MX 60 data output collection

westbranch
westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
I've been perusing the "Mate Serial Communication Guide' for an answer to this question:
Does the MX60 function similarly to the XBM Battery Monitor as described in the XBM Communication interface, so that I can gather the MX60 output with a PDA for analysis?

Why? I use a PDA/program to gather XBM data and would like to do the same with the MX60, and it looks like it might work... without a Mate and a canned program...
We are not in full time residence and do not want to run a laptop 24/7 off an inverter

Assumption #1 is that the MX 60's RJ12 port uses the following

line 1 = power for Mate
2 = RXD
3 = TXD
4 = Gnd
all the same as the XBM.

The XBM manual says:
Automatic mode: the battery monitor outputs all measured and calculated parameters automatically once a
second and transmits data when pressing a key and when leaving setup mode. This is the standard mode
for every XBM leaving the factory.

Request only mode: the battery monitor only sends data when receiving a request for it (through a
sys-ex data request, see chapter 2.2.4). Transmitting data when pressing a key and when leaving setup-
mode is also disabled this mode.

From the Mate guide:

"Once a second the Mate will transmit a string of ASCII formatted data to the PC.

The only communication protocol supported at this time is an ASCII formatted status
information dumped from devices connected to the Mate."

from this I read that the Mate only responds to a PC request and it sends whatever it has last received from the MX.

these 2 statements lead me to assume there is continuous data dumping to the mate from the MX..

So I am thinking that one should be able to remove the Mate from the equation, use a power boost on the TTL -level signal, send the signal to the PDA via RS232 connection and voila have the output of the MX ready for entry to Excel.. A few bits missing but this is the general idea used for the XBM.

Is this a correct assumption?

thanks
Eric
 
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
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Comments

  • GreenerPower
    GreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    The data from MX60 only available through the Mate via OB's Hub (i.e. MX60 -> HUB via RJ45 -> Mate -> DB9 serial, the RJ45s on the MX60, Hub, Mate are not ethernet, it's OB proprietary, just use a commodity part). The Mate has DB9 serial connector. The protocol is 19200, 8N1 no handshake. DTR on , CTS off to power the Mate's serial port. The details are in the Mate's communication guide
    GP
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Thanks GP, I am aware of those parameters... looking for a go around

    Eric
     
    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: 33,398 admin
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Check with poster "Tallgirl"/Julie(?)... She is selling software that runs on a PC/Mac/Linux (Java) for "greenMonitor" of Outback hardware.

    www.greenhousepc.com

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    thanks Bill, I have looked at their site before and they primarily make a 'remote' query product, which needs Internet access (don't have) and needs a cpu , which draws power 24/7. Relatively inexpensive but needs a Mate from what I read.

    FWIW a friend and I cobbled together a very low power( 7805 & CMOS ) replacement, that cost about $5 for this:

    http://store.solar-electric.com/xabamocokit.html

    The PDA and Roderick's data-collection program replaces the program included with the kit.


    cheers
    Eric
     
    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: 33,398 admin
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Eric,

    I understand the low power part... One reason I never bothered with logging for my GT system is that even a small laptop, running 24x7 would take almost 5% of my daily production--just seems like such a waste.

    The high costs of the interface kits for the various vendors is pretty hard to swallow--but at the same time, I am sure the vendors have no real interest in selling/supporting them--just not worth their time. However, if they would partner with a small vendor--it would seem like a win/win for both. Small vendor makes some cash, large vendor has nice support for their products for virtually zero costs.

    At least Xantrex gave away the RS232 version of their GT logging program (and Solar Guppy has his free version).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Bill, it was actually just the TX transmission codes that they published, . Roderick used a version of a program called Portabella, that is just a reader (receiver?), to ensure Rx was working and then he modified a GT-monitoring program he wrote to put everything in 'readable' format on the PDA. It works slick....

    As Fox Mulder said, the truth is out there, somewhere.

