FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

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guerrillasolarguy
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FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:56 pm

Hello all. I just got a call from a client that got this error message and one inverter dropped out. It's working now but the error is still there. I installed it (brand new) and it has worked for three months no problems. Why would I get this message now? I upgraded this customer from an older GTFX 24 volt system to VFXR 3648 because I was hopping it was more reliable. Starting to question that decision. Can firmware fail this quickly? Thanks for the help.
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by raysun » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:28 pm

I can't give insight as to why the system is behaving or how to rectify the situation.

I have, however, worked with many systems with embedded software and can attest that firmware has no "best if used by date". If this is corrupt firmware then reloading and reconfiguring it should resolve the issue.

I just read a study of inverter failures and the researchers conclusion is most failures are random.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by sparksalot » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:12 am

Cycle or reboot the Mate...lift/remove RJ45 to HUB and reinsert again.
If that fails to correct it you can then try cycling the DC breaker that reboots the Mate.

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guerrillasolarguy
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am

Re-loading the firmware to the FXR's seemed to do the trick. Thanks for the help

Just got the call for the same problem a month after fixing it. I brag about Outback reliability to EVERYONE! You had a great product until the Mate 3. These service calls are not paid for by anyone and I'm not sure I can continue to recommend this product. Upgraded the customer from her older Outback so I would not get phone calls as I am moving out of the area. Yes I know it should be connected so that Outback can look at it remotely....just make a reliable product.
Rant over.
Last edited by guerrillasolarguy on Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by omarbur » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:56 pm

I have the same issue in y system (2 VFXR3524 in stack), Sometimes that problem happens, I do a reboot and is fixed temporary. but it happens again a while later, I open a ticket with Outback (133414), but did not give a correct answer, maybe the person who handled the ticket. I think that is a SW bugs.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by YBSean » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:17 am

I also have 2 VFXR3524 in stack with a Mate 3 controller. I get the firmware mismatch error with inverter 2 going down several times per year and always in the morning. Sometimes it resolves itself and sometimes it does not. The only thing that returns the down inverter is to reload the Mate 3 firmware and then reload the inverter firmware, in that order. The installer and I have been through all the hardware, wiring runs, shielding, grounding etc and many go rounds with Outback support to no avail. The system is 3 years old and 2 charge controllers and 1 inverter have been replaced by Outback under warranty. I think the software is the problem.

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Kurt Lundquist
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:03 am

I've had this problem on a few sites with FP3 systems.

Here is my own story on what is happening. Back in the day the Mate/Mate3 never cared about the inverter firmware. As time went on and the inverter code became more complex. It became apparent that stacked inverter systems with mismatched firmware could have major issues. To prevent this the Mate3 code was updated to query the inverters about their firmware. From what I can tell the Mate3 regularly asks all the inverters "what is your firmware". If the Mate3 ever sees a response that it doesn't like it forces the inverters to shut off and logs the mismatch error.

In my case, the error always occurred right after the generator would start. It didn't matter if the generator was started manually or via AGS. To me it seemed like noise from the AC line was possibly causing the Mate3 to see an improper response to an inverter firmware inquiry. I replaced all the OutBack communications cables with CAT7 (shielded) cable to minimize the possible noise issue. That took care of the problem for almost all the sites. Since then we have updated all the Mate3 to Mate3s with the latest firmware the issue has gone away completely. The newer code seems to be doing a better job.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,

-Kurt
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YBSean
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by YBSean » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:23 am

Kurt,

I appreciate the response and agree with your diagnoses as the mismatch error only happens during "generator season" and we had our first error of the year this morning when the generator auto started. A new Mate3s is my next step. Thank you

Sean

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guerrillasolarguy
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:36 am

I can't believe this same thing happens about once a month. What the hell am I supposed to do? Does Outback have a real fix for this? Don't tell me to re-load the firmware. Done that twice. Please tell me how to fix this.
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

YBSean
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by YBSean » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:27 am

Outback assumes it's a problem with wiring/system installation (cable type, cable shielding, grounding etc.) and it is clearly a software problem.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:19 am

Hi guerillasolarguy, what is the gateway model on this system?
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guerrillasolarguy
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:34 am

It is a flexware 500 with FXR inverters and a Mate 3s built in May or June of 19. Installed in July. It is not currently hooked to the internet. Does that need to be done so that smarter people can diagnose it?
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:38 am

If you attach a photo of the MATE, we can tell is it is an S or not. Connecting it to OPTICS always helps, but let's start with the photo.
Ian McCluskey
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guerrillasolarguy
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:17 am

It's a 3S. I used some of her old green cables on the new system because they shorted me on the shipment. Pretty sure I used them on the FM 100's and not on the FXR's or the Mate. I'm going to see what it will take to get a cable to the router from the mate and get Optics set up.
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by IanMcCluskey » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:05 pm

One other thing to try in the meantime is make 100% sure the MATE3S firmware is good. Follow this video exactly with one exception. The video shows the user holding the UP button while plugging it back in, but says to hold the PORT button.

