Color Control GX manual

Color Control GX manual
2015-02-24 04:13
Color Control GX manual
Color Control GX manual
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:
1. Installation
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1.1 Power
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.
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.
The VE.Bus ports are isolated
The VE.Direct ports are isolated
The VE.Can ports are isolated
The USB ports are not isolated. Connecting a Wi-Fi Dongle or GPS Dongle does not create a problem,
since it is not connected to another power supply. Even though there will be ground loop when you
mount a separately powered USB hub, we did extensive testing and it did not cause any issues
The Ethernet port is isolated, except for the shield: use unshielded UTP cables for the Ethernet
1.2 Connecting Victron products
1.2.1 Multis/Quattros/Inverters (VE.Bus products)
To keep this text short, Multis, Quattros and Inverters are referenced as VE.Bus products.
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
Hub-1 systems
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
Connect the CCGX to the socket labeled ‘MultiPlus/Quattro’, or to one of the Multis/Quattros in the
system. Do not connect to the Remote panel socket on the VE.Bus BMS.
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The On/Off/Charger Only switch and the Current limiter options will be disabled in the CCGX menu.
To remote control the Multi or Quattro when used with a VE.Bus BMS, add a Digital Multi Control to
the system:
Combining MultiPlus/Quattro with a VE.Bus BMS and a Digital Multi Control is possible. Connect the
Digital Multi Control to the RJ-45 socket on the VE.Bus BMS labeled ‘Remote panel’.
Power the Color Control GX through the VE.Bus BMS: connect Power in V+ on the Color Control GX
to Load disconnect on the VE.Bus BMS. And connect both negatives to a common Battery -.
The Color Control checks if a VE.Bus BMS or Digital Multi Control is present on power-up. Once the
Color Control GX has seen one of these products, the On/Off/Charger Only switch and the Current
limiter options will be disabled until you initiate a Redetect system, found in the Multi menu.
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.
1.2.2 BMV-700 series and MPPTs with a VE.Direct port
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:
1. Straight VE.Direct cables, ASS030530xxx
2. VE.Direct cables with an angled connector on one side, to minimize required depth behind a panel,
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
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.
BMVs can also be connected using the VE.Direct to VE.Can interface (ASS030520400). Note that
MPPTs cannot be connected using this interface: that product 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
The MPPTs need to run firmware version v1.09 or later. Contact Victron Service for update
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instructions and files if necessary.
An MPPT 70/15 needs to be from year/week 1308 or later. Earlier 70/15s are not compatible with the
CCGX, upgrading MPPT firmware will not help. To find the year/week number, look for the serial
number which is printed on a label on the back. For example number HQ1309DER4F means 2013,
week 09.
1.2.3 Skylla-i, Lynx Shunt VE.Can, Lynx Ion + Shunt and MPPTs with a VE.Can port
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:
Other notes:
To work with the CCGX, an MPPT 150/70 needs run firmware v2.00 or newer.
It is possible to combine a Skylla-i control panel with a CCGX.
It is possible to combine a Ion Control panel with a CCGX.
The Skylla-i, Lynx Shunt VE.Can, Lynx Ion + Shunt and the MPPTs with a VE.Can port all power the
VE.Can network. It is therefore not necessary to separately power the VE.Can network. All the
protocol converters, for example the VE.Bus to VE.Can interface, and the BMV to VE.Can interface,
do not power the VE.Can network.
1.2.4 BMV-600 series
Use the VE.Direct to BMV-60xS cables, ASS0305322xx
1.2.5 DC Link box
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.
1.3 Internet connectivity
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 ( 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
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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:
Run a network cable to its Ethernet LAN port
Connect to Wi-Fi, using a USB Wi-Fi dongle plugged into the CCGX
To a mobile (cellular) network, using a 3G or 4G router
USB Tethering on a mobile phone
The four chapters below describe these options in detail.
1.3.1 Ethernet LAN port
1.3.2 Wi-Fi USB dongle
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:
Zyxel NWD2105, small, low cost. Victron part number BPP900100100
Startech USB300WN2X2D, slightly higher cost and also better reception. Victron part number:
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
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
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automatically switch to stronger networks, when it knows the password of that network.
