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EG4 6000XP/18Kpv Custom RS485 Dongle Connector

jsmithtx

New Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
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99
Location
Dallas, TX
Problem: Both the EG4 6000XP and 18Kpv wireless dongles are highly insecure, broadcasting an unsecured network and Bluetooth open connections. For connection to Home or Software Assistant, this dongle relies on a special "debug" mechanism on port 8899 to retrieve data, which are not open for the *wired* device. The devices support retrieving data via an RS485 connection to this endpoint and this is the recommended approach.

Solution: My roommate, an electrical engineer, has designed an integrated HDMI to micro-USB connection for RS485. I am currently running an early version of this for my 6000XP.

I don't want to overstep the rules @Will Prowse and 'sell' anything here. The question is: how does one go about asking here about interest/need for such a device? This is a huge hole in the EG4 6000/18K for which there are only hacked together custom solution for connecting to SA/HA.
 

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Problem: Both the EG4 6000XP and 18Kpv wireless dongles are highly insecure, broadcasting an unsecured network and Bluetooth open connections. For connection to Home or Software Assistant, this dongle relies on a special "debug" mechanism on port 8899 to retrieve data, which are not open for the *wired* device. The devices support retrieving data via an RS485 connection to this endpoint and this is the recommended approach.

Solution: My roommate, an electrical engineer, has designed an integrated HDMI to micro-USB connection for RS485. I am currently running an early version of this for my 6000XP.

I don't want to overstep the rules @Will Prowse and 'sell' anything here. The question is: how does one go about asking here about interest/need for such a device? This is a huge hole in the EG4 6000/18K for which there are only hacked together custom solution for connecting to SA/HA.
No that's fine, I fully support projects like that. Post away
 
Problem: Both the EG4 6000XP and 18Kpv wireless dongles are highly insecure, broadcasting an unsecured network and Bluetooth open connections. For connection to Home or Software Assistant, this dongle relies on a special "debug" mechanism on port 8899 to retrieve data, which are not open for the *wired* device. The devices support retrieving data via an RS485 connection to this endpoint and this is the recommended approach.

Solution: My roommate, an electrical engineer, has designed an integrated HDMI to micro-USB connection for RS485. I am currently running an early version of this for my 6000XP.

I don't want to overstep the rules @Will Prowse and 'sell' anything here. The question is: how does one go about asking here about interest/need for such a device? This is a huge hole in the EG4 6000/18K for which there are only hacked together custom solution for connecting to SA/HA.
Just a note. The WiFi network from the WiFi dongle can be secured. Pretty straightforward. That’s what I did with my 18kpv setup. I am toying with the idea of adding SA/HA to my system but haven’t found the willpower to mess with it yet….
 
For connection to Home or Software Assistant, this dongle relies on a special "debug" mechanism on port 8899 to retrieve data, which are not open for the *wired* device.
Oops, wait, the EG4 Ethernet adapter doesn’t work with Solar Assistant? I’ve got two of these on order, as I <ahem> dislike WiFi, did I just waste $400?
 
Oops, wait, the EG4 Ethernet adapter doesn’t work with Solar Assistant? I’ve got two of these on order, as I <ahem> dislike WiFi, did I just waste $400?
Yes. The ethernet adapter DOES NOT work with SA. Port 8899 is not open and won't be open.

SA is moving to RS485 for connectivity.
 
The WiFi network from the WiFi dongle can be secured.

What steps did you take to do this?

I've been going away from wifi as much as possible, but it would be an interesting thing to keep in my back pocket. Once SA supports RS485, then I'm going with that for max security.
 
Yes. The ethernet adapter DOES NOT work with SA. Port 8899 is not open and won't be open.

SA is moving to RS485 for connectivity.
Yikes! So I need to move my SA box to the inverters location and connect to RS485? Which RS485 port (I think there are several?)?

I remember some consternation over SA and EG4 and RS485, is there a recommended dongle (or does it come with the 18Kpv?

Thanks for the heads-up, this would have taken a long time to pivot later!
 
