Screenlogic protocol adapter issues

shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
Hello,

I have a new pentair system just installed for a new pool. It has an intelliflo pump, and intellichlor (the wire is currently disconnected) and as well as smart intelli-? heater. The panel is working fine, but I cannot get the protocol adapter to communicate no matter what. It is definitely connecting via the app to the protocol adapter (i.e. this doesn't appear to be an internet issue or an issue with my network) but the link from the protocol adapter to the panel doesn't seem to be working as I will click the buttons to turn on the lights pump, all of them do nothing on the app. The temp is also blank. No errors are shown.

I tried it with the wireless interface (my kit looks like this: Pentair Screenlogic Interface & Wireless Connection Kit for EasyTouch & IntelliTouch Control Systems | 522104). The problem was as described above - but occasionally I was able to get it to connect and show the temp and lights but as soon as I closed the app and tried it again it would stop. A total of 4 times I got it to connect for a few minutes over the course of a week.

My pool guy and I have checked the connections on the panel. I've tried resetting the protocol adapter and power cycling the equipment. I even tried bypassing the wireless link and connecting the 4 wires directly to the protocol adapter and the protocol adapter ethernet to a wifi-extender - still same issue - all the temp, etc all blank and the buttons are doing nothign but I am able to login so the internet connection to the device is ok.

I downloaded the remote monitoring too - its shows connection OK. Adapter POOL: 5.2 Build 738 (I updated the firmware). It then shows Unknown / Intellichlor and firmware 2.180. I'm wondering if that "unknown" is a problem. Additionally there's an app called "screenlogic configurator" - if I run it I can log in and then it says "connecting to screenlogic" and nothing happens but I see a flashing yellow square in the bottom left.

I am guessing it must be a defective protocol adapter and I'm going to call pentair next week and see if they can send me a replacement or if the pool guy can try a new kit.

Any ideas what this could be? My friend has the same system with no issues installed several years ago by a different company. I've tried searching the web and I don't see any info. I called pentair and was on hold 30-40 minutes and I finally had to hang up due to work schedule. I'll try calling them again next week.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
236
Panhandle Florida
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
How far away is the outside antenna from the inside adapter? Pentair is going to tell you that they should be as close as possible. I had the same issue, after I moved everything so the outside and inside antennas were less than 10' apart it started working correctly.
 

shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
so we tried it with the pentiair wireless antenna kit literally 1 foot away adn further back - very occasionally it would connect and then disconnect. So I tried bypassing the wireless entirely and hooking up the Intellitocuh Panel --- protocol adapter -- ethernet -- wifi extender. I'm not getting sign that it's actually connecting to the panel except for the red light on the protocol adapter. So this seems like its not helping. I will probably try putting it back to wireless

The final wireless distance is going to be about 50 feet eventually once we get everything working correct. My friend who has a similar setup tells me it should be able to handle the 50 feet distance with no issues. The app and remote monitoring show connected OK but nothing actually happens when I click the app buttons.

The instructions seem to indicate you could run the 4 wire communication wire all the way to the house 50 feet away and into the closet where teh router is. So I've tried simulating that with the above setup and still no dice (Intellitouch Panel --- protocol adapter -- ethernet -- wifi extender.) We've double and triple checked the 4 wire signal wire.

Also something interesting - my pool guy found if he disconnected the protocol adpter the panel was once again responsive in contorlling the intelliflo motor - otherwise the panel wasn't doing anything at all when filter F relay activated.

Seems like a defective protocol adapter? My pool man suggests we try hooking the wireless up back again and the installer will come out next week - I'll update this thread with the solution once we find it :/
 
Last edited:

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
621
Chico, CA
If you bring the protocol adapter inside and connect it directly to your network with an ethernet cable (don't bother connecting the comm port)... can you see that an IP address is assigned in your router's management screen? (the mac address will contain the 3 hex bytes printed on the protocol adapter). If that works you're looking pretty good since a bricked protocol adapter won't even give you an IP, but you may still have a problem on the comm port side of things...

Also something interesting - my pool guy found if he disconnected the protocol adpter the panel was once again responsive in contorlling the intelliflo motor - otherwise the panel wasn't doing anything at all when filter F relay activated.

When you connect a device to the comm port and it prevents other components from working, it usually indicates a bad/blown comm port on that device. The red light on the protocol adapter only indicates that it's powered, but it is on the same board as the comm chip - part number is MAX491CPD+. A few more details here:
 

rphpool

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2015
710
Sugar Land , TX
There was a thread earlier this month or last that said he had to move the wireless adapter away from other electronics to make it work. When it was to close to router/modem he was having issues.
 
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shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
so I got it to work and stay connected the whole day (yay!) - seems the wireless is real finnicky - might also have been something in the intellitouch panel and as the pool guy changed the com port too. Even still it took several hours of power cycling the wireless adapter and reset button on the protocol adapter - I had to keep moving around like you would with an old TV and rabbit ear antennas --- you'll know when the indoor wireless receiver is connected as the TX/RX lights start going crazy with data transmitted. Once it establishes a "signal" lock, I was able to put the whole thing behind sofa on floor. It is on the window nearest the pool eq which is still 50 feet away. I called pentair and they suggest I try the stronger antenna kit Part # 520639 - I do have a LOT of wireless cams and devices and home automation stuff - maybe it's just causing a lot of interference. I'll post back if the new kit once it arrives makes the signal more sturdy. Right now I'm good I think until I have to move the indoor unit or there's a power cycle.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
236
Panhandle Florida
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Instead of spending $350+ for the stronger antenna kit, I went with a cheap range extender that has an RJ45 port and set it up in the room next to my outside antenna. TP Link N300 WiFi Extender $20 from Amazon.
 
