Outback Optics RE monitor program has been down and even worse possible news.

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Dave Angelini
Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
An installer I know posted this below. It was in a EnerSys's quarterly news letter. I hope it is wrong ! Optics has been down world wide since early Friday.


On November 8, 2023, the Company's Board of Directors approved a plan to stop production and operations of residential renewable energy products, which include our OutBack and Mojave brands. Management determined that residential renewable energy products no longer fit with the company's core strategy and resources will be better allocated toward commercial energy solutions for enterprise customers. The Company currently estimates that the total charges for these actions will amount to $23.5 million relating primarily to $22.6 million in non-cash charges primarily including inventory and an indefinite-lived intangible asset write-offs and $0.9 million in cash charges including employee severance and retention payments. The plan is expected to be completed in fiscal 2024. During the nine months of fiscal 2024, the Company recorded non-cash charges totaling $6.6 million primarily related to indefinite-lived intangible asset write-off and cash charges of $0.4 million related to severance costs. The Company also recorded a non-cash write off relating to inventories of $16.1 million, which was reported in cost of goods sold.
 
"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
   htps://offgridsolar1.com/
E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

Comments

  • SumPower
    SumPower Registered Users Posts: 49 ✭✭
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    If true, what off grid inverter brands would be the next on anyones lists that doesn't need remote monitoring?

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    The Outback User forum is working fine but the moderators are discussing what to do if the conspiracy thickens.  Not sure if you can get in with this link but that is where it is being discussed. At 8 am pacific. 

     The office is in Texas. Some have said that the weather in Texas caused a power outage and Outback is not backed up...😏   Crossing Fingers that this is all just hot air.

    https://forum.outbackpower.com/viewtopic.php?p=106269#p106269

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 20 #4
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    OFFICIAL UPDATE ON THE OPTICS RE OUTAGE

    Hello Outback Community,

    My name is Marshall Neipert, the new president of Outback Power. As some of you may have heard, Outback Power has recently been purchased from EnerSys in a private sale. Although the official announcement was scheduled for the end of May, the outage of over 24 hours of Optics RE have prompted me to address the community earlier.

    I want to assure you that despite the transition to new ownership, the hosting of Optics RE has not yet moved to Outback Power. It remains hosted by EnerSys. I met with the lead tech at EnerSys responsible for hosting Optics RE early Monday morning. He assured me that they have identified the problem and are working diligently to bring Optics RE back online as soon as possible.

    I will personally keep you updated on the progress here in this forum, and we hope to resolve the issue very soon.

    This is not how I envisioned my introduction to the Outback community, but under the circumstances, I wanted to assure you that I am committed to maintaining open communication and ensuring that Outback Power is in good hands.

    Please keep an eye out for our upcoming press release, which will include exciting hints about the incredible, disruptive products Outback Power will be releasing soon.

    Sincerely,

    Marshall Neipert | President
    Outback Power

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
    edited May 22 #6
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    SumPower said:
    If true, what off grid inverter brands would be the next on anyones lists that doesn't need remote monitoring?

    Everything I have is Outback except for my panels (13 years old), the Victron BMV-712 Smart, the batteries and misc jewelry. If I had either the FM80 (13 years old) or the FXR3648 (3 yo) fail, my first and primary requirement would be that the replacements and system monitor would all 'talk' and cooperate amongst themselves. At the time I changed over to the LifeP04 batteries there wasn't much use in a closed loop because the Outback stuff wouldn't be able to take advantage it the capability anyway.

    What I DO hope is that OB will finally get some motivation and update the FlexNet battery monitor (Peukert's for batteries other than lead) and add closed loop battery support into the system communications. They've always been extremely slow to the point of seeming to watch the world go by.

    This thing about OpticsRE going down has caused a worldwide uproar. I'm hoping to see proof of life within the organization after these current changes and change in leadership.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22 #7
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    For over 5 years closed loop has been coming soon at Outback. They have missed the boat as there are now 5 companies selling electronics that close the loop. A huge winter fuel savings down the drain for some.