    Eric
     
    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
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    BB. wrote: »
    Check with poster "Tailgirl"/Julie(?)... She is selling software that runs on a PC/Mac/Linux (Java) for "greenMonitor" of Outback hardware.

    www.greenhousepc.com

    -Bill


    To quote Willem Dafoe in "Boondock Saints":

    "So...Freud was right..."

    Heh - pretty sure that's "Tallgirl", not "Tailgirl".
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,398 admin
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    I am truly sorry... I am typing many of these posts on a 10" screen and obviously, my eye sight is not what is used to be.

    -Bill :blush:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • GreenerPower
    GreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    westbranch wrote: »
    FWIW a friend and I cobbled together a very low power( 7805 & CMOS ) replacement, that cost about $5 for this:
    http://store.solar-electric.com/xabamocokit.html
    Too bad, your existing XBM can monitor only one DC shunt. Since you seem to be handy with IC gadgets, how about having a DC shunt on the MX60 to battery path and use the DC voltage output of the shunt to control something like 555 to generate either pulse frequency or pulse width modulation that can be "monitored" via an unused RS232 input such as RI, DSR ... (not sure if Palm Vx serial port has these connected)
    GP
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    BB. wrote: »
    I am truly sorry... I am typing many of these posts on a 10" screen and obviously, my eye sight is not what is used to be.

    -Bill :blush:

    That's okay -- I get called all sorts of things. Seems a lot of the guys in the industry aren't that fond of a woman knowing all the stuffs that's in my noggin' ;)
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    BB. wrote: »
    Eric,

    I understand the low power part... One reason I never bothered with logging for my GT system is that even a small laptop, running 24x7 would take almost 5% of my daily production--just seems like such a waste.

    Our lowest power logger, the greenMonitor Server, is an approximately 11 watt box, running at 12 volts DC. Power consumption is a bit higher on AC -- I think 18 watts. We have one that's a little bit higher on the power consumption -- 18 watts at 12 volts DC, if I remember correctly, and 24 watts on AC power. That's still a bit high for off-grid usage, but should be very reasonable for grid-tied systems which tend to be larger.

    Apropos the comment about requiring Internet access, no, it will run completely stand-alone using the "loopback" interface on the computer. The Internet access is there so that if you =want= to run it remotely, you can.

    Also, we are in the midst of launching our 24/7 monitoring service -- it can be run with just a Serial-to-IP converter. Reports are generated by the web server just after midnight and can be viewed with just about any spreadsheet program (we recommend OpenOffice -- it is free, Microsoft Excel is $229 or so).
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    tallgirl wrote: »
    Our lowest power logger, the greenMonitor Server, is an approximately 11 watt box, running at 12 volts DC. Power consumption is a bit higher on AC -- I think 18 watts. We have one that's a little bit higher on the power consumption -- 18 watts at 12 volts DC, if I remember correctly, and 24 watts on AC power. That's still a bit high for off-grid usage, but should be very reasonable for grid-tied systems which tend to be larger.

    Apropos the comment about requiring Internet access, no, it will run completely stand-alone using the "loopback" interface on the computer. The Internet access is there so that if you =want= to run it remotely, you can.

    Also, we are in the midst of launching our 24/7 monitoring service -- it can be run with just a Serial-to-IP converter. Reports are generated by the web server just after midnight and can be viewed with just about any spreadsheet program (we recommend OpenOffice -- it is free, Microsoft Excel is $229 or so).

    Gee, if there was something that combined the power consumption of the modified Palm as a datalogger/storage (3 WH / day) and the ability to "push" it to an IP address or email, and it worked with different brands, I'd get a couple. (one for the morningstar, one for the XW) But offgrid, a laptop logging all day, is pretty consumptive. Maybe a OLPC rig, still a couple watt hrs /day could do it, but I don't think they have serial ports, just USB.
    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 ,

  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Mike,

    Well ... if I could figure out a way to do all that and make money, I would.