I remember some consternation over SA and EG4 and RS485

It was very insecure, but the above comment suggests that it can be secured. However, SA has an unpublished beta version that works with RS485. That was the originating post of this thread--my roommate has designed the hardware that builds this in for a HDMI to USB connection to SA. The question was price point for us. Looks like it would be about $30-40 price range. Wondering if that is acceptable or if we need to figure out other manufacturing options, if possible :)

In short, you'd unplug the wifi/ethernet dongle and then plug this in and then connect a micro-usb cord to it and then plug into SA.
 
What steps did you take to do this?

I've been going away from wifi as much as possible, but it would be an interesting thing to keep in my back pocket. Once SA supports RS485, then I'm going with that for max security.
Just connect to the dongle micro gui via the ip address from a browser. So by default it’s 10.10.10.1 - There you can change username, password, ssid name, wifi password, network ip address/range etc. I have been in IT too long and I dislike defaults. A lot :):):)
 
Here is the manual for it
 

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Now that I think about it, I need to have either the WiFi or Ethernet dongle active in order to allow SS/EG4 to help me with setup, configuration, commissioning, etc, don’t I?
 
Now that I think about it, I need to have either the WiFi or Ethernet dongle active in order to allow SS/EG4 to help me with setup, configuration, commissioning, etc, don’t I?
Yes. The remote access is rather useful but once you're done with it just unplug the little connector inside on the pcb, you don't even have to unscrew/unplug the dongle.
 
Somewhere along the way I discovered



c. INV 485: debugging port


:
Screenshot 2024-04-11 at 7.00.07 AM.png

Where I thought you could connect and talk Modbus to the inverter, does that work?
 
I can open mine and see if I can get a modbus out of it.
That would be the best solution, then we can leave the Ethernet dongle in place and still have SA integration...
Doesn't help your room-mate, but maybe he could integrate an Ethernet interface (hub/switch?) and tie everything together in one package. Extra points for PoE power and/or independent SA integration. 8*)
 
That would be the best solution, then we can leave the Ethernet dongle in place and still have SA integration...
Doesn't help your room-mate, but maybe he could integrate an Ethernet interface (hub/switch?) and tie everything together in one package. Extra points for PoE power and/or independent SA integration. 8*)

Remember that the interface is shared -- the RS485 is shared between them. So you could end up running into yourself if you have both the eternet/wifi dongle and the RS485 interface plugged in, especially since SA is frequently querying (both query at the same time). That's really not the best approach, since you can't control the dongle's communication.

For me, I do not want the wifi dongle attached at all, except for upgrades. And when I'm upgrading, SA shouldn't be chatting, because of the shared interface. The upgrade *uses RS485*. You could potential brick your device doing so.

In short, it is an either/or, not a both/and. Otherwise you open yourself up to query clashing and the upgrade issue.
 
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I would rather connect to the internal RS485 port than the external HDMI one, but in general I would like to voice support for getting a direct rs485 connection working with luxpower inverters (I use eg4 6000xp).

A quick comment -- I noticed that with the wifi dongle trying to set 'charge mode' to 'disable' in the inverter settings causes the coms with my inverter (over wif) to time out completely. At first I thought it was just the usual flakey-ness of the wifi connection, but it seems to happen quite repeatably. Setting to any other mode works fine. Also tried the new SA beta firmware (4-16) but got the same behavior. Did you ever notice this?
 
So I need to move my SA box to the inverters location and connect to RS485?
You can do RS485 wirelessly or on wired ethernet. I use EW11's from HiFlying for RS485 comms to two inverters 20m away from the house, they are powered from the mains feed to the inverter and connect to the wifi. At the other end you can use Modbus TCP or another EW11 to convert back to RS485 RTU and then RS485 to USB but they also do a a virtual serial port using software too which I use.
 
You can do RS485 wirelessly or on wired ethernet. I use EW11's from HiFlying for RS485 comms to two inverters 20m away from the house, they are powered from the mains feed to the inverter and connect to the wifi. At the other end you can use Modbus TCP or another EW11 to convert back to RS485 RTU and then RS485 to USB but they also do a a virtual serial port using software too which I use.
I'm interested in learning more about how you're doing this. I'll be reaching out to you at a later date.
 
