MATE3 will not boot

Mate3 and Mate3s communications devices for Outback Power
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cvtripper
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My RE system: Flexmax 80
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MATE3 will not boot

Post by cvtripper » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:22 pm

Hi,

I'm new to the forum, so please be gentle.

My Mate3 started mucking up yesterday. I went to turn the inverter on and it rebooted and never recovered.
It doesn't matter what I do, the logo screen displays then the indicator lights flash clockwise about every 10 seconds.
The install is only about 12 months old.

I have disconnected it from the hub and direct connected to FlexMax 80 and also to inverter/charger with the same result. I have also tried another cable. So the problem appears to be isolated to the MATE3.

Supplier has spoken to distributor who has offered a second hand/refurbished MATE3 as a replacement. I don't think that is acceptable. I know Victron just sends out a replacement new unit to keep you running.
It's either that or send the MATE3 back and they will investigate/repair and send it back. (Probably strip old parts out of an old one and put it back in my box?).

If there is a way to reset to factory default without having to go thru the menus (which are not accessible) that might be an option, but I'm not sure if this is achievable?

Any other ideas?

I'm starting to regret buying all this Outback gear already if the support in Australia is that bad/slow.
We depend on the system for our only source of power (off grid).
David

12V/240V
Flexmax 80
MATE 3
Flexnet DC
VFX2612EM
1000W solar
700AH LiFePO4

SandyP
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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by SandyP » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:28 pm

cvtripper wrote:Hi,


Supplier has spoken to distributor who has offered a second hand/refurbished MATE3 as a replacement. I don't think that is acceptable......
....It's either that or send the MATE3 back and they will investigate/repair and send it back. (Probably strip old parts out of an old one and put it back in my box?).

.
I cannot help you with alternatives as we only have a Mate2.
I am sure you have read the warranty terms : http://www.outbackpower.com/outback-warranty/statement
Unfortunately, I doubt there are any additional warranty terms in the new Australian consumer laws that require your supplier (as it is the supplier/retailer that has to comply not Outback) to replace your Mate3 with a new unit.
It appears your supplier has given you the two options they are legally required to provide - as you say it would be good PR if they had a unit you could use while yours is being repaired.

cvtripper
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My RE system: Flexmax 80
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VFX2612EM
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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by cvtripper » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:10 am

Hi Sandy,

Aus consumer law states repair, replacement or refund at the consumer's choice if a major fault (you haven't changed your mind).

A second hand unit is not part of this.
Obviously, we need another unit as their is too much invested in the rest of the gear. But, if second hand rubbish is the option as a replacement, that is not good for Outback as I will not recommend or supply any to my customers in future. Victron are looking to be more attractive if this is the case.
David

12V/240V
Flexmax 80
MATE 3
Flexnet DC
VFX2612EM
1000W solar
700AH LiFePO4

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Kurt Lundquist
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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:30 am

Hi cvtripper,

First, if you have the SD card in the Mate3 I suggest you remove it. I have seen this reboot problem happen when the SD card is corrupt and I think it happens when the card is full as well. I don't have confirmation on the full card but I do know of one person that took out his SD card and the Mate3 started working as usual. When the card was put into a PC the computer could not read or write to it or reformat it.

If that does not work I suggest you copy the Mate3 firmware to an SD card, put it into the Mate3 then press and hold the UP button. If you are lucky it will force a firmware update that should stop the reboot process.

If you are still having problems try a different Cat5 cable. If you are plugged into a Hub try plugging the Mate3 directly into an OutBack inverter or Charge Controller. If it is still rebooting after all this you will need a replacement.

As far as the "refurb" unit is concerned the Mate3 board components are all fine pitch surface mount stuff. There isn't much that can be done to swap parts (not economically anyway) so I wouldn't sweat the idea that you are getting junk parts in a refurbished unit. I think the refurb process is more of a indepth reformat of the software. For example if you update the Mate3 with a version 3.xxx.xxx software and interrupt the process it can brick the Mate3. At the factory they can unbrick it with a reformat process that for whatever reason is not available outside the factory.

