mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Generac generator Monitor for PI

Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:27 am

I have been thinking about building a custom monitoring system to tap in to my stand-by generator for diag stats, settings, etc.

This is a stand-by Generac 8K generator with an auto-transfer switch that senses power loss and switches power to generator. Generac sells a monitoring system at $300+ so I am looking for a DIY solution to save cash and to have fun!

The wireless monitor system that they sell connects to an 8-pin aux connection that looks like a typical CPU power connector but I'm not too familiar with that kind of stuff. My question is: If I was to connect this aux connection to the GPIO on the Pi, would it just be looking for 'on' or 'off' signals or is there more meaty data that I could expect to receive? Something like, 'system running' ...

There is a USB port that looks like it is for a thumbdrive to dump software updates or something to the generator. Not sure if I could get anything out of it.

Not sure if this is a long shot but thought I would put this out there. Here are some links to what I have:

generator:
http://www.generac.com/Residential/GuardianSeries/8kW/
harness for generac's mobile link monitor:
http://www.tylertool.com/generac-6478-m ... lt,pd.html

Thanks for your input!

matt

Norwall PowerSystems
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:13 pm
Location: Lake Havasu City
Contact: Website

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:18 pm

How is your project coming along? have you had any luck?

mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:36 pm

Norwall PowerSystems wrote:How is your project coming along? have you had any luck?
Have not moved forward since initial post. Still waiting for some input. Maybe come springtime, I'll venture further.

I guess since you sell these Generators, you would know if Generac keeps this info locked up or do you think a project like this would be possible?


mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:58 pm

Seems like a good start. I'll have a look.

Thanks!

bantaj
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 4:32 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:16 pm

I'm very interested to see how this project progresses.

Just got a 14kw generac and interested in similar monitoring capability without the monthly fees that come with mobile link.

mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:34 pm

I will definitely keep this post updated as I progress. the previous post had some interesting links. I think Generac has consistently updated these systems and has multiple models with different monitoring options and setups which makes it difficult to find any kind of standard connection.

I can see that it's some kind of 8 pin connection. I don't have too much experience with this stuff so it's all an experiment!

nomadlogo
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:06 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:14 am

There is group of us over at gardenweb interested in doing the same thing (create a web server monitor or similar for generac residential generators)... http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wi ... 988.html?9 we have some insight on the communication between the nexus or newer evolution and the mobile link (Serial port and likely modbus) and or other monitoring devices. Might be time to combine the efforts as I would be very interested in seeing something created for this, as I think others are as well. Pi and several of the other microcontroller test boards are great platforms for this.

Please keep us posted.

matt_m
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:50 pm

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:58 pm

I had a problem with my MobileLink out of the box and they sent an engineer out to my house to look into it. It is using the Modbus protocol but they don't have a standard between models. I was hoping to pry some more info out of him as I have a customer with two of the units we've talked about being nice to tie into their plant controls.

I found his thread because it appears my MobileLink has failed again. Need to call support on Monday but it's not even trying to communicate with the cell network. Very interested in this project.

mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:13 pm

nomadlogo wrote:There is group of us over at gardenweb interested in doing the same thing (create a web server monitor or similar for generac residential generators)... http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wi ... 988.html?9 we have some insight on the communication between the nexus or newer evolution and the mobile link (Serial port and likely modbus) and or other monitoring devices. Might be time to combine the efforts as I would be very interested in seeing something created for this, as I think others are as well. Pi and several of the other microcontroller test boards are great platforms for this.

Please keep us posted.
OK so today I withstood the 20 degree weather and went out to test some kind of connection with a UART to USB adapter.

I've never had ANY ANY ANY experience with this so please, bear with me and my ignorance.
I connected a single connector from the USB/UART receive to the generac 4x8 pin Aux connector. I logged the data to a few different files. Not sure if they mean nothing at all or anything, but I definitely got some info. I would like to spend more time testing different frequencies and other settings but for now, this is what I got. If anyone has a way to explain what this data means, I would appreciate it.

Here is a link to the files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0drmgmj0x8rbt ... adings.zip

Hope this helps,

matt

pyjamasam
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:09 pm

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:24 pm

Thanks for the files Matt.

The data in the files doesn't look like any kinda modbus traffic I have seen (but I could always be wrong).

What baudrate were you connected at? The data kinda looks like stuff captured at the wrong baud rate.

Also I'd be curious to see how you connected to the generator (the pinout/connectors and the adapters you used).

I just got a 11kw guardian unit installed and am interested in pulling the data from it.

I have a reasonably good understanding of Modbus but one of the first things we need to do is verify that it is indeed modbus (either the RTU or ASCII type) of the protocol.

I haven't been able to find much information about connecting to the controller or the pinout (which is why I am quite interested to see you connection setup).

chris.

mmoss82
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:18 pm

I tried a single pin alternating between each port, over 2400-230400 baudrates, each time getting a similarly illegible piece of data.

Total experimentation but seems like they work together somehow no?

paulctan
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:47 pm

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:50 pm

I know this may seem silly, but isn't all we need is a way to see if the light on the generator is green? Can't we just use either a webcam with a Raspberry Pi (or the Raspberry Pi camera), or just a simple color sensor built out of a few parts?

That way we would not even have to touch/hack into the Generac's internals.

jgyates
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:53 am

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:53 pm

Raspberry PI Generator Monitor for Generac Generators with Evolution or Nexus Controllers

https://github.com/jgyates/genmon

dandugan
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Re: Generac Pi Monitor

Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:12 pm

I just installed an 11 kw with an EVOLUTION CONTROLLER. It seems, the info here is for a Nexus controller. Has anyone any info for the evolution?

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