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bigbillsd avatar image
bigbillsd asked

Building a Raspberry Pi with Venus OS

I am considering building a Rasberry Pi device to monitor my two SmartSolar controllers via USB cables. What would I be missing from buying a Venus GX? I really don't need much of an interface if I can web or vnc into it. Can it upload the the Victron VRM website? Thanks, Bill

Venus OSVenus GX - VGXRaspberry PiSignalK
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Apologies all, I know this thread has existing in the main Q&A space for a long time. But it really belongs in the modifications area, so I have moved it there.

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wkirby avatar image
wkirby answered ·

If all you want to do is connect VE.Direct devices (your SmartSolar MPPT's) with USB cables you won't need much more.
You get the Remote Console interface as usual by pointing your browser at the Raspberry Pi IP address.
You'll have the full functionality of VRM too, as if you were using an actual Venus device.

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Stefanie avatar image
Stefanie answered ·

This Raspi - Venus OS thing really made me curious since I read about it here in the forum. I love to play with these toys ;-) Y'day I ordered a b3+. Should be here by today and ready to set it up. It then hopefully will monitor the Multiplus, MPPT and BMV and connects to the boat network. Insane how much work Victron and all the other devs have put into it.

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

Enjoy. As you have a boat try the Venus/SignalK install https://github.com/SignalK/signalk-server-node/issues/517 I have it on a Pi.

Previously I had a beta as it were on my CCGX and blogged about it. https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2018/05/28/signal-k-embracing-connectivity-with-victron-energy/

If you want to read the history and Matthijs's hard work. https://www.victronenergy.com/live/open_source:ccgx:installing_ccgx_func_on_raspberry_pi

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

Thanks, John. Been following your blog posts with great interest.

I will read about it and then think whether it makes sense and how to integrate it into the boats system.

Had been looking at SignalK development from the very first days. But so far it couldn't attract me to set something up. The main reason: already too many displays with all it's different info aboard and I couldn't decide how to get that all into one place. And I didn't want to spend money yet on these iKommunicate/iKonvert devices while SignalK is still a niche protocol with little to no relevance in the marine market. But could be exciting to play around.

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ Stefanie ♦♦ commented ·

Thanks and understood. No eed to spend cash on iKommunicate etc, you just need an interface to get data into Pi. Anyhow as SignalK now bundled in the vesrion of Venus Matthijs did, it's always food for thought/play time when spare time. PS don't know if you setting Pi up with screen but personally I just use https://www.realvnc.com/en/raspberrypi/ and enable Cloud connections. Works great.

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

BTW, the Pi arrived an hour ago. Unbelievable but it took only 5 minutes to get it set up and ready to run. Even WiFi is working using v2.30~31.

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

The interface is a Shipmodul 3e-n2k multiplexer hooked up via ethernet to the ships router. It's collecting all NMEA 0183 and 2000 data and sends it to the router as NMEA 0183. So every device can hook up to the stream either wired or by WiFi. That should include the Pi/SignalK.

The real downside I think is that once you have devices with proprietary protocol (speaking of Raymarine STng for the autopilot and Raymarine ethernet for Radar), I would not be able to use them with SignalK...unless I use some very expensive devices like EmpirBus NXT. But it would be cool to play around and see the limits or advantages.

I was thinking of a screen, but in the end didn't want an extra display. I've heard about VNC. The free version connects only via cloud, which I guess means internet connection. Not really an option when you at sea. However, would be cool if the devs can integrate that into the venus image like it is on Rasbian Jessy...plug and play ;-)

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ Stefanie ♦♦ commented ·

I’m sure mine works over my LAN. You just enable Pi. Cloud handy for remote.

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ Stefanie ♦♦ commented ·

Oops, seems you are right. I was thinking about the standard Pi install which does, so I guess there must be a way with the Venus install. Mine no longer on boat as boat for sale, so install was just out of curiosity. Considered fitting to camper but already have CCGX.

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

My Pi not on network at present, but the page below says:

For simple and secure remote access, direct or via the cloud, free for non-commercial use.


https://www.realvnc.com/en/raspberrypi/


So as I say there must be a way with Venus for direct.

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markus avatar image markus ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

Hi John,

The VNC Server version used in VenusOS only works over a websocket.

So it is only possible to view it in a webpage.


The VNC Server version used in Raspbian is capable of a direct connection.