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shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
Instead of spending $350+ for the stronger antenna kit, I went with a cheap range extender that has an RJ45 port and set it up in the room next to my outside antenna. TP Link N300 WiFi Extender $20 from Amazon.

agree - but in my situation I'm already at the closest point in the house using a wi-fi extender to the pool equipment and it's about 40 feet away still. Oddly, since the initial pairing difficulties, it has remain solidly connected to the pool for several weeks now so as long as I don't disturb it I think I'm good. my best guess thus far is that something in my house may be causing radio interference so the initial signal lock was difficult to establish but now once established seems to be OK. (I do have a lot of ring wifi floodlights and indoor cameras and ORBI mesh network. There's 4 pools in about 100 feet in each direction (east,west,northwest,northeast of my pool) so maybe a neighbor's pentair pool is causing some radio interference). Either I'll just leave it alone or I may venture out and try the stronger antenna on my own - looks like I can find it for about $240~. ( )
 

shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
So I tried pentair's "high gain" antenna 520639 - that did nothing - still a real flaky connection. I got it to connect once for a few minutes only.

I decided to connect the protocol adapter directly to the intellitouch panel bypassing all the wireless and using ethernet - still a real flaky connection. Sometimes it works but mostly it just gives a blank screen in the app.

At this point I think all the problems I've had are related to a defective protocol adapter. Do I need to do anything in the intellitouch menu on the panel itself when the protocol adapter is moved or changed? Is there a reset or config in the panel?

My friend who has the same setup tells me it isn't this hard- his system "just works" and has reliably for years using the same kind of setup. All this time I thought the problem was the wireless but I am beginning to suspect a bad protocol adapter or could the intellitouch panel itself be bad? Do the codes on the remote setup app tell us anything useful?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,143
Bedford, TX
Shawn,

Your friend is right.. it should just work... I connected mine up and turned everything one and it just worked.

As far as I can remember, I did not have to do anything in my EasyTouch to make it work, other that connect the protocol adapter to the J20 com port.

Then again I use my PC and not my phone to control and program things.. That is something that you might want to try..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

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shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
ok, I've done some reading of the manuals and I have a possible hunch as to what could be wrong - clearly seems to be a data communication error between the board and protocol adapter/wireless.

My setup is such. I have a J7 port only - in that port is 1) the wire to the SGC surge board which has 3 com ports. This wire goes to com 2 and not com 1 as the manual indicates - could that be the problem. On J7 the intellifo VS pump green and yellow are squeezed in along with the wire to the SGC. In reading the manual it seems that this actually could be connected to Com 2 or 3 on the SGC board.

On the SGC board the wireless antenna/protocol adapter wire is on Com 1 and the com 2 is used to connect to J7 on the main board.

Could this be the issue? Perhaps SCG COM 1 has to be used to connect to J7 and not COM 2 or 3. I will try and re-wire it soon so SGC com 1 goes to J7. On the SCG Com 2 to the VS pump and COM 3 to the wireless/protocol adapter wire.

If this still doesn't fix it I'm going to try and get the pool builder to try a new protocol adapter (firmware is current and reset tried).

UPDATE: Didn't work. I'm convinced the protocol adapter is bad. And today when I pressed the reset button now the red light wont come on.....
 
Last edited:

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
621
Chico, CA
Just an FYI, all of the com ports are technically the same... they're connected in parallel and go to the same place on the board. The multiple connections is more of a convenience.
 
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ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
621
Chico, CA
agh, the rest of my message got lost... as a last check on the protocol adapter, I was going to suggest bypassing the sgc board altogether and connecting the protocol adapter - all by itself - directly to the intellitouch's com port... then see if you can connect. The idea of course is to eliminate any potential interference from other devices, or the wiring to those devices. This test may not help at all but it doesn't hurt to check before tossing the $$$ PA.

rs-485 is a pretty hardy and tolerant system, but like anything it can fail. In this recent thread, Allen @ajw22 posted a great explanation of how damaged wiring affects the system:
 
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shawngates

Member
Jul 9, 2020
10
SoCal
so I finally found the solution to this entire thread and 6 months saga

The protocol adapter was the problem the whole time along!!!!!!!!!!!!

I must have gotten a dud!!! I'm a tech guy and this was the most frustrating piece of tech to debug!! I checked all the connections at the panel over and over again and kept thinking it was a reception issue. Finally narrowed it down to the protocol adapter realizing that even with a direct connection at the panel with the protocol adapter it wouldn't work. The pentair folks weren't very helpful at all esp since the issue was intermittent. So I decided to take a $400 gamble since the problem had become so frustrating.....

I ordered a new one online (entire wireless kit) from poolsupplyworld (Pentair ScreenLogic 522104 Interface). Overall a bit overkill (I didn't need the extra wireless antenna) but it seems this protocol adapter is one expensive part no matter what!! I kept the current wireless antenna and all is working immediately!! It was never the antenna or reception being the issue. I have the antenna well over 50 feet away and in a room closet and there's no reception issues. Just took the protocol adapter out of the new kit and voila! IT JUST WORKS!!! (well I had to tap the reset 3 times for remote connection to work). But all is well!

Now I have to get the original protocol adapter replaced under warranty that came with the pool - the contractor didn't supply me a receipt per se. I'll call pentair up and see if I can get it replaced and keep a spare one on hand that way. it was acting up since purchase, having to keep power cycle to get it to work one in 20 times, and now the red light has completely died. wow!
 
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