rather than writing to the first available block, the card employs a chip that distributes write cycles evenly across blocks, thereby extending the life of the card. This explains the linear lifespan increase by size of card. Pretty ingenious idea, really. The 128GB card is only $23, so it seems like great insurance. The card is also waterproof, shockproof and magnet proof, x-ray proof, has an approved operating temperature range of -13 to 185 F, can withstand 93% humidity for 500 hours, and claims to work even after being submerged in seawater for 72 hours. It does appear that there is a (very) nominal speed sacrifice due to the distributed write cycles which would have no noticeable effect in this application.

FWIW, Sandisk also makes an Endurance model, but it is rated at only 20,000 hours for the 128GB version, so it doesn't really compare.

So there you have it - you now know more than you ever thought you wanted to know about micro SD cards. :)

Wes
 

MyAZPool

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OK - so it turns out Samsung Pro Endurance series are designed for bodycams, dashcams ,etc. and rated for up to 43,800 hours (which at 8,760 hrs / year comes out to exactly 5 years - which coincides with the card's warranty) of continuous read/write (128GB version). Interestingly, the 64GB is rated at half that many hours, the 32 at 25%, and so on. Basically, rather than writing to the first available block, the card employs a chip that distributes write cycles evenly across blocks, thereby extending the life of the card. This explains the linear lifespan increase by size of card. Pretty ingenious idea, really. The 128GB card is only $23, so it seems like great insurance. The card is also waterproof, shockproof and magnet proof, x-ray proof, has an approved operating temperature range of -13 to 185 F, can withstand 93% humidity for 500 hours, and claims to work even after being submerged in seawater for 72 hours. It does appear that there is a (very) nominal speed sacrifice due to the distributed write cycles which would have no noticeable effect in this application.

FWIW, Sandisk also makes an Endurance model, but it is rated at only 20,000 hours for the 128GB version, so it doesn't really compare.

So there you have it - you now know more than you ever thought you wanted to know about micro SD cards. :)

Wes
@wgipe
Great info. Now I need to see what I'm using. After all of the changes that have been coming down the pike, it's about time for me to unload my RPi's and image them all anyway. Great time then to do a check and determine a good course of action based on your findings.
If I'm not mistaken, I think they're all SanDisk Extreme 64GB.
Thanks again!!
 

wgipe

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@wgipe
Great info. Now I need to see what I'm using. After all of the changes that have been coming down the pike, it's about time for me to unload my RPi's and image them all anyway. Great time then to do a check and determine a good course of action based on your findings.
If I'm not mistaken, I think they're all SanDisk Extreme 64GB.
Thanks again!!

I’m glad you found it helpful. Looking forward to seeing how this project continues to unfold. Unfortunately, our build got moved to early spring due to availability of pool panels, so I can’t start playing with this until then. Happy new year to you and yours!

Wes
 

MyAZPool

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I’m glad you found it helpful. Looking forward to seeing how this project continues to unfold. Unfortunately, our build got moved to early spring due to availability of pool panels, so I can’t start playing with this until then. Happy new year to you and yours!
Wes
Wes,
I sure did.
As far as nodejs-poolController based alternative pool automation projects continuing to unfold? Oh, they are!!! All, I'm gonna say at this time is "STAY TUNED"...
r.
 
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rstrouse

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Jun 17, 2020
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Not to horn in on the logs discussion. In njspc logs are only written when the logging is activated and even then it is periodically flushed from memory to specifically to keep the writes down. Writes on flash create heat and many writes in succession are just as damaging as a lot of writes over time. The configuration and state persistence algorithms also take this into account so that writes only occur when there is a change to actually report to the file. These are also batched together to ensure there are no writes in multiple succession. The point is that the native logs and/or persistent storage for njspc do not need additional software for trim-like functions as this is done natively through the internal state persistence functions of njspc. The moral of the story here is that the load from njspc writes should be not be considered high load on the SD card.
 

MyAZPool

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@rstrouse
Oh, please "horn in" anytime... :mrgreen:
It's always good to get your take for sure... That is good news to know the njspc is not putting a high load on the micro-SDCards, because this issue has been on my mind since it was brought up...
Great info!!
Thanks much for sharing!
r.
 

wgipe

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Not to horn in on the logs discussion. In njspc logs are only written when the logging is activated and even then it is periodically flushed from memory to specifically to keep the writes down. Writes on flash create heat and many writes in succession are just as damaging as a lot of writes over time. The configuration and state persistence algorithms also take this into account so that writes only occur when there is a change to actually report to the file. These are also batched together to ensure there are no writes in multiple succession. The point is that the native logs and/or persistent storage for njspc do not need additional software for trim-like functions as this is done natively through the internal state persistence functions of njspc. The moral of the story here is that the load from njspc writes should be not be considered high load on the SD card.

Not horning in at all, and great to know that. Thanks!

Wes
 

Palaestra

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Jun 30, 2019
22
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@MyAZPool, @tagyoureit, @rstrouse, @cmc0619, @Katodude thank you so much for this great resource!!

My pool build is in progress and a few months before my equipment pad is deployed. I've been purchasing everything needed to implement the Pentair IntelliCenter Pool Control Dashboard.

To try stuff out I've followed these instructions until the STOP. I have no way of connecting my RS485 to my IntelliCenter at this point. Is there a way I can bypass this step but still do some work?

Thinking about other folks like me who are waiting on their pool but want to stage their system I'd like to program and label all of my actuators, it seems other steps (and relayEquipment Manager) are predicated on completing the stop sign. Thoughts?
 
