PROBLEM – serenity: Low battery L1 on VE.Bus System

So I get this email around 23:00 Monday the 26th..  from the boat in the US ( Serenity ) who uses the Venus for Jan-kees.

Darn what is going on on this boat ?    So I quickly jump online and log into the VRM ( Victron) website and see that the BMV shows 12.3 V……so what the frell?  Ok I’ll drive there Tomorrow morning.

Tuesday morning I arrive at the boat and find out, no 110V on any of the outlets, the fridge is dark.  OH dear Oh dear.  Open the hatch to the battery/ inverter bilge and the multiplus ( Victron 12/3000 inverter/ charger) is hiding all quiet and dark.  OH darn …an inverter on the blink.  I cycle the switch on/off and it starts humming and a led comes on….I see a charge current on the BMV and poof . …silence, the inverter goes back to the “You don’t see me mode”

Ok so I start testing……yes 110 v is there, yes, polarity is correct, yes 12V is there, so I have declare a code and pronounce the unit dead.

I call the US Victron rep, Justin, I get directed to voice mail jail. Fire off an email to him, and wait.    I get a call back and Justin tells me to try a few other things, like DC connections.  Well I already checked them, but to go with the flow, I disconnect them and reconnect……Same issue…Inverter turns on, a little bit later, a few seconds…..poof…”I go in hiding” the Inverter whispers.    I share another email with Justin with screen shots of the Venus, and go home.

The next morning I get an email to please make sure the DC connections are ok, and if they are, Justin will second my medical opinion and declare the Inverter dead, and it needs to be sent to an authorized repair center to be fixed.   Who says inverter can”t rise from the dead?   Now having guests coming over for the 4th, the chefs family of the Pacific Kitchen, I kinda complain gentle to Justin and putting American customer service he hints that he can get me a  temporary replacement unit, before that time.  Darn such a guy deserve a beer or more.   And an hour later, Justin calls…” I am trying to get it shipped today, so you have it Friday, worst case Monday. Plus you can either keep that unit, or you can get your original back”

Friday bright and early there is it a nice blue Victron box with the replacement, so Saturday morning we drive the hour to the marina, but via The Pacific Kitchen to have Dim Sum with Lam.

Arriving at the boat I decide to hook up the unit first temporarily with some longer cables.   I flip the switch and what happens, the same  !!!!!!   I get worried, check the correct connections….YES…I run out to get a plug and box, so we also have a 110 V load. But same issue.  Ok the only thing I have not changed is the 110V so I plug into another dock pedestal.  Same problem.  Well it means I have to schlep all home to see if the 110V at home is perhaps correct.   The vacuum cleaner works, the fridge works, so I have no clue.   Then it struck me, the only thing left is the cable to the Venus.  I quickly get one of our friends to take one with them.   I unplug the original RJ45 cabe and …the inverter comes alive…….ALIVE….it’s alive……I wait a bit and it runs perfectly. after 30 minutes I accept the unit is NOT dead.    So it might be the Venus..  I log in and reboot the Venus with the previous Firmware.   Inverter crawls starts playing dead again.   I look to the release date and it shows the previous version is from the time the trouble started.  So I make a setup with JUST the Multi, the Venus and a 12V battery and .a 110V lamp as load.  With the Venus plugged in the Multi plays dead.  Without the Venus the multi is alive and cheerful.   I made a few pics to sent to Matthijs, and requested to install an older version of the firmware.  Yes that will teach me to be one of the first ones.  More to come….

Well on July the 4th I got the official word…”There was indeed a bug in the communication with Multis, which we fixed and it will become available as v2.08~8. Thanks for reporting!”   So now we wait for the software upgrade and then see how it work, and take it to Holland.

