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GHL Vs Apex Episode Series

saf1

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Not trying to be difficult but you went out and got a GHL just for this lol. Maybe you hit your budget, I get it! I'm half butt tempted to shoot you the cost of an Android phone if you'd do a comprehensive review of that path in both systems. All you need is a crappy walmart straight talk phone for $50 on WiFi that you don't have to even activate...
That is an interesting point. To be honest I don't think I would have used my phone to set up either one but I'm older and understand a lot of people use their mobile for everything. The issue thought is that I know they are different and also not equally represented by user base. I guess I'm thinking it is a wash for either if you can use a PC to set them up or a tablet.

Then again, I'm out in left field. I just meant to reply that it is a interesting observation.
 

Rob.bucek

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That is an interesting point. To be honest I don't think I would have used my phone to set up either one but I'm older and understand a lot of people use their mobile for everything. The issue thought is that I know they are different and also not equally represented by user base. I guess I'm thinking it is a wash for either if you can use a PC to set them up or a tablet.

Then again, I'm out in left field. I just meant to reply that it is a interesting observation.
Yeah, I don't exactly have data into the current user base with regards to technology access. Some have laptops, desktops, tablets. Others are apple users, windows and androids etc. I'm trying to be fair and objective and help derrick show both sides of the experience. Let's be honest, you can have a solid product with a very different experience across different platforms. I've personally done mobile cross platform development and I suck at apple and am much stronger in android. This extends to other developers as well. Maybe both systems have a strong team in both? I don't know, other than I can say the user experience in any software platform is seldom equal across all three generally speaking.
 

robbyg

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Good Video @Derrick Picker
I know how hard these videos are to make, so it is much appreciated.
I wish my Apex setup had been that easy, I must have missed a step because for some reason I could not connect to it after I did all the steps on their website. I had to do pretty much what you did with the GHL, only difference was I went into the router to find the local IP.
I am not sure of all the differencs between the Profilux 3 and 4 but if it's like the 3 I have no doubt that the full setup and initial programming of the Apex is going to be much easier than the GHL.
 
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Derrick Picker

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Thanks everyone. The first couple are going to be dry and a little slow. Their intention is for new buyers to get an idea what they would need to get going. As I get into the programming and some of the more advanced things including safety it will surely separate them more. Also I plan to do a pros/cons video at the end on my opinions and so forth.

As for the Android/PC/Iphone/Mac conversation. I knew if I did it on the iphone I would get android users upset and if I did it on an android I would get Iphone users upset. Maybe I will do another one called 3.5 with an android. I have not decided. As for the PC/Mac you can not really setup these devices with them. It is much faster to do it with your phone. WHen I get into the programming portion I will be doing everything from a web browser since it is easier.
 
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Rob.bucek

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Thanks everyone. The first couple are going to be dry and a little slow. Their intention is for new buyers to get an idea what they would need to get going. As I get into the programming and some of the more advanced things including safety it will surely separate them more. Also I plan to do a pros/cons video at the end on my opinions and so forth.

As for the Android/PC/Iphone/Mac conversation. I knew if I did it on the iphone I would get android users upset and if I did it on an android I would get Iphone users upset. Maybe I will do another one called 3.5 with an android. I have not decided. As for the PC/Mac you can not really setup these devices with them. It is much faster to do it with your phone. WHen I get into the programming portion I will be doing everything from a web browser since it is easier.
i don't think anyone is 'upset' here... we all good, thanks for the effort.
 

robbyg

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The new video was pretty good. I was actually surprised at how well the GHL App is written.
It is really on Par with the Apex app in most ways. One is better than the other hear and there but overall very comparative in design and features.

