My current mobile setup includes the following Victron components:
- Multiplus compact 24/2000/50-50 120V
- Smart Solar MPPT 150/45
- Battery Protect 100A
- Digital Multi Control connected to Multi with an RJ-45 cable
- VE.Bus Smart Dongle connected to Multi with another RJ-45 cable - allows me to see the Multi via Bluetooth on VictronConnect. When needed I disconnect the smart dongle and use a MK3 to connect the Multi to a computer.
- MPPT Control connected to the charge controller with a VE.Direct cable
With all of that I have a little control panel with the Digital Multi Control, the BMV-712 display, and the MPPT Control. I can also run VictronConnect on my phone and computer and see the BMV-712, the Battery Connect, the Smart Solar, and the Multi.
I have recently learned about running Venus OS on a Raspberry Pi (RPi), optionally with a touch screen. I have done some research on what it takes to get everything connected and I have a few questions. Related to that is determining what becomes redundant and what becomes unnecessary with my current setup once a RPi and screen is added.
Finally my specific questions.
- Since the Multi (via the Smart Dongle), the Smart Solar, the BMV-712, and the Battery Protect all have bluetooth, can any of these (or all) connect to the RPi via bluetooth or do all of them require USB connections? From research it seems bluetooth support may or may not work under some circumstances. If everything can connect via bluetooth then several of the remaining questions go away.
- Is there any benefit to keeping the Digital Multi Control if the RPi has a touch screen? I assume all of the information shown with the LEDs on the multi control will appear on the RPi's screen. So that just leaves the Charge-only/On/Off switch and the current knob (which I have fixed at 30A anyway). Am I correct that those can also be controlled through Venus OS?
- Let's assume I wanted to keep the Digital Multi Control for a moment. If the Multi can't connect to the RPi via bluetooth then I need to use the MK3 cable to connect the Multi to the RPi using one of the Multi's RJ-45 jacks. And since the Digital Multi Control needs the other RJ-45 jack of the Multi, this means there is no way to keep using the Smart Dongle to keep bluetooth access to the Multi for use with VictronConnect. Or is it possible, using another MK3, to connect the Digital Multi Control directly to the RPi instead of the Multi?
- Is there any benefit to keeping the MPPT Control? Can everything it controls and displays be handled by Venus OS?
- Is it even possible to keep the MPPT Control if I wanted to? The Smart Solar just has one VE.Direct connector as does the MPPT Control. Is it possible to connect both the MPPT Control and the VE.Direct to USB cable needed for the RPi to the Smart Solar using some sort of "Y" cable? Or would the MPPT Control get its own VE.Direct to USB cable and connect to the RPi instead of the Smart Solar?
- With the RPi screen showing status info, is there any reason to keep the BMV-712 display visible with easy access? Or does the BMV's display just become a place to connect the VE.Direct to USB cable?
- Can the battery protect be connected to the RPi in any way (assuming via bluetooth doesn't work)? The only thing that would be handy on occasion is the ability to turn the BP on or off. But that can always be done via VictronConnect.
I know some of these questions are a bit subjective but I'm curious what some the pros and cons are. And many of the objective technical questions may become irrelevant depending on some of those choices but I'd like to know what is physically possible to help in making my decisions.