Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Hey, this isn't exactly solar related, but here goes. I've heard that the TS-MPPT-60 can manually, via computer connection, be programed to a preselected Max Power Point, so it does not need to sweep. Does anyone know if this is true and if so can it be done through "MS view"?
Why would I want to do this? I'm using this controller on my micro hydro system, and have been for a couple of years. Works great for the most part, but it sweeps so fast that the turbine has little chance to slow down under load before the sweep is finished and gone. Thus the real MPP is not found. What I'm hoping is that I can preset a point that will resolve the situation. I've researched online info, but so far haven't found what I'm looking for. Thus here to the experts. :D
Thanks guys.

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Well I guess there's no hurry for an answer - - the USB to Serial adapter I picked up from "STAPLES" doesn't work. Help suggests that many such adapters won't work because their output voltage levels are too low, and they suggest using "The Tripp Lite U209-000-R, (as) it has been verified to work with all Morningstar products". Now where the heck can I get one of those around these parts? We shall see.
  • rgk1rgk1 Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    There is one here
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120751&Tpk=Tripp%20Lite%20U209-000-R
    4-Risen 320 watt in series/parallel, 8-215ah 6 volt GC2 batteries in series, Exeltech 1100 watt/48 volt inverter, Tristar 45 MPPT controller.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Thanks for that link rgk1. Appreciate it.
  • rgk1rgk1 Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Waynefromnscanada, I know thats not really local to you but I thought I would put it out there. If you end up with one of those, or find something that works please let me know. I have a used controller and want to change some of the advanced settings. I bought a straight thru serial cable and can not get it to work. Going to try using a different computer but not holding out much hope.
    4-Risen 320 watt in series/parallel, 8-215ah 6 volt GC2 batteries in series, Exeltech 1100 watt/48 volt inverter, Tristar 45 MPPT controller.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    I will do rgk1. Will post back here if I find anything that works.
    And I assume you downloaded the MSView program before you tried.
  • rgk1rgk1 Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Yes. Downloaded MS View. It has been a while since I tried it, but best I recall it would spend some time searching and then not find any device. I tried both serial ports on the computer and even tried connecting it to port 1 and telling it that it was connected to port 2 (just in case I was mistaken about which port was which). When connected incorrectly it almost immediatly returned a no device found. So it seemed as if it was at least trying to communicate when properly connected but ultimatly failed.
    4-Risen 320 watt in series/parallel, 8-215ah 6 volt GC2 batteries in series, Exeltech 1100 watt/48 volt inverter, Tristar 45 MPPT controller.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller
    rgk1 wrote: »
    Yes. Downloaded MS View. It has been a while since I tried it, but best I recall it would spend some time searching and then not find any device. I tried both serial ports on the computer and even tried connecting it to port 1 and telling it that it was connected to port 2 (just in case I was mistaken about which port was which). When connected incorrectly it almost immediatly returned a no device found. So it seemed as if it was at least trying to communicate when properly connected but ultimatly failed.

    That's the same results I was getting. Very interesting. And you didn't need the converter. Very interesting.
  • rgk1rgk1 Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    I decided to try the USB to serial you mentioned and ordered it tonight. I initially stayed away from a USB as most reviews I have read about them seem to be a hit and miss as to whether it would work with any given application. Thats why I tried the straight serial to serial approach and brought out the old desktop computer to try it. With any luck I will have the USB to serial by the weekend and let you know how it works out. What do I have to lose but 30 bucks and a half hour, right?
    4-Risen 320 watt in series/parallel, 8-215ah 6 volt GC2 batteries in series, Exeltech 1100 watt/48 volt inverter, Tristar 45 MPPT controller.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,572 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    I use an EDGEPORT (used off ebay) serial - usb adapter, and it works fine. I also have a serial port on my old laptop, and that works fine too. Solar Guppy's forums had some links to useable USB-serial adapters too.

    Careful of the front panel screws, they are non-magnetic stainless, and if they become un-captured, they are gone!

    I'm had to play a lot with the programming setpoints in the morningstar, and have had no issues. I expect if you set the command to a fixed MPPT voltage, that's exactly what it will do.

