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Autelis Pentair/ISY variable instability


Marcleonard

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Is anyone using the Autelis PC100PI to control their pool equipment?  I have one installed, and it's capturing the data from the pool equipment correctly, but, I can not get it to update the ISY variables consistently.  I'll make a change to my pool settings and MOST of the time the corresponding state variable will update, but, not consistently. 

The interface to the Autelis (192.168...../status.xml) shows the correct values, but, what I see there is not always reflected in the ISY State Variables.  It seems that it's related to pool equipment changes which are triggered by the Pentair EasyTouch or ScreenLogic controls, but, it's been inconsistent enough that I am not certain of this.  The strange part is that the Autelis does capture these changes correctly, as reported in 192.168...../status.xml, but, the ISY variables get out of sync.

 

I'm running the 1.6.7 Autelis firmware and 4.7.3 on the ISY.  I know that there is additional functionality in the 5.* firmware, but, I'm reluctant to move to anything that isn't the official release; my goal is stability and reliability. 

 

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There's nothing specific in 5x that will change the integration method (REST calls) from the Autelis (unless someone writes a nodeserver for Autelis). This problem is either the Autelis not sending the REST call to the ISY, or the ISY not receiving it, and/or something in the ISY itself

  • For the variables that are wrong... is it stale data, or bad data (0's, blanks, etc?)
    • On the Admin Console variables tab is a "Refresh Values" button. When you think a value is off, have your tried pressing that? It may be that the actual variable is correct for ISY program use but not reflected properly on the AC variables screen.
  • Are there some variables that work correctly all of the time? Any pattern?
  • Approximately how many programs does your ISY have... dozens?.. hundreds? 
  • Are any of your ISY programs executing all of the time and that may be preventing it from capturing every message from the Autelis?
    • If you look at the program tabs, right click on any program/folder and pick Status Icons - Detailed
    • Open all folders to see all programs
    • Anything flickering all the time, or many programs flicker at the same time continuously?
    • If programs are in a constant loop, the ISY will be busy and could occasionally miss things

Paul

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Paul, thanks for the advice!!

 

22 hours ago, paulbates said:
  • For the variables that are wrong... is it stale data, or bad data (0's, blanks, etc?)
    • On the Admin Console variables tab is a "Refresh Values" button. When you think a value is off, have your tried pressing that? It may be that the actual variable is correct for ISY program use but not reflected properly on the AC variables screen.

I did not know about the 'refresh', but, it did not change anything.  For example, in the current state, my pool equipment is in 'freeze protect' mode.  The Pentair equipment and the Autelis are reporting this correctly through ScreenLogic and on the Autelis status page, along with the fact that a pool waterfall is currently on (part of the freeze protection).  The ISY waterfall variables normally update reliably, but, are currently reporting that the waterfalls are off.  Autelis, Screenlogic, (and my eyes) can see that they are on, but, that information is not currently getting to my ISY.

 

22 hours ago, paulbates said:
  • Are there some variables that work correctly all of the time? Any pattern?

I have not seen any perfectly consistent pattern.  Changes initiated by the Pentair equipment are the most likely to be missed, though they are not always missed. Occasionally, though less often, changes initiated by my ISY result in a misinterpreted status.

 

 

 

22 hours ago, paulbates said:
  • Approximately how many programs does your ISY have... dozens?.. hundreds? 

There are definitely more than 100 programs, but, less than 1000; with about 70 Insteon/Insteon-compatible devices across many different product categories.  I have about 100 integer variables and about 100 state variables.  Many of the state variables are unused placeholders required by products like the Autelis, and I use many of the integer variables to make the programming easier to read. 

For example, two of my integers are "on_according_to_autellis = 1 and off_according_to_autellis=0".  With this, my programs are (usually) easy to read...

 If

$Pool_Waterfall_Status is $off_according_to_autellis 

Then...

