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 Post subject: Xantrex: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 7:58 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 20
Location: North Reading, MA
There's a note in the manual not to connect to the 9-pin D connector on the STXR boxes, does anyone know if it's a serial port (maybe without level shifters?) or just a handy 9-pin connector for analog voltages?

I'm looking for as many as four grid-tie inverters, but the serial interface on the SunnyBoy really makes me lean towards those units, unless there's an easy way to log data from the STXR...

Thanks!


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 9:15 pm GMT EndGMT 
See this thread http://www.solar-guppy.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgibb?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=000011 and read some of the FishBowl threads below. [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 9:21 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 20
Location: North Reading, MA
Doh. Poked around some more and noticed the "Fishbowl" threads. Sounds much better! Do the inverters continually output a stream of data, or do they have to be queried?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 9:35 pm GMT EndGMT 
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by William P N Smith:
Do the inverters continually output a stream of data, or do they have to be queried?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Constant stream.


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 12:34 am GMT ErdGMT 
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Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1159
Location: Lakeland Florida
You get pretty much the same data on the Suntie with FishBowl and you would polling the Sunnyboys.

If your looking into a 4 inverter system I would guess your talking lots of panels and as you can see from other posters , the new suntie is an ideal canidate in the large system installs.

The only thing you MUST do is use an opto-isolator for each Suntie. I can't stress the importance of this enough !!

You can log 4 inverters off of one PC with FishBowl version 1.2 , and when I get 1.3 released , you can do 8 ... with more options

You won't regret selecting the new suntie , its a true work horse. In large systems , it WILL out perform the sunnyboy due to better thermals and TRUE 2500 watt performance


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 9:24 am GMT ErdGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 20
Location: North Reading, MA
Yeah, now that I know the data stream exists, it's a lot more useful, and I'm leaning towards the STXR again!

A couple of related questions:

Anyone know of a cheap, small, rugged PC that'll allow at least 4 serial ports, draw very little power, and run FishBowl for months at a time unattended? Ethernet would be good, as I _may_ be able to harvest the data remotely, and low power consumption is pretty important!

How much data is output from the STXR in the course of a typical day? Is it Ascii, binary, or what? I'm guessing that 40K data records per day might add up pretty quickly...

Anyone have a sample CSV file of a long period of FishBowl output that I could fiddle with? I wrote a 'decimation' program in Perl to read weather data that's sampled every 10 seconds and stored every 5 minutes. It outputs individual hourly, daily, daytime, nighttime, weekly, monthly, yearly, and global data files. It would be fairly straightforward to convert it to sort thru the STXR data stream, but I need a sample of that...

Thanks!


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 9:28 am GMT ErdGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 20
Location: North Reading, MA
/*
The only thing you MUST do is use an opto-isolator for each Suntie. I can't stress the importance of this enough !!
*/

I certainly understad that! One thought, if the connecting hardware hooked up to the remote meter port (which I gather supplies power, which could be used to power the opto-isolator!), then there would be much less temptation for people to use the DB9. The converter might even cover (or plug a dummy connector into) the DB9 to prevent it's use...


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 9:50 am GMT ErdGMT 
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by William P N Smith:
Anyone know of a cheap, small, rugged PC that'll allow at least 4 serial ports, draw very little power, and run FishBowl for months at a time unattended? Ethernet would be good, as I _may_ be able to harvest the data remotely, and low power consumption is pretty important!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, what do you consider cheap? The opto-isolators most of us are using are USB based, but cost about $90 or so each. With monitoring 4 ports, that can get pricey.

I am using a laptop running Windows XP so that I can use remote desktop to monitor from anywhere. I have set all of the power settings real low so it doesn't draw much power and it has a small footprint.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by William P N Smith:

How much data is output from the STXR in the course of a typical day? Is it Ascii, binary, or what? I'm guessing that 40K data records per day might add up pretty quickly...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My current logs (for one inverter) are a little over 4MB (yes that's mega)per day. But that is because Fishbowl currently logs data once per second. I beleive Henry is working on a a version that has selectable sampling intervals that should cut the size down quite a bit.


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 10:07 am GMT ErdGMT 
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by William P N Smith:
One thought, if the connecting hardware hooked up to the remote meter port (which I gather supplies power, which could be used to power the opto-isolator!), then there would be much less temptation for people to use the DB9. The converter might even cover (or plug a dummy connector into) the DB9 to prevent it's use...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The port on the Xantrex does not supply any power. The opto-isolator needs to get it's power from the computer or external supply. The USB isolator that I am using gets power from the USB port.

However, I agree that it would have been nice if the inverter would have had isolation hardware in place already.


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 Post subject: 9-pin D connector?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 10:58 am GMT ErdGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 20
Location: North Reading, MA
/*
Well, what do you consider cheap? The opto-isolators most of us are using are USB based, but cost about $90 or so each. With monitoring 4 ports, that can get pricey.
*/

Well, less than the cost of four of the Remote Meter would be a good start, and those go for $180 or so each.

/*
I am using a laptop running Windows XP so that I can use remote desktop to monitor from anywhere. I have set all of the power settings real low so it doesn't draw much power and it has a small footprint.
*/

I'm looking for something I can bolt to the wall next to the inverters and walk away from for several months at a time. Keeping a PC running 24x7 isn't always that easy, nor is it particularly low-power...


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