sma bluetooth is it worth it?

rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
Thinking about spending $130 for the sma sunny boy grid tied inverter bluetooth monitoring card.

is it usefull or just another gadget you use for a month and then let collect dust after you find out your solar array is working fine?

peace, Rolland

Comments

  • bluewickedburnerbluewickedburner Solar Expert Posts: 78 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?

    I can't speak specifically to sunny boy but my experience with Bluetooth is that in three long steps I can be where the signal is coming from. Some Bluetooth devices can send quite far but most do not.

    You're probably better off using binoculars.
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?

    I don't know that the range is quite that bad overall, but it sure doesn't go very far. The shortest-range device I have is my cell phone, but I can still go to the next room or two away. Any bluetooth devices I'm using with my computers or one ham radio that has it, I can be anywhere in my 1700 sq ft house or just outside.

    I was curious about what their display does. Found this link:
    http://www.epinions.com/review/SMA_Sunny_Beam_with_Bluetooth_epi/content_500195298948

    Looks interesting, but the range is apparently limited to about 150 feet (assuming you are getting a US version Sunny Boy - it has a metal case, whereas the Eu one has plastic so emits a stronger signal).

    It *does* have provision for dumping data to a computer, so if you wanted to record long-term logs of performance it could be used for that. That's the sort of thing that would interest me personally. I now hardly ever look at the displays on my solar system, instead using the logged data on the PC - I don't have to be there "real time" to know if things are working correctly.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?

    "Worth" is something you will have to judge, but I have one in our 4000 watt SMA inverter. Works like a champ and I go for the coolness of simply having this little device sitting on my desk which gives me all this information about how my solar panels are producing. If you look at the signal strength screen, I think it says my signal is marginal, but it has worked great for the 2 months I've had it. I do think there is a bluetooth repeater for those cases where the signal really isn't adequate. I'm not sure I can post a pic her as I am a new member, but if anyone wants to see what it looks like and the data it gives you, let me know and I can certainly post it somewhere....
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?
    I'm not sure I can post a pic her as I am a new member, but if anyone wants to see what it looks like and the data it gives you, let me know and I can certainly post it somewhere....

    You can post pics, although the "how to" is easy to miss.
    When you post (either reply or new thread) below the 'edit box' is another labeled "Additional Options". The second section of that shows "Attach Files" with a button that says "Manage Attachments". Click that and it will open another dialog box that lets you pick and attach picture files within the limits set.

    Note: Absolute no pictures of naked iguanas! :p
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?

    "Note: Absolute no pictures of naked iguanas! :p"



    Killjoy....;)
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: sma bluetooth is it worth it?

    I have the SMA bluetooth monitor on our store table to show off to customers mainly.
    It is great for that, although I don't really use it much myself. Reaches to the the end of the building (about 50 ft) through 3 block walls, but is at its limit. Kind of pricy really when other inverters have built in internet.
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