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Axpert MKS II firmware upgrade


Riff-Raf
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I am new to this fantastic forum and having recenlty upgraded my years' old solar installation to a more intelligent system, I decided to join to get insights from fellow solar junkies and am seriously impressed by the generous sharing of information here. Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but I was unable to find a related thread on this forum.

I have the Axpert MKS II (5kW) inverter  (Mecer brand). This is the one which can take PV voltage up to 450v, thus allowing thinner cables between PV and Inverter. So ... I decided to do a firmware upgrede to the Patched 73.00c found here http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=67551#p67551 in order to better tune the voltage ranges for my Li batteries. The upgrade process wen well and exactly as per the instructions. Took about 8 minutes and then all finished as planned.

However, when the inverter starts up, the buzzer goes bezzerk and immediately goes to Error 02 (temperature warning) and switches off within 10 seconds. If I quickly scroll to see the firmware version, the correct (new) firmware appears. Also, a new display shows a temperature of 112 deg C, even though not in use, before swithcing off.

Anyone attempted to upgrade the MKS II firmware? Anyone else having a similar issue? My challange is that there is very limited online reference to the MKS II model so I also assumed (probably part of my problem) that the firmware is pretty much standard across the family of 5kW Axpert inverters PIP-5048MS (the MKS II seems to be PIP-5048MG). Is this completely different, are the internals so different that the firmware does not manage the temperature measurement the same way?

My challange is that due to the immediate shut-down, It is now pretty much impossible to revert to the stock firmware.

Any suggesions will be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Riff-Raf
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4 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

I have the Axpert MKS II (5kW) inverter  (Mecer brand). This is the one which can take PV voltage up to 450v, thus allowing thinner cables between PV and Inverter. So ... I decided to do a firmware upgrede to the Patched 73.00c found here http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=67551#p67551 in order to better tune the voltage ranges for my Li batteries. The upgrade process wen well and exactly as per the instructions. Took about 8 minutes and then all finished as planned.

Eek! I'm shocked that it let you do that. Usually, when firmwares are different like that, they arrange things so that a firmware update won't start, so you can't overwrite with unsuitable firmware. It does say on the patched firmware download page:

Note: This firmware is only suitable for the 48 V models with a single low-voltage MPPT and a power factor of 0.8 (4 kW / 5 kVA), not those with dual or triple MPPTs or a power factor of 1.0 (5 kW / 5 kVA), and not those with a maximum PV array open circuit voltage greater than 145 V DC.

 

4 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

However, when the inverter starts up, the buzzer goes bezzerk and immediately goes to Error 02 (temperature warning) and switches off within 10 seconds. If I quickly scroll to see the firmware version, the correct (new) firmware appears. Also, a new display shows a temperature of 112 deg C, even though not in use, before swithcing off.

I was wondering about the compatibility of the firmwares. Now we all know, but at what a cost.

4 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

I also assumed (probably part of my problem) that the firmware is pretty much standard across the family of 5kW Axpert inverters PIP-5048MS (the MKS II seems to be PIP-5048MG). Is this completely different, are the internals so different that the firmware does not manage the temperature measurement the same way?

It sure looks like there are significant differences. It looks like they've juggled the ADC (Analogue to Digital Converter) ports around, or changed the scaling on that temperature sensor.

4 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

My challenge is that due to the immediate shut-down, It is now pretty much impossible to revert to the stock firmware.

Actually, I suspect that your biggest problem is that you don't have stock firmware suitable for this machine. You can probably flash factory standard 73.00 over the top of the patched firmware, perhaps by juggling the timing as mentioned in this post:

http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter&p=59897&t=4332#p59897

I hope that you have pre-charge installed so that you can comfortably apply battery power multiple times with the right timing.

The advantage of that is that you can then go back to your supplier, and tell them you've done something unwise, and thought that 73.00 was an upgrade from what you had. (What firmware version was it before the update, as a point of interest?) You'll need to supply your serial number from the sticker on the side, so they know you bought from them, and don't have cloned hardware. It will take some time, but hopefully, they will send you a file with the firmware suitable for 450 V models. I don't have any such firmwares, unfortunately, and I've not seen any on any web pages for downloading.

