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Not Your Average Software Bug

When I used to write technical manuals for medical devices, I discovered a bug in a new version of software and showed it to the engineer who wrote the software.

The engineer said “That can’t happen”.

I haven’t had any more of these alternative reality encounters until today when I discovered a bug in my RV’s Victron equipment, in particular the Victron Touch 50 display.

First off, the Touch 50 is a remarkable piece of engineering. At a glance, its display shows where and how much power is flowing in your RV:

The Touch 50 Display at Work

However, after doing some work in our RV today (chassis grounding the inverter case), the Touch 50 display looked similar to this:

0W in and 0W out? What the hell?

After powering on several electrical devices in the RV, nothing changed – the display still showed 0W in and 0W out.

I reset the display and inverter several times, but to no effect. What the hell?

Time to Google . . . I found this on the Victron Support web site:

Multiplus II – AC Input Suddenly 0

And then I discovered the “fix” . . .

Is Anyone Working on . . .

The fix is to shove a 3.5 mm headphone jack in and out of the Victron’s Current Sense jack:

Aside from the sexual overtones, this work around seems just absurd, like trying to fix a flat tire by turning on the windshield wipers. Nevertheless . . .

After jacking the Current Sense hole several times, I checked the Touch 50 display:

It worked!