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Old 12-03-2018, 09:33   #1
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Victron - Remote Display

I thought some of you might benefit from a blog post I recently wrote on building remote LCD displays for my Victron MPPT controllers. We tried the Bluetooth dongle and although it worked well, I didn't like relying on my tablet/phone. I just wanted actual lighted LCD displays that I could glance at throughout the day.

After finding out the price of the actual Victron displays, I decided to build my own version. Here is a link to the details and source code.

http://www.svpartyoffive.com/2018/02...ors-technical/
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:20   #2
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

Nice! I shall shamelessly cut a paste slices of your code

I went a bit too cheapskate getting a 75/10 not getting any kind of serial adaptor but you've gee-ed me up to making a start on monitoring with an ESP8266, can be used with arduino code & updated over wifi so no wires needed.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-03-2018, 13:16   #3
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Nice! I shall shamelessly cut a paste slices of your code

I went a bit too cheapskate getting a 75/10 not getting any kind of serial adaptor but you've gee-ed me up to making a start on monitoring with an ESP8266, can be used with arduino code & updated over wifi so no wires needed.

Thanks for sharing!
Its free for the taking...

I had actually thought of using an ESP8266 to broadcast the data over WIFI. I even started writing a Windows app to display the data on the desktop (could have made it an OpenCPN plugin).

However, I stopped as that would defeat what I was trying to do. It sounds crazy, but I really wanted displays in the salon I could look at. I didn't want to have to use a laptop or tablet.

Anyway.. Glad you will find some use out of it!
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Old 12-03-2018, 14:00   #4
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I had actually thought of using an ESP8266 to broadcast the data over WIFI. I even started writing a Windows app to display the data on the desktop (could have made it an OpenCPN plugin).
However, I stopped as that would defeat what I was trying to do. It sounds crazy, but I really wanted displays in the salon I could look at. I didn't want to have to use a laptop or tablet.
Makes a lot of sense.

My setup is different in it's all based around a raspberry pi running openplotter. So far there are various sensors which actually go into a esp8266 first then using MQTT over wifi into the Pi where it all turns into signalk. Upside of this is that interesting bits like engine temperature can be viewed in a dashboard in opencpn, well after some jumping through hoops to get the data to nmea which the dashboard will actually display - roll on opencpn and signalk being joined at the hip
With everything as signalk it also means any gadget which can display a web page can display any or all of the data using the ever expanding choice of signalk webapps.
One more thing I had working with dummy data is a little box with a 4 line LCD screen like yours and an ESP8266 which runs on batteries or 12v and will display whatever you want it to - this hopefully will come in handy for single handing so you can keep an eye on SOG, COG windspeed etc from your bunk.

That one was using easyesp and sending data from the Pi over MQTT create by node red.

Node red also records everything into a sqlite database once a minute. Good fun!

Bokeh Plot

ESP's are dead cheap nowadays, if you have room one might do the job of the arduino and publish a simple web page with the data.

Hours and hours of good, clean fun
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Old 13-03-2018, 09:28   #5
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Its free for the taking...

I had actually thought of using an ESP8266 to broadcast the data over WIFI. I even started writing a Windows app to display the data on the desktop (could have made it an OpenCPN plugin).

However, I stopped as that would defeat what I was trying to do. It sounds crazy, but I really wanted displays in the salon I could look at. I didn't want to have to use a laptop or tablet.

Anyway.. Glad you will find some use out of it!
Ok. 1st step - learn something about electricity, then about 12v, then about how mppt controllers work and how to read them,..... I stand in awe!

Regards,
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Old 14-03-2018, 12:02   #6
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Ok. 1st step - learn something about electricity, then about 12v, then about how mppt controllers work and how to read them,..... I stand in awe!

Regards,
OK, I know a decent bit about those things above, as well as C++ and other languages, and have played with Arduinos in the past.

And I'm still in awe!

Nice job.

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Old 14-03-2018, 17:56   #7
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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OK, I know a decent bit about those things above, as well as C++ and other languages, and have played with Arduinos in the past.

And I'm still in awe!

Nice job.

-- Bass
Thanks Bass.. I appreciate the nice comments..

