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Old 08-29-2022, 04:14 PM   #121
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Those are sexy! I really like the option to customize - it's unfortunate they don't offer anything for the E-series.

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Old 09-16-2022, 12:37 PM   #122
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New Control Panel

I updated my control panel, I changed up up few things sense the temporary one was installed. I replaced the Simarine Pico with the Victron Cerbo, and actually went full Victron for solar, inverter/charger. I decided to recess the panel and divide it into three sections, this gives you the ability to access and work on one of the sections at a time.



I also added the light switch


this is the same as the panel that controls the water pump



These light panels are attached to a smart controller that can be configured as a light dimmer or just a relay to control things such as the water pump. When using the switch as a dimmer the indicator LED also dims. The controllers can be networked accessed if any smarthome modifications want to be made in the future.

-greg
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Old 09-17-2022, 02:06 PM   #123
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Wow, very nice and well done.
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:43 PM   #124
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AC pass thru with Multiplus II

Awhile back I upgraded my inverter to a Victron Multiplus II 3000 2X120 inverter/charger. Again I must have been spoiled by my old Magnum Energy MS2000 because with the remote I could turn on/off both the charger and or inverter via the remote. If I was plugged in the AC would be in passthru mode even if both of those devices were turned off.

I could have almost lived with the pass thru being on when I was in inverter only mode, but it wasn't perfect. I camp at Oregon State Parks at the beach a hand full of times during the year, they usually have electrical hook ups. So in the winter months I like to take advantage of the fact that my Truma Combi Eco is both a propane and/or electrical unit. I might as well use the power if I have already paid for it.

OK this is pretty much about setting up pass thru mode on a Victron Multiplus II 3000. And what I mean is that I want to plug into shore power and have that power pass thru to all my AC outlets or appliances. The key is I do not want the charger to be on, nor do I want the inverter to be in standby mode. Oh, and I don’t use AC out-2, that really is not an option for me.



Now I know that the charger has a disable function because it is clearly in the configuration menu. It is also in the list Modbus cells, so my general question is why it can’t be accessed. For the life of me I can’t find it on the Cerbo screens. I almost resolved myself to just use the configuration or connect app, but they go out of their way to make that more difficult if connected to a Cerbo.



After going through a lot of useless post in the Victron forum I finally stumbled on the answer, Assistants



When you bring up Add assistant you get a few choices. I chose ‘’charge current control’’ .



You then get to choose what input you want to use for assistant, I have chosen auxiliary input 1, if you don’t have auxiliary inputs, you can use temp sense.



Here is where we can set the charger output. The Aux IO is 5 volts; one side is pulled up to 5 volts the other low. I have set the DC charge current to 0 if Aux is lower than a 1.00 volt, it also sets it 80 amps if it above 4 volts. My plan is to tie these inputs to one of the relays on Cerbo Gx to give me control. With the relay open the aux input is low or below 1.00 volts result in 0 DC amps out. (Note1) When the relay is closed the 5-volt pull-up will bring it above 4 volts and give me a charge setting of 80 amps



Note 1: This off course is another important step, by checking this I am completely disabling the charger when the value is set to zero
You do a quick check by looking at the summary





So now with the Victron Cerbo I can have a Charge/Enable relay, when I want to turn the charger on, I set this. I also remotely control my MPPT solar controller with the other relay. My only issue with using the Cerbo relays for this, is that I have used up my Cerbo relays. It would be a great if Victron made a Cerbo relay add-on device. Probably the biggest reason I am using the Cerbo Relays is I can control the charger is I can control with the VRM connection over the internet.



So now I can plug in and use all my AC equipment, with out any extra draw on my batteries. My Truma Eco Combi takes propane and/or electricity to. I also sometimes run a secondary charger to charge the start batteries. This also goes hand in hand with not running my Lithium Batteries at float if I don't want to

-greg
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Old 11-26-2022, 04:24 PM   #125
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Connecting Lithionics Battery directly to Cerbo via RV-C (canbus)

