Controller backups!

Waters

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So in the middle of the night last night, my EB832 went down, which took down my heating, main pump, both Wavs, both DOS units, and UV. Unfortunately the only thing not being controlled by the Apex is my skimmer, which of course overflowed all night long due to the high water level in the sump. Once I got up this morning, I was able to plug most stuff into surge protectors. Anything being powered by the connections in the EB832 (like the Wavs and DOS) are not functional. Just a warning to make sure you have a backup plan in place if your Apex stuff (or any controller for that matter) goes out....especially if you rely on one controller to control everything like I do. I guess the only positive is that I had a Hydor powerhead running in the tank while I wait for a replacement Wav (which also died earlier this week) so I had some water flow all night long. I am not very happy with Neptune equipment right now :(.
 

K7BMG

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Good point.
Just curious as you say two electronic items have failed recently.
Is this a coincidence or did something happen to cause you issues?
Electrical issue maybe?
 
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Waters

Waters

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Good point.
Just curious as you say two electronic items have failed recently.
Is this a coincidence or did something happen to cause you issues?
Electrical issue maybe?
The WAV needing to be replaced was not electrical....just more faulty Apex equipment unfortunately. Last nights issue was due to a power outage. I have not had a lot of good luck as far as power outages and Apex equipment continuing to work once power is restored.
 
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Waters

Waters

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Were you able to reboot the system or is it fried? Also how old is the controller?

Horrible thing to have happened!!!
The controller is a collection of pieces from different years. I have the newer EB832 (which is the one that is not working) that is less than a year old. I also have a a couple of older EB8s which are fine. I was able to reload the firmware to the EB832 and the WAVs and DOSs working fortunately. Still cannot get any of the the outlets to work. I am talking back and forth with Neptune support via email. I am guessing they are going to want me to send it in which I am not going to do. I have had to pay WAY too many times to ship back warranty equipment for repair to Neptune....which I know is normal but I find it crazy to have to pay for shipping on warranty items. It also always takes over a week to get the equipment back once it is repaired. My tank has run on the Trident and DOS for so long now that I wouldn't even know where to start as far as manual dosing to keep everything stable. I need to either start phasing out Apex stuff or buy another expensive replacement piece of equipment I guess. I just can't believe, for the price, how many Apex items I have that have either failed or needed warranty support in a single year lol. I love the stuff when it works.....just never seems to work reliably.
 

G Santana

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I feel your pain, I am getting back into the hobby after many years away, saw what companies have done with controllers and was intrigued but as I read more and more about failures, I am hesitant on them.
I'll go controlerless until I learn more.
Having to pay for shipping for what appears to be their failures would really upset me.
I hope you get everything sorted soon!!!
 

JGT

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I feel your pain, I am getting back into the hobby after many years away, saw what companies have done with controllers and was intrigued but as I read more and more about failures, I am hesitant on them.
I'll go controlerless until I learn more.
Having to pay for shipping for what appears to be their failures would really upset me.
I hope you get everything sorted soon!!!
In the exact same boat. Coming back to the hobby after being away 20+ years. Back then, controllers weren’t even around and my tanks did just fine. While I like the idea of a controller, all the info it can provide, the automation, alerts, etc, I’m wary of them because of situations as described by the OP. I think I’m going to try to straddle the fence by going as much as I can with individual equipment that has controller like features as well as a controller for some of the less critical functions to avoid having a single point of failure.
 

92Miata

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One of the things we do with vital computer equipment in the real world is set up heartbeat processes on external machines - so that if something fails and is unreachable - we get an alert of some sort from the other machine.



And yeah - it drives me nuts when companies want me to send them back stuff so they can repair it while I wait. Just send me a refurbed one and a shipping label so I can get on with my day.
 
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Waters

Waters

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One of the things we do with vital computer equipment in the real world is set up heartbeat processes on external machines - so that if something fails and is unreachable - we get an alert of some sort from the other machine.



And yeah - it drives me nuts when companies want me to send them back stuff so they can repair it while I wait. Just send me a refurbed one and a shipping label so I can get on with my day.
I hear what you are saying (I am in IT also and have a lot of redundancies on vital equipment). While I do get alerted by the Apex of failures, the cost of the equipment makes it difficult to keep spares handy. Ideally I would have two of everything but that isn't happening lol. I have to settle for the next best thing....surge protectors, manual controls, and this site to complain to you guys :)

I agree on the shipping. Ideally they would just overnight you a replacement with a shipping label to return the damaged, warranty item.....instead I have to pay upwards 50 bucks to ship it in and wait while they look it over and repair it. I guess that is the downside to purchasing online.
 
