Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
Hello,
The Victron battery monitor uses an RJ12, six-wire cable. The unit comes with a 3-meter cable, and I'm trying to relocate the monitor to a room in my house, about 50 feet away.

I asked Victron, and they do not make a longer cable, but they know that the monitor can work with longer cables up to 50 meters away (depending on the battery bank voltage). Their stock cable uses CAT5 cable, only using 6 of the 8 available wires.

I purchased a 25-foot and 50-foot RJ12 flat cable. Using my RJ45/RJ12 tester, I verified that the stock cable and longer cables are wired the same way, but for some reason, the battery monitor only works with the stock cable.

Has anyone used the Victron 600 monitor with a longer cable? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Thanks!
XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.

Comments

  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    Dusty wrote: »
    Hello,
    The Victron battery monitor uses an RJ12, six-wire cable. The unit comes with a 3-meter cable, and I'm trying to relocate the monitor to a room in my house, about 50 feet away.

    I asked Victron, and they do not make a longer cable, but they know that the monitor can work with longer cables up to 50 meters away (depending on the battery bank voltage). Their stock cable uses CAT5 cable, only using 6 of the 8 available wires.

    I purchased a 25-foot and 50-foot RJ12 flat cable. Using my RJ45/RJ12 tester, I verified that the stock cable and longer cables are wired the same way, but for some reason, the battery monitor only works with the stock cable.

    Has anyone used the Victron 600 monitor with a longer cable? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Thanks!
    I'm just guessing, but it could be that the resistance of the longer cable is the problem.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    ggunn wrote: »
    I'm just guessing, but it could be that the resistance of the longer cable is the problem.

    I've got some CAT6 cable, so I'll try building a cable with that. Since Victron uses CAT5 and knows up to 50 meters is possible, hopefully there won't be a resistance problem using CAT6.

    I was just wondering if anyone had built their own cable, and if so, what they used. Thanks!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • Joe_BJoe_B Solar Expert Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    You still have a wiring error, the only thing that travels down those wires is DC. My cable is 50 feet long and works fine.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,180 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    Check again for a "crossed pair" on the original vs the phone cable
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    With CAT5 cabling, there are "two flavors"... Point to point and crossover. As I recall, the crossover is the more common type. With modern Internet hardware, most will automatically reconfigure their outputs to adjust to the crossover/straight through wiring. Will probably make a difference for your battery monitor system.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    BB. wrote: »
    With CAT5 cabling, there are "two flavors"... Point to point and crossover. As I recall, the crossover is the more common type. With modern Internet hardware, most will automatically reconfigure their outputs to adjust to the crossover/straight through wiring. Will probably make a difference for your battery monitor system.

    -Bill
    +1 Bill, but not necessarily relevant here. Both the "crossover" and the "straight" differ from a 1 to 1 match of wires to pin positions from one end to the other. On an RC-11 (telco) cord the most a crossover will do is swap the order of wires in a pair. In the RC-45 (CAT) connector data usage the pairs themselves swap positions.
    But with the 6-wire, six position RJ-12 cord as far as I know the standard is similar to the RJ-11 four-wire, six postion setup, in terms of pairing.

    Dusty: Will your tester show swapped wires within each pair also? Have you tried just observing the wiring of the stock cable by looking at wire colors at each end?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    BB. wrote: »
    With CAT5 cabling, there are "two flavors"... Point to point and crossover. As I recall, the crossover is the more common type.

    Minor point: The crossover is the less common type. To connect a computer to a router, for example, you use a "straight" (non crossover) cable. To connect two computers, you use a crossover cable.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    ggunn wrote: »
    Minor point: The crossover is the less common type. To connect a computer to a router, for example, you use a "straight" (non crossover) cable. To connect two computers, you use a crossover cable.

    But even this straight through cable is neither as pin for pin connection nor a reverse order pin for pin connection.
    The terminology is difficult here, since CAT-N really refers to the specifications of the wire/cable, while the pinout is a separate standard.
    In this particular case the equipment wants a six wire link which just happens to use 8-conductor CAT-4 or CAT-5 wire because of its controlled electrical characteristics and shielding. And it does not even use the same modular connector as is used for twisted-pair network applications.
    What does make a big difference is when you try to extend one of the six-pin cables by using a double female connector. But it sounds like Dusty is correctly trying to build a longer replacement rather than an extension.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    inetdog wrote: »
    +1 Bill, but not necessarily relevant here. Both the "crossover" and the "straight" differ from a 1 to 1 match of wires to pin positions from one end to the other. On an RC-11 (telco) cord the most a crossover will do is swap the order of wires in a pair. In the RC-45 (CAT) connector data usage the pairs themselves swap positions.
    But with the 6-wire, six position RJ-12 cord as far as I know the standard is similar to the RJ-11 four-wire, six postion setup, in terms of pairing.

