ELK M1 serial control of Jandy System?


Hi, I'm trying to find out if I can control my Jandy Aqualink through the ELK M1. The Jandy is a pool/spa controller, but in my case it also controls my entire yard including all exterior lighting (multiple groups of lights with dimmers, etc.). It is a nice rugged exterior all digital controller, but it is really dumb. The good news is that it has a RS-232/485 serial port and a fairly straight forward set of serial ASCII commands for status query, device on/off, etc.

I know that this isn't a "supported" device and the M1 doesn't have a driver for it, but I'd like to find out if I can interface this device myself. I've been reading the manuals but I don't see how I can send my own user defined ASCII strings out the serial port let alone act on the responses since that would require parsing the response packets.

Is this hopeless? Has anyone interfaced foreign serial devices to their M1?
Dependent on the sophistication of the RS232 protocol, you could probably use the MainLobby Generic Serial Plugin to interact with the Jandy. You would need a PC up 24x7 to do this, but many are doing that now and then displaying a touchscreen or desktop screen throughout the house to control and view status of such systems like a Jandy. And the ELK zones and functions as well.
You should be able to build text strings using the ASCII Protocol from Jandy and send them to the Jandy when a Rule fires.

Goto the Text section under Automation in ELKRP and build the text strings. Find out if Jandy needs a carriage return and or line feed to terminate the string going into the Jandy. You can add them when building the strings.

Write your rules and make a THEN statement send the text string out either Port 0 on the M1 or Port 1 to 7 on a M1XSP serial port expander.

Make sure you have the M1's or M1XSP's baud rate set the same as the Jandy baud rate.
Thanks for the suggestions. What I'd like to do is connect the Jandy System to the ELK via serial port #1-8 and then connect a PC to the ELK serial port #0. The PC might not be up 24-7, but when it is I'd like to be able to have it query the Jandy system. Is that possible? The text message out feature on the ELK will let me turn things on/off, but I would like the PC to be able to gather status from the controller.