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NASAGeek
09/08/2017, 07:36 PM
I've been using Apex for several years.... but lately I've been having a LOT of failures in Apex components. I just had a Powerbar fail....

I'm sufficiently frustrated, I'm thinking of replacing my entire control system. Not a trivial decision, but as wonderful as Apex functionality is... the darn components keep failing on me.

What does everyone else use??

M

Breadman03
09/08/2017, 07:55 PM
Realistically, there's Apex, GHL Profilux and the Digital Aquatics Archon. Tunze has also released a basic controller that bridges the gap between plug in timers and the fancy controllers.

Aquatronica is putting one out that went to beta, then went quiet for some changes from what I heard. There's also the Reef Angel, but I really don't hear much about them anymore.

ETA-I might be thinking of the Vertex Cerebra, not Aquatronica.

Some folks have jumped on board with DIY Arduino controllers, and I've seen one using a PLC.

In my opinion, Apex and GHL are the leaders.

NASAGeek
09/08/2017, 08:02 PM
I am super annoyed... I've invested a LOT in Apex... but reliability is a MUST. Thanks I'll start researching GHL.

d2mini
09/09/2017, 07:12 AM
Thanks I'll start researching GHL.

Apex is a nice system with a lot of good features but GHL is on top when it comes to build quality and reliability. Not just reliability of hardware (we are talking sensitive electronics, parts can go bad), but their software/firmware as well. During your research, try to find any instances of major failures. GHL also goes beyond the reef hobbyist market. You will find GHL in many commercial institutions, freshwater, saltwater, terrariums and outdoor ponds.

fcmatt
09/09/2017, 08:14 AM
Apex is a nice system with a lot of good features but GHL is on top when it comes to build quality and reliability. Not just reliability of hardware (we are talking sensitive electronics, parts can go bad), but their software/firmware as well. During your research, try to find any instances of major failures. GHL also goes beyond the reef hobbyist market. You will find GHL in many commercial institutions, freshwater, saltwater, terrariums and outdoor ponds.

When it comes to reliability is it just the case that since Neptune dominates the market, I think, that problems appear online more frequently? If I sell 100,000 units and 1% complains of a fault it may seem lopsided when GHL sells 25,000 units and 1% complains of a fault. Yet Neptune is more reliable percentage wise.

All I am saying is that online complaints have to be taken with a grain of salt and logical thinking. Not saying GHL is worse or better. We simply do not know true failure percentages versus units sold combined with user error being the true culprit.

I never used GHL but I have owned older Neptune models. I want a new controller and I am still leaning towards an Apex due to the user community around it.

d2mini
09/09/2017, 08:34 AM
When it comes to reliability is it just the case that since Neptune dominates the market, I think, that problems appear online more frequently? If I sell 100,000 units and 1% complains of a fault it may seem lopsided when GHL sells 25,000 units and 1% complains of a fault. Yet Neptune is more reliable percentage wise.

All I am saying is that online complaints have to be taken with a grain of salt and logical thinking. Not saying GHL is worse or better. We simply do not know true failure percentages versus units sold combined with user error being the true culprit.

I never used GHL but I have owned older Neptune models. I want a new controller and I am still leaning towards an Apex due to the user community around it.
I get that, and that's always the response. I would agree in other instances, but try to find just one instance of a catastrophic failure with GHL. I don't even find your 1%.
And remember, Apex may have the market here in the states, but that is not the case abroad.

But yes, the larger user base with Apex here in the states is an advantage when you are trying to work through something.

ca1ore
09/09/2017, 08:38 AM
Who knows. There are pros and cons to both apex and GHL (I've opined on why I bought what I bought elsewhere and don't feel like repeating myself). I'm always a bit hard pressed to understand why some folks seem to have recurring problems with their apex. The last module I bought was #21, and the sum total of my historical problems have been limited to a PM1 bought used (with clear water intrusion) and a recent stuck flow sensor. I'm always suspicious of user error.

FWIW, they are the only two options I would personally consider - I own equipment from both and have been pleased overall.

fcmatt
09/09/2017, 09:13 AM
Is myGHL caught up with fusion yet? Seems people enjoy fusion more (Apex software interface)?

I just read about the profilux 4. New to me. Sexy piece of hardware but quite similar to version 3?

Only complaints I see about GHL are warranty or communication/support issues. Rare to impossible to find it messing up once running it seems.

As a previous AC junior and AC pro III I think it was called I am still a Neptune fan due to those boxes being reliable. I sold the pro but still have the jr and it still works to this day!

ca1ore
09/09/2017, 09:20 AM
Only complaints I see about GHL are warranty or communication/support issues.

This was the primary reason I personally went with apex. Much more robust and helpful community, here in the US at least. Since I nether speak nor read German, GHL popularity abroad isn't useful (maybe not as big an issue anymore, dunno).

d2mini
09/09/2017, 11:05 AM
Is myGHL caught up with fusion yet? Seems people enjoy fusion more (Apex software interface)?