If the above items do not work I suggest you consider the refurbished unit offered by your distributor. OutBack only offers new replacements for items that have failed within 90 days. Otherwise the product has a 5 year warranty and replacements will either be new or refurbished depending on the warranty stock on hand.

Let us know how it goes.

Cheers,

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
Renewable Energy Project Engineer
http://alphaenergy.us/

cvtripper
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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by cvtripper » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:19 pm

Thanks for your detailed response, Kurt.

SD cards was not inserted. I did try creating an SD card with new firmware, but it didn't automatically load on boot - manual says you need to use the menus. I wasn't aware holding the UP button would force a firmware update (not in the manual :(

Have already tried different cables and connecting directly, with the same result.

MATE3 has gone back to supplier - hopefully they will sort it quickly. Will be a good test to see how good their support is.
I am really missing knowing what is happening with my LiFePO4 batteries already. Might have to stick in a backup AH meter...
David

12V/240V
Flexmax 80
MATE 3
Flexnet DC
VFX2612EM
1000W solar
700AH LiFePO4

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Kurt Lundquist
Alpha Energy Engineering
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 7:23 am
My RE system: VFX3524, Mate3, 200Ah 24V AGM Battery Bank
Location: Arlington, WA

Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by Kurt Lundquist » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:12 am

Thanks for the follow up. I'm sorry you could not bring the Mate3 back to life. Holding the UP button does force the firmware update and yes it is not documented in the manual.

Surely you have a BMS for your expensive LiFePO battery bank. If you do not I would get one as soon as possible.

Let us know how it goes with the replacement Mate3.

Thanks,

-Kurt
Kurt Lundquist
Renewable Energy Project Engineer
http://alphaenergy.us/

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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by larrywa » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:38 pm

I know it sucks but one way t think of it is you had a used unit and now you have a replacement used unit. Perhaps the experienced unit will be more reliable.

Try for the new unit be don't be too peeved if you only get the used one. The dealer will probably replace his own used unit, under your warranty. May have to watch for that one.

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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by etcm » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:33 pm

Thanks Kurt.
My Mate 3 also fails to boot (3 years old) worked well until I came home from a trip. Graphics/screen was locked ot responding to any input, I disconnected-reconnected network cable and the unit has cycled with the clockwise rotation of blinking lights. Checked SD card - computer said it needed formatting and had no data. I reformatted to FAT and loaded the firmware files to the SD card. Same result. Tried the UP button, same result, tried direct connection from FM80, same result. I'll contact support when they are open next time.

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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by tallgirl » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:46 pm

My second (!) Mate 3 has the same problem, so I went back to my trusty Mate 2.

How exactly does this "hold the UP button" trick work? I don't like switching back and forth between a Mate 3 and a Mate 2 each time a Mate 3 croaks. I'd really like to fix my existing Mate 3 so that I don't have to RMA one ever other year or so. Because I've never had a Mate 3 last longer than a year or so ...
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miahallen
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Re: MATE3 will not boot

Post by miahallen » Mon May 16, 2016 5:19 am

I had this same issue (mine started this "boot loop" behavior under different circumstances though) and was able to fix the problem. Outback Tech Support did not offer me a DIY solution and instead sent me a new MATE 3, since I'm international and the shipment did not make it (still waiting now after 5 weeks), I needed to find a solution for myself.

The HUB has 2 ports for the MATE, the 1st port is the only one setup to work with my system, but when I plugged my MATE into the second port, it was able to boot successfully and it was stable (although it did not have access to the rest of the system). I was able to run through the Firmware updating procedure and then plugged the MATE back into the 1st port....it solved the problem, and my MATE 3 is back online as before. If you are already on the current firmware version, you should still be able to re-flash the current FW and achieve similar results (I'm speculating here).

Please report back if this also works for you :grin:
from this thread - viewtopic.php?f=39&t=7599

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