MATE3S has gone offline ...

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:07 pm

So I installed the FLEXpower One (FP1 w/VFXR3648A inverter) at my family's cabin in the Idaho panhandle, towards the end of December 2017. I'm not a professional installer, but feel comfortable taking on these kinds of projects, thanks to forums such as this one, good product documentaion and my background "building and fixing stuff". The install was drama-free and I really like the "prewired-hang-on-the-wall" concept. Used the MATE3S (which I understand is new, and replaces the MATE3) to change settings for the system and the 830Ah battery bank. Since my initial reason for installing the FP1 was to provide backup power in case the grid power fails for a period of time, the ability to remotely monitor and manage the FP1 was/is really important to me. After hooking up OpticsRE, I could then see my system online as well as tweak settings, pretty cool!

Well my wife and I returned home to western Washington for the holidays, but we felt really good knowing that we now had an autonomous backup power solution in place!
Hadn't been home a week before the an outtage hit the cabin knocking the grid down for about 23 hours, but by using OpticsRE remotely, I was now able to see electricity flowing from the battery bank to the cabin's loads! The grid power returned and soon the battery bank returned to %100 SOC.

Unfortunately, on 1/14/2018 the MATE3S went offline (as read from OpticsRE - Event History) and has not come back online since! So no remote site monitoring/management via OpticsRE. I know the internet/LAN is working at the cabin since I have a web-cam there and it's working fine. (plugged into the same network switch as the MATE3S)

So here are my questions:

1. Who has experienced a MATE3S going offline and not coming back online?

2. How frequently has this happened to your MATE3S?

3. How did you get it back online?

Thanks,
Jim

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David LeBow
OutBack Management
Posts: 548
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 10:42 am
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi Jim,

The OpticsRE Knowledge Base can be found here: https://opticsre.uservoice.com/knowledgebase

There are a couple of relevant articles there:

* https://opticsre.uservoice.com/knowledg ... is-offline
* https://opticsre.uservoice.com/knowledg ... is-offline

Hope that helps.

David
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


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

74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:37 pm

Hello David,

Thank you for the prompt reply. I checked out the links you referenced. As you can imagine power-cycling the MATE3S is not really practical when you're in another state.

I will say, previous to posting, I researched the MATE3 (not the new MATE3S) and the recurring offline issues many users here have experienced. My hope is the new MATE3S does not have these network issues, but I have no way of knowing if current users of the MATE3S have experienced instances where their MATE3S has gone offline or unable to recover from a network hiccup.

I will update the MATE3S firmware to 1.2.0 and set AUTO REBOOT to "ON" the next time I'm at the cabin.

Thanks,
Jim

User avatar
David LeBow
OutBack Management
Posts: 548
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 10:42 am
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:57 pm

We're also hot on the heels of some of the Mate3 connectivity issues as well. I've convinced The Powers That Be that these are high priority issues which need fixing. We have significantly improved things in the 12 months or so of my bitter whining, but there are still issues we're beating out of the bushes.

Since you're so far from the device, the auto-reboot interval might be the best way to go.

David
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


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

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intellact
Forum Czar
Posts: 703
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:20 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by intellact » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:58 pm

74_105_109 wrote:My hope is the new MATE3S does not have these network issues, but I have no way of knowing if current users of the MATE3S have experienced instances where their MATE3S has gone offline or unable to recover from a network hiccup.
Hey Jim:

You may be just the person I'm looking for! :smile:

We have been running field trials on a new remote monitoring/setting tool, running with both MATE3 and MATE3S installations, and making great progress on reliable connectivity.

One of the tests that we have been anxious to run is to see if this tool will successfully connect to a MATE3/S that claims to be otherwise "Offline".

