Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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RandomJoe
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Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by RandomJoe » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:10 am

I currently have three issues:

1) LAN connection drops regularly - I've been logging UDP packets from the data stream for a while and it's almost perfectly 1.5 minutes up, 0.5 minutes down. When I'm at the Mate the LAN link light goes out.

When this happens, if I'm watching the Port screen, all info disappears. When the link reactivates I have all zeros for a while, then the IP info shows up, and OpticRE shows "connecting" but I have it disabled. It eventually switches to "disabled".

I have a fixed IP for the Mate 3, have tried setting the IP in the Mate and using DHCP with a reservation in the server.


2) The web interface is flaky. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it only shows "please wait while loading configuration".


3) I enabled the UDP data stream and it is only sending data for port 2 the charge controller. I'm not getting any data for the inverter.


Firmware is 3.15.5, the Mate arrived with 3.15.0.

Thoughts?


More detail:

I have had an Outback system running for around 8 years, VFX3648 / FM80 / FNDC / Mate 1 (with serial link to server) / HUB4, and it Just Worked. A lightning strike on the tree in the front yard ended that - killed the inverter, FNDC, HUB4 and Mate. The FM80 is still working!

I opted to go with Outback again, got an FXR3048 / HUB4 / Mate 3. Those arrived and I installed them last weekend - only to find the Mate 3 was dead out of the box! No LEDs, no display, not even any magic smoke... Called NAWS and they shipped a replacement.

I installed the replacement Mate 3 yesterday and it seems to be working just fine - aside from the issues above. It showed up with 3.15.0 firmware and the web interface was always saying "enable javascript". A forum search found the latest firmware would fix that and it did - but I had noticed the LAN was dropping regularly (link lights going out on the switch it's plugged into), had hoped the update would fix that too but no luck.

RandomJoe
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by RandomJoe » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Tinkering some more with the web interface...

I'm using Safari on OSX, running the Developer tools to inspect the various components of the page.

According to the network resources tab, the only thing that doesn't load is 'logo.jpg' for which it gets a 404 error.

In the XHR folder under resources I see Dev_batt.cgi and Dev_status.cgi run every 5 seconds - and every one of them shows valid data in the inspector.

Those CGIs must be the data I'm actually seeing, the web page itself does have some fields populated, in particular the Meters tab, but the graphs never show up and at the top of the page it always shows "Please wait while loading configuration".

The graphs did work for a short time after I had first upgraded the firmware but started getting iffy and now they haven't worked at all since this morning. (Keep in mind I only got and installed the Mate yesterday!)

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by Raj174 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:18 pm

Hi RandomJoe,
I had connectivity issues, but a static IP address fixed my problem and I see you tried that. If your Mate3 is hardwired and it is losing connectivity it must be a hardware problem as you seem to have checked everything else. Since you just bought it, have you called Outback tech support? They worked me through a couple of issues.
Concerning the Mate3 web page, I also had a problem with the display. I eventually gave up on Safari and now use Opera with no issues. This probably does not solve your problem, but was a solution I could live with.

Rick

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by RandomJoe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:26 am

Called tech support today and worked with them a bit. We did "fix" the connection dropping - by re-enabling OpticsRE! Apparently even when it's disabled there's something seeing it isn't connected and triggering a reset...?

They had me reflash the firmware just to be sure, but still no joy on the internal web page and data streaming issues. They said they didn't recommend going backward with the firmware so they're just going to send another Mate to me so I can give it a try.

Third time's the charm, I hope...?!

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by sodamo » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:33 pm

Let us know, especially if you get the new Mate 3s instead of the old one.
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by David LeBow » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:57 pm

Hey, RandomJoe - the e-mail you have configured in your forum profile seems to be incorrect. The forum has tried to send you notifications of responses to posts you've made, but it's coughing up this fur ball: "The email address you entered couldn't be found."
David LeBow
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3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

RandomJoe
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by RandomJoe » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:45 am

Yep, had an old address there. Updated now.

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by RandomJoe » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:58 am

Third time is NOT the charm, unfortunately...

The replacement Mate 3 arrived today and I connected and configured it. (Not the 3S version.)

The only "success" at this point is that the internal web page is - for now - working. But then it worked on the previous Mate - for a while... We shall see if it continues to function...

It still resets the network port regularly if OpticsRE is disabled, and it still doesn't show the inverter (port 1) on the data streamer.

I called Outback and talked with tech support again. Their final "answer" is that the Data Streaming function is NO LONGER SUPPORTED! It's been "obsoleted" by OpticsRE. Phooey.

I then asked if that included the serial port interface and was told he didn't know. Very helpful... I wasn't keen on spending $70 when I should be able to get the data over the LAN, I'm sure not spending it only to find it doesn't work properly either!

They wanted to know why I didn't use OpticsRE. -- Because it's unnecessary! I want to monitor and log my systems using my own software on my own machines. Sending the data across the internet to someone else's servers just to bring it back home again is ridiculous!

I'm very unimpressed and disappointed... :(

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by SEYLIONE » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:19 am

Hi RamdomJoe,
Your question is widely discussed in the dicussion next tou yours: Mate 3 Cannot Recover from Ethernet Outage
Which Mate3 did you get: Mate3 our Mate3S?
Good luck
Lionel

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intellact
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:51 am

Actually, not everything that RandomJoe raised is covered in the other thread, Lionel.
RandomJoe wrote:I called Outback and talked with tech support again. Their final "answer" is that the Data Streaming function is NO LONGER SUPPORTED! It's been "obsoleted" by OpticsRE. Phooey.

I then asked if that included the serial port interface and was told he didn't know. Very helpful... I wasn't keen on spending $70 when I should be able to get the data over the LAN, I'm sure not spending it only to find it doesn't work properly either!

