Schneider Electric ComBox Issue

neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
Has anyone had any problems with the Schneider Electric Conext ComBox? It was installed less then two weeks ago.  I lost communication with mine on the network then tried to troubleshoot and found the green POWER LED blinking on the device.  So I tried to re-install the firmware per their instructions and the the light still blinks and it won't load the new firmware.  Is it bricked or has anyone had any issues with this device?  I contacted Schneider twice opened a case and they said they were going to contact me and send a new unit but they could not give me any ETA information.  I get the feeling that this is going to take more time than I planned.  They rep at Schneider made a comment that I got a good deal on the price when I sent them a copy of my invoice.....WTF do they care how much I paid?....I have thousands of dollars invested in their equipment.  This reeks of an amateur grade company....

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 2,986Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    You should escalate this to another person at the company. There are times when the support people are not the best. That is why you should start the support with a case number, then an RMA from a phone call. Email works great if they are not busy.

    I have heard of this happening but all of my clients are happy with the COMBOX. Any device like this should be a back-up in a critical system and not be depended on to operate the system if this important or offgrid.

    Since this is your first post here give them a chance to solve the problem. There are many thousands of these systems operating reliably around the world. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,022Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    The first months of any electronic gear, is called the Infant Failure Period.   If gear makes it past the first couple months, it goes a long time.  Sadly, some stuff does fail, but the warranty should cover it.  Maybe your dealer has a return department?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    You should escalate this to another person at the company. There are times when the support people are not the best. That is why you should start the support with a case number, then an RMA from a phone call. Email works great if they are not busy.

    I have heard of this happening but all of my clients are happy with the COMBOX. Any device like this should be a back-up in a critical system and not be depended on to operate the system if this important or offgrid.

    Since this is your first post here give them a chance to solve the problem. There are many thousands of these systems operating reliably around the world. 

    I do have a case open.  I believe they will fix the issue but perhaps I got the wrong impression from their reps...this was the second rep I spoke to.  Seemed a little unprofessional but perhaps I expect too much.  The idea that they could not give me at least an ETA bothered me.  I own a business and expect at least some semblance of an answer and not just stating IDK.

    For the two weeks the box was in service it worked fine. I guess asking for an ETA is asking for too much.

    You should escalate this to another person at the company. There are times when the support people are not the best. That is why you should start the support with a case number, then an RMA from a phone call. Email works great if they are not busy.

    I have heard of this happening but all of my clients are happy with the COMBOX. Any device like this should be a back-up in a critical system and not be depended on to operate the system if this important or offgrid.

    Since this is your first post here give them a chance to solve the problem. There are many thousands of these systems operating reliably around the world. 

  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    The first months of any electronic gear, is called the Infant Failure Period.   If gear makes it past the first couple months, it goes a long time.  Sadly, some stuff does fail, but the warranty should cover it.  Maybe your dealer has a return department?
    Very true...my dealer who I won't identify did not offer to send me a replacement.  I would have purchased a second box for a backup but I decided against it and contacted Schneider myself.  Hopefully they will get back to me in a reasonable time frame.  Thank you for the reply.  This forum is a great place for information and my future business will be with Northern Arizona Wind and Sun....
  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    You should escalate this to another person at the company. There are times when the support people are not the best. That is why you should start the support with a case number, then an RMA from a phone call. Email works great if they are not busy.

    I have heard of this happening but all of my clients are happy with the COMBOX. Any device like this should be a back-up in a critical system and not be depended on to operate the system if this important or offgrid.

    Since this is your first post here give them a chance to solve the problem. There are many thousands of these systems operating reliably around the world. 
  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    I have just found out that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that this device can be easily compromised​ by attack. If you have the older firmware you must update it to the latest revision. I believe my device was compromised and have removed it from my network and Conext system.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,022Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I have just found out that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that this device can be easily compromised​ by attack. If you have the older firmware you must update it to the latest revision. I believe my device was compromised and have removed it from my network and Conext system.

    No more than 95% of all routers that ship with a default login.

    And to hack into your combox, they have to know it's IP address after they are inside your firewall.  You do have a firewall ?
    There  are billions of Nest thermostats, routers, modems, CCTV-IP Cams that are all sitting ripe for the picking.  The combox is very low on that tall, tall pole
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 2,986Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    It has to be the Russians again Mike.....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    It has to be the Russians again Mike.....
    Yes...that is what I was afraid of....All kidding aside....of course I have a firewall.  A large enterprise within a company may have hundreds or thousands of clients on the LAN which could be a problem if a bad actor decided to hack into the system.  This would not be hard for a well informed hacker on this device.  I do think it is a shame that Schneider did not put this out to their customers sooner.  Of course it would hurt sales of these boxes.  You know these devices are made in China and it is possible to infect them at the point of manufacture.  This is not the first time this has happened.  So please do not make fun of this...I know it makes for interesting reading and maybe a chuckle but internet and data security and the damage it could do is not a good thing.....welcome friends and have a blessed day....
  • BB.BB. Posts: 26,187Super Moderators admin
    I agree about network security... Unfortunately, the US government (and others, I am sure) are paying to keep/make holes in security software:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4290906/CIA-hack-offers-proof-govt-keeps-software-unsafe.html

    Joseph Heller — 'Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.'

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    BB. said:
    I agree about network security... Unfortunately, the US government (and others, I am sure) are paying to keep/make holes in security software:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4290906/CIA-hack-offers-proof-govt-keeps-software-unsafe.html

    Joseph Heller — 'Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.'

    -Bill
    If anyone using this device is interested here is a link:
    http://www.isssource.com/schneider-mitigates-conext-combox-hole/

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 2,986Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    This firmware 3.03 BN830 was released in December and here is what it addressed.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • neutronspinneutronspin Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    This firmware 3.03 BN830 was released in December and here is what it addressed.
    Thanks Dave.....Funny I ran across Post XW+6848 around a week ago which you were part of and my problem with the ComBox was exactly as was discussed in that thread....Schneider didn't have the decency to let me know this was an ongoing hardware issue with this device when I contacted them.  In fact the manufacture date was exactly the same as the poster on that thread....exact problem and exact outcome but Schneider tech support alluded it was a hardware problem with the memory with the box.  Nice to know this....I bet they have a run of defective boxes and it will take forever to get replacements from China... I am glad I didn't purchase a spare...I am disgusted with this company....
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,022Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Well, the "exploit" as described, is pretty much a non issue in my book. 
    "Successful exploitation of this remotely exploitable vulnerability could cause the device to self-reboot, constituting a denial of service."
    Sure, it's out of commission till you patch your firewall (I have a 4 mile airgap firewall)  and I'm sure there's lots more serious mischief to be had, other then shutting down a logging device.  Say you had a bank of centrifuges and their RPM's got messed up, that's a problem, or converted millions of IP cameras to zombie attack bots for a flood attack.  Or your kids "smart" teddy bear has it's microphone hacked.
    IMHO, this is a non-issue compared to the grossly egregious "oversights" on many other much more popular pieces of gear.

    https://www.wired.com/2014/01/theres-no-good-way-to-patch-the-internet-of-things-and-thats-a-huge-problem/


    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 2,986Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Agree Mike but I still think the Russians are doing this to Schneider. Maybe the Brits also. I am yawning again on this one.....
    Meanwhile my stock in Schneider is doing very well :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

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