    Mike
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Thanks a lot Mike for your input! It's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. And yes, re the screws, I learned that the hard way with my old PWM unit. It lived out it's life with one missing screw, so now I'm extra careful. :D
  • rgk1rgk1 Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    waynefromscanada, it looks like mike90045 answered your question, but I thought I would post the results of the tripp lite u209-000-r in hopes that it may help someone. It worked great!! But not without a call to Morningstar. When connected to the tristar and then opening MSView and searching for connected devices, it immediatly found the tristar. The problem was, that was as far as I could get. I tried everything to program it, but kept getting an error message that it could not establish a modbus connection. Over the weekend I gave up on it. Today I decided to call Morningstar. Glad I did. The trick is when you search for devices and the tristar shows up in the box, click cancel. When you see it listed, it shows that you are making a connection. But, if you click "connect" it makes a connection. When you actually try to program it, it tries to make a connection but can't because you have already made one and thus the error I got that it could not establish a modbus connection. It does not allow two connections. When you search for connected devices and it lists the Tristar, click cancel, then program the Tristar and it makes the connection and worked great for me. Hope this helps anyone that may have had the same issue.
    4-Risen 320 watt in series/parallel, 8-215ah 6 volt GC2 batteries in series, Exeltech 1100 watt/48 volt inverter, Tristar 45 MPPT controller.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    If you have the MPPT 60, then why bother with all that serial hassle- you can do everything over the ethernet port using MS-View with a normal ethernet cable, no need for conversion doodads :)
    Regarding the fixed voltage, I think there are 2 ways to do it: choose "solar controller" and then pick a single fixed voltage. Or choose "wind turbine" mode, and then you can choose 4 or 5 different fixed points.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller
    rgk1 wrote: »
    The trick is when you search for devices and the tristar shows up in the box, click cancel. When you see it listed, it shows that you are making a connection. But, if you click "connect" it makes a connection. When you actually try to program it, it tries to make a connection but can't because you have already made one and thus the error I got that it could not establish a modbus connection. It does not allow two connections. When you search for connected devices and it lists the Tristar, click cancel, then program the Tristar and it makes the connection and worked great for me. Hope this helps anyone that may have had the same issue.

    WOW! I got as far as the Tristat showing up in the box with the converter I was using from STAPLES, but like you, got no further, so figured the converter was at fault. Thanks a lot for that info rgk1, greatly appreciated!
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller
    stephendv wrote: »
    If you have the MPPT 60, then why bother with all that serial hassle- you can do everything over the ethernet port using MS-View with a normal ethernet cable, no need for conversion doodads :)
    Regarding the fixed voltage, I think there are 2 ways to do it: choose "solar controller" and then pick a single fixed voltage. Or choose "wind turbine" mode, and then you can choose 4 or 5 different fixed points.

    Wow! Stephendv! You have opened my eyes! Could it really be so simple? Looks like it! :D
    And thanks very much for the options on fixed points!
    Is it any wonder that I promote this form as the best of it's kind in the world? It has some of the very best folks to be found anywhere!
    Thank you everyone. I know what I'm gonna try come daylight. :D
    Wayne
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    I seem to remember my program will do manual control of the Vref ...

    One the program has started, right click the display for options

    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/SC-ViewTriStarMppt.zip
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller
    I seem to remember my program will do manual control of the Vref ...

    One the program has started, right click the display for options

    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/SC-ViewTriStarMppt.zip

    Thanks for that Solar Guppy. Perhaps I'll try that another day. Was at it all morning with no luck using the ethernet cable. Two different puters wouldn't communicate with the Tristar, saying it had an invalid IP address. Finally got discouraged and gave up. Puter appeared to recognize there was something there and sent packets to it, but nothing returned.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    SC-View is serial based, works with any usb adapter I had and was developed be me for my testing work on the TriStart Mppt 60, part of what I did was periodically manually set the Vref to prove or disprove the units software tracking, will do exactly what your looking for. I know there were features I never finished, but this was almost 3 years ago now so I don't have a clue what there are!
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    Thank you so much Solar Guppy! Greatly do appreciate your sharing such information. So it sounds like it should work if I can find the right serial adapter.
    Thanks again, you've rekindled my hope :)
    Wayne and my beloved Black Lab Bella :)
  • tangk1tangk1 Registered Users Posts: 4
    Re: Technical question on advanced programing of Tristar TS-MPPT-60 controller

    I tried this to update the firmware of Tristar. It works and stable. ATEN is large brand.

    http://www.aten.com/products/productItem.php?pcid=20050107104554001&psid=20050117102915002&pid=2005022316346005
  • SoggyPawsSoggyPaws Registered Users Posts: 5
    Thanks everybody for posting...  I struggled all afternoon yesterday with connecting with MSView to double-check the settings I had set up earlier in the day.  The MSView Program is so stupid that it doesn't tell you that you can't connect in both parts of the program (with Serial) at the same time.  I had successfully read the settings before several times, but I went back and kept getting "we can't connect, restart the program or call Morningstar".  How stupid that message doesn't say "make sure you don't have the same controller open via the same mechanism in another part of the program."  I switched computers, re-set-up serial ports etc etc. but everytime I would first make a connection and view parameters before I tried to read the settings (via the Tools / Tristar MPPT Setup Wizard).  It was just as simple as closing the connection in the display window before opening the connection in the "change settings" window.  Argh!!

