Digital Aquatics Archon

Discussion in 'Aquarium Controllers' started by EuroDriver, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you for your advice. I think it is likely worth it too!! I want to set this new tank up right from the start and I didn't want to go with an Apex because I am already familiar with the RK. I was just figuring out how many outlets I will need and I think I need 12 on the controller, so I need to pick up another PB4 anyway. What does the IOE module do? I saw the DCI module so I will definitely pick that up so I can control my Jaebo pumps.
    I am going to have a dedicated cabinet next to my tank just for my controllers and outlets. I want a very clean set up. This will be my first reef over 100 gallons. I set a $6000 budget for tank and equipment and I am getting close to going over lol...
     

  2. EuroDriver

    EuroDriver Well-Known Member

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    I upgraded from the RKE to the Archon and it was definitely worth it - quite a significant upgrade IMHO. As Danny mentioned, everything is backwards compatible except the head unit or the remote displays and the Net module. I believe everything else will work with it. You may find out there's some modules you will no longer need, as the Archon has built-in temp, pH/ORP probe connectors, 0-10v and PMW inputs.
    You can plug in your Jebao pumps with a DCI but I found the programming a little more comprehensive using an APC in between.
    Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, if you need more than 4 outlets I believe 2 PB4's are better than the PB8 unless you really can't afford the extra power outlet.

    Instead of a head unit, you will need to use a computer, smartphone or tablet as a display. Remote access is possible but you will need to set up port forwarding and unless you have a static IP, will likely require a paid subscription like dyndns. Still much easier to configure than a Net module. If you can afford it, go for it.
     
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  3. EuroDriver

    EuroDriver Well-Known Member

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    It's a breakout box for the switch, 0-10v or PMW inputs with push-pin connectors. It eliminates the need to strip and decipher RJ wires and lets you plug in your wires by just pushing them into the ports.
     
  4. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    What is the APC? Is this another module I would need to buy? Is there a module that will control AI Hydra HD 26 lights? I am researching all of these questions now so I can make sure I get everything I need in one order if possible...

    Thank you for your help.
     
  5. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Do any of you have the DP1 dosing kit? I am thinking about this for 2 part dosing.
     
  6. n2585722

    n2585722 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Have you checked my build thread. The link is in my signature. I has screen shots of several of the webpages from the Archon. I have 5 DP1's. I use ome for the ATO and two for the auto water change. I have not decided what I will use the other two for yet. The APC is the advanced pump control module. You can use 2 of the 4 0-10v ports on the Archon with the DCI module. I have not used either since I use Vortech pumps.
     
  7. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you. I am going to check out your thread now.
     
  8. EuroDriver

    EuroDriver Well-Known Member

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    The APC is the "Advanced Pump Control" module. It was needed with the Reefkeepers in conjunction with the DCI. You don't need it but since I had one already, I noticed the configuration is slightly better than using the DCI without it. I think I discussed it earlier in the thread but I don't remember the differences right now. Just know that with the DCI or APC/DCI combo, you're not going to get that fast pulsing or the night mode constant stream like with the Jebao controller. Nevertheless, it's nice to control everything from one central command.

    There's nothing you can use to control the AI Hydra line of LED fixtures with these controllers. I'm using AI Hydra 52's and running them separately through the myAI app has worked just fine. Always wished control could be integrated with the Archon but in reality it's not necessary - so it's just the extra step of opening another app. Once I dialed in my settings, I don't open that app for weeks at a time.

    One thing I wish I had accounted for when I ordered mine was the longer bus cables I ended up needing. Ordered them after the fact that added a few days' wiat time to fire everything up.
     
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  9. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    A big thank you to Danny and EU for helping me out with this. I have used the RK2 for many years, but these new controllers and all the modules are a bit confusing at times for me. Trying to figure out everything you need to purchase to make things work like you want is where I run into questions..lol..

    I went ahead and purchased the Archon, the DCI and another PB4. I will add the IOE later if I need it. Right now I am still not sure if I am going to need that. I already purchased an Ice Cap ATO so I will be using that with Kalk in my top off water to start. I will add the doser if the kalk cant keep up with my alk/calc.

    Danny, your build is awesome. You have some serious wood working talent!! Not to mention your skill at computer/electronics. It will probably take me weeks to get this setup and working the way I want it to. I have no doubt it will be time well spent. Once I actually have my tank I will start a build thread.
     
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  10. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    That is good to know. This will be my first time using the AI lights. I am getting my tank from Cadlights and it is coming with 3 of the AI hydra 26HD and a AquaMax cone SQ-3 skimmer. I also have a 48" photon v2 from Reef Breeders that I might use also.
     
  11. n2585722

    n2585722 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Ento-Reefer, thanks for the complements and welcome to reef2reef.
     
