My first thoughts on Jebao MLW Wave Makers

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attiland

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Hi,

I just thought I share my first thought of my latest purchase of Jebao MLW Smart Wave Maker with LCD Display Controller.

96A4C92E-E13E-467A-9FC3-DBA0210F6BF1.jpeg


For the record I am not in any way related to Jebao or they not supported me in any way. ( please feel free in the future though :) )



I have chosen the MLW-20 thinking that is the right size for my tank length based on the little information available online.



For reference I have found a video review for you if you are interested this will give you some visuals.


I run other older and cheaper version of Jebao wave makers (SW series) and have a mixed relationship with them but I guess I will have to put up with them for a while as I am refusing to pay premium for other higher end brands while I am not connected the price difference with give that much advantage.



I save you from the boring unboxing pictures so let’s jus go with the facts what is included; Head, controller, power supply, users manual and it is all in a box you have to open.



The Head; nothing really new here. Jebao has the same head for the SLW series for a while. My experience it is quite powerful and quiet. I haven’t had to clean it so I don’t know how painful it will be to disassemble the head. I guess it will turn just as pink from coralline as the all the others. :) I have ended up tuning it down to 50% flow for my LPS.



Controller; I am a visual person and find it useful to see in a glance what the pump is doing so this is a plus for people like me who appreciate the colourful display. Setting up the pump modes from the controller is not so intuitive though so the app came handy to understand the settings better.

There are no buttons everything is touch.

The controller was also used to connect the device to the WiFi which is relatively painless as long as you have separated SSID for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. This is something I would recommend to everyone as an IT anyway.
Limitation to 2.4GHz is actually industry standard for most smart devices driven by chip prices mainly. There are practical reasons too but don’t go technical this time.



Power supply; standard 24v not much to say about it.



The App; this is the part where smart would come in but it is… well how to put it? Not so smart by today’s standards.

So look at what is good first.

  • The settings of the wave maker is easy(ish) as soon you put your head around it.
  • If you have several of this type of devices you can set up unique programs and I guess tide like water movements too.
  • The interface allows you to set your device as a master and it links up older models. This is important but not documented.
So what is bad?

  • Well for a start lack of connection to any smart hubs like google home/Alexa / Apple home.
  • Lacks connection to any aquarium controllers. Even the existing 10v control is removed.
  • Once you set your device as master you loose several features like timers. Don’t ask why this makes no sense at all.
  • If you group you devices forget about individual settings. Come on guys why?
  • The interface is fare from intuitive and most of it is undocumented.


Documentation; at least it is not written in really bad English. I have seen worse but it is still bad.

  • No table of contents. I know save the planet. But if you really want to do that you need online documentation which doesn’t exist let alone listing of this product on your website.
  • no explanation of the features only how to set it. You can scratch your head figure out why would you choose a particular feather.
  • no compatibility chart of hardware or features. Now this is really a mistake as most of my frustration came from this.


Chinese companies (please don’t take it in the wrong way) have to hire a person who can write documentation. It is really not that hard.

so what is the take away. This product has great potential but improvements still required especially in the software level. I would give 6 out of 10 as a rating mainly due to software and documentation.
 
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Gtinnel

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What do you mean?
I believe I can answer that question without making it a Jebao bashing party. Many people refuse to support them (or many other Chinese brands) because they steal their designs from more reputable companies. Whether you like Jebao or not, it is clear that they just copy other companies pumps, and I can understand and respect why that leads some people to not support the company.

With that being said I do like Jebao products, I've used two of their gyres for years with no issues. It is hard for me to imagine them making a decent app or controller when they struggle to provide even basic directions in proper english.

Good review.
 
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attiland

attiland

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I believe I can answer that question without making it a Jebao bashing party. Many people refuse to support them (or many other Chinese brands) because they steal their designs from more reputable companies. Whether you like Jebao or not, it is clear that they just copy other companies pumps, and I can understand and respect why that leads some people to not support the company.

With that being said I do like Jebao products, I've used two of their gyres for years with no issues. It is hard for me to imagine them making a decent app or controller when they struggle to provide even basic directions in proper english.

Good review.
I am not meant to bash Jebao at all. I try to remain factual. While I do not like they are copying other brands they do put some of their own way into their products too.
The MLW series is only missing a softer update and some documentation to be a really outstanding product.
these are things most of the manufacturers could benefit from.
 

Gtinnel

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I am not meant to bash Jebao at all. I try to remain factual. While I do not like they are copying other brands they do put some of their own way into their products too.
The MLW series is only missing a softer update and some documentation to be a really outstanding product.
these are things most of the manufacturers could benefit from.
Oh I wasn't in anyway saying you were bashing Jebao. Your review seems fair and exactly what I would've expected from jebao from my experience, a great, affordable pump that doesn't have ideal controls or documentation.