    My Outback clients hired me to simulate Schneider closed loop because they were married to Outback.
    Schneider wrote the book on it back in 2017.

    Optics is still being run by the parent company hence the noise. You probably have seen this all on the Outback forum. 

    Hopefully the new buyers will make good decisions!   I would hate to lose an American company😞



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • mahendra
    mahendra Solar Expert Posts: 187 ✭✭✭
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    There is something fishy going on at outback but can't put a finger at it.
    I have been dealing with a warranty issue for a while and Tech support seems disconnected apart from phone lines not working sometimes or no one at tech support.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Fishy, not really! The company was sold. They furloughed many. Skeleton crew until they get it going again.
    Be patient. Below is the new president.

    Marshall NeipertForum MemberPosts: 11Joined: Mon May 20, 2024 10:07 amMy RE system: President of Outback Power
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/neipertContact: 
     
    You should ask him ! He is on the forum and responding to some emails. Here is in a link that he is taking suggestions on
     
    Kind of weird that the president is using a linkedin address but it is their company now
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
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    "Kind of weird that the president is using a linkedin address but it is their company now"

    One might think he could pick up the phone and in 5 minutes have an alternate email address established to collect public responses. But maybe all the OB IT guys are furloughed too?

    Frankly, my LinkedIn account went the same direction as Facebook over four years ago. In retrospect I wish I had sanitized the account pages and associations and saved them for research purposes. It's about impossible to set up an alias account these days.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Yes sanitize Facebook !   I would not want that Bozo looking in on me.

    As for Outback, I still have hopes and I recently got to go see the Crescent Dunes 110 megawatt thermal
    project that has died and come back. It is south of me about 2 hours N of Tonopah Nevada. A solar buddy took me down to see it. If you are not busy there are some good links to read about. The interesting part to me was all of the high tech tracked mirror heliostat arrays have not had many problems. The real problems have been with the low tech turbines and storage. The Wattsun solar tracker I used for many years was super reliable. Imagine the talent it took to build Crescent Dunes.

    Good reads for Memorial Day and the folks who had the same kind of Talent and gave all !

    https://www.solarpaces.org/what-happened-with-crescent-dunes/
    https://www.basinandrangewatch.org/CrescentDune.html



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
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    Yes sanitize Facebook !   I would not want that Bozo looking in on me."

    Yup. Same for LinkedIn but in a different way. But not a conversation for this thread or forum. Bottom line is even after the 5+ years with a different computer, different satellite provider, VPN and associated blocking/cleaning tools, if I try to set up an alias account FB comes back and suggests my deleted account as a starting point. Ya can run but you can't hide  :o
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Looks like Optics is up !

    No other news yet on the new Outback. Many think it could be a new all in one company like Solark and EG4 also in Silver Springs Texas area. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Optics was down again and I read this comment below from the Outback forum.

    Day 11….without communication with our Sol Ark 15k inverter….Thanks Sol-Ark Solar

    Post  Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:07 pm

    Who would have known? A conspiracy theorist that is right??? So it is no longer a conspiracy?  😉😎
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
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    Outback is now in TX (rumored). Sol-Ark is in TX. SpaceX is in TX.

    Somehow Elon Musk is behind all of this - I am sure of it.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    I wish Elon was behind it as this would not be happening to people like me who depend on Optics to be working. One client is Merchant Marine and out at sea. Pretty hard for me to see his place and really hard for him.

    Texas is a great business place for taxes. Below is the latest from the new Outback "boss"

    by Marshall Neipert » Thu May 23, 2024 9:41 pm

    wrlindsey1 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 10:47 am
    Marshall Neipert wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 6:00 pmUPDATE:

    Some have requested a better explanation of what happened, and it's due to loyal Outback Customers.

    There was a glitch that brought down the system, which is still being hosted by Enersys. I don't have the exact details of that, but it is well understood by Enersys and it shall be prevented in the future.

