Victron’s Venus OS on a Raspberry Pi, install and configuration

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

15 Responses

  1. Mic says:

    Nice write up. Have you, or anyone else, experimented with adding analog inputs to a Raspberry/VenusOS setup? I know there are ADC’s available for Raspberry Pi, but what to chose, and what about software integration with the VenusOS? The analog inputs I’d be interested in would be for various system voltages, tank levels and temperatures. Maybe forum readers could post links here if they come across any useful info.

  2. Mic says:

    And, the VenusOS Large image with Node-RED might help with the doing useful things with the analog data that it collects.
    https://www.victronenergy.com/live/venus-os:large

    A tip-o-hat to VE for supporting the DIY community!

  3. WD says:

    I have a CerboGX and enjoy remotely monitoring my boat’s battery & charging systems. The Victron app even gives me n2k data on my water and fuel tank levels. Question; how do I get remote access to my n2k wind data ? Speed? Direction? Gusts? My Raymarine Axiom chartplotters display this data which originates as analog signals from the masthead sensor and is converted to digital n2k signals. Does this open source programming address other remote monitoring possibilities?

  4. Barry Choi Barry Choi says:

    I discovered this great site through my search for solutions. I started by wanting a single system to remotely monitor my boat (victron BMV, Solar, tanks and soon an inverter charger if they can make a 120VAC compact Multiplus again) but ended up diving deeper into Signal K and other boat networking systems. I have learned alot from your posts -thank you!
    Would you suggest using a Rpi 4 or would a 3B be sufficient? (I ask as I am looking to minimize the power draw – especially if i go down the route of installing an always on wifi/LTE router as well)

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Barry,

      Right now you will do better with a 3B than a 4. The images work on some early Raspberry Pi 4 serial numbers but more recent units are reported (at least when I last checked, which is when I wrote this article) not to be working. I was able to verify this as I tried to install on a 4 and had no luck.

      Good luck!
      -Ben S.

  5. Trygve says:

    Mic, you can integrate an adc board with the common MCP 3208, and configure the device so it comes up in venus OS. You just need to add a adc_conf file IIRC. You will need to add an analog front-end circuit with the right resistor values, but Victron has shared the schematics for the BBB used in the VenusGX, so you can just copy the relevant information from there..
    Nice write up – I use a RPi 2 running VenusOS to monitor multiple systems on my boat: batteries (bmv monitor), multiplus charger/inverter, smartsolar mppt, position (gps), tank levels (via adc), and also environment (temperature/humidity/pressure) via a bme280 i2c module. It’s connected to N2k network via a CAN HAT, and I can reach it via the onboard 4G router.

  6. Phill Rogers says:

    VE.Direct is just TTL level serial @ 19200 baud. A cheap USB TTL serial adaptor & a JST PH 2.0 4-pin connector would cost about £5. I have used this successfully with a MPPT 75/15.

  7. Jesse Ragsdale says:

    Weird. I originally configured my RPi 4 (version 1.1) to run with touchscreen as per your article, got it working… disconnected it for a few days while I built a wall mount for the RPi display, MPPT and inverter… hooked it up again and now it’s running headless and displaying nothing on the touchscreen. Way I have it set up, I have to remove the entire pi/touchscreen and re-do the mv headless headless.off command… How do I ensure it will not go headless again?

  8. Brett says:

    Also the Victron GX touchpad is $221 on Amazon right now. You can get a small touchscreen for the Pi much cheaper and run in headless.off mode and replicate that fancy display. Thanks for the article. I’ll be trying this for a similar setup soon.

  9. Andrew says:

    Thanks for a great article, and a great Victron contribution.

    Note that the latest Victron Raspberry Pi 2.90 release has made the file-system read-only. So, if you want the Victron software to display on the Raspberry Pi HDMI output (i.e to turn headless mode off), you need to first make the operating system writeable. So, the full sequence to type at the console is:

    /opt/victronenergy/swupdate-scripts/remount-rw.sh
    cd /etc/venus
    mv headless headless.off
    reboot

    For more info, see
    https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/109852/cannot-change-headless-read-only-filesystem-on-ras.html

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  10. Paul Simpson says:

    Hi

    Thanks for this great article. and once I extract my RPI 3 from the bird box, I’ll certainly get moving with this. One question though, as well as providing very useful monitoring functins, does Venus allow any control of its devices – in particulay I would like rememotely control the charging parameters of my mppt solar controller and for example switch it off? I’ve been unable to discover this, despite extensive searching.

    Thanks again

    Paul

  11. Sven says:

    Is it possible to use this to monitor NMEA 2000 PGNs on VRM/a Victron display? I have a Maretron ACM100 wired in @ the inlet for shore power – so before the breaker on the panel. I use that to sanity check voltage/etc… before turning on the secondary breaker, and flagging power losses via signalk remotely. I was thinking either Venus on a PI or a Cerbo GX might make a good way to monitor this inside the boat, instead of needing to bring up Signalk instruments. None of my MFDs or displays seem to read the Maretron PGNs, so my choices are a Victron Touch 50 if I can get it to work, or the Maretron DSM410 – which seems a bit dated in comparison and wouldn’t really help with remote monitoring in a holistic solution.

    Everything else is (dated) Xantrex for now, with an older tank monitor system, so looking for a smart upgrade path.

  12. George Holmes says:

    You started this article saying that it is written on a RPi 400. Can Venus OS be installed on a RPi 400? With the current shortage of RPi’s, it is almost impossible to get one.

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