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Old 06-17-2021, 09:08 PM   #1
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Rochester , New York
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Victron Smart Shunt BT Signal Strength

Hello all - I just finished installing the Victron Smart Shunt battery monitor in my '21 27FB Globetrotter. Following the great advise of other forum members, I mounted the shunt in a small waterproof box that I installed on the side of the battery box.

The problem is that the bluetooth signal strength is terribly weak. I can connect to it only when I'm either standing outside in front of the trailer or if I'm inside the trailer all of the way up front of the bed compartment.

Last week I installed the Victron VE Bluetooth Dongle to my Blue Solar 150/35 controller and the BT signal strength of that is great. I was hoping for the same from the shunt and expected to be able to connect to both at least from the dinette area and when walking around the trailer.

Anyone else have this issue or perhaps found a workaround?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:29 PM   #2
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Wasilla , Alaska
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similar, but not the same...

My shunt is installed in the front storage compartment adjacent to the batteries. I routed the control unit into the coach and under the curb side twin bed inside the storage compartment accessible from inside the coach, not the portion accessible from the curb. It is not mounted but simply sitting on the floor of the compartment behind where I mounted the inverster.

The signal is sufficient to reach my phone from up to 20' away, even from inside the house in the room adjacent to the parking pad. The signal does drop off rather quickly with additional distance. I might move it again if I find I can't reach it from the passenger's seat of the TV.
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:36 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have the BMV-7xx that has the BT signal come from the display unit. I went with the SmartShunt (built-in BT with no display unit) because I didn't want to run/fish wires through the trailer to get the display in a suitable location.
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:16 PM   #4
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exactly

...I didn't intend to mount the display, but simply have the flexibility to relocate it somewhere in an attempt to optimize the signal if needed. Glad so far it seems to be working out of the way...
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:27 AM   #5
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We have the exact problem in our coach. Our Victron 712 is mounted in the bedroom, and it's impossible to get connected via BT unless you're nearby inside the coach.

With the aluminum body on my couch, the same as an AS, it acts like a big Faraday cage. Difficult for signal to get in/out.

In reality, the only thing I use the BT for on the 712 is to make settings changes and occasionally to look at the history.

Sounds like you have one of your BT devices mounted outside the Faraday cage and one inside, which will make it difficult to get connected to both at once.
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:46 AM   #6
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Rochester , New York
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The signal from the VE Bluetooth Dongle that I installed on the BlueSolar controller (inside the trailer) is really strong. I can connect to it from anywhere outside the trailer from about 40-50 feet with no problem.

But the signal strength of the SmartShunt is just terrible.

The SmartShunt has a VE Direct port on it (same cable as the dongle). I'm wondering if I could use another dongle as sort of a signal booster although that's not in any of their documentation.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dog_and_cat View Post
The SmartShunt has a VE Direct port on it (same cable as the dongle). I'm wondering if I could use another dongle as sort of a signal booster although that's not in any of their documentation.
Is it possible to temporarily install the dongle from your charge controller in the battery monitor to see what impact that has?
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:05 AM   #8
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I have the same installation of the Smart Shunt in the battery box. I have to raise my phone up to the front window to get a signal.

Fortunately, it is not something I read all the time, and with the two lithium batteries, I get enough juice to easily make it through the night. It charges back up very quickly with my 470 Watts of solar the next day.

The value of the smart shunt is critical to be able to read the percent of battery left. You cannot rely on voltage to determine lithium battery capacity. By the way, my lithium batteries continue to confuse my CZone panel. It gets lost and reports low voltage all the time. I have to reset it by using the disconnect panel at the door when it reports low voltage errors.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:18 AM   #9
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Rochester , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorIdaho View Post
Is it possible to temporarily install the dongle from your charge controller in the battery monitor to see what impact that has?
That's my next step. I just spoke to a guy at BattleBorn and he confirmed that the dongle will work correctly when plugged into the shunt.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjshier View Post
My shunt is installed in the front storage compartment adjacent to the batteries. I routed the control unit into the coach and under the curb side twin bed inside the storage compartment accessible from inside the coach, not the portion accessible from the curb. It is not mounted but simply sitting on the floor of the compartment behind where I mounted the inverster.

