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Old 09-14-2021, 10:04 PM   #1
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Firefly Integration Should Be SWATTED

Itís been said many times that motorhome ownership is not for the faint of heart and our experience certainly bears that out. Things break, schedules change, weather doesnít always cooperate Ö in general stuff happens and itís usually expensive when it does. But you should be able to rely on at least a few things. Entegra, Spartan and a few of their suppliers have been great to deal with so far. Now that the warranty has ended weíll see what happens.


Firefly Integration on the other hand, the guys that make the touch screen control panel in my coach, has been awful Ö to the point that Entegra should be actively seeking a new supplier in my humble opinion. Just give me some gauges that tell me whatís going on in my coach. Donít imperil me or my family with circuit boards that can potentially burst into flames subjecting me to a cross country effort to get a safety campaign completed (I could write a book about that one). How tough is that really? I have another ongoing issue thatís at the finger pointing stage between Entegra and Firefly, but itís not debilitating fortunately.


Yesterday was a new one for me however and if I had a choice it would be the last straw. Specifically, I dumped the two holding tanks and flushed the black tank twice in a failed attempt to get that particular gauge to read less than 100% Ö no such luck. But that wasnít the surprise. Iíve come to expect that inaccuracy and will continue to try new sensor cleaning methods and products, Iím just that stubborn. Fortunately our full bath has a macerator toilet with idiot lights that are not tied into Fireflyís stuff and they keep the cup from overflowing as it were Ö


No the surprise was the fresh water tank reading right after I watched it fill completely. 33% is what Firefly tells me I have onboard Ö Huh! Well maybe in the scheme of things two out of four gauges reading correctly isnít that bad. I do know how much grey water and propane Iím carrying after all, be happy with that I tell myself Ö NOT.


BTW, since I canít trust Firefly to give me an accurate crap count I installed a Garnet SeeLevel II monitoring system with the display in the wet bay and it works GREAT!!! Firefly wants $1,250 to write software to integrate gauges that actually work into their display and I just canít bring myself to reward bad behavior that way Ö maybe thatís just me.
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:39 AM   #2
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I have a Firefly system in my motor home and I get erroneous results from the fresh/gray/black tank sensors too. I donít blame Firefly for that. My tank sensors are not made by Firefly and not installed by Firefly and not wired by Firefly. The Firefly system merely passes on the signal given to it from the sensors. Garbage In Garbage Out. I had some problems initially with my Firefly system and they were immediately and professionally handled by Firefly. Since then (1.5 years) no more problems.

BTW I am considering the See Level product too.
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Vibeman! You are absolutely correct that Entegra is also complicit and I'm glad your experience has been at least better than mine. In the grander scale I've on!y seen a handful of suppliers actually say "no I will not build you a system based on those parameters" but there are some out there ...

But between the current collaborators all I seem to be getting is "stuff happens" mixed with "send us more money" and something in me says that's wrong ... Sorry but that's how I feel ...

Maybe I should be asking Firefly how much they'd charge to take the gauges out?
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:54 AM   #4
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I pulled the trigger early on our factory AIR because I was seeing early indications that many of the toys didn't want to play together well. Tank readings were good till I drove the rig off the dealers lot. Controls for some things work well at first, but lost integration as time went on. Connectivity comes and goes.

Some I attribute to operator error, other things I give benefit of doubt since I grew up in the non connected days of yesteryear.

Once the number of issues began to aggregate into major irritants, i figured better head to the source and attempt correction.

Tech is great, till it isn't.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:02 AM   #5
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,,,
Tech is great, till it isn't. ,,,
Could not have said it better. The Fire Fly system seem like a pretty cool idea. Integration of multiple system into a single panel with a graphical user interface (aka shiny bits). For myself I kind of like the old way. Not as much flash but no a single failure point either. What happens if the panel dies?

And a colorful, somewhat related sea story on how tech has changed something - Back in my surface USN days the steam engineers used to come in 48 hours prior to leaving port to get up steam while us tron chasers usually showed up sober an hour before. Fast forward 30+ years and gas turbine drives replacing steam, the electronic types now come in two days early to sequence on all the various computers while the engineers show up 30 minutes prior and push a button.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:29 PM   #6
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Thanks New2road! Just because you can doesn't mean you should. And on our coaches in many cases there's no manual alternative. I understand that I'm trading tech for tech with the SeeLevel redundancy, but at least they're different approaches ...
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:36 PM   #7
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Thank you for your service Sweetbrier!!! Everybody loves the shiny stuff she they're shopping. I'd like to say I know better, by that what got me in this ride ... bright lights on the showroom floor. Damn those bright lights ...