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Waters

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In the exact same boat. Coming back to the hobby after being away 20+ years. Back then, controllers weren’t even around and my tanks did just fine. While I like the idea of a controller, all the info it can provide, the automation, alerts, etc, I’m wary of them because of situations as described by the OP. I think I’m going to try to straddle the fence by going as much as I can with individual equipment that has controller like features as well as a controller for some of the less critical functions to avoid having a single point of failure.
When I first started collecting and putting the Apex pieces together, I wanted EVERYTHING to be Apex so the whole system worked together as one unit. I am starting to see that was a mistake. Now if something goes down, it takes everything with it where as a piece of equipment from a different vendor would continue to operate using its' own controller. The Apex brain would still "oversee" everything....just not have complete control over it.
 
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JGT

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When I first started collecting and putting the Apex pieces together, I wanted EVERYTHING to be Apex so the whole system worked together as one unit. I am starting to see that was a mistake. Now if something goes down, it takes everything with it where as a piece of equipment from a different vendor would continue to operate using its' own controller. The Apex brain would still "oversee" everything....just not have complete control over it.
Yes, exactly.
 

92Miata

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Yeah - eventually we need to get to the point where all this equipment has open interfaces so that the Controller isn't responsible for holding a relay open on a power bar - but is more of just a central organizing tool and just tells the return pump (or whatever) to shut down.


A heartbeat to the controller might help - as then you'd get an alert when the controller is dead - but it doesn't specifically deal with this situation - where the controller was still alive, but the powerbar was dead.


I think I'd get an ATO usage alert on my controller in this case - but yeah - these things are still very primitive.
 

K7BMG

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I understand where you guys are all coming from.
For me I have back up parts sitting on my shelf.
I am an electrician and see all kinds of electronics fail almost daily.
So when I have critical control systems such as the Apex I make sure I have a backup.
I do not have a controller head but I do have a new EB832 on the shelf.
I am fortunate to have the foresight to have budgeted in spare parts, such as the power bar, return pump, and flow pump. So yes its nice to be me as many don't have this luxury.
 

AcanthurusRex

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Sounds like it failed the same way mine did. It was well out of warranty so I just bought another.
I took it apart to see if there was anything obvious I can fix without a schematic. The only issue I found was the high-side regulator was not working. It is an off the shelf item like the 24VDC supply.
There was another post a few days ago with the same issue. Maybe a spare is required.
 
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Waters

Waters

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I understand where you guys are all coming from.
For me I have back up parts sitting on my shelf.
I am an electrician and see all kinds of electronics fail almost daily.
So when I have critical control systems such as the Apex I make sure I have a backup.
I do not have a controller head but I do have a new EB832 on the shelf.
I am fortunate to have the foresight to have budgeted in spare parts, such as the power bar, return pump, and flow pump. So yes its nice to be me as many don't have this luxury.
Yeah, you did it right for sure. I "can" buy all of the replacement parts....I just refuse to lol. I shouldn't have to have duplicates when the system is this expensive from the start. I am starting to see the design flaws in the controller and devices themselves....such as not being able to run the WAVs without receiving power from the Apex. I fortunately have back up EB8s on the shelf from my old Apex....might have to just go back to those. Based on the research I have done this morning on the EB832s, they don't seem to last long at all....which is also the case with the DDRs and optical sensors. Hmmmm......I want to love Apex stuff so bad lol.
 
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Waters

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Sounds like it failed the same way mine did. It was well out of warranty so I just bought another.
I took it apart to see if there was anything obvious I can fix without a schematic. The only issue I found was the high-side regulator was not working. It is an off the shelf item like the 24VDC supply.
There was another post a few days ago with the same issue. Maybe a spare is required.
Yeah, I have run across a ton of people with the same issue during my research this morning. Appears the old EB8s are much more reliable than the new EB832s :-( There don't seem to be too many people that have had them more than a year without any issues?
 

K7BMG

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Yeah, you did it right for sure. I "can" buy all of the replacement parts....I just refuse to lol. I shouldn't have to have duplicates when the system is this expensive from the start. I am starting to see the design flaws in the controller and devices themselves....such as not being able to run the WAVs without receiving power from the Apex. I fortunately have back up EB8s on the shelf from my old Apex....might have to just go back to those. Based on the research I have done this morning on the EB832s, they don't seem to last long at all....which is also the case with the DDRs and optical sensors. Hmmmm......I want to love Apex stuff so bad lol.

Understood. But if you think the Apex equipment is expensive, well you should be in my shoes and see the multi million dollar pieces of equipment I see go down.
Not in defense of Neptune here, just saying this is a problem with every electronic devise, and yes even the ones that are made in the good ole USA.
 

G Santana

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In the exact same boat. Coming back to the hobby after being away 20+ years. Back then, controllers weren’t even around and my tanks did just fine. While I like the idea of a controller, all the info it can provide, the automation, alerts, etc, I’m wary of them because of situations as described by the OP. I think I’m going to try to straddle the fence by going as much as I can with individual equipment that has controller like features as well as a controller for some of the less critical functions to avoid having a single point of failure.
Ditto!!!
 
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