    Assuming you can push that data out to an Internet address, I can tell you a host name and TCP port to send a Mate data stream and my company could handle the monitoring, reporting, etc. for $10 / month. You'd still need the IP address and network connectivity, etc, but the way the software works, if you just stop sending, it just stops logging.

    If you're interested in seeing the OutBack monitoring service I'm putting together, go to

    http://data.digitalgnomon.com/users/tallgirl

    and you can see my system and its behavior. I've fighting with some of the software still, but that's what software is good for -- fighting with it :grr
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Mike, The TriStar Mppt has TCP webserver built in and has options for sending emails automatically, not sure what all the condition's are on the emailing or what info gets sent, but between the two you get full monitoring real time and 100+ day logging.

    You can also remotely configure and control the charger using the MSView software, pretty cool stuff.

    I have a pair running here, anyone can look at, just use the IP of this post, port 80 & 81
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,398 admin
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    By the way, to use those ports, put in SG's IP address with :80 or :81 after it to connect to his TriStars.

    Looks very neat--what are the alarms and events--I cannot see any details on the data log (at least on my browser setup)?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    One of the units doesn't have a BTS on it, so it logs that every day ( proto unit, production doesn't do that ) and the other is logging any settings changes
  • boB
    boB Solar Expert Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Very nice, Henry ! Looks great ! I really like the logging page too. Not sure what the "float" and "Absorb" fields are though. Are those supposed to be times, in minutes or something like that ?

    It would be nice to see the settings of the unit too, even though changing them is disabled. I bet there's a screen for all of that stuff too ? Maybe up and coming ?

    boB
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    The absorb, float and eq are timers in minutes, these units are running gridtie with an XW-6048 so most of the time they are in bulk selling to the grid.

    All the charger setting can be displayed or updated, just not via the webpage feature, but a pc tool which can use the tcp feature so you can be just about anywhere to check or update about 8 pages worth of settings.

    The TriStar Mppt does Modbus over TCP as well, so the sky is the limit on monitoring or configuration for user created custom applications ...
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    Mike, The TriStar Mppt has TCP webserver built in ...

    I have a pair running here, anyone can look at, just use the IP of this post, port 80 & 81

    Drool !

    Stuff is in boxes, panels braced against further earthquakes, just waiting on mounting rack....

    one of many layout options in shed, anyone have comments? I'll have some long battery bank wires, but will be very generous with the copper, I'm wanting to have enough access to water batteries, and gear, without crowding. Or I may relocate main inverter to between the battery banks. Or Or ....
    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 ,

  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Mike, this is what I have in the Garage ... I found it a space saver to have the batteries stacked and its short wire runs as well.
  • boB
    boB Solar Expert Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    Mike, The TriStar Mppt has TCP webserver built in and has options for sending emails automatically, not sure what all the condition's are on the emailing or what info gets sent, but between the two you get full monitoring real time and 100+ day logging.
    You can also remotely configure and control the charger using the MSView software, pretty cool stuff.
    I have a pair running here, anyone can look at, just use the IP of this post, port 80 & 81

    SG, what's up with the "Maximum Watts" daily log ? I am seeing in excess of 12,000 Watts. For a 48V battery system, even at 58 Volts (max), that would be OVER 200 Amps. OK, so maybe it's combined from both Tristars... That's still over 100 Amps each !

    Looks like you had a cloudy day a few days ago too. I guess that's not surprising since even we, in the pacific northwest, have had some warmer days recently than a lot of places in your neck of the country.

    Don't ya love the way one can tell the weather history, sort of, by the past logs.
    boB
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    tallgirl wrote: »
    If you're interested in seeing the OutBack monitoring service I'm putting together, go to

    http://data.digitalgnomon.com/users/tallgirl

    and you can see my system and its behavior. I've fighting with some of the software still, but that's what software is good for -- fighting with it :grr

    Oh -- neglected to mention. In addition to offering a system monitoring service (similar to Fat Spaniel, only no special hardware required, lower start-up cost, more rational pricing, more total reported data and operating parameters ...), the software that does the monitoring is also for sale.