I hope my post inspires you to do some discovery and playing with the controllers. Victron has really done a great job at making their devices open for DIY stuff.

EDIT.. Damn I read this after and it so seems like an advertisment for Victron.. I promise, I have nothing to do with the company.
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Old 14-03-2018, 18:29   #8
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Thanks Bass.. I appreciate the nice comments..

I hope my post inspires you to do some discovery and playing with the controllers. Victron has really done a great job at making their devices open for DIY stuff.

EDIT.. Damn I read this after and it so seems like an advertisment for Victron.. I promise, I have nothing to do with the company.
Maybe you and Conachair could put your heads together and come up with a very clear set of instructions and parts list so that some of us who would like to have such a device and are not afraid of soldering irons, but who don't want to spend months on tinkering with it, could follow in your footsteps.

Yes, a dedicated device at the instrument panel giving all that information would be great to have

Kudos to both of you
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Old 15-03-2018, 07:32   #9
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Maybe you and Conachair could put your heads together and come up with a very clear set of instructions and parts list so that some of us who would like to have such a device and are not afraid of soldering irons, but who don't want to spend months on tinkering with it, could follow in our footsteps.

Yes, a dedicated device at the instrument panel giving all that information would be great to have

Kudos to both of you
My blog post pretty much details the exact build and parts list. Not sure I could add anything more to make it easier.

As to the SignalK and integrated stuff. I originally played around with it, but abandoned it. Frankly its great for hobby, but once you are out cruising its really just gimicks. Even the data on a tablet or laptop I find to be a gimick. Even though we have it aboard I rarely ever use it. We already have a device aboard that takes engine data and pushes it over our NMEA2000 network. I have really stopped using that I just prefer to have old school guages and not clutter up my plotter screen.

However, if that is what you are after, I did a blog on building a WIFI device to send NMEA0183 data over the WIFI network. It works great and only cost like $20 to build. If, however you are shy of the soldering iron, then just buy a Vesper AIS device and be done with it.
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Old 15-03-2018, 11:38   #10
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Thanks Bass.. I appreciate the nice comments..

I hope my post inspires you to do some discovery and playing with the controllers. Victron has really done a great job at making their devices open for DIY stuff.
I had already transitioned from other controllers to using the Victron when I could, I just preferred the product in general. This will only make me support them more since they're willing to be open with their data setup... coming from a side job in web development using all open source tools I can't stand how opaque and proprietary most marine stuff seems to be, I'll always support the manufacturers who are willing to share!

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Old 15-03-2018, 12:00   #11
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Originally Posted by basssears View Post
I had already transitioned from other controllers to using the Victron when I could, I just preferred the product in general. This will only make me support them more since they're willing to be open with their data setup... coming from a side job in web development using all open source tools I can't stand how opaque and proprietary most marine stuff seems to be, I'll always support the manufacturers who are willing to share!

-- Bass
As a side note - signalk is gaining momentum, already there's an app for a victron battery monitor. Not actually sure what it does but very likely more and more displays/controllers will be written to access the various bits of kit onboard via signalk far beyond the capabilities of NMEA. And it's free and opensource

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Old 16-03-2018, 02:34   #12
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

The Victron GX display is open source, there are already clones
built by Raspy and a touch screen with all the bells and whistles
from Victron Venus / GX. I like the approach with a plain touch
display instead of bulky buttons.
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Old 16-03-2018, 02:43   #13
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

On the Victron website you can find more open source supported projects.

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/open_source:start

https://github.com/victronenergy
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Old 16-03-2018, 13:22   #14
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

Another big thanks TW

Using your code I just got a ESP8266 parsing the victron data and sending it as signalk to a raspberry pi so it can be seen on any machine around the boat.

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Old 18-03-2018, 14:14   #15
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Re: Victron - Remote Display

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Another big thanks TW

Using your code I just got a ESP8266 parsing the victron data and sending it as signalk to a raspberry pi so it can be seen on any machine around the boat.


Cool! Did you notice there's stuff happening to create a generic Signal K ESP8266 IoT device? https://github.com/mxtommy/SigkSens
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