Pentair IntelliCenter Review and Information

MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Peggy
We just changed our light/waterfall schedule to start at sunset and end 45 minutes later. It allowed the change on the "local connect", but didn't want to take it on the "remote connect" on the app. We couldn't even open the schedules on the Web Client...so must have been something to do with them being down today. With the later firmware, we were able to edit schedules on both their website and the iOS app. Tonight we can only edit the schedules via the "local connect" on the app.

Edit#2: Sunset worked. It seems like all of our issues have been resolved with the new firmware (pump speeds select properly, light settings hold, schedules edit and hold).
Yes, I had a chance to replicate, and it worked correctly on my end as well in "remote connect" mode.

Edit: We're thinking it might be a "firmware" issue. When we had the earlier firmware and tried to edit the schedules, we could change the time. However, the times would revert back to the original times scheduled. Almost like we were telling the panel to change the time via the Web or iOS...the software sent the info out to the panel and the firmware said "I don't recognize this change....goodbye!" The new firmware seems to have resolved that issue. We can now edit schedules via the website (when it's up...except for tonight, when we can't even open the schedules) and the iOS.
There are two issues regarding "schedules" as they relate to the web client "only". I have been provided several firmware betas' by Pentair recently to test if these issues are corrected and so far, they have not been corrected.

1. Inability to edit existing schedules. The schedule "box" opens momentarily and then closes down again, as quickly as it opened thus, not allowing the OP to make any changes to the existing schedule(s). I don't think everyone is experiencing this issue from what I can tell but many are. Most who are using v1.040 and some who are running v1.043 and v1.045 betas'.
2. Lack of "Sunrise" and "Sunset" capability and their associated "offset time"

I definitely do not believe that #1 is a firmware related issue because the ability to edit existing schedules worked fine from December 2018 until February 2020. Then Pentair pushed a "Web Client" update in Feb 2020 and the ability to edit existing schedules (in the web client), immediately ended at the exact moment the web client update occured. No change in firmware occurred during this time. This is documented in previous posts within this thread. In fact, the ability to edit existing schedules at the touchscreen and the mobile apps works just fine. Just not at the web client.

As far as the mobile apps, there was a problem with getting schedule edits to save and take effect, but I agree, that issue appears to have been corrected with the newer betas.

Go figure. :p
r.
 
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Feb 3, 2020
21
South Africa
@MyAZPool - thanks for all the good work on this!

Did they give any feel for when the current beta firmware will be released to production? It sounds like it may well fox some (not all) of our issues? I’d love to get lights working properly and schedules working on iOS and it sounds like another firmware update might give me this...
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Is there any way to disable firmware updates on the IntelliCenter? I have a new one that has a firmware revision of 1.023. I have not installed it yet.
Autom8it
Welcome to TFP...
Not exactly sure why you would want to but okay. The only guarantee that I know of is to not allow the panel, connectivity to the internet. But if you do that, you cannot setup an account or use the web client (for what that is worth). There are quite a bit of good improvements between firmware v1.023 and v1.040. Those are evidenced by the associated release notes. You may or may not need or want those I guess.

Sometimes, when Pentair pushes an over-the-air (OTA) firmware update, it installs itself automatically and other times, it requires the OP to "confirm" the install at the panel. I have seen both scenarios since this automation system was introduced in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Thanks...
r.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
@MyAZPool - thanks for all the good work on this!

Did they give any feel for when the current beta firmware will be released to production? It sounds like it may well fox some (not all) of our issues? I’d love to get lights working properly and schedules working on iOS and it sounds like another firmware update might give me this...
SA Pentair User
Thanks..
I did ask that in a previous call. They are talking about publicly releasing at least v1.045 in August but you know, they will not guarantee that.

You can always call them (Tech Support) and get them to issue you beta v.1045. You'll have to "make your case", but they will do it.
Thanks and take care...
r.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
@Autom8it
Quick question if you wouldn't mind. How are you controlling 12 IntelliValves through the IntelliCenter? Or are you? ;)
Have you had success installing two (2) Valve Expansion Modules and getting the system to recognize both?
Thanks...
r.
 