I'm sorry you've gotten into this situation.

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Thanks for your reply. I agree, it is quite a mess. I have searched the net for suitable stock or compatible firmware, but without success. I was also pretty sure that the upgrade wouldn't work if there was a firmware mismatch, but the process was smooth and flowed exactly like the proocess outlined so I was quite pleased with the outcome... until I switched the imverter on again.

I saw the 'bricked' post and will try the timed recovery steps as soon as I find the right firmware. But this is proving to be a challange. I should try doing this in a freezer to compensate for the Temp scaling difference and fool the thermocouple (3 I beleive) that it is overreacting.

All this just to try squeeze extra 2v range from my Li (15s) batteries. My battery min low voltage is at 40.5v, the inverter only goes down to 44v min for low volt back to utility cut-off.

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14 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

I should try doing this in a freezer to compensate for the Temp scaling difference and fool the thermocouple (3 I beleive) that it is overreacting.

This is a complete shot in the dark... but... sometimes when we test overtemperature alarms with the Multiplus, we do it by unplugging the temperature sensor, which in this case causes a high reading. By either unplugging it or shorting it, or installing a suitable resistance (or variable resistor) you could perhaps fake a temperature cold enough to avoid the shutdown. As I said... just a wild guess.

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5 hours ago, plonkster said:

This is a complete shot in the dark... but... sometimes when we test overtemperature alarms with the Multiplus, we do it by unplugging the temperature sensor, which in this case causes a high reading. By either unplugging it or shorting it, or installing a suitable resistance (or variable resistor) you could perhaps fake a temperature cold enough to avoid the shutdown. As I said... just a wild guess.

Thanks for the advice, but have tried that already. I opened it up yesterday and unplugged the 3 sensors (thermocouples), but same result. I think the issue is that the sensors don't register at all with this firmware rather than provide an incorrect value.

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On 2018/11/20 at 7:55 PM, Riff-Raf said:

Also, a new display shows a temperature of 112 deg C, even though not in use, before switching off.

It's possible that you can gain more time by changing setting 07 (auto restart when over temperature occurs) to "tre" (enabled). Since you only have about 10 seconds to do this before it turns off, you could perhaps use WatchPower or ICC to make this setting change.

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2 hours ago, Coulomb said:

It's possible that you can gain more time by changing setting 07 (auto restart when over temperature occurs) to "tre" (enabled). Since you only have about 10 seconds to do this before it turns off, you could perhaps use WatchPower or ICC to make this setting change.

Also tried that, no difference. I have also disabled alarm (18). It looks like the error just blocks everything.

I have also diconnected the Control bBoard from the main board, but no difference. Not sure where the control board gets it's power from., but looks line it comes from the main switch (48v) to the comms board then to the control board.

Edited by Riff-Raf
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3 hours ago, Javi Martínez said:

Did you measure the Ohm value of the sensors?

We have the typical values of those measurement in other Axperts. May be we could think about something...

The thermocouples are 12.5k each. Measured the 3 I can find, 2 on the big heatsinks (mosfets or power transistors, I think) and one somewhere inbetween. What are the typical resistance values in the standard MKS units? Maybe I can fool the processor by inserting resitors in place of the sensors.

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I am still persevering... I have the correct firmware now (I think) for the HV, 1.0 PF, 64v unit which I found here http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=70004#p70004, thanks to Jaco.

Tried a lot of things:

Tried the recovery options in 'Bricked' post http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter&p=59897&t=4332#p59897, no luck...

Disconnected the temp sensors, same noises...

Isolated the control board, nothing...

Changed port numbers and baud rates... Used the same cable and port setting that got me into this mess in the first place using an old laptop with a RS232 serial port...

Tried the above over and over, expecting different results (I think this is the exact definition for 'insanity'). BTW, I am an engineer, but the completely wrong kind (mining) and am trained to blow things up, so this is all way above my current pay grade.

