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MurphyLong
09/15/2017, 10:13 AM
So, I've been eyeballing the classifieds lately, and of course I keep missing out on what I think I want.

All I'm looking to do is have something that will do the following basics, and these are requirements.

1. Monitor Temperature. If it gets too high, turn on my fans over the sump.
2. Timer for outlets. I want it to shut off 2 powerheads at lights out.

I think that's pretty much it, I do everything else manually.

Now, some bonus features, but not necessary, especially if it drives the price up a lot:
1. Leak detection. I figure something will eventually leak, I'd like some kind of warning when it starts.
2. Additional monitoring probes, maybe pH, salinity, and ammonia, if that's even a thing.
3. PC programmable. If I can connect it via USB to set it up, that'd be a huge relief.

I'm not spending $800 on a fancy Apex. In fact, I'm not even gonna spend $300 on one. I think what I'm after is a Neptune Aquacontroller Jr, which is apparently no longer made, or is rebranded. I'm seeing them sell for under $100 with the DC8 and I think that would at least meet the basic requirements.

So, are there any other options in the $100 (or less) that will do the simple things? Before anyone starts spewing nonsense about it being an expensive hobby, I already know it is, but this isn't a "need," it's a simple "want."

mcgyvr
09/15/2017, 10:22 AM
This..
https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1505492567&sr=1-1&keywords=inkbird
plus 2 off the shelf lamp timers and requirements 1 and 2 are done for under $50.

but why shut off powerheads at night? Thats absolutely not needed and might not be a good idea either..

Ironically I've been thinking about making a low cost wifi enabled reef controller for my own needs that I could easily sell too (I have a reef angel but just wanted to make one myself with wifi/web configs/4 outlets, ato,etc...)

MurphyLong
09/15/2017, 10:39 AM
This..
https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1505492567&sr=1-1&keywords=inkbird
plus 2 off the shelf lamp timers and requirements 1 and 2 are done for under $50.

but why shut off powerheads at night? Thats absolutely not needed and might not be a good idea either..

Ironically I've been thinking about making a low cost wifi enabled reef controller for my own needs that I could easily sell too (I have a reef angel but just wanted to make one myself with wifi/web configs/4 outlets, ato,etc...)

I have a box of timers that I've bought from different places, and they always lose sync. I've tried digital and analog, but apparently none of them know how to count. It's frustrating, which is why I'm after a centralized controller with 1 clock.

I have excessive flow in my tank (no such thing, right?) Well, I have 2 gyres running, plus 2 large powerheads on each side of the tank, and they just keep the corners clean, and I already have the gyres on a night program. I've always shut them down at night.

During the day, flow through my refugium is pretty light, just circulating through chaeto, enough to keep water moving across all of it. During the night, I increase the flow to it, by ramping up the return, and diverting more flow through the fuge, tossing the chaeto around under the light, hopefully forcing pods into the DT. (My Scooter is teetering on obesity, so I'm thinking it's working.) but I digress; that also takes up some of the slack for the lower water movement, because the returns are pushing more water at a higher rate.


As for the DIY route, are you thinking an Arduino/Pi based setup?

mcgyvr
09/15/2017, 10:52 AM
As for the DIY route, are you thinking an Arduino/Pi based setup?

Your luck must really suck.. off the shelf timers of all kinds have always been just fine for me..
And for what you are doing you absolutely do not need anything fancier or more accurate..

I would likely use an ESP32 chip and then design another board with all the other needed components/functionality..
Hard to beat it today..
http://espressif.com/en/products/hardware/esp32/overview

MurphyLong
09/15/2017, 11:02 AM
Your luck must really suck.. off the shelf timers of all kinds have always been just fine for me..
And for what you are doing you absolutely do not need anything fancier or more accurate..

I would likely use an ESP32 chip and then design another board with all the other needed components/functionality..
Hard to beat it today..
http://espressif.com/en/products/hardware/esp32/overview

Well, by stepping up to s basic controller, I'd get the added probes like salinity, which would be nice too.

mcgyvr
09/15/2017, 12:11 PM
get the added probes like salinity, which would be nice too.

I don't see a point in monitoring salinity in a tank either via a full time probe..
A refractometer is far more useful than a salinity probe..

But hey.. your money.. ;)

MurphyLong
09/15/2017, 02:32 PM
I don't see a point in monitoring salinity in a tank either via a full time probe..
A refractometer is far more useful than a salinity probe..

But hey.. your money.. ;)

It was an example. I have a refractometer.

n2585722
09/15/2017, 07:50 PM
Check out the basic RKL by Digital Aquatics. It is less than $130. You can add up to 4 modules before having to upgrade to the RKE or Archon. The RKE and Archon use the same modules so you would not have to replace your modules. The basic comes with a temp probe and has a power bar module with 4 outlets to control up to 4 items. That leaves you 3 more modules you can add as needed. To add leak detection you would need either one of the SL modules or the SW5 module to add switch inputs. The SL modules have inputs for probes. It depends on which module you get which probes can be added. All do have the pH and temp but vary as to whether it is another pH, ORP or salinity probe.

MurphyLong
09/18/2017, 06:35 AM
Check out the basic RKL by Digital Aquatics. It is less than $130. You can add up to 4 modules before having to upgrade to the RKE or Archon. The RKE and Archon use the same modules so you would not have to replace your modules. The basic comes with a temp probe and has a power bar module with 4 outlets to control up to 4 items. That leaves you 3 more modules you can add as needed. To add leak detection you would need either one of the SL modules or the SW5 module to add switch inputs. The SL modules have inputs for probes. It depends on which module you get which probes can be added. All do have the pH and temp but vary as to whether it is another pH, ORP or salinity probe.

Thanks, that seems like the perfect thing! I'll head over to BRS to order it shortly.