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View Full Version : whats the best programmer for our reef?


Hendersonracing
09/17/2008, 08:02 AM
looking for a nice system that can program my reef? whats the best out there?

rbnice1
09/17/2008, 08:14 AM
I have a AC Jr. that I really like. The only thing I dont like is the limit of 40 lines of code. Was pretty easy to set-up and works nice. Price is pretty good on it too. If price is not a object to you, you could go with a AC3 pro. they have all kinds of cool bells and whistles including being network capable.

There are other controllers out there, but I dont know much about them.

mrpenguin
09/17/2008, 08:23 AM
http://www.aquariumcontrollers.com/

tgreene
09/17/2008, 11:50 AM
I personally have (3) Lighthouse controllers up and running, (1) Lighthouse sitting on a shelf, and (1) brand new Lighthouse Pro XLS that I just started playing w/ last night...

I chose the Lighthouse units due to their inherent ease of use, combined with the integrated sophistication which they offer. Being that the Lighthouse units all have an integrated web server, I can monitor and adjust my controllers' settings from any location with an internet connection. The new Lighthouse Pro even has a built in email server, so it can be set to send out an email whenever something is detected to be out of whack.

For years I've been reading how this controller or that will do "more" than the Lighthouse Basic, but to be honest, I can't think of anything that can't be done for the "average" reefkeeper... In fact, the reason that I have so many units is because I have a large aquaculture facility, and each unit controls a different system.

The new Lighthouse Pro XLS is capable of doing just about anything and everything you can think of, including the capability of being expanded to control multiple systems.

Back on April 13th a very good doctor friend of mine had an office fire, and it was only because of the Lighthouse that I had installed on his 180g system, that he was able to save his building... April 13th was a Sunday, and because he had grown accustomed to checking his system parameters routinely when away from his office, he got online to check them that morning before he left for church. When he saw that the temperature had climbed from 79 to 93 in a matter of minutes, he knew something had to be wrong, so he headed into his office... As soon as he opened the door, all he saw was flames and black smoke. He immediately called the fire department, then he called ME to help him retrieve everything that could be saved in regards to his livestock. Because of my aquaculture facility, I have plenty of space to house everything if necessary, and I'm still holding it all for him. According to both the Fire Marshall and the Fire Chief, had the fire not been discovered for as little as 10 more minutes, his entire building would have been destroyed. It was only due to the Lighthouse that his building was saved... While the damage was significant enough to require a 3 month renovation, there was zero structural damage!

Because I use automated top off devices which directly feed Kalk reactors, on multiple occasions I've experienced Kalk overdoses, but when configuring a pH port in "reverse" mode, once a high pH limit is reached, it will shut off my top off controllers and prevent overdosing.

While the above "features" are not something that a reefkeeper typically looks for in a controller, they are ever present concerns which we have to potentially face on a regular basis.


I can only relate to my personal experience with these, so for detailed info you'll want to go to www.mcuresearch.com to check them out yourself.

-Tim

Hendersonracing
09/17/2008, 12:29 PM
Thanks Tim.......I like the idea of letting me know when somthing goes wrong...will it notify by phone or email if the power was to go off????

Hendersonracing
09/17/2008, 12:45 PM
how about this guy?

http://www.digitalaquatics.com/m_product_info.php?part_number=30-0011-001

tgreene
09/17/2008, 12:46 PM
If the power goes off, how would it be able to function..? ;)

Personally, I have a large True Sine Wave battery backup system in place on my display tank, so if the power goes out, the "brain" of the controller will continue to function as long as it has power.

I have seen relay controlled dialers on eBay that will phone you if the power goes out, but as for now this is not something that the Lighthouse can do. That said however, this was the primary reason that I got my 1st unit to begin with, because when the power is dead, the controller won't be active on the internet... If I can't see it online, then I know something is wrong!!!

-Tim

tgreene
09/17/2008, 12:51 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13371523#post13371523 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Hendersonracing
how about this guy?

http://www.digitalaquatics.com/m_product_info.php?part_number=30-0011-001

Digital Aquatics has just started "playing" with Ethernet capability, thus I prefer to utilize a company that has been doing it that way from day #1. ;)

-Tim

fishnu
09/17/2008, 12:59 PM
I would make a list of what functions you need/want. More features = more money.

I wound up buying an Aquacontroller3 and have been very happy. Programmable, web accessible, email alerts. If I had multiple tanks I would have chosen the AC3 Pro.