Next step is to buy a new control board with the stock firmware. NEVER GIVE UP!

 

Edited by Riff-Raf
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10 minutes ago, Javi Martínez said:

Typical values are 16-18 K on ambient temperature.

Thanks. This only adds to the challange as these are higher than mine. So if I increase my resistance, then the unit will think it's even hotter (higher temp normally increases ohms?.. I vaguely recall from a decades old electronics class).

Worth a try?

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On 2018/11/22 at 3:10 AM, Riff-Raf said:

I am still persevering... I have the correct firmware now (I think) for the HV, 1.0 PF, 64v unit which I found here http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=70004#p70004,

Sorry, I know that firmware, and it's from a machine that did NOT have a high voltage SCC. We view this firmware and the model it works with as an upgrade path from 4 kW models, which we suspect will soon be difficult to obtain. However, it looks like it will not be possible to parallel old and new models, and is certainly impossible now.

The warnings somehow didn't include mention of the high voltage SCC. That's changed now.

Quote

Next step is to buy a new control board with the stock firmware. NEVER GIVE UP!

It looks like the only option left, sadly. Send your serial number (under the barcode) with the email, and be very clear about what you want, possibly with a model number from the control board (something like 16-5005XX-0XG, which might be for the bare PCB, or A500... from a barcode on the control board). Each email may take 24 hours. The board will likely take many weeks to arrive.

[ Edit: Changed very poorly worded statement about why the high voltage SCC warning wasn't there. ]

Edited by Coulomb
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12 hours ago, Riff-Raf said:

Thanks. This only adds to the challange as these are higher than mine. So if I increase my resistance, then the unit will think it's even hotter (higher temp normally increases ohms?.. I vaguely recall from a decades old electronics class).

Worth a try?

I have used 18K resistors to replace the sensors (all 3) but no change. In fact I think these are not even read as the temp display remains at an exact 112 deg C. This would imply that it shows some default / fallback value (112) irrespective of the sensor probably due to the firmware not being suitable to process that data.

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6 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Sorry, I know that firmware, and it's from a machine that did NOT have a high voltage SCC. We view this firmware and the model it works with as an upgrade path from 4 kW models, which we suspect will soon be difficult to obtain. However, it looks like it will not be possible to parallel old and new models, and is certainly impossible now.

We were unsure at the time whether the high voltage SCC would make a difference, so the warning didn't include mention of the high voltage SCC. I've changed that now.

It looks like the only option left, sadly. Send your serial number (under the barcode) with the email, and be very clear about what you want, possibly with a model number from the control board (something like 16-5005XX-0XG, which might be for the bare PCB, or A500... from a barcode on the control board). Each email may take 24 hours. The board will likely take many weeks to arrive.

Sadly, yes. Luckily i have a second inverter.

Just to confirm then... Is the firmware http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=70004#p70004 also NOT SUITABLE for my inverter?

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1 hour ago, Riff-Raf said:

Sadly, yes. Luckily i have a second inverter.

Just to confirm then... Is the firmware http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=70004#p70004 also NOT SUITABLE for my inverter?

Confirmed: it is not suitable for your inverter, or any other with the 450 V SCC.

As a point of interest, do you recall or have stored somewhere what the original firmware revision was? I'm guessing it would have to have been a 71.XX.

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6 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Confirmed: it is not suitable for your inverter, or any other with the 450 V SCC.

As a point of interest, do you recall or have stored somewhere what the original firmware revision was? I'm guessing it would have to have been a 71.XX.

Firstly, thank you for the continued follow-up and interest. I appreciate the support.

Yes, I asked a buddy of mine who has the same inverter to send me a pic of his stock version. It is 71.40. If you have any idea where I can source this, then I can try to load this version back to revive my inverter before I try to buy a new control board. I have also attached pics of the control board for reference.

Mecer Inverter.jpg

20181122_171532.jpg

20181122_171528.jpg

20181122_171517.jpg

20181122_171506.jpg

20181122_171551.jpg

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I said earlier, with respect to the 72.20 patched firmware for inverters with PF1.0 and the 64 V option:

Quote

We were unsure at the time whether the high voltage SCC would make a difference, so the warning didn't include mention of the high voltage SCC.

