What GX in EasySolar-II GX?

I’m looking for info on the GX in EasySolar-II GX units. I know it’s not a full Cerbo GX, so is it a full Cerbo-S GX or a special units for the AIO Victrons?

Completely different setup. Well, not completely, lots in common, but also not.

It is based around the same ARM core as the Cerbo, namely the A7, but it is actually a Nanopi sitting on top of a larger daughterboard that contains the peripherals. A device-tree is included that tells the Linux kernel where to find everything. Some of the boards, older revisions, contains an ATMEL microprocessor that runs a software CAN-bus implementation (slcan). The newer ones have a MCP2518 (I believe) for the same job.

In this respect it has similarities with the Cerbo. The Cerbo too, has one on-chip CAN controller, and a second one that is a microcontroller in the earlier revisions, and a dedicated chip in newer revisions.

The Cerbo-S has only the on-SOC CAN-controller, and hence only one CAN port.

The LCD is a standard 16x2 LCD running some chip from Hitachi, which already had Linux support for years. It shows up as /dev/lcd on the software side and it behaves like the usual VT100 terminal. There is a bit of python code controlling the LCD screen.

Thank you! I cannot find any technical documentation on this whatsoever. Is there anything within Victron that you can share or point me to?

I don’t think this inner detail is all that well documented. What you can do is take a peak at some of the sunxi branches over here. The magic is mostly in the device tree.

For reference – not sure how well you know this stuff – small embedded platforms doesn’t have “plug and play” capabilities. You write a definition of what hardware is to be found where, and you load it into RAM along with the kernel and the “initramfs”. The difference then between the nanopi-based EasySolar is simply that it has all the hardware already attached, and the kernel already knows where everything is.

This looks like heading down a route with limited or no predictable support, so I conclude it’s not worth trying to dabble with NodeRed and such on this platform for a customer - it’ll cost them more in consult time than buying a Cerbo GX and a larger Multi with external MPPT(s), and provides a much-wanted excuse for the upgrade anyway :thinking:. The EasySolar-II are great boxes for non-dabblers though, but not so great when basic users develop more sophisticated “wants”.

I do wonder how long this configuration will still be provided as the single-string limitation also doesn’t make expansion simple.

Thanks for the info.

Maybe an idea to ponder on … remove the GX inside it/disable it, and connect an external Cerbo?

1 Like

A feasible option for one’s own tinkering inverter but not viable for a non-technical customer who has guarantee expectations and would become a support nightmare. These EasySolar-II GX units are bulletproof and easy enough to resell. Money’s not the issue here - simplicity, standardisation and “normal” support are.