Looking for an old Mate

Discussion about the OutBack Mate Remote

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Elroy Jetson
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Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:38 pm
My RE system: Outback VFX3524
6 x BAE 12v 100Ah gel batteries
4 x 265 watt Trina panels
1 x Renogy 40 Li MPPT/charge controller
Location: BC, Canada

Looking for an old Mate

Post by Elroy Jetson »

Hi folks,
I hope I'm not breaking any rules as a newbie forum member by looking for some older equipment. The moderators will likely tell me if I am.
I have an older VFX3524 that has been running on flooded cell batteries for a long time in a stand alone RV application. I have recently acquired some great gel batteries, but I don't want to hook them up until I can re-program the equalization to either "off" or a much lower voltage. I have never had a MATE hooked up the the VFX3524, but I'll need to do that now. So I'm looking for an old MATE to re-program my Q12008 VFX3524. Can anyone help me out?
Does anyone have any cautions to throw my way before I try this.
Thanks in advance ....E.
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intellact
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Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:20 am
My RE system: GVFX 3624 and MATE/MATE3/AXS Port with four Surette flooded lead-acid batteries (24V). Deactivated wind turbine. System now acts as UPS back-up. Monitored by WattPlot, of course.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by intellact »

Hi Elroy:

If you have been running for a long time without a MATE, then perhaps you simply need to borrow a MATE (or MATE2 or MATE3 or MATE3s) to do the programming of your inverter and then go back to the way you have been running it without a MATE.

Of course, if someone can give you an old MATE, that would be even better. :smile:

Perhaps you should focus on your location (i.e. Put out a call for an OutBack user close to you who can spare a MATE-type device for a brief period or longer.)
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot
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Elroy Jetson
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:38 pm
My RE system: Outback VFX3524
6 x BAE 12v 100Ah gel batteries
4 x 265 watt Trina panels
1 x Renogy 40 Li MPPT/charge controller
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by Elroy Jetson »

intellact wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 3:10 pm If you have been running for a long time without a MATE, then perhaps you simply need to borrow a MATE (or MATE2 or MATE3 or MATE3s) to do the programming of your inverter and then go back to the way you have been running it without a MATE.

Of course, if someone can give you an old MATE, that would be even better. :smile:

Perhaps you should focus on your location (i.e. Put out a call for an OutBack user close to you who can spare a MATE-type device for a brief period or longer.)
Hi Andrew,
First off, thanks for the repIy.
I followed the links back to WattPlot, and was seriously impressed with your history and work.
Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with an Outback system, and haven't fiddled around with my old inverter enough to know the differences between the MATE, MATE2, etc. etc. Any pointers would be appreciated.
Nobody has responded to my OP to offer a *free* MATE, but there are a few $100-200 options out there. Should I be looking for something else (i.e. MATE2, etc.?)?
I note also that your system description includes a decommissioned wind turbine. What led to its decommissioning? I'm off grid, near water, and the wind blows relatively consistently, especially when there is poor sun. I'm considering a wind turbine to supplement my panels, is it worth the hassle??
Finally, do you mind if I PM you and start an off-forum conversation? It would be most appreciated to leverage your experience.
Thx, E.
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intellact
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Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:20 am
My RE system: GVFX 3624 and MATE/MATE3/AXS Port with four Surette flooded lead-acid batteries (24V). Deactivated wind turbine. System now acts as UPS back-up. Monitored by WattPlot, of course.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by intellact »

Hi Elroy:

Thanks for the kind words.

A MATE2 is just a MATE in a dinner jacket, designed to be flush mounted into a wall. Internally they are equivalent.

If a MATE is a flip phone, then a MATE3 is a smartphone. That said, I'm not sure that you need much functionality for a simple VFX3524 system. The cheaper MATE might be sufficient.

My wind turbine was not very old when it was decommissioned after it suffered an accident. (I suspect my dealer may have weakened the tail pipe when I had taken it in for servicing.) The result was a collision between the tail fins and the blades during very high winds. Since the dealer is long gone and the Lakota wind turbine is no longer available, I couldn't bring myself to buy a whole new turbine because of one smashed blade. That was many years ago now.

I had always considered adding solar panels here, but never had the ready cash for the investment. Mind you, it would have made a real difference to my programming. Trying to write code for the real-time monitoring and control of charge controllers when you don't actually have access to one has been challenging - still is. :???:

With no turbine and no panels, my system is little more than a pricey UPS, but I keep it running just so I can support WattPlot users. (Perhaps if I hadn't spent the last 15 years giving away software and providing thousands of unpaid support hours, I might have had the funds to replace the turbine and expand into solar. #-o A bit late for that now. :roll: )

You are welcome to PM me, but I really know very little about the R/E systems myself. I think you will find far better experts and more useful advice on this forum.
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
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Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by raysun »

When it comes to Mate internals and OB system programming and communications, Andrew is the Man. He knows more about it, without having access to OB proprietary information, than anyone in or out of the company at this point.
You will need a Mate to program the inverter. If you are comfortable with eBay purchases, a Mate2 can be had for less than US$150. When shopping for a unit, as Andrew mentioned, the Mate and Mate2 are electrically identical. There is a variant, Mate2M, intended for mobile applications, that has a slightly different menu structure, but does the same job.
Once in hand, we will gladly help with programming the new battery.
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Elroy Jetson
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:38 pm
My RE system: Outback VFX3524
6 x BAE 12v 100Ah gel batteries
4 x 265 watt Trina panels
1 x Renogy 40 Li MPPT/charge controller
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by Elroy Jetson »

Excellent, thanks folks, I'll check in once it's all hooked up
raysun
Forum Overlord
Posts: 11415
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by raysun »

User avatar
Elroy Jetson
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:38 pm
My RE system: Outback VFX3524
6 x BAE 12v 100Ah gel batteries
4 x 265 watt Trina panels
1 x Renogy 40 Li MPPT/charge controller
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by Elroy Jetson »

Howdy folks,
Well, I got my hands on an old MATE, and have my little system up and running.
Still figuring out which loads I can run and for how long.
My next purchase is a dual fuel inverter generator, got one on order.
I have a small computer, so need to learn to use Wattplot.
The MATE is fairly self explanatory, thanks for your help folks.
2024-05-08 14.39.22small.jpg
User avatar
intellact
Forum Czar
Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:20 am
My RE system: GVFX 3624 and MATE/MATE3/AXS Port with four Surette flooded lead-acid batteries (24V). Deactivated wind turbine. System now acts as UPS back-up. Monitored by WattPlot, of course.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by intellact »

For monitoring a MATE, head on over to here. WattPlot Monitor is powerful, very stable, and free. :smile: And it comes with an awesome User's Guide. :wink:
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot
User avatar
Elroy Jetson
Forum Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2024 4:38 pm
My RE system: Outback VFX3524
6 x BAE 12v 100Ah gel batteries
4 x 265 watt Trina panels
1 x Renogy 40 Li MPPT/charge controller
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by Elroy Jetson »

Thanks Andrew, much appreciated.
I'll be reaching out with questions, I'm sure #-o
raysun
Forum Overlord
Posts: 11415
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: Looking for an old Mate

Post by raysun »

Still figuring out which loads I can run and for how long.
Off grid, that's 100% a function of battery state of charge. Adding a shunt-based battery monitor is the best tool for this purpose.
Adding a Hub and FlexNetDC adds integrated monitoring to the Outback ecosystem, but is $$$.
Adding a Victron SmartShunt is ¼ the cost, and works with a smartphone app, but will not feed data to the Mate.
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