Posted by Peter Kennedy on 6/12/2019 to System Integration
The picture above shows the back view of the CCGX and is a useful way to discuss how Victron data connections are made. Scroll below to see how each one is used and what kind of cable is required. Victron have an article similar to this just about the CCGX, my article is intened to be of a more general nature showing how Victron devices connect and what cables they use. Please also read this article I wrote about using genuine Victron VE Bus Cables instead of generic cables.
Starting at the top we have the VE Can ports. The blue plug you can see on the left is the end terminator. Each end of the VE Can network gets a terminator, and two are supplied with the CCGX, VE Can is similar to NMEA 2000. VE Can is only used by a few Victron items. One is the Victron VE.Can to NMEA2000 micro-C male adaptor This allows you to connect the CCGX to a NMEA 2000 Network and read tank levels connected to the network using NMEA 2000 senders. Another use is to connect to the Lynx Ion BMS to allow you to read the state of charge of your VE Can compatible 24 volt Victron Lithium HE Batteries. One of the solar charge controllers, the Victron Energy MPPT 150/70 Solar Charge Controller, uses a VE Can protocol and can be connected to the CCGX this way. Any VE Can connections you need to make can be made with the VE Bus cables as both protocols use the same RJ45 plug. Victron have an article about connecting to a NMEA 2000 network that should help explain how it all goes together.
Next up are the Ethernet and USB connections. The Ethernet connection also uses the same RJ45 plug so you can use a VE Bus cable to connect to your router. Using the Ethernet port is a "plug and play" operation, no setup is required. Once connected to the internet you can set up your CCGX on the Victron VRM Portal This allows you to monitor your system remotely, it also allows for remote troubleshooting and gives you a way to update firmware in connected items.
In the picture you will see two USB ports and one of these has the Nano USB WiFi adaptor plugged in to it. With this you can connect wirelessly to your router and ditch the cable. That leaves you with one spare USB port. Typically this is used as an expansion port so you can connect more devices than there are places to connect. If you connect a USB hub to this connection it allows you to connect multiple VE Direct devices, each device then needs its own VE Direct to UBS adaptor. VE Direct devices include all of the MPPT Charge controllers (with the exception of the one VE Can one mentioned above), the BMV Battery Monitors, and the VE Direct inverters.
When you have connected a number of devices the wiring diagram looks like this. The USB Hub is not a Victron device, you can buy them anywhere. Try to get one that doesnt need to be powered from AC
There is a limitation when connecting like this because there is a limit to how long the USB cable can be. The cable that comes with the VE Direct to USB interface is the VE Direct end and measures 5 ft. Add that to the length of cable that comes with your USB Hub and that is all you get.
Continuing clockwise around are the power connection, USB-B connection and relay ports. We are not going to discuss the uses of these here because the focus of this article is the uses for the various Victron cables. The USB-B port at the bottom of the CCGX is not currently used.
Next we come to the two VE Direct ports. The VE Direct cable looks like show in the photo below. There is a four pin plug at each end and both ends are identical. For tight situations they do have a cable where one end has a right angle connector. These cables come with a maximum length of 10 m and cannot be extended.
This article is being written today June 14th - check back tomorrow for more