    Dusty: Will your tester show swapped wires within each pair also? Have you tried just observing the wiring of the stock cable by looking at wire colors at each end?

    As I watch the RJ12 tester sequence through each wire, it sequences in the proper order from wire 1 to 6 with my new cable, just like the original 3 meter cable. Wouldn't a crossover cable show a difference in sequence from the transmitter on one end to the receiver on the other?

    I can't see the cable colors on the original cable.
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    inetdog wrote: »
    But even this straight through cable is neither as pin for pin connection nor a reverse order pin for pin connection.
    The terminology is difficult here, since CAT-N really refers to the specifications of the wire/cable, while the pinout is a separate standard.
    In this particular case the equipment wants a six wire link which just happens to use 8-conductor CAT-4 or CAT-5 wire because of its controlled electrical characteristics and shielding. And it does not even use the same modular connector as is used for twisted-pair network applications.
    What does make a big difference is when you try to extend one of the six-pin cables by using a double female connector. But it sounds like Dusty is correctly trying to build a longer replacement rather than an extension.

    That is correct; I am trying to build a longer replacement cable. I have a package of RJ12 connectors, but my first attempt using CAT6 cable failed-- not all the wires made proper connection in the connector.

    I did test the RJ12 cables I bought; both by themselves, and then splicing them together with a double female connector (just in case 50' wasn't long enough and I needed to add the additional 25'). There was no problem with the tester showing the correct 6-wire sequence through both cables connected by the double female connector.
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    inetdog wrote: »
    But even this straight through cable is neither as pin for pin connection nor a reverse order pin for pin connection.
    The terminology is difficult here, since CAT-N really refers to the specifications of the wire/cable, while the pinout is a separate standard.
    In this particular case the equipment wants a six wire link which just happens to use 8-conductor CAT-4 or CAT-5 wire because of its controlled electrical characteristics and shielding. And it does not even use the same modular connector as is used for twisted-pair network applications.
    What does make a big difference is when you try to extend one of the six-pin cables by using a double female connector. But it sounds like Dusty is correctly trying to build a longer replacement rather than an extension.
    I'm not sure what you mean. I made up my own Ethernet cables for wiring my home network, and pin 1 connects to pin 1, etc. The color code to pin number map is the same for both ends, and joining two cables with a double female connector works fine. If the wiring protocol is different for the monitor cable, though, and the ends are wired differently from each other, that would (obviously) explain why an Ethernet cable won't work in his application.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    ggunn wrote: »
    I'm not sure what you mean. I made up my own Ethernet cables for wiring my home network, and pin 1 connects to pin 1, etc. The color code to pin number map is the same for both ends, and joining two cables with a double female connector works fine. If the wiring protocol is different for the monitor cable, though, and the ends are wired differently from each other, that would (obviously) explain why an Ethernet cable won't work in his application.

    Sorry for the confusing description earlier. Yes, the standard Ethernet cable is pin 1 to pin 1, etc. Pins 1 and 2 are the transmit pair and pins 3 and 6 (not 7 and 8 ) are the receive pair. But the telco standard for a double-female connector is pin1 to pin8, pin2 to pin7, etc.
    That works fine with a telco style RJ-45 cable which is NOT a pin1 to pin1 type cable, but would not work for an Ethernet cable. I have not seen any clear listing on double-female connectors as to which pinout they use, so I tend to avoid them. For Ethernet use it is more common to plug all of your cables directly into an active device like a hub or switch anyway.

    I find this link to be a handy reference on the various Ethernet / CAT pinouts.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    It can be done, there's a guy on here (not sure how often he frequents) with a cabin in Michigan and has the shunt in his garage and cat 5 or 6 to his cabin many feet away. Just make sure you have the right connectors and the same colors in the same pins when you look at them (for instance, white orange, orange, white green, blue and then make the other end the EXACT same way) Sorry if this has been covered. I have the same monitor and can whip something up later if requested...
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    Remember, with high speed cables (such as CATx style), it is not only the pin out (1 to 1, etc...), it is also about the signal pairs...

