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Color Control GX Manual

12. RV-C Support

In this section:

12.1. RV-C Introduction

Starting with Venus OS firmware v2.90, Victron supports the RV-C protocol.

What is the RV-C protocol?

The RV-C (Recreation Vehicle-CAN) protocol is to RVs what NMEA 2000 (also known as N2K) is to boats: a communication protocol based on CAN-bus (Controller Area Network bus) and used primarily in RVs in the US to enable RV devices and appliances to communicate and work together.

There are two basic functions, RV-C out and RV-C in.

  • RV-C out allows control and monitoring of compatible Victron devices from a RV-C control panel.

  • RV-C in allows receiving data from one or more compatible RV-C devices to be displayed on the GX device.

In summary, when this feature is enabled with the GX device connected to an RV-C network, an RV-C control panel can read Victron data, e.g. from a BMV or an inverter/charger and display it to the user or even control some of them. Compatible RV-C devices are displayed on the GX unit at the same time.

RV-C is built upon SAE J1939.

12.2. Limitations

VE.Can devices

The RV-C and VE.Can protocols are not compatible with each other: a VE.Can port on a GX device can be configured to the VE.Can profile or to the RV-C profile, not both at the same time.

Using a GX device with just one fully functional VE.Can port means that there is a limitation to what devices can be used in the system when connection to RV-C is a requirement.

Typical RV-related products, which therefore cannot be used in the situation described above:

  • the Lynx Smart BMS cannot be used as it needs to be connected via VE.Can. Use a VE.Bus BMS instead (connects to the VE.Bus port).

  • the Lynx Smart Shunt cannot be used, use a SmartShunt instead (connects via VE.Direct).

  • the Wakespeed alternator regulator cannot be connected to the monitoring by the GX device.

  • higher power MPPT charge controllers must be connected using their VE.Direct connection. Not on a VE.Can network.

Depending on the system, this currently also limits the selection of a suitable GX device:

  • Color Control GX (CCGX): has only one VE.Can port, thus it can be configured for either VE.Can or RV-C, not both. And because of this you can’t for example make a system with a Lynx Smart BMS (which need to be connected on a VE.Can port) and have it connected to RV-C at the same time.

  • Cerbo GX & Cerbo-S GX: current generation has only one (fully functional) VE.Can port. Same as above, it's either VE.Can or RV-C, not both.

    In mid-2023 we expect the launch an improved Cerbo GX revision with two fully functional VE.Can ports instead of one fully functional and one limited to BMS-Can only.

    Note

    Please note that the BMS-Can port on the Cerbo GX is limited and cannot be used as RV-C port.

  • Venus GX: has two VE.Can ports. So can be connected to both, VE.Can and RV-C networks at the same time.

Instance related limitations

All 'instances' are hard-coded:

  • Battery Instances are hard coded to 1 (typical ‘house battery') and 2 (Starter), where appropriate

  • Device instances are hard coded to 1 unless specified otherwise in the DGN table.

The one exception to this are Tank monitors, which map the Victron usage to the RV-C tank instances (i.e. Gray = Gray, Water = Water, etc.).

Outside of tanks, the ramification of this is that only a single physical representation of a given device is supported. Only one MPPT, only one inverter/charger, etc.

12.3. Supported Devices

Venus v2.90 adds RV-C out support for the following products:

  • VE.Bus Inverter/Charger, i.e. MultiPlus/Quattro: the inverter and charger part can be controlled separately (on/off) from RV-C. Also shore input current limit can be set.

  • Phoenix Smart IP43 Charger 120-240V: Can be activated/deactivated (on/off) via RV-C. Also shore input current limit can be set. The Phoenix Smart IP43 Charger 230V cannot be controlled and is read-only.

  • Skylla-i and Skylla-IP44/IP65

  • Phoenix VE.Direct Inverter

  • Phoenix Inverter Smart and Inverter RS

  • Solar chargers incl. MPPT RS

  • Batteries: BMV, SmartShunt, Lynx Shunt, Lynx Ion BMS, Lynx Smart BMS

  • Tanks:

    • Tank level senders connected to the tank level input of the GX device

    • Tank level senders connected to a GX Tank 140

    • Tank level senders connected to the VE.Can and/or NMEA 2000 port of the GX device

We also support RV-C in data for:

  • RV-C tank sensors

    Please note that the Garnet SeeLeveL II 709 does not have absolute tank level and tank capacity. Therefore we only show relative level. Tanks from another GX device will have absolute level and capacity, but cannot be configured through RV-C.

  • RV-C batteries: Lithionics is the only supported RV-C battery (including DVCC support)

See appendix for advanced parameters and RV-C programming.

12.4. RV-C Configuration

The configuration for RV-C is done via the GX device.

  1. Open the remote console and go to Settings → Services → VE.Can ports → CAN-bus profile.

  2. Open the CAN-bus profile and select the RV-C (250 kbit/s) profile.

  3. The RV-C profile will start working and the previously selected profile will shut down (associated equipment like VE.Can devices become unavailable in the GUI).

GX_RV-C_1.png
GX_RV-C_2.svg
GX_RV-C_3.svg

12.5. Garnet SeeLevel II 709-RVC & Victron GX device support

With RV-C support in Venus OS it is also possible to use the Garnet SeeLevel 709-RVC and display its data on the GX device and VRM. All 709-RVC models and the SeeLevel Soul are compatible with the GX.

Note the limitations as described in section 12.2.. This means that when using a CAN-bus port on the GX device for RV-C, it cannot be used for other purposes at the same time, such as the common VE.Can and NMEA 2000 features. It's either VE.Can/N2K or RV-C, unless it's a Venus GX which has two full VE.Can ports. If this limits further use of the GX device too much in terms of connectivity via VE.Can, it is recommended to use the Garnet SeeLevel 709-N2K instead.

Also note that tank levels displayed on the Victron GX will be in percentage, not actual volume in liters, gallons, or any other unit of volume.

12.5.1. Wiring the Garnet SeeLevel II 709-RVC tank level sensor to a GX device

Before connecting to a GX device, ensure that the Garnet SeeLevel 709-RVC has been installed and configured correctly according to Garnet's installation instructions.

While the VE.Can port requires an RJ45 connector, the Garnet SeeLevel panel features either a multi-pin RV-C connector or wired connection with one black, one blue and one white wire each. In order to be able to connect both together, an adapter cable must be built according to the pin assignment in the table below.

A commercially available CAT5 Ethernet cable is best suited for this, whereby one of the two ends is first cut off and then connected to the Garnet panel.

Garnet panel wire colour code

RV-C connector

Victron VE.Can RJ45

CAT5 Ethernet wire colour code

Signal

Black

4

3

green/white

Ground

Blue

3

8

brown

CAN-L

White

2

7

brown/white

CAN-H

Victron_RJ45_pinout.png

Victron VE.Can pinout

12.5.2. Installation and configuration

  1. Route the cable from the Garnet panel to the GX device.

  2. Make sure both the Garnet and the GX device are powered off.

  3. Connect the RJ45 plug to the VE.Can port of the GX device and the other end of the adapter cable to the Garnet panel.

  4. Make sure the bus termination is correct. For the GX device: Use the included blue VE.Can RJ45 terminator. Proper bus termination is mandatory for the Garnet SeeLevel if it is the only RV-C device.

  5. Once everything is installed correctly, turn on both devices.

  6. Proceed with the RV-C configuration as explained in the RV-C Configuration chapter to properly configure the VE.Can port for the RV-C profile.