Mark please move/split this appropriately if necessary.
Yes, they do require either an expensive dedicated VE.Direct to USB adaptor or if you are up to it a DIY mockup equivalent.
I purchased a few of these $2 devices and have successfully talked to the controller with the Victron mpptprefs program but at the moment I'm happy enough with the default lithium setting.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-To-RS232-TT ... XQTT9Rxubc
Even AA Solar recommend a bulk 14.6V charge for my Sinopoly 4 cell pack but that certainly causes my cells to drift a little (up to 0.15V) from the usual perfect voltage balance.
With the alternator limited to 14.1V and the Victron to 14.2 bulk the cell voltages remain almost identical.
The Victron quickly floats at 13.4V and appears to remain there for the rest of the day.
The Alphatron technical guy seemed pleasant enough and may be happy to program the controller if asked nicely.