Upgrade Pentair Easytouch 4 to 8?

Telemachus

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2014
109
Riverside
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It is a standard through hole resistor. Most challenging part will be removing the old solder and the leads from the factory installed (and then cut out) resistor. If you are familiar with solder braid or have a solder suction bulb it should be fairly simple. If not, get someone with soldering experience or spend a good amount of time practicing on an old radio.

I ordered a cheap USBDM programmer from China. Freescale offers its Code Warrior software for free that should easily covert Pentair's .s19 file into a flashable .hex file that any USBDM can flash. I spent $12 with shipping.


I am disappointed to learn that the Function Circuits on Pentair Easytouch cannot actually switch the relays circuits. Maybe newer firmwares allow this?

I thought with the extra relays I'd be able to simplify the automation. ie: program a feature circuit to, with one command, turn on the fountain, patio lights, spa and spa lights.

Maybe it's just my old firmware? Do newer ones allow the function circuits to turn multiple relays on and off?
 
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ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
862
Chico, CA
the boards are produced with all resistors installed... pentair just snips them off. I'd say if you have a hard time removing the old bits - or you don't care how it looks - just leave them and solder the new resistor on the top-side, i.e. just kindof tack it on. the part isn't under any stress, isn't exposed to weather, and sees a tiny amount of current so it'll last just fine.

@Telemachus - I always thought those cheap bdms would work but I never saw the s19 converter. nice find, interested to hear how it goes.
 
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Chenzo

Member
May 23, 2017
24
Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair iChlor 30
Hey all,

Just stumbled across this thread after getting ready to finally integrate my easy touch after owning the pool for 5 years... oops. When I was a noob to all of this I went out and bought a Superflo VS only to realize now it basically becomes a 4-speed pump since it needs a relay for each speed (shame on Pentair for not adding RS485 communication similar to the intelliflo). Anyways, I have only got an ET4P (No 4PS) so I was sort of in a dilemma but then I realized I can add a fifth relay using the Aux Circuit but I was not sure if that's possible without a ET 4PS. Can any version of ET add the Aux Relay?

In the process of doing that I found this thread and realized I can add additional relays without buying a new mainboard! Similar to someone else, I can see all the Aux circuits up to 7 on my screen. My software UOC Rev is 2.10 and my bootloader UOC rev is 1.01. I have attached photos for reference showing I can see all the Aux circuits and the software rev.

Does this mean I can simply solder on the missing 1K resistors? Soldering is something I am quite good at so if I can spend a couple of cents on resistors instead of a new mainboard that would be awesome! What I am worried about is if I need to update my software version for any reason or if I will run into any other issues. I am also planning on using nodejs-poolController so I should be able to do a bunch of customization. Just looking for some info on if I could do this mod to have 9 (including Aux Extra) relays available and use four of them for my superflo VS.

Thanks!

PS. Where are some good places to get the Relays in Canada? My pool store is selling them for $90 bucks each! Gotta be cheaper options then that
 

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ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
862
Chico, CA
yep, just solder a resistor onto R41 and R42 if you want the ET8 with pool and spa.

try the auction site for relays, and the same Omron relays with the same connector are used for other pool systems (like Jandy) and are often cheaper than "Pentair"
 

Chenzo

Member
May 23, 2017
24
Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair iChlor 30
yep, just solder a resistor onto R41 and R42 if you want the ET8 with pool and spa.

try the auction site for relays, and the same Omron relays with the same connector are used for other pool systems (like Jandy) and are often cheaper than "Pentair"
Awesome!! This is such good news, I'm glad this option exists. Just mentioned firmware on another thread but glad to know I can probably avoid an update. Maybe my superflo pump won't be AS useless now that I can have 9 relays in a ET4P system lol.

Thanks for the tip. I'm looking at the OEM Omron relays now for around $20 but they don't have the wire harness for the Pentair sockets. If I can find a P/N for the red connectors might just try and order them on Digikey and build the harness myself.

Thanks for the info!
 

Chenzo

Member
May 23, 2017
24
Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair iChlor 30
Found some good sources for the Relays.

Mouser sells the Omron relays for $23CAD each without the wire harness. Link

Someone on the forums recommended this wire harness from Pololu that has the JST XH Header but I also found a pack on Aliexpress here.

Crimp-on ring or fork connectors for the 24VDC terminals can be found at the local hardware store or also on Aliexpress.

This looks to be a pretty cheap option as you could buy 5 relays and 1 pack of JST XH headers and be able to upgrade from 4 to 9 relays for a significantly cheaper price.
 

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Telemachus

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2014
109
Riverside
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Found some good sources for the Relays.

Mouser sells the Omron relays for $23CAD each without the wire harness. Link

Someone on the forums recommended this wire harness from Pololu that has the JST XH Header but I also found a pack on Aliexpress here.

Crimp-on ring or fork connectors for the 24VDC terminals can be found at the local hardware store or also on Aliexpress.

This looks to be a pretty cheap option as you could buy 5 relays and 1 pack of JST XH headers and be able to upgrade from 4 to 9 relays for a significantly cheaper price.
Did you check ebay? I got 4 of the exact ones that are in the panel, with the correct connectors, for $20 each.
 

