question

valden avatar image
valden asked

It’s 2022. Is configuring a MultiPlus with Mac or iPad possible yet?

From searching and reading and reading and searching it is still not clear whether I will be able to fully control, configure and update my MultiPlus with a MK3-USB and either a Mac using OS X or an iPad using iOS. Is updated advice available on this please?

I found this in the VE.Bus Configuration Guide, at para 3.3.
An MK3-USB is required to change settings and perform firmware updates and settings. And, as that requires a USB port, it is not possible to change inverter/charger configuration or perform firmware updates on a Apple iPad or iPhone.

My latest model iPad has a USB-C port and with its accessory USB-C to USB adapter it can easily work with USB devices, such as the MK3-USB, I imagine.

In case using an iPad is still a no-go, can a MacBookPro with OS X and MK3-USB provide full control, configuration and updating of my MultiPlus?

People often ask me on my YouTube channel whether they should buy Victron or MasterVolt systems for their boats. I tell them both systems are good but I prefer Victron for its openness, easy user controllability and Apple friendly orientation. I always feel nervous in providing this advice, given the unfathomable situation with respect to Apple unfriendliness of the MultiPlus.

To borrow from an infamous Australian politician, ‘Please Explain?’

Regards, Rick Dykstra. S/V Snow Gum.

MultiPlus Quattro Inverter Chargerfirmware update
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2 Answers
Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

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

2. Introduction

"VictronConnect connects to the inverters via a USB-MK3 accessory cable, or via the VE.Bus Smart Dongle (both sold separately).

The specific MK3 VE.Bus component is available for Android, Windows, and macOS X (but not iOS)."

Not all settings are available via VictronConnect to configure an ESS or other assistants you still need VE.config.

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Hi Matthias. Thanks. I read that paragraph too. The inference is that with VictronConnect on a MacBookPro using OS X and with the MK3-USB device I will be able to control, configure and update my MultiPlus, without limitation. But not with an iPad.

Would you agree with this assessment?

If true, this is a very positive development that deserves full publicity. If true, I will buy a MK3-USB device today! :-)

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As I wrote above you can't configure assistants(like ESS) and grid codes with VictronConnect, for that you still need to use VE.config (Windows only).

What you can do with VictronConnect you can see in the demo library.

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valden avatar image valden Matthias Lange - DE ♦ ·

Hi Matthias. Thanks for pointing to the Demo Library in Victron Connect. I’m looking in there now. I’ve clicked Lithium Mode, given that my system has Victron 12.8V Smart Batteries. I’m prompted by a pop-up to ‘click here to know the effect of enabling or disabling lithium mode.’ In there I’ve found an interesting caveat. Please note that my system uses a Smart BMS CL 12-100, not a VE.Bus BMS.


B) Victron 12.8V and 25.6V batteries, requiring a

VE.Bus BMS

These require additional confiquration that is not

currently supported by VictronConnect. Please use

VEConfigure instead and install the VE.Bus BMS

Assistant, as well as check the Lithium battery

checkbox.

This requirement for VEConfigure appears to be specific to systems employing a VE.Bus BMS and using VE.Bus BMS Assistant. My system does not use these, so I conclude that I will not need a Windows laptop with VEConfigure to complete the updating and configuration of my MultiPlus. Are you aware of any other ‘gotchas’?

Thank you. Rick.

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Depends on your system and your components.

Look into the manual of the BMS.

In some configurations you still need to setup assistants in the Multi and for that you need VE.config.

But use the search function there is also a way to run VE.config on Mac, but I don't know how because I don't have a Mac (I hate Apple).

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ Matthias Lange - DE ♦ ·
VE.Config on Mac requires a VM (with Windows installed - I hate Windows) like Parallels Desktop.
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valden avatar image valden Matthias Lange - DE ♦ ·
Hello Mathias. Thanks for this information.

Victron’s Apple friendliness is a big draw card for the brand, a situation which makes the MultiPlus’ Windows dependency particularly incongruous and frustrating. I, as an example of your customer group, have not owned a Windows computer … let me think … ever! I retired a little earlier than usual, partly to get away from having to use godawful Windows computers and software at work. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the main reason I insisted on Victron over the MasterVolt system that was being pushed on me by my boat builder was to be able to use Apple products to control Victron and avoid Windows/Android with MasterVolt. A €36000 system, due to its Apple compatibility. You might hate Apple, but clearly someone at your company gets it. :-)

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I detest Windows, I only really use it if someone pays me to do so. I have an old Apple (Intel I think) and it's a fairly good machine - it has a proper bash terminal which makes it worthwhile to switch it on.
My favourite is Linux and guess what, VictronConnect runs on Linux too. That's very 2022 I think.

Sure, it is annoying having to scratch around to find a Windows VM to run VE.Configure, but this is a legacy software which is very reliable and has been around for years.
VictronConnect is on the path to replace VE.Configure and then we can delete our Windows VMs.

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In "my" company (I'm not working for Victron) no one uses Mac or Apple.
We have an iPad laying around somewhere but it is not really in use.

What I "hate" at Apple is the price.
You pay twice the price for the same hardware.
Yes, the M1 chip seems to be great though but in my opinion it is not worth the extra cost.

I also "hate" Windows sometimes but it is easy to use and I can easy install/use every software I don't have to search for a Mac version or have to struggle with Wine or a VM.

And I'm a "gamer" and it's not so easy to play games on Mac. Yes, it is getting better over the last but especially with older games its still not easy.

As wkirby wrote, Victron is working on VictronConnect to replace VE.config someday but it is still a long way and I don't think it will happen this year.
It is not just VE.config, it is also the "VE.Bus System Configurator" for systems with more than one device.
"VE.Bus Quick Configure" and "VEflash" is already replaced as long as you don't need assistants and your device is not to old and has at last FW 415.

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valden avatar image valden Matthias Lange - DE ♦ ·
Thanks for being a sport Matthias and filling in some gaps in my knowledge and awareness. I understand, for gamers Windows computers make perfect sense. The cost of Apple products annoys me too, but people keep voting with their wallets. Thank you for the development insights. I will keep voting for a Victron and MultiPlus system I can configure entirely from my iPad or iPhone. I just did a bunch of updates via Bluetooth. Gotta love that. :-)
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ltmonger avatar image
ltmonger answered ·

I am using MAC OS X Big Sur 11.6.4 on 2013 MacBook Air and successfully updated firmware and settings in my Multiplus 3000va 12V. I have 2018 Winnebago View 24J with four LionEnergy UT-1300's in parallel, Victron BMV-712 and SmartSolar MPPT 100/50 plus 480 watts of solar panels(3). I wired system using 1/0 welding cables for intra-connections and 2/0 on the battery bank endpoints. So far the system is behaving well.

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Hi It. Can you please advise which Victron software you used with your MacBook Air to do the MultiPlus firmware update? Re settings, do you believe you had access to the full scope of MultiPlus settings? Thanks.
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I used Victron Connect App on Big Sur OS. First updated firmware then adjusted recommended setting for LionEnergy UT-1300's. Not sure if that's what your looking for.
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