Hydros Control 2 Review

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SPitts6654

SPitts6654

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Right they work on timers.
I never owned a BRS doser but I am guessing that is the only way they run correct.
They are just dumb units.
Like I said though doser info is still coming.
I think over the next 3 or 4 months there will be allot added for the control and people will be surprised.

Right, but Nargard specifically asked how he could use his BRS dosers in his post.
 
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n2585722

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What 12v dosing pumps are you using?
I use Intllab that I got from Amazon. I think they are about $26. Belowis a photo of one of the pumps and the cable I made for it. I got the DC cord from Mouser And the GX12 2 pin connector from Amazon. The knob set the flow rate. There is also a switch if you turn it all the way counter clockwise.

BAC6742F-36DE-488D-B562-44D121A4DBE7.jpeg
 

STEEZY

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  • Bottom Line Up Front:
    • It seems to be a great entry level controller, that offers further expandability, for the aquarium enthusiast that doesn’t have an overly complex system and initial controller cost has held them back.
      • Control 2 $199.99
      • ATO $79.99
      • Total $279.98 for a basic controller with an integrated ATO!
    • Seems like an ideal replacement for those of us that started with the Reef Keeper.
    • At least for now, I don’t see this overtaking Apex for the more advanced users. Yes, you can do advanced setups with Hydros, but for those that are familiar with writing the basic code required to get the more advanced functionality/automation out of an Apex will likely find that the Apex is more flexible and customizable than Hydros.
  • My Use Case:
    • I needed a simplistic setup for a small tank in my daughters room where I am mostly interested in monitoring temperature, having an ATO and controllable outlets for the return pump, skimmer, refugium light timer, etc.
  • Where They Missed the Mark:
    • The Control 2 has 2 Command ports, 2 Sense ports and 2 Drive ports (I guess that's why it's a Control "2"). In my scenario above I am am using both sense ports and and one control port. It would probably provided a better value to the entry level/budget concious consumer it there were 3 Sense ports and 1 Drive port. Beyond the ATO pump, there isn’t a lot of need in the basic setup for a 2nd Drive port. It would have been great to have an additional water level sensor for the ATO supply tank, a backup/high level sensor to turn off the ATO, leak detect or even a skimmer cup high level that the more basic user would get more value out of.

Packaging:
  • About what you would expect for the price point. Not fancy like Apple, but enough to protect it and not drive up the cost.

Application:
  • I'll be brief, very user friendly/intuitive and modern as you would expect out of a newly developed App.
    • This is something the competition should take note of.
  • No default “Return Pump” type for setting up an Output, I had to use a “Constant” type setting.

Hardware:
  • Control Box:
    • Very modern looking with LEDs and audible alerts built in.
    • Marked up a bit, need to handle better during the manufacturing process.
  • Sensors and Cables:
    • Controller power cable not color keyed.
      • Not using instructions, initially tried to plug it into the wrong port, but the connector keying prevented it.
    • Strain relief screws should be shortened to decrease protrusion.
      • Coming from an electronics manufacturing background, this would be done for personnel safety to keep fingers/hands from getting scraped/cut on them.
    • Strain reliefs would look better if they were clocked consistently/uniformly.
    • Backshells seem to come loose easily.
  • Wifi Power Strip
    • Mounting bracket securely holds it.
    • There is a reluctance to to use a Wifi power strip and that’s understandable, but there was once a reluctance for the aviation industry to transition from cables to fly by wire. I understand yes there is still a physical connection/wire, but there are also people flying in the plane. I think we’ll see more things in the industry heading this direction given more time.
    • We just need to be smart with the setups so it something get’s stuck on it doesn’t result in catastrophic failure (i.e. heater).
      • You may be able to mitigate/reduce some of this concern by purchasing a highly rated/reliable non-hydros branded wifi power strip.
        • I was able to connect and program 2 "other" Wifi power strips that I was already using that had 3-120v and 3-USB strip using Quad Outlet setting.
      • Establishing a secondary dedicated Wifi network for the system could also mitigate some concerns over using your ISP provided switch and access point that generally aren't as reliable.

ATO:
  • Wet/Dry status updates quickly.
  • The basic setup doesn’t seem to apply a time limit on pump run time or minimum off time, you must use advanced settings.
    • The instructions indicate advanced settings are for advanced users only, but these are critical for an ATO that doesn’t come with a backup/high level sensor and should be part of the basic setup.
  • My kit was missing siphon break - submitted a ticket.
  • Fails wet - prevents pumping in too much water.
  • Warranty registration was easily done with a QR scan on the box.

