anthem avatar image

Can I use the VE.Direct LoraWan dongle with a BMV connected to a CCGX?

So I have a BMW712 which has a cable to my CGGX. The CGGX has a wifi dongle that updates my data to the VRM portal. . I just got a Lorawan module to update data when mobile. . Apparently you cant connect the Loranwan to the CGGX but only the BMV. Well thats fine, but then how do I connect the BMV to share the data to the CGGX ? it doesnt have any other ports, and doesnt have a USB port to allow use of a to USB expansion. . is there another method for the lorawan to be connected in this victron ecosystem ? thanks

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1 Answer
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

Hi @anthem,

Unfortunately using the LoRaWan dongle and the CCGX at the same time with a BMV-712 is not supported.

Depending on your options and location, a GX GSM might be a more suitable accessory to provide a data connection to the GX device when on the move.

The LoRaWan dongle is intended for smaller systems that do not have a GX device, but still want some basic data connectivity.

There is some mention of this already in the FAQ in the manual, but I will update it now to make this limitation clearer.

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But this makes zero sense. One is a transmission method and the other is a system connectivity method. Otherwise what you are saying is that smaller systems have better connectivity options than larger systems. Because without a Cggx I can use gsm, lorawan. WiFi Ethernet. But WITH a cggx i am now limited and cannot use it.

The entire point of using a lorawan device is so you can use the IoT network without paying for costly cellular fees. If I wanted to pay for for cellular fees I would be better off just getting a cradlepoint or cellular router rather than just the Victron gsm device. So I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have a connectivity device be able to work with each other. Like the more Victron devices I use - the more penalized options I have. Just strange.

There are several reasons.

Firstly the interface limitation. VE.Direct is a versatile port, but splitting it to allow for multiple physical connections is definitely not supported, and I would expect extremely unreliable if attempted.

The CCGX is able to connect via 3G GSM mobile networks (GX GSM), WIFI (USB dongle), and Ethernet.

It may be possible to get an 3rd party adapter to convert the LoRaWan network to Ethernet to connect to the CCGX, but I expect that the data rate and bandwidth requirements of the CCGX will be too high for the LoRa protocol limitations.

The Victron LoRaWan module is designed to be as light use data consumer as possible, around those limitations. It does not allow for a remote console, firmware updating, variation in reporting periods or any other of the features of a CCGX that require the additional internet capacity.

anthem avatar image anthem Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ ·

And I’m totally ok with that. I just wanted to use the lorawan gateway to update the VRM portal of my basic bmv712 module when it isn’t in WiFi range. So why is it that that can’t happen ? Because the cggx is involved ? That is what doesn’t make sense. Fine - you what limited bandwidth - accepted. But that’s not the issue - the issue is that you can’t even have limited updates to vrm through lorawan because it’s seemingly intentionally crippled when you get more Victron products. As in I used to be able to drive around the country and have the vrm updated. Now I add a cggx to my system and guess - what - you lose that capability. Because I want to see my network via a cggx or Venus - you can no longer use the lorawan network anymore.

I understand the need, and would be nice to have free wireless internet available to all the devices, while all are interconnected.

For now, there is only a single VE.Direct communications interface in and out of the BMV, and both the GX and the Victron LoRaWan dongle are designed to directly connect to it, so you can choose only one at a time.