ScreenLogic Protocol Adapter - Adding Interference to network


Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
I'm putting this out there for the benefit of the knowledgebase. Long story short:
Longer version:
I just got done installing all of my automation equipment. The final step was adding the ScreenLogic Protocol adapter (which I did in my garage), and the wireless connection kit to send signal to my automation panel which is on the other side of the wall and about 15 feet further down the side of the garage. I plan on hard wiring the link between the protocol adapter and the panel later (probably this weekend), but I wanted everything online for when my equipment was started up.

I have an elaborate network of devices connected to my home network. Shortly after doing adding the Pentair equipment to my network, my Russound MCA-C5's started acting up. The first gremlin was all of the keypads locking up and the clocks would no longer advance (the first time it happened they were all stuck at 4:30am, the second time 9:15pm, etc). The next gremlin was my Dell network printer sporadically disappearing from the network. Both of these devices are connected to the network with physical cables.

To fix the Russound issue, I tried rebooting all of my Russound equipment. While the equipment in the rack would reboot, the keypads would never come back online (they're hardwired as well for anyone that doesn't know the layout of russound equipment). Through process of elimination, I found that if I removed the network connection from the Russound equipment, it would boot normally and the keypads would function. As soon as I plugged in the network cable and attempted to reboot, it would go back to a non-working state. If I plugged the cable in after things came online, things would work for 1-2 days, and then everything would freeze up again. This system has been up and running for 4+ years without I started focusing on what had changed before I started replacing equipment.

Thinking back to what had changed, the only thing that had been added to the network was the protocol adapter, so I started going down this route. If I remove the protocol adapter from my network (disconnect the network cable connecting it to my main switch), I could turn off the Russound equipment, connect the network cable, and it would boot normally. The printer would now stay online as well.

Thinking how I could go about addressing it, I tried using Ferrite cores - I had a few extras laying around and it's a quick test as they simply snap over the wire. As soon as I put one on the cable coming out of the Pentair ScreenLogic Protocol adapter, I could power-cycle my Russound equipment with the network cable connected, and it would work. Since doing this, I haven't had any issues with the Russound system locking up, and my printer is back to it's normal ways of staying online.

I haven't done enough testing to know if the protocol adapter itself is causing the issue, or if the Pentair wireless link connected to the Pentair protocol adapter with the 4 wire Pentair data bus, but either way, I thought this was worth sharing...hopefully may prevent someone else from going through this frustration.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Thanks for posting this info...

I just wanted to say that I love your logical and systematic troubleshooting skills...

Over the years I have found that not everyone has the ability to troubleshoot. Half skill and half art... :p

Thanks for brightening my day!

Jim R.


Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
Thanks Jim - I've been troubleshooting things for quite some time, and in part, it probably comes from my analytical ways.

I narrowed this down a little more: To expand on this a little further, I hard-wired the protocol adapter to my EasyTouch this weekend which included moving the protocol adapter into a structured media enclosure. In the process of doing this, I moved the protocol adapter to a completely difference AC circuit, and instead of it being connected to my main network switch in my basement, I added a network switch so I could connect my Autelis unit and my sprinkler controller.

Without thinking, to tidy things up in this new smaller enclosure I used a shorter network cable to connect the protocol adapter to this switch, and not the one that I had added the ferrite cores to. Later that evening, I noticed that I was again having network issues and the new managed switch in this structured media enclosure was overwhelmed. All of the devices behind that switch were unavailable. I added a ferrite core to my new shorter network cable, and it went away again.

I guess this confirms that it's my protocol adapter doing it, and not the wireless connection kit. Either way, not sure if its just my brick (protocol adapter) that is somehow leaking interference back into the network or if this happens with all of them - I'd think there'd be more widespread reports of this if it's the latter. It's definitely coming from the network cable attached to the protocol adapter, and the ferrite core seems to do enough to absorb it.
Thread starter Other Threads of Interest Forum Replies Date
the_sphynx Everything Else 2
pool508 Pumps, Filters, and Plumbing 1
S Everything Else 4

Other Threads of Interest