KH Guardian: Automatic Alkalinity Controller- My Experiences

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Rick.45cal, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Correct
     
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  2. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    So it's been a while since I posted, but mainly because I was working out a few issues...

    So first, I got the replacement KS motor, and soon after I started having issues where it was crashing during the test. Right when it finishes the washing cycle and right after it drops the first droplet of solution. We had tried a few things to resolve it but nothing was working. I had sent it back to CoralVue and after a back and forth, it was still having a problem for me. Anyway, after some trial and error tonight, I finally figured out it was something on the network. I think because the script I was using to get the data I was putting into my website was doing too many queries and probably was tricking something during the test. I was able to streamline what I was doing and just using the API call. Before I was also accessing the SD_Dump which also could have been causing a conflict. So First I was reading "Default" then hitting the API and at the same time requesting the SD_Dump, every minute :)

    Second, there are quite a few upgrades and tweaks available for the guardian. In order to really improve the accuracy, here's what I recommend ensuring

    1) Lab grade pH probe
    2) Reaction Chamber v2
    a) large version magnetic stirrer 5x10mm
    b) v2 motor
    c) adjust motor to 9.8v
    3) KS roller tweak (remove 3 of 6 rollers - larger, more consistent droplets)
    4) Upgrade to v9.003

    If you are having any issues with consistency, I highly suggest every one of those :)

    Here is the tests I've run since now that I have everything working again:

    02/07 17:34:58 W.136 %0 KH :7.76
    02/07 17:44:53 W.135 %0 KH :7.76
    02/07 18:09:43 W.134 %0 KH :7.72
    02/07 21:10:35 W.134 %0 KH :7.67
    02/07 21:27:20 W.136 %0 KH :7.62
    02/07 21:44:54 W.133 %0 KH :7.59
    02/07 22:02:54 W.133 %0 KH :7.62
    02/07 22:20:32 W.135 %0 KH :7.61
    02/07 22:40:11 W.136 %0 KH :7.57
    02/07 23:00:13 W.133 %0 KH :7.59
    02/08 01:16:43 W.133 %0 KH :7.58

    Average: 7.64dKH / 136ppm

    Really quite impressive!
     
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  3. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Well-Known Member

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    So, unfortunately my positive feeling towards my unit have dwindled over the last ~2 months. At some point in November, my unit started throwing erroneous low readings (in the 2-4 dkh range). After recalibrating my probe, I worked with support to diagnose (involved swapping in and calibrating two spare probes I had somewhere else on my system) and we decided that the pH probe which came with the unit (8 months old) had gone bad and needed to be replaced (at my expense). I purchased a new probe from Coralvue (note - not the same design as the original probe that came with the unit) and things were going okay for about a month, although I was still struggling to get things dialed in with consistent accurate readings, but then that probe started reading poorly. Again, recalibrated that probe and then we determined that this probe was also bad. Coralvue sent out a replacement for that probe, so now that one was installed/calibrated. I kindly requested that Coralvue send me out some calibration standards as well, since I had blown through what should have been several years worth of calibration packets troubleshooting these issues, but they didn't have any in stock, so I guess I'm out the cost of that. I also blew through an entire reagent pack just trying to get these probes dialed in and reading accurately and consistently, which you all know isn't cheap. Now, with this new probe installed for about a month, I am getting okay readings, but still not consistent, with fairly regular readings that are clearly inaccurate (jumping up something like 0.5 dkh for a single reading, and then falling back inline with overall trend). I have a hunch that the replacement probe offered by Coralvue is not as high quality as the probe which originally came with the unit (although, failing after 8 months, maybe that probe wasn't as high quality as I thought it was either).

    At this point, I have had the automatic dosing function turned off for 2-3 months and I don't think I can trust this unit enough to turn it back on, so it will be a monitor only for me. My original goal with this unit was to keep alkalinity rock solid within 0.1 dkh throughout the day, but it is just not accurate or reliable enough to do this. Even when my unit was running at its peak during the first 8 months, I still couldn't get my alkalinity any more stable intra-day than without using it to dose. So, I will simply use it to alert me if my alkalinity is way out of whack - but even then, I will need to test with a kit before taking any action.
     
  4. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    If you have not done each and every one of these mods I would suggest doing so. The quality of the ph probe doesn't matter that much as it uses the behavioristic curve of the probe. But I think the rest of the improvements really help to lock in the values. Anyway, you don't have much to lose by trying.

    1) Lab grade pH probe
    2) Reaction Chamber v2
    a) large version magnetic stirrer 5x10mm
    b) v2 motor
    c) adjust motor to 9.8v
    3) KS roller tweak (remove 3 of 6 rollers - larger, more consistent droplets)
    4) Upgrade to v9.003
     
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  5. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Well-Known Member

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    Maybe - but I’m not really looking for a new project and shouldn’t have to spend a month worth of tweaks to get a $600 piece of equipment to do what it was supposed to do out of the box.

