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Unread 03/11/2006, 03:10 PM   #1
MattG
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Aquacontroller Jr vs ReefKeeper 2??

Opinions wanted on these two controllers.

Which one do you have and why did you pick it? Are you happy with your purchase?

I need some help deciding on one.

Thanks for any reviews/opinions!


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Unread 03/11/2006, 04:51 PM   #2
Drewpy
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the new reefkeeper has some added features but it's main drawback (or draw) is that it lacks a customizable programing language.

The reefkeeper 2 may be easier to use at first...

All in all i bought the aquacontroller jr a few months ago and love the thing... but back then it wasn't a hard pick. This new reefkeeper is much more competetive.

Price would be a big decision maker for me if i was to make the purchase now.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 04:58 PM   #3
mattseattle
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I also bought the Aquacontroller Junior. With the Reefkeeper you can only control up to 8 outlets. On the Junior you can control up to 12. Also, the programming language on the Junior makes it a lot more configurable than the RK 2.

I honestly don't see why anyone would buy the RK 2 over the Junior.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 05:08 PM   #4
Larry Waughon
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The reef keeper is a great product. The reef keeper 2 is even better. You can add on and control more than 8 outlets and it is very easy to use. A friend has a aquacontroller jr and says nothing but good about it also. Two good products makes it a hard choice.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 06:15 PM   #5
Drewpy
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if worried the aquajunior will be hard to use-- don't be.... about an 20 minute learning curve with the manual in hand...


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Unread 03/11/2006, 09:04 PM   #6
donski
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I just bought an Aquacontoller JR with the DC8.Sweet!!!!The operating manuals could be better written though. (like Aqua jr for dummies)


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Unread 03/11/2006, 09:16 PM   #7
xtrstangx
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I just bought a Reef Keeper 2. The price was good, so I couldn't pass it up.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 09:16 PM   #8
Casino
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So is PA still running the group buy on the Jr's and dc8? I would like to order one but im not sure if the sale is still going on or if they are on backorder even tho the link does let me purchase it and theres no indication that its over or that they are not in stock.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 09:17 PM   #9
donski
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But I figured it out pretty quick I should have added and it sure beats timers and power strips


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Unread 03/11/2006, 10:36 PM   #10
mattseattle
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The RK 2 is more expensive. You can get the pH probe, the 8 outlet power strip for the Junior and the main controller unit for cheaper than just the base RK 2.

I think PA is still having the group buy. Go to the PA website and search for Aquacontroller Junior and it will list the Group Buy.

Prices are:
Aquacontroller Junior - 164.90
DC8 - 75.00
pH probe - 34.95

The other nice feature about the Junior is Data logging. It looks like you can even use AquaNotes light now to graph and download the date from the Junior.


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Unread 03/11/2006, 10:41 PM   #11
spstank
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I'm looking for a controller myself, and I have to agree with Matt. From comparing the manuals/websites it looks like advantages of the Jr over the RK2 are:

- Expandable to 12 devices. RK2 limited to 8 max.
- Datalogging on Jr. Not present on RK2
- Seasonal lighting schedule on Jr. Not present on RK2.
- Seasonal temperature variation on Jr. Not present on RK2.
- Lunar cycle simulation.
- Computer port and free windows Software for datalogging on Jr. Not present/implemented on RK2.
- Switch input on serial port version of Jr. Not present on RK2.
- More flexible configuration on Jr.
- The Jr. costs $250 and the RK2 is $270.

The RK2 advantages are:
- LCD display dimming. Not present on Jr.

Unless I'm missing something it looks like the Jr has many more features than the reefkeeper 2, and it costs less. Am I missing something?


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Unread 03/12/2006, 01:24 AM   #12
mattseattle
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also I don't think the pH probe is included for the 270.00 price on the RK2 so that is probably another 30 - 40.00 on top of the 270.00

I think the feature set of the Junior is far superior to the RK2.

Here is an example.

On the RK2 you have FEED mode and when you press the FEED button your sump pump will turn off for the pre-specified time and that is it.

On the Junior you have have the FEED mode where it will turn off the SUMP pump for x amount of minutes along with shutting down your skimmer pump for another set amount of time. It's the flexibilty of the programming language of the Junior that allows you to do things like that.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 06:17 AM   #13
MattG
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mattseatle: i asked about that exact question with the feed mode over in both the digital aquatics and neptune forums. As you said only the AQ jr could do it.

So far i am stearing in the direction of the AQ Jr because it seems much more flexible. The prices are basically the same when you use PA group buy.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 08:54 AM   #14
Larry Waughon
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Quote:
Originally posted by mattseattle


I think the feature set of the Junior is far superior to the RK2.

Here is an example.

On the RK2 you have FEED mode and when you press the FEED button your sump pump will turn off for the pre-specified time and that is it.
On the RK2 you can program feed mode to shut down as many things as you would like shut down for between 1-99 min.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 09:10 AM   #15
MattG
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but you cant set different things to shut off for different amounts of time.

In my case when i start the feed mode i wanted to turn off my closed loop for 10 mins and the skimmer for 60 mins. I asked about this in the digital aquatics forum and they said the RK2 cant do it. It could only turn off the closed loop and skimmer for the same length of time.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 10:15 AM   #16
want2reef
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Just for your info, you can get the RK2 for $230.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 11:01 AM   #17
marcrothschild
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where? the list price is 270.00


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Unread 03/12/2006, 11:19 AM   #18
crumbletop
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want2reef: Where can you get the RK2 for $230?

Others: I am looking to get either the RK2 or the AC Jr. This thread is timely and very helpful. How rock-solid is the AC Jr.? I see the DC8 had a recall because of a bad ground. I'm leaning toward the AC Jr. because the RK2 is brand new and I think probably needs a firmware rev or 2 to get kinks worked out. I also like the AC programmability. The AC Jr. box looks kind of flimsy from the pics, though. My main immediate need is temp controller function, and timing on the lights, but I think I'll also go in for the pH monitor as well. Anyone have pics of their AC Jr. setup?

[edit] Also, is the group buy controller from PA one with the serial cable (switched input)?

Jack


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Unread 03/12/2006, 11:41 AM   #19
want2reef
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They bumped the price up $10.

http://reeftanksupply.com/product_in...roducts_id=188


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Unread 03/12/2006, 11:42 AM   #20
James77
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I have an Ac Jr. and I have absolutely no complaints about it. The recall on the bad ground was taken care of very well by Neptune. The unit is not flimsy, but it is very simply built.

When I was deciding between the RK and AC, the thing that sold me was the AC's ability to kill the lights if the temp got too high, as I completely lost my previous tank from high temp in the summer.

James


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Unread 03/12/2006, 01:31 PM   #21
mattseattle
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The new RK2 can kill lights also when the temp gets too high. That is one of their new features.

I see the RK2 is 250.00 but the probe is 45.00 so that is 295.00 so the Junior is still cheaper.

The RK2 is definitely built rock solid. The Junior has a hard plastic casing for the main control unit but it's still very durable and waterproof. I have it mounted on the side of my aquarium stand.

As far as the DC8 recall sent us a new unit while we still had our old unit. They sent a return UPS label and we sent it back the day we got the new one. I received mine within 4 days of the recall. It was definitely not an issue to me. Also, the firmware on the Junior (at least for me) has been rock soild. Everything functions and turns on/off when it should every time every day.

I can't say enough about it. The negatives I've seen from Digital Aquatics in the past and yes I've owned their products is their turn around time on new firmware and adding new features. Both companies offer excellent support though.

So it's a toss up for most but I'd still go with the Junior for pricing, flexibility and ability to control either via X-10 or via power strips and it controls up to 12 items. The RK2 only does 8 and is limited to it's power strip.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 03:54 PM   #22
elephen
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Quote:
Originally posted by want2reef
They bumped the price up $10.

http://reeftanksupply.com/product_in...roducts_id=188
Yeah I've been watching that site, even after the bump its still a good deal, most of their prices are pretty good from what I can tell.


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Unread 03/12/2006, 04:40 PM   #23
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Does the Jr use X-10's to turn items off/on? or does it do this through the powerstrip? Or both?


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Unread 03/12/2006, 06:26 PM   #24
mattseattle
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the Junior can do either.... it can control up to 12 devices.


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Unread 03/13/2006, 09:42 AM   #25
MattG
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Well i went on ahead and ordered the AC Jr from the Premium Aquatics Group buy.


Thanks everyone for the comments!


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