This is an old revision of the document!
Note: this manual corresponds to Color Controls running the latest software. Internet-connected Color Controls will update to the latest version automatically. Check our blog posts for the latest firmware: http://www.victronenergy.com/blog/category/firmware/
Power the Color Control GX (CCGX) on the Power IN V+ connector. It accepts 8 to 70 V DC. The CCGX will not power itself from the network connections. Use a 1A slow blow fuse.
VE.Bus BMS note: when the CCGX is used in an installation with a VE.Bus BMS, connect Power in V+ on the CCGX to the terminal called 'Load disconnect' on the VE.Bus BMS. And connect both negatives to a common Battery -.
Because the CCGX is connected to many different products, ensure that proper care is taken with isolation to prevent ground loops. In 99% of installations this will not be a problem.
Extending the number of USB ports by using a hub: there is a limit to the amount of power that the onboard USB port can provide. Especially when extending the number of ports, we recommend to always use powered USB hubs. And to minimize the chance of issues, do not use the lowest cost USB hub available.
To keep this text short, Multis, Quattros and Inverters are referenced as VE.Bus products.
Note that it is not possible to use the Remote on/off (header on the VE.Bus control PCB) in combination with a Color Control GX. The jumper link needs to be in the header, as it is by default.
Single VE.Bus products
To connect a single VE.Bus product, connect it to one of the VE.Bus sockets on the back of the CCGX. Both sockets are identical, use either one. Use a standard RJ45 UTP cable, see our pricelist.
Parallel, split- and three-phase VE.Bus systems
To connect multiple VE.Bus products, configured as a parallel, split-phase or three phase VE.Bus system, connect either the first or the last VE.Bus product in the chain to the VE.Bus sockets on the back of the CCGX. Both sockets are identical, use either one. Use a standard RJ45 UTP cable, see our pricelist.
In a hub-1 system, with one or more MPPT 150/70 or 150/85 solar chargers, the VE.Bus system needs to be connected to VE.Can using the VE.Bus to VE.Can interface (ASS030520105). In this case the VE.Bus system should not be connected directly to the VE.Bus ports on the back of the CCGX as well. Connecting the CCGX to the VE.Can network is sufficient: it will use the canbus to communicate to both the VE.Bus system as well as the solar chargers.
VE.Bus systems with Lithium batteries and a VE.Bus BMS
Combining the CCGX with a Digital Multi Control
It is possible to connect both a CCGX and a Digital Multi control to a VE.Bus system. The ability to switch the product On, Off or set it to Charger Only via the CCGX will be disabled. Same for the input current limit: when there is a Digital Multi Control in the system, the input current limit set at that control panel is leading, and changing it on the CCGX is not possible.
Connecting multiple VE.Bus systems to a single CCGX
Only one VE.Bus system can be connected to the VE.Bus ports on the back of the CCGX. To connect more than one system, use one VE.Bus to VE.Can interface (ASS030520105) for each additional system. Note that the VE.Can network needs to terminated and powered. For powering the VE.Can network, see Q17 in our data communication whitepaper. In case you were wondering: using an USB-MK2 to connect the second system is, unfortunately, not possible.
Note that the functionality will be limited: only one VE.Bus system will be made visible in the overviews. And the data on the VRM Portal will either be incorrect or will only contain data from one of the VE.Bus systems. There are no short term plans to improve this. The short term solution is to add a second Color Control GX.
Up to two such products can be connected directly on the back of the CCGX, using a standard VE.Direct cable. There are two types of VE.Direct cable available:
VE.Direct cables have a maximum length of 10 meters. It is not possible to extend them. If longer lengths are needed, use the VE.Direct to VE.Can interface. Note that this is only works for BMVs. Not for the MPPT solar chargers with a VE.Direct port. See next paragraph for more information on that VE.Can interface.
Connecting more than two VE.Direct products to a single CCGX
Option 1: use the VE.Direct to USB interface (ASS030530000). The CCGX has two USB ports. Use a USB-hub when more than two USB ports are needed.
Option 2: BMVs can also be connected using the VE.Direct to VE.Can interface (ASS030520400). MPPTs cannot be connected using this canbus interface since it does not (yet) translate the solar charger data into canbus messages. When using the VE.Direct to VE.Can interface, make sure that the VE.Can network is terminated, and also powered. For powering the VE.Can network, see Q17 in our data communication whitepaper.
