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AdamT
06/17/2007, 11:01 PM
Hi,

I'm considering an Aquatronica controller with their dosing pump module (among others). I've read the review of the dosing pump module (beta version) on RC. Just wondering what people think of this controller overall. Any particular upsides/downsides compared to other units. The Aquatronica is a bit expensive, but I'm willing to pay if it is really a high quality unit that will give me all the features I will want/need as I progress in the hobby. Don't want to buy twice.

Thanks very much.

RobbyG
06/18/2007, 01:57 PM
The Good:'
I love my unit, it is fairly simple to setup, has more versatility then just about any other controller, including complex programming rules which I don't think any other controller can do. It is the most expandable controller on the market, and is also easy to use from both the front panel and the PC. It is on the leading edge of current controller technology, the most bells and whistles you can get. Also Aquatronica releases more updates/new features each year than any of the other companies also more new hardware than anybody else. They also have a very generous exchange policy for warranty issues.

The Bad:
They have less than ideal tech support, and it is mostly geared towards the European market. This forum with Gilberto and the rest of us are your best trouble shooting option. While they do have a very good english speaking technician in Italy, the email back and forth approach takes way to long if your having a critical emergency.

The Ugly:
The Salinity probe is pretty much worthless except for a lucky few who seem to get good results. For the rest of us it's a rust gathering magnet that can give erratic readings at any time.
If your buying an Aquatronica skip the salinity (module and probe) and just get a refractometer or a Pinpoint Salinty meter.

AdamT
06/18/2007, 02:00 PM
Thanks so much for the concise response. It sounds like the Aquatronica cannot control other probes, i.e., it is limited to OEM modules. Yes? I already have a nice refractometer, but this aspect is a bummer. You would think that they would come up with a decent probe eventually.

RobbyG
06/19/2007, 10:50 PM
No it can work with pinpoint probes or any other kind, except for the Salinity probe which does not have a standard connector. I use Pinpoint pH probe and plan to try the ORP when my Aq one expires. Not that I think anything is wrong with AQ pH or ORP probe but I wanted to try a different brand the second time around. My next set will all be refillable probes, they seem to be the most cost effective probes.

BTW I agree, you would think by now a new probe would be out, I heard rumors, but nothing concrete yet.

The salinity is a bummer, but for a little extra just get the Pinpoint meter, it will work out better in the long run because you can more readily use it to match salinity for water changes or test your holding Tanks etc.

AdamT
06/19/2007, 11:55 PM
Thanks Robby. I notice you're into RC planes and woodworking. We'd probably get along well. I've been flying RC for 22 years, and "full scale" for a couple of years. I've done slope gliders, power planes (mainly aerobatics), electric, and most recently, nitro and electric helis. What's your interest? Scale by any chance?

RobbyG
06/20/2007, 03:52 PM
I was in it for about 12 years, did some local aerobatic competitions, we had a 4 man formation flying team which was pretty cool. I had 4 planes in my collection and 2 radios. Never touched helicopters as the guys I flew with insisted it would mess me up one day and I would do some wrong inputs so I kind of stayed away from the choppers.

I Kind of got out of it when I started this hobby, just so much time on any given weekend and something had to be sacrificed or the wife would not have been happy.

My Brother is into gliders, he has a few electrics that he flies, he's always telling me about the latest polymer batteries and how long they can fly. It almost seems like batteries are a whole hobby to themselves

Woodwork has also been put on hold for now, most of what I make of late seems to center around the Tank :) Maybe my wife's fears are not so unfounded :D

Captain Quirk
06/21/2007, 09:30 AM
Heh. Small world. My hobby prior to this one is R/C Heli's. At this point, in my garage, I have 4 choppers that haven't seen a hot glow plug for almost a year.

I have a Raptor 30 (first gen), a Hirobo GPH 346 that's being overhauled (and probably never fixed!), an MS Hornet (tiny electric; it's in my office as a conversation piece) and a Hirobo Freya (my pride and joy of them all).

Been toying with selling them off but can't quite take the plunge. I mean, they're great choppers and I hate to see them just sit there, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them...

Stupid sentimentality...

RobbyG
06/21/2007, 02:28 PM
LOL same thing here, my planes sit in storage and I just can't bring myself to sell them. I really wish time permitted me to do the Tank and the planes but it's just impossible, especially when you have kids.
Funny part is that I originally gave up my first Tank to invest more time in RC and then I gave up RC to get back into Tanks. RC is great when you have a nice group of friends to fly with, but in my case so many of my friends gave it up that it was no longer fun flying alone or with strangers.

Captain if you have not checked out the Great Planes RC simulator, it's a great little package that you can at least keep your skills sharpened for the future. I got one and am happy with it.

Captain Quirk
06/21/2007, 02:49 PM
I have the RF Deluxe. Keep wanting to get a reflex simulator but haven't made the effort...

I loved that hobby. But it's just SOOO expensive...

Oh, wait.

:P

RobbyG
06/21/2007, 03:12 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10187026#post10187026 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Captain Quirk


I loved that hobby. But it's just SOOO expensive...

Oh, wait.

:P

And that LOL coming from a Man with a reef Tank:eek1:

In all seriousness, I think the Reef Tank cost me 5 to 1 versus RC planes. I know Heli are a lot more expensive. After about $2K in RC I had everything I could possibly need but in the Aquarium I still have not seen where the end lies. Right now I am spending money on Backup equipment. Like extra Pumps etc. All the things that if they go dead at 1am would be disastrous if not replaced within hours. So I have to purchased spares of all the critical stuff including a main pump, plumbing spares, I have air pumps on hand, even a spare ballast etc.
The better my tank looks is the more worried I get that some stupid little thing is going to kill 2 years of my hard work.

