Upgrade Pentair Easytouch 4 to 8?

johnpkaiser

Bronze Supporter
Aug 12, 2019
104
San Antonio, TX
This situation almost sounds to good to be true. A $180 price difference between board types is a significant one based on a single resistor being added.

As someone who has many years of soldering experience this is tempting.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
201
Panhandle Florida
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I think the boards originally had the resistors installed then removed. There was pieces of wire soldered in the locations like the resistors were clipped off.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,825
Bedford, TX
My original ET-4 card had 2.14 F/W and dated 6/0915. I sent it to Tom to have the F/W updated and it is now 2.16.. Tom did not mention that he installed a resister, so I really doubt he did, as we talked about it quite a bit.. I just checked the board and both resisters are there and the solder does not look disturbed.

If I remember correctly, before the upgrade, if you pushed a button on the main panel it would turn on the light below the button # even if it was 4 through 7.. But before the upgrade you could only see Aux 1 -3 in the circuits list.. After the upgrade you could see Aux 1 -7.

It has been a while and I have slept since then.. :mrgreen:

Either way, if it works, it works.. I'd want to make sure the you can see all the circuit numbers.. The screenshot below was before the F/W upgrade


Now I can see all the Aux circuits..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
201
Panhandle Florida
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Here's my config. I set up my patio landscape lights on #7 and they are working thru the schedules.
8aux.JPG
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,825
Bedford, TX
pb,

I guess my point is that you already had 2.16 and no resistor.. I had 2.14 and had the resistor.. But we both had the ET-4.. When you added the resistor you got the ET-8, and when I upgraded the F/W to 2.16 I got the ET-8... So "maybe" Pentair has changed how they control the ET-4 to ET-8 switch.. and that maybe why your resistor looked like it was clipped off.. it would be cheaper to manufacture all the cards as the ET-8 and just clip the resistor to switch back to the ET-4.. Just guessing of course..

I am sure the Tom can tell us if he ever shows up again... :poke:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
604
Chico, CA
Hey guys, I'm still here!

The resistor thing is correct... I think earlier versions had separate firmware forks, which may have required the hardware AND firmware change, but at some point they merged (I think I noticed this as of 2.130?) so you can "upgrade" any board by just adding the right resistors. *Note that the earliest ET boards had a smaller chip that won't take the current firmware.

Similar tricks exist to make a "Lite" indoor or wireless controller into a regular one, I haven't posted anything about it here for fear of legal reprisal against TFP, but pm me if you're interested.

Hardware manufacturers have been doing this sort of thing for ages - it's super cost effective although it can be construed as somewhat deceitful? maybe? I dunno... it IS their proprietary information afterall, so it's probably appropriate to not shout it from the rooftops considering the state of the right to repair laws these days :(
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
604
Chico, CA
The firmware scans the pins that those resistors are connected to, and detects a high or a low to set the board type. When I was messing with this I would take an ET-8, cut one of the resistor legs, reset it, and it would become a 4. It was fun!

And for lites - if my memory serves me, there's a jumper where the old phone adapter? connected that you need to cut. And voila, you have an 8. The lite also used to have it's own firmware but now it's all the same binary as the 4/8
 
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