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Old 08-16-2022, 05:02 PM   #1
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Isata 3 - Firefly tank sensors

Dynamax friends,

Hey so I know what you're thinking, here's another guy asking about Firefly tank sensors, why didn't he just search all of the other threads to find an answer. Well, I think I did, and I'm still here with a request for advice.

Background: I have opened two separate support cases with Firefly to have the tank sensors replaced for the same issue which inaccurate readings on the fresh and gray water tanks, (both reading empty, even when not). Each time they have sent me replacement sensors with the same result, which is some degree of intermittent accuracy followed by empty tank readings.

As of today I'm trying to open a third case with them to see if they maybe had a supply chain quality issue or something of the sort that is preventing the sensors from delivering a clean signal.

Relevant details:
Firmware: 2.4 (both)
Coach is level
Tank Diagnostics show Status: Valid
G12 Power Cycled

Curious if anyone else has had issues like the above, with any advice on solving beyond going through a replacement sensor (again). I have heard about the wire shielding maybe being an issue, perhaps that is the problem here as well. Thanks all.
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Old 08-17-2022, 07:47 AM   #2
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I have an Isata 3 and have had issues with my tank sensors from day 1. I don't know if they're actual "Firefly" sensors though. Does Firefly make these sensors? My dealer replaced the fresh water sensor under warranty but it still doesn't read accurately all the time.
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Old 08-17-2022, 09:42 AM   #3
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The sensors themselves are likely not the issue.

It "could" be shielding, but early on I think we went to a twisted pair to resolve some of the sensor issues. Then we went to shielded, twisted pair.

It is imperative that the sensors are installed level and are installed level when the coach is level. They way they work is they send a sonar signal to the surface of the water, that sonar signal needs to make its way back. Which means if you are not level, then the signal could bounce at a weird angle off of the water.

They did have a software update that is supposed to correct some issues, but I am still waiting on them to tell me which version each model should be on. Some earlier models were not affected, so no need to update.

PS. I think the sensors are made by Silver Leaf.
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Old 08-17-2022, 03:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Brian, and that gives me some hope I can get to a solution on this. Visually, the sensors look to be installed "level" and I used the original screw holes to reattach the newer sensors they sent. Is there something magical I can do to make sure the sensors are perfectly level other than eyeballing the angle of the paddle itself to the tank?

re: Software, they told me a few months back that 2.4 was the latest and I did the firmware upgrade from 2.3 The only difference I noticed (sadly) was it changed the backlight delay to an hour so I get the pleasure of a fully lit RV at bed time now.
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Old 08-17-2022, 04:29 PM   #5
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The level in the tank that my sensors show changes when the unit is leveled in use with the stabilizer jacks. It seems to change when the generator is running, don't ask me why.
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Old 08-17-2022, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbruin View Post
Thanks Brian, and that gives me some hope I can get to a solution on this. Visually, the sensors look to be installed "level" and I used the original screw holes to reattach the newer sensors they sent. Is there something magical I can do to make sure the sensors are perfectly level other than eyeballing the angle of the paddle itself to the tank?

re: Software, they told me a few months back that 2.4 was the latest and I did the firmware upgrade from 2.3 The only difference I noticed (sadly) was it changed the backlight delay to an hour so I get the pleasure of a fully lit RV at bed time now.
I seem to think the backlight delay was an adjustable setting.
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Old 08-20-2022, 09:24 AM   #7
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@dcastro My generator also makes my gauges go haywire. They stabilize eventually but I've noticed that too.

@Brian Backlight delay is either on or off. With 2.4 firmware, this changes to dimming after an hour if set to on. If off, it stay on all the time. With 2.3 firmware, dimming happened after 30 seconds or so if set to on.

I did some experimenting yesterday and found that one of the sensors was at around 12:30, so not fully level. Once I turned that, I got a more accurate reading which is good. Second sensor still reading empty so will hopefully be able to work with Firefly on a replacement.

One surprise yesterday in all of the testing was to find that both the kitchen sink and bathroom sink drain into the black tank, with only the shower draining into the grey tank. Not sure why it took me over a year to realize this, but genius move Dynamax! This is such a better solution than everything going into grey and filling too fast.
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Old 08-20-2022, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbruin View Post
@dcastro My generator also makes my gauges go haywire. They stabilize eventually but I've noticed that too.

@Brian Backlight delay is either on or off. With 2.4 firmware, this changes to dimming after an hour if set to on. If off, it stay on all the time. With 2.3 firmware, dimming happened after 30 seconds or so if set to on.

I did some experimenting yesterday and found that one of the sensors was at around 12:30, so not fully level. Once I turned that, I got a more accurate reading which is good. Second sensor still reading empty so will hopefully be able to work with Firefly on a replacement.