On July the 6th Matthijs emailed the following :

Good evening all,
Today we have released v2.08~9 for testing. The change log:
v2.08~8 and ~9
– Add ModbusTCP parameter to read & write the ESS minimum SOC setting
– Fix a few bugs in the communication with VE.Bus devices (thank you Shannon and Jan for reporting). The main issue fixed is that it was impossible to switch the devices on or off, in certain configurations. These issues were introduced in one of the v2.08 test versions.
If you see any new issue, let me know.
Best regards, Matthijs

So now we have to insert the cable and see how or what, then we have to take it out and take it to Holland to install it in Jan-Kees.




Houston we have a problem ( and for the Dutch readers also…Dank U Sinterklaasje)

Yes yes yes…It did arrive in the USA.

venus Finally.

Gosh I have been bugging everybody, Matthijs, Justin, Peter Kennedy  ( for a few months now, after Matthijs told me last year he was working on the Venus, and I did not had to buy the expensive Maretron equipment to monitor tanks,  temperature and (soon inplemented) bilge pump activation.

But then it is just like VETport software upgrades…later than being told.

Small Blue box, no manual ( it is being developed online) and bunch of cute handy connectors.  A temperature probe with an attached 2 wire connector.  Now where is the one for the DC power ……..not there…..huh …there are others , like for the relays, and one for the all the connections, but not a 2nd 2 wire connector.  So removed the connector of the temperature sensor and slapped it on the DC power line.  It blinks….now connecting…yes we see the wireless network of the Venus…VENUS-HQ1712NTJVI-51f…Gosh I hope we can change that to something easier, or that we can access it easy if the Venus is connected to the ‘real’ internet.  Now I have to try to read the small print of the password …no luck with the Ipad…try again…no luck …Ok Iphone……same .  darn …do I have to call people on a Sunday?  Lets try the Macbook Air…and like the old ads from AT&T …..”Reach out and touch”.. It connects  yes a nice display.  Lets try the Ipad and Iphone now….yep they work too…must have been too inpatient!

Now lets slap the Multi, the MPPT’s the BMV, the GPS, the Temperature sensor on….Multi..perfect…MPPT perfect…BMV . ah no cable ( took it to Holland, Jan-Kees), temperature sensor……..yes/ no….what …the device says connected , and the sensor says disconnected ???



Ok lets plug in the GPS……wait the unit freezes up?  Ok power cycle try again and wait longer…..mmm same . the moment I plug the GPS with the USB .  ( 2 * MPPT and GPS) the system freezes up.  Well we will email and then wait ..I am sure it wil be solved soon.

YES it was solved very very quickly, an email to Victronenergy on Sunday got a reply in an hour !!! with instructions to do some more digging, so I start digging and organizing the results in a reply email till we come to the model of the GPS.   I revert to friend Google and I can’t find the model number, more running around on the internet and .   mmm my “GPS” unit is in actuality a Wireless wifi unit, which I had used for the CCGX, so with egg on my face I replied to the good folks at Victron ( Matthijs) reporting this .

The connected / disconnected temperature sensor is not solved yet, but I am sure it wil be.

Now lets put the old CCGX on Ebay, sell it and buy another Venus!

GREAT units.

OK and update………Hall of shame…..I tried connecting via the vrm portal, but no such luck…So Friday the 16 June, I drove to the boat, reset everything and checked the temp sensor again. And I could also now connect via the VRM remote control.   And now I saw that the Tank sensors read out was also showing connected.   Darn…lets test the temp sensor……..ok get some water in a pan,….put heath on and put the sensor in the water….but first we need to take the tie wrap off, so we can unfold the cord…but wait …..the ‘temperature sensor’ is 2 O eyes….this is the DC power source cable…    bloody hell.

I never unwound it, since it looked like the temp probe of the Multi plus, I ASSumed it was one.   So with egg on my face I called Justin, and left a voice mail, and when he confirmed I ASSumed wrong, I emailed Matthijs. In his reply Matthijs did show me my observation was correct, that it should not have shown , connected.  The question now is…will I show up on the ‘Stupid yet funny and still a bug found Client of the month” wall at Victron??