About my only gripe with the video is that you really do not understand the value of a system having a true SMS module. Using SMS via email is really no better than just sending an email except for the fact that it is slower than email. SMS Via a true cell phone Sim chip is almost instant messaging (10 seconds) and because it does not rely on you having Internet or Power at your house it is the ultimate way to know when you have a power outage. It also gives you a separate two way communication path to the controller that is independent of the internet. I think the Apex heart Beat function is OK but an hour delay to get a notification of an outage is a long time. If your internet goes down your Apex is going to send you a message in one hour that it "Thinks" the power is out. With the GHL or Aqautronica SMS systems you know instantly when the power is out and you know when its an Internet outage vs power outage.
For a power Outage I am heading home. During an Internet outage I can continue what I am doing.


Here is a Link to the GHL SMS Modules manual.
SMS MANUAL DOWNLOAD

The Video Link
 

Rob.bucek

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The new video was pretty good. I was actually surprised at how well the GHL App is written.
It is really on Par with the Apex app in most ways. One is better than the other hear and there but overall very comparative in design and features.

About my only gripe with the video is that you really do not understand the value of a system having a true SMS module. Using SMS via email is really no better than just sending an email except for the fact that it is slower than email. SMS Via a true cell phone Sim chip is almost instant messaging (10 seconds) and because it does not rely on you having Internet or Power at your house it is the ultimate way to know when you have a power outage. It also gives you a separate two way communication path to the controller that is independent of the internet. I think the Apex heart Beat function is OK but an hour delay to get a notification of an outage is a long time. If your internet goes down your Apex is going to send you a message in one hour that it "Thinks" the power is out. With the GHL or Aqautronica SMS systems you know instantly when the power is out and you know when its an Internet outage vs power outage.
For a power Outage I am heading home. During an Internet outage I can continue what I am doing.


Here is a Link to the GHL SMS Modules manual.
SMS MANUAL DOWNLOAD

The Video Link
I totally understand the value of SMS. This stuff is gold! I'm gonna have to watch the video. I wasn't aware that apex didn't utilize SMS, that's a heavy consideration where I'm looking more for monitoring than outright control of my reef.... It is my view that if I rely to much on my controller for operating everything I create a single point of failure rather than keep everything as distributed as possible for functionality.
 
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Derrick Picker

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I am aware of the SMS module but I did not mention it because 2 reasons. First you have to have a SIM card meaning you have to add a line of service to your cell phone which is silly. Second, I am told it is discontinued. Also I have to mention the heartbeat is roughly 30 min and not and hour.

My 2 cents is no one is going to pay money monthly for their controller when Neptune already has it built in. Also, push notifications are so much better IMO.

I will probably mention the SMS module at some point but it is kinda silly to purchase something extra and have a monthly payment just for a controller that Neptune already makes.
 
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Derrick Picker

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I totally understand the value of SMS. This stuff is gold! I'm gonna have to watch the video. I wasn't aware that apex didn't utilize SMS, that's a heavy consideration where I'm looking more for monitoring than outright control of my reef.... It is my view that if I rely to much on my controller for operating everything I create a single point of failure rather than keep everything as distributed as possible for functionality.
Apex does SMS but GHL requires a module and a SIM card!
 

TheHarold

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Apex does SMS but GHL requires a module and a SIM card!
There is a major difference. With the apex, no internet = no notifications besides disconnected from fusion via heartbeat.

With the GHL SMS module, it can still send SMS even when internet is down. That is a good optional feature, no matter how you look at it. Still get alerts and specific notifications rather than just being notified that it is offline. Do most users need it? Certainly not. Is it a neat option to have, if you have a $25,000 automated system that will only send notifications dependent on internet connection? Maybe :)

If it was not popular, makes sense it was discontinued.
 
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Aaronhome27

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The new video was pretty good. I was actually surprised at how well the GHL App is written.
It is really on Par with the Apex app in most ways. One is better than the other hear and there but overall very comparative in design and features.