I have workaround running to connect to VenusOS with VNC in fullscreen without those hotkeys, even with multiple mirror sessions.

See here:

https://community.victronenergy.com/articles/5930/disable-hotkeys-in-venus-remote-console-on-lan.html

But you will need 2 Pi's ;o)

Markus

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John Rushworth avatar image John Rushworth ♦♦ markus ♦♦ commented ·

Yes, as I said I was confusing standard Pi with direct and Venus. I’m a one Pi man. Thanks for the tip though, just what this community is for.

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markus avatar image markus ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

Yes, but this has a lot of advantages. In my case I use a VenusGX and a Pi. So I have all the I/O Ports available. The Pi offers a local touch display for the VenusGX.

This can also happen with a "big" 7 inch display with USB touch panel. I got this to work on my Venus Pi already.

Additionally the second Pi operates as a very low power router and VNC Server and in future it will control remote access (VPN) and serve as a IP cam server too.

The idle consumption of 2 Pi's is 8 to 9 Watts.

Regards.

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ John Rushworth ♦♦ commented ·

Ok. Maybe I misunderstood the VNC pricing then.


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markus avatar image markus ♦♦ Stefanie ♦♦ commented ·

No you didn't, I assume.

You just can't connect to Venus OS directly with VNC. ...yet ;o)

"only" via LAN webpage or VRM ;o)

Regards

Markus

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Stefanie avatar image Stefanie ♦♦ markus ♦♦ commented ·

Thank you, Markus.

For now I'm happy with the connection through the browser. But John made me really curious about all that stuff with SignalK, WilhelmSK etc. And there's more to come. Too early to say which way I want to connect to Venus OS in the end or just grabbing the data from it and have it displayed through SignalK. Look like an endless playground ;-)

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the-salmon avatar image the-salmon commented ·

Hello! Just to better understand, if I want to monitor MPPT and Multiplus II from a Raspberry, which connections do I have to put in place?

- MK3-USB from MP II to Raspberry and VE.Direct-USB from MPPT to Raspberry

OR

- MK3-USB from MP II to Raspberry and VE.Direct from MPPT to MP II (no need for USB converter in this case)

Does Raspberry Venus OS support Bluetooth connection with SmartSolar MPPTs?

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bigbillsd avatar image
bigbillsd answered ·

I just wrote the venus os to an sdcard. It created 4 FAT partions. 40meg, 2 each 500 meg and one 768 meg and left the other 13.15 GB un-allocated.

Is that what is supposed to do? I guess I should just use a 2 GB card if this is correct.


I haven't found a RP locally yet so I was thinking about running it in a virtual machine. But I am guessing it only works with an ARM processor so that probably wont work. Bummer. -Bill

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markus avatar image markus ♦♦ commented ·

"I was thinking about running it in a virtual machine. But I am guessing it only works with an ARM processor so that probably won't work"

I would not say so ;o)

https://community.victronenergy.com/comments/2675/view.html

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dunnp avatar image dunnp commented ·

I struck the exact same problem yesterday trying to burn the image to a 64GB card and a 32GB card. I was using Win32DiskImager (using Windows 10). When I tried with Etcher - bingo, worked first go.

Phil

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sieade245 avatar image
sieade245 answered ·

Just wanted to add. Been using a CCGX for over a year now. Bought a used pi 3B on ebay and followed the instructions on Github. Swapped it out, connected everything up. ET112 grid meter via Victron USB cable, multiplus via mk3-USB and ethernet connection to network. Up and running straight away, same interface as CCGX all working. Even connected via Wifi so I can remove the powerline link in the garage. And it even connects to victron portal same as before so exactly the same as before!! Hopefully can sell the CCGX and put the money towards some Hue lighting.

I'm not sure who to thank for this but I hope you're reading. Well done.

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hansbaer avatar image hansbaer commented ·

hi,

which type of batteries are installed on th MPII? is there also a can connection between raspberry and the battery?

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off-grid-house avatar image
off-grid-house answered ·

Has any connected a raspberry pie running this to batruim

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nebulight avatar image nebulight commented ·

You'll need some type of CAN hat for the pi as Batrium will connected to the pi over CAN bus. Check out www.canable.io

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off-grid-house avatar image off-grid-house nebulight commented ·

I tryed it few months ago without a shielded tophat 4 can bus blew my batruim bms up. So slightly nerous about doing it again

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