Newbie Node-Red with OEM guide needed

Hi All
I have googled this forum and wider - but nothing helps!
Node-Red portal is there - but when I configure it , to get the MQTT feed that is already on the box (the emon topic) - the graphical interface is stuff saying ‘connecting’.
Probably some simple thing I;m over-looking… but I’m a good googler and found nothing. I did find out of date stuff on node-red on OEM (eg that it comes with a default working config)
I want to have a play with Node-red talking to my emonPi (with a view to later adding feeds from some IoT things - Shelly
I have a fresh emonPi set up on OEM-purchased hardware - with 4 emonTH. All work fine.
I installed node-red on the same Pi. From the upstream node-red resources.

the portal works =-I can drag MQTT things into it - but it never connects.
The MQTT is on local host -the same box.
I can access the portal from my laptop (ubuntu 20)'s browser.
Maybe there is a firewall thing… preventing node=-red talking to the local=host MQTT…

That’s a bad idea. The EmonSD is optimised for emoncms and adding other things is prone to break stuff.

On the MQTT connection settings in Node-Red, have you added the user and password? Better to use the IP as well -more reliable that ‘localhost’.

I’d agree generally, but I’ve been running EmonCMS and NodeRed on a Pi2 for for years and not had any real issues (until last week, but that was probably power related).

As for MQTT in/out of EmonCMS/NodeRed, it works great, I have dozens of things flying in/out of NR code. Adding to @borpin suggestions, do you have the the correct MQTT topic name? Like “emon/emontx/power1”. You could try a general topic like “emon/#” with just a subscribe and debug node, which should show all the messages.