Author Topic: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic  (Read 15484 times)

mtdoc

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2014, 12:39:02 PM »
Thanks Tom.

Hub still working - so far...


Yeah, I thought about using RF45 couplers or splitters to at least pull the connections out of my ePanel. Not as good as a physical switch but workable.

Still - I wish there was some way to have both the Mate and AXS port connected at the same time and at least remotely switch between input from either.   Seems like this sort of a software controlled Ethernet switch must exist since it would have applications elswhere.

If I have to go to my utility room to physically make the switch then it takes away a lot of the utility of this software for me...

BTW - I've had no luck using Filezilla to log on to the AXS port for FTP server purposes. It makes an initial connection then times out.

But even if I could do that and have access to logged data - it would not be a good substitute for WattPlot without some serious time spent coding GUI - something I have neither the talent or inclination to attempt.

It really is too bad Outback seems to drop the ball when it comes to software control and monitoring solutions for their equipment

Perhaps their new initiative will be better but it relies on the expensive Mate3 which I have no desire to purchase. 
Array 1: Sanyo HIT225 X 8 on Wattsun tracker. Array 2: Evergreen ES-E-225 X 12 on shed roof. Midnite e-panel with Outback GVFX3648, FNDC and Classic 150 X 2. 436 AH AGMs. Honda eu2000i X 2.

zoneblue

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2014, 06:11:46 PM »
Ethernet hubs and switchs are extremely robust, with something 3kV isolation. Outback probably not so much.

On the monitoring, i guess it depends on how involved your setup is. Using WBjr covers the load side of it, thats the most interesting. Subtracting WbJr from classic(s) amps, gives you dc load amps. That just leaves genset run time and a few other more minor things.

We are bringing, fingers crossed, a vfx back with us on our trip stateside next week, so it is possible that ill write a blackbox module for either AXS, serial, or mate3. I doubt we will get a mate as we have no genset, so that leaves one of the other two.
6x300W CSUN, ground mount, CL150Lite, 2V/400AhToyo AGM,  Outback VFX3024E, Steca Solarix PL1100
http://www.zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar

mtdoc

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #47 on: July 06, 2014, 02:16:49 PM »
Well as far as monitoring goes - with the Local App and My Midnite I'm covered on the CC side.

Wattplot is really pretty good for inverter and load monitoring.  But it does not allow much control at all - Only AC grid use/drop and Aux on/off.  This is due to Outbacks limtation on the Mate's serial interface. Also - monitoring Wattplot remotely involves using a VNC setup which can be a bit finicky at times.

The great thing about this AXS software is the ability to control all the settings.  It also provides basic monitoring but no graphing or built in logging.

It really would be nice to have one application for remote monitoring and control.

Short of that some sort of software controlled switch to allow changing the HUB input/output between the Mate and the AXS port would be the bee's knees....
Array 1: Sanyo HIT225 X 8 on Wattsun tracker. Array 2: Evergreen ES-E-225 X 12 on shed roof. Midnite e-panel with Outback GVFX3648, FNDC and Classic 150 X 2. 436 AH AGMs. Honda eu2000i X 2.

Nashville

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2014, 07:44:47 AM »
I got an AXS Port from Alt E Store. It was a bit less than intuitive to set it up for my LAN IP block. I used the application from  N1GNN on my beater XP home laptop I only keep for these M$ only applications.

Toughest bit was getting XP to use the ethernet connection set up for the 192.168.0.xxx network. They really should have made it use DHCP and some form of broadcast identifying itself.

I just set it up and it found both my FX inverters and both Classics no problem.

I poked around some, set up the devices and the IP for the AXS itself.

Tried to get it logging but when I ftp in it shows no files. I had hoped I could at least pull the log file(s) to parse for my logging and local web pages.

Anyway, an early adopter playing with it. It looks like it will be great for monitoring and control of a mixed system like we have here with OB and MN gear.

Can't wait to see where this goes.

Big thanks to the coder (N1GNN).

Can't wait to try the Linux port of this handy tool.

Tom

Hi Tom,
I bought an AXS. What is the physical setup of the AXS? In other words, how is it connected to the ports of the OB and classics?

Thanks!

