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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Phone Battery Monitor

By |December 29th, 2016|COMPONENT BUILD, ELECTRONICS|0 Comments

Was mainly working on my commercial project today and the last few days, but still manage to do a little bit for the van. Today I felt like doing something for the Android phone app. The first version is done. I made a generic application which loads a parameter list from the central app via Wifi and creates the display page dynamically. If one has a large number of signals to deal with it is very daunting to write apps for each application component with each signal in a hard coded way. Just not really efficient. I have created […]

Victron Multi Control Replacement Part2

The touch screen is mounted in its bezel, the connection cable for the screen is made and the components are in their box. I use two step down power supplies, one for the Arduino and one for the display. I found the display to be unreliable when powered from the Arduino, it draws too much power and with the Ethernet shield in the stack, which also draws a fair bit of power it would be a bit too much for the Arduino internal power supply. I run 7 V to the Arduino, if I power it directly from 12V […]

Victron Multi Control Replacement

Have finished the programming and testing of my Multi Control replacement. Have changed the main screen a little over the first version. At first I emulated the original with a round knob. Not really easy to use with a touch screen. The slider was better but it was still a bit tedious to set an exact limit. This is mainly useful when we only have a 10 amp plug or only one lead connected. I made buttons for the mainly used limits and anything in between can be done with the slider. I did not visualise the charger mode […]

Victron CCGX And Arduino Uno

After finishing the replacement for the Digital Multi Control screen functions I wanted to add the Modbus communication and test the connection, but it was not as easy as I expected from the Java experience.

The information about Modbus TCP for Arduino is a total mess on the web. Lots of pages for serial communication but not much on TCP, and the stuff you find is dated, unfinished, too big for an Uno and none of the three library attempts were working with the CCGX. I just could not get a proper response. The CCGX received but I always got […]

CCTV – first steps

By |December 23rd, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

Today I have experimented with the positions for my CCTV cameras. I have prepared the installation last night with the implementation of the video display in the central application as well as an application on my phone to see the streaming video from the cameras.

The plan is to use 4 cameras for all around coverage. They are Ip cameras and can stream over the LAN and also the Internet. I mounted a camera on by step ladder and moved it around to search for the best angles and mounting points. Originally I wanted these on the side walls, but […]

More functions of the control application

Have added two more functions to my central application. The first lists all actively sampled signals, from all connected bus systems and shows the call duration as well as the sampling interval for each value. This is done to test the quality of the network and to help with testing when installing all electronic components. I can easily see if the software as well as the hardware is doing what it is supposed to to. I will also have a function to manually start the sampling of a single value. I will also have dozens of digital signals, simple […]

Central Application – Sample Pages

Amongst other things I have been mainly working on the Java application for my central system. One main part of the new functions was the integration of the Victron devices via Modbus/TCP. Had a few minor hurdles but all good in the end. Still a few open questions with some of the functions of the Victron components but that is for a later stage. I have not yet connected both solar controllers and battery monitors. The chassis battery is not yet in place, also working on that one. I have tested the BMS and the CAN bus connection to […]

Victron Integration – Status Report

By |December 12th, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

This is a bit technical and only meant for those who have interest in accessing the Victron network.

Status:
I have finished the basic test to read from all connected devices.
I could read from can bus using uId 0, found the first solar controller.
I found the register with the Multi status, off/on/charger only/  inverter only field 33 , Solar charger is field 774 to switch off

I have rewritten my test code into a Modbus server to easily integrate in my central application. It is an expandable OO Java app and I created a public Github project to share as promised above.

Here […]

Victron Integration Progress

By |December 11th, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

Today I connected one of the solar controllers to check if I can access it via Modbus. The documentation is not clear in that regard and one can only guess. However Mathijs has answered from his mobile on Saturday and is taking this to the support desk and not the forum. Good move, however I tried it out and it works as I guessed and as he confirmed.

There are still a couple of issues to solve. Two with Victron and one with myself. I have a very weird phenomenon which occurred now twice in the morning.  I will get […]

Modbus/TCP for Victron CCGX

By |December 9th, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

Here is the code for Modbus/TCP communication with the Victron CCGX using Java. Very limited sources and all the sample programs are incomplete and don’t work with the CCGX.
You need j2mod library, can be downloaded from here:  https://sourceforge.net/p/j2mod/wiki/Home/
Some info about Modbus TCP master, which is what this code is: http://jamod.sourceforge.net/kb/tcp_master_howto.html

I have not completed all device connections yet. The documentation is insufficient for me, but maybe I am just being stupid again, as in the beginning when I overlooked the field list in an excel workbook.

This is what the program prints out:

Connected to = 192.168.0.8 is true
Start Register 3
AC […]

Victron System – Load Test

By |December 8th, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

Amongst other things I have worked on the Victron installation. Finally my MK2-USB cable came to configure the Multi, but no firmware on the website. You have to write to support to have it sent. Did that, and just now came the file from the Netherlands with no answer to two questions and not a friendly word. Well .. it all fits into the picture. The MK2-USB needed an update too and did not want to work on a USB extension. The Ve-configure utility crashed twice and wrote corrupted files. With the third attempt I was able to read […]

Lithium Charging And Balancing – Proof of Concept

By |December 8th, 2016|COMPONENT BUILD, ELECTRONICS|0 Comments

I have made changes to the DC-DC charger and finished programming the BMS and the DC-DC charger in a first version. Both are working, however the DC-DC charger needs a few more network functions to communicate to the central system . I have also made a link between the two, the BMS can now disable the charger if required.

The change I made to the charger had to do with safety margin in terms of heat development and robustness of the power sources. I replaced the cheapish power supplies with better ones and the larger one (30A max) is fan […]

Heating Installation Started

By |December 6th, 2016|BODY BUILD, BUILD, PLUMBING|0 Comments

Today I have started to place the heater outlets. The first is the one in the living area. It is a 4.5 kw Webasto 3 stage fan heater. Originally I only wanted convection heat, but I decided that we are using the fan forced heater for faster heat up. We have the floor heating for the “soft” heat if required.

In the morning I was at Masters and raided the PEX fittings. Nobody buys this stuff and they had pretty much left what I needed. I bought a few and some more, just in case.

I bought another couple […]

BBQ

By |December 3rd, 2016|BUILD, ELECTRIC|0 Comments

I hooked up a couple more power points in the front storage compartment. I test fitted the BBQ and built a pedestal where the runners will be mounted for the BBQ slide. The vent on the lower left is for the 12V fridge. I will also have a vent in the side of the pedestal but not to the outside. The area is big enough to take the circulating air and when we run the aircon the left side is open anyway. The power point on the left is a 15 Amp outlet with it’s own RCD to supply […]

Hot Water Solar

By |December 3rd, 2016|BODY BUILD, BUILD, PLUMBING|0 Comments

After the last tarp was ripped to pieces by the winds I started to work on the roof. I had finished the hatches and also done the extractor fan and all the trim along the roof edge. Next on the list were the solar panels for the hot water.

I organised the fittings for the panels and the connections for the pex pipes. Above image shows the panels prepared to go on the roof .

The left panel with the inlet connection.

Above image shows the connection between the panels and the right side outlet. I allowed some space around the panels […]