MATE3 / OpticsRE

Discussion about the OutBack OpticsRE system monitor

Moderators: OutBack, OutBack Moderator Team

Post Reply
solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:28 pm

Hi all,

I have a new system with a FM80 and MATE3, 1500w of panels (so far - I have another 1500w ready to mount), and a 600ah battery bank at 48v. I am using it at the moment to run a heat/ac mini split unit for the house and hope to expand it to cover just about everything else.

My MATE3 is working fine, and I can connect to it with my PC and view the status pages, however I cannot for the life of me get Opticsre working. I emailed tech support and they told me to reinstall the firmware again, wait a while, and then plug in the network cable and try it again. I have tried every possible variation of that now, including dropping back several versions of the firmware and trying each one. Nothing. The only thing I can think of that might be an issue is the fact that I have dish internet. It's not quick. Well, the speed isn't bad, but the latency is. But surely with all the off grid folks out there I can't be the only one ?

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I am about to put it in the box and send it back and ask for a new one.

I am a network engineer for a living. This really should be pretty simple. None of my other devices are having any problems. ????

Thanks

Drew

User avatar
Sandra Herrera
OutBack Management
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:54 am
Location: Arlington, Washington

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by Sandra Herrera » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:22 am

Hello, Drew.
A few comments:
1. If you are not using an Outback HUB donÔÇÖt run firmware version 3.11, if connected directly to FM80 best is from 3.5 to 3.9
2. Since you call tech support, I am assuming you have OpticsRE and DHCP enable on the MATE3
3. Check the CAT5 cable from the MATE3 to the internet router, we have seen connectivity issues with very long cables
4. Are you going directly from the MATE3 to the internet router
Sandra Herrera
Applications Engineering


OutBack Power Technologies

solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:32 am

I tried 3.9 with the same symtoms. 3.5 does not seem to be available on the website any more.

Yes, I made sure that Opticsre was enabled and that DHCP was enabled as well. I also tried a static IP address.

I think my cable is 10' or so at this point. When I was first setting it up and testing it was sitting next to the router and I used a very short cable. It didn't work then either.

Yes, I am going straight to the router, and not using wireless. I planned to go wireless after it was up and running so that I could do away with the cable running in the house.

My next plan was to get the hub and also the battery monitor, and then in a month or two to get an inverter as well. I am unsure whether to invest any more money at this point if I cant get something so simple to work properly!

Thanks

Drew

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by JRHill » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:17 pm

solosailor wrote: I have dish internet. It's not quick
That's not the problem - at least not the one you're having. I have DishNet too. The cable to the hub is a 50' cat 5. My mate 3 works, except for the loss of the connection a few times a day that so many others are having too. Seems you are going to find it's something simple or the possibility that there is a problem with the Mate 3.

Best,
Jim

thestosh
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by thestosh » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:30 pm

I'm having this problem now too. Did you get it resolved?
I had it working previously and then changed routers and it won't work. I have tried changing IP addresses, static/dhcp, enable/disable opticsre, many reboots, full factory settings restore and then reconfigure everything.
No luck. I can pink it on my network and browse to its local webpage, but OpticsRe still shows it as offline.
I'm wondering if the new router with Verizon internet is the issue. I haven't had a chance to reconnect to old router yet. Install is in an RV and I'm traveling.

I have observed that the Ethernet seems really flaky on the Mate3. Sometimes it takes several minutes to show up on the network after reboot. Sometimes the internal webpage works, other times not. Sometimes it will be on the network for awhile and then just disappear even though it still has link lights.

I'm pretty frustrated as well. In this day and age of the Internet of Things (IoT), things like this should be a no brainer task.
It was easier to connect my 4 year old wireless thermostat to the internet back in 2012.

solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:53 pm

No, no luck for me here. I have tried everything. The response from outback was maybe the next firmware update will fix it. They don't seem to be in a hurry to get it out though. Its pretty disappointing as that was the only reason I bought it, and it is ridiculously expensive. I am getting ready to purchase an inverter as well, and if this is not resolved before I do I will not pay the premium for the Outback inverter and hub.

Drew

thestosh
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by thestosh » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:37 pm

I tried reflashing firmware with no luck.
Another thread suggested that it might not do well on gig Ethernet ports. I don't remember if my old router was 10/100 or 10/100/1000.

I'm at Outback headquarters this week attending their installer training, so I'll as around.

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by JRHill » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:31 pm

thestosh wrote:I'm at Outback headquarters this week
The other curious thing is that there are periods when the connection to OpticsRE is fine for several days. Then there are times where I lose the connection several times a day. There is NO variation in my connection - I work from home and am internet based. The connection is good and reliable. :-k

Jim

thestosh
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by thestosh » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:48 pm

Well being onsite with Outback Power has made this troubleshooting feel a lot more productive. Folks are very willing to help. So far no luck solving the problem, though.
I am also working with my router manufacturer to see if they can figure it out.

Here is a list of things I have tried due to the recommendation of one or the other companies. You may have success with one of them.
Backup Mate3 config and then factory reset it. Reflash the firmware. Try to see if it can at least connect to OpticsRE before trying to configure it.
Back flash firmware to 003.009.000 even though it shipped and worked previously with the latest version.
Confirm you are using a 10.3 hub.
Disable DHCP on Mate3 and static the ip address and other ip settings. Also changed to an address that is not in the range of the DHCP assignments on your router.
Of course reboot Mate 3 after changes to ensure they "take" and are working. It can take 10 minutes after booting before it really gets the network interface up and running.
You can open a command window (DOS) and type ping -t 192.168.1.54 to see when it drops and comes back. Substitute your Mate3 ip address.
You may need to have the computer on the wired connection to do this. Most routers won't let you interact between wired and wireless.
Another test to see your level of Mate3 network functionality is to open a web browser and type its address. example http://192.168.1.54 or http://192.168.1.54:8080 if you changed the http port to 8080 or something else.