1.3.3 Mobile (cellular) network using a 3G or 4G router
To connect the CCGX to a mobile (cellular) network using a 3G or 4G router, connect the CCGX to that
router, with either a LAN cable or the router's Wi-Fi network. More information in a blogpost
1.3.4 USB tethering on a mobile phone
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:
Samsung Galaxy S4
And reported not to work on:
iPhone 5s with iOS 8.1.1
1.3.5 IP Configuration
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:
1.3.6 Connecting both Ethernet and Wi-Fi (failover)
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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.
1.3.7 Minimize internet traffic
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:
Disable auto-update
Do not enable remote support
Possibly set the Logging interval to a very low frequency. Note that state changes (charging →
inverting, or bulk→float) and also alarms will cause extra messages to be sent
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:
More products connected will generate more data
A state change (from inverter to charger for example) will trigger a data transmission, so a system
with very frequent state changes will also tend to generate more data. This is especially true in
certain Hub-1 and Hub-2 systems.
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.
1.3.8 More information about setting up an internet connection and VRM
Setting up a VRM account
Trouble shooting connectivity between the CCGX and the VRM Portal
VRM Portal alarms and monitoring
VRM Portal - Frequently asked questions
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1.4 Connecting a USB GPS
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.
You can use an off-the-shelf USB-GPS. 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:
Globalsat BU353-W SiRF STAR III 4800 baud
Globalsat ND100 SiRF STAR III 38400 baud
Globalsat BU353S4 SiRF STAR IV 4800 baud
Globalsat MR350 + BR305US SiRF STAR III 4800 baud
2 Configuration
2.1 Configurable parameters
After completing the installation and setting up the internet connection (when relevant), go through
the menu from top to bottom to configure the CCGX:
User and
Update firmware
Enable this to allow Victron engineers to access your system in case there is a problem.
Set this to User only to prevent accidental and unwanted changes to the configuration.
When there is an alarm on the CCGX or one of the connected products, the CCGX will beep, unless this setting is set to
Enable to On for shows or exhibitions to simulate a VE.Bus system and some other products.
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.
Set to latest release candidate to get new versions sooner, but also less tested.
Date & time
Select the correct time zone.
System setup
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.
Automatic Select the SOC source. Useful for systems with multiple BMVs. More details.
Enable this for boats, vehicles and other installations with DC loads and chargers other than the Multi and MPPT
Has DC
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.
Display & language
Brightness Configure the brightness between 0 and 100%
Update to
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Display off
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
Choose between no logging at all, logging via the internet directly to the VRM Portal, and logging to a microSD card or
Log to
USB flash drive. See chapter below for more information.
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.
Select the configuration type (DHCP vs. manual configuration) and IP settings.
Manage wireless networks and IP settings.
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.
Normally 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.
This setting enables the ModbusTCP service. More information about ModbusTCP in this document:
ModbusTCP Off
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):
Disabled: the CCGX should never beep and show a notification
Alarm only: the CCGX should only beep and a show a notification when the VE.Bus system switched
off in an alarm condition.
Enabled (default): the CCGX should beep and show a notification
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:
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2.2 Logging data for the VRM portal
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:
1. 'Internet'
2. 'microSD or USB storage'.
The method, together with the logging interval, can be set in the 'VRM online portal' menu.
2.2.1 Option 1 - Log to Internet
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
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'.
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2.2.2 Option 2 - Log to microSD or USB storage
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:
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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
2.3 Configuring Multi and Quattro input current limiter setting
This chapter explains how to enable or disable user control of the input current limiter setting, as
available here in the menu:
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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:
1. genset capable of delivering 50A, connected to input 1;
2. shore power connected to input 2, actual available power depends on rating of the available
connection in the harbour.
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.
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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:
1. Installations with a VE.Bus BMS
2. Installations with a Digital Multi Control (or its predecessors)
2.4 Select SOC source from the GUI to display on the main Overview screen
Selectable SOC example for the main Overview screen:
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
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:
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First try to use a battery service (BMV or Lynx Shunt VE.Can).
If there is more than one battery service, just use a random one.
If no battery service is available, check there are no solar chargers and no normal chargers.
If there are none present, assume that there are no other DC chargers or loads, and that it is
therefore safe to use the VE.Bus SOC (more info on BMV vs VE.Bus SOC).
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.
5 More information resources
CCGX Datasheet
Color Control GX - Frequently asked questions
VRM Portal - Frequently asked questions
Remote access a CCGX via VNC
Open source
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