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MyAZPool

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@MyAZPool, @tagyoureit, @rstrouse, @cmc0619, @Katodudethank you so much for this great resource!!

My pool build is in progress and a few months before my equipment pad is deployed. I've been purchasing everything needed to implement the Pentair IntelliCenter Pool Control Dashboard.

To try stuff out I've followed these instructions until the STOP. I have no way of connecting my RS485 to my IntelliCenter at this point. Is there a way I can bypass this step but still do some work?

Thinking about other folks like me who are waiting on their pool but want to stage their system I'd like to program and label all of my actuators, it seems other steps (and relayEquipment Manager) are predicated on completing the stop sign. Thoughts?
The only thing I can think of to get ahead of the game at this point is to go ahead and get setup with the ability to remote in / setup your ssh to your Raspberry Pi from your computer if you are planning to use the Raspberry Pi in headless mode. Other than that, you're going to need a connection to the OCP RS485 bus I think. I can't think of any reason to move to the next step at this point really.
But those other guys that you called on are a lot smarter than me on this stuff, so leave it to them to come up with a clever trick.

Here is your link for setting up SSH.
Looking forward to seeing you up and running when you get to that point. :thumleft:
r.
 
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MyAZPool

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@MyAZPool any chance I could convince you to snap some photos when you’re done tinkering?
@Candurin
Done tinkering with the hardware side of things. Well for the moment anyway. ;)

One thing that I still want to do is to install a flow sensor in the spare 3/4" threaded tee in my sensor bypass manifold.

As I noted in the following link, if water flow through the manifold is ever inhibited for any reason, I will be alerted and chemical dosing will cease until such time as the situation has been resolved. This will give me another level of redundancy.

I have the flow sensor (courtesy of Pentair.) :p I just need to run the wiring through the conduits, use an acceptable method of connecting to the Raspberry Pi sensor/relay stack GPIO pins and create the feed.

You can find those additional photos that you were inquiring about here.
r.
 
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el duderino

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I've got a standalone pump, and I have everything installed on the pi. On some occasions, when I cut and resume power to the Intelliflow, I get "display" on the display, which disables local control and means the pi is connected. However, this doesn't happen often and I can't for the life of me figure out the chain of events to get this working reliably. Otherwise, njspc can not connect. I've tried npm start& before/after/during power ups, I've tried disconnecting at the pi. Any ideas where I'm going wrong?
 

MyAZPool

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I've got a standalone pump, and I have everything installed on the pi. On some occasions, when I cut and resume power to the Intelliflow, I get "display" on the display, which disables local control and means the pi is connected. However, this doesn't happen often and I can't for the life of me figure out the chain of events to get this working reliably. Otherwise, njspc can not connect. I've tried npm start& before/after/during power ups, I've tried disconnecting at the pi. Any ideas where I'm going wrong?
@el duderino
I got to be honest. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either.
I could tag the guys that can probably help you out but I think you will get a faster response to your issue if you do the following.

Cruise on over to the following site and submit a "New Issue" in the njspC Github Repository.
Here is the link to the Issues page. Just click the green New Issue button and explain all there and lets see what they have to say.
Thanks.
r.

EDIT: Didn't see the response from @jerryt He may be able to help as well.
 

jerryt

In The Industry
Nov 25, 2011
247
My Intelliflo VS pump will only show "Display" if it is ready for remote control. If it has a power failure, it displays "Power Failure", also there is a LED which needs to be lite, the one above the "Start/Stop" button. If it has some error, I simply cycle the reset and start/stop button until it shows "Display" with the light on.

Other notes, you have to set the pump address on the pump, and if "poolController" is controlling it, then there must be a place in poolController to set the address.

External Control - To access the Ext. Ctrl. menu: 1. Check that the green power LED is on. 2. Press the Menu button. “Settings” is displayed. 3. Use the Up or Down arrow button to scroll to “Ext. Ctrl.”. 5. Press the Select button. “Program 1” is displayed. 6. Press the Select button. “750 RPM’ is displayed. 7. Press the Select button. The “RPM” number will highlight. 8. Press Up or Down arrow button to change the RPM setting. 9. Press the Enter button to save the setting. Note: To cancel any changes, press the Escape button to exit without saving. 10. Press the Escape button. 11. Use the Up or Down arrow button to scroll to “Program 2”. 12. Repeat Step 5 through 9 to set Program 2, 3, and 4.
 
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el duderino

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@jerryt I appreciate the detail. I do have programs 1 and 2 set on the pump. I finally got my new sd cards and the rpi has a new image and nrpc installed. I just need to experiment with the proper steps to get the pump recognized and in display mode. I'm wondering if I need to cut power to the pump, do npm start, and then turn the power back on to the pump so nrpc sees the startup messages.
 

jerryt

In The Industry
Nov 25, 2011
247
The pump likes to have power 24/7, the issues I have had are when there is a power interruption, the pump goes into fault mode. So I have a backup pump as secondary...

My experience is that Njspc likes to have everything visible when it starts. I don't know if njspc has direct control of this pump, but njspc auto-configures, so it it does have control, you should see something.

Another option is the Intellicom II, which sends the rs485 communication to the pump upon a relay closure. I am using this, so my Hotspot pool heater can turn on the intelliflo pump.
 

el duderino

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when I do npm start, I get a ton of the following error:
node_modules/@influxdata/influxdb-client/dist/query/flux.d.ts:1:2228 - error TS1127: Invalid character.

followed by this output:
1611254638450.png
 

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