Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by larrywa » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:30 am

For the first time my OpticsRe hung last night at 23:15 and didn't recover this morning at 9:00 AM.

I tried all the website jogging tricks that have worked in the past, but no joy.

After a few hours I used OpticsRE to online Reset My Gateway and all comms started again. I am missing data since 23;15 last night. Not a big deal since PV is shut down for he night, mostly.

AFAIC this is an OpticsRE website problem and it was likely shut down for something (maintenance?) and didn't recover comms with Mates in the field. Last time this was brought forward OB denied it. I doubt we all had problems with our Mate3s at the same time.

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by basrijn » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:29 pm

Hi David,
David LeBow wrote:..
We have had Ethernet connectivity issues in the past and have corrected many/most of those. We are still having some difficulties - often with satellite connections - but are hunting those down as well.

If you would like to share information about your site (ISP, internet connection information, router model/firmware version, etc.), we - here in Washington - are more than happy to try and get to the bottom of your particular problem.
Do you want to keep all the info in this thread?

MATE3 on 3.15.1
Router is Ubiquity EdgeRouter PoE
IP for MATE3 is static lease on DHCP server in EdgeRouter
MATE3 physically connected to a Ubiquity ToughSwitch PoE
I have probably around 20 network devices using DHCP in the network, all working as expected
The WAN side of the router is a Xplornet VSAT connection that is regularly brought up and down

For my system monitoring I run Cacti/RRDTOOL using a PHP script to pull the XML data from the MATE3. This allows me to do long term graphing.
Location is an Off grid cabin used mostly on weekends.

I've been an IT infrastructure guy for about 20 years.

My issues with earlier firmware was the "network connection goes if interfaces bounces". In my case it was triggered when the system switches over from generator to inverter (non Outback). Switch time for Gen->Invert was long enough that switch cycled. I would ALWAYS loose the connection if that happened, and needed to pull power from the MATE3 to get it going. Installed a UPS to protect switch from these cycles.

With 3.15.1 and the reported improvements I still get interruptions where the MATE3 no longer responds from the web interface (in my case the PHP script fails to read the XML file, resulting in no data in my graph). I had the reboot interval set to 4 hrs.

I updated to 3.15.1 last weekend, this weekend I went to reset the MATE3 after it stopped responding and found it in a state I had not seen before:
- Orange Charger light off
- Display ONLY showing the icon for the battery voltage
- MATE3 not responding to any key presses

I wondered if that was a result of the 4hr reboot interval, since the ethernet issues is supposed to be resolved (and I have a UPS in place) I decided to disable the auto reboot interval.

In the attached graph that is around 1.15pm (at the end of the white block you see). I then left the cabin only to discover that the system had stopped responding again only 30 minutes later :(

I'm a big fan of measuring things, it's the reason I invested in all Outback stuff, because I really like the integration and data logging capabilities. It's very frustrating to have spent all this money, and not be able to get decent data of the system locally.

The fact you post here and ask for feedback is giving me hope. I'd be more then happy to help in any way I can. If you have trouble reproducing the issue in your lab, maybe provide me with a custom firmware that outputs extra state data. If I can read that from the webserver I can write that into a database/text file/whatever at any frequency you would like and provide that to you. Or if you want a packet dump of traffic from the mate3, or ....

/Edit: After looking at this graph I realize the outage exact coincides with the time the VSAT link is DOWN. Is there a dependency on internet connectivity for local reporting. Does the MATE3 code have a blocking call to the OpticsRE website, resulting in a deadlock if no external connectivity is available?
David LeBow wrote:
"first absolute control in local mode, for those who live in isolated places. an"
I'm not sure I understand how you don't have absolute control in local mode.
It would be great if we can make all changes via the webinterface that can be made from the OpticsRE website (or the MATE3 interface). A web interface would be much easier to use then the physical controls on the MATE3 itself.

Tx Bas (bas@brijn.nu)
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by unicornio » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:17 am

hi, David!
and hi, guys! :-)
foremost thank you so much for your work in the forum.
really, since you work with the issue of MATE3 / OpticsRE, we have a good support and good explanations of how they progress in solving the problems that arise in the development of remote control system and communications Outback.