About my only gripe with the video is that you really do not understand the value of a system having a true SMS module. Using SMS via email is really no better than just sending an email except for the fact that it is slower than email. SMS Via a true cell phone Sim chip is almost instant messaging (10 seconds) and because it does not rely on you having Internet or Power at your house it is the ultimate way to know when you have a power outage. It also gives you a separate two way communication path to the controller that is independent of the internet. I think the Apex heart Beat function is OK but an hour delay to get a notification of an outage is a long time. If your internet goes down your Apex is going to send you a message in one hour that it "Thinks" the power is out. With the GHL or Aqautronica SMS systems you know instantly when the power is out and you know when its an Internet outage vs power outage.
For a power Outage I am heading home. During an Internet outage I can continue what I am doing.


Here is a Link to the GHL SMS Modules manual.
SMS MANUAL DOWNLOAD

The Video Link
The way I understood it this was discontinued and on top of that needed it's own cell phone service and number.
 

Rob.bucek

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There is a major difference. With the apex, no internet = no notifications besides disconnected from fusion via heartbeat.

With the GHL SMS module, it can still send SMS even when internet is down. That is a good optional feature, no matter how you look at it. Still get alerts and specific notifications rather than just being notified that it is offline. Do most users need it? Certainly not. Is it a neat option to have, if you have a $25,000 automated system that will only send notifications dependent on internet connection? Maybe :)

If it was not popular, makes sense it was discontinued.
right, it is just using mobile data like any other cell phone would at that point. No different than putting your apple watch on it's own data line, assuming you have adequate signal into your basement or area of the house your tank is in. If you're in the boonies and can't connect with your phone, your SIM card will be just as useless. I can see where the subscription aspect would chase ppl away tho.
 
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Derrick Picker

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Agreed. Again, I am just saying the Apex uses the cloud to send SMS. I think it is way better in that regard. If it loses internet, or power, or ANYTHING it will send you a SMS via the cloud. Doesn't matter what is going on inside the house.
 

Rob.bucek

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Agreed. Again, I am just saying the Apex uses the cloud to send SMS. I think it is way better in that regard. If it loses internet, or power, or ANYTHING it will send you a SMS via the cloud. Doesn't matter what is going on inside the house.
in summary, neither system is perfect so points to no one in this case haha
 

robbyg

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in summary, neither system is perfect so points to no one in this case haha
There is a significant advantage to SMS. How often does your cell phone provider go down? I can honestly say that mine has only gone down twice in probably the last 10 years and both times it involved hurricanes. My internet service on the other hand has gone down numerous times and on top of that it goes down whenever the power goes out. BTW if your in the boonies and can get at least some reception, these modules have an sma connector on them for the Antenna. You can run an external outdoor antenna up to the roof and that will take one bar all the way up to full bars. Cost of the antenna with cable and connector is about $20.

With the Apex no matter how you slice it your waiting on their servers not to hear from you and then they will notify you that either your power is out or your Internet is out. Power is critical, Internet is not!

The GHL informs you within seconds that specifically the power is out and using it's own internal battery you can query it for further information. I can have no internet and still get the state of all my probes and sensors and know my tank is fine.

As for buying a SIM card most of these cell phone plans give you four SIMS in the bundle. Not a big deal to dedicate one to the SMS module.

BTW if you check your cell phone provider and ask them what the guaranteed time is for an SMS to be sent from email it can be several hours depending on network traffic. I have personally experienced 30 minute delays and that is one of the reasons I got a true SMS module.
 

Rob.bucek

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How often does your cell phone provider go down?
Never, it's more a matter of coverage in western wi. Cell phone coverage per provider is a whole different ball game out here. It's a literal s-h-!-t show. I could move 12 miles and literally go from great coverage with a given provider to zero coverage at home (even with antennae as you suggested) to literally switching to another provider just to get back on the grid. It's the worst.
Power is critical, Internet is not!
You speak the truth here. Fortunately the power grid is pretty healthy here.
 

robbyg

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Are you in the US? Here in the US you would need an additional line of service.
Yes you need an additional line in any system. It has to have its own phone number.
Packages offer extra lines or you can use one of those cheapo no frills services if your provider does not provide family or business packages.
 
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