Hendersonracing
09/17/2008, 04:20 PM
I need a controller that will control 2 tanks at 2 different locations? is that possible?

tgreene
09/17/2008, 04:48 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13372744#post13372744 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Hendersonracing
I need a controller that will control 2 tanks at 2 different locations? is that possible?
Considering a pH and/or ORP probe have a 2 meter BNC cable, this will be your limitation. If you have 2 systems back to back on a wall, or side by side in the same room, then you could use the Lighthouse Pro XLS, as it's designed to handle multiple systems... Again however, your limitation would be distance between systems.

-Tim

dickreed
09/17/2008, 05:09 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13371428#post13371428 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Hendersonracing
Thanks Tim.......I like the idea of letting me know when somthing goes wrong...will it notify by phone or email if the power was to go off????

The original Lighthouse controller cannot notify you of a power outage during the outage. Remember, your internet is down during an outage because routers require power. However, the controller does display a power outage alarm on the web browser when power returns. It can also be setup to send an e-mail notification once power and internet are restored.

The Lighthouse Pro XLS currently does not send a notification message when the power is out. When we did our market research and compiled the features list this feature didn't come up. The list was so large the power outage idea just didn't make the list. Since it has come up we will add this feature to the unit in the next upgrade. And since the Pro is firmware upgradeable anyone that currently has a unit will be able to simply download the upgrade from our website and in about 2 minutes have the new features.

Also with both units, when the power is out the processor is still tracking time and programing so when the power returns the unit resumes control at that moment just as if the power had never been out.

Thank you for your question. Your feedback helps us increase our product features.

Dick

H2ODOC
09/17/2008, 05:13 PM
When you mention 2 tanks at 2 different locations, do you mean same building?

You can do a PLC that will controll 2 tanks in the same location with no problem at all.

You can put a HMI or touch screen display to customize what ever you want to control, however $$$ starts to add up....but it can be done.

H2ODOC
09/17/2008, 05:18 PM
An auto dialer hooked up to battery back up/surge protector would call you out if you lost power.... just my 2 cents...

turtleman9100
09/17/2008, 09:20 PM
Reefkeeper elite does 250 devices and 63 probes. You will never outgrown it.

SeanT
09/17/2008, 09:35 PM
I rarely promote products, however, the Profilux is hands down the best imo.

Hendersonracing
09/18/2008, 10:27 AM
thanks everyone.....thge 2 tanks are 20 miles apart....so I have to decide which one is the most important until I can afford 2 of them? Im really up in the air on which to use?

tgreene
09/18/2008, 11:50 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13376989#post13376989 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Hendersonracing
thanks everyone.....thge 2 tanks are 20 miles apart....so I have to decide which one is the most important until I can afford 2 of them? Im really up in the air on which to use?
Check your PM...

-Tim

burton14e7
09/19/2008, 09:35 PM
I've really enjoyed my profilux and the GHL guys have been really easy to work with when I had questions or concerns. For some reason the profilux control upgrade executables were not happy with my vista 64 and I was emailing them and we had it all worked out in 2 days. Better than Roger w/ Tunze IMO.

mojo~
09/26/2008, 05:25 PM
Well I got my Lighthouse Controller Yesterday and what a toy it it turning out to be. I might not have the sporty look of the RK2 or the ACJR but it is defiantly the Cadillac of the group. I will calibrate my ph probe this weekend when I get the time. But it was all of 5 minutes for me to open the box plug in the temp probe, ph probe, Ethernet cable and the controller itself. Took me longer to walk over to my chair than it did for me to get online with it.This is everything I could want. Sitting on my laptop and with a few strikes on the keyboard I just set up my light cycle. If I don't like it it takes all of 20 seconds to change it from my lazyboy.
I am sure there are others you might be able to do this with. But at this price? and with the customer support. The phone rang once when I called them prior to my purchase. I just wanted to see if I could get a hold of a person when I called. They were very helpful. I actually talked to someone who builds the units. Not a sales man, a reefer that is passionate about their product. What a nice change. I ordered my ORP probe today as I want to make use of everything I can do with it. It wont be long and I ll be able to access it from the web. Great product made in the USA

mojo~
09/27/2008, 12:31 PM
Did I mention that this thing showed me my cheap digital tempurature readout i got at the lfs was 11 degrees off!!! I wsa wonder why my stuff was bleaching out. Well i didnt belive it so I went out and bought a glass thermometer as well. The light house was right on the money. Saved my corals. tank ws up to 88 degrees. ouch Thanks lighthouse. This thing rocks!!

atvdave
09/27/2008, 12:59 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13371523#post13371523 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Hendersonracing
how about this guy?

http://www.digitalaquatics.com/m_product_info.php?part_number=30-0011-001

I really like mine. They are new though and are still working out minor bugs, but mine is working great.

tgreene
09/27/2008, 01:23 PM
Hey Mojo, I'm really happy that you're pleased with it. :)

-Tim