 

 

 

22 hours ago, paulbates said:
  • Are any of your ISY programs executing all of the time and that may be preventing it from capturing every message from the Autelis?
    • If you look at the program tabs, right click on any program/folder and pick Status Icons - Detailed
    • Open all folders to see all programs
    • Anything flickering all the time, or many programs flicker at the same time continuously?
    • If programs are in a constant loop, the ISY will be busy and could occasionally miss things

Paul

 

Before trouble shooting this Autelis issue I eliminated all continuous loops.  While there is definitely a fair amount of Insteon traffic when things in my network are changing, most of the time it's quiet. There are no constant loops, is it possible that traffic could be missed without that kind of recursive looping?

 

Marc

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Marcleonard said:

Touble shooting this Autelis issue I eliminated all continuous loops.  While there is definitely a fair amount of Insteon traffic when things in my network are changing, most of the time it's quiet. There are no constant loops, is it possible that traffic could be missed without that kind of recursive looping?

Marc

Marc,

Ok, two things to consider:

  1. State variables are needed in If statements as a change in a state variable causes and event, and a change in integer variables do not generate events. This doesn't explain the problem you are reporting and testing, but be aware of that. If statements have to have state variables.
     
  2. If there is a continuous loop, or the ISY is really busy executing a lot of programs, its plausible that the ISY is dropping / missing network events.  In this case the network message is not Insteon, but ET / WiFi. Its rare for those to get missed, but I've done my share of bone-headed tight looping mistakes and I have seen network messages to the ISY get dropped when I used the xxxLink programs from io_guy, which used the same method of pushing values into variables via rest calls from an external host that Autelis does.

    Another symptom of this is a long load time for the Admin Console. How long does it take for the admin console to start up until you can edit?  Several minutes or more?

    If you are able to recreate the problem from the Autelis, I suggest you try disabling all programs long enough to prove that programs are, or are not the problem. I don't know what you have running on your ISY, so think about the impact of temporarily stopping all of them:
     
    • To make it easy, click on "My Programs" on the ISY Programs Tab
    • On the folder conditions, pick a logical condition that can never be true
      • Create (state) $test variable. Leave its value as 0
      • In the folder conditions, check for $test = 1
      • Since that will never be true, all programs Under the "My programs" tab will immediately stop running
    • Now do whatever tests you can to make Autelis send updates to the ISY
    • Do they work with ISY programs disabled?
      • Yes - Something is looping with an ISY program, or the ISY is very busy running lots of programs
      • No - Something else is wrong on your network or with the Autelis

Paul

 

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Thanks again Paul!!

 

4 hours ago, paulbates said:

State variables are needed in If statements as a change in a state variable causes and event, and a change in integer variables do not generate events. This doesn't explain the problem you are reporting and testing, but be aware of that. If statements have to have state variables.
 

This is great advice which I learned early in my ISY journey, though in hindsight I certainly wish I had learned it even earlier.

 

 

4 hours ago, paulbates said:

If there is a continuous loop, or the ISY is really busy executing a lot of programs, its plausible that the ISY is dropping / missing network events.  In this case the network message is not Insteon, but ET / WiFi. Its rare for those to get missed, but I've done my share of bone-headed tight looping mistakes and I have seen network messages to the ISY get dropped when I used the xxxLink programs from io_guy, which used the same method of pushing values into variables via rest calls from an external host that Autelis does.

I've had many unintentional loops, though I believe I've been free of them for a while.  It was one of them that led me to this problem.  I thought my programming for the pool was robust enough to manage the unexpected, but, the pool equipment would occasionally land in a condition which I thought to be impossible. 

Exploring this, I found perpetually running loops that should not be possible, but, I realized those loops could occur if the ISY thought the equipment was in one state when it was actually in another.  I've been attempting to program my way out of this, trying to account for the possibility of incorrect state variables for the pool equipment, but, it quickly became VERY complex with 17 state variables related to managing the pool equipment.

I then realized that the Autelis was accurately capturing and reporting (through the Autils interface) the correct pool status.   It's the updating of the ISY State Variables that appeared to be broken.  The Autelis configuration requires the state variables to be in a specific order, so, on the off chance that I had changed something related to the variables, I recreated a new set of state variables and pointed the Autelis at the new starting point.  I'm still experiencing the same effects.

I've restarted the Pentair, Autelis, and ISY equipment, and am still experiencing the same effects.

 

4 hours ago, paulbates said:

Another symptom of this is a long load time for the Admin Console. How long does it take for the admin console to start up until you can edit?  Several minutes or more?