I think that without the work you do in this forum, the desperation rife among users would have the OpticsRE...

I also know that all these steps are overcoming are the norm in a modern industrial structure that does not have time or way to launch a product of symbiosis hardware / software with absolute operational safety checked.

I personally think that while our inverters and our chargers have that reliable and accurate operation, and the robust construction, our survival is assured thanks to the extreme quality of power equipment Outback ...

just once I'd most like you to think back on the number of users you please outback resume the design of a complete *local ip network* system, perhaps supplemented by a small application for Windows and Mac, nor simply web interface, that contains records, databases and logs, and the possibilities of remote already developed for the OpticsRE

and encourage you to continue with your work, for us, installers, vendors and users Outback is much appreciated ...


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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:08 pm

larrywa wrote: AFAIC this is an OpticsRE website problem and it was likely shut down for something (maintenance?) and didn't recover comms with Mates in the field. Last time this was brought forward OB denied it. I doubt we all had problems with our Mate3s at the same time.
There was no scheduled maintenance. We're also in no way denying that you experienced issues.

All I can say is that a report from the website indicated that certain Azure resources were at exceedingly high levels starting at 6/5/2016 at 3:20 AM (UTC) and the problem resolved itself at 6/5/16 3:54 AM (UTC).

I'd be interested to hear if your problems match that, given your time-zone.
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3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

larrywa
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My RE system: FlexPower Two
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FNDC w/3 shunts,
Mate3 v3.015.005 (works excellent!)
Hub 10.3,
PV:1000W east@45, 600W west@45, 2400W south@19 deg.
Battery:48v @ 130Ahr Crown batteries, deep cycle <$380 for 6.25kWh

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WebControl 8 as weather station stuffing
ISY994 variables via REST interface

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by larrywa » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:39 pm

David LeBow wrote:
There was no scheduled maintenance. We're also in no way denying that you experienced issues.

All I can say is that a report from the website indicated that certain Azure resources were at exceedingly high levels starting at 6/5/2016 at 3:20 AM (UTC) and the problem resolved itself at 6/5/16 3:54 AM (UTC).

I'd be interested to hear if your problems match that, given your time-zone.
I did not ever state you were denying I experienced issues. Distortion of what was posted.

However, I have stated that you were denying website problems and doing OpticsRE website maintenance. Now you are again denying website maintenance. This may be true, or not, but there are website troubles that many are experiencing, simultaneously.

My OpticsRE problem times do not sync with the times given. IIRC reported these times in other posts but perhaps you are not reading them. The "partial connection" was apparently all through the night and would not clear. Data is missing from my graphic charts and never recovered.

OpticsRE has decided in the last week to be intermittent on a regular basis. Almost every and any time it is not updating reports now.

Another problem is that when I login to OpticsRE it rejects my user/password combination. When I hit login again it accepts it most times.
Seems similar some cache clearing problems where old data is used until refreshed. This is very similar to the data update problem being seen here. Refreshing updates the data on the graphics and the charts.
Last edited by larrywa on Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bezalel » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:45 pm

Update on client system performance for OB troubleshooting use... continued

After OpticsRE had posted cumulative data spikes for 3-Jun-2016 in the 2100 hour and on 4-Jun-2016 in the 1600 hour, it posted a cumulative spike on 5-Jun-2016 in the 1600 hour and began posting hourly data since then. No load data point shown again for the 0100 hour. The name banner on the OpticsRE page is displaying a weather reading, but not sure if it is current. Dashboard is showing live data.

Current System Status : PARTIAL CONNECTION (06/06/2016 10:11)

No website or MATE3 action taken or attributable to these behavioral changes.