    I have the “lab grade” pH probe (I have my doubts) that coralvue sells. And I believe I have an upgraded reaction chamber (replacing this was one of my previous interactions with support as my original mixer died).

    Is there anywhere that outlines how to do all these adjustments? Did you have to pay for the upgraded components from Coralvue? Did you just email them and ask for all these things? Where did you get all these ideas/ how did you compile this list?
     
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  6. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    I get that. I think Coral Vue has a lot of stock of older hardware. For the reaction chamber and v2 motor they should be able to replace that. The rest of the methods I got from reading the facebook group.

    You can tell if you have the V2 motor by the size. It's much longer. There should also be a green dot on where the float sensor connects to the reaction chamber. There are also different versions of the float. If the bottom has an offset piece at the end than you have the right one.

    The motor one I'd have to grab the picture, but basically you need to put a voltmeter where the KS motor connects and turn a screw in the middle of the MB to make sure it's 9V but you could go all the way to 9.8V, the only consequence is slightly noisier. If you replaced the reaction chamber yourself, you might still be at 6V.

    Some people have gotten v2 motors with the tiny stirrer. The right one should be 5x10mm. The last tweak is removing 3 of the roller heads from the KS motor. The rollers come out really easily and would be easy to put back in. You can see how to open it up in the how to replace KS motor. I recommend some painters tape over the holes for the nuts and they won't come out. The version 9.003 has added logic to support doing that. It should lead to larger more consistent sized drops.

    The list is all the things that I've done to modify mine based on suggestions from DVC on here and in the facebook page. As far as I'm concerned at this point I would recommend that CoralVue stop shipping any units without at least ensuring the v2 motor, reaction chamber, 9v setting, and the larger stirrer. There was no reason for mine to ship with every single old part when I ordered it two months ago. They are doing themselves, their customers, and DVC a bad name and causing your frustration.

    What I would recommend is at least trying to get to this point to get what you've paid for, if it still doesn't solve at least you tried. There's nothing else in the market without spending $1,000 to gain this functionality. For the past 4 days, my tests are 1-3ppm apart and typically 0-1ppm. 1ppm = .01 dKH so it really doesn't get much better...

    One more recommendation if you haven't tried yet is to doing the static test. If after all the above and try that, that could eliminate a lot of doubt or confirm your suspicions.
     
  7. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  8. tdb320reef

    tdb320reef Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get the parts from? I have the v1 float and it is always messed up.
     
  9. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    I got them from DVC as CoralVue out of stock. If not in warranty, it’s $28 shipped for a full replacement.
     
  10. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    V2 motor can go to 9.8V and is more reliable than the v1 motor which defaults to 6V. You can overload that but not sure I’d go to 9.8, maybe 9. It will be slightly louder. The v2 motor also pairs with a larger 5x10mm stir bar. That helps better mixing of the reagent and sample

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. codydemmel4

    codydemmel4 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    how would we know if we are only at 6 or whatever volts. I do not have something to measure the volts of mine so I guess there is noway for me to check?

    I did update the V2 motor by myself so I may still be at 6v
     
  12. justingraham

    justingraham Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    I’m guessing if I have the v1 float I prolly have the v2 motor as well
     
  13. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    Look at the picture to see which motor. The v2 is longer. The only way to confirm your voltage would be with a voltmeter and opening the unit. If you have v1 motor than most likely set for 6V
     
  14. OLDREEFER44

    OLDREEFER44 Active Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019

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    The more I read the more I'm glad I got rid of mine. Must simpler to dial in a doser to keep KH stable.
     
  15. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    Sorry you had that experience. My alk monitoring helped me detect today that my return was shutdown due to an ATO issue. That’s a huge save right there!!!
     
  16. justingraham

    justingraham Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    So can u measure ur V2 for me please I have no way of comparing what I have
     
  17. lnevo

    lnevo Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    You don’t need to measure, just inspect.
     
  18. jjoos99

    jjoos99 Active Member

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    I picked up a used guardian from a club member and am trying to get it up and running. I am unable to even connect it to my laptop. The unit finds the dhcp fine with both green and yellow lights. I type in the ip address in my laptop and the browser just times out and will not connect. Any advise would be helpful
    thanks
    Jeff
     
  19. justingraham

    justingraham Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    Gotta be on The same network

    And do the up address then : port address

    Mine looks like this

    10.0.1.01:9030
     
  20. jjoos99

    jjoos99 Active Member

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    Thanks a bunch, I wasnt putting in the port address. Previous owner reset the password and doesnt remember what it is. Is there a way to reset it?
    thanks
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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