Keep the rubber side down Sir!
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:48 PM   #8
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In our Discovery it works great till it didn't work and when didn't work it didn't seem like anyone knew how to fix it. Our Newmar lacks all those neat screens and I don't miss them.
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Old 09-18-2021, 05:24 AM   #9
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This was our first motorhome and I did not really understand what the Firefly system was or did until I had it for a while. If I had known at the time I might have walked away because, while I like technology, I am not an early adopter and I am familiar with wires, gauges and switches, not with integrated circuits. That being said, it seems to me that the Firefly system simplifies the control of many functions and thereby reduces the probability of failure. I can control and/or monitor many systems from the conveniently located wireless Firefly panel (and also from my smart phone btw) : heating, cooling, lights, generator, water and waste tank levels, LPG tank level, slide, awning. Every one of these systems is still old school hard wired to one central spot, the Firefly input/output panel, then the wireless touchscreen controls it from there eliminating many mechanical switches and analog gauges and probably overall shortening the total length of wiring necessary. I have grown to like the convenience of this system, just like I learned to like electric windows and an automatic transmission in my car. Would I ever go back to a stick shift and manual windows in a new car? No. Would I go back to hard wired switches and gauges in a new motorhome? So far the answer to that question is also no.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:45 PM   #10
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Simple isn't always better, but sometimes it's more comfortable ...
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Old 09-20-2021, 03:58 PM   #11
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Well don't be too joyful about the SeaLevel, as crud builds up on the tank walls they can get pretty wonky too. I have a SeaLevel system and my Grey tank level is regularly down and out due to buildup. The fresh tank readings however have always been reliable.

I think the newer Firefly sensors are ultrasonic based and theoretically should be more reliable than the SeaLevel. Apparently that is not the case tho based on your issues.

As for the $1250 to integrate (the SeaLevel I assume you mean?) I have some experience with that and it is excessive IMO since I know pretty much what's involved.

Did you by any chance happen to buy the RV-C version of the SeaLevel display? See my post here about how I integrated it into my [non Vegatouch] coach.

The RV-C SeaLevel version uses a standardized RV-C data structure (PGN's) to send the tank level status over the network. This is well defined in the open RV-C spec.

Now IF, and it's a BIG IF, the Firefly sensors adhere to the RV-C spec you could simply unplug the existing tank sensors or tank sensor controller and plug your SeaLevel into the RV-C network and it should just automagically work with your Vegatouch.

Thing is I'm assuming the Firefly tank sensors are at some point tapped into the RV-C but I really don't know not ever having seen the setup. Also, as mentioned, if Firefly didn't follow the RV-C spec then you pretty much are out of luck or must pay the $1250 ransom.
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vibeman View Post
This was our first motorhome and I did not really understand what the Firefly system was or did until I had it for a while. If I had known at the time I might have walked away because, while I like technology, I am not an early adopter and I am familiar with wires, gauges and switches, not with integrated circuits. That being said, it seems to me that the Firefly system simplifies the control of many functions and thereby reduces the probability of failure. I can control and/or monitor many systems from the conveniently located wireless Firefly panel (and also from my smart phone btw) : heating, cooling, lights, generator, water and waste tank levels, LPG tank level, slide, awning. Every one of these systems is still old school hard wired to one central spot, the Firefly input/output panel, then the wireless touchscreen controls it from there eliminating many mechanical switches and analog gauges and probably overall shortening the total length of wiring necessary. I have grown to like the convenience of this system, just like I learned to like electric windows and an automatic transmission in my car. Would I ever go back to a stick shift and manual windows in a new car? No. Would I go back to hard wired switches and gauges in a new motorhome? So far the answer to that question is also no.
I have a 2020 Entegra Anthem and the Firefly system throws more errors than I can count. I fill my fresh water tank and it reads 30% then 100% then 10% and wont stop beeping the low water alarm. The grey tank level is never correct. Fortunately the black tank seems to be accurate as far as I can tell, but I do empty it at every opportunity, so it's never very full.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:34 PM   #13
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I have a 2020 Entegra Anthem and the Firefly system throws more errors than I can count. I fill my fresh water tank and it reads 30% then 100% then 10% and wont stop beeping the low water alarm. The grey tank level is never correct. Fortunately the black tank seems to be accurate as far as I can tell, but I do empty it at every opportunity, so it's never very full.
Perfect Tegra! I had exactly the same experience the other day ... I filled the fresh water tank, I know this because I have removed the trim panels in front of the the tank and I WATCHED IT FILL and Firefly told me there was ZERO fresh water on board for the first twenty four hours, then all over the place.

So my question is, if our combined experience is representative of the collective experience, which I would submit it is, why does Entegra / Jayco continue to accept that level of performance? I was always taught that good enough isn't. Is this the best the industry has to offer? DON'T THINK SO!!!
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:30 AM   #14
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Could not have said it better. The Fire Fly system seem like a pretty cool idea. Integration of multiple system into a single panel with a graphical user interface (aka shiny bits). For myself I kind of like the old way. Not as much flash but no a single failure point either. What happens if the panel dies?
.
Itíll cost you a big 1500$Ďs to replace the Firefly panel in the middle of the coach!! Firefly doesnít repair these panels. Made up of multiple boards cabled together.

I know this because I have the dead panel from a fellow Entegra owner. I asked him for it and he gave it to meÖ.
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