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Hub 10.3,
PV:1000W east@45, 600W west@45, 2400W south@19 deg.
Battery:48v @ 130Ahr Crown batteries, deep cycle <$380 for 6.25kWh

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WebControl 8 as weather station stuffing
ISY994 variables via REST interface

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by larrywa » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:16 pm

bezalel wrote:<snipped>
Current System Status : PARTIAL CONNECTION (06/06/2016 10:11)
Strange.
IIRC My access always show an even hour time when the "Partial Connection" occurs like this
"Current System Status : PARTIAL CONNECTION (06/06/2016 22:00)

Then when I clear it, by refreshing using various methods, it switches to 12 hour time style like this
"Current System Status : PARTIAL CONNECTION (06/06/2016 10:46 PM)

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by basrijn » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi,

More data.
- Link is up, but has been down
XML file not accessible
- Link is up, MATE3 is reset via OpticsRE

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by basrijn » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi,

More data.
- Link is up, but has been down
** XML file not accessible
** Mate3 does check in with OpticsRE
** OpticsRE data is all over the place. Only things that seems to be reported OK is the SOC/Voltage one. All other data is hit and miss

- Link is up, MATE3 is reset via OpticsRE once registered
** XML file is accessible
** Mate3 does check in with OpticsRE
** Data looks better in OpticsRE (other then the bulk allocation to when the unit reports in, instead of over the period the unit has been down)

So to get the unit to produce good data, I just need to sit there to keep an eye on when it comes online :) At least I get data during the period that the Internet link is up.

Can we pls get this fixed

Bas

Bas

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by vincjwan » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:00 pm

Hi,
I set auto reboot interval to 8 hours but it seems that mate3 never reboot as expected ... so any advice ??!!!

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:28 pm

I have exactly the same problem, since upgrading from 3.11 to 3.15.1 the reboot no longer happens. Tried setting it to 0, and to other intervals, no go.

I suspect I could probably re-enable by resetting to factory, but then I would have to reconfigure everything.

/rant on
To be honest, I'm getting pretty sick of the mate 3, it cost me more than a good PC and it, and in particular the ethernet, has never worked properly, and even with 3.15.1, it still drops off the net necessitating a reboot. C,mon Outback, fix this please, it is not at all a good look. A (working) reboot interval is only a kludge at best, fix the underlying problem please, there must be one.

If I had another option, I would be returning my mate3 and asking for a refund as it simply does not do the job that I have paid for. It is disappointing.
/rant off

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by Eclinden » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:17 pm

Outback needs to re-engineer the whole mate3 mess and replace every single one of them. The mate3 lost its mind again while I was out of town and kept starting and stopping my generator every few minutes until the gen failed. 2nd time it has done this. When I came back to town I reloaded the firmware, again, and reconfigured the mate3, again, but the gen was already toast. They should teplace my generator and batteries too. Whenever I talk with them they go straight to blame the customer despite the extensive history of mate3 malfunctions from me and others. Disgusting. So off the gen goes for another thousand dollar repair courtesy of Outback.

I am thinking that the best short-term solution is to configure the system so that the inverter controls the system rather than the mate3. It is pretty clear that Outbacks H1B engineers can't figure out what they are doing.

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:33 am

vincjwan wrote:Hi,
I set auto reboot interval to 8 hours but it seems that mate3 never reboot as expected ... so any advice ??!!!
bluespur wrote:I have exactly the same problem, since upgrading from 3.11 to 3.15.1 the reboot no longer happens. Tried setting it to 0, and to other intervals, no go.
We originally added the auto-reboot functionality in an attempt to recover from spurious Internet connectivity issues to Optics. In 3.15.0, we made a change to not auto-reboot if the connection between the Mate3 and Optics was still functioning normally at the time of the scheduled reboot. I went back and had a look at the release notes and that really wasn't spelled out. Apologies.

The "good news" is, that it it's not auto-rebooting - it didn't really need to.

Please let me know if that doesn't match what you're seeing.
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by sodamo » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:56 am

So.... If I understand correctly.
If I have auto reboot turned on but connection is good it does NOT auto reboot, but if there is a connection problem it does reboot.

So might there be value in the auto reboot engaging as a first response to loosing the connection? I know that rebooting manually usually, but not always gets me back online, but I haven't observed that it is time related. Could the Mate firmware be modified to sense a valid Internet (Ethernet) connection but if not an OpticRE connection to auto reboot periodically until connection is established?
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:28 pm

Thanks for the additional unpublished information, again OpticsRE is not meeting the principle of least astonishment.
Could you please review and explain the connectivity gap 15June 0900 1100 NZT and whatever happened between 05 June 1400-08 June 0900 NZT, during both of time spans my mate was offline, was manually rebooted.

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:47 pm

bluespur wrote:Thanks for the additional unpublished information, again OpticsRE is not meeting the principle of least astonishment.
Could you please review and explain the connectivity gap 15June 0900 1100 NZT and whatever happened between 05 June 1400-08 June 0900 NZT, during both of time spans my mate was offline, was manually rebooted.
Seems a little snarky, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm guessing that you wouldn't have wanted us to leave it unpublished. Believe me, it's nothing we wished to not publish in the first place. We were rolling back a work-around. Could've been better communicated. Obviously.

We can't really review and explain any connectivity gaps without knowledge of your Optics profile/site name in any case. Further, if there was a connectivity gap, the OpticsRE server won't know what was happening at the remote site during that time either. I don't (personally) know whether there is some logging one could pull off the device retroactively which would tell us what was happening during those outages (but will check). But: outages can also "just happen". So I'm not sure in all cases what we can really tell after the fact.

There is a Mate3 --> Optics "Replay" functionality which was designed to "save" data in the Mate3 for times when the Optics server can't be reached. The Mate3 is programmed to pass the saved data up to Optics when connection is restored. We have also had our growing pains with that. There are still cases which we haven't yet been able to identify where that replay can fail. Needless to say, we're trying to reproduce that in a way which gives us the required forensic data to diagnose and fix the problem.

Long story short - I don't want to get your hopes up that we can simply remote into your system to determine what happened two Sundays ago. If you'd like to private-message me your profile/site name, I can have someone look to see what they can see.

The Mate3, designed as it was when it was, is quite memory constrained. We don't have every option available when it comes to architecting a solution and many of its restrictions and implementations are directly related to what we can squeeze in. There are solutions in the works which involve more modern, more extensible hardware, but that won't solve today's issues.

Rest assured - we're listening, we care, we're working on it.

David
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by basrijn » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:02 pm

Hi David,

I know the thankless job of direct user support, and want to mention I appreciate keeping an eye on these topics and responding to them.

Technical question: are you planning on adding a timestamped upload of the replay data (as discussed in other topic).
As in: data collected at 13:05 will show in OpticsRE at 13:05 and not accumulated at whenever the OpticsRE connection is re-established.

I think that would also help in figuring out if issue is with actual data collection on MATE3 or with connectivity.

My own system has been graphing locally for almost a week now without issues. But mysteriously there was about an hour long gap earlier today.

Is there any detailed MATE3 logs that can be pulled of the web interface (like the XML data)

Bas

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:08 pm

Thanks, Bas. (Holland-based, I'm guessing? Somewhere near the Rhine?)

The uploaded data is supposed to be time-stamped. That homey "spike" of data after a gap truly isn't our plan. I'll check on what can be pulled out of the Mate3.

Mate3 development isn't in "my" group, so I sometimes need to reach a bit further for the answers...
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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:08 pm

Hi David,
snarky maybe, but having paid a significant amount for something that continues not to meet my expectations, so be it.
For the record, I am NOT expecting you to be able to remote into my system, what I was expecting is that my system would have rebooted as per the set schedule, or, as I now know from your comment, would have rebooted due to lack of connectivity. This did not happen.
As for the replay functionality, I might be wrong, but I cant recall any instance of stored data being replayed when the connection has been restored, but then again, the mate3 never actually restores the connection without a reboot, so I theorise that maybe the data does not survive over a reboot?
Regarding memory constraints, I would expect that ethernet functionality on both the hub facing and network facing interfaces should/would be architected so as not to be impacted by any memory constraint as such functionality is ubiquitous in such devices and basic to their overall functionality.

I will PM you system detail
Cheers
Garth

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:15 pm

Hi David,
I would also like to echo Bas's comments, I too appreciate your keeping an eye on these topics and responding to them
Garth

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Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:18 pm

bluespur wrote:
snarky maybe, but having paid a significant amount for something that continues not to meet my expectations, so be it.
I knew as I wrote it that I'd be walking into that one. Please accept our apologies and know that I will be driving the various teams to get us to a happier place with all of the resources at my disposal.
bluespur wrote: For the record, I am NOT expecting you to be able to remote into my system, what I was expecting is that my system would have rebooted as per the set schedule, or, as I now know from your comment, would have rebooted due to lack of connectivity. This did not happen.
I've been digging in the firmware group to get the definitive explanation (pending), but I think I'm pretty close with the following:
* The auto-reboot will automatically reboot at the scheduled time IF, at that time, we have lost Optics connectivity.
* The auto-reboot will be skipped if we're still connected to Optics.
* There's not an auto-reboot "when" connectivity is dropped. At the scheduled time, if still disconnected, the auto-reboot really should be kicking in.