I just read about the profilux 4. New to me. Sexy piece of hardware but quite similar to version 3?

Only complaints I see about GHL are warranty or communication/support issues. Rare to impossible to find it messing up once running it seems.

As a previous AC junior and AC pro III I think it was called I am still a Neptune fan due to those boxes being reliable. I sold the pro but still have the jr and it still works to this day!

I never used Fusion but I would say it still has the edge in fancy graphics and stuff but MyGHL still lets you access and control your Profilux, Mitras and Dosers. I still find the GHL Control Center PC software to be the easiest for major programming. The fully functional mobile app was also shown at macna and should be available soon.

This past year or two has done wonders for GHL customer support and product availability.
New office and warehouse in Florida with telephone and facebook support.
Marco and Vinny (two long time RC members) are heading that up, and Vinny has been making some great Youtube videos as well for their GHL channel.

The P4 is definitely very similar to the P3 but they added wifi along with some additional ports and functionality. GHL isn't going to make drastic changes, but evolutionary changes, and they do their best to make everything upgradeable/backwards compatible.

fcmatt
09/09/2017, 11:48 AM
I never used Fusion but I would say it still has the edge in fancy graphics and stuff but MyGHL still lets you access and control your Profilux, Mitras and Dosers. I still find the GHL Control Center PC software to be the easiest for major programming. The fully functional mobile app was also shown at macna and should be available soon.

This past year or two has done wonders for GHL customer support and product availability.
New office and warehouse in Florida with telephone and facebook support.
Marco and Vinny (two long time RC members) are heading that up, and Vinny has been making some great Youtube videos as well for their GHL channel.

The P4 is definitely very similar to the P3 but they added wifi along with some additional ports and functionality. GHL isn't going to make drastic changes, but evolutionary changes, and they do their best to make everything upgradeable/backwards compatible.

Thank you for the reply and now I see why GHL is a serious contender.

I wish that old controller spreadsheet that used to float around was still updated but compare the finer points of apex versus profilux 4. Both can do the major things but I find only once you own it do you realize you might be missing something the other has and vice versa.

Jyetman
09/09/2017, 12:57 PM
I am super annoyed... I've invested a LOT in Apex... but reliability is a MUST. Thanks I'll start researching GHL.

How old are the apex components? I had a strange issue with my 3 year old apex classic brain 8 months ago it failed boot up locked solid so apex repaired it for $75 no issues since knock on wood. For the EB8 only problem I've had is it shorted out a triac socket when my scrubber light blew. That was my fault but the remainder sockets still work. All the modules and EB8s IMO need to be in a area not expose to high humidity farther away from the tank the better keep them in a dry well ventilated spot.

n2585722
09/09/2017, 06:39 PM
All the modules and EB8s IMO need to be in a area not expose to high humidity farther away from the tank the better keep them in a dry well ventilated spot.
Jyetman is right. This goes with any electronics gear. You definitely don't want the power bars near the skimmer or sump. I don't use the Apex or the GHL, but my guess is the environment has something to do with the failures. I do work on electronics equipment. I have seen camcorders that were totally ruined from being at the beach. According to the owners they never got wet. The only thing is salt mist can be undetectable to our eyes and still be enough to ruin electronic equipment that gets exposed. If you have a large investment you may want to get an opinion as to whether it was damaged by the enviroment you have the equipment in before investing in a different controller only to have the same issue down the road.

ReefCowboy
09/10/2017, 10:07 AM
Is myGHL caught up with fusion yet? Seems people enjoy fusion more (Apex software interface)?

Not even close. One of the main reasons the Apex is a better option. Folks who switch realize later they had fusion for granted.

What has failed on your apex? Did you buy these components new? Did you contact Neptune for help?

alton
09/10/2017, 11:11 AM
It maybe voltage spikes? Just like computers, controllers need to be protected from them. You can place surge protection on your service, or they make tvss receptacles.

d2mini
09/10/2017, 11:26 AM
Not even close. One of the main reasons the Apex is a better option. Folks who switch realize later they had fusion for granted.


Being that I never used Fusion (and for others who are researching controllers) what is it that is so good about it and makes it a better option?
I know it can display graphs of your parameters and other stuff but I honestly don't have the need for that personally. I hardly ever go into MyGHL unless I need to check on something while away from home.

fcmatt
09/10/2017, 11:40 AM
Being that I never used Fusion (and for others who are researching controllers) what is it that is so good about it and makes it a better option?
I know it can display graphs of your parameters and other stuff but I honestly don't have the need for that personally. I hardly ever go into MyGHL unless I need to check on something while away from home.

