Victron Smart Shunt - what next

DixieMtCR

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I purchased and installed a Victron 500a smart shunt nearly a year ago. It works great, if I stand within 10 ft of it. Its bluetooth range leaves a lot to be desired.

My off-grid batteries, and all the electronics... and panels are 100ft + from the hours. I want to be able to view the shunt data inside the house and not have to stand out in the snow to get a bluetooth reading. I know, "Poor Boy! He has to stand out in the snow!"

What else do I need to invest in to get the Victron Smart Shunt signal across WiFi so I can use it in the house. It seems good business for Victron to sell all these different adapters, gateways, displays, cables, and whatever else. It brings in revenue. But, I really don't want to keep buying stuff until I finally (or possibly not) have a victory and be able to use the expensive shunt and all the work to install it.

What is the next component? And, will that provide a solution? I am retired and live on a very small fixed income. I know that solar generated electricity will never pay for itself in a person's lifetime. It is for our use during the many power outages we have where we live. Sometimes we cannot get out to get gasoline for the generator and electricity is needed.

Thanks for any light or help you can shed on the topic here.

1840w of solar panels feeding 8 12v deep cycle RV batteries wired 2s4p, charge controllers, 4000w PSW inverter. Currently, no sun and using more current than I am producing.


Ken
 

sunshine_eggo

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Smart shunt BT is in the shunt itself. notoriously poor range. BMV-712 BT is in the display. Tends to have much better or at least more useful range.

100' is a big ask.

GX device or RPi running Venus OS. Can be hard wired or wifi'd allowing for Victron VRM provided you have internet access from anywhere you have access to a browser, or the VRM app on your phone. Can also connect VictronConnect via the GX device from anywhere with an internet connection.

Here's my system. You would see the circled portion, plus the "time to go" value you have based on your set discharge depth:

1674590515777.png
 

DixieMtCR

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Yes, the RPi was someone's advice. I then bought the RPi and an LCD touch screen to set this up. I was ready for success.

I then tried to install Venus OS and it would not load on my RPi.. After investigating the problem, I found that Venus OS is not compatible with my new RPi 400. So, another purchase and no success.

I think that there must be a bluetooth to wifi gateway that would be compatible with the smart shunt 500 and allow the shunt to be monitored across Wi-Fi. To have to stand 10ft from the device to connect to it seems to be a bit archaic. My bluetooth motorcycle helmet intercom headsets communicate via bluetooth in excess of 1/4 mile! Or is it that Victron has their proprietary devices, designed to all talk to each other to provide a solution but only if you buy the entire package.

There has got to be something for less than a $1k to monitor the batteries. I have about that invested in a Pi, monitor, shunt, and wiring.
 

sunshine_eggo

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Yes, the RPi was someone's advice. I then bought the RPi and an LCD touch screen to set this up. I was ready for success.

I then tried to install Venus OS and it would not load on my RPi.. After investigating the problem, I found that Venus OS is not compatible with my new RPi 400. So, another purchase and no success.

The installation instructions document which RPi are compatible.

I think that there must be a bluetooth to wifi gateway that would be compatible with the smart shunt 500 and allow the shunt to be monitored across Wi-Fi. To have to stand 10ft from the device to connect to it seems to be a bit archaic. My bluetooth motorcycle helmet intercom headsets communicate via bluetooth in excess of 1/4 mile! Or is it that Victron has their proprietary devices, designed to all talk to each other to provide a solution but only if you buy the entire package.

BT transmission from a polycarbonate/Styrofoam shell is going to be inherently different from a big chunk of metal that is imbedded in a EM field of its own creation. Comparing the two is the proverbial apples to oranges situation. Expectations of one based on the other is not realistic.

The BMV-712 has improved BT range because it's NOT in the shunt. It's in the display outside of the shunt's EM field.

There has got to be something for less than a $1k to monitor the batteries. I have about that invested in a Pi, monitor, shunt, and wiring.

Either you start over, or you finish the exercise. The correct RPi can be had for < $150, and in this market, you can probably recoup some of the cost of your 400.
 

brucenolan

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740GLE

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I looked on Amazon $185-$249. Not sure it’s the one you need. Prices are falling.
I looked last year and they were closer to $400 prob due to the chip shortage. Glad to see some price corrections.
 

sunshine_eggo

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Please elaborate. Victron smart shunt is VE.Direct only. Don't see how MK3-USB works in your situation.
 

brucenolan

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sunshine_eggo

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Whew... was scratching my noggin' on that one.

