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Old 16-09-2018, 11:27   #1
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Victron BMV-700/702 with Cheap/Generic Bluetooth Dongle

I have a BMV-702 and I'd like to be able to use the VictronConnect mobile app without the expense of the $50 Victron Bluetooth dongle. Instead I'd like to get there with a $2-10 (depending on where you get it) generic BLE module.

I've tinkered with the VictronConnect app on MacOS connecting to the BMV-702 via a generic FTDI USB-TTL cable - and that works fine. So I suspect there is no particular proprietary magic on the BMV-702 TTL connector. I've also used a generic serial/terminal app to monitor the plain text output the BMV-702 sends on this port.

I think the real mystery is in how the VictronConnect mobile app discovers Victron devices via bluetooth. I've searched high and low and not found much detail on that. I suspect they are using BLE GATT attributes to recognize devices. I'd like to test that hypothesis.

If you have a BMV 700/702/712 with bluetooth, can you please use a diagnostic mobile app such as "LightBlue Explorer" (free) to capture some details of how your Victron BMV device advertises itself on bluetooth. Use LightBlue to connect to your device - which probably shows up as "VE.Direct LE". Tap on it to connect and post screenshots of the "Peripheral" screens which should list "service" and "device information" with "manufacturer name string" and "model number string" attributes among other things.

Thanks!
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Old 17-09-2018, 23:37   #2
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Re: Victron BMV-700/702 with Cheap/Generic Bluetooth Dongle

Is this for fun?

Or do you value your time that low?
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Old 18-09-2018, 05:36   #3
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Re: Victron BMV-700/702 with Cheap/Generic Bluetooth Dongle

Hi John. All of the above. My free time is cheap; I enjoy an engineering challenge; and I have a preference for economical rather than overpriced solutions.

Now that we have that out of the way... are you able to help?
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Old 18-09-2018, 05:45   #4
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Re: Victron BMV-700/702 with Cheap/Generic Bluetooth Dongle

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffadog View Post
Hi John. All of the above. My free time is cheap; I enjoy an engineering challenge; and I have a preference for economical rather than overpriced solutions.

Now that we have that out of the way... are you able to help?
To start playing you could order a ESP32 - like an arduino but with wifi and bluetooth https://www.espressif.com/en/product...esp32/overview

Though you'll likely need to drop the TTL voltage down to 3.3v.
I did the same with saving some cash on the bluetooth and just an arduino as ttl/serial. Must get round to getting bluetooth sorted one day so please post if you have success.

Victron has embraced open source more than most so might be worth asking on the forums on their site. Quite a bit of data on ve direct on there as well.

Also, if you have signalk running there's an app to view the data on serial.
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Old 18-09-2018, 06:50   #5
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Re: Victron BMV-700/702 with Cheap/Generic Bluetooth Dongle

No, I'd go wired, never had much interest in BT except for OOTB solutions.

In that situation I'd sell the BMV-702 on eBay and get the 712 version which has BT built in.

Same with the SmartSolar line for MPPT.
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