I would rather connect to the internal RS485 port than the external HDMI one,
Can somebody point me to the rs485 connector on the 6000xp? it doesn't look like the board diagram above which must be the 18kpv. The board has this green on white lettering referencing P1 and P2 but which of the RJ45 plugs is it talking about? Surely not BatCom or you couldn't also talk to your batteries. Surely not the parallel ports for inter-inverter communication.. The manual references "these two pins" but doesn't say which ones.


1715305348146.png 1715305222026.png
 
Can somebody point me to the rs485 connector on the 6000xp? it doesn't look like the board diagram above which must be the 18kpv. The board has this green on white lettering referencing P1 and P2 but which of the RJ45 plugs is it talking about? Surely not BatCom or you couldn't also talk to your batteries. Surely not the parallel ports for inter-inverter communication.. The manual references "these two pins" but doesn't say which ones.


View attachment 214350 View attachment 214349
I’m not sure if it’s referencing the top two ports or not.

The “pins” it’s talking about are P1 and 2. Pin 1 on the RJ45 is rs485A and Pin 2 is rs485B.

I know the BattCom can use Rs485.
 
This post by @marionw seems to suggest the rs485 pins to interrogate the inverter itself are in fact in the battery comms jack. I guess I'll give that a try unless anyone else knows for sure? And does the modbus address have to be set by modbus command? I found a post where it is accessible via the front display on the 18kpv but I can't find any such setting on the 6000xp
 
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This post by @marionw seems to suggest the rs495 pins are in fact in the battery comms jack. I guess I'll give that a try unless anyone else knows for sure? And does the modbus address have to be set by modbus command? I found a post where it is accessible via the front display on the 18kpv but I can't find any such setting on the 6000xp
I’m not aware of any place in the UI/monitoring site for the 6000xp where you can set a Modbus address.
 
Can somebody point me to the rs485 connector on the 6000xp? it doesn't look like the board diagram above which must be the 18kpv. The board has this green on white lettering referencing P1 and P2 but which of the RJ45 plugs is it talking about? Surely not BatCom or you couldn't also talk to your batteries. Surely not the parallel ports for inter-inverter communication.. The manual references "these two pins" but doesn't say which ones.


View attachment 214350 View attachment 214349
Sorry, it's not in the 6000XP manual, what are those push-in terminals on the lower right of your picture? In the 18Kpv it's a terminal block below the RJ45 connectors (see g. below):Screenshot 2024-05-10 at 6.50.31 AM.png
 
Do you even know if you are supposed to have an RS485 meter port?
yes according to section 8.2 above of the manual and the 6000xp modbus manual it has modbus over rs485... they just did a poor job in the manual of explaining where the physical interface is. And it would have been much better to provide direct terminal blocks like the 18kpv vs expecting us to splice it into an rj45 somewhere.
 
yes according to section 8.2 above of the manual and the 6000xp modbus manual it has modbus over rs485... they just did a poor job in the manual of explaining where the physical interface is. And it would have been much better to provide direct terminal blocks like the 18kpv vs expecting us to splice it into an rj45 somewhere.
Does it use the same WiFi interface dongle? If so, look for a recent thread on an HDMI(*) to USB interface someone’s roommate was trying to productize.
(*) Yes, they use an HDMI connector. 🤷‍♂️
You won’t be able to use the WiFi dongle at the same time as the adapter, so be aware of that.
 
I have not yet had a chance to try, but the meter ports (with the plastic plugs) should be on the main rs485 bus.
 
(g) works fine.
What software are you using to talk to it? I've built something very basic in Python with MinimalModbus that returns some numbers, so I'm pretty sure I have the port (/dev/ttyACM0) and baud rate (19200) right, but the numbers I'm getting don't make any sense, and HotNoob's PythonProtocolGateway crashes. I'm clearly doing something wrong!
 
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