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Old 11-19-2020, 07:14 AM   #1
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All Victron system upgrade...

Our new Airstream Globetrotter 25 wonít be finished for another few weeks but Iím getting ready for my first upgrade!
Due in part to the switch to an all electric refrigerator and the fact that we often camp in places without power, I have decided to just upgrade the electrical system right out of the box.
I wanted to keep the entire system under a single brands umbrella and because Victron is something we are familiar with in our boating life, that is what we chose. The system will consist of 3 160 amp hour LiFePO4 batteries, a 3000 watt inverter charger, a battery monitor, a color master display and all of the many other bits and pieces that make up the system.
I originally wanted to use a pair of 200 amp hour batteries but Victron has sold out of them and I want this finished well before they will be available again.
When it came time to purchase the system, I initially contacted AM Solar. Nice people but they are apparently slammed busy. I couldnít get answers to my questions, quotes were sloppy and contained wrong components and were slow in coming. Then I learned that a company Iíve done business with in the past, Imtra was taking on the Victron line.
I love the people at Imtra! We know them from our boating life and they have always been more than helpful.
Well, their prices were great, they were quick to answer questions and they even provided an engineer to create a system schematic for a small fee.
I am thrilled! The schematic will allow me to work out the rest of the details of the installation before I even begin and I am on my way!
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:21 AM   #2
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Very cool! Once I get to the point of figuring out solar I may have to get in contact with Imtra.

If you don't mind, how much was the "small fee" for the schematic? That would be very helpful to have one.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:55 AM   #3
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Very cool! Once I get to the point of figuring out solar I may have to get in contact with Imtra.

If you don't mind, how much was the "small fee" for the schematic? That would be very helpful to have one.
So, I should have prefaced that with something along the lines of ... ďcompared to the cost of all of the componentsĒ
They charged me $500 for the schematic and ongoing consultation...
It is worth every penny to me. One mistake could cost an awful lot more than that!
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:58 AM   #4
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So, I should have prefaced that with something along the lines of ... ďcompared to the cost of all of the componentsĒ
They charged me $500 for the schematic and ongoing consultation...
It is worth every penny to me. One mistake could cost an awful lot more than that!
Oh believe me I know lmao. That's actually not bad at all and I have the same view on it. That's cheap insurance making sure it's right.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:46 AM   #5
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looks good.

i mounted all the measuring and control device on a plywood board and pre-wired them in my workshop. al also added large labels so that i knew what was what for later years. I placed a large schematic on the back of the pantry door so that i knew wheat and how all was connected

i mounted all the system viewing and monitoring system on a painted board and mounted them with a piano hinge above our kitchen area.

that was wasted space and now i can easily access the back
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:27 AM   #6
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That’s a fantastic system! I did a similar Victron/Battleborn/Renogy system on my FC25FB Twin. You won’t be sorry. If you need and tips let me know.

Do you plan to add solar? I didn’t see a solar controller on your table.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:41 AM   #7
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Cost

How much was the Complete cost of components? I see they have "kits"
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:47 AM   #8
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PKYS.com (Peter Kennedy Yacht Services) is another source for you on the east coast (Annapolis). He has been into RV services for a few years and a proponent of Victron systems.

Peter helped me design an updated control system that I'll install this winter.

I would suggest adding a Victron Multi Control GX. With a turn of the current limit knob you can vary shore power charging versus shore power electrical use. This can be handy if using AC and other electrical loads and let your solar recharge the batteries. I also run an electric 12/120v frig. It also allows you to turn the Multiplex off/on/charger only. Handy if you mount the unit somewhere not easy to get to.

I assume you may be able to do the same through the phone apps now, not sure. Some of my components predated a number of advances that happened in the past few years. The reason for doing updates now.

https://www.victronenergy.com/panel-...ntrol-panel-gx

Looking forward to see your installation.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:47 AM   #9
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Also your schematic doesn’t include a Victron Multicontrol. That’s what you use to turn on and off the inverter and set its shore current limit. It’s vastly easier for the whole family to use that fiddling with the Color display. Victron may have fixed this in the display UI. Mine doesn’t make it at all easy which is too bad since you’ll be frequently turning the inverter on and off.

Lastly, installing the Color GX is a HUGE pain on your trailer due to all the wires going to it. I decided to use the Venus GX and connect to it with my phone. Victron also makes a new system, I forgot it’s name, that has the electronics in one box and the display in another. That would also be easier to install.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
Also your schematic doesnít include a Victron Multicontrol. Thatís what you use to turn on and off the inverter and set its shore current limit. Itís vastly easier for the whole family to use that fiddling with the Color display. Victron may have fixed this in the display UI. Mine doesnít make it at all easy which is too bad since youíll be frequently turning the inverter on and off.

Lastly, installing the Color GX is a HUGE pain on your trailer due to all the wires going to it. I decided to use the Venus GX and connect to it with my phone. Victron also makes a new system, I forgot itís name, that has the electronics in one box and the display in another. That would also be easier to install.
Interesting!
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:01 AM   #11
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Bruce, just curious why you went with the "older" Color Control GX over the new Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50? Asking because I'm also in the process of putting together a similar system. Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:21 AM   #12
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Bruce, just curious why you went with the "older" Color Control GX over the new Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50? Asking because I'm also in the process of putting together a similar system. Thanks!
That’s the pair of devices I mentioned that’s easier to install because there are fewer wires going to the screen. I just couldn’t remember the name.

