question

valden avatar image

Cerbo GX or Color Control GX and Monitoring Bow-Thruster Batteries

Hello everyone.

My yacht's Victron install will have two Cerbo GX communication-centres and screens, for monitoring all batteries, tanks, pumps, inverter/charger, AC, alternator temperature, etc. The bow-thruster, anchor-winch and capstan winch will be powered by a pair of 12V lead-calcium batteries, in series for 24V. I am looking at the Skylla-TG 24/50, or perhaps the Phoenix 24/25 for charging these batteries from shore power.

It appears these chargers do not have data connectors. The Skylla-i models have VE.Can connectors, which would make integration with the Cerbo easy.

So if I stick with the small, simple and lower price Skylla-TG (or even lower Phoenix), how will I get bow-thruster battery SOC data to the Cerbo? Perhaps with a BMV-702? I won't need the 712's Bluetooth given the Cerbo. I could use the second monitor of the 702 for the engine-start battery.

If I use a BMV-702, what will be displayed on the Cerbo GX screen? I imagine I'll be able to set it up so I can see the bow-thruster battery-bank SOC, but will I see the current flow in and out, from the charger to the batteries, from the batteries to the consumers?

Thanks for your thoughts.

CCGX Color Controlcerbo gxbattery chargingskylla tgyacht
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4 Answers
Sean avatar image
Sean answered ·

Hi Valden,

Can you reshare the para 2.2.2. for detail about using a Phoenix or Skylla-TG charger with a GX device. I'm unable to see information in the CCGX manual about this?

Thanks.

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Hi Sean. The reference to para 2.2.2 must be in the linked Color Control GX Manual. Easy to download and a good read.

Please note that my final system includes only one Cerbo and that the charger for my bowthruster batteries is made by Sterling in the UK. My boatbuilder selected it, against my preferences, but its working OK.

All of the other Victron elements in my system are going well, though I wish the MultiPlus was as easily managed and configured as the other Bluetooth controllable devices.

I'm finding the Cerbo's remote controllability to really useful.

Please ask if you have any other questions.

jwfrary avatar image
jwfrary answered ·

@Valden I am a little confused as to why you need to cerbo's in the system, as I understand it your only allowed one gx device in one system. if you need to monitor extra tanks you can use additional N2K devices or victron's ve.bus tank monitor.

link for the charger,

https://www.victronenergy.com/chargers/phoenix-smart-ip43-charger


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Edit: Jwfrary - did you mean VE.Net Tank Monitor? Cerbo doesn't have VE.Net connectivity.

I'm proposing to use two Cerbos and two displays so I have enough tank (7), pump (6) and temperature (5+) sensor connections. However, I'll be pleased if I can manage with only one Cerbo and display. But two displays at the nav station looks OK. Here's a photoshop pic I've prepared, showing two, for discussion with my builder. Note that only one of the Cerbo/Displays will show the current flows.

The Cerbo manual says on page 9:

  1. Connecting multiple VE.Bus systems to a single Cerbo GX

    Only one VE.Bus system can be connected to the VE.Bus ports on the back of the Cerbo GX. The professional way to to monitor more systems is to add a second Cerbo GX

I will have a MultiPlus 12/3000/120 connected via VE.Bus. The manual says that if a second VE.Bus device needs to be connected, 'use a MK3-USB' and 'Functionality will be limited'. For a VE.Bus tank monitor, limited functionality might be workable. I have some digging to do.


@Valden

https://www.victronenergy.com/accessories/ve-can-resistive-tank-sender-adapter

I think you have misunderstood the meaning of the manual. It means that you can’t have two seperate energy systems connected to the gx device.

In any case the tank sender is ve.can not bus (my typo) and you will run out of tanks before you run out of the ability to add senders!

Hi J. Thanks for this clarification, about the VE.Can resistive tank sender adapter. I will check with my yacht builder to see what kind of tank senders can be/will be installed. I'm hoping these are VE.Can network compatible in the first instance and don't need the adapter, because those things costs a bomb and I would need seven of them! Actually, one adapter costs more than a Cerbo!