Notes about older VE.Direct MPPTs
To connect a product with a VE.Can port, use a standard RJ45 UTP cable. See our pricelist, ASS030064xxx and ASS030065xxx. Do not forget to terminate the VE.Can network on both ends. A bag with two terminators is supplied with each VE.Can product. They are also available separately: ASS030700000.
Use the VE.Direct to BMV-60xS cables, ASS0305322xx
Connect the DC Link box to a BMV-700, using the supplier RJ-12 cable. Then connect the BMV-700 to the CCGX, see above paragraph for instructions.
Measuring the output of a PV Inverter is recommended to provide the user with a total overview of both actual current power balance and energy distribution. Note that these measurements are only used for displaying purposes, and that they are not used, nor necessary, for the Hub-4 algorithms to operate.
There are multiple options to display the output of a PV Inverter on the Color Control GX:
Connect the CCGX to the internet to get all the advantages of the VRM Portal. The CCGX will send the data gathered from the connected products to the VRM portal (https://vrm.victronenergy.com/). Here it is possible to monitor your energy usage, view the current status of connected products, configure email alarms and download data in CSV and Excel formats.
Download the iOS or Android VRM App to monitor your system from your smartphone or tablet.
Besides sending data for remote monitoring, an active internet connection will also allow the CCGX to regularly check for a new firmware version, which will be (automatically) downloaded and installed. It is not necessary do this manually using a microSD or USB flash drive.
There are several ways to connect a CCGX to the internet:
The four chapters below describe these options in detail.
Using a Wi-Fi dongle it is possible to connect to WEP, WPA and WPA2 secured networks. There are two supported USB Wi-Fi dongles. Both also available from stock at Victron Energy:
Although other Wi-Fi dongles may work, others have not been tested and therefore we do not offer support for other dongles.
The Wi-Fi menu shows the available networks. When a network is selected, it is possible to fill in the password (if the password is not already known) to connect to the network. Setting up via WPS is not supported.
When the CCGX finds multiple Wi-Fi networks of which the password is known, the strongest network is selected automatically. When the signal of the connected network gets too small, it will automatically switch to stronger networks, when it knows the password of that network.
To connect the CCGX to a mobile (cellular) network, use a 3G router. Connect the CCGX to that router with either a LAN cable or the router's Wi-Fi network. More information in this blogpost.
Note that this is in the category: nice that it works, as long as it works, but don't rely on it. Enable USB tethering on your phone (See Google on how to do that for your particular make, model and operating system). It has been reported to work on:
And reported not to work on:
For 99% of all installations, IP address configuration will not be necessary, since those networks support automatic IP configuration (DHCP). This is also the CCGX default setting. It is also possible to manually configure an IP address:
It is possible to connect the CCGX to both Ethernet and Wi-Fi. In this case, the CCGX will try to determine which interface provides an active internet connection and then use that interface. When both have an active internet connection, the Ethernet connection is used. The CCGX will automatically check again for active internet connections when something changes on the interfaces.
In situations where internet traffic is expensive, for example a satellite uplink or with roaming GSM/cellular charges, you may want to minimize the internet traffic. The steps to take are:
To find out how much traffic you need, in order to purchase the right plan, the best way is really to let the system run for a couple of days and monitor the internet RX and TX counters in your 3G or 4G router. Or even better, some mobile companies will report the data used via a website. Besides the above three points, the amount of data used is also very dependent on the system:
Note that CCGX versions prior to v1.18 would still check for software updates daily, even when auto-update was be switched off. This has been changed in v1.18: disabling auto-update also disables the check, saving a lot of data.
We recommend to set the mobile plan up in such a way that there are no surprises. Make sure to put a cap on data usage, or use pre-paid plans.
One customer has come up with an even more advanced plan. They had to, since they are using global roaming SIM Cards that start at EUR 0,20 cents per megabyte, but in the more interesting countries to visit they go up to several Euros per megabyte. His solution is using a VPN and he modified the IP routing table to route ALL traffic to and from the CCGX via his VPN. Using a firewall at the VPN server allows him to control traffic according to time, connection type, place and destinations. Note that this is really out of scope for Victron to support you with. If you need this, look for a Linux and networking expert that can help you.
Use a GPS to track remote vehicles or boats and optionally get an alarm when they leave a designated area (geofencing). It is also possible to download a gps-tracks.kml file which can be opened with Navlink and Google Earth for example.