And that ability has been around since the AC junior via serial cable to a Windows box running their software combined with port forward and ssh/vnc. I can't recall if I used aquamotes on Windows or command line and linux.

Once the gee whiz factor wears off, a controller should be stable and based on my Google fu the last day or so GHL appears to have that down pat. It is a very interesting decision to consider them.

ReefCowboy
09/10/2017, 11:52 AM
Being that I never used Fusion (and for others who are researching controllers) what is it that is so good about it and makes it a better option?
I know it can display graphs of your parameters and other stuff but I honestly don't have the need for that personally. I hardly ever go into MyGHL unless I need to check on something while away from home.

Exactly my point. Fusion isnt a big deal until you get to program, check on monitoring and need to add other pieces of equipment while using it yourself.

To some monitoring isnt that big of a deal, but to others, being able to fire up the app, see how everything stays is an excellent tool. Dont get me wrong old school people will see this as complete nonsense(not directed at you :))

I open fusion and at a glance can see where everything stands, change things very easily. Adding more control is a real PITA if one sees getting to programing a tedious chore. Using my radions as example. Had I needed to use Reeflink, which I think is a horrible app, would hate to change settings if needed with my lights. Using WXM, I can do it in a much simpler way and do it quite often.

IMO fusion makes me want to be more involved with controlling. If I had to lay my apple phone down, crank a PC up and look at more complicated ways to check on everything I wouldnt feel so excited about the whole controller thing.
Would set it, cross my fingers and hope it is all working most of the time

d2mini
09/10/2017, 12:09 PM
Ya, see to me (am i "old school" yet if I've been reefing for about 9 years? :D ) I have a controller to automate tasks and alert of me problems. So the less I need to deal with it the better. I don't want to check on things all the time. If I did, I wouldn't need a controller. My remote display is mounted to the wall right next to the tank and it happens to be in an area I walk by all the time anyway, so a quick glance shows me conductivity, ph, orp and temp. There's isn't anything else I'm usually concerned with. And my little netbook pc sits right next to my mac, always up and running, if I need to change anything while at home. Overall, I'm a lazy reefer. The less I need to do the better! lol

I know back when Fusion first came out it fixed a problem that Apex had which was having to learn a programing language. I bought into GHL before Fusion existed, so the other benefit to GHL was how easy it was to program. Just choose from menus, click radio buttons and input values. For me, that is what would have been the big draw to Fusion.

Wazzel
09/11/2017, 06:41 AM
I am new to controllers and went GHL. I am happy with the interface and the way the programming is done. Still climbing the learning curve at this point, but it is coming along.

My experience with there customer service has been good. I have had a few question while setting up and they got back to me in a timely manner. The YouTube videos are good.

I basically jumped in neck deep with GHL. I got the profilux, doser, vortech module and a fan unit. As a first time user, I did not have a who lot of issues getting it set up and integrating other parts of my aquarium system, like my heater. How it compares to Apex I have no clue, but GHL was not hard to figure out.

NASAGeek
09/13/2017, 04:57 PM
I researched.... stewed... fretted.... and bought a replacement Apex EB8.

I'm going to sort through all my broken Apex stuff and send it in to be repaired as well.

Bottom line is that I've got so much invested in Apex, it's too expensive to switch to something new.

d2mini
09/13/2017, 05:44 PM
I researched.... stewed... fretted.... and bought a replacement Apex EB8.

I'm going to sort through all my broken Apex stuff and send it in to be repaired as well.

Bottom line is that I've got so much invested in Apex, it's too expensive to switch to something new.

Hard to argue with that!

BTW, if anyone needs one, my Profilux 3ex that I painted white/silver is for sale in the classifieds. ;)

mkengr45
09/13/2017, 06:42 PM
I have had the Profilux for a while....and I hate it. Simple things are a pain in the *** and the support absolutely sucks. It is reliable, I haven't had any problems with it....but it's not user friendly at all.

BTW, I do automation and controls programming for a living for one of the largest applied science and R&D facilities in the world and deal with various PLCs and daq/control systems on a daily basis......so maybe I just expect more.

I'd trade my POS Profilux for an Apex in a heartbeat

ReefTeacher
09/13/2017, 08:02 PM
I had been a big Neptune supporter, I've had the AC Jr. and then an AC III and now the Apex since 2012. The brains have been good for me, but I have had a LOT of issues with peripheral failures recently, specifically with the AFS and the WAV pumps. Back in the day you could call up Neptune with a problem and they would talk you through it on the phone. Now they have you send the peripherals in and tell you the damage is not covered under warrantee. Since you no longer have it, you have no recourse.

