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Lithionics Secures Access to Their Batteries


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I was always curious as to why this was not done early in the release but am VERY happy they are incorporating it now. 

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

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I guess that is good, but I am not sure why it is needed for a battery....? My Victron items (solar controller and smart bus) have this feature but I use the default one (all zeros). Am I am leaving myself open to somebody in the next campsite hijacking my system? More importantly, has this ever actually happened, to anybody? Can a hacker access my phone apps through that "back door"?

Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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John,

All good questions. First and foremost, this will not open your phone up to hackers if you do not do this. That said, it can open you up to your neighbor exploring your Victron and making changes, even shutting it down. I just want to lock down anything that has settings that can be changed via remote app. I work in IT so that might just be me saying don't look at my stuff and don't change my stuff.

Has this ever happened?  My guess would be yes but I don't know of any cases where batteries or solar have been hacked and manipulated. I can say, when I first saw the Lithionics app demonstrated and it showed all the batteries within BT range it concerned me. The guy doing the demonstration said, you might have to know your battery's serial number if there are a lot of them around. Yikes. (being the paranoid IT guy).

Just passing a new feature along for the consideration of others.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

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We had this conversation about a few years ago, on our back porch. My marine industry friend and I  have the victron connect app on our phones. Since we had not reset the code from all 0,yet,  he and i could both see all the same info about our sailboat,, and make any changes. 

He laughed, and  said it was surprising how many boats in a marina (victron is very popular in the marine world) had not reset the 6 digit pass code from all 0. Bluetooth doesn't work very far, but a curmudgeon with the victron app could , potentially,  create a bit of havoc.

His customers are password protected from the get go. Hint: don't use your hull # , if it's displayed on your trailer, for lithionocs, since it's only 4 digits. Use a different 4 digits unique to you.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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The other interesting consideration is, if Oliver is using victron in the future, how does that work or not work with the lithionics password?

Our boat batteries have no password protection. I would assume the higher digit  protection of victron is better. And, any passerby with lithionics cannot access anyway, from a separate/unknown device?

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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The 2023 EII will have a Victron Solar Charge controller replacing the Zamp controller and it will be Bluetooth capable. That will give you access to your charging parameters and most of the battery information that you would want/need. You can also access the Xantrex Pro 3000 via BT and get inverter and battery information from there.

Accessing at the Battery level is good because you can get fault codes and check the individual battery health and temp. This would not be something I would do often but if BT access is there, I want it to be access protected. I have seen many Victron systems that incorporate the "Smart Shunt" where they are very clear that every ground has to be connected to the shunt in order for it to report accurately to the controller.  Since some batteries are not close to this shunt, I have seen things like tongue jacks and powered stabilizers wired directly to the battery and not being reported by the smart shunt, even while in use.

Oliver doesn't use the Smart Shunt so direct access to the batteries could be helpful in identifying parasitic draws, albeit fairly insignificant. It can also be helpful, since the batteries are in parallel, to see if both batteries are healthy.

The bottom line is, most everything will be connected soon and we will have to choose which path we will take when assessing our power reserves.

Options are a good thing as long as they don't drive the prices up to where we can no longer afford to have them.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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So, I'm still questioning  if the battery functions are controlled via victron, vs lithionivs, or if they can work together?

I know I'm late to the game, but still curious 

I don't have a dog in the hunt (none of this gear). Just curious. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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15 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

So, I'm still questioning  if the battery functions are controlled via victron, vs lithionivs, or if they can work together?

I know I'm late to the game, but still curious 

I don't have a dog in the hunt (none of this gear). Just curious. 

SeaDawg - understandable, basically they can work together to provide the end user with information though they don't "work" together in that sense of the term. It also depends on what you mean by "controlling battery functions". The lithionics interface is one of the best I have seen for staying informed about the health and performance of your batteries. The Victron app is going to tell you how your solar system is performing. Keep in mind, when someone says Victron app with respect to an OTT, they are only referring to SOLAR. Victron makes many, many more products that could be used but are not currently going into the OTT.

One such product is the Inverter/Charger. OTT uses the XANTREX PRO series, a very good product on its own, but does not show up in the Victron or Lithionics App, it has it's own app.

