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Old 11-14-2023, 06:31 AM   #1
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New Victron Smart Buck Boost DC-DC Charger

All, it looks like Victron is coming out with a new DC-DC charger, the Smart Buck Boost:
https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...-dc-dc-charger

It looks pretty great--up to 50 amps with great efficiency. It also appears to allow better management of input current, which is a frequent topic of discussion here.

One disappointment is it appears not to support VE.Smart Networking, which could allow it to use voltage/temperature readings from your shunt, account for voltage drop to the batteries, and coordinate with a SmartSolar MPPT. Maybe that's something for a future firmware update...

I'd be interested to hear if anyone gets one working.
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Old 11-14-2023, 08:01 AM   #2
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Good to see they released it.

They originally scheduled it for Q2, then early Q3.

Cheers,
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Old 11-14-2023, 05:01 PM   #3
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Thanks! This might be the ticket for me. Our Audi Q7 charging wire is fused to 15A. I messed around with the DC-DC 18A charger in line with a 15A buck converter, but couldn't get it to work. So an adjustable input current with a lithium profile would be the nazz. I don't see where it isn't VE.Smart Network in the data sheet, but doesn't say it is either. There is a reference to low-temperature cut-off for lithium, so if it doesn't have its own sensor it might rely on the network (?).

I found only one place online selling it for $378 which seems a little steep for what I'm trying to accomplish, but I have until spring to think about it. I only need 15A maybe they'll give me a discount.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:32 AM   #4
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I just checked it out and size wise it is a lot thinner than the 30 amp I ordered which would give me more room for an additional battery, right now if I add another battery it will be nearly against the face of the 30 amp unit.
Not sure if I should keep this 30 or return it and wait for the new 50, don't see it for sale anywhere.
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Old 11-27-2023, 04:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
I just checked it out and size wise it is a lot thinner than the 30 amp I ordered which would give me more room for an additional battery, right now if I add another battery it will be nearly against the face of the 30 amp unit.
Not sure if I should keep this 30 or return it and wait for the new 50, don't see it for sale anywhere.
I found it on this website with 15% off for Black Friday ($322) - if you want to be the first kid on the block to get one. It's renamed Victron Orion Smart 12/12-50A Non-isolated DC-DC charger.

I'll probably wait until next spring. Victron usually doesn't sell at a discount but occasionally I'll get a Zoro coupon for 20% off.
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Old 11-27-2023, 04:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post
I found it on this website with 15% off for Black Friday ($322) - if you want to be the first kid on the block to get one. It's renamed Victron Orion Smart 12/12-50A Non-isolated DC-DC charger.

I'll probably wait until next spring. Victron usually doesn't sell at a discount but occasionally I'll get a Zoro coupon for 20% off.
Tempting. Promise date of late March, that is the only drawback for me, living in the SW we like to travel year round. At 1.6" thick it is exactly 1/2 as thick as the 12/12-30.

It's also smaller W X L overall. Kind of makes me wonder how they did it and if it will be as robust as the old models with the big heat sinks on the back.

We could still travel charging directly from the Mercedes 220 amp alternator or shut off charging altogether and drive with the fridge on gas and charge with shore power at night. Although I do believe the Mercedes alternator can handle it no problem.
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Old 11-30-2023, 03:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post

We could still travel charging directly from the Mercedes 220 amp alternator or shut off charging altogether and drive with the fridge on gas and charge with shore power at night. Although I do believe the Mercedes alternator can handle it no problem.
Yup, plenty enough Brian as that Sprinter alternator is a beast. I initially had one 50A Victron Buck Boost installed and then decided to add a second in parallel for a total of 100A’s. Been running like that since June now including our long trip to Utah with no issues. I get them charging in the range of 70-90A’s max consistently when the batteries are drawn down and depending on what we have on in the cab. It throttles up and down depending on what the smart alternator wants to do. However, it will throttle way down as the batteries are getting close to full. I know that this is another controversial subject on how many amps you can safely pull from the alternator and there are plenty of threads on that to debate it. I added a separate Victron SmartShunt monitor in order to be able view the info on the GX monitor display with the help of the GuiMods download. I set it up the SmartShunt as a DC Energy Meter instead of a battery monitor so it can tell our Cerbo GX how much power the Buck Boost(s) are supplying to the system. I set them up with separate breakers in case I want to shut both down or only use one but haven’t yet done so and run with both on. I think that these new Victron Buck Boosts that are coming out in March 2023 are a hybrid of these older Buck Boost and the Orion DC/DC chargers. The ones that I have are fully programable but do require a PC to setup and there is no integration with VE Direct which sucks. That’s my only gripe with them but overall they kick butt but are pricey.
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Old 12-01-2023, 05:01 AM   #8
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It's too bad that Victron doesn't straight up make a DC-DC Orion-Tr Smart in the 10A-15A range that would be perfect for 7-pin application.

18A is often just a hint too much for that application.

I prefer Victron products, but the easy button for me was just to use a Renogy 20A DC-DC charger in current limiting mode which halves the output to 10A. Works great in my setup.

Some may need the more sophisticated engine on detection of the Victron. And it surely is nice to see charge status with BT.

