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Old 02-16-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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Mastervolt interfacing?

Anyone here used any Mastervolt gear and had it integrated with the rest of the boat?

I've got a Mass Combi 2500, a ChargeMaster 12/50 and a ProNautic 1250. I've got my boat guy mapping out the battery setups (it quite a mess) and wondering about how to best get handle on monitoring it better.

I don't have the results or a schematic of how the existing stuff is set up. That's a winter project, and here we are.

I've got an EasyView 5 touchscreen but have done zero working with it. It has a USB socket on the back but I gather that's only for updating that display from a flash drive.

My question is if I stick with Mastervolt devices how well does their MasterBus to NMEA-2000 interface function? And would I need their MasterBus to USB interface to handle updating/configuring the various devices on board?
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Anyone here used any Mastervolt gear and had it integrated with the rest of the boat?

I've got a Mass Combi 2500, a ChargeMaster 12/50 and a ProNautic 1250. I've got my boat guy mapping out the battery setups (it quite a mess) and wondering about how to best get handle on monitoring it better.

I don't have the results or a schematic of how the existing stuff is set up. That's a winter project, and here we are.

I've got an EasyView 5 touchscreen but have done zero working with it. It has a USB socket on the back but I gather that's only for updating that display from a flash drive.

My question is if I stick with Mastervolt devices how well does their MasterBus to NMEA-2000 interface function? And would I need their MasterBus to USB interface to handle updating/configuring the various devices on board?
I installed a full MasterVolt system on my previous boat Grace and wrote about the design and programming as well.

I was never impressed with the NMEA 2000 interface that MasterVolt provides. It requires programming every PGN you want using their software and USB interface. There was a lot of time consuming trial and error to get the info I wanted onto the N2K network, but I did eventually get it refined.

I had both the original EasyView and the 5, and the 5 is far better but still requires a lot of manual clicks to get it setup just right. If you are fine having the data there, that is easier than setting up the N2K side.

For N2K, you'll need the MasterVolt MasterBus to N2K interface, and the USB programming interface, plus a Windows machine and their software. In addition, to program things, you'll need their secret password, and a PDF that explains the steps on how to turn programming mode on.

Once you have that, you'll want to explore all of the data that is in the MasterBus network, and then get a chart together of what you want to map from MasterBus to NMEA 2000. I found that much of the data within MasterBus shows an instance or object ID and you have to program it to a PGN that you want on N2K and then validate that you got the right object. It definitely takes some trial and error.

I also consistently saw times where the data transmitted by the MasterBus to N2K interface dropped out for 2-5 seconds, and never was able to get that corrected.

However, I was happy at having the critical items on my N2K network so that while at the helm, away from the EasyView, I could see the amount of amps being drawn out through the shunt, and the general overall health of the batteries.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:45 PM   #3
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Perfect, that's just what I needed to know. So yet another pair of gizmo purchases...

I don't have an Easyview 5 on the flybridge and wanted to have some monitoring data visible. I've got a pair of B&G Triton2 displays up there now but I'm not sure they'll be as useful as I'd like (not many custom display choices). I've got a Maretron DSM410 that's going into the lower helm this winter, to replace one of a pair of ancient B&G H1000 displays (that used their proprietary FastNet cabling). What I may end up doing is moving one of the Triton2 displays down and have a matched set up/down of the DSM410 and the Triton2 displays.

Which will likely mean I'm going to need a Maretron USB interface too... or can they be programmed through an Actisense NGT-1?
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Old 02-16-2019, 02:58 PM   #4
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Perfect, that's just what I needed to know. So yet another pair of gizmo purchases...

I don't have an Easyview 5 on the flybridge and wanted to have some monitoring data visible. I've got a pair of B&G Triton2 displays up there now but I'm not sure they'll be as useful as I'd like (not many custom display choices). I've got a Maretron DSM410 that's going into the lower helm this winter, to replace one of a pair of ancient B&G H1000 displays (that used their proprietary FastNet cabling). What I may end up doing is moving one of the Triton2 displays down and have a matched set up/down of the DSM410 and the Triton2 displays.

Which will likely mean I'm going to need a Maretron USB interface too... or can they be programmed through an Actisense NGT-1?
The B&G's don't have the flexibility of the Maretron for sure, but you definitely can see some of the more important bits like amps out of the battery bank, voltage, SOC, etc. I have a Triton and a Vulcan MFD I routinely use to test things with and they are OK, definitely not as good as Maretron or some of the other dashboard available from other vendors.

You do not need the Maretron USB interface for the DSMs unless you want to upgrade the firmware. The DSM can be programmed and configured using the unit itself, and I actually find that easier than with the USB interface. You cannot use an NGT-1 to program the Maretron.
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Old 02-16-2019, 03:26 PM   #5
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Good to know regarding the NGT-1 and the DSM. Do you know if the Mareton USB-N2K unit is capable of being used by Airmar's software to re-program their units like the H2183? I know the NGT-1 will do it, but not sure about Maretron's interface.