I was just pointing out the reason that some people dislike jebao.
 

jda

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For example, ask AI if they appreciate their Nero being copied and their IP being stolen to make this pump. Then, ask them if this help them as a legit American business keep people employed at their company and/or helps with future innovation. I am 100% anti Jeabo and freely admit it since I am 100% against IP theft by Chinese companies (not to be confused with legit Chinese companies that abide by IP laws, of which there are plenty). I don't care if people are going to use their stuff since they are going to do what they are going to do, but I just like people know what it is that they are supporting.
 

Foxchase

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For example, ask AI if they appreciate their Nero being copied and their IP being stolen to make this pump. Then, ask them if this help them as a legit American business keep people employed at their company and/or helps with future innovation. I am 100% anti Jeabo and freely admit it since I am 100% against IP theft by Chinese companies (not to be confused with legit Chinese companies that abide by IP laws, of which there are plenty). I don't care if people are going to use their stuff since they are going to do what they are going to do, but I just like people know what it is that they are supporting.
It will continue to be this way until American companies stop being greedy and charging $400-$800 on a single wave maker. *cough* Ecotech *cough*. Not everyone in the hobby can afford to spend that much on a pump. Specially when companies like Jebao prove that for the same quality, you can get the same thing for waaaaayyy cheaper.

This hobby is already overly expensive as is. I had 3 Nero 5s that i threw away bc they were garbage that kept failing. My jebaos have lasted twice as long and they're still going strong.
 
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jda

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That is fine, right? I just want people to know since some will absolutely not want anything to do with this practice, which is fine too. I almost lost a company to Chinese IP theft that nearly cost a few dozen jobs and years of investment, so I am particularly invested in the issue. The OP did not know, so now they can make a choice for them.

BTW, thank you for not denying that they do this... most just don't want to accept that it happens by saying that the color was changed, or something else was not 100% the same when indeed IP theft can still happen in a product when something else is not 100% the same. They have no idea what is actually happening or how stealing patents and IP works, and I am kinda glad that they do not know since it REALLY sucks.

I use Tunze stuff since I find it well priced for the longevity and reliability and I hate it that they get caught up in this too since I feel that they do prioritize quality a bunch.

Why cannot be be honest without it being bashing? Are we that sensitive as humans that we cannot see the difference?
 

Tamberav

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I use Jebaos and Tunze. Most other companies have just 1 year warranty and I expect more if they think their product is so much better. MP10 wet sides are fragile and I didn’t find maxspect gyres to hold up either.
 
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attiland

attiland

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If61 (1).gif

I now regret even mentioning it, @blaxsun your approach was better than mine. It seems like every thread about jebao turns into a jebao bashing thread.
Never mind.

by the way for everyone; weather or not Jebao has copied other products to create MLW series is not a question of this topic.
I am sure they did.
typography font GIF
 

Hooz

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I would note that setting them up and connecting to the wireless is easy enough... If you use an iPhone. An Android, not-so-much. I'm an Android only house and STILL can't get them on the wifi.

Luckily, my needs are simple, so I just did it manually on the controller. Still sucks not being able to use the app, though.
 
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jamesdomini4

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I would note that setting them up and connecting to the wireless is easy enough... If you use an iPhone. An Android, not-so-much. I'm an Adroid only house and STILL can't get them on the wifi.

Luckily, my needs are simple, so I just did it manually on the controller. Still sucks not being able to use the app, though.
Funny how iPhone vs Android could affect our experience. When I tried setting up an AI Hydra 32HD, I couldn’t do it on an iPhone as the light required an update before setup. Android worked just fine.
 
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Hooz

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So in your opinion is the new version incrementally better than the slw for the price difference or not?
If you get it connected to wifi and can use the app, it's WAY better than the SLW. I've owned Neros and, while the Jebao app is clunkier, you can do the same things as in the AI app (multiple different patterns/schedules in a single day, etc). For the small price premium, the MLW is very much worth it.
 

LeftyReefer

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OP said that when you set these new smart series to master, you lose timer functions....
what exactly does that mean?
I have a couple older SOW models and was planning on getting a new MOW model to use as a master, and I was going to set the old SOW models to slaves. If I do this...what timer functions do I lose?

Right now my old SOW models just run a single (W2) mode 24/7 anyway, save the night mode. Was hoping with the new MOW model as master, I would be able to change it up a bit.... is that not the case? will it only operate in a single mode still when in master/slave mode?
 

Shooter6

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Here is another factual point.
Only way ai nero was copied, is by ai out sourcing the manufacturing to a Chinese company. ( jebao).
They do this to increase profits.
They have it built in China for 25.00 a unit then rebox and sell them for hundreds here. No employees suffer as the jobs were never here to begin with.
Jebao took the original design, made changes, improved it in some ways, and still sell it for about 70.00 vs 250.00+.
At this point any American company who out sources to China for production deserves to have their products copied!
 

Big Smelly fish

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The prices of brand names is so outrageous these days, it actually make more sense to buy the knock offs.
powerheads going for 500.00 dollars and even more in some cases. That’s the rip off. They change it because they can get it.
 
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