Victron Cerbo GX, good AC/DC power monitoring gets better

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

32 Responses

  1. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    The installation simplicity of the new SmartShunt shouldn’t be overlooked. All it takes is getting the shunt between the first negative distribution and the battery and then connecting a source of 12v positive (probably the battery the shunt is going to be right next to) and you’re off. From there, fire up VictronConnect and configure the shunt. As Ben said, at that point you’ve got a fully functioning battery monitoring system and the option to connect it a myriad of display and management products from Victron.

  2. Victron has been doing everything right for the last few years – adding more and more connectivity options, devices that people need, and ways to combine and configure them that does not take a PhD. I love the direction they’re going with componentized bits that you can combine together as you want to make a full system.

    I have a nice Victron system on my boat, and have been testing the CCGX to NMEA 2000 feature for a bit. This has been a long time coming, and it only reports battery info right now, which is a bit limiting given everything else the CCGX sees. I hope this will expand, perhaps with the new products above.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      I just tried the Venus GX NMEA 2000 output today, and saw in Maretron N2KAnalyzer that it’s identified as coming from two devices, the Venus and also the attached BMV 712. The BMV is putting out house battery info — SoC, Current, Voltage, and Temp — which will be nice to have on the network. It’s also transmitting a Switch Status PGN, which may have to do with its relay status? Meanwhile, the Venus N2K device isn’t putting out any data PGNs, but seems ready to.

      • Are you running the beta firmware? 2.40…?

        • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

          Yes, I’m pretty sure the latest, but can’t check remotely now because I shut everything down. Sounds Charger/Inverter info is coming soon (at least to the beta):

          “Add NMEA2000 out function: transmit battery monitor out on the VE.Can/NMEA2000 network so it can be picked up by Marine MFDs. Currently it only transmits battery monitor data. Inverter/charger data will follow soon.”

          • Yes I saw that a couple of days ago on the Victron forums. Having the battery information is helpful, although I can get most of that through the Venus+SignalK plugin and then having SignalK spit it out onto NMEA 2000, but that is not native and requires more pieces. I always like simplified things.

            Really looking forward to the inverter/charger data, though!

  3. Keith Pleas says:

    Last line on the METS list of bullets: “Works with most MDF brands”. Ouch.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Cool! NMEA 2000 output is now official in GX update 2.40 and it includes charger/inverter information as well as battery bank monitoring:

    Victron BMV-712 to NMEA 2000 via Venus GX

  5. I had a conversation with a Victron fellow at a recent SSCA Gam, and he alluded to what I think must be the Smartshunt device.

    “My problem is that I have two Link 10s, one for each house bank, and while I am very interested in updating them, I would also rather get rid of the mental arithmetic to add the two together for overall status. If the system can accommodate two such “smartshunts” into a single instrument that can integrate the two inputs, that would be wonderful (especially if it can do it with a Bluetooth port, as I have now with my Victron solar controller)!”

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      I’d really like to see Victron GX supporting multiple shunts, but I’m not sure that’s the intention with their SmartShunts. Also, I think that the Bluetooth will be strictly app to shunt, and mainly for configuration, while the V.E. Direct port will connect to a GX device (like the “Smart” solar controllers).

      Meanwhile, the Simarine Pico can already handle many shunts though they have stopped talking about the NMEA 2000 integration that was supposed to come out in late 2017.

      • David A says:

        Agreed; I had all but decided on the Simarine Pico for my main RV monitoring (battery and charging status, tanks) with Victron on the power side (inverter/charger/MPPT) until I saw the Cerbo GX and GX Touch 50. The Cerbo GX/GX Touch 50 seems SO CLOSE to the holy grail; yet without discrete load monitoring, it gives up something to the Simarine.

        I wonder if Victron have any interest in energy monitoring a la Sense, or at least with major loads like A/C, refrigerator, etc.

  6. jan-kees says:

    The BIG advantage of these management devices are the digital inputs. I have connected them to my bilge pumps, and now I get an email from the Victron VRM site when any of them are being used. And it is FREE, it saved me the monthly fees all these other monitoring systems charge. It paid for the Venus in a year !!

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I like to think that it makes great sense for the Cerbo GX and the GX Touch 50 to be awarded a Pittman…

    … and am also happy to report that preorders will start soon with shipping expected in late March.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Great to see that Cerbo is now officially released, manual included:

    And very nice that the Victron Blog entry about it makes good use of Panbo 😉

  9. matthew-s says:

    Any indication on timing and price of the SmartShunt? I am doing a complete refit of my electrical and would like to use the SmartShunt and Cerbo GX with the touch to replace the BMV-712.

  10. jan-kees says:

    Call Peter Kennedy..he can tell you 1 410 280 2267

    Or call Justin the US Manager. 1 207 3540493

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Very cool! My free VRM monitoring site opened up this morning with a much improved power data dashboard presentation. You can see it too…

    … and, yes, Gizmo refrigeration and gadget loads are outpacing the solar panels, but I’m getting underway soon and a big burst of engine alternator power should show by this evening (though that’s the one major component VRM can’t specifically identify).

  12. Can any of you folks who have a Cerbo tell me how much power it draws? The manual just tells me it has a 3 amp fuse :). If I get one, it will need to be on 24/7, and those amps add up.

    • Howard says:

      I don’t have one but from the GX comparison table in the Victron GX product range document:
      Cerbo GX power draw without GX Touch mounted: around 2.8W. With GX Touch 50 connected, and backlight off: 3.8W. Backlight at max intensity: 4.8W

  13. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    I’ve got one but it’s not with me. I seem to recall it draws a touch more than Howard mentioned per Victron’s specs. But, that was measured using a BMV and at that low of power consumption, I’m not sure the accuracy is too high. When I get back to Ft. Myers I’ll put it on a power meter and let you know exactly what I see.

    -Ben S.

  14. Ben and Jan, Thanks! The two fellows on that page who measured theirs were both running a cell device, so their numbers would be higher than what I’m planning on.
    My concern is overnight with me aboard – no cell attachment or other fancy stuffe 🙂

  1. February 6, 2020

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  2. February 8, 2020

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