question

mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image
mvader (Victron Energy) asked

Solution to Cerbo GX Wi-Fi issue when having the GX Touch connected

Dear all,

This message is to inform about a Wi-Fi related problem in the Cerbo GX. Some Cerbo GX-es will not properly work on certain Wi-Fi networks when having a GX Touch display installed. If they do or not depends on the (channel of the) Wi-Fi network, and on how exactly an antenna cable inside the Cerbo GX ended up when manufactured.

Its obviously not good and I’m not happy with it, but it is what it is and you’re better off knowing all the details than not knowing them.

There are a few solutions, one is to simply send it back to your dealer; to have it repaired.

The other is to make the wifi network work on a one of a few specific channels; which don’t have the issue (details in the pdf)

And lastly, if you’re technical, you can fix it by opening the unit up and repositioning the antennas to make sure its cable is no longer close (or even touching) the hdmi connector or surrounding area.

Now, don’t get me wrong wrt the repair: you’re more than welcome to return it for repair. But still I chose to share the details of the repair as I can imagine that for some it will be the preferred option.

Lastly, my apologies! Especially to those who have spent a lot of time trying to find out why it wouldn’t connect to wifi.

And a big thank you to @WKirby who helped uncover the issue and even to find the solution. Warwick has been a great help in this.

All the best,

Matthijs Vader

Ps. All distributors and dealers have been informed about the issue via email.

2021-03 Cerbo GX Wi-Fi issues when combined with GX Touch - v2.pdf

cerbo gxgx devicewifi
3 comments
2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

Hi @mvader (Victron Energy)

I made the change on my Cerbo this morning with no problems at all (5 mins and done!). Channel 1 works great on Wifi with an external monitor in the HDMI (no GXTouch as yet).

Many Thanks @WKirby and the Victron team!!

Regards

Mark

PS: One request - when I installed the Cerbo I was worried that the unused ports on the top side would allow dust and dirt to enter the unit (the top ports are also where all the NB stuff gets connected). I found this to be the case when I opened the case. Initially I used some electrical tape to cover the unused ports but was then worried about airflow... I will mount the Cerbo on its side next time to mitigate this. I don't know if anyone else has the same concern?

0 Likes 0 ·

Yes I had the same concern,so used silicone rj45 dust caps!...issue resolved

0 Likes 0 ·

Went back to electric tape when I reinstalled today ;)

0 Likes 0 ·
6 Answers
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

Following those instructions, I made a short video to demonstrate the adjustment to the antenna wire.

You can watch the video here - https://vimeo.com/529155952

victron-cerbo-gx-wifi-repair-low.gif


2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

waveform avatar image
waveform answered ·

This fix worked perfectly. Kudos to the customer who figured it out! Took all of 15 minutes. Just be careful removing glue not to scratch circuit board traces. And be careful with the little nubs and pins etc around the enclosure lid as it’s easy to pry against one and break them off.

My Cerbo and Touch 50 are now online, stable and working. My boat is 100’ away on my dock and connected to WiFi. Working as well as it was before the addition of the Touch 50 screwed it up.

2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

jw1971 avatar image
jw1971 answered ·

Prior to this I had very poor connection even on a "good" channel (3) with it frequently disconnecting.

I did the antenna wire fix and now the connection on channel 3 is much better.

But, unfortunately, with Wifi AP set to channel 8 (least overlap with surrounding signals) the Cerbo GX will not connect unless I disconnect the Touch-50 cables.

So please do not consider this "fix" a true fix. It is a bandaid to get us going which I appreciate but eventually hardware replacement will be needed with proper shielding and layout to prevent this.


2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

rlp84070 avatar image
rlp84070 answered ·

Whoever figured this out is a genius! I've had my Cerbo connected via WiFI for weeks and it's worked "ok" hard to connect sometimes but it finally connected. We changed our internet provider this week so the internet was down for a little while and the Cerbo will not connect back up. Makes no sense but I got on here and looked up this fix, did it and it connected immediately after moving the antennas. Thanks so much to the one who figured this out!!!

