Hi there community,
I am having a hard time to figure out what product/service/connectivity option I need. While VE is remarkably providing very good documentation about the product line and the associated services, I find it difficult to connect the many dots and get a clear, high-level perspective.
I just bought a Multi inverter/charger (800VA) that comes with a VE.Bus port. I read I can connect to it in several ways: the MK3 USB dongle, the MK2 RS-232 one, some GX devices, some digital monitors and so on. Then there's Venus OS and I could even write my own monitoring panel/software. Impressive (and that's why I chose VE in the first place).
The problem is that there's so many choices I can't easily find what I need. Ok then, what do I need? Thanks for you question :-)
I need a way to interface to the Multi 800VA (via VE.Bus) AND a way to extract the available information about the system (AC/DC usage, battery status, power absorption and the like) and to display them in some way (a Raspberry Pi or an old android tablet, for instance). I understand I could use the MK3 USB dongle to do that but then I'd like to do the same with the solar charger I'm planning to add soon (VE as well) and maybe get a BMV battery monitor in the future and who knows what else. I don't think the dongle will do. Or not? I saw the GX devices but they are way pricey for what I have and need in the short term (a CCGX or a Venus cost almost the same as the inverter!) but looks like it's the only monitoring/configuration(?) solution if you want to interface to the system as a whole and not the single products. Am I missing something?
Final Q, for those kind enough to get here. Should I buy a MK3 USB dongle and connect it to the Multi, will I be able to extract relevant information about the health of the system from a Raspberry Pi (like a model 3 I have sitting in the drawer))? Or an old (v8) Android tablet? Display is not gonna be an issue, I'll manage to spit the data somehow.
Thanks in advance for any useful pointer!