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Author Topic: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller  (Read 184165 times)

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #120 on: June 03, 2011, 10:14:34 am »
that is a bug in vera. all of my circuits report on when circuit 1 is on.

Offline dkeefe

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Antenna experiments
« Reply #121 on: June 08, 2011, 11:00:47 am »
My only real complaint about the multiwave system is the poor range and spotty coverage, so I set out to try to improve it. One solution is to remote mount the zwave transceiver (located inside the top cover), and intermatic should be commended for giving you this option. However, I think there is an easier way.

If you remove the top cover and look inside it, you will see the antenna wire is bent so runs along the top of the cover, placing the antenna in a horizontal orientation. This is probably the worst orientation for this type of antenna.

I removed the board from the cover, carefully straightened out the antenna wire and reinstalled the board so the antenna was now sticking straight up. This simple adjustment GREATLY improved the range and nearly eliminated the "dead spots". Woohoo!

Obviously the cover will no longer fit with the ~3" antenna sticking straight up, so I'm in the process of modifying the cover to accommodate this change. One easy solution would be to drill a hole in the cover above the antenna connection point on the board so the antenna can pass through the cover. You can then seal the cover (and probably the top of the antenna wire too) with some silicon rtv or similar. Simple, but not very pretty.

I'm thinking of trying to attach a tube to the cover for a more finished look. This might not work depending on the location of where the hole needs to be. I still need to research this option more.

Going forward, an easy change for intermatic would be to redesign the cover to allow the antenna to stick straight up. Another suggestion I have would be to conformal coat the zwave transceiver board. Mine isn't coated, however I believe the main multiwave board is. For me, living a block from the ocean means this board will only last about 2 years, if I'm lucky. :(

For those who wish to remote mount the antenna, make sure you mount it so the long side is vertical, not horizontal, otherwise you probably won't improve the coverage.

I'll post an update with some pictures after I figure out a final solution.

Offline mcoulter

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #122 on: June 09, 2011, 06:13:17 pm »
dkeefe,
great effort on your part. That is all very interesting.  That means that I really might not have to make long runs for some of my installs but first try mounting the antenna nearby with a short cat5 cable.

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #123 on: June 20, 2011, 08:23:02 am »
I got to experiment some more with the antenna this weekend.

Unfortunately the antenna mounting point is under the curved part of the cover so there is no easy way to mount a tube to it.  You could drill a hole and use some silicone to make it water resistant, but I didn't want to do that.

:(

I ended up remote mounting the antenna and it seems to work just as well as the straightened antenna wire.

Oh well.

Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #124 on: July 19, 2011, 11:42:43 am »
I made a few adjustments to the controller this past weekend. I installed an Elk 9200 high amp relay to the #2 switch position to provide power supply control to the heat pump. That is working wonderfully now. I replaced the Intermatic metal box with the Elk box to make a cleaner installation. 

I also relocated the antenna remotely about 5 feet away from the controller and oriented vertically. I went from 1 neighbor to a handful. Much improved communication, with no missed control requests so far.

I do have the handheld controller programmed with a minimum run time each day in case remote control fails.

I just noticed that UI4 shows the heater circuit (#5) as on whenever the pool water temperature is below my setpoint. Not sure if that is new or not as I just changed the setpoint. I found that remote setpoint was being lost every time I closed UI4, and with the heat pump relay now under remote control felt confident in leaving it at a higher setpoint. I am still hopeful that MCV and Intermatic will make some of the variables visible and adjustable in UI5. Things like pool/spa temp and ambient temp. Providing a thermostat like functionality would be great

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #125 on: July 19, 2011, 12:12:54 pm »
great!

I can't control the temp setpoint with vera. I have given up. They need to fix it.

You can ignore the on/off status too. It doesn't work correctly. They need to fix that, too.

If you haven't filed a bug report about these issues, please do.

Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #126 on: July 19, 2011, 12:43:19 pm »
I placed a bug report/feature request a while back on those. I have not tried to change the setpoint remotely since I did the work this past weekend. It was because I could not set it remotely that I used the pool handheld remote to set the setpoint at a normal heating point (85F). It has now stayed at that level since.

The heater control indicator (#5), which was never accurate before now seems to be accurate and in synch with the hand held remotes "heating" indicator. I ran the pool heater through a cycle Saturday and watched the two operate in synch. It operates even when the pool heat pump is not on (it is an independent function anyway).

I do have a strange issue that I feel is Intermatic and not MCV. That is switch 4 is programmed in the handheld remote and I was unable to delete or change it. Strange. I have nothing connected to #4 so it is a non issue now.

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #127 on: July 19, 2011, 12:57:46 pm »
what do you mean "switch 4 is programmed in the remote?"

circuit 4 is used for the pool/spa valce control. do you have teh system set for pool and spa or just pool only?

Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #128 on: July 19, 2011, 01:04:44 pm »
Circuit 4 for my controller is empty. It could be used for any number of things such as a pool/spa valve controller.

I have noticed circuit 4 coming on like clockwork. So when I was there I paged through the handheld remotes control settings. In the control screens it shows circuit 4 scheduled (I never put that in). When I tried to delete the schedule it would return automatically. Starnge.  I have the following circuits controlled:

1 - single speed 220 v pool pump
2 - 110 v relay control for 220 v 50 amp heat pump relay
3 - pool lighting
4 - empty
5 - heat pump temperature control (low voltage wiring direct to heat pump)

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #129 on: July 19, 2011, 01:12:57 pm »
weird.

you can try resetting the system back to the defaults.

what fw are you running on the multiwave?

Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #130 on: July 19, 2011, 01:30:35 pm »
No idea on the multiwave level.

I will not try any resets remotely, as it is working now. It was purchased new last November. As to the handheld I use it very seldom, and only as a back-up to vera. My confidence in the multiwave and Vera control of it is increasing now, especially with improved communication. One thing that does bother me is that to get updates on pool temp I need to close UI4 and reopen it. Polling the multiwave is always unsuccessful (not sure why).

I wish I had the ambient temp available (not able to find it anywhere via UI4). Without it I am relient on the multiwave freeze mode to start the pump anytime the ambient temp drops near freezing.

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #131 on: July 19, 2011, 01:39:54 pm »
if you enter the setup on the remote, the firmware version is displayed in the upper right hand corner of the screen. it is probably 30 or 31.

I've tested the freeze operation and it works perfectly. I'm more inclined to trust the operation of the multiwave over vera for proper operation of my pool.


Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #132 on: July 23, 2011, 06:06:17 pm »
After a week of observation I am now convinced the pool heater control (circuit 5) is properly monitoring the water temp and coming on, with the UI4 indicator, when it is sending a pool heater on command to the pool heater (really just bridging the wires for the remote circuit). That is good as I will feel more confident just turing on the pool heater power relay (circuit 2 on my controller) automatically when I have a guest paying for pool heat.

I would like to keep track of the on time or energy usage. Unfortunately the pool system is not on my main panel and as such I cannot monitor its energy usage with the whole house monitor. Is there a way to show the energy usage for circuit 2 or circuit 5 (both have energy use shown in their setup) only when both are on?

Offline dkeefe

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #133 on: July 25, 2011, 07:54:09 am »
not that I am aware of. I haven't spent much time looking into power consumption, though.


Offline Minnies

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Re: NEW MultiWave Pool Controller
« Reply #134 on: July 25, 2011, 08:15:34 am »
I should add that I relocated the antenna and added a few electrical outlets close by. It now has 5 neighbors and no longer has had any communication faults. I think the antenna is it's biggest weakness.