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Cheapest setup for VE Configure

Bluedog225

Texas
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
3,261
I’ve got a question for you computer savvy people.

I’ve got my remote system set up, a Cerbo GX, Quattro, Victron MPPTs, Victron connect installed in iPhone/ipad, and a Victron remote monitoring (VRM) account. Internet access is through a hotspot on the iPhone. I’d like to change some settings on the Quattro using VE Configure.

The only computer I have is a very old Mac book. My modern tech is an iPhone 13 and iPad Pro.

I believe I can connect via VRM to the Cerbo. But I don’t think I can change things like low voltage cutoff without VE Configure.

What is the cheapest hardware setup I can use? Note-I’m not a tech guy. Needs to be pretty simple.

Maybe buy an old laptop?

Any ideas welcome.

Thanks
 
I'm almost certain you can access veconfigure settings remotely via victron connect
 
Here is a conversation I had on this topic.
https://diysolarforum.com/threads/i...for-ignoring-ac-input-video.75684/post-964998

VEConfigure is windows only. If you need to setup split-phase, or add assistants, you are stuck with Windows, cannot use Victron Connect,
Your options are:
  1. Find an old crappy windows laptop/desktop for <$100 and install VEConfigure3
  2. Install Parallels on a Mac and run windows on it in emulation
  3. Run Wine on a Mac and tweak it until it works with VEConfigure3
  4. Run Wine on a Linux PC and tweak it until it works
I’m doing option 1, as I have an ancient Windows XP laptop.

Update: I was also able to get option 3 (Wine) working on my ancient macmini running catalina.
 
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I have done all of my setup with Victron Connect and either my ipad or Mac mini. There are a couple of advanced things I can't do, assistants I think, but I don't need them right now. I am hoping Victron Connect will eventually gain that functionality before I need it.
 
Every time I update the Quattro firmware (admittedly is rare), all of the settings are lost, so they have to be restored through a settings file.
And I have to re-add the ESS assistant and Programmable Relay Assistant and configure them.
None of that can happen without VEConfigure3.
 
Testing my understanding.

Through VRM, I can use what looks like a virtual VE Configuration to change certain settings?

If I’m understanding that correctly, that would be great.

I’d go out, set up hotspot, launch the VRM, connnect to the Cerbo, then have the VE Configure stuff available? I can see the settings to change the low voltage disconnect on my iPad in Victron Connect.

Then download the settings through VRM, make the change, then upload through VRM.

and done?

Or am I missing the point?

And thanks all!
 
The VRM allows you to upload and download VE Config files. You would still need a windows machine (or emulation software on a Mac) to be able to run VE Config.

You can use the Victron Connect app on a Mac if you use the Mk3 to USB device to directly connect to your quattros.

It kinda depends on what type of configuration you would need to do. Anything with Assistants (and maybe virtual switches) has to be done in VE Config. All the rest of the settings I believe are available in Victron Connect.
 
You could use VirtualBox on your Mac to run VE Config if you wanted to.

I know this video shows configuring the 6500s but it gives you the idea of how it would work.
 
If I can change VE Configuration files with regard to low voltage cutoff and restart, I’ll be happy.

I think I’m hearing “yes” but full VE Configuration requires a laptop.
 
I wonder if anyone sells a raspberry pi already configured to run Venus OS.

I’ve been reluctant to get into this kind of build given my lack of background in computers.
 
Not sure why you want to control the voltage cutoff. My guess is it probably relates to optimizing battery utilization. Once setup, you really don’t have a need to change settings.

I think Victron designed their inverters to protect themselves from people like DIYers from easily tinkering with it and require a Windows PC and MK3 dongle as the main tools to update and configure their inverters.



A few more comments …

1. Yes you can update your Quattro by uploading a config with a Victron Connect (not VRM). Not all changes are allowed as mentioned by others. It’s a bit clunky but can work. I don’t like and don’t use this option.

2. Yes you can update your Quattro by using a windows PCs. This is the preferred method for ALL updates and changes. Obviously you need a windows PC.

Something that is not mentioned is … the windows PCs is the only way to fix a bricked or broken Victron Inverter (e.g. interruption of firmware update).

Also, not mentioned, the MK3 usb cable required to configure a Victron inverter via Windows PC can be haunted by electrical gremlins. I have used 5 separate windows PCs and laptops of various ages. When connecting that MK3 dongle, probably 1/2 the time, the dongle seems to screw things up like makes my usb keyboard and mouse act twitchy and jerky. Just something to be aware. The solution is to unplug and re-plug in the MK3 dongle until it works. I only connect the dongle if I want to make a config change which is next to never.
 
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If I can change VE Configuration files with regard to low voltage cutoff and restart, I’ll be happy.
This does not directly answer your question, but is for others who read this.

VictronConnect on Mac with MK3-USB can change these settings.
But I had to disconnect the Quattros from the Cerbo GX and plug the cable into the MK3-USB device.

Screen Shot 2024-05-21 at 12.22.12 PM.png
 
Not sure why you want to control the voltage cutoff. My guess is it probably relates to optimizing battery utilization. Once setup, you really don’t have a need to change settings.

The whole setup is in a big metal box. It will get extraordinarily hot in the summer. I am planning on running the air con during peak production hours. When the voltage falls to about 30% remaining capacity (best guess), the Quattro will shut down. I’m going to experiment with 51 volts based on some recent observations. The factory (currentconnected.com) setting is currently 48 volts.

When the sun shines again, usually the next day, the Quattro will restart and the air con will resume. Thereby taking the brunt of the heat out of the box.

That’s the theory.

I’ve tested the Midea portable air con and it does restart after a power outage. The behavior of the Quattro is a little unknown. I need to run some test cycles.

In practice, if this cycle stops or fails for some reason, I’d like some remaining capacity to get in there and troubleshoot. Being able to run the air con off the remaining battery capacity while doing so will be helpful. Also, a healthy reserve will give me some buffer to prevent rapid cycling.

Thanks all.
 
Do you have a smart shunt? If it’s connected (as it should) to the cerbo, can’t you utilize the SOC tracking for the Quarto function vs the voltage?

If so then you can just use mk3 dongle with a mac and victron connect app as Ricky Ricardo showed?
 
Do you have a smart shunt? If it’s connected (as it should) to the cerbo, can’t you utilize the SOC tracking for the Quarto function vs the voltage?

If so then you can just use mk3 dongle with a mac and victron connect app as Ricky Ricardo showed?
No smart shunt. Maybe one day or for this purpose if helpful.

And no Mac.
 
The only computer I have is a very old Mac book. My modern tech is an iPhone 13 and iPad Pro.
How old is the MacBook?

Pre intel days? Or something 2010 or newer?

I’ve been able to keep our 2011 MacBook Pro going. Upgraded to 8gb ram, 1tb SSD, then patched the OSX to a catalinia even after apple dropped support past high sierra. Also have a boot camp party on with Win7.
 
How old is the MacBook?

Pre intel days? Or something 2010 or newer?

I’ve been able to keep our 2011 MacBook Pro going. Upgraded to 8gb ram, 1tb SSD, then patched the OSX to a catalinia even after apple dropped support past high sierra. Also have a boot camp party on with Win7.
I don’t even know how old it is. Belongs to the wife. She upgraded but I’m not allowed to use the new one. 😂. I’ll ask her.
 
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