Autom8it

Member
Jun 10, 2020
5
Marana, AZ
I have not actually installed and tested, but here is the plan:
I have 10 ports available on the i10PS plus valve expansion module.
I will use a couple of AUX relay outputs to provide directional control on valve 11.
I may use a dedicated solar controller to run number 12 (crying shame), or use AUX relay ports.
One of the valves really wants to be a 3 position valve (I thought I was going to have control of IntelliValves when I paid for this stuff). I plan to hack a JVA with a 3D printed third cam and a third switch. That will take up 3 AUX ports or 2 ports with some creativity with a toggling relay set.
I have the two expansion ports and plan to work with the nodejs folks to see if I can get communication to happen with the second card. Sounds like they are getting closer. I have a bench setup at this point using a couple breadboards with indicator LEDs to represent valves and other equipment. I will hook them all to valve and relay ports. I also have a good 2 channel DSO and RS485 analyzer to help with the process.
It is not completely set up but I am just getting started.
bench setup.jpg

I have contacted several Pentair first level support folks at both locations and the consensus is that the hardware cannot make use of more than one valve expansion card. I am hopeful that the guys working the nodejs-poolController project will soon find a way to make that work somehow. I actually have an expansion panel with a i5X motherboard based on recommendations from the dealer. This was supposed to be the home for the second valve expansion module. He was unaware of the limitations but I can't blame him after the number of contradicting answers I initially got from the first level guys. I can still make use of extra AUX ports in the expansion panel which I will need given the hardware shortcomings. The fact that all of this automation could be accomplished with a simple rpi setup for a few hundred bucks at most simply blows my mind. I know I am preaching to the choir.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
I have not actually installed and tested, but here is the plan:
I have 10 ports available on the i10PS plus valve expansion module.
I will use a couple of AUX relay outputs to provide directional control on valve 11.
I may use a dedicated solar controller to run number 12 (crying shame), or use AUX relay ports.
One of the valves really wants to be a 3 position valve (I thought I was going to have control of IntelliValves when I paid for this stuff). I plan to hack a JVA with a 3D printed third cam and a third switch. That will take up 3 AUX ports or 2 ports with some creativity with a toggling relay set.
I have the two expansion ports and plan to work with the nodejs folks to see if I can get communication to happen with the second card. Sounds like they are getting closer. I have a bench setup at this point using a couple breadboards with indicator LEDs to represent valves and other equipment. I will hook them all to valve and relay ports. I also have a good 2 channel DSO and RS485 analyzer to help with the process.
It is not completely set up but I am just getting started.
View attachment 147816

I have contacted several Pentair first level support folks at both locations and the consensus is that the hardware cannot make use of more than one valve expansion card. I am hopeful that the guys working the nodejs-poolController project will soon find a way to make that work somehow. I actually have an expansion panel with a i5X motherboard based on recommendations from the dealer. This was supposed to be the home for the second valve expansion module. He was unaware of the limitations but I can't blame him after the number of contradicting answers I initially got from the first level guys. I can still make use of extra AUX ports in the expansion panel which I will need given the hardware shortcomings. The fact that all of this automation could be accomplished with a simple rpi setup for a few hundred bucks at most simply blows my mind. I know I am preaching to the choir.
Autom8it
Okay, now I'm totally tracking. (y) I saw your post on GitHub yesterday and watching intently. :epds:Your test bench setup looks great btw.

I think that with the efforts of yourself, rstrouse and mcqwerty, I'm optimistic that its just a matter of time before you guys crack this IntelliValve comm "nut". Initially I connected the 2 RS-485 conductors, from one IntelliValve to the Serial COM Expansion board that is connected to my bus, but I had no way of observing or capturing any data. I was just curious as to what would happen. :p

Yea, I'm hopeful that you and mcqwerty are able to eventually support more than 10 IntelliValves (8 in my case), because I do not like the system logic associated with the "Intake" and "Return" 3-pin connectors, so I don't use them. I wanted more control over when those valves actuate and when they don't, so my IntelliValves are connected to VALVE A through F.

Yup, the first level TS guys are for the most part, good guys, but they're not engineers and they mostly have to follow the Pentair "party line" / scripts. Your fall back option"work-around" with the second panel, by all rights, should work I would think.

Yea, I'm having some initial startup pains getting the IntelliCenter 6.0 poolController to act right on my raspi but its a "work-in-progress" and I'm getting a lot of exellent help and assistance from the "darkside" crew here. Shoot me a PM if you want regarding that.

Happy to see your work and enthusiasm on this front. The more the merrier and the sooner we can rid ourselves of this current "Pentair subjugation" lol.

Here are a couple of threads below, that you might peruse when it comes to DYI. Some are planning on integrating IntelliValves and like you, I don't want a complete DYI. I just want better control over the IntelliCenter, want to use my IntelliValves to their full potential and mostly, I don't want to have to rely on the current UIs. And as you explained, so much more is possible. ;)

Thanks..
r.
 