    So now I have another issue that I think is probably similar.  I'm on a sailboat, with just a simple single TS-MPPT-60 controller.  I don't have a network set up (at least not one that has ethernet ports).  So I have an ethernet crossover cable plugged in direct from the ts-60 to the computer. I have set the computer up with a static IP address that works so I can read the info in the ts-60 with a simple web browser using http://tsmppt<serialno>/liveview.htm.  I have the latest versions of all the firmware installed, and the latest version of MSView.  But try as I might, I can't figure out how to get MSView to connect to the controller via the network connection.  When I tell it to go find it, it can find it via serial port, but not via network.  

    I think I have shut down all firewalls and etc on the computer that may be blocking MSView.

    I used the default settings if you select "remote" connection, and tried both the IP address that was there (I think 192168.0.50), the IP address it says it is if DHCP isn't on (192.168.1.253) and tsmppt<serialno>.  I left the Modbus control address at 1 and the Control TCP port at 502.  I left the MSView port blank, and also tried it with 80.

    This has got to be something pretty simple.  With no router in the loop, do I need to do anything special in Windows to enable access via "Control TCP Port 502"?

    Thanks for any advice you have.  I'm pretty Windows savvy and fairly solar savvy, but this is my first experience with Morningstar, and I'm about bald from pulling my hair out.  It may be a great controller, but this program really sucks.  But I really want to get the MSView interface via the network connection working vs having to have a serial port connected.  (and I do have switch 8 in the up position).

    Sherry
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Sherry,
    Try this, set windows computer IP settings to 192.168.1.2 as a static address. Subnet 255.255.255.0. Gateway 192.168.1.1 DNS 192.168.1.1

    The MPPT60 will default to 192.168.1.253 and match the subnet and gateway settings after searching for a time. Give it 5 or 10 minutes. On the computer open a command line window and type ping 192.168.1.253  
    You should receive three confirming pings back.
     
    This will test the connection and cable. If it works enter MSView and try to connect.

    Good luck
    Rick
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • SoggyPawsSoggyPaws Registered Users Posts: 5
    Rick,

    Thanks for your reply.  I have already set the computer to a static IP address as you describe.  I can ping 192.168.1.253 and get a response.  I then tried MSView and got the response "Unable to open the Modbus TCP/IP connection on 192.168.1.253:502.

    Any other ideas?

    Sherry
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    So it must be a software config issue. Can you bring up the web page in a browser? 
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • SoggyPawsSoggyPaws Registered Users Posts: 5
    Yes, I can bring up the web page in a browser using http://tsmpptnnnnnnn/liveview.html, or http://192.168.1.253/liveview.html
    Here are some screenshots, to clarify things.


    When I click OK, it tells me "Unable to open the Modbus TCP/IP connection on 192.168.1.253:502"
    What am I doing wrong?
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Sherry,
    I have not been able to find any information on this error. Both on the web and in Morningstar docs.
    Have you tried to contact their tech support? If not here is the link to the contact form for tech support.

    http://morningstarcorp.force.com/?cu=1&fs=ContactUs&l=en_US

    Oh, one other thing, make sure dip switch #8 is switched for write access.
    Sorry not to have been more helpful.
    Best of luck,
    Rick
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • SoggyPawsSoggyPaws Registered Users Posts: 5
    Yes, I have sent the same question and screen shots to Morningstar.  I got a response today, but to my previous question (which I eventually found on my own by browsing forums).  I will see what they say, and post back here if they have a good answer.

    Thanks for your inputs anyway.

    Sherry
  • TigeloweTigelowe Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭

    Hello Sherry,

    Hopefully you have resolved this, if not, I have a pair of MPPT-60's and can connect/control/configure via Ethernet and/or RS232. Your configuration looks like it should work given you can browse to the controllers web interface. The next step would be to take a network trace with 'Microsoft Network Monitor/Netmon' for your version of windows (Google Netmon). If you wish to try this, I can compare your data to mine.

    -Joe


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