The correct method is to hold the UP button while plugging it back in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWuMxrXpYAI

Also, if you are going to buy/acquire some CAT5 cable for the router, couldn't hurt to replace your mixed cables with new cable you know 100% is twisted pair.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by fcwlp » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:04 pm

Lesson Learned

I recently had a case with a customer with a FLEXpower Two system with Mate3S that had a firmware mismatch error. Embedded near the beginning of the firmware mismatch errors was an "AC Out Shorted Error." I re-installed the firmware which fixed the "Firmware Mismatch Error" but the "AC Out Shorted Error" remained. It was late at night, so I disconnected the AC out from the slave (had the short) and customer ran on one leg. Next day I localized the short to one of the two houses being served and finally to one breaker, which of course was not labeled. Walking around the outside of house, I found one exposed and un-terminated white Romex cable with a black end (I did not wire it). Upon inspection the hot had fused to the ground.

So arcing and fusing caused the initial AC Out Shorted Error, which shutdown the slave inverter and per Outback support most likely led to the firmware mismatch error when the slave did not respond.

What is interesting is this system had one firmware mismatch error a year earlier that was resolved with a firmware update. I wonder now if there was some arcing going on with that same wire then.

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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by Norm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:30 pm

GuerillaSolarGuy,

I had this problem and got the solution on this forum.

I replaced 2 existing inverters with 2 new VFXR3648 inverters in June 2018 when I fried one of my 2007 versions of the same inverters.

A few months ago when the replacement inverters had been in service about one year without any failures or problems, I started out of the blue having random but repeated firmware mismatch errors. The solution was to install the latest VFXR firmware in the two inverters, even though the inverters were only about a year old. The firmware release was the same in both, but a newer firmware release was available. I downloaded the latest firmware, installed it in both inverters, and the problem disappeared. Months later, it has not happened again.

Good luck,

Norm

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guerrillasolarguy
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Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by guerrillasolarguy » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:21 am

Whenever the power goes out...my customer has a new problem. This time, the grid was out all night. 6:47 am, Bat Voltage Low Error FXR-2. 43.2VDC. Apparently that was a fatal error because they lost that leg of power in the house. Why would just one FXR drop and not both? The last error was Battery Volt Sense Fault FXR-2. Next big fault at 11:15 am was a Battery Sense High Error FXR-1. 59.6 volts. When I arrived around 2pm, grid power had been back on for an hour and the system wasn't selling. I used the previous wizard settings to restore and shut everything down and powered up again...all systems returned to normal after a few minutes.
After reading other posts, I believe the negative to ground connection was not removed as long as it was there already from the factory build.
The only thing unusual about this system is that it has a ac coupled Skystream connected with an AC dump load (2500 watts) which is turned on through a relay on the auxilary port on one of the FXR's.
It is the same inverter that has given the firmware missmatch error several times.
Is it possible the FXR-2 is faulty?
I appreciate your help. I didn't really want to wait for tech support on the phone. I know I need to get them set up so tech support can look at them online. I was hoping to avoid all that.
"Every home should be built with a critical loads panel and an Outback" The mate 3 should be thrown overboard.

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I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: FXR inverter firmware mismatch. Inverter 2 dissabled

Post by fcwlp » Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:40 pm

guerrillasolarguy wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:21 am
6:47 am, Bat Voltage Low Error FXR-2. 43.2VDC. Apparently that was a fatal error because they lost that leg of power in the house. Why would just one FXR drop and not both? The last error was Battery Volt Sense Fault FXR-2.
The Bat Voltage Low Error of 43.2VDC on FXR-2 could be due to different Cut-Out Voltages being programmed into each inverter. While the default Cut-Out Voltage is 42V on a 48V system, a voltage of 43.2 is close to if not a fully discharged battery.
guerrillasolarguy wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:21 am
Next big fault at 11:15 am was a Battery Sense High Error FXR-1. 59.6 volts.
Again error could be due to different High Battery Cut-Out (HBCO) voltages programmed into each inverter. What is the absorb voltage set-point? Doe the battery bank have a BTS? If it is cold out, the temp compensated absorb voltage may be approaching he HBCO voltage.
guerrillasolarguy wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:21 am
After reading other posts, I believe the negative to ground connection was not removed as long as it was there already from the factory build.
Removing the N-G bond is a good thing to do on your next service call. On this system it is mostly likely just a wire between the two terminal blocks. It can be a safety issue as well as causing faults in some situations.

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