Om2ta+ItTQWOnPkCz+vshw.jpg vgXC5HwGTZa8d%8dOqIzGg.jpg
What are your thoughts on the Hydros 2 at this point? Thinking about getting this and the ATO add on as a simple starting point for my nuvo 20 to control the heater and ATO instead of an inkbird and stand-alone ATO.

thanks!
 

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WiFi power bar is the deal killer for me. I know one owner who has lost connection 3 times in about 6 months of use. Hope they come up with something better as everything else looks good to me.
 

shred5

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WiFi power bar is the deal killer for me. I know one owner who has lost connection 3 times in about 6 months of use. Hope they come up with something better as everything else looks good to me.

I have never lost connections. Maybe the person needs to upgrade their wireless or it is set up improperly and they have poor coverage and has nothing to do with the Hydros..
It could be like car for stalling out because of bad gas and blaming the car and not the gas.
 

Spieg

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I have never lost connections. Maybe the person needs to upgrade their wireless or it is set up improperly and they have poor coverage and has nothing to do with the Hydros..
It could be like car for stalling out because of bad gas and blaming the car and not the gas.
He's using a $900 Orbi system... it doesn't get much better than that for home WiFi.
 

Spieg

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That does not mean he has it set up right, has a bad unit, has interference or its mesh etc.
Slight chance he has a bad strip. Did he contact support?
He is an engineer, so I assume he knows what he is doing... either way, this is why I would not choose a wifi system. Can't understand why they don't just make a hard wired option (doesn't get any simpler or more reliable than that).
 
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He is an engineer, so I assume he knows what he is doing... either way, this is why I would not choose a wifi system. Can't understand why they don't just make a hard wired option (doesn't get any simpler or more reliable than that).
It’s the Orbi! I also have an Orbi and would occasionally lose connection to the WiFi strips. The Orbi does not segregate the 2.4/5 ghz bands, it’s a mesh network. Coralvue has confirmed this is not recommended for Hydros. After setting up a new Access Point with a hard wired extender, I have not had any drops.
 

n2585722

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He is an engineer, so I assume he knows what he is doing... either way, this is why I would not choose a wifi system. Can't understand why they don't just make a hard wired option (doesn't get any simpler or more reliable than that).
What makes you think they are not working on a hard wired option. It takes a lot longer to introduce a control unit with AC included and also get it certified. Also with all the shortages and logistic issue lately it has slowed down the release of their new control units. They have to have enough made to cover initial sales of whatever is released. They just made the X3 public yesterday. So it must be close to a release date.
 

Spieg

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What makes you think they are not working on a hard wired option. It takes a lot longer to introduce a control unit with AC included and also get it certified.
I've heard Carlos say CoralVue has no plan for a wired version on several occasions. But who knows...

EDIT: And FWIW, the controller doesn't need to have AC output, 12v DC is all it takes to work the relays on on some already existing power strips.
 
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rtparty

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I've heard Carlos say CoralVue has no plan for a wired version on several occasions. But who knows...

EDIT: And FWIW, the controller doesn't need to have AC output, 12v DC is all it takes to work the relays on on some already existing power strips.

They have stated there are TWO hard wired options coming and boy are they needed! My Wifi power strips constantly drop for a millisecond and just like we've seen in this thread already, the end user is always blamed for the problem. It could NEVER be the cheap $12 power strips having issues. Nope. Never. Just ask the Hydros thread.

Because a couple people have never had an issue, means the large numbers of us that do have problems are the problem. Wifi, as a whole, is a major issue for even the largest and deepest pocket companies in the world. CV didn't magically avoid this.

I can't wait for the hardwired power strips personally. It is the only way I will trust the Hydros running my new system.
 

n2585722

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They have stated there are TWO hard wired options coming and boy are they needed! My Wifi power strips constantly drop for a millisecond and just like we've seen in this thread already, the end user is always blamed for the problem. It could NEVER be the cheap $12 power strips having issues. Nope. Never. Just ask the Hydros thread.

Because a couple people have never had an issue, means the large numbers of us that do have problems are the problem. Wifi, as a whole, is a major issue for even the largest and deepest pocket companies in the world. CV didn't magically avoid this.

I can't wait for the hardwired power strips personally. It is the only way I will trust the Hydros running my new system.

I heard the same thing on the wired outlets that there is one in the works. I use the WiFi strips for return, skimmer, heaters, fans and lighting power supplies And other non critical things. For ATO, AWC, solenoids on RODI and dosing I use the drive ports. Anything that cannot be on or off for a few minutes I use drive ports. So even if I have a wifi issue it would not crash the tank. What is so critical that is on a wifi strip for you?
 