The signal is sufficient to reach my phone from up to 20' away, even from inside the house in the room adjacent to the parking pad. The signal does drop off rather quickly with additional distance. I might move it again if I find I can't reach it from the passenger's seat of the TV.
Hi

The battery box makes a great shield for RF energy. It's going to nuke anything that's trying to get out of there. The trailer with it's great big wide open windows is nowhere near as good at stopping RF. What you are seeing is all very normal.

If you put these gizmos close to the floor in the trailer ( where they can't "see" out the windows) the range also can become very limited.

Bob
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:49 AM   #11
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Tallahassee , FL
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We have our Smart Shunt mounted in the front compartment of our 21GT27FBQ and yes the signal is pretty dismal. I can get a reading inside and about 15 ft radius. As long as I get it inside I'm OK with that. Make sure to set it up to "talk" to your Blue Solar charger via the VE smart network.
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:28 PM   #12
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Yes not much signal strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by dog_and_cat View Post
Hello all - I just finished installing the Victron Smart Shunt battery monitor in my '21 27FB Globetrotter. Following the great advise of other forum members, I mounted the shunt in a small waterproof box that I installed on the side of the battery box.

The problem is that the bluetooth signal strength is terribly weak. I can connect to it only when I'm either standing outside in front of the trailer or if I'm inside the trailer all of the way up front of the bed compartment.

Last week I installed the Victron VE Bluetooth Dongle to my Blue Solar 150/35 controller and the BT signal strength of that is great. I was hoping for the same from the shunt and expected to be able to connect to both at least from the dinette area and when walking around the trailer.

Anyone else have this issue or perhaps found a workaround?

Thanks

Chris
I put my Smart Shunt in the battery box and I just attributed the poor range to the metal box but maybe it was just a week signal. I considered replacing the metal lid on the box with plastic.
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by us3rnam3 View Post
I put my Smart Shunt in the battery box and I just attributed the poor range to the metal box but maybe it was just a week signal. I considered replacing the metal lid on the box with plastic.
Hi

Even if you replace the battery box lid, you still have the propane tanks one way and the wall of the trailer the other way. You will improve reception mainly when standing on top of the battery box ....

Bob
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:13 PM   #14
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Rochester , New York
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I finally got around to connecting the Victron BT Dongle to improve the bluetooth signal from the SmartShunt. I used a 6' Victron VE.Direct Cable to connect to the SmartShunt. That cable is designed to plug into Victron products that have a VE.Direct port - it's not intended to be used as an extension cord. So I had to make a short crossover cable with JST-PH2 male/female connectors to mate the VE.Direct cable to the dongle. Then I fished/mounted the dongle inside our trailer under the front bed box.

Way more effort than I expected but I now have a super strong signal from the shunt that I can read anywhere inside and within a decent radius outside as well. Here's a pic of the cable:
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Old 07-27-2021, 06:29 AM   #15
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Can you post an image of your mount?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dog_and_cat View Post
Hello all - I just finished installing the Victron Smart Shunt battery monitor in my '21 27FB Globetrotter. Following the great advise of other forum members, I mounted the shunt in a small waterproof box that I installed on the side of the battery box.

The problem is that the bluetooth signal strength is terribly weak. I can connect to it only when I'm either standing outside in front of the trailer or if I'm inside the trailer all of the way up front of the bed compartment.

Last week I installed the Victron VE Bluetooth Dongle to my Blue Solar 150/35 controller and the BT signal strength of that is great. I was hoping for the same from the shunt and expected to be able to connect to both at least from the dinette area and when walking around the trailer.

Anyone else have this issue or perhaps found a workaround?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:24 AM   #16
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My 712 is installed under the front bed inside the trailer and the actual display is mounted to the bed frame.

My BT signal reaches my dining room about 70 feet away from the trailer but I need to have my house windows open for the signal as it wont go through the house windows. The signal will go through the Airstream windows and aluminum without issues.

I have an iPhone as well if that makes a difference.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:35 PM   #17
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Rochester , New York
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Attachment 400502
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeHTP View Post
Can you post an image of your mount?
I had just finished closing the lid on the shunt box and wrapping the seal with waterproof tape before I read your note. I can tell you that I closely followed the advise in these two threads:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f37...or-217081.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...bt-206365.html

Here are a couple of pics of the finished install. Not much help probably but let me know if you other questions.
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