    So, those of y'all who are installers with multiple OutBack customers who are in need of having their systems monitored, or if you've got customers and you want to connect to their systems, or allow them to connect to your local monitoring service (software allows dial-out and dial-in, as it were), that's something else I offer.
  • a0128958
    a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    tallgirl wrote: »
    ...
    If you're interested in seeing the OutBack monitoring service I'm putting together, go to

    http://data.digitalgnomon.com/users/tallgirl

    and you can see my system and its behavior.

    I think this is nice work.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • GreenerPower
    GreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    boB wrote: »
    SG, what's up with the "Maximum Watts" daily log ? I am seeing in excess of 12,000 Watts. For a 48V battery system, even at 58 Volts (max), that would be OVER 200 Amps. OK, so maybe it's combined from both Tristars... That's still over 100 Amps each !
    At today -85

    Max Output watts: 31618
    AH: 242.9
    Watthrs: 13630

    Say, 4.5hrs of sun, 13630 / 4.5 = 3028 Watts on average

    Sound like the "Max output watts" should be 3161.8 ?

    Curious those recent days with "-" for max output watts while AH and Watthrs numbers are OK ?

    GP
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection

    Yes, looks like a decimal point is missing for maximum watts, I've let MS know

    You can turn off/on different logging parameters ... a "-" means for that day that option was not logged. The more options/parameters enabled for logging, the shorter the history ...
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    Yes, looks like a decimal point is missing for maximum watts, I've let MS know

    You can turn off/on different logging parameters ... a "-" means for that day that option was not logged. The more options/parameters enabled for logging, the shorter the history ...

    Ah, the advantages of embedded PCs -- 18 watts, 2GB RAM, 160GB disk: YEARS of data logging ;)

    Does Morning Star have a published API for getting the data out via the web interface? I'm about to wrap up support for SMA inverters and if the MS interface is simple enough, I might add it next.
  • boB
    boB Solar Expert Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    tallgirl wrote: »
    Ah, the advantages of embedded PCs -- 18 watts, 2GB RAM, 160GB disk: YEARS of data logging ;)

    Does Morning Star have a published API for getting the data out via the web interface? I'm about to wrap up support for SMA inverters and if the MS interface is simple enough, I might add it next.

    18 Watts at night ?

    boB
  • tallgirl
    tallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    boB wrote: »
    18 Watts at night ?

    boB

    Yeah, it's a bit high, but it goes down to 11 watts if you run it on 12VDC.

    But you get YEARS AND YEARS of data ;)

    But seriously, if you need less power and can get the data out via the Internet or modem, I do have a monitoring service, as well as software that can be used for large-scale off-site monitoring.

    The even-lower-power monitoring device market does not appear to be big enough for me to go any lower than I am right now and make money selling hardware that can do it. The market seems to go from "10 to 15 watts is okay" straight to "5 watts is WAY too much". The amount of intelligence I provide is more than some of the sub-5-watt solutions can support -- but if someone has a platform they'd like to suggest, and it supports Linux and Java, let me know.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,700 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    Yes, looks like a decimal point is missing for maximum watts, I've let MS know

    You can turn off/on different logging parameters ... a "-" means for that day that option was not logged. The more options/parameters enabled for logging, the shorter the history ...

    What would you need to link 2 of these units please. Do they log float time? Thx!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX 60 data output collection
    What would you need to link 2 of these units please. Do they log float time? Thx!

    MorningStar has a hub that can link 5 units together, then standard 4 conductor RJ11 cords between the Chargers and the Hub. The hub is for electrical isolation.

    http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/meterhub

    Float, Absorb and Equalize timers are logged daily within the unit