TomW

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2014, 08:47:49 AM »

Hi Tom,
I bought an AXS. What is the physical setup of the AXS? In other words, how is it connected to the ports of the OB and classics?

Thanks!

Well, I got stuck with 2 bad units in a row and no luck getting either AlteStore or Outback to RMA #2 so I am going by memory here. One connection to the OB hub and one to your network hub or router. As I recall they are marked well enough. It gets power from the OB HUB and uses the ethernet to access other devices not on the OB HUB. It uses CAT5 for both connections.

Frankly, I gave up on it considering my 100% failure rate on it and lack of customer support from the retailer and manufacturer and the fact I spent $1000 worth of my time on trying to get a $150 part warranted.

Neither company will see my business again

Sorry for the rant but there you go.

Tom
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 08:51:02 AM by TomW »
Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

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24 Trina 310 watt modules, SMA SunnyBoy 7.7 KW Grid Tie inverter.

I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies

Nashville

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2014, 09:03:48 AM »
Ok, I got the AXS and plugged it in. Cabling is correct. When I plug in 192.168.0.64 in my browser, it cannot find the AXS. I reset the AXS to default settings. No go....

Any ideas? Firewall? Maybe add a port number?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:05:45 AM by Nashville »

boB

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2014, 04:08:47 PM »
Ok, I got the AXS and plugged it in. Cabling is correct. When I plug in 192.168.0.64 in my browser, it cannot find the AXS. I reset the AXS to default settings. No go....

Any ideas? Firewall? Maybe add a port number?

Thanks!

The AXS does not have a web server in it...  It is a Modbus over TCP/IP device.

To see what it is doing, you will need to download our software that lets you see it and the Classic charge controller.

The link for that software is in the first posting in this forum thread.

BTW, it is ~usually~ port 502 for modbus over TCP/IP.

It certainly won't hurt for me to re-post that here right now...

boB

So we have some software that was written by an individual. It basically allows you to program your outback gear and classic as well as monitor it. I understand the next move is to port it over to Linux so it will run on something like a Beagle Bone black. The software requires the Outback AXS and at least one Classic in the system.

It can be found here http://www.kb1uas.com/pics/MidniteClassic3PlusObAXS-V1Setup.exe

I will start throwing some screen shots up as well as a you tube video of it in operation.
K7IQ

intellact

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Re: Monitoring and control software for the Outback and Classic
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2017, 11:21:50 AM »
Three years since this topic was last discussed...

As of about a year ago, WattPlot 5 can now monitor the AXS Port and MATE3 via Modbus over TCP/IP. :) However it was still limited to OutBack equipment. :(

I have been working on a new tool called WattPlot ACKcess - a Modbus-based monitoring, control, and reactive* software, intended for ANY manufacturer.  It obviously started with OutBack, but I have recently started adding support for the MidNite Solar Classic as my first non-OutBack device.  Of course, not owning or having access to a Classic, my testing options are limited, so I am seeking helpful (patient) parties who might have an interest in seeing this become a reality.

True, WattPlot has always been a fee-for-lifetime-license product.  (I think it ended up being a pittance for what clients received in terms of features, documentation, support, professionalism, and a years of free updates and responses to requests for new functionality.)  I don't know if ACKcess will follow the same model or not.  Frankly no-one wants to pay for software anymore.  If I had a need for this software myself (as most open-source developers do), it might be a different story, but I only do this to help pay the bills.  (I tried CareWare for one of my earlier tools - WattPlot VisualMATE - but practically no-one respected that and the charity received no real benefit from it.)  I guess if there is any chance of getting ACKcess installed out there with a license fee, it would have to be pretty cheap to compete with all the excellent open-source software that is available.

That being said, WattPlot ACKcess uses an entirely new software architecture, designed and written from square one, to be data-driven, open to new manufacturers, graphic-more-then-textual, and possibly portable to smaller handheld devices.  More than any other WattPlot tool, I can see a day when it might become open source.  (The chances of anyone following the code of the original tools, started in 2005, is practically zero.  ;) )

* Reactive software means that you can easily program the tool (i.e. in plain English) to monitor multiple conditions and to automatically react to those conditions, changing settings, issuing commands, texting you, running a Windows program, etc. etc. 8)
Andrew Welch
Creator of WattPlot