question

andyalford avatar image
andyalford asked

VE.Direct not working on SmartSolar 150/70 MPPT

SmartSolar MPPT 150/70 Tr

This one is not communicating with GX on the VE.Direct.

Bluetooth is working, and the charger is operating as expected.

I checked in Bluetooth and cannot see an obvious option to turn VE.Direct on/off ????


MPPT SmartSolarVE.Direct
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7 Answers
randallemarshall avatar image
randallemarshall answered ·

I checked in Bluetooth and cannot see an obvious option to turn VE.Direct on/off ????

Settings > tx port function > normal communication.

Have you checked the VE Direct cable, swapping it out for 1 of the others?

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andyalford avatar image
andyalford answered ·

Thanks for confirming that, yes I have


TX Port = Normal Communications and

RX Port = Remote On/Off


And have tried 2x VE.Direct Cables. Sadly Nothing.

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klim8skeptic avatar image klim8skeptic ♦ commented ·
Also check the sockets for bent or broken pins.
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andyalford avatar image andyalford klim8skeptic ♦ commented ·
Yup, the pins look perfect. And I have 3 others which are working perfectly.
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ejrossouw avatar image
ejrossouw answered ·

Which GX device? You have 4 controllers? Using an usb hub and VE.direct to usb dongles? On the first generation of Cerbo, the one usb port can only be used for powering the Touch GX due to hardware limitations.

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andyalford avatar image andyalford commented ·
I have 4 controllers but I am only plugging in one at a time for this test.

The other 3 working, so I know this one is faulty.
I returned it under warranty. Thanks for your reply.


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Brent Massey avatar image
Brent Massey answered ·

I'm having the same issue @andyalford . Just started yesterday.

SmartSolar MPPT 100/30. Connected via VE.Direct cables to Cerbo GX. Bluetooth is working, and the charger is functioning as intended. But it is no longer recognized by the GX.

I have swapped cables with known good cables. All of the pins are strait, with no obvious damage.

But it still will not communicate with the GX device.



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andyalford avatar image andyalford commented ·
I will let you know what the guys discover with my unit. It is back in their hands now, for testing under warranty.
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johanndo avatar image
johanndo answered ·

Original wires from Victron or DIY from YT tutorials?

Also Ve.Direct to Ve.Direct connection or via USB Port?


You may wreck your interface or your USB port if you connect the Vpp wires. I have seen really bad tutorials, hence the question.

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andyalford avatar image andyalford commented ·
Victron VE.Direct USB cable only. Raspberry Pi and CCGX were used.

But I have sent the unit back under warranty now. Thanks for reply.


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Brent Massey avatar image Brent Massey commented ·

Mine are all VE.direct to VE.direct cables from victron. Have been working flawlessly for months until yesterday.

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infotri avatar image
infotri answered ·

Any news here, I have the same problem?

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andyalford avatar image andyalford commented ·
I couldn't find a solution in software, but happily Victron replaced it under warranty.
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therealkasumi avatar image
therealkasumi answered ·

Hey everyone. Unfortunately, I have the same issue and it is not the first time.


The VE.direct port of my first MPPT 150 | 70 broke about 7 month after installing it. I sent the device back and got a replacement without any comment. To my disappointment the replacement device broke just 3 weeks after installing it. Again showing the exact same issues. Something must be wrong here. Especially since a brand new VE.direct to USB cable from Victron was used in both cases. It should be almost impossible to break the port electrically with these opto-isolated cables. Unless there is a problem with the cable or the port itself.


So I’m asking myself what to do now? Send it back again and then potentially break the next one? I double checked everything multiple times by now because I was searching for a mistake on my side. However, everything seems perfectly fine besides the VE.direct port of exactly the MPPT 150 | 70. Another MPPT 150 | 35 is working since years in the same system. Is it really a coincident and I got two faulty MPPT 150 | 70 in a row?


Finally I also setup my oscilloscope and hooked it up to the VE.direct port of the broken MPPT. What I can observe here is that the TX pin seems to work without an issue. The signal is clean and the UART data can be decoded without any problems. Same applies to the RX pin and I can normally connect to the MPPT via VE.Connect with non-isolating UART2USB cables.


So what was left is the end is the Vcc pin. In with that the issue was found. Afaik it should sit at about 3.3V for the MPPT 150 | 70. But in my case it’s „floating“ around somewhere between 0.7V to 2.1V with a lot of (electrical) noise. Connecting it to GND with a 2.2kOhm resistor will pull it down close to 0V.


So to me this looks like a problem with an internal voltage regulator. Therefore making isolating cables unusable since they require a power input.


„Luckily“, these MPPT 150 | 70 are glued together so that it is impossible to replace a super cheap part and therefore turning the whole thing into garbage. Really not sure how to feel about it. Happy feels different, so much I can tell.


But main question remains the same. How can it be broken in the first place when using original, isolating cables from victron and what should I do now?


Greets,

Josi

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I found some more time and can now confirm that above is true. Not sure about the internal structure of the MPPT but it seems that the Vcc output from to VE.direct port breaks or gets disconnected by some kind of fuse. In any way, it stops providing the 3.3V for the cable.


I now cut one of my VE.direct to USB cables on the VE.direct side and provided the 3.3V via a lab PSU to the cable. Afterwards the communications works without any issues.


So what I will do now is providing my own 3.3V to the cable via a linear voltage regulator from the battery. Since the VE.direct port and the battery share the same ground it should be okish. Does it work? Yes. Can I recommend it? Definitely not!


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VE.Direct protocol FAQ

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