One surprise yesterday in all of the testing was to find that both the kitchen sink and bathroom sink drain into the black tank, with only the shower draining into the grey tank. Not sure why it took me over a year to realize this, but genius move Dynamax! This is such a better solution than everything going into grey and filling too fast.
If the sink drains into the black tank were intentional, it might be a smart move as I too have always questioned having a black and grey tank of equal capacity as the grey always fills while the black is seldom more than 20-25% full. Nobody craps that much. I remain skeptical that it was intentional by Dynamax though and I wonder about the "sanitaryness" of having those sinks connected to the black tank. Bacteria can migrate through pipes and hoses fairly easily.
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Old 08-20-2022, 04:24 PM   #9
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Lol. There isn’t really a way to “unintentionally” connect to the black tank, we have prints for all of that and in many cases it can only route one way. We often put the lav sink into the black tank if it is more convenient.

As for sanitary? If you have a home septic like I do, literally every pipe goes into a single tank. There is no gray and black. Also my basement bath all go into one tank as well and sits there until it’s high enough to activate the lift pump.
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Old 08-20-2022, 04:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for the update on the tank sensors, I too have the same problem & getting nowhere with the Firefly people. With me it's just the fresh water sensor not working, reads 10% no matte what water level is, let me know if you find a better system. Tough boon docking not knowing the water level.
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Old 08-21-2022, 07:38 AM   #11
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I have concluded that Firefly has the worst CS EVER!! bclemens, you may want to take note.
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Old 08-21-2022, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
It is imperative that the sensors are installed level and are installed level when the coach is level. They way they work is they send a sonar signal to the surface of the water, that sonar signal needs to make its way back. Which means if you are not level, then the signal could bounce at a weird angle off of the water.
So what I am reading is that the sensors could be installed level from the factory and as the tanks age and start to bulge the sensors could be sitting not level and therefore useless. It would explain why my fresh tank sensor works until the tank level is over 50% then starts to act up.
I pulled out all of our sensors, cleaned them and re-installed them, no change still no black/grey level and the fresh works until the level goes over 50% then it jumps around but mostly sits empty.
I might have to find a way to block the tank to prevent the bulge.
As an aside Brian is the level company from Lacombe Alberta?
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Old 08-22-2022, 07:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike946 View Post
So what I am reading is that the sensors could be installed level from the factory and as the tanks age and start to bulge the sensors could be sitting not level and therefore useless. It would explain why my fresh tank sensor works until the tank level is over 50% then starts to act up.
I pulled out all of our sensors, cleaned them and re-installed them, no change still no black/grey level and the fresh works until the level goes over 50% then it jumps around but mostly sits empty.
I might have to find a way to block the tank to prevent the bulge.
As an aside Brian is the level company from Lacombe Alberta?
I am not 100% sure, but I think the sensors are silver leaf out of Oregon.
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Old 08-25-2022, 07:33 PM   #14
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I had the same issue…after a couple of calls to Firefly, I tried upgrading the panel firmware… I still had to replace a couple of sensors, but the firmware update cleaned up several things in the process..

So long story short, ask them about firmware updates.. It’s totally worth it…
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bear94551 View Post
I had the same issue…after a couple of calls to Firefly, I tried upgrading the panel firmware… I still had to replace a couple of sensors, but the firmware update cleaned up several things in the process..

So long story short, ask them about firmware updates.. It’s totally worth it…
Good call. Did you happen to go from 2.x to 3.x or 4.x? Based on Brian's latest post I'm on 2.4 and wondering if moving up to a later version will help any.

Also, if you happen to have any tips on actually getting Firefly to call you back, pass them my way!
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sdbruin View Post
Good call. Did you happen to go from 2.x to 3.x or 4.x? Based on Brian's latest post I'm on 2.4 and wondering if moving up to a later version will help any.

Also, if you happen to have any tips on actually getting Firefly to call you back, pass them my way!
Don’t remember what it was before the upgrade, my final version was 2.35…

As for contacting them , I just called … left a message, and waited… plus I also used email to talk to a tech.

Maybe I was just lucky???

Oh and I also used their online support request form… :-)
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Old 08-30-2022, 09:43 AM   #17
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With my Isata 3 RW(2021) grey & black tank reading work fine, it's just the fresh water tank that I don't get a reading. Has anyone tried to jump the wires to make the fresh water read on the black tank or the one reading properly? Will that determine if it's the sensor or the G 12? Is it possible to do?
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Old 08-30-2022, 10:54 AM   #18
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Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it sounds like the sensors need to be replaced…

Same thing happened to me and after spinning my wheels for a bit..( see previous post) I had to get them replaced.. I was lucky though, still had a warranty… FireFly sent me new ones and I had a service person replace… which due to placement of the sensors I would have not been able to get to them(one I’m large and old..two I’m not a contortionist)..

Now they work great…

If you replace yourself… Remember they have to be facing the correct direction… don’t ask how I know that 😉
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:47 AM   #19
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UPDATE: Firefly sent me two new sensors for the grey and fresh tanks. Removed old ones and replaced with the new ones. So far the tank readings look correct but will wait to see once we take it out on the next trip.
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