    For your Victron, you either want a cable that does not twist any pairs, or if you have a cable with twisted pairs, you want the +/- power cable to be one pair, and the shunt +/- to be another pair. If you have 1/2 a power signal mixed with 1/2 a shunt signal sharing a twisted pair, you can induce electrical noise into your system (typically the DC power inducing noise on the very low signal levels of the shunt).

    For short cables, it may not matter (i.e., less than several feet). For "long" cables (100' is probably "long"), splitting signals across different pairs can be a real issue of noise.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    BB. wrote: »
    Remember, with high speed cables (such as CATx style), it is not only the pin out (1 to 1, etc...), it is also about the signal pairs...

    For your Victron, you either want a cable that does not twist any pairs, or if you have a cable with twisted pairs, you want the +/- power cable to be one pair, and the shunt +/- to be another pair. If you have 1/2 a power signal mixed with 1/2 a shunt signal sharing a twisted pair, you can induce electrical noise into your system (typically the DC power inducing noise on the very low signal levels of the shunt).

    For short cables, it may not matter (i.e., less than several feet). For "long" cables (100' is probably "long"), splitting signals across different pairs can be a real issue of noise.

    -Bill

    Thanks Bill. Your explanation poses a question. When I tested an RJ11 telephone cable, the transmitter display showed the wires go in proper sequence (1,2,3 etc), but on the receive side it went something like 1,4,2,3).

    However, when I tested the stock 3-meter CAT5 Victron cable, both transmit and receive sides were synched up 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, etc. But so did the RJ12 cables I purchased--and yet the Victron does not power up.

    The email I got from Victron was:

    Hello,

    We don’t have longer cable but it’s a fully wired ( which not all cables are !! ) straight cable with 3 twisted pairs


    Best regards
    Met vriendelijke groet
    Johannes Boonstra
    Sales Manager
    Victron Energy B.V.
    PO-Box 50016
    1305 AA Almere-Haven
    De Paal 35
    1351 JG Almere-Haven
    Tel.: +31(0)36-535 9736
    Fax: +31(0)36-5359740
    Mobile: +31(0)651328860
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Skype: johannesboonstravictronenergy
    Web: www.victronenergy.com


    Based on the "three twisted pairs" comment, wouldn't I see a different sequence on the receive end of my tester? That's what's got me confused on how to wire the new cable.

    -Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,180 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    here is what twisted looks like

    http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/images/twisted_pair_cable.jpg

    HTH
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    Check the resistance/wire gauge... Some phone/audio level cables had very fine wire in them. Great to reduce the chance of breakage when dragging a phone around (very flexible). But not so good if a very long cable.

    And, here is a Sailing forum with very high quality pictures about installing a Victron Battery Monitor--Still does not address the RJ-12 cabling issue (at least on the first of three pages of discussions).

    Another issue--I have seen confusion between RJ-11 connectors with 4 wires vs RJ-12 with 6 wires.

    An RJ-11 will fit in the RJ-12 jack, but the "two missing positions" at the outside edge of the RJ-11 plug are solid plastic--And I have seen the RJ-11 plug bend down the RJ-12 jack pins to where there was a possible poor connection on the two deformed pins in the socket.

    Lastly, there is a B1+ and a B2+ connection on the Shunt's quick connect PCB board... I assume that B1+ needs to be connected to power the metering system (should not be an issue with this problem--but just addressing all possible issues I can see).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    It does appear that RJ-12 may use different twisted pair configurations vs a RJ-45/Cat3/5 type connection.

    But--I would think that this would make for "noisy" current readings and not just "kill" the meter DC supply.

    You may have to Ohm out the Quick Connect PCB for the shunt and see where everything is connected. Then map those "signal pairs" to the RJ12/45 cabling twisted pairs and see what is the "correct" connection.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    BB. wrote: »
    It does appear that RJ-12 may use different twisted pair configurations vs a RJ-45/Cat3/5 type connection.

    But--I would think that this would make for "noisy" current readings and not just "kill" the meter DC supply.

    You may have to Ohm out the Quick Connect PCB for the shunt and see where everything is connected. Then map those "signal pairs" to the RJ12/45 cabling twisted pairs and see what is the "correct" connection.

    -Bill

    I'll give that a shot, but it'll have to wait until I get back from a brief time at sea. Thanks for all the suggestions!

