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Victron VE.CAN and CANbus to WS500

I have a pretty extensive Victron setup and just recently connected it to my NMEA network via a ve.CAN -> NMEA cable.

Can I take the ve.CAN bus network that is daisy-chained to many of my victon devices and continue the daisy-chain through the WS500 controllers?

Pictures are worth 1000 words so I have the attached picture to help.

I am looking for something like:

"Yeah, that might work, try it and tell us how it goes"


"That is a bad idea, black holes are known to form if you do that. Please do not kill us all."


Something in between!


I just saw this: https://www.offgridsoftwaresolutions.com/product-category/network/canbus-nmea2000/ in the store. Are there pinouts you can share?

I only need 6' of cable. It feels like $30USD is a little much to get it to me. (I just gotta whine!)

Uploaded files:
  • Electrical_Communications-Experiment.png

Hey Ryan,

Here is the latest drawing that includes the WS500 from Victron hot off the press.  I haven't even reviewed it in detail yet myself but thought it might be an interesting read for you.

I will try to and put aside a bit of time in the next day or so and get back to you on your configuration.



Uploaded files:

Ok, the short answer is yes, with a caveat.  The WS500 uses a different pin out than the standard VE cable and may put voltage on your network if trying to use a standard cable.  There is an internal fuse but there have been cases of magic smoke appearing, especially at 48V.

Here is a link to the WS500 communications manual and if you check out page 8 there is a pinout there that should help.  If you get it right no black holes or magic smoke are expected and then you can put that $30 bucks to your beer fund ! 🙂




so i have just installed 2 x WS 500's and am a little confused with the can wiring when integrating with REC BMS and victron.

i have the Cerbo GX which only has 2 ports but i need to plug in:

2 x WS500 Currently connected together with a straight cat5 cable

1 x REC BMS (victron supported version)

1 x Victron Multiplus

1 x Victron NMEA output cable

can you give any advice on how it should all be routed and terminated?



You should be able to connect your Multi to a VE.bus

Connect your REC BMS to the VE.CANBus port 1

Connect your WS500s in series to VE.CANBus port 2, with a terminator plugged into your last WS500

ok but where do i plug in my CE can to NMEA2000 adapter?

Not sure what your CE CAN adapter is and a quick google search didn't find it, but your CANBus network is basically a 2 wire daisychain, wiht 2 wires for power and another for the shield.  The idea is to create a long string of devices with as few spurs or tees as possible, to reduce any reflection.  EOL resistors will stop any reflection at either end of the string.

That all being said, without any network diagram I can only throw out a few ideas:

  1.  Can your CE cable be added to the end of your WS500s, if not too far away?  (Remember, you will need a WS500 switchover cable if connecting to a WS500 port, or else damage might occur)
  2.  I have never tried it, but if you were to pick the shortest run device, likely the REC, you could just use a splitter at the Cerbo so that your daisy chain network would have one short Tee stubbed off it it.  Maybe something like this.

Amazon.com: RJ45 Network Splitter Adapter Cable, Minriu RJ45 1 Male to 2 Female Socket Port LAN Ethernet Network Splitter Y Adapter Cable Suitable for Super Category 5 Ethernet, Category 6 Ethernet and More: Industrial & Scientific

sorry typo it should read:

victron VE.Can to NMEA 2000 micro-C male cable


This looks like it was a while ago. @neilfluester Can you post a diagram of your setup?

Not Neil, but will give some ideas...

CAN has three different wiring 'topologies' that Wakespeed commonly supports:

  • RJ45 (With a variety of different pin-outs)
  • DeviceNet (aka:  NMEA-2000, also at times called M12 for the round connector size used.)
  • Automobile (RV-C) style  (Open the hood of your car!).

What is common to all is the basic concept of 'CAN':  The CAN is a bus with terminators at each end to which nodes as attached along the bus.  Does not matter the wiring standard used, the CAN is always a 'bus' + nodes.  Now there are of course lots of other technical details, but perhaps a key one to keep in mind is:  Drops have a max length, contain only a single node, and contain no termination. (Keep this point in mind for later on)

Lets take the 2nd one 1st, DeviceNet (aka:  NMEA2000):  Likely somewhat well known in the Marine world, here is an example (Thank you Garmin):

The top 'T's are the backbone with terminators on each end, and then there are two Drops to two devices (Chartplotter and GPS Antenna).  The middle Yellow wire is a detail of NMEA, so we will ignore it here.  In the photo the backbone is really short, but in most installs there will be cables between the 'T's that run from one end of the vessel to the other.  When one needs to 'attach' a node, a T is installed and a drop.

Now lets consider RJ45/CAT-5 cables.  You will note in almost all cases devices using the RJ45+CAT-5 cabling system will have two RJ45 sockets.  WS500 White boxes, Victron Cerbo, etc.   These are not really two 'ports', but the RJ45 sockets are wired in parallel inside the box -- so,  when you 'daisy chain' devices, you are in effect created the backbone via the CAT-5 cables, and the 'drops' are really short.  Simple to install, just daisy-chain them up, add terminators at each end and you are done.  One MASSIVE detail here is that there are (Sadly) several RJ45  'standards' used, so one needs to be VERY CAREFUL with the pinouts.  Case in point, Wakespeed uses the published CiA_303 industry standard for our RJ45 pinout; Victron uses ---  well --- Victron's standard.  And they are NOT compatible.  It is very important to use a cross over cable at some point between the devices, and the appropriate terminator (A hint, Wakespeed uses Black RJ45 plugs, while Victron Blue - out 'cross over' cable as a Black and Blue end..)

The final cabling spec Wakespeed supports is more common in automobiles, in our case we use a DTM connector which is part of the RV-C spec.


Now in support of all this, Wakespeed offers the following:

  • WS500 White Boxes:  Contains RJ45 jacks.  We offer terminators, cross over cable to the Victron pinout, and water-proof field install outer boots t0 make a nice clean and reliable install.
  • WS500 Black Boxes:  CAN is taken out in the attached harness via the large Amp connector.  We offer harnesses with a 4th CAN leg:  WS500-PH/CAN, and our new Van optimized harness.  Both those feature a CAN leg with yellow/green wires and a DTM plug on the end.  A note:  The WS500 White boxes also have CAN in its large connector, so the above cables will also work with it.
  • DTM Adapter Cables:  This allows the DTM plug to be 'converter' to support another wiring standard.  Today we have two:
    • DeviceNet / M12 adapter  (NMEA2000 compatible)
    • Lthionics adapter cable, makes simple click-n-go installs.

So, with all there there are a wide range of combinations one could make up if they wished.  Back to the OPs question:   Issue here is that two different 'wiring standards' are being used:  N2K and RJ45.  And this is where we come back to the point above:  Drops can only have one node.  So, if one wanted to be REAL cleaver:  The could start at one end with N2K and one terminator; then attach to say a WS500 White Box via the PH-CAN harness and a M12 adapter, from there us an RJ45 cross over cable into Victron and finish with a Victron terminator.  3 different wiring standards, but still a compliant topology:  backbone with terminators on each and and drop nodes.




You could just use the above noted Victron NMEA2000 cable to attach the Victron equipment to a NMEA2000 backbone with a T, and then get the Wakespeed PH-CAN cable with a M12(NMEA) adapter, and attach the Wakespeed also to the NMEA2000 backbone with another T.


Wow - LONG post, sorry.  But this can be a confusing topic:  I do hope the above provides some background and clarity, just remember:  For this conversation:  CAN is CAN is CAN , and it is up to the system designer to figure out which wiring system works best for each given case.



(Full disclosure:  I work for Wakespeed Offshore)





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