question

thechad avatar image

CCGX + 2x SmartMPPT + SmartShunt = CONFUSING

I have a SmartShunt already installed and I'm about to install TWO 150/100 SmartSolar MPPT Controllers and a Color Control GX. I get that I can use VE.Smart to get the SmartShunt, and MPPT controllers to talk to each other, and can use VictronConnect to see and manage them... But, how can I make these devices talk to the CCGX? My goal was to use the CCGX to manage/monitor devices remotely over the internet. But, everything I'm reading seems to indicate the CCGX is the odd man out here. Can I connect the GGCX to a VE.Direct on one of the devices?


When I decided to install Solar, I had no idea that the data connections would be the most difficult and confusing part!


I hope someone can lend some help!

Thanks!

-chad

CCGX Color Controlmppt smart solarsmartshuntVE.Smart Network
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1 Answer
Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

Every device have to be connected to the CCGX via VE.direct. The CCGX has only two VE.direct ports so one of the devices have to be connected with a VE.direct to USB cable.

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Thanks, Matthias.

Not what I wanted to hear, but thanks. Guess I'll be returning the CCGX. I wonder if they're working on a new version that can support VE.Smart. It sure seems like a huge downside to the CCGX. There's no way I'd want to run separate cables for every device from our RVs front bay up to our control cabinet.

I guess the other option is the CerboGX/GX Touch? Seems it would make it a single cable run at least.

Is the VE.Smart protocol new? Sure would be nice if all devices supported it.

A CerboGX is not going to help you here either I'm afraid.
Its Bluetooth connectivity facilitates initial configuration of the Cerbo its self. The Bluetooth does not facilitate connection of devices to any of the Venus devices. The devices (MPPT, SmartShunt) must be connected with VE.Direct cables.

Devices do connect to one another over Bluetooth in a VE.Smart network to exchange a small subset of specific information like Voltage or temperature for example, but the Bluetooth connections can't carry the full set of data that the Cerbo / CCGX needs.

thechad avatar image thechad wkirby ♦♦ ·

Wow.. It's like Victron went out of their way to make it as confusing as possible. This protocol here, that protocol there... some products overlap and some do not. Crazy.

What if, I hard wired the CCGX to the devices, then connect to the CCGX remotely (wifi) using the victronconnect app? Would that work? I also want to add a multiplus ii to the mix eventually.

Remote connections to the CCGX are done using a regular HTTP browser either on your own LAN directly to the CCGX or via VRM if you are not on your LAN.

I understand how it can be confusing. There used to be more protocols which have now been deprecated. Things have evolved over time and continue to do so. It would be great if one specific protocol could do it all, but they each have a purpose.

VictronConnect. This is great for overview and configuring a single device. Connect over Bluetooth or with a cable. Perfect for a small DC system with a MPPT, a shunt and battery. Device doesn't connect to the internet or VRM. Not designed for multi component systems. No extra gadgets required - just a modern(ish) telephone.

When you have a larger system with multiple components which you want to view as a system then you need to connect all the components to some sort of hub, a Venus device such as CCGX, CerboGX or VenusGX for example.
The Venus device gathers the information from all the devices and consolidates it into an overview page and also has internet connectivity for access to VRM.
You don't use VictronConnect to connect to a Venus device because the Venus device has its own overview page and configuration menus which is accessible via regular HTTP browser directly over Ethernet/WiFi or via VRM. A shortcut to this can be accessed via VictronConnect, but the connection is still HTTP.
The CCGX was around quite a while before VictronConnect was released.

The two main types of cables are VE.Direct for MPPT's and VE.Bus (which is just a standard RJ45 Ethernet cable) for connecting MultiPlus / Quattro inverters.
VE.Direct - direct point-to-point connections.
VE.Bus - for daisy chaining multiple Inverters into a system. Required for these type of devices to communicate directly with one another for mission critical tasks like keeping each other perfectly in phase on the AC side.

Here is a page which describes the different GX devices available:
https://www.victronenergy.com/live/venus-os:start

This page describes the different protocols in case you want more to read.
https://docs.victronenergy.com/comms-protocols-interfaces.html#physical-hardware-interfaces