View Full Version : COR Beta Test Update

09/26/2017, 10:33 PM
I've been using the COR-20 for a couple of weeks now, and I have some general impressions to share. Any questions, please feel free and I'll do my best to answer.

I'm replacing a Sicce 5.0, which is now my backup pump.

There are two key features to the COR that I really enjoy. The first is the integration into the Apex universe. At this point, I can't imagine ever owning a critical piece of reef gear that was not Apex compatible. I travel a bunch for work, and even during this Beta test I spent a week out of state. The ability to just dial into my Apex head unit and get detailed status of everything, I really do find it to be reassuring. The Apex Fusion tile provides WATTS, RPM, and TEMP, which is great But, the COR also provides diagnostic functions via Fusion, including Run Dry, Over Voltage, Under Voltage, Overcurrent, and Temp. This way, if I have an issue, I at least have an idea of what's going on. I've tested the Run Dry accidentally (oops) and it worked no problem.

A couple of my local friends are Apex users, but find the programming challenging. I do a lot of Apex coding for other people's tanks. Here, it's not unique to the COR, but the Fusion Tasks are excellent ways to follow a couple command prompts and the system does the programming for you. It could not be easier to set this up in the Apex environment. There's literally no coding required.

The other thing I'm thrilled about with this pump is called IQ-Level adjustment. We set MAX and MIN levels for the COR using either the buttons on the COR control module or via an Apex Fusion interface. The MAX is used as the normal operating speed of the pump, and the MIN is used for FEED modes.

This might not sound super exciting, and when I first heard about it I literally said "meh", and I didn't think I would use it. But I gave it a go and this is great. I currently have my COR MIN speed set to 5%. This is juuuust enough flow to trickle water up through the return, which in turn keeps the tank level at the same height and the returns full of water. I have my MAX speed set to 58%, which matches the flow I was getting out of the Sicce 5.0. I measure this via 1" FMM sensor.

So now, when I hit the FEEDA mode, instead of going OFF, it goes to 5%. What I really like about this though, is after the FEED mode is over, and when the pump kicks back on, I don't get that air-water slurry that always came rocketing out of the return with the Sicce. It's like a motorized check valve, but without the poor reliability. There's also a soft start feature built in, so the speed doesn't just jump from 5% to 58%.

Currently, I'm testing the COR in standalone mode, so no Apex connected. Sort of kills the first "feature", ;), but does not interrupt the second. The IQ-Level can be set via the buttons on the COR control module, no Apex required. There are two buttons, left and right. Left slows the pump, right speeds it up. Dial in the speed you want, hold the two buttons in for three seconds, and boom, the max level is set.

For the min, activate the FEEDA mode by holding the right button in for 3 seconds, the COR will go into slow speed. Dial in the desired MIN speed, hold the two buttons in for three seconds, and boom, the min level is set.

Now, when you activate the FEEDA mode via COR module, the same levels will be held. Neptune also stores these values onboard the COR control module, so if power is lost or cycled, the IQ levels do not change.

One thing that does irk me a touch about the COR in standalone mode is is the number of button pushes required to get from 0% to 100%. You can get pretty high resolution on the speeds here. However, I can't think of a better way to do this. You need to be able to dial in flow, and literally the only way in a non-Apex connected state to do this is going to be by pushing manual buttons until you get where you want.

That being said, the old way with my Sicce 5.0 to control speed was to get under the tank and adjust a 1" ball valve. I would MUCH rather push the buttons than do that again. What a poor design that was on my part. And how often do I really adjust return pump flow once it's dialed in? Pretty much never.

I'll keep updating this thread for the next couple of weeks. I'm trying to be as unbiased as possible, but there's a certain level of "awesomeness" about upgrading from a fixed speed AC pump to a controllable DC pump that I would be digging for probably any of the DC pumps out there. Cool new stuff to mess with I didn't have previously. But, I am a hardcore Apex user, and the seamless integration into Fusion puts this way over the top for me. It really is exceptional stuff.

Also, I can try to get some pictures and screenshots up when I figure out the easiest way. May be via Tapatalk.

09/27/2017, 11:16 AM
One more thing, the pump is silent. I get more noise out of my MP40's (non-QD) than I do this. I literally can't tell if this pump is on save for the water flowing out of the returns. It just doesn't make noise, and I have a rigid plumbing installation.

09/28/2017, 09:28 AM
Just a thought I had in discussions with another user on a different forum:

The COR20 has its own power supply and is fully capable of running in a standalone mode. I'm testing in this configuration now. If the Apex fails, the COR20 keeps on keeping on at whatever speed it was previously set to. I've tested this myself several times, but I never really appreciated it until I had this discussion.

I lost my original Apex Lite head unit in a lightning storm about a year ago, and my return pump attached to my EB8 went OFF. Had I the COR20, and had it sufficiently protected, it would have defaulted to its current state and flow would have continued. And then, I could have operated as normal while I worked out the return and repair.

Since then, I have purchased an APC UPS, which has been super.

10/06/2017, 09:21 AM
I wrapped up testing yesterday after quite some time in standalone mode, and I have no issues identified here. My first 29g tank had a power strip that I used to switch my 115VAC return pump on and off, looking back that might not have been so safe.

Other than the ability to monitor in Fusion, there's nothing I was missing running the COR standalone vs. connected. Same Feed mode, same IQ functionality, etc. The slow speed IQ mode really is a big selling point for me on this. Absolutely.

