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View Full Version : Apex and Milwaukee MA955 solenoid


cswanson
05/28/2014, 07:55 PM
Hi,

I bought the calcium reactor set up before I purchased the controller. Doh!

Now I want to control the CO2 solenoid from the Neptune Apex PM1 so I can have all the data and view it in one place.

Does anybody do this already or is the interface (wires/cables/etc) pretty clear on how to use?

Thanks,
Chris

P.S. I went to Apex site, but got caught in registration red tape. Reef Central is the way to go.

gregr
05/28/2014, 08:19 PM
I'm controlling my Korallin 1502 this way with the Milwaukee solenoid/guage. It works very well and the code is pretty straighforward. Here's what I have on the CO2 outlet:
Fallback ON
Set ON
If pHEFF < 6.41 Then OFF [reactor effluent pH]
If pH < 7.90 Then OFF [tank pH]
If Outlet CaRxPump = OFF Then OFF [just so the CO2 stops when I want to turn the pump off to change media, clean, etc.]

cswanson
05/28/2014, 09:30 PM
Fantastic.

Is there a liquid solenoid or valve that works well with Apex controllers?

gregr
05/28/2014, 09:42 PM
Not sure what you're asking here. You mean for your calcium reactor? If so I think the Milwaukee is fine- I haven't read anything bad about it at least and the last one I had I used for about ten years so they must be built ok. As far as the Apex goes- it just turns the outlet on and off so I would think it plays nice with anything that fits the bill voltage-wise.

cswanson
05/28/2014, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I feel silly.

I just opened the box and it became really apparent how it worked AND that I need to get another 8 outlet module!

I think the other question's answer is a doser pump. I haven't checked, but they probably work the same way with an activated AC outlet.

This is actually a beautiful system because it eliminates proprietary cables and connectors. From a bad dream probably I expected aquaria equipment to follow the same business trend.

Thankfully it doesn't!

kurt_n
05/28/2014, 10:26 PM
Before you run off and get that 8 outlet module, do a bit of planning and research on what your needs are. For example...

Solenoids are low power/wattage devices and don't play well with triac controlled outlets. Those are outlets #1-3 and 5-7 on the EB8 of an Apex. You want low powered devices, let's just say less than 5 Watts, on the mechanical relay controlled outlets - those are #4 and #8. If you put low powered devices on triac controlled outlets, they may not turn off reliably.

The same goes for dosing pumps - those are low power devices that want to be on mechanical relay outlets. Most people run at least 2 dosing pumps... sometimes 3.

So with 2 dosing pumps and 1 solenoid you're looking at needing 3 mechanical relay outlets. Two EB8s will cover you, but if you need more than 4 mechanical relays then you're out of luck with 2x EB8s.

But...

The EB4 is *all* mechanical relays. So an EB8 + EB4 give you a total of 6 mechanical relays. Granted, you don't get as many total outlets, but depending on the devices you're looking to plug into those outlets, you might be better off going with an EB4.

Hopefully that makes sense. It just kind of sounds like you're on a spending spree without getting your ducks in a row!

cswanson
05/30/2014, 11:21 AM
Yes, this totally makes sense.

This is what I call the 'gotcha' moment with any type of equipment.

Luckily, I made an outlet audit and found that eight outlets are not going to be enough! So, I went and purchased another 8 module.

Therefore, I will have 4 relayed outlets. I do not believe I have anything that draws more than 5 amps (as that is really a lot of current) so the remaining 12 outlets ought to be sufficient for the other items.

If I find I need more than 4 relayed circuits, there apparently is a way to put a draw in parallel to increase it but that would turn into a waste of current.

Anyway, I am a sucker for graphs, so the apex was the winner.