They wanted to know why I didn't use OpticsRE. -- Because it's unnecessary! I want to monitor and log my systems using my own software on my own machines. Sending the data across the internet to someone else's servers just to bring it back home again is ridiculous!

I'm very unimpressed and disappointed... :(
And I'm amazed that this post has not generated a total maelstrom of responses and outrage. In case you missed it folks, let me spell it out for you...

If we accept this information at face value, OutBack Support is now telling clients that the MATE Data Stream function is no longer supported. :eek:

I had already established that recent firmware changes (presumably for OpticsRE) were trashing both the UDP/IP network data stream and the Modbus support on the MATE3. These communication functions are CRITICAL to many clients. If this news is true, then what OutBack is saying is that they have no intention of fixing any of these issues. :shock:

W.T.F.?!?
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intellact
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:14 pm

RandomJoe wrote:I then asked if that included the serial port interface and was told he didn't know. Very helpful... I wasn't keen on spending $70 when I should be able to get the data over the LAN, I'm sure not spending it only to find it doesn't work properly either!
Oh, and to answer your question, RandomJoe, since OutBack Support was incapable of doing so...

Don't waste any time or money on the MATE3 USB card, unless you want to run it on an old legacy PC. [-X It requires a driver that is not supported by Windows 10. {CORRECTION - see below!}


Meanwhile, the latest MATE3 Firmware (003.015.005 - May 2017) says "Removed extraneous data from network data stream." This was a problem that I brought to their attention in September 2016, introduced by 3.15.1 (or 3.15.0). A few firmware versions have passed, and this has finally been fixed.

So why have they fixed something that they no longer support?? I hope this indicates that the OutBack Support person was NOT sharing any official aboutface on supported protocols, but who knows? :^o

I will run some tests on 3.15.5 and report back.
Last edited by intellact on Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:39 pm

The update on my findings with 003.015.005 may be found in a new thread.
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:24 pm

RandomJoe wrote:It still resets the network port regularly if OpticsRE is disabled, and it still doesn't show the inverter (port 1) on the data streamer.
Okay, meanwhile, RandomJoe, let's see if we can get your problems sorted.

The regular dropping of the Network Data Stream sounds like the problem that was in earlier firmware. If you have indeed updated to 003.015.005, I would double-check that. Remember, an update means more than just putting the new files on the SD card and pressing Update. I would do that at least twice, unplugging the MATE3 and repowering it after each attempt.

You might also try putting your inverter into port 2 on your HUB and the charge controller into port 3. That should tell you: Is the problem port-specific or device-specific?
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

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SEYLIONE
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems... USB port

Post by SEYLIONE » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:48 am

Hi Folks,
Didnt read all the posts on this thread, too long and I already have a headache with OB.

Question: anyone has found a way to make the USB car USB driver work with Windows 10?
I tried:
OB who answers: It works it is your system that doesnt! (Thanks! very helpfull indeed)
Microchip Technology, Inc. for the MCP2200 Driver INF File: No Answer!
MS about Compatibility: No way

I badly need some solution: Mate3 Ethernet cat5 cable not always seen by Mate3 (look at
lsdx.eu/GPV_ZSDX which is fed by my local script which runs once an hour.
Mate3 is rebooted once an hour too

AXS port was sent unregistered and lost/stolen

Thanks from the southern french Alps
Lionel

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:52 am

Hi Lionel:

I've never encountered anyone who has gotten that USB driver to work under Windows 10. :sad: I suggest two solutions:

1. Try to find a pre-Windows 10 PC. (Not easy, but hey, I'm still running my Windows XP box for a good reason! :wink: Okay, I also have Windows 10...)

OR

2. Go with a Modbus link to your MATE3 or AXS. It took some doing and a few firmware revisions, but there is also a good reason that WattPlot 6 is now based exclusively on Modbus technology. It runs over CAT5 and doesn't have the same issues that your current protocol has. :smile:

If you need the software, why not join the small but dedicated team of testers for WattPlot ACKcess? If you make a contribution to getting the product ready, there will be rewards aplenty in the software department... :wink:
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:16 am

intellact wrote:I've never encountered anyone who has gotten that USB driver to work under Windows 10.
This is some information that I have shared in a number of posts on this Forum. It was based on numerous field reports from over a year ago.

Now I have a (slightly embarrassing :oops: ) update...

Thanks to an excellent WattPlot tester in Greece, we have established that while it is true: the driver does not work under Windows 10 - the USB Card DOES work with Windows 10! (Just ignore the special driver from OutBack! #-o )

Sadly, I don't know if OutBack still sells the USB Card option. They have this habit of late in focussing everything on OPTICSre and dropping all other communication options for people who <gasp> don't have a robust internet connection :eek: (imagine that in an off-grid industry), or who don't like the idea of their system being potentially hacked or having every detail of their personal energy usage being gathered by a server in Washington state. :-"

The bottom line is that I apologize for having shared potentially misleading information. I will redirect the other posts to this one. I will also be removing the warning in the WattPlot software so that the USB option is once again available under Windows 10. :smile:
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by raysun » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:36 am

I'd like to know how he got it working. I was using the USB card with Windows 2012 server, but couldn't get the driver reinstalled after a system reinstall.

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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by intellact » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:11 am

raysun wrote:...but couldn't get the driver reinstalled after a system reinstall.
Read my post again. :wink: You don't NEED the driver. Ignore it. Do not attempt to reinstall it. Just connect the MATE3 USB cable into a USB port and use it.

(At least, that's what I did, and it worked on my Windows 10 platform.) :smile:
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Re: Mate 3 LAN comm problems...

Post by raysun » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:16 am

Yea. That doesn't work on Windows 2012 R2. Maybe I'll try a Win 10 machine.

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