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pdxmonkeyboy

Reef controllers.. waste of money..?

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2 hours ago, TheClark said:

You want to pick up a wifi bridge off of amazon or somewhere local.  Here is an example of a popular one:

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Wi-Fi-Extender-Essentials-EX2700/dp/B00L0YLRUW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490278928&sr=8-2&keywords=wifi+bridge

Basically, once it is setup, you just plug your apex into this, and it bridges your apex to the wireless network.

The only caveat is firmware updates.  I don't know why, but they recommend a wired connection for those.  So if you can get with 100-150' of a switch or router, pick up a cable for that.  Alternatively you could move the apex to the router for firmware updates.  Here is one for 13 bucks.  You would only use it to update the firmware.

https://www.amazon.com/UbiGear-Ethernet-Network-Internet-Computer/dp/B00BNJ77J4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490278880&sr=8-4&keywords=150'+ethernet+cable

It's a bit of hassle but an option at least!

 

 

This is good info. I am probably one of the few not using an apex around here - have an Aquatronica  instead - but am looking at doing the same thing... adding a wireless bridge to go from my existing network interface to wifi for the added convenience. I think it has the same recommendation regarding firmware updates but I also have a direct PC interface that I could use with a laptop to do that if necessary.

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3 hours ago, albertareef said:

This is good info. I am probably one of the few not using an apex around here - have an Aquatronica  instead - but am looking at doing the same thing... adding a wireless bridge to go from my existing network interface to wifi for the added convenience. I think it has the same recommendation regarding firmware updates but I also have a direct PC interface that I could use with a laptop to do that if necessary.

Interesting, have not heard of this controller, will check it out!

 

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2 minutes ago, TheClark said:

Interesting, have not heard of this controller, will check it out!

 

Its manufactured by an Italian company and sold through a Canadian firm here in North America.  Got a used setup for my old tank, liked it and stuck with it. Very similar conceptually to the apex from what I can tell.  They have newer WiFi and touch screen versions but mine is "old school" scroll and click.

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Alternatively instead of the wireless bridge you can look into something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Powerline-Adapter-Starter-TL-PA4010KIT/dp/B00AWRUICG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490309057&sr=8-1&keywords=power+ethernet+adapter

They need to be plugged directly in the wall, no surge protector, one end goes to your router and the other to your device. The outlets need to be on the same circuit breaker, on the same circuit is best, but not a requirement. Nice if you have something the wireless can't get through, or need the throughput of a wired connection.

Edited by Sehr
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When I first got my Apex (2016 version) I was wondering if I wasted my money after getting everything setup initially. As I added modules and more functionality, my attitude quickly changed. The leak detection kit is awesome and I just recently got the PAR Monitoring Kit which I'm anxious to get setup here in the next day or two.  More than anything the Apex has helped with consistency and stability in my tank.

Anyone have suggestions for adding an IP camera to the Apex?

Edited by theDSBlack

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On 3/23/2017 at 3:48 PM, Sehr said:

Alternatively instead of the wireless bridge you can look into something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Powerline-Adapter-Starter-TL-PA4010KIT/dp/B00AWRUICG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490309057&sr=8-1&keywords=power+ethernet+adapter

They need to be plugged directly in the wall, no surge protector, one end goes to your router and the other to your device. The outlets need to be on the same circuit breaker, on the same circuit is best, but not a requirement. Nice if you have something the wireless can't get through, or need the throughput of a wired connection.

Home plug tech is awesome when it works but it is completely dependent on the electrical wiring in the building.   For what it's worth I'm on house number 2 where it works fine, same brand even.   

@TheClark I would guess the firmware needs a wired connection for the same reason a cell phone does.  Losing connection in the middle of a firmware update is usually a quick way to brick hardware in my experience.  Just a guess though, I don't use controllers because I'm home all the time. 

Edited by youcallmenny
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I'm still on the fence.  i was interested in the vertex cerebral but the pulled it from the market and have not completed the redesign yet.  who knows. 

It's just frustrating as no company comes out with a kit that includes everything you REALLY need.  salinity probe.. really?  

I am waiting to see what apex does with their alk monitor.  that would really make it worthwhile IMO 

 

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I ran a reef keeper and kept upgrading the bejesus out of it. And one day it started doing funny uncontrollable things. My whole system operated through it, so that to me was a poor decision. My lights, gyres, heaters, calcium reactor, and water top off all have their own controllers now, so to me that means one failure doesn’t cause me to tear the whole system apart and figure out a way to run in limp mode . I wouldn’t do single full tank controller again myself.


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2 hours ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

It's just frustrating as no company comes out with a kit that includes everything you REALLY need.  salinity probe.. really?  

Interestingly enough, my PM2 Module is one of my favorites. When I had my 12g Nano Tank when doing water changes I would mix up a 5g Bucket, siphon the water out of the tank then throw the pump from my ATO reservoir into the mixed salt bucket and let it fill back up. In 1 occasion I forgot to move the pump back over to the ATO reservoir :( I lost my fish and most of my corals (Stupid mistake but it happens) Had I had a conductivity probe I would have been alerted long before that happened.

I like all the additional Modules and features of the Apex as it adds a lot of Fail Safes & Redundancy to the equation. You can have a successful reef tank without the use of a controller for sure, but I personally like the peace of mind of having a 2nd eye on the Tank. I also like the fact I can control any device on the tank remotely, it helps when nobody else knows anything about your tank, but tells you there's a problem and rather than trying to explain trouble shooting you can log into apex fusion and shut off whatever you might think the problem is till you get home.

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I think my apex probably is hands down the best purchase I’ve made. I wouldn’t build a tank without it, the anxiety it spares me from alone is worth it! Lol there’s no limit on tasking and monitoring and controlability. No annoying bulky timers and bulky stand alone monitors. Well worth the coin! (Depending on how serious you take this hobby... and the size of the investment) lol

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