So, if you want to fully understand a 2023 "Electrical System" you should have an App for the Victron Solar, Xantrex Inverter/Charger and Lithionics batteries. And, to be clear, the Victron Solar and Xantrex Inverter/Charger have remotes on the wall so you don't have to have their apps to get the information but if you want to check detailed battery information, you will have to BT into the battery and check it out.  Here is a good (the drawing gets a little tedious) video of how the Lithionics battery app works.

 Here is a video on the Victron system for the 2023 models. Significant point to note, Xantrex used a PWM charging method, Victron uses MPPT.  I won't get into those details here but suffice it to say, MPPT is more efficient (and usually costly). I prefer MPPT on all my solar chargers.

Cheers,

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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16 hours ago, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

Oliver doesn't use the Smart Shunt

 

15 minutes ago, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

Keep in mind, when someone says Victron app with respect to an OTT, they are only referring to SOLAR. Victron makes many, many more products that could be used but are not currently going into the OTT.

One such product is the Inverter/Charger. OTT uses the XANTREX PRO series,

This is a bit disappointing. The switch to Victron for 2023 models was one of the three improvements (depending on your point of view) I was glad to see; the others being the Truma AC and the 12V compressor fridge. After seeing a bunch of Victron/Battleborn conversions the last few years on vans, off-road trailers, etc., I was hoping that part of Oliver's big cost increase for 2023 was the full Victron suite, incuding their smart shunt and inverter/charge controller. I'm sure it will work fine, just not what I was hoping for. I didn't ask during our tour, because I don't think Anita was familiar with what was coming, but also because I was going to order, regardless of the components.

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

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It is not at all hard to install the Victron smart shunt, which indeed gives the owner excellent info and it also networks with any other Victron parts like solar. It would be nice if they did it at the factory so the cabling issue is not the limiting factor for a DIY installation.. Getting most of the cables out of the battery compartment would certainly improve it visually.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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Steve - I don't disagree with anything you have stated here. Right there with you.   IMHO FWIW - a move to Victron should have included all components.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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10 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

It is not at all hard to install the Victron smart shunt, which indeed gives the owner excellent info and it also networks with any other Victron parts like solar. It would be nice if they did it at the factory so the cabling issue is not the limiting factor for a DIY installation.. Getting most of the cables out of the battery compartment would certainly improve it visually.

John Davies

Spokane WA

John,

I agree, it is not that difficult to install one but, with the current system, I don't know that there would be much added value by doing so. Of course, if I was designing an all-Victron suite, it would include a Smart Shunt, Inverter/Charger, and MPPT Solar Charge Controller. But I'm not...

Brian

Paris, TN

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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Yes, my question basically was, did the victron security obviate the need for a pass code on lithionics. Or, prohibit it. I would think with victron app, you don't need lithionics security code, nor, want it.  I'm still running that idea through my head.

I think we are into the territory of too many apps, personally.  

Our boat has a xantrex, which doesn't communicate with the victron. We'll eventually change it, but it was only a few months old when we bought the solar, and victron gear. Now five years old, there's probably newer software and systems/backbone out there. 

We'll see.

I do think a smart shunt should at least be an option.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Agree, we are getting into the territory of too many apps to do similar things.  However, that being said, the Victron security does not obviate the need for a pass code on the batteries nor does it prohibit it. They (the batteries) are independent because BT was designed into them and as you mentioned before, someone in your campground can just look at and make changes to your batteries. I don't even like the fact that my batteries will be advertising their presence to anyone with a Lithionics app on their phone. 

I will secure access to anything I can secure access to, just like locking my trailer when I leave. I won't be using my hull number or my license plate number either. I think the access is a good tool in the tool bag but we have to keep the tool bag secure.

A Smart Shunt would be a nice option but I think access to the batteries obviates the need for that as it provides the same information.

Brian

Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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Update since our recent (Second) visit to the Oliver factory.  We live less than 2 hours from the Oliver plant. We went back this past Friday to talk and take some more pictures in the showroom.  @SeaDawg @John E Davies and others who were talking about the new solar. I learned Oliver WILL have a Smart Shunt on 2023 models!