Captain Quirk
06/21/2007, 03:45 PM
My Freya alone has about 2K in it (I thought the number was like 2300 but I don't recall the details. Been so long I forgot what costs what).

But yeah, I hear you.

Aside from the cost of repairing a crash (a simple tap of the tail a bit too hard on the pavement one time cost me $700.00!), the time to fix, test, tune, etc is just too much.

So I top off the batteries every few months and wait.

BTW my "oh, wait" comment was tongue in cheek. I obviously know this hobby is more expensive...

;)

AdamT
06/21/2007, 11:06 PM
LOL, that sounds sadly familiar.

I have so much stuff that I haven't touched in years. My nitro heli is an Hirobo Sceadu 50 (with JR 10x), tricked out with aftermarket parts. I have the Reflex simulator, which really is awesome. I also have a super tricked out Hornet and Hornet II that will be junk the moment I damage them because since the last time I touched them, the T-Rex and other models have pretty much completely driven Hornets (and their parts) right out of the market. I have a Super Sportster (absolutely my favorite Sunday flyer of all time) in the rafters collecting dust, and some slope gliders up there too. I have a convenient, uncrowded, slope site minutes from my house, but I haven't had time to get out and do it. :mad2: I'm thinking taking up slope again is the best chance I have of flying RC any time soon, since I can just launch, fly, land and go home. No muss, no fuss, and really low maintenance. Always have loved slope.

Funny how none of us have gotten around to selling our RC stuff that we haven't touched. With two boys (3 and 5) and a busy job, I'm lucky to keep my tank going.

I really want to start a reef, but having gone from my first goldfish tank with plastic plants to a high light CO2 injected, planted aquarium in 8 months, and experiencing the learning curve on a planted tank, which appears to be child's play compared to a reef, I'm not going to jump in right away. I figure I'm not ready for a reef tank until I can have my planted tank running so smooth I hardly have to touch it. I'm actually interested in the AQ as a precision fertilizer doser (with the added bonus of putting some additional monitoring equipment on the tank). I know it's overkill for what I have, but I figure I'm one step closer to having the equipment I will need for a reef! :D

I'm probably 6 months to a year away from jumping in to reef keeping. I'm thinking 65 to 125 gallons plus sump when I ultimately do it.

RobbyG
06/22/2007, 12:16 AM
I have great planes super sporster also:) the 60 size version. Sweet plane, very fast and maneuverable.

The whole battery problem was the thing that made me sell my radio's and all the electronics. I figured that if I was getting back in at some future date the Electronics would be an antique but the planes and engines almost never change. Plus I would never want to have to build back my planes, that was a whole lot of work, I figure I can slap in a new set of electronics overnight when the time comes.

Captain
Funny you mention that, a friend of mine got a new heli a few years ago, paid about $1500 and racked up about $600 in damage after 10 seconds of flight. The heli's took a lot of $$ to learn in the old days. These lucky people today can get a Sim and work 80% of it out before shredding there first set of gears.

hnugraha
06/22/2007, 07:36 AM
OMG :D, I guess if we're all doing profiling a lot of commonalities among the AQ guys:
- reefer?
- aquatronica?
- RC heli?

guess what ME TOO! And same thing with you guys, with two kids, WORK, two ponds, two tanks, and one 180g reef tanks, I wish I have another spare time. :lol: Speaking bout RC....just back from Singapore and spotted this on the night near the Clarke Quay spacecraft dog-fight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbF5VhSHk2M) from goflykite (http://www.goflykite.com) Thought you might like this. I was jumping2 like a kid ...watching.

Captain Quirk
06/22/2007, 11:23 AM
Ah, yes. Night flying. I have night blades and the light ropes for my helis.

If you ever wanna experience a pucker factor of 10, do night flying in a place where there are trees or other obstacles.

The blades alone are over $200.00...

As for the TRex, yeah, those are sweet little choppers. Once I plant my Hornet I'll probably just bite the bullet and get one of those, too. Electric and small makes it a lot more reasonable to "get around" to...

Hey, isn't this a reef forum?

:P

RobbyG
06/22/2007, 04:28 PM
:D yes back to reefing...

gasman059
06/26/2007, 06:04 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10195169#post10195169 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by RobbyG
:D yes back to reefing...
ye ty.
Anyways just got my hands on a premiun package Aquatronica
Any suggestions prior to the plung into software and connections.
Where to download upgrades-i do have the pc interface.

RobbyG
06/26/2007, 01:59 PM
Welcome to the club :)

First install the pc software from the disk and hookup the hardware. Make sure you are able to establish a reliable connection between the controller and PC. Do Not update firmware unless you know that your PC connection works properly (connect and disconnect a few times). Once that is established, do the upgrades.

The upgrades are done when you run the PC software. All you do is go to File/Internet update.
So long as you have a internet connection it will download the latest update. After the update is downloaded go to File/ Install Update and it will update the PC software then rerun itself and ask you if you want to update the Firmware.

gasman059
06/28/2007, 06:29 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10219344#post10219344 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by RobbyG
Welcome to the club :)

First install the pc software from the disk and hookup the hardware. Make sure you are able to establish a reliable connection between the controller and PC. Do Not update firmware unless you know that your PC connection works properly (connect and disconnect a few times). Once that is established, do the upgrades.

The upgrades are done when you run the PC software. All you do is go to File/Internet update.
So long as you have a internet connection it will download the latest update. After the update is downloaded go to File/ Install Update and it will update the PC software then rerun itself and ask you if you want to update the Firmware.
Hey Robby tyvm-now i just have to get me a laptop b/c i dont know of a usb cable long enuff!

Rogger Castells
07/01/2007, 12:05 AM
:D