If you would be willing to run a quick test from your home, we might learn a lot - and you might get some access back before your return to Idaho! :smile:
Please let me know if you are up for a free trial. You can get more information on this page.
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

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Megunticook
Forum Guru
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am
My RE system: 6.4 kW solar array (21 QCell 305 panels in strings of 3)
GS8048A FLEXpower Radian (Radian 8048A, 2 FlexMax 80 cc's, Mate 3s, FlexNet DC, Hub)
8x6v Rolls-Surette 550 FLA batteries, 428AH
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by Megunticook » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:19 am

Jim--I installed a FlexPower system with the Mate3s this fall and had connectivity issues right out of the box--couldn't even get the MATE to display the OpticsRE screen by hitting the Port button while on the home screen. After much troubleshooting, Outback shipped out a new Mate, and while it was in transit the original started working and I had full OpticsRE functionality for a solid week. Then yesterday afternoon it disappeared again. I swapped in the new MATE and it's up and running once again.

It's possible there was a bad batch of the new MATE3s?

I do have the 24 hour reboot enabled, by the way.
https://sunnypower.org

74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:21 pm

David LeBow wrote: I've convinced The Powers That Be that these are high priority issues which need fixing. We have significantly improved things in the 12 months or so of my bitter whining, but there are still issues we're beating out of the bushes.
David, all I can add is - keep up the bitter whining! :grin:
intellact wrote:if you would be willing to run a quick test from your home, we might learn a lot - and you might get some access back before your return to Idaho!
Please let me know if you are up for a free trial.
Andrew, visited your link and I'm definitely interested in learning more about your ACKcess tool.
Megunticook wrote:Jim--I installed a FlexPower system with the Mate3s this fall and had connectivity issues right out of the box--couldn't even get the MATE to display the OpticsRE screen by hitting the Port button while on the home screen. After much troubleshooting, Outback shipped out a new Mate, and while it was in transit the original started working and I had full OpticsRE functionality for a solid week. Then yesterday afternoon it disappeared again. I swapped in the new MATE and it's up and running once again.

It's possible there was a bad batch of the new MATE3s?

I do have the 24 hour reboot enabled, by the way.
Megunticook, I'll be very interested to know how long your new replacement MATE3S stays online. MIne is still offline :roll:

Jim

74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:47 pm

Thought I would update my experience with the MATE3s since my first offline episode back on 01/14/18.

01/21/18 - Traveled to FP1 site and upgraded MATE3s firmware from version 1.1.0 to 1.2.1 Also set AUTO-REBOOT Interval to 1 hr. MATE3s back online as seen by OpticsRE. Also installed web-cam to be able to view MATE3s remotely.

Basically the MATE3S worked satisfactorily until...

08/06/19 -MATE3s went offline. By viewing the MATE3s display through the web-cam I could see the battery bank was being maintained, and since this is backup system for grid outages I felt no urgency to get the MATE3s back online.

08/22/19 - Traveled to FP1 site, MATE3s was rebooting itself continuously, I removed SD card to view any event logfiles but the SD card had become corrupted. @ 15:20 Upgraded MATE3s firmware from 1.2.1 to 1.4.2. The MATE3s continued to reboot mode until the morning of 08/24/19 when the MATE3s came back online. Since the firmware upgrade to 1.4.2 Event History shows a "Set Time Zone" message every 30 seconds or so! But since the MATE3s was back online I was willing to let that slide.

9/28/19 - Even though the MATE3s was still online, I again traveled to the FP1 site to see if I could downgrade the MATE3s firmware from 1.4.2 to 1.3.1 thinking perhaps that would stop the "Set Time Zone" messages. While observing the firmware downgrade process I noticed the "Updating Ethernet Processor" message on the MATE3s LED display but NO "Updating Main Processor" message. I had previously watched the YouTube video Tech Support: Mate3 Firmware Update that showed both of these messages being displayed. Thinking that there might be a problem with the firmware files (there are two, M3s.bin and M3sEth.bin) and that perhaps the downgrade wasn't complete, I decided to reload firmware 1.4.2 since at least the MATE3S was online even though Event History kept getting the "Set Time Zone" messages. I noted that again during the MATE3s firmware upgrade from 1.3.1 to 1.4.2 that only the "Updating Ethernet Processor" message displayed, but NO "Updating Main Processor" message was displayed. Event History continues getting the "Set Time Zone" messages.

