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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Brand new to the forum here.

I have a 2011 20kW Kohler generator with a RDC controller (I can post a picture of need be, but it's RDC - not DC, not RDC2). The battery died. After replacing the battery, it gave the NoEc (No Engine Code). An authorized Kohler dealer did a general tune up (oil change, etc.), then told me he can’t access the menu (and indeed he can’t) and the controller needs to be changed to upgrade it, by installing a kit (cost: $1,200), or the generator replaced (+$5000). The tech said that even if we were able to reset the controller to factory settings (and he does not know how to do so without accessing the menu), every time the battery dies, I would have the same problem, because it is an old controller, which cannot be updated software-wise.

Is the problem indeed that the RDC is now obsolete l, or can I swap it with another RDC if I find one? Also, at this point, would it be worth unplugging the entire controller, let it sit a few minutes, plug everything back, to see if that resets it to factory settings? (It did not reset itself to factory settings when the battery had died, and stayed like that for days; so, the answer is probably No.)

The situation poses a bit of a (perhaps common) dilemma: spending $1,200 on a controller upgrading "kit" (it's my understanding that that would not even be the RDC2, but something that upgrades my RDC so that it can receive the software updates), or replace the whole generator just because Kohler decided to make my controller obsolete. The generator was running fine before I had to replace the battery. So, I’m hesitant to throw it away.

Thank you very much everyone!
 

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Hello,

Brand new to the forum here.

I have a 2011 20kW Kohler generator with a RDC controller (I can post a picture of need be, but it's RDC - not DC, not RDC2). The battery died. After replacing the battery, it gave the NoEc (No Engine Code). An authorized Kohler dealer did a general tune up (oil change, etc.), then told me he can’t access the menu (and indeed he can’t) and the controller needs to be changed to upgrade it, by installing a kit (cost: $1,200), or the generator replaced (+$5000). The tech said that even if we were able to reset the controller to factory settings (and he does not know how to do so without accessing the menu), every time the battery dies, I would have the same problem, because it is an old controller, which cannot be updated software-wise.

Is the problem indeed that the RDC is now obsolete l, or can I swap it with another RDC if I find one? Also, at this point, would it be worth unplugging the entire controller, let it sit a few minutes, plug everything back, to see if that resets it to factory settings? (It did not reset itself to factory settings when the battery had died, and stayed like that for days; so, the answer is probably No.)

The situation poses a bit of a (perhaps common) dilemma: spending $1,200 on a controller upgrading "kit" (it's my understanding that that would not even be the RDC2, but something that upgrades my RDC so that it can receive the software updates), or replace the whole generator just because Kohler decided to make my controller obsolete. The generator was running fine before I had to replace the battery. So, I’m hesitant to throw it away.

Thank you very much everyone!
I can only suggest in generalities from a 30 year career in information technology. Have you looked at the controller board for a battery? May be of the button type in a holder or it may be off the cylinder type in a holder or with leads soldered to the board. Those keep the user BIOS settings when there is no other power available and last about 10 years. If that battery can be replaced, it will return everything to the defaults stored in a PROM or on the controller chip itself. Some devices are set to factory by holding down a small often hard to access button while applying power for some period of time. May want to find documentation and look up factory defaults. Note that setting factory will also set any passwords to factory which hopefully are published.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can only suggest in generalities from a 30 year career in information technology. Have you looked at the controller board for a battery? May be of the button type in a holder or it may be off the cylinder type in a holder or with leads soldered to the board. Those keep the user BIOS settings when there is no other power available and last about 10 years. If that battery can be replaced, it will return everything to the defaults stored in a PROM or on the controller chip itself. Some devices are set to factory by holding down a small often hard to access button while applying power for some period of time. May want to find documentation and look up factory defaults. Note that setting factory will also set any passwords to factory which hopefully are published.
Thank you! I didn’t see any batteries, but will look again.

Resetting to the factory settings of 11 years ago I guess would make me lose any updates in firmare. Honestly, I don’t even understand why such updates are needed for this kind of machine; yet, some three years ago, on occasion of a tuneup (different company), apparently an update was installed, and the engine ran more smoothly from then on.

That said, the whole notion for which a company can turn what is a self-contained machine into one that will stop functioning the moment you replace the battery, and be declared obsolete, confuses me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know about the firmware upgrade process for the Kohler, but you might find something useful here:
thanks! I’ll call Kohler again, and ask about the updates. Even if they don’t sell the RDC anymore, why can’t the engine from 11 years ago continue running on the same equipment and software as 11 years ago? (In that case, if it turns out my controller is broken - though that’s not do clear - andI find another, identical controller for sale, why can’t I swap one for the other, and the technician reinstall the old firmare if need be?
 

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thanks! I’ll call Kohler again, and ask about the updates. Even if they don’t sell the RDC anymore, why can’t the engine from 11 years ago continue running on the same equipment and software as 11 years ago? (In that case, if it turns out my controller is broken - though that’s not do clear - andI find another, identical controller for sale, why can’t I swap one for the other, and the technician reinstall the old firmare if need be?
It is not the firmware but the user settings which I referred to. The firmware will run the same as always as you surmised so long as it can make sense of the user settings. Your PC remembers the **** and other settings even unplugged. Until the little battery runs down. But even with a run down battery or missing battery it can remember so long as it remains plugged in to a live power source. I have seen firmware get messed up. Very rare. But it can be reflashed to restore it's function. Maybe not so easy though. Really depends on is design.
 
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