REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum
Apex + DOS + Breakout Box
The Apex system comes with its own multi out where each (of 8) outlets are on/off controllable. One can use this to make an el-cheapo powerhead turn on and off quickly to act as a wavemaker, use inexpensive peristaltic pumps for accurate dosing (BRS or Drew's dosers), control heaters, lighting, etc. I have all of my Ecotech stuff plugged into mine so that I can reboot stuff when it starts acting funny.
There are also 0-10 volt outputs that many devices use for an input signal. Some LED lighting use it to adjust brightness, and Tunze and other pumps use it to adjust speed. Other methods of lighting control include the AWM module for AI lighting and WXM for Ecotech. These are add on modules that use a radio signal to communicate with their respective product lines.
The Breakout Box is an interface that easily plugs into the Apex on one side and has a bunch of electrical terminals on the other. It allows the Apex to determine whether a non-powered circuit is open or closed. Wiring in float switches allows the Apex to know if your water level is high or low, and to run your topoff pump, or sound an alarm as needed. It can also be used with magnetic switches to turn on a light when your cabinet door is opened.
There are a multitude of ways of programming everything. You can use temperature as a parameter to act upon. If your temperature gets too low, the Apex can turn on an outlet to run your heater. Too high, and it can turn off a heater. Conversely, it can also switch fans or chillers as needed.
Here is Neptune's documentation page. I'd suggest skimming over the Comprehensive Reference Manual a bit, primarily chapters one and four. Don't worry too much about the details here. For me, most of the stuff seems a bit challenging when I'm reading it as a whole, but it breaks down pretty easily when I consider each function by itself. #apexusers
Also, while I'm an Apex guy, GHL is also top-tier. Digital Aquatics has the Reefkeeper, and now the Archon that may be worth considering. Reef Angel is another, but I don't see much info about them. There is also the new Tunze controller that @revhtree is giving away. It doesn't seem as advanced, but looks like a pretty solid option.
I thought it might be helpful to have a hashtag for Neptune Apex users so that if members have a question or a topic that would interest other apex users, they can use the hashtag to alert others to those topics/questions.
All you need to so is click on the hashtag #apexusers, and then select "watch tag" in order to receive alerts when it's used anywhere on the forum.
I thought it might be helpful to have a hashtag for each of the major controllers so that if members have a question about that controller or a topic that would interest users of a particular controller, they can use the hashtag to alert other members who use the same controller to those topics/questions.
All you need to so is click on the hashtag that corresponds to the controller you use, and then select "watch tag" in order to receive alerts when it's used anywhere on the forum.
NEPTUNE APEX USERS, subscribe to this hashtag: #apexusers
GHL PROFILUX USERS, subscribe to this hashtag: #ghlusers
DIGITAL AQUATICS REEF KEEPER & ARCHON USERS, subscribe to this hashtag: #dausers
REEF ANGEL USERS, subscribe to this hashtag: #reefangelusers