Much to my happiness, release of Cerbo GX firmware v2.90 introduced native RV-C support, allowing direct CAN connection from Cerbo GX to the vehicle RV-C network, which opens several exciting possibilities for complete system integration:
  • Lithionics BMS controls charging values in real time, commands MultiPlus inverter/charger and SmartSolar charge controllers to prevent overcharging the battery, which avoids nuisance BMS disconnects.
  • Battery data such as SOC, Voltage, Current, Temperature shows up natively on GX Touch 50 screen.
  • Warnings and Alarms for battery events such as Low/High Voltage, Low/High Temperature show up natively on GX Touch 50 screen.
  • RV-C multiplex systems (RV Control Panels) can display Inverter and Solar data, turn the Inverter On/Off, set AC shore power breaker limit, allowing customer friendly integrated RV control experience

The first step to make this work was wire up a cable from the Lithionics Battery to the Cerbo unit. Lithionics uses Delphi Weather Pack connector. The Cerbo takes a Cat5 cable. Being that we are doing this across Can-Bus I need to provide proper termination. Luckily I hade purchased a adapter cable for the installation of my Wakespeed Alternator control, which I haven't installed yet.



All I needed to add was a cat5 cable with a Deutsch 2 pin connector, the wakespeed cable came with the open connector.



I needed to connect pins 7 & 8 to the 2 pin connector. The BRN/WHT (7) cable is Can -High while the BRN (8) is Can-Low. The is then plugged into the Lithionics battery side and on to the Cerbo, the Cerbo has two VE.Canbus connector (Rj45) One is for the cable, and the other is the termination for this end of the bus. Victron provides the terminator with the Cerbo.

The next thing was to go to setting/services menu and configure VE,Can Port to RV-C



After that I looked for the battery to show up in device list, but no show. I checked that the Can-Bus data was working (essentially that I didn't mess up the two pin cable). I checked my Cerbo firmware and found it was a release candidate 2.90 firmware not released 2.90 firmware. I load the latest firmware which was 3.0, and try again. It works the battery shows up as "8" which is the version of the BMS, but is has battery date.


It list all the Lithionics data.



After enabling DVCC in the Cerbo, I could not find any of the DVCC parameters under the battery. I checked the firmware of the battery and found that it was at 8.0.18, I updated the battery to latest 8.0.21 and the parameters showed up. Now my battery BMS will be able to control things with the Victron Multiplus and Mppt controller.



This now allows me to free up a Victron Battery Monitor, and I also get the Battery Temp data provided to Cerbo. With the VRM App for the phone and push notifications one should always no what is going on with the electrical system.



-greg
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:12 PM   #126
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I don’t really understand any of this but it sounds very cool. [emoji23]
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Old 12-23-2022, 08:39 AM   #127
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Battery Heater Data Capture

My battery (Lithionics) came with an internal heater, actually I ordered it with that option. I had been remiss in actually setting it up, but decided to move forward as we had some cold weather coming up. It has their type 2 heater kit. Both the positive and negative lines come out to a 2-pin Delphi
Weatherpack connector. The heater can be hooked up to the DC bus bars (with appropriate fusing of course) or I can power it off of an external power supply. Their type 1 heater only gives you the direct DC option.

I chose to connect mine via the DC bus, I actually piggy backed on my shunt for the refrigerator. Most likely when the heater is on the refrigerator won't be.

Any how have a switch to enable the heater and made sure it was ready. I work up yesterday morning and was very cold, we were in the low twenties and my power was out. I was getting ready to make put on hot water for coffee (thank god, we have a gas stove) , but I couldn't find my back up french press. I quickly went to the van used the Inverter to make a couple of cups of coffee. So you will notice a couple of large current draws as the Keurig is in use. But I was able to capture a day of the battery heater

This first data capture shows the battery temp (yellow)in relationship to the power of the heater(Blue), note it is labeled Fridge. The overall battery current (Red) is also displayed. For the 24-hour period where the outside temp was from 24° to 19° the internal heater came on three times for about 1 hour and 10 mins each time. The current draw was 6-amps when on this came out to roughly 20.5 amp hours or 273 watts for the 24 hour period.



-greg

The next data capture shows the battery temperature in relationship to other temperatures both inside and outside of the van.

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Old 02-05-2023, 07:02 AM   #128
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Stove, refrigerator cabinet and more

Been a while since I posted any updates on the build, I am a bit behind. We have been on a few camping trips in its uncompleted stage (are they ever completed), and all has worked well. I also took the van on a trip to Iowa to see my ailing dad, and Kansas City to see my brothers. It would also be the last Nascar race I attended at Kansas City. Years ago, I purchased rights to very nice seats at the speedway, row 35 start finish line. This was so I could take my dad to a race every year. I also have brothers that live in the area so it was a good all round family get together. My dad is to ill to make the event anymore, so I decided to now longer do the race track thing.