Please let me know if that doesn't match your experience. I'll also be talking with the firmware team to see how to best adapt this going forward.
bluespur wrote: As for the replay functionality, I might be wrong, but I cant recall any instance of stored data being replayed when the connection has been restored, but then again, the mate3 never actually restores the connection without a reboot, so I theorise that maybe the data does not survive over a reboot?
The data is saved to an SD card and is expected to survive a reboot. Does your Mate3 have one installed? If not, that could explain the lack of any replay. We are still facing difficulties in certain situations, that the replay data arrives "stacked" after a reconnect, as if, say, an hour's data had occurred at the same second (looks like a gap then a spike). But: "never any replay data ever"? My guess: missing SD card?
bluespur wrote: Regarding memory constraints, I would expect that ethernet functionality on both the hub facing and network facing interfaces should/would be architected so as not to be impacted by any memory constraint as such functionality is ubiquitous in such devices and basic to their overall functionality.
I expect a lot of things, too, and the current situation doesn't excite me either. But: I'm really not blowing smoke. I'm not saying "low memory" "causes all of our connectivity problems", but it is truly an issue which determines what we can/can't squeeze in for functionality. We are working on improvements, though.
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12xHawker Perfect Plus 8PZS120 FLA batteries
Own built generator Kubota D600 engine, 7.5Kw gen head

Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:47 pm

Hi David,
Thanks for your response, I too thought you walked into that somewhat readily.
The clarification is much appreciated, and does ease the frustration. =D>
I do not have a SD card permanently installed in the Mate3, I was unaware that to have the replay functionality that one was required, where is this documented?
With your explanation of the reboot implementation the 4 hour reboot interval makes some sort of sense, and as there is no control of the exact reboot time available, is obviously the optimum setting to allow the mate3 to react to loss of connectivity.
I suggest that maybe the best adaption going forward could be to clearly document that it is not a scheduled reboot and will only be invoked in the vent of a comms failure, and to possibly start the reboot timer rather than from when the interval was set in the mate, but to when connectivity was lost, and to possibly lower the available time settings further.
Cheers
Garth

bluespur
Forum Expert
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:32 pm
My RE system: VFX3024x2
Flexmax60x2
3000W total solar, 135w panel array and 220w panel array
Mate3
12xHawker Perfect Plus 8PZS120 FLA batteries
Own built generator Kubota D600 engine, 7.5Kw gen head

Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:20 pm

A further question, to enable the replay facility, do I have to have data logging enabled to the SD card on the mate3?
Cheers
Garth

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

Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by David LeBow » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:47 pm

bluespur wrote: Thanks for your response, I too thought you walked into that somewhat readily.
Yeah... it pays to provide something soft to be hit with. It keeps people from taking off my head with the broadsword they came with.
bluespur wrote: I was unaware that to have the replay functionality that one was required, where is this documented?
Great question. Answer: I haven't (yet) been able to find out. It's true, though.
bluespur wrote: A further question, to enable the replay facility, do I have to have data logging enabled to the SD card on the mate3?
Great question #2. Answer: The Optics backlog replay feature is enabled if Optics support is turned on and doesnÔÇÖt depend on regular logging being enabled.

Q.E.
D.
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


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

bluespur
Forum Expert
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:32 pm
My RE system: VFX3024x2
Flexmax60x2
3000W total solar, 135w panel array and 220w panel array
Mate3
12xHawker Perfect Plus 8PZS120 FLA batteries
Own built generator Kubota D600 engine, 7.5Kw gen head

Re: Mate3 Rev 003.015.001 Reports

Post by bluespur » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:52 pm

Thank you David,
I am now set up with a 4 hour "reboot interval", SD card inserted, and am now waiting for the next interruption to my service to verify that things are working as designed (but maybe not documented)
Cheers
Garth

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