Use an off-the-shelf USB-GPS, Victron does not sell them. Plug it into one of the two USB sockets. After a while, which can take up to a few minutes, the CCGX will automatically recognize the GPS. The location is automatically sent to the VRM online portal, where it is used to show the position on the map.
The CCGX supports GPS modules that work with the NMEA0183 command-set, as almost all do. Both 4800 and 38400 baud. Tested for compatibility are:
After completing the installation and setting up the internet connection (when relevant), go through the menu from top to bottom to configure the CCGX:
|Remote support||Off||Enable this to allow Victron engineers to access your system in case there is a problem.|
|Access level||User and installer||Set this to User only to prevent accidental and unwanted changes to the configuration.|
|Audible alarm||On||When there is an alarm on the CCGX or one of the connected products, the CCGX will beep, unless this setting is set to Off.|
|Demo mode||Off||Enable to On for shows or exhibitions to simulate a VE.Bus system and some other products.|
|Auto update||On||We recommend to leave this enabled. A reason to disable it can be to completely eliminate the risk of a firmware update causing problems. For example on a very remote and difficult to access installation. Another reason to disable it is to reduce internet traffic usage.|
|Update to||Latest release||Leave this set to the default setting, 'Latest release', unless you want to participate in test versions. Note that we do not recommend setting Color Controls which are installed in customer systems to anything other than 'Latest release'.|
|Date & time|
|Select the correct time zone.|
|Enable password check||Enable and set password authentication to access to the remote console.|
|Disable password check||Disable password to access the remote console.|
|Enable on VRM||No||Enable on VRM allows connection to the CCGX anywhere through the VRM portal.|
|Enable on LAN||No||Enable direct connection to the CCGX typing it's IP address on a web browser. Enable it only on trusted networks.|
|AC input 1||Generator||Select Generator or Grid. Soon we will also allow to set this to Shore power instead of grid.|
|AC input 2||Grid||Same choices as above.|
|Battery monitor||Automatic||Select the SOC source. Useful for systems with multiple BMVs. More details. If using the VRM portal, ensure the VRM Main Battery source setting under Settings –> General on the VRM site matches the CCGX SOC source.|
|Synchronize VE.Bus SOC with battery||No||Continuously updates the VE.Bus SO with the one provided by the selected battery monitor.|
|Has DC system||No||Enable this for boats, vehicles and other installations with DC loads and chargers other than the Multi and MPPT chargers. Not applicable for most off-grid installations. The difference between the DC current measured by the Multi and by the BMV will be attributed to a 'DC system'. It can be an alternator, pumps, DC fridge, etcetera. Note that the value shown will always be an approximation.(in order to achieve this and make changes in the system setup page, you have to change the access level to user&installer, the initial password is “zzz”)|
|Display & language|
|Brightness||Configure the brightness between 0 and 100%|
|Display off time||Set between 10 seconds and 30 minutes, or never|
|Language||English||Choose between English, Dutch, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Turkish and Arabic.|
|VRM online portal|
|Log to||Internet||Choose between no logging at all, logging via the internet directly to the VRM Portal, and logging to a microSD card or USB flash drive. See chapter below for more information.|
|Log interval||15 minutes||Set to anything between 1 minute and 1 day. Choose longer times on systems with an unreliable connection. Note that this setting does not affect reporting problems and state changes (bulk → absorption) to the VRM Portal: such events will initiate an immediate transmission of all parameters.|
|Wireless AC Sensors|
|Select the position for each AC sensor (PV Inverter on AC-input 1, 2 or on AC-output). More information about the Wireless AC sensors.|
|Wired AC Sensors|
|Configure the Wired AC Sensor, used for one of three things:
measure the output of a PV Inverter,
measure and regulate a Hub-4 system
measure the output of an AC Generator.
|Select the configuration type (DHCP vs. manual configuration) and IP settings.|
|Manage wireless networks and IP settings.|
|Format||Select the format in which to show the Latitude and Longitude.|
|Speed unit||km/h||Choose between km/h, meters per second, miles per hour or knots.|
|Configure generator autostart settings and conditions. GX - Generator auto start/stop|
|Polarity||Normally open||Select the polarity of the relay on the back of the CCGX. Normally open or normally closed. Note that setting it to normally closed increases the CCGX power draw.|
|ModbusTCP||Off||This setting enables the ModbusTCP service. More information about ModbusTCP in this document: http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Whitepaper-Data-communication-with-Victron-Energy-products_EN.pdf|
|VRM two-way communication||No||Enable remote configuration and firmware updates. VE Power Setup manual|
When using a VE.Bus system, it is possible to configure the severity of problems on the VE.Bus system that should cause a notification to show up on the CCGX (and make it beep):
When all done, don't forget to change the access level to user when required.