It’s still quite a project to get wires from the front curb area in a 25FB to any reasonable place for a display. In a rear bed it might be easier because it could go on the wall by the TV.

I find in practice, with my battery monitor easily visible in the hall, there aren’t many times where I actually NEED to look at the pretty pictures on the GX. When I do I just launch the app. It would be FUN to have the display visible all the time, it just wasn’t worth the installation pain for me.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:38 AM   #13
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Cerbo GX and Touch screen

Looks like a good setup, we went with the Cerbo GX and separate and smaller touch 50 with the multi control. Having both is a bit redundant, but I like having the real switch and knob to limit the input. Pic attached.
I am interested to hear how your system turns out with the Orion DC-DC charger. I had that installed, but it attempted to draw so much power from the TV that the voltage would drop and since there is a low voltage cut off the Orion would stop charging, then the TV voltage would raise above the limit and it would start the whole process over again. There was no fixing it due to the 10AWG wire built in to the TV's 7 way wiring. Victron has another unit that you can use to limit the input current and I may look at that, but I also have a 3000 watt inverter in my vehicle that feeds the trailer on the road so that make the dc-dc converter not so necessary.

Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:42 AM   #14
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Looks like a good setup, we went with the Cerbo GX and separate and smaller touch 50 with the multi control. Having both is a bit redundant, but I like having the real switch and knob to limit the input. Pic attached.
I am interested to hear how your system turns out with the Orion DC-DC charger. I had that installed, but it attempted to draw so much power from the TV that the voltage would drop and since there is a low voltage cut off the Orion would stop charging, then the TV voltage would raise above the limit and it would start the whole process over again. There was no fixing it due to the 10AWG wire built in to the TV's 7 way wiring. Victron has another unit that you can use to limit the input current and I may look at that, but I also have a 3000 watt inverter in my vehicle that feeds the trailer on the road so that make the dc-dc converter not so necessary.

Good luck!
I had a similar experience with my 9amp Orion being driven by my F150. I ended up disconnecting it and just having the 500w of solar do the charging on the road. Seems to usually arrive fully charged.

Wow, getting the wires to that display in the galley must have been fun! Nice install.
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rich.dev View Post
Bruce, just curious why you went with the "older" Color Control GX over the new Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50? Asking because I'm also in the process of putting together a similar system. Thanks!
That part made my list because it was suggested by AM Solar...
I am rethinking that part now.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:20 PM   #16
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That part made my list because it was suggested by AM Solar...
I am rethinking that part now.
From what I've seen pricing for the Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50 is pretty much on par with the Color Control GX (maybe even a little cheaper), but as daleyocum mentioned, it's an easier installation because there are fewer wires going to the screen. Here's a layout/wiring diagram of the Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50.

**BTW, this diagram is how I envision my future solar layout including the Cerbo GX + GX Touch 50, not saying this is how it SHOULD be done, many more way more qualified solar experts on this forum that will chime in!
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:40 PM   #17
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Another thing going for the GX Touch is itís a touch screen. The older Color Control GX uses a button array. I assume, but donít know from personal experience, that Victron modified the UI to use a touch screen.

When I connect to my Venus GX with a phone it emulates the Color Control GX with the addition of SOME touch control. There are still some clunky places where touch control doesnít work, mainly in the settings portions which you donít get to often. I assume theyíre working on all that to make it smoother with the GX Touch.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #18
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Another thing going for the GX Touch is itís a touch screen. The older Color Control GX uses a button array. I assume, but donít know from personal experience, that Victron modified the UI to use a touch screen.

When I connect to my Venus GX with a phone it emulates the Color Control GX with the addition of SOME touch control. There are still some clunky places where touch control doesnít work, mainly in the settings portions which you donít get to often. I assume theyíre working on all that to make it smoother with the GX Touch.
The touch screen is really nice and responsive, not at all like the phone emulation. I actually have it running through a ethernet hdmi extender, my cerbo gx is underneath the bed in my FC 27FB.
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:28 PM   #19
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Just on the chance its helpful. Is the output voltage on your DC-DC charger set correctly for your battery type? AM Solar was very detailed in making sure I understood where the setting should be (14.3 v for lithium) and how its set by adjusting a set screw.

Keep in mind this was 4 years ago and mine is the older style that looks similar to this:
https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...v-24v-48v-100v The 9-18 input unit, not the 60-120 in the picture.

From looking at the new Smart DC-DC Chargers, they are set up through Victron Connect.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:48 PM   #20
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Just on the chance its helpful. Is the output voltage on your DC-DC charger set correctly for your battery type? AM Solar was very detailed in making sure I understood where the setting should be (14.3 v for lithium) and how its set by adjusting a set screw.

Keep in mind this was 4 years ago and mine is the older style that looks similar to this:
https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...v-24v-48v-100v The 9-18 input unit, not the 60-120 in the picture.

From looking at the new Smart DC-DC Chargers, they are set up through Victron Connect.
Yes mine is at 14.3, it was just too much load for the F150.
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