Victron Cerbo GX & Touch 50 necessary?

AgroVenturesPeru

Solar Enthusiast
Here's where I'm at in my system planning. There's a local company down here that's put together a quote for me, which is a bit higher than I was hoping, so I'm trying to save a bit if possible.

Jinko panels
Pylontech 48v LFP batteries
Victron 150/85 MPPT
Victron Multiplus 48/5000/70

The company that wants to sell me everything also including the following:
Victron Energy Cerbo GX
Victron GX Touch 50

Are these things necessary? The cost of both is pretty significant. Could I substitute for something cheaper or do without completely?

I didn't expect these things to be necessary. I was only assuming I would need some sort of battery monitor.
 
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snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
Hello again. As we've established, Victron is CRAZY expensive to start with. You know... those filthy euro-execs lining their pockets... :)

Those LFP batteries are only dialing up the crazy. You'd save a massive amount of money building your own.

A GX device is required for optimal connectivity and enhanced function. For example, my lead-acid batteries should only be charged by 30A, but my array is capable of delivering in excess of 50A. I can limit the charge controller to 30A, but if I'm using loads beyond that, I want the charge controller to provide additional current beyond 30A if needed. A GX device manages this.

It also allows for complete logging to the Victron VRM system with online access and control. I use mine to manage my off-grid installation 3.5 hours away:


IMHO, a GX device is completely necessary; however, a Venus GX or a Color Control GX (CCGX) may be more cost effective for you. The Cerbo has a lot more connections available, but you don't need them. My CCGX is fine for my Quattro, MPPT 250/100 and BMV-702.

I'm curious why they didn't recommend a BMV battery monitor. I would recommend you get one.
 

AgroVenturesPeru

Solar Enthusiast
Looking on Amazon, I don't see much difference in the price of the Cerbo, Color Control, and Venus.

Ideally I would just plug my laptop in if I wanted to see these stats. Is an interactive display required (laptop, smartphone, victron display, etc) for the GX unit to do what it needs to do 24/7? Could you just have the GX unit on its own without a display?
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
The Venus GX is the cheapest solution and it doesn't need a display. You should be able to use VictronConnect on a smartphone/tablet or a laptop on the website. IIRC, there is a local web server option for the GX.
 

LanduytG

Solar Enthusiast
I bought the Cebro GX and the touch 50 off Amazon last. Touch 50 $243 Cebro GX $323

I don’t think it is really needed but I wanted a central panel in the trailer that was easy to see everything that’s going on.
It was really easy to install and get working. The remote panel to operate the multiples was $175 so the GX was really only $400 more.

Greg
 

Dzl

Unoffical Forum Librarian
Staff member
Moderator
Many (probably most) people get by fine without a GX device. But as Snoobler says it does enable a lot of advanced functionality and monitoring, and would be very convenient/nice to have for the monitoring functionality alone.

If you are creative, you can use a raspberry pi with Victron's venusOS and save a couple hundred bucks. Or go without it and add it down the road later if needed.
 

AgroVenturesPeru

Solar Enthusiast
Do you have a good link to learn about raspberry pi? I'm not sure what that is, but I've heard the term. Sounds delicious
Many (probably most) people get by fine without a GX device. But as Snoobler says it does enable a lot of advanced functionality and monitoring, and would be very convenient/nice to have for the monitoring functionality alone.

If you are creative, you can use a raspberry pi with Victron's venusOS and save a couple hundred bucks. Or go without it and add it down the road later if needed.
e
 

AgroVenturesPeru

Solar Enthusiast
This is what im leaning towards. It's nice to have something easy. The venus gx is barely cheaper.
I bought the Cebro GX and the touch 50 off Amazon last. Touch 50 $243 Cebro GX $323

I don’t think it is really needed but I wanted a central panel in the trailer that was easy to see everything that’s going on.
It was really easy to install and get working. The remote panel to operate the multiples was $175 so the GX was really only $400 more.

Greg
 

Dzl

Unoffical Forum Librarian
Staff member
Moderator
Do you have a good link to learn about raspberry pi? I'm not sure what that is, but I've heard the term. Sounds delicious

I don't have a link that would be better than google for general Rpi info. It is the most ubiquitous single board computer on the market for DIYers and makers. Tiny, Cheap, flexible, infinitely useful. As for Victron + Raspberry Pi, again a search will turn up a handful of relevant results, here is one blog post from Victron and Victron's github page and instructions to get you started, as well as a youtube video from one of our forum members

This is definitely a DIY project though, on both the hardware and software side.
 

rbreding

Solar Enthusiast
FYI I use a cerbo to monitor my victron devices and with the internet connection in the trailer it uploads everything and is controllable remotely.

I opted not for the display as I can pull up everything on my phone or tablet from wherever I am.
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
FYI I use a cerbo to monitor my victron devices and with the internet connection in the trailer it uploads everything and is controllable remotely.

I opted not for the display as I can pull up everything on my phone or tablet from wherever I am.

I bought the CCGX about a year ago. I didn't even know about the other options. it's cool to have if I want quick info when I'm near the system, but the vast majority of the time, it's remote console, victron connect, vrm, etc.
 

AgroVenturesPeru

Solar Enthusiast
Internet only works about half the time here. As long as the internet connections are optional and can be turned off completely (I don't want the hardware constantly searching for a non-existent signal) then the cerbo with the touchscreen is what i want
FYI I use a cerbo to monitor my victron devices and with the internet connection in the trailer it uploads everything and is controllable remotely.

I opted not for the display as I can pull up everything on my phone or tablet from wherever I am.
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
The CCGX can write log data to an internal microSD. It will then upload it when a connection becomes available. I expect any GX can do this.
 

rbreding

Solar Enthusiast
What snoobler said with clarification. The cerbo has internal storage and doesn't even need a SD card. It will continue to log data and then upload when connection is available.


What you see on the touchscreen is the exact screen you can see on the LOCAL LAN from a phone/tablet/computer without an internet connection.
 

snoobler

Solar Honey Badger
Moderator
What snoobler said with clarification. The cerbo has internal storage and doesn't even need a SD card. It will continue to log data and then upload when connection is available.


What you see on the touchscreen is the exact screen you can see on the LOCAL LAN from a phone/tablet/computer without an internet connection.

Good point. Even without a MicroSD, the CCGX has notable internal storage.
 

willo

Solar Enthusiast
Victron actually offers a free raspberry pi image that can be run in place of a GX, it's worth looking at.
I just use the bluetooth interface with my phone, it does the job for me.
 
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