That reads as if we were happy to let users find out for themselves whether this was suitable for high voltage SCCs or not. That is certainly not the case. Neither Weber or I can figure out why the warning was missing, but it was intended to be there. I'm really sorry that this could possibly cause any problems. Fortunately, the update commands are incompatible between 64 V models and the more common 58.4 V models, so this would have prevented most problem such as the one that this topic refers to.

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  • 6 months later...
On 2018/11/20 at 11:55 AM, Riff-Raf said:

I am new to this fantastic forum and having recenlty upgraded my years' old solar installation to a more intelligent system, I decided to join to get insights from fellow solar junkies and am seriously impressed by the generous sharing of information here. Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but I was unable to find a related thread on this forum.

I have the Axpert MKS II (5kW) inverter  (Mecer brand). This is the one which can take PV voltage up to 450v, thus allowing thinner cables between PV and Inverter. So ... I decided to do a firmware upgrede to the Patched 73.00c found here http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=67551#p67551 in order to better tune the voltage ranges for my Li batteries. The upgrade process wen well and exactly as per the instructions. Took about 8 minutes and then all finished as planned.

However, when the inverter starts up, the buzzer goes bezzerk and immediately goes to Error 02 (temperature warning) and switches off within 10 seconds. If I quickly scroll to see the firmware version, the correct (new) firmware appears. Also, a new display shows a temperature of 112 deg C, even though not in use, before swithcing off.

Anyone attempted to upgrade the MKS II firmware? Anyone else having a similar issue? My challange is that there is very limited online reference to the MKS II model so I also assumed (probably part of my problem) that the firmware is pretty much standard across the family of 5kW Axpert inverters PIP-5048MS (the MKS II seems to be PIP-5048MG). Is this completely different, are the internals so different that the firmware does not manage the temperature measurement the same way?

My challange is that due to the immediate shut-down, It is now pretty much impossible to revert to the stock firmware.

Any suggesions will be greatly appreciated.

Hi @Riff-Raf,

I also made the mistake to update my Axpert MKS II inverter firmware to the 72.70b patched version as my VRLA batteries were not fully charged due to the charging bug I figured that is fixed in the patched firmware.  However I'm now in the same situation you were after the update with the same inverter behavior explained in your post as above.  My stock firmware version was 71.50 before the update.

How did you end up fixing this problem if you did manage to get it fixed?  I can't see any further posts in this regard.

I will probably get in contact with Mustek to get the stock firmware as that is where I bought the unit from about a month ago, but that might take some time, so if you got the firmware from them in the past and are willing to provide it, it might save some time to get the inverter up and running again.

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  • 1 year later...
54 minutes ago, Dirkie said:

Hi everyone I would like to know if there is a patch firmware for this inverter I posted the sticker on the side the firmware on the inverter is the 71.80 version 

D87293FC-5EB6-4997-A0CA-04D32768012B.jpeg

After my initial upgrade issue and Mustek generously replacing the control board under warranty, I frankly don't have the guts to do any upgrades. Also changed to Lithium batteries, so the inverter works perfectly with the original firmware.

Would be good to know if there is a new firmware though.

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40 minutes ago, Riff-Raf said:

Would be good to know if there is a new firmware though.

I've not seen any factory firmware since 71.80 for the Axpert MKS II. There is a complete new model, possibly to be called the Axpert MKS III, with the new display and BMS firmware.

There is very lightly patched firmware based on 71.80, patched firmware version 71.80a. It only fixes the two premature float bugs.

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Hi guys

I am also new to this forum and really appreciate all the valuable input. Me too have an older MKS 2 with 71.70 firmware and now purchased a second unit with 71.80 firmware. Do I understand correct if I say those two units can be paralleled without changing firmware? My knowledge and abilities regarding software is very limited. I will need a lot of guidance if I have to change my firmware.

Thanks

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