10/31/19 07:00 MATE3s is offline and I observe via the web-cam, the MATE3s is in a continuous reboot/initialization mode. @15:00 the MATE3s is back online and after browsing Event History in OpticsRE I can see hundreds of occurrences of "Gateway Device Powered Up and Restarted" in addition to the "Set Time Zone" messages dating back to 10/25/19!

I'm thinking at this time my MATE3s is may be candidate for replacement.

Jim

User avatar
IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by IanMcCluskey » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:59 pm

Hi Jim, I won't try to make excuses for your gateway's bad behavior. It sounds like a number of symptoms have combined to make it unusable.

There is one thing to try before sending it in. Download the latest 1.4.2 firmware onto the SD card, carefully copying each file one by one onto the card to ensure they are all there. Then, try this manual (forced to both processors) firmware update process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWuMxrXpYAI

If that does not do the trick, go ahead and file the case for a replacement. Don't worry, it won't affect your settings.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:22 am

Hi Ian,

I am going to be onsite with the MATE3s later this week so I will give the "back-end firmware upgrade" procedure a try.

Just wondering if I remove the MATE3s from the FlexPower One for warranty repair/replacement, will the FP1 VFXR3648A continue to function in its grid backup capacity? (maintaining battery-bank etc)

Jim

User avatar
IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:23 pm

Yes, if you have to remove the MATE3s, all of the components in that system will continue to operate with their latest settings.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


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

74_105_109
Forum Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:11 pm
My RE system: Outback FLEXpower One:
- grid-tied VFXR3648A inverter, f/w: 1.6.63
- FLEXmax 80 Charge Controller, f/w: 3.3.0
- FLEXnet DC, f/w: 1.1.71
- HUB10.3,
- MATE3S, f/w: 1.4.2
- RTS
- OpticsRE, remote monitoring
Battery Bank:
- (16) Fullriver DC400-6 AGM 6V at 830Ah
Panels:
- to be added in the future!
OpticsRE Site: PL FlexPower One
Commisioned: December, 22, 2017

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by 74_105_109 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:10 pm

On 11/8/19, I arrived on-site and was able to fix the issues I was having with the MATE3s.

1) As previously suggested by Ian, I performed a back-end firmware update (1.4.2) to the MATE3s. Once this was done, the "Outback Set Time Zone" messages which were being written to Event History in OpticsRE, stopped.

2) As recommended by Katee Wood, of Fire Mountain Solar LLC, (Where I purchased my FlexPower One and battery bank) I replaced the green Outback Cat5 cable which connects the MATE3s to the Hub and the green Outback Cat5 cable which connects the VFXR3648A inverter to the Hub. Katee related that she seen a high failure rate of these cables in the field. Apparently these cables have intermittently passed and then subsequently failed their data cable tester!
Once I swapped in some 5' (wired straight-thru, NOT crossover) Cat5 cables I had brought with me, NO more MATE3s continuously/randomly rebooting itself!

Time will tell, but I'm hopeful the MATE3s issues are corrected.

Jim

M.J.S.
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:17 pm
My RE system: Radian 8048a with (2) Flex-Max charge controllers. (8) SimpliPhi 3.4kw batteries. 7200W PV array, FNDC, HUB10, Mate3
Location: Miles City, Montana

Re: MATE3S has gone offline ...

Post by M.J.S. » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:28 pm

I am on my third Mate3s that I cannot get to connect online. Like the previous two I could ping locally and see it on my wifi, but not from outside. The MAC address on #2 randomly changed to a number not recognized by the system (I hadn't touched it in months, until it went offline). The replacement #3 I was able to see locally thru my wifi for a few weeks, but never outside where it could go online. Last week it quit connecting entirely. I plugged my laptop directly into it (with new cables) and still couldn't log into the IP address. I have done all the re-booting, plugging & un-plugging, replacing cables etc. recommended, and have the latest 1.4 firmware installed. Any ideas, or did I get another defective Mate3s?

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