This does require a wifi enabled PC with remote desktop attached, which may go beyond the OP's tolerance. I would ask if the laptop could connect to the smartshunt via bluetooth alone w/o the VE.Direct cable. I expect so, but I don't know for sure.

I use a Mini-PC to run my Batrium software and provide chrome remote desktop access. VRM covers me for everything else.

1674613780967.png
 

jfpetesn

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I looked last year and they were closer to $400 prob due to the chip shortage. Glad to see some price corrections.
Hey anyone know the difference between the Cerbo GX and the Cerbo-S GX other than $65? With the price of the Raspberry Pi and the problems with installing Venus OS it is probably just as cost effective to buy the Cerbo-S if it will allow remote inquiry of a Victron smart shunt. Sounds like it will connect and serve up Smart Shunt data.
 

sunshine_eggo

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The Cerbo S-GX is a somewhat stripped down version of the original, removing some features that many customers were not using which in turn brings down the cost some for the customer. The Cerbo S-GX does not include Resistive tank level inputs, Temperature sense inputs, or a BMS-Can port.

$272.85 from Northern AZ wind and sun

Nice.
 

brucenolan

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Whew... was scratching my noggin' on that one.

This does require a wifi enabled PC with remote desktop attached, which may go beyond the OP's tolerance. I would ask if the laptop could connect to the smartshunt via bluetooth alone w/o the VE.Direct cable. I expect so, but I don't know for sure.

I use a Mini-PC to run my Batrium software and provide chrome remote desktop access. VRM covers me for everything else.

View attachment 131368
yeah sorry for incorrect link, I had the old laptop so 0$ and 29$ for ve.direct to usb, wifi covers my garage 200 ft and I'm able to see victron connect app from anywhere along with other interesting stuff in the garage:
1674614275657.png
 

brucenolan

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if the OP does not have an old windows machine the mini-PC like you have is also a good route

and victronconnect app will not see shunt via BT, 29 $ for VE.Direct to USB was reasonable to me
 

sunshine_eggo

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MMMMmmm... that's some fancy Orion charting. That's my big gripe with Batrium. Their logging isn't very granular. Individual cell data is logged to a snapshot file every 5 minutes, so the only way I can get that data is to parse thousands of text files. Easily done but annoying as shit.

Batrium feeds Min and Max cell voltages, but not the cell IDs. The info is available on MQTT from the CCGX, but it's not fed to VRM. I lack the IT skills to get it into a usable form. I can see it with MQTT Explorer, but Docker and Grafana don't see the cell IDs.
 

brucenolan

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MMMMmmm... that's some fancy Orion charting. That's my big gripe with Batrium. Their logging isn't very granular. Individual cell data is logged to a snapshot file every 5 minutes, so the only way I can get that data is to parse thousands of text files. Easily done but annoying as shit.

Batrium feeds Min and Max cell voltages, but not the cell IDs. The info is available on MQTT from the CCGX, but it's not fed to VRM. I lack the IT skills to get it into a usable form. I can see it with MQTT Explorer, but Docker and Grafana don't see the cell IDs.
Unfortunately it only shows at most the past 24 hours unless I export data. funny the grass is always greener over the other side (Batrium)
 

Rocksnsalt

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The Cerbo S-GX is a somewhat stripped down version of the original, removing some features that many customers were not using which in turn brings down the cost some for the customer. The Cerbo S-GX does not include Resistive tank level inputs, Temperature sense inputs, or a BMS-Can port.

$272.85 from Northern AZ wind and sun

Nice.

The Victron Cerbo S-GX is $225 @ Signature Solar
 

jfpetesn

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if the OP does not have an old windows machine the mini-PC like you have is also a good route

and victronconnect app will not see shunt via BT, 29 $ for VE.Direct to USB was reasonable to me
Yes I would need the VE direct cable. Assuming I bought the cable will the Cerbo-S interface with the Smart shunt connect to my LAN and allow access through VRM?
 
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