question

gzimmer avatar image
gzimmer asked

VictronConnect can't see any devices on Local

I've drastically shortened my original post, as I had no replies.

I have a Cerbo GX which is connected on my LAN with a BMV-700 Battery Monitor and a MPPT 100/50 Solar charger

My desktop PC can see the Cerbo in it's list of Network devices.

I can Ping the Cerbo, and can connect to the Cerbo GX by clicking on the network icon. or by entering "venus.local" in the browser.

I have VictronConnect running, and can access the Cerbo via the VRM online portal, However under "Local", VictronConnect says "No Devices found".

I need VictronConnect to talk to the Cerbo directly as I normally have no internet at this site.

Can anybody help please?


Thanks ..... Zim





connection issue
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4 Answers
nickdb avatar image
nickdb answered ·

VC local with a LAN only connection is rather pointless, does the app work when you select the VRM tab?

Local with LAN only should see the GX but it will just redirect you to the remote console page.

It is meant for using bluetooth (when in close proximity to the devices) or the USB VE adapters.

There are also some limitations like Windows blueteeth is (or wasn't) supported.

https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/VictronConnect_Manual/en/index-en.html


If you are using wifi anywhere in the chain, some access points use their version of islanding to stop clients talking to one another locally (for security).

Desktop firewalls/endpoint protection can also block some comms.

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gzimmer avatar image
gzimmer answered ·

Thanks very much for your help.

> VC local with a LAN only connection is rather pointless,

> does the app work when you select the VRM tab?

My understanding is that VRM requires support from the Internet.

I just did a quick test, and with the Internet unplugged, the VRM is dead

(although I can still access the web page in the Cerbo).

> Local with LAN only should see the GX but it will just redirect you to

> the remote console page.

But to access the more technical settings, I need the Gear icon in VictronConnect, which apparently I can't use over the LAN without an internet connection.

If this is correct, it makes the LAN connection (and Cerbo RX) useless for me.





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Yes, vrm requires internet access.

The remote (lan) console allows you access to cerbo/venus configuration- shared configuration like dvcc and ess, among others.

If you want to access advanced settings of the mppt/multi you will need both a mk3 usb cable (for the ve bus devices) and bluetooth for the rest. Bearing in mind windows does not support Bluetooth config.


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So if I were to set up a boat or an RV with various Victron boxes scattered around, it would be pointless to connect them together with a Cerbo RX and LAN.

If I wanted to access any advanced settings, I would have to go around with a laptop, unplug each VE.Direct cable (or whatever) and plug in WiFi or Blue Tooth adapters at each device whenever the Internet was unavailable.

Surely this cannot be true.


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The Cerbo/GX provides shared services that helps all the devices work together, so is required for most setups.

It also provides a neat dashboard of what is going on which can be displayed on your phone, or an external display.

This can be accessed also by the internal wifi AP on the device so a LAN cable isn't specifically required.

Generally, once configured, you shouldn't need to go around connecting to devices though you can now get some good trend (beta feature) data off mppt's etc.

Victron don't have one management tool that is platform independent.

If you want to configure/update a multi properly, victron connect only allows a basic subset of settings. You still need a windows laptop with a mk3 USB adapter and veconfigure to set the inverter up properly. The rest (shunts, mppt's etc) have less to setup and can be configured and upgraded via VC.

This will no doubt change with time.


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Thanks again for your help.

Firstly I did solve my problem with VictronConnect not seeing the LAN devices on Local. After much experimenting I swapped my Ethernet hub for another and it started working. Strange that all other network functions worked, except for VictronConnect's local traffic.

I also see what you mean about VictronConnect handing local connections over to the Remote Console web page on each device. This is very disappointing.

Oh well, it's been a painful learning experience. I do hope that Victron can fix some of these glaring gaps in the near future.


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As you can probably see from some of the questions on this community forum, there are a lot of DIY'ers buying stuff and thinking it is just all plug and play, or working on how they think it should work.

Victron is a great product which is very flexible and feature rich.

To avoid problems you really need to know how the ecosystem fits together, it just takes more than connecting a bunch of wires together.

It is actually very well documented, but too many people over-estimated their abilities and then the product takes an (unfair) beating.

Sure there are some quirks but that applies to everyone.

Properly designed and configured, you won't be disappointed.


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As a retired IT guy, the system could offer as much functionality with much less complexity. Part of the problem is multiple buses. Part is software that's not always intuitive and doesn't always work. What you need to know is often spread across multiple pieces of documentation. And the product names, catchy as they are, usually mean nothing.
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nickdb avatar image nickdb kevgermany ♦♦ ·
As a current IT guy I would agree. Part of the challenge, as you would be aware, is trying to cater for all the legacy and third party devices. Starting again with a clean sheet can annoy as many people as it pleases.

There seems to be a desire to improve, and if I look over the last year and a bit at the development that is taking place it reflects that.

