oceanwolfe avatar image
oceanwolfe asked

Best way to link Multiplus, Cerbo GX, BMV-712.

In trying to tease out the best way to set up my sailboat's battery system, its become obvious that there are numerous alternate ways to achieve many of the steps, but that the tend to "step" on each other. As a result I wanted to seek some input on the best means to achieve my system goals.

I have two Lithium 100Ah drop-in batteries (Relion), a Multiplus Compact 12/2000/80/120, a BMV-712 battery monitor, and a Cerbo-GX. I will be adding MPPV units (two) for solar panels, as well as a wind charger. I also have a shiny new Furuno MFD that I'd like to use to display the main energy stats. We are preparing for extended cruising (a couple of years, if Covid will ever let us leave!), mostly anchored out.

So, the questions:
1) starting with that I hope is an easy question, I can connect the battery monitor to the Cerbo unit by bluetooth or cable. If I understand correctly (no guarantee there), the Cerbo-GX can connect to only one thing at a time by bluetooth. In other words, if I connect the BMV to it the way, I won't be able to talk to the Cerbo with a laptop or phone by bluetooth. Is that correct? If so, then I'm assuming I'd be best off to use the cable connection for the BMV.

2) From a recent response, I now understand that I can't hook my Mk-3-USB connection to the Multiplus via the Cerbo GX's VE-bus ports. Is there a way I can I hook an ethernet cable to one of the Multiplus VE-bus ports to connect the Cerbo, and another ethernet cable to the second Multiplus port to connect to the Mk3 unit and my laptop? The Mk3 wouldn't be connected most of the time, but I need a more accessible place to connect the Mk3 unit to than the socket inside the Multiplus (which is in an awkward location).

3) There seem to be a bewildering array of ways to access, control, and program the various component in the system. Is there a single application that can be used on the boat (that is, NOT connected to the internet) that allows one to control/program/update/etc the various components I have (plus the pending Victron MPPT units)? I had thought that Victron Connect via the Cerbo GX would do this, but haven't had much success.

4) It seems like I frequently encounter problems with Victron Connect seeing the various pieces in my energy system. When I try on my laptop to access my equipment using either Bluetooth or wireless access, I don't see the units. I have more success via the internet apps, but I don't want to get used to them as they won't normally be available.

I guess I'll stop now and see if the groups joint expertise can help me wend my way through the maze. More question available! Watch this space!

Thanks in advance.

cerbo gxBMV Battery Monitormultiplus ve.bus
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2 Answers
Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

1. The Bluetooth of the Cerbo is currently only to make network settings of the Cerbo.

2. You can connect one RJ45 cable one of the RJ45 ports of the Multi to the Cerbo and another cable to the other port of the Multi. But you should disconnect the Cerbo if you have connected your laptop via the MK3.

3. You can use VictronConnect to program/read/update all your products (the Multi only with the MK3), except the Cerbo (1.). To update the Cerbo you need a internet connection or you use a SD card. But it is not necessary to install every update if you don't have any problems.

4. If you have a Windows laptop you can't connect to the Smart products of Victron via Bluetooth. VictronConnect and Bluetooth only working on Mac, iOS and Android.

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oceanwolfe avatar image
oceanwolfe answered ·

Thanks for the quick reply. A few follow-up questions:

2) Just to clarify, the second cable from the second Multiplus RF45 port can be left unattached? This won't create some kind of unterminated network cable problem?

3) If Victron Connect doesn't work for the Cerbo, what application should I use?

Of the three pieces of equipment I have at the moment, I need two applications and two methods for connecting to them, but no two use the same application AND the same connection method? I guess that's better than needing three different applications AND three different network connections, but it's still more complex than desirable. Oh well. I'd thought that choosing the more expensive Victron system components meant I was getting a high-end, well-integrated system that would simplify my life. I quite like the component quality and flexibility, but the network/control aspect doesn't seem to be at a similar level. I guess that's easy to fix than the hardware. :-)

4) Fortunately, I have Macs and iPhones, so I'm in good shape on this front!

Many thanks for your help.

1 comment
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Matthias Lange - DE avatar image Matthias Lange - DE ♦ commented ·

2. Yes, that's no problem.

3. There is no app. The Cerbo hast o be connected to you local network via LAN or WLAN.
Then you can open any browser and enter the IP of the Cerbo or venus.local .
(you can use VictronConnect to open your browser with the correct IP)

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