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Feb 3, 2020
21
South Africa
Is there any way to disable firmware updates on the IntelliCenter? I have a new one that has a firmware revision of 1.023. I have not installed it yet.
There is (or at least there was last year) a setting on the Intellicenter control panel itself that you could set to accept OTA updates or not. I turned mine off as I was on a Beta that I was relatively (90%) happy with (1.036 from memory). I then got carried away and manually installed the production release 1.040 and am now only 80% happy :rolleyes:
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
There is (or at least there was last year) a setting on the Intellicenter control panel itself that you could set to accept OTA updates or not. I turned mine off as I was on a Beta that I was relatively (90%) happy with (1.036 from memory). I then got carried away and manually installed the production release 1.040 and am now only 80% happy :rolleyes:
SA
I too vaguely remember that feature as well, now that you bring it up. Do your remember what menu it was in or (is) in?
I just went out to the panel and scoured the menus and I can't seem to find it now.
You can "Enable Web & Mobile Interface" but its not there.
And its not in the networking menu that I can see.
I understand Pentair's reasoning on doing away with that feature if it was there (although I don't agree with it).
Maybe @Autom8it, still maintains that feature on his firmware v1.023. If so, that will work out for him.
I checked all of the release notes since v1.023 and although there are quite a bit of OTA related fixes, I really don't find anything specifically stating that they removed that feature but that really doesn't mean anything. They could have just done it without documenting it and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
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Autom8it

Member
Jun 10, 2020
5
Marana, AZ
MyAZPool

Thanks for the useful links.
I have not had any experience with Grafana. It looks pretty cool though.
I also checked in the menus of the IC and I cannot find any way to disable OTA updates. I have not connected to the internet so I cannot get into that menu. I am hesitant to connect and set up until I know what my options are.
Does anyone have a repository of firmware from USB updates? Does Pentair make that available?
It would be nice to be able to roll back to a known good (less problems) release. It seems like I saw a Restore Factory Defaults option that should clear all memory and set the firmware back to the as-purchased state?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Autom8it
I also checked in the menus of the IC and I cannot find any way to disable OTA updates. I have not connected to the internet so I cannot get into that menu. I am hesitant to connect and set up until I know what my options are.
Hmmm. If not in .23, then maybe it was way back in .19 or .20 (.19 was the firmware that my system shipped with in Dec 2018), if in fact, that feature was there at all. In the back of my mind, I vaguely remember that feature being available but just not too sure now.

Does anyone have a repository of firmware from USB updates? Does Pentair make that available?
Yes to the first question above. No to the second (or at least not that I am aware of). ;)

It would be nice to be able to roll back to a known good (less problems) release. It seems like I saw a Restore Factory Defaults option that should clear all memory and set the firmware back to the as-purchased state?
Agreed... I did use the "Restore to Factory Default" option once, way back in about Jan, 2019. TS had send me a beta (.20), and it had not been thoroughly vetted apparently. It fixed my one issue but then broke something else and so we had to use the restore feature to go back to .19. So, I know that the feature works (or at least it did then).
On this point, my understanding is that Pentair may disable that feature sometime in the future and will not allow users to "rollback" past a particular version (I don't have all of those details because they either wouldn't tell me or they did not have all of the facts yet. lol... Apparently, when the chip is flashed in a future firmware version, the option will no longer be available to reload a previous version past that point. Just food for thought for you.
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setsailsoon

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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,157
Stuart/FL
Ron,

Wow! Lots of work on your part to answer questions and update us. Thanks so much! I am a registered user and never got the email. No matter though. at least they're working on it and I'm very hopeful we can one day have the geeks unleashed on this. They'll run circles around Pentair... could be why they don't release but I would hope somebody at some level would realize the benefit.

As always thanks so much for all you do!

Chris
 
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MyAZPool

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Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Ron,

Wow! Lots of work on your part to answer questions and update us. Thanks so much! I am a registered user and never got the email. No matter though. at least they're working on it and I'm very hopeful we can one day have the geeks unleashed on this. They'll run circles around Pentair... could be why they don't release but I would hope somebody at some level would realize the benefit.

As always thanks so much for all you do!

Chris
Thanks Chris..
No email? Spam folder maybe? Those goofballs. :rolleyes:
It would only make it easier on us all, if they would just release the API's and the protocols (especially for the IntelliValve) now. But regardless, the super-geeks at GitHub will have them all anyway at some point and then it will all be open-source. It's just a matter of time.
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setsailsoon

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Oct 25, 2015
3,157
Stuart/FL
Ron,

Interesting thing I noticed after the Intellicenter server came back to life is the temp setting on the pool went up to 92. We use this setting 'till it gets hot and then cut it down to 90. I guess they did roll back to something prior to the outage.

