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Jonski

VE.direct to USB cable with a Victron Phoenix inverter

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Posted (edited)

Hi

I've just bought a Victron Phoenix inverter together with a VE.direct to USB cable which is the source of my grief cable is  this one. Note that it is not the MK3 USB cable.

The thing is, the Linux Victron Connect software (v5.27) isn't detecting the inverter at all. I did add my user to both the dialout and dip user groups. The `lsusb` command shows a "ID 0403:6015 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd Bridge(I2C/SPI/UART/FIFO)".

Do I have the right cable? Do Phoenix inverters work with such a cable to the computer? I have also tried installing VictronConnect under Windows10 on my wife's computer, but that gives a white window that just disappears!

Anyone able to assist?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Jonski
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Jonski said:

needed to run the app with "sudo".

Actually, that's the whole point of the group setup, so that you don't have to run the application as root.

Perhaps what you forgot to do is log out and back in. In the X-window graphics system, initgroups() is called only only once at login time, so any modifications you make to group membership has no effect until you log out and back in (yes, it is irritating).

Once you did that, you should be able to check your groups membership, eg here is mine, showing that bob is in the dip and dialout groups:

[email protected]:~$ groups
bob adm dialout cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare vboxusers docker

Then you can check the permissions of the serial device, eg:

[email protected]:~$ ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0 
crw-rw----    1 root     dialout   188,   0 Jun 29 13:31 /dev/ttyUSB0

So members of the dialout group can write that service.

Finally, you can attach to it using the screen terminal aggregator:

screen /dev/ttyUSB0 19200

And you should see the VE.Direct text protocol scroll by. To quit from screen, press ctrl+a and then k.

If that all works, then VictronConnect should be able to also access the serial device.

Edited by plonkster

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To answer my own question - needed to run the app with "sudo". Sorry for wasting anyones time! Mustn't tinker late at night, this was kind of obvious with hindsight, but will leave the question up here for someone else to stumble upon

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, plonkster said:

Actually, that's the whole point of the group setup, so that you don't have to run the application as root.

Perhaps what you forgot to do is log out and back in. In the X-window graphics system, initgroups() is called only only once at login time, so any modifications you make to group membership has no effect until you log out and back in (yes, it is irritating).

Once you did that, you should be able to check your groups membership, eg here is mine, showing that bob is in the dip and dialout groups:

[email protected]:~$ groups
bob adm dialout cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare vboxusers docker

Then you can check the permissions of the serial device, eg:

[email protected]:~$ ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0 
crw-rw----    1 root     dialout   188,   0 Jun 29 13:31 /dev/ttyUSB0

So members of the dialout group can write that service.

Finally, you can attach to it using the screen terminal aggregator:

screen /dev/ttyUSB0 19200

And you should see the VE.Direct text protocol scroll by. To quit from screen, press ctrl+a and then k.

If that all works, then VictronConnect should be able to also access the serial device.

Thanks @plonkster for the detail. Strangely, I could see the text scroll pass in a serial console (for /dev/ttyUSB0) as my regular user (which is in the dialout group), but running VictronConnect as that user I still got no devices found

$ ls -alh /dev/ttyUSB0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 188, 0 Jul 15 11:15 /dev/ttyUSB0

Note it is dialout and not dialup as the victron notes say.

I then ran it as root, and also couldn't see my inverter! I wonder if the device stops sending over the serial console after a period of time? It wasn't in eco mode, but I also had no load attached to the inverter.

Switched it off and on again, redid the console thing, and now it shows up both as the regular user and as root. Problem solved, more or less. Thanks.

It seems to be a bit flaky (but at least I now can confirm that I have the right cable!) and can get there with some persistance. If I had to redo it I would buy the bluetooth cable, although it is really overkill for adjusting and tweaking the inverter cutoff voltage.

 

Edited by Jonski

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