Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

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SHunsader
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:54 pm
My RE system: Identically configured pair of Outback Skybox Systems each with 12 - LG 340 panels, and a Discovery 6.5kwh 48V battery, both running as Masters. External CT's, one using L1 CT input and the other using L2 CT input so as to help share load more evenly.
Location: SF Bay, California

Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by SHunsader »

Although I'm relatively new to this, I've spent quite a few hours to confirm the findings below. If anyone knows how I can contact an Outback software/firmware designer in regards to these issues, I'd be quite happy to contact them directly. Until then, I can at least post what I've found here, so that others might not have the same frustration when trying to upgrade to the latest firmware:

Configuration: I'm currently running a pair of Skyboxes, one configured as Master, the other a Slave. Both units have a 48v, 6.5kwh Discovery battery attached.

1. Even though upgrading the firmware multiple times, both devices still show that it is installed to version 1.5.11, the original firmware installation for these 2 units. This can be found on the System tab in the configuration menu (gear wheel to the far right). I'm logged in as the Installer, because I'm the one who did the programming for these units. System installer said that it wasn't in their installation agreement.

2. If paging further down in the system tab, it shows that the "Last Known Good" installation is version 1.5.23, the version I've installed multiple times. AND, if one decides to roll back (it's a choice in this menu), it WILL roll back to version 1.5.23, and even indicate so SOMETIMES. Other times, it continues to show the original installation firmware v 1.5.11.

3. Version 1.5.23 (latest) no longer has a page in the System tab which will allow one to "Restart Setup Wizard". After searching the entire menu structure, this option is not available on any other menu tab as well. In fact, this is what caused me to finally consider rolling back to the original firmware version, because I incorrectly selected the appropriate Use Method for both devices...chose something other than NetMetering on both devices, and could clearly see that solar would shut down when the batteries were once recharged, and never send power back to the grid.

4. Although I have NOT had the opportunity to test the original firmware completely*, there seems to be a situation where the master/slave relationship may not be working as expected. The master and slave appear to be 'fighting each other' in regards to handling loads. This means that, although it's not really possible for a toaster to create power, it appears that way when looking at the front console of both units, or through the online Optics application Outback makes available. One unit will appear to be receiving power from the Load, whilst the other will be adding a load equal in magnitude to offset this 'generated power'. Today at it's worst, the load was generating 1.5kw, while the other was pushing 1.7kw of power to equalize it. (there was a known 200w load, which hasn't changed in my test environment for 3 days now)

(*Firmware...A systems engineer typically will update firmware to the latest firmware BEFORE any other configuration procedures. It ensures that all other bug fixes have been resolved, and when contacting the mfgr regarding issues, they know the device is operating on the latest firmware)

5. Although suggested by others, Outback and Discover (very cool battery mfgr) have yet to iron out the communication link between the inverters and battery system. Thus, and open loop is the only way of using Discover batteries at this time (Open Loop: Connect batteries to Outback Skybox, input the Battery Make/Model in the Battery configuration (which will populate some battery capacity and voltage parameters), and you're all set. What doesn't happen is Discovery being able to tell Outback what the true battery level is, or whether it can/should charge faster or slower to optimize the charge of the system.

Hope this helps someone else out there trying to configure their system.

- Steve
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by Mike Curran »

Hi Steve - Here's what my firmware tab says about current running version:
Screenshot_20210216-083016.jpg
Are you saying yours has 1.5.11 instead of 1.5.23?
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
SHunsader
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:54 pm
My RE system: Identically configured pair of Outback Skybox Systems each with 12 - LG 340 panels, and a Discovery 6.5kwh 48V battery, both running as Masters. External CT's, one using L1 CT input and the other using L2 CT input so as to help share load more evenly.
Location: SF Bay, California

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by SHunsader »

Version.jpg
LastGood.jpg
Yes, here are the 2 screens. Both systems look identical. Funny that "Last Known Good" is newer than the supposed current version. And, I suspect this is the reason that I can continue to search for and download the same revision. Sounds like a 'variable' issue in the coding. I spent HOURS last Saturday trying different roll backs, installs, etc to get the 'real' latest version to show. I finally got to the original 1.5.11 by rolling back twice. All the effort because there isn't any documentation to show where one could start the wizard in the newest rev firmware. - Steve
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by Mike Curran »

What happens if you hit the "apply" button on the second, "firmware downloaded" screen? It sorta looks like you haven't installed it yet.
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
SHunsader
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:54 pm
My RE system: Identically configured pair of Outback Skybox Systems each with 12 - LG 340 panels, and a Discovery 6.5kwh 48V battery, both running as Masters. External CT's, one using L1 CT input and the other using L2 CT input so as to help share load more evenly.
Location: SF Bay, California

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by SHunsader »

"What happens if you hit the "apply" button on the second, "firmware downloaded" screen? It sorta looks like you haven't installed it yet."

Mike, I downloaded and applied at least 4 times for each device. (Used to run a server farm, and understand how software/firmware updates work). I've been trying to let someone know that it's a firmware 'bug' that should be addressed. How can "Last Known Good" be newer than what's currently running??? If I roll back, it'll show that 1.5.23 is installed, but how do I really know at that point what's installed, since I supposedly rolled back? If I roll back again, I get 1.5.11 again. BUT, I can try updating and installing 4 times in a row, rebooting in between, and still have V 1.5.11 showing? Do I need some type of credibility for someone to believe me? Google me. (Steve Hunsader - Awesome Technologies)
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by Mike Curran »

FWIW, here are my screens comparable to what you posted:
Screenshot_20210218-150520_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20210218-150604_Samsung Internet.jpg
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
SHunsader
Forum Whiz
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:54 pm
My RE system: Identically configured pair of Outback Skybox Systems each with 12 - LG 340 panels, and a Discovery 6.5kwh 48V battery, both running as Masters. External CT's, one using L1 CT input and the other using L2 CT input so as to help share load more evenly.
Location: SF Bay, California

Re: Latest Skybox firmware issues (V 1.5.23)

Post by SHunsader »

After contacting Outback support and speaking to an engineer, it turns out that my pair of Skyboxes did not have the "Secure Cert" added to the box, allowing the installation of new revisions of firmware. Now that these certs have been installed, I'm happy to say that I'm now running the latest version of software. There have been many improvements since the initial version, and many of the issues I was having have since gone away. - Steve
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