Click the thumbnail below to see the complete menu-tree:
The CCGX can be used in combination with the Victron Remote Management (VRM) portal: The CCGX monitors all products connected to it and the VRM portal makes the statistics easily accessible. There are two options to get the sampled data from the CCGX to the VRM portal:
The method, together with the logging interval, can be set in the 'VRM online portal' menu.
Set the 'Log to' setting to 'Internet' to let the CCGX send data directly to the VRM portal via the internet. When the VRM portal cannot be reached, the data is placed in a backlog buffer. The CCGX will regularly try to connect to the VRM portal, to upload the backlog buffer data. The maximum age of the data in this backlog buffer is 48 hours. Any data older than 48 hours is discarded. The backlog buffer is stored in non-volatile memory, so the data will not be lost if the CCGX loses power and is rebooted.
Note that once there is data in the backlog buffer, the oldest data will be uploaded first. And if the internet connection is too intermittent or too slow, it might result in a continuous message on VRM: 'Last connection two days ago'.
When the CCGX is not connected to the internet, 'Log to' should be set to 'microSD or USB storage'. The CCGX will store the data on a microSD or USB flash drive inserted into the CCGX. The data is stored per month in vrmbacklog*.sqlite3 files. These monthly files can be manually uploaded to the VRM website by removing the microSD card or USB stick from the CCGX, inserting them into your computer or laptop, and uploading them using the CCGX Data Upload widget on the VRM Portal:
Note that this widget needs to be enabled in Settings → Advanced tab setup.
If there is (temporarily) no microSD card or USB flash drive inserted, the data is placed in a non volatile backlog buffer for a maximum of 48 hours. As soon as the microSD or USB flash drive is connected again, the CCGX will move the data from the backlog buffer, to the inserted storage. This means that the microSD card or USB flash drive can be temporarily removed without losing data. The backlog buffer is stored in non-volatile memory, so the data will not be lost if the CCGX loses power and is rebooted.
If both a microSD card and a USB flash drive are connected to the CCGX, then data is logged to the one that was inserted first. If one is removed, the CCGX will not try to write to the other, but will create a local backlog buffer until a new storage medium is inserted and then use that storage medium.
The microSD card or USB flash drive must be formatted as FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32 file system and not exFAT or NTFS. SD and SDHC type microSD cards which are less than or equal to 32 GB are sold containing FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32. This means they can be used without a problem, unless they are subsequently formatted to a different and non acceptable file system. SDXC type microSD cards which are mostly greater than 32 GB are sold with exFAT, and therefore cannot be used with the CCGX.
This chapter explains how to enable or disable user control of the input current limiter setting, as available here in the menu:
The limit as set by the user in the CCGX will be applied to all inputs where 'Overruled by remote', configured with VEConfigure, is enabled:
As an example a boat with two inputs, and a Quattro:
In that case, configure the system exactly as in above VEConfigure screenshot. Input 1 has priority over input 2, therefore the system will automatically connect to the genset whenever it is running. The fixed input current limit of 50A will be applied. And when the genset is not available, and mains is available on input 2, the Quattro will use the input current limit as configured in the CCGX.
Two more examples, if you disable overrule by remote For both of them, setting a current limit in the CCGX will have no effect. And the opposite: if you enable 'Overruled by remote' for both inputs, the current limit set in the CCGX will be applied to both inputs.
Note that it is not possible to control the input current limit in certain installations. In these cases, the CCGX menu will not allow changing the setting:
(Settings → System Setup → Battery monitor)
In the image below you can see a range of selectable choices for the SOC values that will be shown in the main Overview screen. Choose the source you want to see on the main Overview screen of your CCGX.
In the example image above we have chosen the Automatic setting. When automatic is selected, the System setup screen for this example will then report as shown in the image below.
The 'Automatic' function uses the following logic:
The 'No battery monitor' choice:
Use the 'No battery monitor' choice in systems where there is only a Multi connected to the CCGX, and no battery monitor, even though that system does have other DC loads or other chargers connected to the same battery, making the SOC from the Multi incorrect.