I did change the Apex code for the rest of my system to monitor the FMM reported flow through my return line to set the MP40's to my desired feed mode and shut the skimmer off instead of hitting two buttons. Other than that literally no difference.

I've gotten a couple PM's asking when it's going to be released and how much it will cost, but I don't know, sorry :)

10/20/2017, 11:50 PM
Still plugging away in beta test, but at this point everything is pretty robust. Manuals have been updated and should be easy to read and follow. I think that's one of the key parts of this, not only to test the product, but also review the instructions so that a diverse group of folks have looked at them before they go live.

I haven't had any kind of issues with the pump, seems to maintain to +/- 3 gph via FMM, which is absolutely fine with me.

One idea that was kicking around, perhaps, was to use the programability of the COR to augment current wave making in our tanks. Today in my 120g I run two MP40's, and then have loc-line directed returns in the tank. But with a constant speed pump, they output a constant flow, and can't be directed at any corals in the tank.

While this seems like a good idea, continuously changing return pump speed will continuously change the water level in my sump. My ATO is an ATK, so the sensors may or may not trip as required if the pump slows down and the sump level rises an inch. This, in turn, will honk with salinity.

My skimmer is a Mini Cone-S, and with a constant water level its great. But it took me a lot of dialing in to get the water level juuuuuusssttt right, so I don't want to screw with that level too much.

I can think of a couple of workarounds for the ATO issue. If we only allow the ATO to "be available" for 10 minutes per hour, and for those 10 minutes the COR is running at 100% speed, it would be ATO'ing to a known water level. But I'm stuck on the skimmer, any ideas let me know. I don't have a constant baffle height location suitable in my sump, but maybe that's possible. Any ideas appreciated!

Finally, I demonstrated the new feed mode with the COR to a good friend recently, and he's going to buy one just for the ability to keep the returns full of water, preventing the wave of microbubbles on startup. I know that this is possible on many DC pumps, but Fusion integration makes it so easy to do here! A+++

10/21/2017, 10:41 AM
One concern I have with DC pumps, from any manufacture, is the fall off. I am not sure how long you have had the COR running but have you noticed any falloff of head pressure? I also believe that is one of the selling points of the new APEX power bars with power management. Not sure if the COR has anything unique to alert you it is time to clean due to wear, tear, or algae or if that is managed via power consumption at the bar/outlet.

10/21/2017, 04:34 PM
I can't say for sure, and it's tough to tell definitively in these kids of conditions. Since I installed the FMM, I have quickly learned that flown is a very dynamic parameter. Sump volume, viscosity, ATO all play into it. That being said, here's a screen shot of my flow as far back as I have stored:


It's within that +/- 3 GPH and looks to be trending up slightly. I have not changed the settings, the spikes you see are feeds.

The COR provides a number of fault alarms, including stuck rotor, which is great. The Fusion tile displays power, speed and temp:


The COR does not require to be plugged into an EB832, so I would venture that's not part of the operations.

10/21/2017, 05:39 PM
@jml1149 - thank you for the information. Useful for sure. Sadly I'll be buying a return pump within the next week or two at most so this won't be an option although ideally I'd like to buy one. I'll need one for the upgrade that is in progress. I'll just have to add it to my last down the road although I am going to be purchasing an Apex to upgrade my reef angel controller.

Thanks again - looks like a pretty solid product from the log you are keeping here. Again, thanks.

10/21/2017, 11:58 PM
Not a problem. Thank's for reading.

I looked into this DC pump falloff thing a bit, and I can't find any good data. This is my first DC pump, so I can't speak to it beyond what I've seen to date. I can say though that I'm running this COR-20 around 58% max speed, so I have a bunch of head to go if I were to see a drop.

Looking back, I REALLY screwed the pooch when it came to plumbing. That's another lesson learned, ideally for your upgrade in progress. Go big with plumbing, and as straight as you can. I have a deep blue 120, and the returns are 3/4". So I figured why not run 3/4" all the way back to my return pump? Big mistake. I should have run 1" then stepped down to 3/4" at the connections to the returns. And where I have 90's, I should have tried to use 45's. It's SO restrictive.

And the problem is, flow is non-linear with power. So from 0-58%, I go from 0 GPH to 420 GPH. From 58 - 100%, I gain much much less. I could put the biggest pump I can find in there, and never make the "suggested" 10x or 1200 GPH flow I see reccomended.

10/27/2017, 11:44 AM
What is the COR-20 rated at GPH or LPH?

10/27/2017, 12:04 PM
2000 gph

10/29/2017, 09:33 PM
How would you say the COR pumps compare to Red Dragon pumps?

11/01/2017, 10:16 PM
How would you say the COR pumps compare to Red Dragon pumps?

Sorry, I don't have any experience with the Red Dragon pumps, so I can't make a fair comparison.

I don't know what the final pricing will be, but I'm sure it will be a lot cheaper than the Red Dragon ones I found online with a quick Google search. Holy heck, I can't see paying THAT much for a return pump. Wow.

11/03/2017, 12:14 AM
Just a quick update:

There was a new Fusion build that dropped yesterday that adds COR functionality, if you click on TASKS a new one for the COR pump will be seen. Check it out if interested.

This has been a very smooth NSI project so far. The COR pump has worked for me without issue from the get go, a lot of feedback generated so far has been user interface tweaks, documentation updates, etc. Neptune Systems is VERY responsive to feedback, which makes for a better overall product for everybody.