    When it was fixed by Enersys, Optics RE came back online immediately. However, it was flooded with data from all the systems uploading their data all at once. That's why connectivity was spotty, the servers were being flooded with bandwidth they weren't designed for. As the faster systems finished uploading and the number of connections were dropping, the connection reliability got better.

    We expect full functionality for the vast majority of systems as of the time of this writing. We also estimate that the last catch up of system uploads should complete within just a few hours from now.

    Again, this is being told as it's understood, as Enersys is still hosting Optics RE.

    -Marshall Neipert | President
    Outback Power
    When is Outback Power scheduled to take control of Optics RE? Are any changes to the operation of Optics RE proposed?
    There will be some improvements with Optics RE, it will be version 3.0. More information to come. Among the priorities is data reliability. The transfer of the software is scheduled for the end of June.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Surfpath
    Surfpath Solar Expert Posts: 466 ✭✭✭
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    Related to the conversation here: I just had a minor inverter error/short question - Tried calling Outback support. When you click 1 for technical support as opposed to 2 for sales, the phone system routes you to Sales anyways. It seems like Outback support is also “shorted”. 

    That’s nuts. Outback support was the reason why I went with them. I was told that they were knowledgeable and helpful. And that was my experience, especially during the few stressful times when the system went down.

    What is going on at Outback?
    Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.
  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
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    Be patient and hope for the best.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    You should go on the user forum website and get specific DIY help. When Schneider bought Xantrex XW, they abandoned the User Forum. It was a sign that companies do change, especially when sold.

    Over the years since 2005 Outback has had great support and repair sources. Schneider has supported their installers and until 3 years ago, not any DIY. That has changed. The saying that many Pros have is that Outback has the best support and Schneider does not usually need it, once installed and configured.  Very rare to see an XW fail, not so at Outback. If you have the talent, you can get a PCB and repair many Outback devices.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • mahendra
    mahendra Solar Expert Posts: 187 ✭✭✭
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    Surfpath said:
    Related to the conversation here: I just had a minor inverter error/short question - Tried calling Outback support. When you click 1 for technical support as opposed to 2 for sales, the phone system routes you to Sales anyways. It seems like Outback support is also “shorted”. 

    That’s nuts. Outback support was the reason why I went with them. I was told that they were knowledgeable and helpful. And that was my experience, especially during the few stressful times when the system went down.

    What is going on at Outback?
    Same here I have been dealing with a warranty claim since March. Initially got a ticket all was going well,
    I have been emailing and calling tech support same issue you would have experienced.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    JRHill said:
    Be patient and hope for the best.
    Words of wisdom !  prayer also might be good on this one. I have reset 3 outback optics systems and I am a Schneider XW guy.

    Keeping my billing up on this screw-up. How could you buy the company and not buy the Optics resources?   >:)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    below a snip from the forum.  --Dave


    Re: Outback out of business?

    Post by raysun » Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:39 pm

    solarcarl wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:37 pmLast week a customer told me they've had zero response calling Outback tech support and that apparently the company was in some kind of transition and stopped answering their phones. I then tried calling and emailing them and got zero response.
    Today I was on the phone with a Midnite Solar tech and I mentioned this and he said Enersys , the current owner of Outback has shut Outback down. Can anyone confirm this? Where does that leave products under warranty? And the future of OpticRE?
    It's not especially clear.
    What's obvious is Alpha/Enersys has divested themselves of Outback, presumedly selling the company to... ?
    Outback tech support, applications engineers, sales team, and anyone else who matters appear to be gone with the wind.
    At this point there's nobody to call, nobody answering emails, nobody who knows anything useful responding to questions.
    Outback out of business?
    Good question.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,805 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Optics Mobile App down?

    Is this referring to the Android or iOS app?
    They appear to be dead horses.
    Optics is functional via a web browser.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
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    I was halfway across the country since mid-last week until today. There was cloudiness/rain at home and I checked in with the android app from afar. All was good and the wife just continued on with no solar stuff. Seriously, if she had to do something it would be to start the generator, push a few buttons and she doesn't need me for that operation.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.