While the drive was solo and really just to get from point A to B, the Transit performed great. I only stopped at rest stops to sleep at night. First having a bathroom on board that I can walk into, and standup is just fantastic. My rest stop procedure was to usually stop ands immediately turn the seat around so I could access my table, then if it was coffee time, I would fire up the Keurig for a cup of coffee. Then I would use the facilities if needed, take a bit of a walk to get the circulation going. Upon returning I would grab my cup of coffee, sit down at my mobile desk and check emails and things on the computer. If it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner time I made something to eat. All I can say it made a couple of hard days driving very enjoyable.

Upon returning from the Midwest I finally got Covid, I had all my vaccinations and really only felt really bad for a day, but looking back I was very tired for a couple of months. That and other household task got in the way of any serious van work. So now if weather permits, I am back at it. This was done before my fall trip so as I said I’m a bit behind.

I have had the refrigerator temporarily installed for a while; this allowed me to use the van as it went through stages of the build. The time had come to make something permanent, as it would ultimately hold the stove I was installing also. For a stove I chose a Furrion 17” 3 burner gas burner oven range.



This will give us a small oven, that I can envision making biscuits or scones on one of our winter Oregon coast trips. This was a tuff decision that took more input from the wife, as I enjoy baking in the Dutch Oven



This cabinet was one of the stronger ones I made, I used ¾ “or 18mm for the side. The back was bolted into the side of the Transit using existing threaded holes or new ones with rivnuts. I also used some L brackets to mount the cabinet through the floor.

The countertop was the same wood block that I used for the sink cabinet. I did router out the back side a little bit to reduce some weight. This top would move forward and cover my garbage recycle center and refrigerator. I mounted the refrigerator facing forward. This allows access to the refrigerator from the outside the vehicle. I am sure I will hear how bad an idea this is as the door could open and unleash the insides. I had it temporally like this over a year, I hadn’t even installed a secondary latch and had no issues. I will probably install a strap system for use while driving.



I decided to put some rivnuts on the sides of the refrigerator, these would allow me to a solid mount of the refrigerator.



The refrigerator is a TruckFridge TF130DC unit. I have a separate compressor speed control and digital thermostat, the Guardian by Coastal Climate Control. Along with that thermostat, I have added a control board called the Merlin II. This board controls the rpm that the compressor is running, it has a ramp on sequence at start up, it will try to run the unit at the lowest possible RPM. The merlin II will also provide a fault blink indicator if something goes wrong with the Danfoss/SecopSeacop compressor unit.



The Thermostat unit is no longer available but the replacement is a Coastal MK3 Digital Thermostat.
While the control has a built in displayable thermocouple inside the unit I also added a rUUVi Bluetooth temperature sensor inside the unit.



This allows me to monitor the inside temp of the refrigerator via my Victron Cerbo GX. I also use a separate Victron Smartshunt to monitor the power for just the refrigerator. The Smartshunt is pretty primarily used as a battery monitor, but can be used just to monitor loads , especially with the Cerbo. It is one of my hopes that Victron develops some smaller more economical smart shunts. This allows me to monitor the temperature of the refrigerator and power usage along with other variables in the van.



This is a nice reasonably temperature day, as the temperature gets higher the duty cycle of the refrigerator power changes.



This is where we lose control of the refrigerator, as temperatures go above 100°F the compressor is at full speed but not able to keep the temperature at set point.




I recessed the cabinet in a little bit, as I did not want the knobs protruding much. The stove comes with a glass panel cover that is used as a back splash when in use. It doesn’t rattle to much while in travel, but I usually still deploy a towel underneath to prevent. The stove takes a 12 volt hook up to power the oven light and knobs. Also, as a safety feature if a valve is on, it turns red. Now I just really need the propane tank.
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Old 02-05-2023, 07:28 AM   #129
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Super nice. Glad you are doing better and thanks for posting.
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Old 02-05-2023, 07:47 AM   #130
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Very nice. Real estate is tight in my new-to-me van but I've had my eye on a stove/oven combo for a long time. Nice work!
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