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Beyond frustrated with PTI StorLogix/Falcon XT Controller​​​​​​!!!

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  • Beyond frustrated with PTI StorLogix/Falcon XT Controller​​​​​​!!!

    First and foremost, if anyone has experienced this issue, PLEASE let me know! We've contacted PTI before, but all they tell us is "it must be something with your wiring." Really helpful...NOT! I am starting to get furious about this now as it's been going on for over a year and no one seems to be able to provide us a solution!

    At complete random, our LogixServer will just decide to go offline and then no one can get in or out of our facility. Sometimes simply rebooting the computer does the trick; other times I have to press the reset button on the Falcon XT board (the one near the top left) AND reboot the computer. In either case, it then takes StorLogix literally 5+ minutes to display the login window after I launch the program after rebooting the computer. In the meantime, no one can enter or exit using the keypads until we're able to log in to StorLogix and it "sends" the data to the controller. Please see the end of this post for screenshots of the "events" we see in StorLogix when this phenomenon happens.

    This random "offline" issue can happen as often as twice a week or as seldom as once a month. I can't see ANY common denominator among all the times it has happened. No lightning storm, no rain/snow, no extreme temperatures, no changes being made in the StorLogix program, nothing else connected to the same network is malfunctioning, etc.

    This is our wired network setup:
    Our Internet modem is connected to the internet port on our wireless router (ASUS AC1900)
    Our computer (the one with SiteLink and StorLogix installed on it) is connected to Port 1 on the wireless router
    Our POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch is connected to Port 2 on the wireless router
    Our NVR (Network Video Recorder) is connected to Port 3 on the wireless router
    Our Falcon XT board is connected to Port 4 on the wireless router

    I tried to connect the Falcon XT directly to the computer via USB (thinking maybe that would solve the issue), but I get the following error when I go to File > Change LogixServer Settings... > "It is connected to this computer with a USB cable" > Next:

    Capture.JPG

    It doesn't matter which USB port it's plugged into...same error message!

    Here are a couple screenshots of the activity messages within StorLogix when it goes offline (events are listed in order from newest to oldest). The "Unknown Code/Card Entered" are tenants trying to enter/exit at the keypads using their correct codes (but since the LogixServer is offline, it's not able to recognize the codes).

    02.JPG
    01.JPG

  • #2
    Remember the vigilante crowd that marched to Dr. Frankenstein's castle and were going to hang and burn the monster? That is what I would be doing to this company. Hell, I would even warn them that I am coming. I would use another movie quote for that, " You tell 'em I'm coming and hell's coming with me".

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    • #3
      So did you actually check your wiring from the controller to the keypads? I had this issue earlier this year and that is where my problem was. It seems you may be focused on the controllers connection to your computer and that is not where the problem is.

      If you haven't done it yet goto each keypad, and unscrew the wires from the terminals, if you have extra it won't hurt to clip the end and re strip it for a fresh connection. Then do the same thing at the controller. If that doesn't work then you may need to run new wire to the key pads.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RandyL View Post
        So did you actually check your wiring from the controller to the keypads? I had this issue earlier this year and that is where my problem was. It seems you may be focused on the controllers connection to your computer and that is not where the problem is.

        If you haven't done it yet goto each keypad, and unscrew the wires from the terminals, if you have extra it won't hurt to clip the end and re strip it for a fresh connection. Then do the same thing at the controller. If that doesn't work then you may need to run new wire to the key pads.
        We had a guy out here earlier this year that looked at the wiring and said everything was ok (I'm pretty sure he also re-stripped a few wires for good measure). But why the heck would a keypad cause the entire system to fail? That's ridiculous! If a keypad had bad wiring, then 1. I wouldn't expect it to work 95% of the time, and 2. I would expect that StorLogix would simply show that it had lost the connection with the keypad, not lost the connection with the entire controller.

        And trial and error is also a no-go. For example, what if we posit that it's something with the underground portion of the wiring going to the keypads. What are we to do, disconnect the keypads and keep the gate wide open for a couple months to verify that eliminates the issue or go ahead and spend lots of money for someone to dig up asphalt, replace wiring, and repave on just a whim that it might solve the issue? If this issue happened on a regular basis, it would be easy to test. The problem is it can be anywhere from days to weeks to months between episodes.
        Last edited by RMRSS; 11 December 2020, 09:50 AM.