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  12. crs751

    crs751 Well-Known Member

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    I am having issues calibrating pH probes that are tied directly to the Archon and to independent modules.

    On the Archon I have issues calibrating the probes to the second pH/ORP input. I originally calibrated a probe that was suspect as to whether or not it was any good with the end result being that it froze on a 7.0 reading in the last reagent and when I put the probe in the tank. I just purchased a new BRS lab grade probe and am getting wrong readings after calibrating it to the same port. The probe will show a reading of 7.o after the last calibration point which is while it is still in the 7.0 calibration solution; but as soon as I put it in the tank the reading goes off the chart, in this case -24.30. When calibrating I don't check the box for ORP and the dip switch is in the pH position on the Archon.

    Today I attempted to calibrate the problem probe referenced above on an open pH input on my SL2V2 module. A similar result occurred in that the probe registered 7.o in the calibration solution when I saved the last calibration point but when I put the probe in the tank the reading froze at 7.0. I assume this probe is toast.

    Finally, I suppose it is possible my calibration solutions are past their prime. I do use them over. Is there a source of supply that sells these solution in bulk? I'd be interested in knowing if these solutions can be purchased in bulk for the ORP and Salinity calibration as well.

    Please give me some insight on how to resolve these issues with my probes.

    Thanks.
     
  13. n2585722

    n2585722 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Try this, put the probe in the pH 10 solution and wait 15 minutes then go to the calibration screen for the probe. wait awhile to let the raw data update on the webpage. Jot the raw data number down. Do not calibrate anything yet exit the screen. Do the same in the pH 7 solution. When jotting down the number pay attention some raw data is negative. Once you have both numbers go to the calibration screen and enter these numbers for the data at pH10 and 7 then calibrate. I usually keep a excel sheet with the calibration raw data numbers for each probe in the system. It will depend on which port you use what these numbers will be for the same probe.
     
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  14. crs751

    crs751 Well-Known Member

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    Ok I'll give that a shot. I think I will purchase some new calibration fluid as well. I know that fluid I have is old.

    To confirm, once I type in the raw data numbers for 7 and 10 I still go through the calibration process and copy those calibration numbers over the raw data numbers previously entered correct?
     
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  15. n2585722

    n2585722 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    OK, once you have the raw data numbers go to the respective data fields and enter the numbers. Do not click the copy buttons. The copy button just enters the current raw data number in the field for you. Once you have then numbers entered then click the finish button. That should do it.

    IMG_1982.PNG
     
  16. EuroDriver

    EuroDriver Well-Known Member

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    I found it helpful to leave new probes in my sump for at least 4-5 days before calibrating, otherwise the calibration seems unstable. When I tried calibrating earlier, the values drifted over the course of the next few days even after leaving the probes in the solution for a couple of hours while calibrating. If you calibrate right away, try recalibrating about a week later (you'll notice the raw values stabilize much faster). The page also froze on me a couple of times while calibrating. I just started over.

    I buy my calibration solution on Amazon. The solution is in 500 ml bottles which allows for dozens of calibrations.

    Last time I couldn't find the calibration kit with just 7 & 10 so I had to get the one that also included pH 4 solution and also included probe storage solution. Still much cheaper than buying individual calibration packets.
     
  17. n2585722

    n2585722 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    EuroDriver is right about new probes, but yours is so far off it would be best to calibrate to get it in the ball park then wait a few days before you recalibrate. You can also use the PortCalibrate() command also. I go into this on my build thread at post 60.
     
  18. crs751

    crs751 Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys. Thanks for the help. I found that solution you referenced on Amazon and ordered it. Thanks again.
     
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  19. crs751

    crs751 Well-Known Member

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    I have a timer issue related to the ALC that hopefully someone can help resolve. I run Ai Sols using the ALC module. A recent issue with the Archon that Eric resolved resulted in an issue with the timer I used to control these lights. So I deleted the old timer and programmed a new one. The time works fine most of the time but at random intervals it will start at a time other than what is programmed.

    The timer is to run as follows:
    1. Start time 9:00AM
    2. Ramp up for 3-hours to full strength at 12:00 PM.
    3. Total time on 10-hours.
    4. Ramp down 3-hours starting at 7:00PM
    5. Off at 10:00PM

    I've attached screen shots of the ALC programming and the Sols timer. Please review and advise what I am doing wrong.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. EuroDriver

    EuroDriver Well-Known Member

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    I ran into this issue myself a number of times and it drove me nuts.

    Delete all your timers for the lights and reboot the system. Create a new timer, apply it and reboot one more time for good measure. That should fix it

    [Edit] BTW I ended up deleting the ALC because I had some issues that I can't even remember now - I discussed it earlier in the thread post #61, et seq.). You can plug in directly to the Archon (via an RJ cable or using the IOE module) and set up the port for ramp function.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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