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Brian avatar image

Can VictronConnect run in background and keep screen active?

I use the graph data displayed in VictronConnect (connected to the BMV-712) on my phone/tablet to monitor trending data for various states of charge and draw. However, this can't be done over any reasonable period of time without the device screen timing out (or having to adjust the screen timeout on the phone/tablet) AND/OR while toggling between other apps.

1) Is there a way to allow VictronConnect to run in the background and collect data so the user doesn't have to re-connect to the BMV-712 when toggling between apps on a phone/tablet? If the VictronConnect app is backgrounded, the app must reconnect to the BMV-712 which resets the graphs.

2) Is there an option to keep the device screen on/active while the VictronConnect app is foregrounded (for example like google maps/streaming apps, etc do). If the screen times out, the app must reconnect to the BMV-712 which resets the graphs.


If the answer is "not possible" to both those, I'd like to file a feature request.


Thanks.

VictronConnect
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Adding my vote to the feature request.

I just installed my mppt and started using this app and this is something that I noticed right away, the lack of ability to record or keep the app running. +1 for feature request.

Yes, please improve the app to run in the background. And to not lose all data when switching from BMV to another device.

Same question/request. Lots of customers would appreciate this BT connexion problem being fixed.

Very useful and nice app. Thank you guys.

4 Answers
mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image

Hi @Brian, and others, both keeping the bluetooth connection active when the app is in the background as well as blocking the phone to from going to sleep is currently not possible.

VictronConnect, as it is, is designed to be a configuration tool for professionals as well as DIYs. And for those user groups, as well as normal users, its other purpose is to login and see how everything is going; too see whats the solar yield for example. And more detailed diagnostics.

But not continuous monitoring / indeed limited features to see what has been going on.

For that we have our GX Product range and the (free of charge) VRM Portal. And for those GX products we have the low cost DYI alternative the option to use the same software that runs on our commercial offering (Venus OS) on a raspberrypi. And also there is our open source venus-docker-grafana project; which can be used to have beautiful dashboarding and graphing. See screenshots below. That is an alternative / extension to VRM.

Back to VictronConnect the good news is that we are slowly getting to a point where we can look into improving its monitoring features. There are (indeed) various ways to do that, but unfortunately its not as easy as one might hope/think. We’re working on it.


Have a good day, Matthijs


Venus docker grafana:



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Thanks mvader, Hopefully they will come up with an easy way to keep it running. There are plenty of GPS apps that stay running in the background so hopefully it isn't too hard.

For my case, just a solar charge controller and temp sensor, a GX product would be way too much. A simple update to this app would be sufficient for my case. Other than this, I think it is a very nice app and great interface to the SCC.

Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) avatar image

There is a way to keep the screen active, while the phone is plugged in:


https://www.wikihow.com/Keep-the-Screen-on-While-Charging-on-Android

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Oilbrnr avatar image

The app is a hot mess. Why no background data collection (should be stored in the actual device until transmitted to the app) and why no single pain of glass to look at more than one BT enabled Victron product at the same time is disappointing.

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Thanks, that is real constructive feedback, which will for sure motivate the developers as well as my self.

;o)

dworkin avatar image dworkin mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ ·

Not sure what ;o) means but I guess mvader is aiming for snarky or 'tongue in cheek'. If so I think Oilbrnr has a valid point though I'm not sure what he means by 'no single pain of glass...' ?

Someone pointed out that you can export data from an MPPT. Well yes you can but only for 'history' which effectively gives you a record of sunshine in any 24hr period which is cute but of little practical use if you want to test various alternative setups e.g. panel orientation, tracking, reflected light, etc. At the moment all you can do is to change a parameter, wait for a day and hope that you strip out other factors like weather conditions!

Do the same for 'Trends' and you have a simple and immediate tool to help installation. Now that would be something and a something that for would be very marketable angle for Victron.

Hello!

The ;o) was meant to lighten the tone.


We do have very extensive monitoring solutions available, look at our GX Product range as well as the VRM Portal.

I do understand that that means installing extra components (though possible at low cost, see our free raspberrypi Venus OS image). And while nice and worth the effort and cost for larger systems; not so for many smaller systems.

So yes, I absolutely agree that it would be great if the products themselves do data collection in the background; and having all that downloadable; visible; analysable as well as exportable in VictronConnect; Its on the list of things we're making.


best regards, Matthijs

Hahaha @Oilbrnr if you think the app is a hot mess, you've clearly never used the old command-line programming that was the only interface just a few short years ago :-P

Bottom line, everything can always be improved upon in some way, but go try to find me a single other manufacturer of similar components that has anywhere near as polished of a device interface as Victron, let alone better...

...I'll wait...

Will avatar image

Maybe someone will answer with a way to do this but I have occasionally wanted a similar ability and not found a way to do it. I would add my vote for the feature request.

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