Chris
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Ron,
Interesting thing I noticed after the Intellicenter server came back to life is the temp setting on the pool went up to 92. We use this setting 'till it gets hot and then cut it down to 90. I guess they did roll back to something prior to the outage.
Chris
Chris,
Hmmmm. Must have been. Yea, who knows. Half the time, I make no sense of anything that occurs anymore with that crazy web client.
That's why I only use it now to help troubleshoot for others here or grab screenshots when helping with the web client.
I've just decided to 'move on" until they get their act together. And that will probably be never. :p
I'll still continue to use the mobile app for now but probably for not too much longer.
Thanks and be well.
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Hi All...
So on Monday, a friend of mine gave me a ring and we were talking many things "IntelliCenter".

Some of the topics were of course related to some of the many shortcomings. Especially with regards to the UltraTemp or other cooler integrations. Set-points and the inability to actuate a valve actuator when the IntelliCenter calls for heat (or cooling) based on temp set-points. This subject has come up more and more lately here on TFP.

Then, he just happened to point out the following to me. I'm sure that I saw this before but I guess its something that just didn't register with me previously (it wouldn't be the first time :p ).
So, here is what he pointed out to me.

In the Web Client, when you navigate to SETTINGS > SYSTEM CONFIGURATION > CIRCUITS > CIRCUIT GROUPS. Then click on ADD CIRCUIT GROUP > ADD CIRCUIT. Then click the "Select A Circuit" pull-down.
What you should see is every one of your AUX and FEATURE circuits of course.

But what you will also see is a list of items or better described as "functions", that are NOT AUX or FEATURE Circuits. I can think of many uses and scenarios for these additional "non-circuit" functions, that if included in macros could be extremely useful. Take a look at the image below and I'm sure you can imagine why these highlighted functions could be very beneficial when combined with other circuit functions within a macro. In fact, when you look at "Pool Heater" and "Spa Heater", this is just the scenario that I was attempting to help another user with, just a couple of days ago.

But here's the deal...
1. Although you can select these additional "non-circuit" functions and save them in the macro, they do not seem to have any effect on the system. In other words, they don't do anything! It's almost like somebody had a good idea but never followed through with it or couldn't make them work correctly.

2. If you select an AUX or FEATURE circuit "first" and save and then attempt to select one of these items "second", then they do not show up. Again, the only time that they will appear is when the user attempts to create a NEW macro. These will not appear when attempting to add them to an existing macro.

3. These additional "non-circuit" functions do NOT appear at the panel Touchscreen or in the iOS app (I did not try the android app but pretty sure, its the same), when attempting to create a new macro from those user interfaces.

2020-06-24_12-41-24.jpg

I will be sending these details to Pentair for some explanations but I'm not optimistic that we will obtain any detailed information but you never know.
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blackout

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2019
23
Upstate NY
1. Inability to edit existing schedules. The schedule "box" opens momentarily and then closes down again, as quickly as it opened thus, not allowing the OP to make any changes to the existing schedule(s). I don't think everyone is experiencing this issue from what I can tell but many are. Most who are using v1.040 and some who are running v1.043 and v1.045 betas'.
Just wanted to confirm that I just made a change to a schedule on my laptop running 1.045 and it stuck - I can see it on my app and panel afterwards.

For what it's worth, when I go to Menu > About on the web client, here's what I see:

Web Client Version: 1.048 b7 Jun 4, 2020
Web Server Version: 1.0.0.22
THW Version: IC: 1.045 , ICWEB:2019-12-20 0.90.06
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
1,434
Arizona
Just wanted to confirm that I just made a change to a schedule on my laptop running 1.045 and it stuck - I can see it on my app and panel afterwards.

For what it's worth, when I go to Menu > About on the web client, here's what I see:

Web Client Version: 1.048 b7 Jun 4, 2020
Web Server Version: 1.0.0.22
THW Version: IC: 1.045 , ICWEB:2019-12-20 0.90.06
blackout
Yep, As far as my web client goes, I've noticed that once in a while I can get lucky but it's certainly not consistent. Just played around with it and at first I could get a couple of schedules to stay open so they could be edited but as I continued to play with it, it just got worse. So in my case, the problem remains. When I click on a schedule, it will open momentarily but will not stay open to allow an edit. And I've also noticed that I can get some schedules to open more often than others if I continue to try. "What a way to fly". :(

No change on the web client, server or ICWEB versions as evidenced by the link below.
The THW version IC, is the firmware that the user has installed at the panel.
Thanks...
r.