Backed up router config and factory reset it.
Reflashed router firmware to same latest version.
Set network port to 100m full duplex (reboot Mate 3 after each attempt)
Tried 100 half
10 full
10 half
Auto (defaults to gig)

I was able to do some packet captures on my network capturing all traffic as it goes by. This was insightful.
Here is one summary line
8 21.832563 AlphaTec_e0:42:4c Broadcast ARP 60 Who has 192.168.1.1? Tell 192.168.1.54

This is not my area of expertise, but I'm guessing this is the Mate3 asking the router (gateway) to give it a physical address to communicate with.
The router never responds.
When my laptop makes the same request, the router responds immediately with its mac address.
3421 226.087450 BizlinkK_0c:80:34 Broadcast ARP 42 Who has 192.168.1.1? Tell 192.168.1.22
3424 226.089692 PepwaveL_f9:d4:a4 BizlinkK_0c:80:34 ARP 56 192.168.1.1 is at 00:1a:dd:f9:d4:a4

This is telling me that the Mate3 is never making it to the internet. It is on the lan fine, but cannot play well with the router (gateway to the internet) to get to the wan.
Based on how flaky the Mate3 manages its network card, I would not be surprised if it is not following standard network protocols and my older router was just more tolerant than the new router. It could be the router as well, but all my computers and phones are able to get to the internet on the new router just fine.

I will continue to work with the two manufacturers and see what we come up with. I'll update this thread.

timmartin
Forum Guru
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:31 am
My RE system: ...
Sharp 120W Panels (12)
SunPerfect 230W Panels (9)
Whisper 100 Wind Turbine
Outback FM60 charge controller
Outback FM80 charge controller
Outback VFX3648 inverter/chargers (2)
Outback FlexNet DC
CALB CA400 LiFePO4 3.2V batteries
(32 cells paired together, 1 string = 51.2V 800Ah)

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by timmartin » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:23 am

From what you just showed, it looks like the Mate3 is requesting the MAC address of the router so that it can communicate with it over ethernet. The router never responds, so the mate is not able to network with the router specifically. ARP is a system that allows IP networking to happen over Ethernet. It maps IP addresses (which is how the applications reference the different devices on the network) to Ethernet (MAC) addresses (which is how the actual packets of data are routed and moved around the physical network).

I couldn't tell you why your router isn't responding to the ARP request though. In this case it looks more like a problem with the router though. Curious, what's the "subnet mask" set to on your router?

thestosh
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by thestosh » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:42 am

Right. The question of the hour is: Why does the router not respond?
Is the Mate3 not structuring the request properly, or is the router not processing it correctly.

I did look deeper into the packets and the Mate3 packet is a bit slimmer than the laptop, which has additional protocol looking info.
Subnet for all devices is 255.255.255.0 with no special setup.

thestosh
Forum Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:27 am
Contact:

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by thestosh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:42 pm

So I have temporarily resolved my issue by back flashing my router to a previous firmware version. I have sent packet captures to the router manufacturer to see if they can tell why their router does not like the Mate 3 arp broadcast requests for the gateway address. I'll update this thread with anything I found out in hopes that it helps others.

solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:22 pm

I just updated my firmware to 3.15 and surprise it connected to optics immediately. After all this time I was amazed that it worked. I tried multiple firmware versions and all kinds of monkeying around and NEVER got it to connect before. I could always access it locally.

We will see how it works now that I was able to actually create an account and configure my system. Keeping my fingers crossed!

solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:36 pm

Okay, so I thought all was well ... from the time I updated the MATE3 last night it seemed to be working great until just after noon today when it stopped updating OPTICSRE. Wen I got home about 6 I restarted the MATE and it said it connected again immediately. It updated briefly, and then seemed to stop again. What's the deal?!?

sodamo
Forum Czar
Posts: 768
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by sodamo » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:35 pm

Was looking forward to the 3.15 update, as I depart today, not to return until 4/25, I'll just leave as is until i return, hoping i can still monitor my system with 3.11 until then.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

solosailor
Forum Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:47 pm
My RE system: FM80, MATE3, 3kw solar panels on two custom trackers, 600AH battery bank @ 48VDC. 48V mini split heat/ac for the house. Inveter and Hub up next this spring.

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by solosailor » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:49 am

Well, once again it seemed to be working fine until sometime very early morning, and then stopped reporting again. I restarted the MATE again before work this morning and have now dropped the reboot time to 8 hours. Hopefully I will not have to go less than that! Question - if I set the reboot time to 8 hours is it 8 hours from when I make the change, or is it a specific time three times a day ??

User avatar
David LeBow
OutBack Management
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 10:42 am
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: MATE3 / OpticsRE

Post by David LeBow » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:36 am

News from the factory floor:

"if the previous auto reboot time was 4 hours.
If the change was made 3 hours after the last boot message to server, then the auto reboot time would be updated to 8 hours in 1 hour.
If the system is in a booted state when the auto reboot timer expires then auto reboot is ignored and the timer is reset to the current auto reboot interval."

Does that help?
David LeBow
Sr. Director, Software Engineering


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

Post Reply