    -Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    I know this is far from an elegant solution but it is one that certainly will work. And in fact have done it a few times because of weird made up cables from some manufacturers ..
    Get another identical cabe to the original. cut the cable about one foot from one end. Now cut the ends off the second cable, make sure its running in the same direction as the original cable. Now simply join all the wires of the extension cable to the identical wires of the original cable. dont use connectors .just twist and solder them and put heat shrink tube over each connection then one suitable size heatshrink tube over each of the 2 complete connections..

    Not beautiful but guaranteed to be successful.
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    My Victron cable is UTP - Cat 5E with the pin-outs on RJ-12 connectors (6 pins)

    Matching on both ends like so:

    Left to right
    1 - blue
    2 - orange
    3 - green
    4 - white green
    5 - white orange
    6 - white blue

    So effectively not using the white brown/brown pair.

    Hope that helps, how long is your desired run?
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    My Victron cable is UTP - Cat 5E with the pin-outs on RJ-12 connectors (6 pins)

    Matching on both ends like so:

    Left to right
    1 - blue
    2 - orange
    3 - green
    4 - white green
    5 - white orange
    6 - white blue

    So effectively not using the white brown/brown pair.

    Hope that helps, how long is your desired run?

    My run will be 50-60 feet. The MFR feels that this length should not be a problem at 48V. I was going to use CAT6 cable and only use 3 of the 4 twisted pairs. By looking at a CAT5E cable, I'll be able to figure out which wires are twisted pairs and use corresponding wires in the CAT6 cable--since I'm pretty sure the colors will not be the same. Thank you!!!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    john p wrote: »
    I know this is far from an elegant solution but it is one that certainly will work. And in fact have done it a few times because of weird made up cables from some manufacturers ..
    Get another identical cabe to the original. cut the cable about one foot from one end. Now cut the ends off the second cable, make sure its running in the same direction as the original cable. Now simply join all the wires of the extension cable to the identical wires of the original cable. dont use connectors .just twist and solder them and put heat shrink tube over each connection then one suitable size heatshrink tube over each of the 2 complete connections..

    Not beautiful but guaranteed to be successful.

    Thanks John, I'll fall back on that if I'm not successful in building a CAT 6 cable.

    -Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    Colors should be the same colors. If you cant get it to work PM me I'd be willing to make a cable for you for a small price and could test it against my Victron.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    Colors should be the same colors. If you cant get it to work PM me I'd be willing to make a cable for you for a small price and could test it against my Victron.


    Thanks for the offer!!! As soon as I get back from a quick at-sea trip (Fri-Sun) I'll give it a shot, but if I can't make it work, I'll definitely PM you. Thanks again!
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    inetdog wrote: »
    I have not seen any clear listing on double-female connectors as to which pinout they use, so I tend to avoid them.
    The ones I have are just pin to pin (1 to 1, 2 to 2, etc.). I have used them to string two or three short Ethernet cables end to end to reach a computer across the room.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    My Victron cable is UTP - Cat 5E with the pin-outs on RJ-12 connectors (6 pins)

    Matching on both ends like so:

    Left to right
    1 - blue
    2 - orange
    3 - green
    4 - white green
    5 - white orange
    6 - white blue

    So effectively not using the white brown/brown pair.

    Hope that helps, how long is your desired run?

    I'm working on the CAT 6 cable now. It's interesting how all the twisted pairs are separated from each other at the ends--with the exception of the green and white/green wires. That must be significant. I've got the first connector crimped on, and now I'm working on the other end. Here's hoping it tests out properly the first time....

    Thanks again for providing the pin-out!

    -Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • DustyDusty Solar Expert Posts: 271 ✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt
    My Victron cable is UTP - Cat 5E with the pin-outs on RJ-12 connectors (6 pins)

    Matching on both ends like so:

    Left to right
    1 - blue
    2 - orange
    3 - green
    4 - white green
    5 - white orange
    6 - white blue

    So effectively not using the white brown/brown pair.

    Hope that helps, how long is your desired run?

    Success! I made the CAT6 cable about 90' long, and after two attempts, the cable passed the tester. Then I tested the BMV-600, and it works fine. I just finished running the cable in the crawlspace.

    BTW, I also tested the new cable attached to the original 3-meter cable with a female-to-female adapter, and that worked just fine too.

    Thanks again, TheBackRoads, for offering to build a cable for me!

    -Dusty
    XW6048, 3.4KW PV, Grid-Tied, always tweaking.
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Victron 600 Battery monitor-extending distance from the shunt

    I'm glad you got it working! Enjoy, I love my Victron.
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