Given the above, my idea of using two Cerbos and screens, to get eight inputs for resistive tanks senders, is looking sensible.

I need to be clear on which marine industry communication standards VE.Can is 100% compatible with, for choosing tank senders, pumps switches, etc. NMEA 2000, perhaps? I'll update with an answer, hopefully.

Edit & Update: VE.Can is compatible with NMEA 2000. A Victron 'VE.Can to NMEA 2000 Micro-C Male' cable is available to bridge across the different connectors, if needed.

@Valden what sort of plotter system are you using?

My yacht will have two B&G Zeus3 12" chart plotters, inside and outside.

I'm aware that I will be able to pipe the Cerbo data through to the Zeus. And, if my boatbuilder uses Digital NMEA 2000 tank level senders (or a digital adapter from analog senders), this data should also pipe to the Zeus screens.

Still, I would like to have the Cerbo data visible on a separate touch screen. The GX Touch 50 seems ideal.

I'm about to fire in a new question on DVCC management of the boat's Victron system, flowing from what we've been discussing here. Please feel free to chime in. :-)

@Valden The lowrence n2k tank adaptors are is expensive compared to the rest. I’m wondering if they will work with cerbo, I haven’t read anything to suggest either way. But you do have to use a backcourt group plotter to program them so you get the right tank labels on each one. After that I should be a relatively simple job plumb it into cerbo, I’m assuming the same pgn is used.

At least if you have the one cerbo when you view the data in VRM you will only have to look at one installation not two. And in terms of DVCC only one cerbo can be used for that in one system. So your second cerbo may depending on your system just display tanks, which seems a bit overkill.

@Valden excerpt from the CCGX manual seems to confirm it. - Might leave you some room in your dash for something else?

A thrid party NMEA2000 tank sender must meet the following requirements to be visible on the GX Device:

  • Transmit the NMEA2000 Fluid Level PGN, 127505

  • The NMEA2000 device class needs to either General (80) in combination with function code Transducer (190), or Sensor (170). Or, the NMEA2000 device class needs to be Sensors (75), in combination with function Fluid Level (150).

A single function reporting multiple Fluid Levels is currently not supported.

For some tank senders it is also possible to configure the capacity and the fluid type on the GX Device - for example the Maretron TLA100. This facility may be available with other senders made by other manufacturers - it's well-worth trying.

To connect an NMEA2000 network to the VE.Can port on the CCGX, use a VE.Can to NMEA2000 cable.

Alternatively, instead of a VE.Can to NMEA200, you can use a 3802 cable from Oceanic Systems: https://osukl.com/ve-can-adaptor/. The difference is that it lends itself well to connecting a single NMEA-2000 device into a VE.Can network. It's also able to power a lower voltage NMEA-2000 network directly from a 48V Victron system.

Tested NMEA2000 tank senders:

  • Maretron TLA100

  • Navico Fluid Level Sensor Fuel-0 PK, partno. 000-11518-001. Note that this sender requires a 12V powered NMEA2000 network; it breaks when connected to a 24V-powered NMEA2000 network. And note that you need a Navico display to configure the Capacity, Fluid type, and other parameters of the sensor.

Most likely others work as well. If you know of one working well, please edit this page -or- get in touch with us on Community -> Modifications.

N2K systems are usually 12v - but best check with your electronics install.

jwfrary avatar image
jwfrary answered ·

Hi


Yes you can label the bmvs to whatever you like, they will be displayed in the list along with your other devices


If your looking at a 25 amp charger how boat the new phoniex smart which could be plugged straight into to the cerbo

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It comes in 'Smart'!? I'll have one of those. Thanks for the tip.

valden avatar image
valden answered ·

I'll have to stop answering my own questions ...

This useful document was helpful. See para 2.2.2 for detail about using a Phoenix or Skylla-TG charger with a GX device.

Color Control GX Manual

It explains that I will indeed need a BMV to pass SOC info about my lead-calcium bow-thruster batteries to the Cerbo.

But what will the displayed info look like? Can users put labels on devices shown on the screen, such as 'Bow-thruster'?

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