Generac encryption for remote monitoring | Who's affected | What to expect

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Posts: 1859
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:46 pm
Location: Clawson, MI

Hey everyone, just wanted to throw up a quick post about the new Generac encryption coming to the ModBus accessory ports on the Evolution generators, and how it will affect customers who use 3rd party and Generac remote monitors for their generators.

Let's start with what encryption is... Generac's current accessory ports are not secure and use serial communications between accessories like the Mobile Link WiFi remote monitor and the cell Mobile Link monitors. There are 3rd party devices like the GenMon project, Power Telematics, Omnimetrix, etc. that also will work with these units, and many people use them for remote monitoring.

Encryption of that accessory serial port will basically 'password protect' the data that is passed from controller to monitoring device, and if you don't have the latest Generac 4G LTE Mobile Link or the WiFi Mobile Link, your remote monitoring will cease to function.

Something to keep in mind is that these firmware updates which will cause the encryption to become active can only be done 1 of two ways:

1. If you're using a newer Evolution 2.0 controller with WiFi already built in and it's connected to WiFi, the unit will auto-update to the newest version. Keep in mind that people who are using the built in WiFi are probably NOT using 3rd party remote monitoring, so this update means nothing for them.

2. A dealer updating the firmware from a USB drive. This pertains to all Evolution controllers including Evolution 1.0 and Evolution 2.0 controllers with the WiFi turned off.

The latest updates WILL enable encryption and will make 3rd party devices AND older Generac-made devices useless. This includes older cell 3G Mobile Link devices (the original Mobile Link) and also any remote monitors that are stand alone, such as the 6669 remote monitor with the 3 status lights. These units do NOT support encryption and cannot be updated to do so. If you have any of the older devices and wish to use them further, you cannot update the firmware past where we are now.

Generac is slated to have all of their older 3G Mobile Link devices shut down by Verizon around April 2021, so the obvious option is to upgrade to the newest 4G LTE Mobile Link to avoid any issues. The 6669 monitors are no longer supported and have been dropped from the sales system.

A word about replacement controllers: Replacement controllers have always come from Generac with the latest available firmware. There is no way to roll these new control panels back to a previous version, so if you ever replace the panel for some reason and use 3rd party or older Generac monitors, these will also cease to function... I have no way to request panels come with firmware other than current, so please don't ask.

I will try to keep this post updated with current information as it becomes available.
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