Chenzo

Member
May 23, 2017
24
Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair iChlor 30
Did you check ebay? I got 4 of the exact ones that are in the panel, with the correct connectors, for $20 each.
It took some communication between me and a potential seller regarding international shipping but I might have found some on eBay. Sourcing the relays through Mouser and cables through Aliexpress is about $20 cheaper but I would rather just buy the OEM part from eBay than build it myself just for the OEM red connectors as those are hard to source. Thanks for the tip about eBay, I end up paying extra for import duties and international shipping but it's still not terrible. For anyone in the US, eBay is a good source as well if you don't want to build custom.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
862
Chico, CA
I realized I never posted about the Lite...

Lite boards come with a jumper wire on the J23/Modtelspa port. Snip that off, and provided you've got a later firmware (I can never remember which one) it won't be a Lite anymore.
 

Jay76

Member
Apr 10, 2021
12
New Orleans
Pool Size
3600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Jim-

The sticker on my board says v2.16 with a manufacturer date of August 4, 2019. I would have thought with that date it would have had the latest f/w version since 2.18 was released almost 6 months earlier.
The v 2.18 board looks very different. I do not see the resistors. Do you have any idea what would need to be done to activate the other relays on it?
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
341
Emerald Coast Florida
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The 2.16 & 2.18 boards are exactly the same. I have both boards.

The area in red is where you add the resistors. If I remeber correctl R41 makes it a Pool/Spa, R42 changes from 4 to 8.
 

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bradgray

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2021
32
St. George, UT
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I realized I never posted about the Lite...

Lite boards come with a jumper wire on the J23/Modtelspa port. Snip that off, and provided you've got a later firmware (I can never remember which one) it won't be a Lite anymore.
OG, I'd love if you could elaborate on this a bit. I'm very intrigued.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
862
Chico, CA
hey Brad, that's pretty much all there is to it :) If you have a Lite board, snip that J23 jumper and power it up... it should no longer be a Lite. If that doesn't work, it's likely because you've got an old firmware version and you can update the firmware to make it an ET4 (and then add both resistors to make it an ET8). If the board won't run you can resolder the jumper to go back to a Lite.
 

bradgray

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2021
32
St. George, UT
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
hey Brad, that's pretty much all there is to it :) If you have a Lite board, snip that J23 jumper and power it up... it should no longer be a Lite. If that doesn't work, it's likely because you've got an old firmware version and you can update the firmware to make it an ET4 (and then add both resistors to make it an ET8). If the board won't run you can resolder the jumper to go back to a Lite.
Meaning, the software limitations of the Lite are removed; things such as scheduling slot cap at 4, Feature Circuit limits at 2, etc?

That's what I assumed the first time, but it seemed wild that jumper could castrate the system this way.
 

ogdento

Bronze Supporter
Mar 30, 2015
862
Chico, CA
That's exactly right... i can't find my other thread that discusses it, but Pentair use the same exact hardware for all easytouch boards (et4/8/lite and pool/spa/both combinations) and relies on a "hardware id" to enable/disable features.

They now** have a single firmware file that gets uploaded to all of them, and they use the two resistors r41/r42 and the j23 jumpers to identify the board type. When the board boots up, the firmware checks these three parts (for six possible iterations of board types) and determines which features to allow. **The original Lite boards didn't share the firmware so cutting the jumper didn't do anything until you updated the firmware

Hardware-id schemes like this are common and manufacturers do it to save manufacturing costs... it makes sense when the cost difference for the parts needed for each type is negligible compared to the cost to design, build, test, and support six different versions of the board. Sometimes, as is the case with some of my Fluke test gear, they'll manufacturer a single board for their entire model range but not populate expensive parts that aren't required for a particular model
 

bradgray

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2021
32
St. George, UT
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That's exactly right... i can't find my other thread that discusses it, but Pentair use the same exact hardware for all easytouch boards (et4/8/lite and pool/spa/both combinations) and relies on a "hardware id" to enable/disable features.

They now** have a single firmware file that gets uploaded to all of them, and they use the two resistors r41/r42 and the j23 jumpers to identify the board type. When the board boots up, the firmware checks these three parts (for six possible iterations of board types) and determines which features to allow. **The original Lite boards didn't share the firmware so cutting the jumper didn't do anything until you updated the firmware

Hardware-id schemes like this are common and manufacturers do it to save manufacturing costs... it makes sense when the cost difference for the parts needed for each type is negligible compared to the cost to design, build, test, and support six different versions of the board. Sometimes, as is the case with some of my Fluke test gear, they'll manufacturer a single board for their entire model range but not populate expensive parts that aren't required for a particular model
That's fascinating and makes total sense.

Any particular reason this seems to be lesser known? I.E. I wonder why there aren't more threads with walkthroughs on hacking the PL/PSL boards. They're 30-50% less expensive than the ET4 and could be a powerful and cheap option for some pools with a pre-existing subpanel and few pieces of equipment, but a client that wants more complex automation on the software/LV side.
 

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