Ultimately they (Victron) are quite specific that this isn't an off the shelf, end-user installable product, though clearly the market seems to be demanding one - not that most regulators permit end-users installing AC systems.

Marine and mobile applications may be more relaxed.

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As a retired Electronic Design Engineer, I think that the Victron hardware is excellent.

However I think that the documentation is quite poor, was obviously written by sales people rather than engineers, and is full of pointless technobabble.

But the main problem is the many gotcha's that are NOT in the documentation.

----------------------------

Whatever, if I understand things correctly:

There are two ways to connect to a Victron device (such as the MPPT 100/50 Solar charger):

- The first method is over a direct connection via WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB cable.

A normal Web browser can be used to access the device's internal web server. (Victron calls this "The Remote Console").

In addition, a specialised "VictronConnect" App can be used to access the device.

However, only VictronConnect has the facility to access the more specialised settings (via the gear icon in the top right hand corner).

- The second method is over a Local Area Network (LAN), assuming that the device is connected to a Cerbo RX networking device

Again a normal Web browser can connect to the internal web server in the device.

And the VictronConnect App can also connect via the LAN.

However to connect, VictronConnect needs the service of a Victron server on the Internet. Without access to the server, VictronConnect cannot run over the LAN.

Which means that without an Internet connection, you cannot access the more specialed settings via the LAN.

----------------------------

The problem is that none of this is described in the documentation, except in the most trivial detail.

In fact the Cerbo GX Manual is quite misleading:

"4.3. Accessing Remote Console via the local LAN/WiFi Network""This method does not require an internet connection. Just a local computer network is sufficient".

No mention of VictronConnect at all.

I now understand why the presenters in a number of video's rather sneakily gloss over using VRM, rather than a direct connection.

All of the promotional bumf makes a big point of accessing devices (via the Internet) from all around the world, but neatly sidestep the issue of using a direct LAN connection without the internet.

The good news is that various promo videos suggest that this limitation will hopefully be overcome in the future.

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Almost.

So a remote console is the connection to the cerbo/gx which you can get to either via the internet (vrm), local LAN web browser or connecting to the built in AP. VC pretty much just redirects to the GX web interface.

Inverters (multis) are VE bus, this requires a mk3 USB adapter and veconfigure (windows only) or VC (which has a limited ability to configure and isn't a replacement for veconfigure yet).

VE direct devices (shunts, MPPT's etc) use VC and can only be configured via bluetooth (if it's a smart device or it supports a dongle), USB VE direct cable or remotely via VRM option (if you have internet access for the Cerbo/GX as it operates as a gateway). They don't have a console or web browser.

LAN is only really helpful if you have internet access for VRM.


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Hi @gzimmer

Victron Connect via ethernet/wifi was designed for remote access. Ie. over the web, and via VRM. It can be used locally, but still via VRM. The manual states no more than that.

Access this way via Windows is a relatively new development and when introduced was quite special, to me at least. Indeed there are unfinished issues like Win screen presentation that aren't yet complete, and this has been discussed in another thread.

I don't profess to understand how it works, but I often suffer web issues. When that happens it throws an error, usually relating to services like MQTT, DBUS and RPC broker(s). So there's some complexity behind it all, and we should be thankful for what we have already, as well as the continual ongoing development.

I am..


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Alexandra avatar image
Alexandra answered ·

https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/Cerbo_GX/en/accessing-the-gx-device.html

There are 4 ways to access the Cerbo. Locally you use the qr code. Or logon to its own local wifi access point or bluetooth. It does not need internet.

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You absolutely do need the internet if you want to access the advanced settings of devices attached to the Cerbo using VictronConnect via the LAN.




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silverfox avatar image
silverfox answered ·

With my system, I happened upon a way to connect locally to my Cebo GX without my having an internet connection.

Background 1st:

For a while, I could open Victron Connect and it would find my Cerbo GX as a 'Local' device. Then it disappeared. Now whenever I try with VC, the only way I can access my Cerbo GX is with VRM, which requires an internet connection.

Sometimes, if I unplug my Ethernet router connection to the Cerbo GX, and plug it back in, I can then go to another Ethernet-router computer on my network and VC will show me my Cerbo GX in 'Local.' But then, a few minutes later, if I close VC and re-open it, my Cerbo GX has disappeared in 'Local.'

But a different solution appeared:

I go directly into my router's DHCP table and it shows my Cerbo GX IP address. The name is 'einstein.' Then in a separate browser window, I simply put in that IP address and I'm instantly in the Cerbo GX Menu/Pages section. I can change the available settings, look at current production, etc etc. I just don't have the pretty 'Dashboard' that VC usually starts with.

For instance:

My 'einstein' is 192.168.1.15

In my browser URL space, I type in 192.168.1.15 and the browser puts in the http:// and instantly I'm in.

I don't have WiFi - only Ethernet - but I think this "Enter the IP Address" method should work with WiFi also, as long as you are entering the IP address correctly in your browser.

Will this work for you too?

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