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        • #5
          Typically wires are installed in conduit which allows them to be re pulled at a later date. If you happen to know for certain your wires are not in a conduit under the ground, then I would say it is a good bet that this wire is starting to fail.

          As I said I had this exact issue with my keypads earlier this year. It would work for a few days then nothing at all. Maybe a week then nothing.

          If the person you sent out was there on a day it was working everything would of tested out just fine.

          My issue was solved by redoing all the terminations, but it may not be that simple for you.

          On your log file you posted it should say off to the right what keypad is losing connection can you post that? Is it always the same keypad?

          Last edited by RandyL; 11 December 2020, 10:41 AM.

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          • #6
            Robert ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RandyL View Post
              Typically wires are installed in conduit which allows them to be re pulled at a later date. If you happen to know for certain your wires are not in a conduit under the ground, then I would say it is a good bet that this wire is starting to fail.
              Yeah, I'm not thinking straight. I would hope they would be in a conduit. Can't remember if the guy who was out here said anything about that (it was quite a while back this year).

              Originally posted by RandyL View Post
              On your log file you posted it should say off to the right what keypad is losing connection can you post that? Is it always the same keypad?
              Well, the only event that says "disconnected" is referring to the controller (Falcon XT) being disconnected from LogixServer. The only events with the keypads (either entry or exit, which we have only one of each) are 1. Unknown Code/Card Entered 2. Denied Unknown User 3. Data Mismatch. But that's only after the controller is disconnected. There are no keypad errors logging before that happens. And either keypad will produce those same log entries if someone attempts to enter their code after LogixServer randomly loses connection with the Falcon XT.

              We also have 281 Janus SecurGuard locks in one climate building that connect to the Falcon XT, so it's possible there may be something wrong in those miles (literally) of cabling. But that still doesn't explain why the Falcon XT controller would lose connection with LogixServer. And the SecurGuard situation is 100x worse than trouble-shooting the keypads, because although we can open every one of those locks and disconnect all the lock control boxes, the next time someone opens and closes their unit door, they won't be able to get it back open again without reconnecting things or mechanically disabling the latching mechanism on the lock before they close the door.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                Yeah, I'm not thinking straight. I would hope they would be in a conduit. Can't remember if the guy who was out here said anything about that (it was quite a while back this year).



                Well, the only event that says "disconnected" is referring to the controller (Falcon XT) being disconnected from LogixServer. The only events with the keypads (either entry or exit, which we have only one of each) are 1. Unknown Code/Card Entered 2. Denied Unknown User 3. Data Mismatch. But that's only after the controller is disconnected. There are no keypad errors logging before that happens. And either keypad will produce those same log entries if someone attempts to enter their code after LogixServer randomly loses connection with the Falcon XT.

                We also have 281 Janus SecurGuard locks in one climate building that connect to the Falcon XT, so it's possible there may be something wrong in those miles (literally) of cabling. But that still doesn't explain why the Falcon XT controller would lose connection with LogixServer. And the SecurGuard situation is 100x worse than trouble-shooting the keypads, because although we can open every one of those locks and disconnect all the lock control boxes, the next time someone opens and closes their unit door, they won't be able to get it back open again without reconnecting things or mechanically disabling the latching mechanism on the lock before they close the door.
                Perhaps it has more to do with the power to the controller as opposed to the wires to the keypads. The Falcon XT typically has a battery inside of it for backup purposes. I also hook mine up to an additional power strip with a battery backup. How is yours setup? Could the battery in the Falcon XT be going bad? I would think if you add an additional battery backup outside the unit (if you don't have it) could show if that is the issue. If the problem stops it would point to needing to replace the battery. If you are having intermittent power issues it could also make the modem have issues too, make sure that is plugged into the same battery backup.

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                • #9
                  We were having the exact same intermittent problem earlier this year. Thankfully for us, the gate kept working because of the info the system holds. Ours would go down for hours and no resetting or restarting would make a difference. Then it would start working again for no reason!