I didn't think it was there because I assumed the Victron display  that I briefly saw in the trailer was to replace the ZAMP charge controller display. NOT SO, the Victron Solar Charge controller 100/50 with BT does NOT have a display, you MUST control it from the APP.

The Victron display is the BMV 712 Smart Battery Monitor with BT and this display requires the Smart Shunt to provide information to the display and the APP.  

SO...when you open the APP you will see TWO Victron components, the BMV and the Solar Charge controller.

Victron MPPT 100 : 50 with BT

4654644D-02CD-48FB-994B-2A18288161C9.thumb.jpeg.89b7f2592a6567fcaf45de5f546985e3.jpeg

BMV-712 BT

B8B477A9-2FD1-433D-8A6D-79530F761FF8.thumb.jpeg.644cda3a503a9fd36410dc45002e114c.jpeg

 

If something doesn't sound right, let me know. Would love to discuss.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

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Brian, did you see where they mounted the smart shunt itself (not that remote display)? Did this  reduce the clutter inside the battery box? 

Did you see any sign of vents inside the cabin for the electronic bays? Which they need 😬

More PICS please!

Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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1 hour ago, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

SO...when you open the APP you will see TWO Victron components, the BMV and the Solar Charge controller.

Victron MPPT 100 : 50 with BT

Won't you also see the Smart Shunt as a third component? Are you sure they aren't just using the Dumb Shunt that comes with the BVM 712?

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30 minutes ago, bhncb said:

Won't you also see the Smart Shunt as a third component? Are you sure they aren't just using the Dumb Shunt that comes with the BVM 712?

Well..you might be right about that. I have actually never studied the difference between the "Smart" and "Dumb" shunts with respect to Victron because I always assumed (you know where that gets you) that they only used Smart Shunts.

I will look into that and see what I can dig up.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

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16 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Brian, did you see where they mounted the smart shunt itself (not that remote display)? Did this  reduce the clutter inside the battery box? 

Did you see any sign of vents inside the cabin for the electronic bays? Which they need 😬

More PICS please!

Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

@John E Davies John,

There is really very little clutter in the battery box compared to others I have seen. The Shunt seems to be in the basement, not in the battery box itself but I could have been looking at the wrong component. There really wasn't anyone there to discuss the design with and I was told the trailer I was looking at was kind of an experimental "Frankenstein" model and they admitted that no one has actually seen a "Production Representation" of a 2023 yet.

Here is what I think is the Shunt but it gives me pause that I see "RED" on the cable and I am under the understanding that all "Grounds" have to go through the Shunt to work properly.  Someone tell me what this is:

To the point that this may be a "Dumb" shunt, I now see the wires tapped off the center that likely run up to the Victron BMV 712. 

B15DF04B-B667-4725-A0C5-FC35CD12E6BC.thumb.jpeg.0480aa87f0019cbfa6dbf80daae728fa.jpeg

Here is the current battery box:

11FBCEB8-2C57-4563-B273-210BD105206E.jpeg

 

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

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This is the Xantrex Pro 3000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter. You can see the MPPT Charge controller in the shot as well.

Brian

3B82B5C0-7333-4031-BF43-E17006A968A7.jpeg

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

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2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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This is a picture of the new "Side Table" that was created when the lower fridge vent became obsolete because of the all-electric fridge. They did a great job on this and it is very sturdy. Will make a nice meal-prep or cocktail table.

2370BF85-9018-47A9-B444-B684719C7C55.jpeg

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

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2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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2 hours ago, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

Well..you might be right about that. I have actually never studied the difference between the "Smart" and "Dumb" shunts with respect to Victron because I always assumed (you know where that gets you) that they only used Smart Shunts.

I will look into that and see what I can dig up.

Brian

The only difference between the smart shunt and the one that comes with the 712 display is the SS is BT enabled. The earlier 700 series monitors did not have BT. With the release of the 712 the SS became redundant for new installations. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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Scoob - that makes perfect sense and I was aware of the differences between the two. My incorrect assumption was, when I saw the 712 with BT I assumed it was BT to the Shunt, not taking readings from the Shunt and sending out info via BT. I actually like the little display as a quick glance reference along with the ability to get the details via BT.

Overall, I am pleased with the selection of hardware and the integrations.

BL

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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