I doubt I will ever buy the new Apex, it seems the company is growing too fast and has real quality control issues. Everything I have bought from Tunze has lasted years when it needed repair was only a few dollars. Roger is the best and is very reliable. i will definitely be looking at the new Tunze controller when my Apex dies....reliability is key.

ktownhero
09/14/2017, 07:24 AM
I never used Fusion but I would say it still has the edge in fancy graphics and stuff but MyGHL still lets you access and control your Profilux, Mitras and Dosers. I still find the GHL Control Center PC software to be the easiest for major programming. The fully functional mobile app was also shown at macna and should be available soon.



Fusion actually suffers from the same poor design as the hardware itself. The gaudy orange everywhere. There is a lot they could do to improve it both aesthetically and functionally. For example, why can't we have more than 3 columns? Why can't we resize widgets? Why are all of the settings menus hidden under tiny icons that you have to memorize? lol.

No experience with myGhl but if it does what needs to be done functionally, then that's all that is needed. I would happily give up all of the "graphics" for a more intuitive and customizable interface.

cpllongjk
09/14/2017, 12:10 PM
I switched from a full APEX classic system with many addons to GHL Profilux 4.

Here are my impressions:

Apex Pros
1. Many users in US to help with issues/programming problems that might arise.
2. Many different add-on items for anything you would want to test/monitor.
3. Fusion is very good and easy to use for new people.
4. Neptune is very quick to roll out updates to fusion/apps.

Apex Cons
1. Personally, I have had a lot of equipment failures with EB8s in the past. Repairing an EB8 is almost as expensive as replacing it entirely.
2. Neptune doesn't have a program to ship you replacement parts first, under a CC hold, until your parts get fixed.
3. Almost too many add-on parts, especially with classic.


GHL Pros
1. (Only owned my Profilux4 for 6 months) No equipment problems. I did a lot of research before I switched to GHL.
2. Vinny and everyone at GHL USA are very helpful and when problems arise are quick to email/talk with on phone if needed to help.
3. I think GHL's customer service is better than Neptune (personal opinion).
4. As people have mentioned previously, GHL is used by commercial places and many aquariums around the world.

GHL Cons
1. Not as user-friendly as Neptune.
2. Profilux 4 app is still in works (slower to roll out updates)



I hope this helps. I am very happy with my Profilux4, however I did have to do some research when setting it up because it is very different compared to my Apex. Before switching I was an APEX user for over 10 years.

sonoma2nv
09/15/2017, 12:41 AM
I had been a big Neptune supporter, I've had the AC Jr. and then an AC III and now the Apex since 2012. The brains have been good for me, but I have had a LOT of issues with peripheral failures recently, specifically with the AFS and the WAV pumps. Back in the day you could call up Neptune with a problem and they would talk you through it on the phone. Now they have you send the peripherals in and tell you the damage is not covered under warrantee. Since you no longer have it, you have no recourse.

I doubt I will ever buy the new Apex, it seems the company is growing too fast and has real quality control issues. Everything I have bought from Tunze has lasted years when it needed repair was only a few dollars. Roger is the best and is very reliable. i will definitely be looking at the new Tunze controller when my Apex dies....reliability is key.
yeah i have the classic sucks that they have left the classic users behind,no way im gonna drop $800 just so i can use there new stuff.theres a reason i paid a premium for the apex back when i was starting so i wouldnt have to worry about this,i guess i was wrong.

ktownhero
09/15/2017, 10:06 AM
yeah i have the classic sucks that they have left the classic users behind,no way im gonna drop $800 just so i can use there new stuff.theres a reason i paid a premium for the apex back when i was starting so i wouldnt have to worry about this,i guess i was wrong.

Would you prefer that they never release anything that requires a better computer just so you never have to feel this way? lol.

Technology has limitations and grows in time; aquarium controllers are no different.

ReefTeacher
09/15/2017, 02:34 PM
ktownhero,

while what you say is certainly true, there are business decisions companies make. Through the aquabus port, the Apex is expandable. This is why we have additional modules such as the AWM with gives the logic for wireless control of AI lights. This was not included in the original Apex, but is available as an expansion. GHL controllers allow for expansion cards to be inserted into a motherboard for additional functionality. Remember the ISA bus on PC's back in the day? The Apex is not yet 10 years old and was introduced with great hype, so to abandon the platform at this point has angered a LOT of formerly supportive customers.

No one minds that the new Apex has the 1link ports and switchable outlets integrated. Those are available by expansion modules on the classic apex. Heck I even can (kinda) understand the only the new Apex having the timing logic to monitor the current pull on individual outlets as opposed to an entire EB8 at once. But to introduce new peripherals that simply will not work with an entire platform that is less than 10 year old is a different matter. The logic can be introduced by expansion modules, but Neptune has chosen not to do so. It is unfair to say we are saying "no innovation because it makes us feel bad" We are saying "we have invested heavily in your product for the last decade and you are leaving us out of new features due to an aggressive marketing decision." I, for one, am looking seriously at GHL for my next controller for this very reason: they have not left their faithful customers behind in the past.

Rant Over!:frog: