View Full Version : Apex controller

04-27-2014, 03:56 PM
Ok guys, I need some help please. I tried reading on line and the manual, but some of this stuff is greek to me and I'm having a hard time making heads or tails of it. I thought I'd ask here first seeing how I know a few of ya :)

I've finally got my used Apex up and running. Right now I've got my temp sensor, pH and pH2 sensor connected. I'm not exactly sure what the pH2/orp one is doing right now, but it seams to be working. I've got a ethernet line hardwired to my network at home and can see everything on my Mac.

My EB8 only has one dosing pump plugged into it and thus my question. The pump I have is dosing Vodka via a 1.1ml/min doser. I have until now been dosing 2X a day. Once usually around 8 am and again somewhere between 6-8 pm. I hooked the doser up in my office and ran it for a week just using water in 2 containers and I think I have the actual timing down. I'm at 3.3 ml every 12 hours in my dosing schedule so I use this as my program:

Fallback OFF
OSC 480:00/003:00/237:00 Then ON
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

Here's my question. I've noticed in other peoples programs, they have a fail safe in there, but so far none of them make sense and I didn't want to add a line I didn't fully understand. Should I be adding anything or should I be running this pump differently altogether? If I need to add a failsafe, how do I do it?
Thanks in advance!

04-27-2014, 03:59 PM
I don't run a dosing pump, but pretty sure you don't need to include the FEED function :)

04-27-2014, 04:12 PM
Lol, ya, it auto input it in there so I just left it

04-27-2014, 05:07 PM
The FEED function could have place there depending if you're dosing into your sump instead of main tank. If pumps are off during FEED cycle you'd be dumping your full amount of stuff into your sump that depending on the length of the FEED cycle might not be a good idea. With that said, you'd also end up missing a dosing if the FEED cycle was going when doser was supposed to be.

Fail safes only work if you have some way to monitor what you're doing. For example when people dose Co2, the pH is affected by it, so people monitor the pH to see what the Co2 is doing, if pH levels go below where they want, the dosing of Co2 can be disabled at that time, and alert sent out.

For vodka dosing since I just googled what it does quickly, The Apex doesn't have a probe that would be able to monitor anything the vodka would change so you wouldn't be able to put in a fail safe as you wouldn't be able to tell if anything is wrong due to the vodka dosing. The only thing you could setup as a fail safe is that if other things are going wrong in the tank stop the dosing, but honestly stopping the dosing based on other things going wrong, could be a recipe for disaster as it could just compound the problem

04-27-2014, 10:50 PM
One of the fail safe's I thought I saw, predetermined when a socket could be available. So say I wanted to start dosing at 8 am for 3 min. I could lock out the socket from doing anything if it wasn't, say 7:59 - 8:05. If that first condition was met (the clock read anywhere from 7:59 to 8:05), then it could move onto the actual program. If something went wrong with the program, the worst case scenario is I'd dose for 6 min (7:59-805 when that first condition shut the socket down) instead of an hour or more or, eek until the bottle was empty - thus killing the tank.
Maybe what I was looking at was overly complicated or I totally didn't understand it, lol.

04-27-2014, 11:11 PM
Not sure as to why you would need a Time statement to limit the time it could be run, as your OSC statement is just a much more advanced version of TIME.

Starting at Midnight SET OFF for 480 minutes, The turn on for 3 minutes, then back off 237 minutes REPEAT... So it repeats waiting for 480 minutes in off, then turns on for 3 minutes then OFF again for 237 minutes and Resets the OSC command at Midnight to run the pattern again.

Even with that said off the top of my head I don't think you could have the redundancy that you are talking about using both the TIME and the OSC function together, but I could be completely wrong about that! =)

04-27-2014, 11:24 PM
Cool, I didn't see the need for it either, but I did see it on other people's program's and I was wondering if it was necessary. I'm totally new to Apex so wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything I shouldn't.
Next... my heaters...

04-27-2014, 11:37 PM
Fallback OFF
If 180Tmp < RT+0.5 Then ON
If 180Tmp > RT+1.0 Then OFF
Defer 000:05 Then ON
Defer 000:05 Then OFF
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

Thats what I use for my heaters, using the seasonal tables, this is set for freshwater tank, not salt but I'm sure the temperature might be around the same anyways. The defer statements make the program wait instead of instantly turning the heaters on/off to verify that the temperature actually requires something to be done instead of possibly turning on/off/on/off a bunch of times in a row if temperature is real close to the set points.

If the temperature is 1 degree F over the Seasonable table, turn OFF
If the temperature is 0.5 degree F over the Seasonable table, turn ON

Yes I only let my tank change in the range of .5 degrees before turning on/off

In my 37g tank this turns the heater on for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours

04-28-2014, 04:09 AM
Just linked in with Apex Fusion. One of the reasons I hadn't done much with the unit was I was a bit daunted by network setup and email notifications. WOW, am I glad fusion came out. Easy peasy!

04-28-2014, 04:52 AM
Yes fusion is nice, but honestly it lacks the control that you have within the apex itself. I was all excited when the open beta opened up, took me 10 days to get in, and logged in, looked and besides the graphs I much prefer the actual control panel through the apex

04-28-2014, 05:11 AM
I've been watching the BRS video series on the Apex and I can see how for a newbie like me it's much easier to get started. But I can also see how I will be modifying the code in advanced mode once I'm more comfortable with the programming language and the effects of certain commands like the OSC feature.

04-28-2014, 05:57 AM
What kinda things you want to advance with? I'm an industrial controlls programmer. Even for me, the Apex can get confusing. I think they tried to simplify it for laymans terms, yet made some things more complex. The lack of following Boolean law, And or Or. a big one. Everything can be easily summed to and and or. But Apex takes some thinking at times