The admin console boots quickly.  Previously, when the pool was in the incorrect state and the ISY was trying to correct a problem that didn't exist (the perpetual loop I mentioned above), I did experience a VERY slow load time for the admin console.  Once it was on, I could see the programs running in an endless loop.  I rebooted the ISY, and before it got bogged down, I launched the diagnostic event viewer where I could see a LOT happening.

After turning off those programs and/or modifying them to keep them out of endless loops, I have a quick boot time for the admin console.  Most of the time the diagnostic event viewer is quiet, and nothing there appears abnormal.

 

4 hours ago, paulbates said:

If you are able to recreate the problem from the Autelis, I suggest you try disabling all programs long enough to prove that programs are, or are not the problem. I don't know what you have running on your ISY, so think about the impact of temporarily stopping all of them:
 

  • To make it easy, click on "My Programs" on the ISY Programs Tab
  • On the folder conditions, pick a logical condition that can never be true
    • Create (state) $test variable. Leave its value as 0
    • In the folder conditions, check for $test = 1
    • Since that will never be true, all programs Under the "My programs" tab will immediately stop running
  • Now do whatever tests you can to make Autelis send updates to the ISY

That is FANTASTIC advice.  I'd been doing something similar in each subfolder, but, for some reason did not consider doing so at the root level.  I've always used the schedule to accomplish this....

If
    Time is  1:20:00PM
    And Time is  1:25:00PM
 
Then
   Allow the programs in this folder to run.
 

I've done as you've suggested in the My Programs folder (both before and after rebooting everything), and am still experiencing the same issue.  I am occasionally, but, not always out of sync between the ISY and the pool equipment. Using the screenlogic controls, I ran the system through a lot of cycles/changes while trying to monitor the screenlogic reporting (which I consider to be the authentic status that always matches what I see with my eyes), the Autelis status, and the ISY State Variables.  The ISY would occasionally report something incorrect, for example, several times I saw that the ISY thought both the SPA circulation and POOL circulation were on at the same time.  This is physically impossible as a valve diverts water towards one or the other.  During this condition, both the Screenlogic and Autelis systems correctly reported that only the SPA Circulation was on.

 

4 hours ago, paulbates said:
  • Do they work with ISY programs disabled?
    • Yes - Something is looping with an ISY program, or the ISY is very busy running lots of programs
    • No - Something else is wrong on your network or with the Autelis

Over the course of about 200 changes to the pool equipment (with all of the ISY programs disabled), I estimate that Screenlogic, Autelis, and the ISY were in sync for well over 95%, but, when the ISY was reporting a different status it was spread across many of the related state variables and did not appear to follow any consistent pattern I could discern.

 

I'm using a wired Cat-6A network though switches.  I've just tested each of the individual connections related to the ISY, Autelis, and Pentair equipment with a Southwire M550, and each of the physical wires passed.  The switches appear to be working reliably for everything else I'm running in my network so I have no reason to suspect a problem there.  Based upon your advice, and my suspicions, it seems to be an Autelis issue.

 

Do you know if there's a way to force the Autelis to re-report to the ISY?

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I've been watching this thread as I have Pentair with ScreenLogic as well as the Autelis.

I don't know that I can be of any help.  It seems you have already delved into this much deeper than I ever have.

If there is something specific you might want me to look at so you can compare, I would be happy to give it a go.

One thing you said that raised an eyebrow.  You said that your Pentair was in freeze mode and you could see the waterfall going but it was reporting the waterfall was off.  My system was in freeze mode this morning too.  Water was going over the spa spillway, but the system was not reporting that the spillway was on.  Sounds similar to what you described.  I would venture that freeze mode is it's own thing and is not actually running the spillway function.

The only little glitch that I've experienced in my setup is the pool light not turning off every now and then.  I have the ISY turn off the pool light, spa light, and landscape lights at the same time.  I hasn't been a big enough of an annoyance to try and trace where the problem has been. 

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Thanks for the offer of additional assistance!!

