stevecahill avatar image
stevecahill asked

Victron demo and programming a VE.Bus device (Quatro) via Bluetooth Smart Dongle?

The VictronConnect app v5.104 in demo-mode on iphone shows configuring a Quatro including all the simple-system adjustments that I need to make, seamlessly. Conversely the most recent VictronConnect configuration guide for VE.Bus products, rev 03 - 04/2023 says that this is not possible. Specifically section 3.3; "VE.Bus Smart dongle limitations - When connected over bluetooth, using the VE.Bus Smart Dongle, only status data, voltages, and other information can be read...No changes can be made to the product"

There are old posts and old documentation that discuss VE.Bus device configuration not being allowed over the Smart Dongle. But the demo-mode configuration of the Quatro using the iphone works fine. It looks like the ability of VictronConnect via the Smart Bluettooth dongle to configure VE.Bus devices is being improved with new versions. So, my question:

Which is correct today, the current demo-mode example which works nicely for configuring float and absorption voltages, or the statement in the most-recent VictronConnect configuration guide which says control only, no configuration?

VE.Bus Smart Dongle
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1 Answer
Justin Cook avatar image
Justin Cook answered ·

The demo in VictronConnect shows you programming the unit using VictronConnect, but not via bluetooth. Wired connection using an MK3-USB Interface allows you to program the unit using VictronConnect from a laptop, tablet, or even a phone - it just has to be a wired connection, not BT.
This is a massive step forward (well, it's an old one, this happened a few years ago) since the old method using VE.Config required a Windows machine, whereas VictronConnect works on Android, Windows, iOS, even (I think) Linux.

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stevecahill avatar image stevecahill commented ·

Hello Justin - thanks for getting back to me. There's still a disconnect, though: the configuration guide also says on page 9, "Settings on iPhone is not supported at this time, as iPhone does not support OTG connections from USB and is unable to connect to the MK3-USB". MK3-USB seems to actually not be an option with all phones, just Android phones, and only those Android phones which support USB OTG.

Summarizing, it seems as if:

1) With Victron software and hardware available as of January 2024, VE.Bus devices cannot be directly configured using iOS on iPhone or iPad devices using either the VE.Bus Smart Dongle Bluetooth interface or with a phone-to-VE.Bus-device connection through the MK3-USB dongle. The Mk3 USB VE.Bus adapter needs USB OTG which iOS devices do not support, so the MK3 USB adapter cannot plug into the iPhone through an Apple-Lighting-to-USB adapter; physically yes, but will not be functional without the OTG feature.

2) Such configuration is possible only with devices that support USB OTG such as most Android devices, or Mac, or PC, or through a connected Cerbo device and VRM, all using the MK3-USB dongle.

3) The demo-mode running on the iPhone, specific to VE.Bus devices, cannot be extended to actually using an iPhone to configure a VE.Bus device unless VRM is supported by the Victron system configuration, including a live internet connection. Configuration of the VE.Bus device indirectly through a Cerbo device by means of an iPhone via VictronConnect using the VRM menu, rather than the local menu, is possible, but only if internet access is available to the Cerbo device.

If I've gotten something wrong in this summary, please let me know. Thanks again for getting back to me. I am (sort of) happy to have worked through to the answer for this question, even though that answer has proved to be a disappointment; at least now I can get the equipment on order for the installation. In the application I will carry a programming kit specific to this problem, to support the need to occasionally trim up the installation during usage while boondocking.

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