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I heard the same thing on the wired outlets that there is one in the works. I use the WiFi strips for return, skimmer, heaters, fans and lighting power supplies And other non critical things. For ATO, AWC, solenoids on RODI and dosing I use the drive ports. Anything that cannot be on or off for a few minutes I use drive ports. So even if I have a wifi issue it would not crash the tank. What is so critical that is on a wifi strip for you?

I put my Hydros on my test tank. So everything is on it. Return pump, Mitras, Reefbreeders ATO, heater controller, Tunze, ATS Pump and ATS lights. If I can't trust the Hydros to run my tank, it certainly isn't an Apex replacement. I'd NEVER put a "dumb" doser on a WiFi power strip from any company.

That's not even my biggest complaint though. It's the dozen notifications a day. You become numb to them. The day something actually goes wrong, I won't trust the notification because the controller has cried wolf one too many times for me.
 

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I had 35 alerts today. Of that only three were for a power strip and that was my fault. I was using it to test a plug I got that is suppose topower down my modem if I loose internet for too long. It worked as it powered down the strip when I lost internet connection. Unplugging it and powering it down caused the alerts for it. Most if the alerts are from a sump overfull sensor. I lowered the level a little in the tank and that raised it in the sump So have been getting then every 30 minutes for a while. I guess I need to clean the weir more often than once a week. The rest were from loss of internet. If I loose internet long enough it will cause 16 alerts just for the 8 control units I have. I still look at them to see what they are. My tank has gone without power for over 4 hours Several times without any issues. During our rolling blackouts that lasted about a week this was not unusual. I might have been lucky but I didn't loose anything and the Hydros came up and ran every time the power came back on. I have got a UPS for the modem and router since then. It is no fun in a all electric home without power for any length of time. I do have a battery backup for my two MP10's. That was the best investment for me for no power conditions. I do plan on eventually doing that on the Hydros system also. At this time I have a couple of wifi strips that are pared but not in use. So that is why I used one of them to test the reset outlet. I knew I would get an alert if it happened when I did not notice.
Did you try changing the notification level for the strips?
 

shred5

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I've heard Carlos say CoralVue has no plan for a wired version on several occasions. But who knows...

EDIT: And FWIW, the controller doesn't need to have AC output, 12v DC is all it takes to work the relays on on some already existing power strips.

Right from the Website:

Will there be an alternative to WiFi Outlets within the HYDROS Control system?​

We have two alternatives in the works for hobbyists that prefer wired outlets. We plan to make a formal announcement about these new HYDROS solutions before the end of the year. We have no intention of replacing WiFi outlets as a power source option in the HYDROS universe. These wired solutions will operate in parallel with the wireless outlets so HYDROS can satisfy the needs of more hobbyists.
 

rtparty

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I had 35 alerts today. Of that only three were for a power strip and that was my fault. I was using it to test a plug I got that is suppose topower down my modem if I loose internet for too long. It worked as it powered down the strip when I lost internet connection. Unplugging it and powering it down caused the alerts for it. Most if the alerts are from a sump overfull sensor. I lowered the level a little in the tank and that raised it in the sump So have been getting then every 30 minutes for a while. I guess I need to clean the weir more often than once a week. The rest were from loss of internet. If I loose internet long enough it will cause 16 alerts just for the 8 control units I have. I still look at them to see what they are. My tank has gone without power for over 4 hours Several times without any issues. During our rolling blackouts that lasted about a week this was not unusual. I might have been lucky but I didn't loose anything and the Hydros came up and ran every time the power came back on. I have got a UPS for the modem and router since then. It is no fun in a all electric home without power for any length of time. I do have a battery backup for my two MP10's. That was the best investment for me for no power conditions. I do plan on eventually doing that on the Hydros system also. At this time I have a couple of wifi strips that are pared but not in use. So that is why I used one of them to test the reset outlet. I knew I would get an alert if it happened when I did not notice.
Did you try changing the notification level for the strips?

I set push notifications to Red and left the power bars at Orange. I can't imagine this is the best or safest way but at least the notifications have stopped
 

shred5

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I set push notifications to Red and left the power bars at Orange. I can't imagine this is the best or safest way but at least the notifications have stopped

What are the notifications? You are getting them for a reason.

I was getting pretty many but that is because my internet was dropping allot for a while. I would get like 20 notifications at once that mine disconnected from the cloud. I would get 20 because I have that many devices running.

Anyway I want to know when my internet goes down. It does not affect the Hydros but I wanted to know so I could get ATT to fix the issue and it gave me a really good record so they could figure it out.. I would have had no idea it was happening because it only happened during the day while I was at work. I mean other than that I have got almost no notifications and everyone I did get I was happy I did get.
 
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