2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

nobodyspecial avatar image
nobodyspecial answered ·

Hello! I'm setting up two systems here in my shop that will soon head out for permanent installation. Both have CerboGX's which refuse to stay connected to my Wifi for more than a day. Numerous other WiFi devices in the shop are staying SOLIDLY connected to the WiFi and they are even farher away from the WiFi router so I'm reasonably confident the problem is not my WiFi.

One CerboGX is connected to a Touch50, Quatro5000, MPPT150/35 and a Lynx Shunt 1000. The other is only connected to a SmartShunt 500 as it will be used to monitor non Victron Install. Per the Tech Note "March 2021 V2" I unplugged the TouchScreen50 and the CerboGX stayed connected to the WiFi for 5 days at which time I moved the antenna's. It worked for a a few days but is back to it's old habits again.

I have not touched the other CerboGX's antennas yet because from what I understand the problem is limited to the Touch50. Power cycling or going back into the Victron Connect app to tell it to reconnect works immediately but only for a day or less.

What am I missing? Thank you!


5 comments
2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

Same issue here and reported to @mvader so hopefully a fix in the future. For now I am using ethernet into a cheap wifi bridge and zero issues.
0 Likes 0 ·

Hi @Nobodyspecial,

I would do the procedure to re-route the antenna, it's a path of less interference.

Do you know the band your wifi network is operating at?

I am going through a similar thing now (with a non-Victron product) where the wifi bands of the device is set for a different region to the bands of my local network.

Note the Cerbo GX is exclusively on the 2.4Ghz part of the spectrum (while many other devices are able to do 2.4Ghz or 5 Ghz to avoid interferrence at 2.4Ghz).

It may resolve itself once deployed in the customers final location, however the built in wifi is not as powerful as an external USB wifi antenna - so if I was going out on site I would take one of those with me as well to be more certain of leaving with a solid connection.

Victron has part number BPP900200300 - WiFi module long range (the ASUS USB-N14) - which is tested and known to be compatible.

Ethernet is ALWAYS the preferred and superior option and should be selected in all cases except where impossible.

0 Likes 0 ·
nobodyspecial avatar image nobodyspecial Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ ·

Hello @Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager).

  • I rerouted the antenna on the 2nd Cerbo GX one a week ago. Both units continue to fall off the Wi-Fi after anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. It seem especially odd that they always hang on for at least 12 hours. Seems like if the WiFi was the issue it would be far more random.
  • Both units immediately reconnect via the Victron Connect app which shows the WiFi signal strength one bar from maximum.
  • My WiFi band is 2.4GHZ.
  • Unfortunately neither location has readily accessible ethernet.
  • It's not readily clear to me how the ASUS USB-N14 would help with this situation.

Thank you ,

Travis

0 Likes 0 ·

Hi @Nobodyspecial,

The 2.4 Ghz spectrum range is divided up into 13 bands or channels.

Different channels are available in different regions, and also with different wifi radios/chips.

Because of the unlicensed nature of the 2.4 Ghz spectrum - it is likely to have the most interference too. And selecting a different channel can help avoid that causing issues.

There is some cross over with some of the channels, which might explain the intermittency. How much control you have over this setting will depend on your network tools, knowledge and access level.

For my case, the #13 channel was not reliable with my other brand monitor (I hardwire my GX devices). Moving to channel 1, and it is now rock solid.

cleanshot-2021-08-02-at-081955.jpgcleanshot-2021-08-02-at-082003.jpg


The external USB wifi adapter has superior antenna and is likely to accept more channels without interference. I would test it as part of a troubleshooting process to help isolate the issue.

0 Likes 0 ·
nobodyspecial avatar image nobodyspecial Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ ·
Thank you Guy. I will dig into the channels issue when I get some time. I don't know anything about that but I'm sure there's plenty of stuff on YouTube.
0 Likes 0 ·
anders-3 avatar image
anders-3 answered ·

I would not recommend to use other channels than 1, 6 and 11 for the 2.4 GHz band. In Europe we can use 7 instead of 6 and 13 instead of 11, but then international clients from US will be unable to join the network when 13 is used.

Reason is that those are the only channels that does not overlap with each other. If you use other channels, they will cause interference with other channels adjacent to it as they do overlap, and make the wi-if performance poor too.

That said, if the Cerbo wi-if antennas is the issue, then the best solution is to have it repaired while the device is still under warranty.

2 |3000

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.