 

1 hour ago, carealtor said:

One thing you said that raised an eyebrow.  You said that your Pentair was in freeze mode and you could see the waterfall going but it was reporting the waterfall was off.  My system was in freeze mode this morning too.  Water was going over the spa spillway, but the system was not reporting that the spillway was on.  Sounds similar to what you described.  I would venture that freeze mode is it's own thing and is not actually running the spillway function.

 

When my freeze mode is operating, both Screenlogic and the Autelis are correctly reporting the status.  In your example, both would be showing that the Spillway was ON.  Again, applying my example to your scenario, I would expect that the ISY is reporting that the spillway is OFF, but, both Screenlogic and the Autelis are reporting that the spillway is ON.  It's this periodic disconnect between the actual status, and what's reported by the ISY that's causing my headaches.  I've not only experienced this with the freeze protect, but, it seems to be the place where I see it the most frequently.

Would you mind checking to see what is being reported in your system when freezeprotect is ON and your Spillway is visibly running? If you haven't accessed the Autelis directly, you can do so at the local IP address of your Autelis, something like   http://192.168.1.13/status.xml 

Is there anything that both Screenlogic and Autelis are in agreement about, with the ISY reprotign a different status?

 

 

1 hour ago, carealtor said:

The only little glitch that I've experienced in my setup is the pool light not turning off every now and then.  I have the ISY turn off the pool light, spa light, and landscape lights at the same time.  I hasn't been a big enough of an annoyance to try and trace where the problem has been. 

Similarly, do you have any programs running through Screenlogic, or (I'm assuming) your Pentair Easytouch controller?   I'm becoming increasingly suspicious that changes initiated directly by the Pentair equipment are inconsistently reported to the ISY by Autelis even though the Autelis is correctly capturing the state of the equipment.  For example, if you have any Screenlogic/Easytouch programs related to the lighting, your ISY programs may think the lights are already off (when they're actually on), and are consequently failing to turn them off.

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When it was in freeze mode this morning, and the spillway was running, the LCD panel in the house for the Pentair easytouch controller showed "Freeze" and the light for "Spillway" was not on.  I did not check to see what Screenlogic said, but I've never known it show anything different than the indoor panel.  Tomorrow, if in freeze mode again, I will check both Screenlogic and Autelis.  At this point, it does not sound like ours are behaving the same in freeze mode.

 

The only programs I have on the Screenlogic are the filter (called "pool") and the sweep (called "cleaner").  I had the lights on it at one time, but then I got the Autelis and moved that function to the ISY.  The whole reason I incorporated the Autelis was so I could incorporate sunset times, which are lacking in the Pentair.   I could add some though and I'll let you know if see any discrepancies. 

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Thanks!!

8 hours ago, carealtor said:

When it was in freeze mode this morning, and the spillway was running, the LCD panel in the house for the Pentair easytouch controller showed "Freeze" and the light for "Spillway" was not on.  I did not check to see what Screenlogic said, but I've never known it show anything different than the indoor panel.  Tomorrow, if in freeze mode again, I will check both Screenlogic and Autelis.  At this point, it does not sound like ours are behaving the same in freeze mode.

I've also found that the screenlogic and Pentair equipment are always in sync with one another. 

Were any other lights on?  If you have an in-floor cleaner system, it's possible that the spillway will run for a short time while the cleaner is cycling through the SPA (the in-floor cleaner pushes additional water through the SPA cleaning jets, and that additional water ends up pouring over the spillway).  If that's the case, you'd expect to see the cleaner on, rather than the spillway.  I'm not sure how this would work with a different type of SPA cleaner...

Are there any other settings for your pool that make the spillway operate, even for a short period of time?  For example, if I turn on my spillway it runs until I (or a program) turn it off.  When my cleaner is running, it looks like the Spillway is in operation every time the cleaner cycles through the SPA.  Once the cleaning operation has been running for a while, it appears like the spillway runs for about 30 seconds every 10 minutes.

Your problem may or may not replicate what I'm experiencing.  The big question is how the Autelis and ISY compare.  If your pool equipment is running the Spillway and not reporting that correctly it would seem to be a different, albeit related issue. During freeze protect, while the spillway is running, is any other pool equipment operational?  What are the Autelis and ISY reporting in this scenario?