The adjustable Victron Smart Buck Boost seems to be an expensive way to get something to work on the 7-pin. Might just be better to run an external Anderson circuit.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:50 AM   #9
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I prefer Victron products, but the easy button for me was just to use a Renogy 20A DC-DC charger in current limiting mode which halves the output to 10A. Works great in my setup.
Thanks! I passed over Renogy since it is 20A, I didn't know the current can be limited to 10A. For $99, even if I'm missing out on 5A with my 15A fusing, this is good enough.

Digressing, looking over the manual, I'm confused what corresponds to the charging wire and the ignition wire or are they one in the same? If so, it appears that I would just need to connect the charging wire to the LC terminal rather than the D+ if that rings a bell? Or a jumper between the two? Not clear to me.

Quote:
The DC-DC battery chargers feature 50% current limiting from the rated specification when connecting the LC Terminal to a 12V source. Current Limiting is instant and recommended to be connected to the same location as the D+ ignition cable. Alternatively, you can toggle current limiting to your liking by connecting the LC terminal to starter battery positive terminal. In this fashion, current limiting will always take until removing the LC wire from the battery terminal to revert to the normal amp rating. Use 18-16AWG copper cable for the LC terminal and you may need to splice your own connections for the other cable end depending on your connection point.
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Old 12-01-2023, 12:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post
Thanks! I passed over Renogy since it is 20A, I didn't know the current can be limited to 10A. For $99, even if I'm missing out on 5A with my 15A fusing, this is good enough.

Digressing, looking over the manual, I'm confused what corresponds to the charging wire and the ignition wire or are they one in the same? If so, it appears that I would just need to connect the charging wire to the LC terminal rather than the D+ if that rings a bell? Or a jumper between the two? Not clear to me.
Jump both the LC and D+ to the input charge wire. So that the unit both turns on to charge, and limits current.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Jump both the LC and D+ to the input charge wire. So that the unit both turns on to charge, and limits current.
Thanks! Just needed to confirm I don't have to run wires all over.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:42 PM   #12
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It's also smaller W X L overall. Kind of makes me wonder how they did it and if it will be as robust as the old models with the big heat sinks on the back.
The website says their "innovative aluminium circuit board cooling technology delivers an astonishing 98% efficiency without the need for fans." That's a lot higher efficiency than in the spec sheets for their other DC-DC converters, which generally quote less than 90% efficiency. I don't know if a circuit board alone can account for that much improvement. Maybe they also switched to gallium nitride transistors? Regardless, it's pretty great efficiency, if expensive.

Also looks like they rebranded it (again?) the "Orion XS 12/12-50A DC-DC Battery Charger." A thread on the Victron forums explains the name change, suggests potential future support for VE.Smart networking, bidirectional charging, and other features, and has some other interesting info re: heat dissipation and installation. Looks promising...

https://community.victronenergy.com/...uck-boost.html
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Old 12-01-2023, 02:03 PM   #13
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It's nice that Victron monitors their forum and responds to customers with seemingly honest up-to-date information unlike some other forums we're familiar with (ah-hem). (Sometimes I run across responses from AS years ago, but I haven't seen any since I joined in 2021.)
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:05 AM   #14
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I'm looking for a source to buy the Orion XS 12-12V 50A. I can't find it in stock in the usual mail order vendors. Is anyone else having luck?
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:37 AM   #15
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I'm looking for a source to buy the Orion XS 12-12V 50A. I can't find it in stock in the usual mail order vendors. Is anyone else having luck?
Just answered this in your other post, not realizing you’d actually asked here:

Last word I’ve heard is that they’re beginning to ship, and that the suppliers will probably be filling the existing pre-orders first, then start to opening up to rak-time orders. (My particular vendor refused to do pre-orders, will let people start ordering only once they arrive.)

Hang in there, they’ll be available to find soon…
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Old 02-18-2024, 02:56 PM   #16
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I'm looking for a source to buy the Orion XS 12-12V 50A. I can't find it in stock in the usual mail order vendors. Is anyone else having luck?

Still watching, most shops are now reporting they expect them in April, or May. I’ve only found one or two to suggest late March, but I’m not confident in their confidence….
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:29 PM   #17
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Looks like Victron has added VE.Smart support for the new smart DC-DC charger. The comment for the latest software update for VictronConnect on iPhone, version 5.105 says "Add Orion XS firmware v1.03: Add VE.Smart networking support."

Maybe one of these days I can justify the upgrade... for now my charge line remains disconnected.
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Old 02-27-2024, 02:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DarthBrader View Post
Looks like Victron has added VE.Smart support for the new smart DC-DC charger. The comment for the latest software update for VictronConnect on iPhone, version 5.105 says "Add Orion XS firmware v1.03: Add VE.Smart networking support."

Maybe one of these days I can justify the upgrade... for now my charge line remains disconnected.
I'm trying something like "if I bought a new 200W portable solar suitcase the charger is about the same watts and close to the same price". But then the Renogy charger is a whole lot cheaper but then not as many watts and now I get a shiny new device in my Victron app (collect them all?).
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Old 02-27-2024, 03:46 PM   #19
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and now I get a shiny new device in my Victron app (collect them all?).
I know, they really get you with the ecosystem…
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Old 03-19-2024, 09:04 AM   #20
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They'll be here in the USA April/May time frame.
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