                  It turned out that it was the computer that holds Storlogix. We replaced that about 3 months ago and haven't had a problem since.
                  MamaDuke

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RandyL View Post

                    Perhaps it has more to do with the power to the controller as opposed to the wires to the keypads. The Falcon XT typically has a battery inside of it for backup purposes. I also hook mine up to an additional power strip with a battery backup. How is yours setup? Could the battery in the Falcon XT be going bad? I would think if you add an additional battery backup outside the unit (if you don't have it) could show if that is the issue. If the problem stops it would point to needing to replace the battery. If you are having intermittent power issues it could also make the modem have issues too, make sure that is plugged into the same battery backup.
                    Yes, it has a backup battery, but the AC power is not plugged into an additional battery backup. I'll try that, but it seems if the voltage was dropping, we'd have other evidence of that, such as NVR errors, dimming lights, etc. When the controller goes offline, we don't experience any kind of other anomalies such as those or internet outage, etc.

                    UPDATE: I just got finished connecting the Falcon XT AC adaptor to the UPS battery backup and the board remained on the whole time I had the AC adaptor unplugged, indicating the backup battery in the Falcon XT cabinet is indeed working.
                    Last edited by RMRSS; 11 December 2020, 01:25 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                      Yes, it has a backup battery, but the AC power is not plugged into an additional battery backup. I'll try that, but it seems if the voltage was dropping, we'd have other evidence of that, such as NVR errors, dimming lights, etc. When the controller goes offline, we don't experience any kind of other anomalies such as those or internet outage, etc.

                      UPDATE: I just got finished connecting the Falcon XT AC adaptor to the UPS battery backup and the board remained on the whole time I had the AC adaptor unplugged, indicating the backup battery in the Falcon XT cabinet is indeed working.
                      Ok thats good. Have you switched around which item is plugged into which port on your router? Have you changed out cables? Also did you redo those power connectors inside the XT? The wires should be secured by a small screw you would need to loosen.

                      In order for it to work via USB you would have to change program settings which may be done easier by reinstalling the Storlogix software, if this is the route you want to take.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RandyL View Post

                        Ok thats good. Have you switched around which item is plugged into which port on your router? Have you changed out cables? Also did you redo those power connectors inside the XT? The wires should be secured by a small screw you would need to loosen.

                        In order for it to work via USB you would have to change program settings which may be done easier by reinstalling the Storlogix software, if this is the route you want to take.
                        Yes, we put in new cables and the guy who was checking the system out earlier this year checked the power connector wiring. As I described in my OP, I did go to the correct place to change the connection type to USB, but got the error I screenshotted. I just tried "check for updates" under the Help menu, but clicking that does absolutely nothing. Maybe updating would work? Here's our current version:

                        Capture.JPG

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MamaDuke View Post
                          We were having the exact same intermittent problem earlier this year. Thankfully for us, the gate kept working because of the info the system holds. Ours would go down for hours and no resetting or restarting would make a difference. Then it would start working again for no reason!

                          It turned out that it was the computer that holds Storlogix. We replaced that about 3 months ago and haven't had a problem since.
                          Interesting. While our computer seems to be running just fine, it is a bit old now, so it wouldn't hurt to replace it soon anyhow. As I showed Randy above, our StorLogix is also a few years old, but I'm not sure how often they actually update that and of course if that's even the issue. I'll contact PTI and see about updating if possible.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                            Interesting. While our computer seems to be running just fine, it is a bit old now, so it wouldn't hurt to replace it soon anyhow. As I showed Randy above, our StorLogix is also a few years old, but I'm not sure how often they actually update that and of course if that's even the issue. I'll contact PTI and see about updating if possible.
                            Hi. Please message me your ticket number and I'll make sure this gets escalated to the proper person to handle your issue.

                            Robert Toy
                            PTI Security Systems - A Division of HID Global.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert View Post

                              Hi. Please message me your ticket number and I'll make sure this gets escalated to the proper person to handle your issue.

                              Robert Toy
                              PTI Security Systems - A Division of HID Global.
                              Done. Right now all I sent to PTI was a request about updating the software. I have a new computer on the way as well. If all that doesn't fix the issue, then we'll need to look deeper.

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