  1. if something else is operational, could that be making the spillway operate (or seem to be operating)?
  2. Is the operation of this other circuit/feature reflected accurately in the autelis? 
  3. Is the operation of this other circuit/feature reflected accurately in the ISY?

If the answer to question 1 is YES, the answer to question 2 is YES, and the answer to question 3 is NO we are experiencing the same issue.

If the answer to question 1 is NO, it could be something your pool builder intentionally (or unintentionally) built into the EasyTouch settings which is not being captured by Screenlogic or your Pentair lights.  While I've never seen screenlogic and Pentair to be out of sync, I'd check Screenlogic during this condition to verify (and perhaps see what Autelis says).  Depending on the result, it could be something intentional that should be left alone, or unintentional that should be corrected.

 

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We only had the one freezing morning and none since...  and none on the horizon, so I haven't been able to look into that at all.

Tonight when all the lights (pool, spa, landscape) were supposed to turn off, the pool light stayed on again, so I had a chance to dig into this glitch.

What I'm seeing is that the ScreenLogic and the Autellis are both showing the actual status of on.  The variable in the ISY from the Autelis is showing the desired status of off.  So, a mismatch between the Autelis and the Autelis ISY variable.  What is rather interesting is that the ISY variable shows that it last changed at turn off time yesterday.  Which sounds to me like the variable was never turned on when the light turned on at sunset.  

On 1/1/2019 at 5:47 PM, Marcleonard said:

Is there anything that both Screenlogic and Autelis are in agreement about, with the ISY reprotign a different status?

So the answer to this is yes.

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Tonight I see that the pool light is on (as it should be) and the Autelis says that the pool light is on (as it should), but the ISY variable for the pool light shows off ("0") and that it did not update today when the lights came on.  The ISY variables for the the other lights that come on at the same time did correctly update to on ("1").

So it's obvious to me that my issue is not at the time when the lights turn off, but rather when they turn on.  The Autelis is not always sending the updated variable back, or the ISY is not receiving it.

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Just one more thought...  a conclusion I have come to...  and I think it's the same conclusion that @Marcleonard came to, so I want to give credit where credit is due.

I believe this glitch is entirely within the Autelis.  Even though the Autelis UI will show that the light is on (which it is), an internal "flag" is in actuality off.  So when I send the network resources call to turn the light off, the Autelis looks at this internal flag, sees that it is already off (according to the flag) and does nothing, so the light stays on.  This internal flag is what is tied to the ISY variable, so it also shows as off.

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  • 3 months later...

I really hope someone can figure this out. It is WAY beyond me.

I have something similar to add.

I have been running an Autelis for a long time. I like being able to get info and control from phone or computer. I am running a simple Suntouch Controller and also integrated with my ISY.

I have had this problem for years. My Circuit1_Spa, Circuit6_Pool and sometimes Circuit2_Aux1_Cleaner indications in the ISY state variables are hit and miss...ALWAYS! My PoolHeatSetting, SpaHeatSetting, PoolTemp, SpaTemp, AirTemp, SolarTemp, PoolSetpoint and SpaSetpoint are always accurate, and update quickly. I have played with the different Circuits and Features which update also. All of my variables are ALWAYS correct in the Autelis status.xml page.

Since the pump running is rather critical to know, I finally got angry enough to hook up an Insteon to read the state of my relays in the SunTouch controller, and have to rely on that to give proper indications of my pool pump, solar valve, and pool cleaner instead of the state variables in ISY. I do use the temps because they are stable, but Circuit1_Spa and Circuit6_Pool have been pretty useless for any reliability.

I tried reprogramming the SunTouch Controller to change Pool and Spa to single body Low and High. Same issue and could be worse. I even tried a SunTouch swap with same results.

I question if it is the Freeze kicking in, because I have had this issue for years, and I have not noticed the freeze changing reliability. For me, Circuit1 and Circuit6 seem to be the problem children in the ISY. The Autelis status.xml page is spot on...always. No amount of refresh, re-write of entire variable page, resets or anything else seems to make a difference.

It would be nice to rely on the ISY to update those variables, but no amount of work has resulted in a fix. Hopefully, someone comes across the Golden Chalice and find a fix for this. Until then, I guess I will rely on my workaround with the Insteon indications. I hate having to do it this way!

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