Jestersix

Apex controlling my Vectra L1 feed mode - Update

Scott Sweet

Supporting Member
All,

I had to do away with the plunger. Didn't last...so I had to wire it and connect to a relay.

I use the Accessory port on the 832 to power a 24V relay that closes this circuit to put it the L1 in to Feed Mode. Worked great once I got the pump calibrated.


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Scott Sweet

Supporting Member
What about a plunger?
The plunger stopped working. The magnets got weak and it wouldn't depress the button strong enough anymore...I had to come up with plan B. Of course the problem with this is technically my warranty is now void on the controller :(. I also had to grind away at the heat sink to provide passage for the wires...
 

Scott Sweet

Supporting Member
I think by plunger he means the button to push the switch on the electronics board. So to enter feed mode you push the button, which is a plunger which hits a switch and activates feed mode.
Ah...I think he didn't see my previous post...

I had a solenoid plunger that was wired to the Apex. The plunger depressed the Feed Mode button. The problem was that the magnet got weak and wouldn't depress the button hard enough.


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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Well that makes 2 of us who didn't see your original plunger post :D

Kind of funny though in a digital world we need to find a way to make a mechanical switch to do what should be done digitally. Is there no native way for Ecotech pumps to communicate with the Apex?
 

jccaclimber

Supporting Member
I was debating this a while ago, although I was going to go relay. Ended up not needing to, but I'm glad someone else is messing with it the idea. Posting here to tag along.
As for Mike's question above, no. There are two annoying things in the Ecotech/Neptune Systems world that stand out to me:
1. Ecotech at some point decided they didn't like Neptune Systems (Apex) pushing into the equipment market as they were pushing into the controller market, so they've opted to keep those devices from talking to each other, unlike the lights. It's rather unfortunate as it pushed me to put a COR on my last build instead of a Vectra.
2. Neptune promotes how universal their systems are, but the interfaces get a lot more effort when you are using their hardware. It's a perfectly valid business decision and it provides funding to keep all the other cool things they make going forward, but it's a little annoying when it's easier to program a dosing pump through a many years old third party free web page than it is in the native application.
 
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Scott Sweet

Supporting Member
Well that makes 2 of us who didn't see your original plunger post :D

Kind of funny though in a digital world we need to find a way to make a mechanical switch to do what should be done digitally. Is there no native way for Ecotech pumps to communicate with the Apex?
Mike, for variable speed pumps and control...Apex/Ecotech has had their challenges. Apex can control the Ecotech MPs, but not the Vectra pumps. There are lots of discussions as to why, but I am not going to get in to it here.

Apex cannot control a Vectra other than shutting off the power of the pump at the outlet. With the Vectra, I use the battery backup, shutting the power off at the outlet is meaningless as the battery would power the pump. I do like putting the Vectra in to feed mode for fish/coral feeding to minimize the amount of food going over the overflow and in to the sump, etc.

When I committed to using Ecotech, there weren't many DC pump options out there. There are more now. I chose to go with the Royal Exclusiv for my closed loop because of the known issues of the Vectra's at the time. What I didn't know was the lack of control.

It really is too bad that Apex/Ecotech can't play nice. What I did is nothing revolutionary...it just made it more complicated to get a basic capability.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Mike, for variable speed pumps and control...Apex/Ecotech has had their challenges. Apex can control the Ecotech MPs, but not the Vectra pumps. There are lots of discussions as to why, but I am not going to get in to it here.

Apex cannot control a Vectra other than shutting off the power of the pump at the outlet. With the Vectra, I use the battery backup, shutting the power off at the outlet is meaningless as the battery would power the pump. I do like putting the Vectra in to feed mode for fish/coral feeding to minimize the amount of food going over the overflow and in to the sump, etc.

When I committed to using Ecotech, there weren't many DC pump options out there. There are more now. I chose to go with the Royal Exclusiv for my closed loop because of the known issues of the Vectra's at the time. What I didn't know was the lack of control.

It really is too bad that Apex/Ecotech can't play nice. What I did is nothing revolutionary...it just made it more complicated to get a basic capability.
If you do not mind me asking, why you want to control the pump via controller?
Royal exclusive and abuzz actuslly do not recommend turning on and off the pump frequently for things like feeding.
 

Scott Sweet

Supporting Member
If you do not mind me asking, why you want to control the pump via controller?
Royal exclusive and abuzz actuslly do not recommend turning on and off the pump frequently for things like feeding.
As I mentioned above, when I feed, I want to minimize the amount of food that goes over the overflow and maximize available food for the fish/corals. I do it 2x per day for fish feeding and 1 additional time for the coral feeding.

I checked the manual for the Royal Exclusiv and they actually have a feed mode built in to the controller...so I don't know why they wouldn't recommend a feed mode. I don't know anything about Abyzz. Ecotech has a feed mode so I don't see why it would be an issue. Do you have any documentation on these recommendations?
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
As I mentioned above, when I feed, I want to minimize the amount of food that goes over the overflow and maximize available food for the fish/corals. I do it 2x per day for fish feeding and 1 additional time for the coral feeding.

I checked the manual for the Royal Exclusiv and they actually have a feed mode built in to the controller...so I don't know why they wouldn't recommend a feed mode. I don't know anything about Abyzz. Ecotech has a feed mode so I don't see why it would be an issue. Do you have any documentation on these recommendations?
Got it.
A feed mode that reduce the speed is doffrent than on off. Thwy arviced against turning on off the dc pump for purpose of feeding. My guess is because With dc pumps transits can be problematic
 

thanh510

Supporting Member
Can you still use Apex AC ports to control the pumps if you don’t use eco tech battery backup?(I think it’s overpriced). Any implications for doing so?


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