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Blokey Stuff – Mastervolt

Despite the fact that we haven’t been out on Caxton, I have been checking the good ship out when possible. Four weeks ago I arrived at the marina to discover that the shore power had tripped out. In actual fact, the incoming MCB had tripped even though the one on the pontoon post hadn’t. When I reset the onboard MCB there was still no power and the display on the post showed an error. I sent a text to Chris, the marina manager who promised to investigate for me. I returned to the marina a couple of days later and met Chris who told me that there was no credit left on the meter, whatever the fault was it had managed to discharge around 99kWh. Chris topped the meter up again and all seemed well until I checked the Masterview display which showed all sorts of errors.
Caxton has a Mastervolt system on board which comprises of a Mass Combi (an inverter/ charger), a Mastershunt which monitors the batteries and a display screen. Up until this moment everything had worked well but now the display was flicking all over the place, showing alarms and suggesting that the batteries were at 25 volts!
Being a bit of a geek on the side, I decided to buy a Mastervolt USB interface rather than call for a technician and try to diagnose the problem myself. It cost me £120 but it has turned out to be a good investment. Sadly, the display had been damaged by the power surge problem but I was able to verify that the Mass Combi was unaffected. The Mastershunt needed to be reset but was otherwise alright. The beauty of the Mastervolt system is that the components are connected using CAT5 network cables so fiddling and playing with the bits is a geek’s dream.
A new Masterview Easy unit costs over £200 but I was able to buy one off Ebay for just over £60 and what’s more, being the MkII version, it can display more information than the one which had been originally installed.
I spent a happy (or sad, depending on your gender) programming the new Masterview display unit and I am happy to report that everything is back in good order again.
The geek in me is left with three projects now.
1. Can I refurbish the old Masterview display unit?
2. Can I create a new program and display on a tablet or mobile phone?
3. Can I offer my services as a Mastervolt system technician?

Obviously, I’ll report back here if I make any progress with the above.