View Full Version : Max Serial Length? Can AC Jr. Send txt messages?

05/25/2007, 01:09 AM
Hi all!

I am really wanting a controller, and I'm seriously considering the AC Jr.

I have three questions:

1. I noticed that with the serial option (which I'm also getting to have an input) you can get AquaNotes full version to send email notifications. Can this also be set for text messages to my cell phone or better yet, both?

2. Is there a maximum length of serial cable I can run? I may have to run it from my living room to my computer in the spare bedroom as my tank isn't near a computer.

3. Better yet, how resource intensive is AquaNotes? I have an older ThinkPad (I mean older...) that doesn't quite meet the quoted minimum requirements, but comes close. I'd like to use it next to the tank with a wireless adapter of some sort to do AquaNotes. Would this be possible with say a 150Mhz proc? Or should I just forget it and get a long serial cable? I can upgrade the memory in it rather easily. I may be able to upgrade the proc, too, if I can find one... heh.

Thanks much!


05/25/2007, 02:57 PM
My cell provider has a website link and also a email/text service that I use to receive my messages. my emails are sent to my number at the site... like this...

9201234567 @ cellcom.quiktxt.com

I get the messages reliably in about 7 seconds.

I have the 3pro though, and until I entered the setings into the unit, I was having to leave the Notes up and running.. I actually like the message from Notes better, as it is able to be abreviated, the one from the 3 Pro, is not, and thus comes thru as 2 messages... I woke up to low ph and temp the other morning (by a point...or a degree) and looked at my phone to find 37 new text messages.

You can also setup another email thru somewhere and receive txt that you have mail, but if you can do it this way, why bother...

also, I don't pay for recv'd txt's and thus, have not paid yet for the alerts yet.


05/26/2007, 02:09 AM
Cool deal... thanks J.

Anyone else on the other ?s ?


05/26/2007, 01:47 PM
Serial cable can only be 100 feet long if I remember correctly.

05/29/2007, 10:38 AM
1. Please clarify. Are you looking to send different messages for different alarms?
2. The RS-232C standard imposes a cable length limit of 50 feet. Although I have pushed it to several 1000ft with the right cable.
3. PC System Requirements
This version of AquaNotes is designed for 32-bit operating systems running Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, ME, and XP.

AquaNotes system requirements are:

Intel Pentium processor at 200 Mhz.
64 MB RAM or more (128 MB or more recommended) or 128 MB RAM for Windows NT 4, 2000, ME, and XP. Web server not supported on Windows XP Home Edition.
32-bit operating system (Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, ME, and XP)
800x600 Display w/256 colors (1024x768 recommended)
60 MB free disk space
DSL or cable modem Internet connection for alarm email or Internet web access if used
Modem for dial-in access or pager alarm notification if used.

05/29/2007, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the reply, lvreefer.

For number one, I was wanting to send text messages, of which I figured out how. :)

Here's my decision to make: The AquaController Jr. is cheaper, but only by about $150 if you want internet alarms and a web server because you have to buy AquaNotes and, for me, I will also have to buy either 100ft serial cable and run it all through our apt. (which isn't horrible, just kinda weird to see that cable strung everywhere) to reach the computer in the second room, which will also have to be left on 24/7 (and my desktop is not so energy efficient) OR I would have to try to upgrade the ancient laptop my father-in-law gave us with a new processor and more memory to run aquanotes, and then stick it near the tank and leave it on instead, but have to buy also a network card for it as well as a wireless transmitter so it can transmit to my wireless network and be on the web (not to mention troubleshoot all that stuff when it doesn't work ;) ).

OR... I can just spend $150 more on the ACIII, have more options overall, and just be able to plug a wireless unit straight into the ACIII without aquanotes and have messaging without all of the trouble of the complicated setup above. And my desktop wouldn't have to be roaring 24/7.

Or last but not least, just get a ACJr. and forget messaging and web access. But I don't really think I want to do that because so far I'm investing quite a bit of money into this thing, and this is one more extra measure I should probably take.

Sorry for spewing all of that out... thats just something that has been bothering me over the last few days... lol.

Anyways, thanks again for the replies.


05/30/2007, 12:38 PM
I had an ACjr and decided to upgrade to the ACIII. I don't regret it at all. You can make an ACjr wireless but buy the time you buy the extra gear you might as well spend the money on the ACIII.

05/30/2007, 12:40 PM
Thats exactly what I've been thinking. For me it would probably take an extra computer to make it wireless. BUT, I'm still considering the AC Jr. just to save some cash in case I'm not able to sell my amp. But we'll see.