My hope is to also program some alarms into the DSM to provide additional indicators if there's something amiss.

I don't have immediate plans to use a PC as an active part of either the 0183 or N2K networks, at least not yet. I've already got four MFD12's so I don't lack for displaying info. At least as much as these older NavNet3D units will interpret, of course. But at least if/when I do get around to that I'll have a good set of ways to communicate with the networks.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:45 AM   #6
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What's the difference between the 77031800 Masterbus to NMEA-2000 box and the 80-911-0072-00 Masterbus to Czone bridge?

I ask because the latter is a bit less expensive. What's the difference between CZone and 'regular' NMEA-2000?

I do have a Masterbus-to-USB adapter, which I gather is necessary to program the 77031800 device. What about the CZone unit? How would that bridge get programmed? Would an Actisense NGT speak to it?
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:22 PM   #7
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What's the difference between the 77031800 Masterbus to NMEA-2000 box and the 80-911-0072-00 Masterbus to Czone bridge?

I ask because the latter is a bit less expensive. What's the difference between CZone and 'regular' NMEA-2000?

I do have a Masterbus-to-USB adapter, which I gather is necessary to program the 77031800 device. What about the CZone unit? How would that bridge get programmed? Would an Actisense NGT speak to it?
Per my reply over on the Panbo/SailBits forums, you definitely want the first one. The second one is for CZone specific use cases!
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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Heh, Hi again Steve. Yes, I shot-gunned the question out across a number of forums.

I find there's not really one forum that covers all of the electronics completely. But TF is certainly a leader, if only because we all own boats large enough to have need for at least some of this stuff, and often have enough budget to try it. But not so much as to have someone else "do it all for us".
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:25 AM   #9
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I connected a Masterbus-USB module yesterday, but ran out of time before being able to connect my laptop to it. That and dropping temps and cold toes said get to someplace with HEAT. I will not miss this winter's random temperature swings...

That and my Easyview 5 has somehow developed a PIN code for changing the config? I don't remember setting anything. Is there a factory default PIN? STFW doesn't shed any useful hints for this. I have the paper manual that came with it but didn't see anything mentioning it.

With luck my Masterbus to N2K module will be in later this week.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
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The cluster of bus dongles is getting out of hand! Two engines, mastervolt, usb (0183 & N2k), wifi... Just finding clear space to secure them is growing to be a challenge...
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:50 AM   #11
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That and my Easyview 5 has somehow developed a PIN code for changing the config? I don't remember setting anything. Is there a factory default PIN? STFW doesn't shed any useful hints for this. I have the paper manual that came with it but didn't see anything mentioning it.

With luck my Masterbus to N2K module will be in later this week.
My EasyView 5 did this too, and I don't ever remember setting one. I tried everything I could think of, but I don't think I ever got past it. Weird....

Sounds like some fun with new toys later this week for you!
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:53 AM   #12
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The cluster of bus dongles is getting out of hand! Two engines, mastervolt, usb (0183 & N2k), wifi... Just finding clear space to secure them is growing to be a challenge...
I have an entire drawer with interfaces for various things. MasterVolt, Victron (multiple), Maretron (multiple), ActiSense (multiple), Coastal Explorer, canable, and a few I can't even remember. What is irritating to me more than the space is the sheer cost. They're all using N2K, and while they are using proprietary PGNs, it is not cool to have to spend $300 to program a $500 product.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #13
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I was pleased to see the Maretron DSM410 was able to see and program the settings on the Airmar DST800 I've got. But then I'd imagine that has more to do with Airmar being the lead supplier of most of these things.

For various other things, yeah, it's annoying having to possess separate interfaces for everything.

I'm debating if I'll keep things regularly connected or not.

I don't have a convenient place to put a dedicated monitor at the helm, so I don't have any immediate plans for a PC at the helm.

Nor do my plotters take anything other than a low-res NTSC video signal, so I can't make use of them as 'just monitors'.

The TV going in will have an HDMI input, so I could potentially make use of that. But where the TV is situated, where the bus runs and where the video devices will be located are all nowhere near each other, nor do they have a straight-shot for running wires.

I'm thinking I'll just put a fanless PC with the rest of the video gear and bring the N2K bus to it. I don't foresee needing an on-going USB connection to the Masterbus, but could extend that also. USB itself is limited to 15 feet (and it's a whole other disaster to try and extend THAT).

What I have yet to check is if or how well any of these dongles play along with a USB hub. It be even more annoying having to connect them individually instead of all into a USB hub.

Although this USB hub from Anker has a switch for each port, allowing for manually dis/enabling them individually. So if they won't all play together nicely I could at least leave them physically connected.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #14
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Tangentially, I ran across a page in German that talks about re-provisioning a new Easyview display while the old one is still present. I still have the old unit and may reconnect it. If just to extract whatever programming it had. I'm still awaiting my boat guy's report on the charging setup, so however it was programmed probably won't matter much going forward.... but still, possibly at least worth knowing.

Fascinating how much can be found online, and how readily it can be translated between languages. You kids today... with your Interwebs...
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