My Honest Opinion About The Alkatronic

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by mitch91175, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    NOTE: Below are my initial impressions of the Alkatronic. Since this post, my thoughts on this unit have changed 100%. Read the entire thread to get a better feel for the unit and its capabilities. @JonasRoman has been simply amazing in his support throughout this entire process for me (and others as well). I WOULD recommend this unit to anyone that is n the market for something to keep their Alkalinity in check.

    FWIW, I paid my own hard earned cash for my unit, I am sure you could tell that by my initial reactions. Once I receive my "quiet" fix (current batch already has the quiet pumps in place), I will do my very first full on review of the unit (never did one before with video and everything involved with it). Not an unboxing, lol (I hate those type of reviews - it absolutely means nothing to us in the hobby. We want to know how something works. I personally can read "what's included" from the manufacturer :))


    First I want to say that I was so excited about getting something that would allow me to measure ALK and I wouldn't have to do it anymore. I read up on the current units and thought that the best decision was to get the Alkatronic unit. Received my unit today and started setting everything up and was confused at first. Some things on me and others I can say that the instructions could have been better. Finally was able to get everything connected, calibrated, and ready for the first test.

    During the calibration I noticed that the pumps were very loud. I am not talking doser loud, I am talking extremely high pitch loud. So loud in fact that my Nest cam started sending me alerts about it heard a noise. I have a 5 and 6 year old and they do not trigger the noise alert as many times as this has in the short period of time that I have had it setup.

    Right before pulling the trigger to purchase the unit, something didn't feel quite right. Not a lot of real YouTube reviews, etc. so that should have been the first signal. The other was the manufacturer acknowledging the noise level of the pump and mentioning that there is an additional kit that is coming out that should decrease the noise level (which looks like it is at a cost). I even reached out the the manufacturer and requested a demo unit so I could give my honest feedback about how I felt about the unit. That obviously wasn't granted so I purchased it anyway. I was told that they have done all of the testing and that the unit was rock solid. Ok I accept that (not that I was trying to get something free anyway, just wanted to see if I could test).

    When you pay $1000 for a piece of equipment you expect it to be top notch (specially in this hobby). I do not have experience with the other units on the market so I do not have anything to compare this unit with. I will soon because it will be getting boxed and returned.

    Now to the issues that I feel are deal breakers for spending this kind of money on this unit:

    1. You can do absolutely nothing from the web interface besides view the measurements and trigger another measurement, that's it (when you can get it to connect to it that is). Yeah the app is nice, but why doesn't it work with both bluetooth and Wifi at the same time?
    2. The instructions made this way more complicated to install than they needed to be. KISS. You can get into details about this or that further down the manual.
    3. Did I mention that this is SUPER loud. My nest cam is sending me alerts about it heard a noise and it is at least a good 30 feet away from the unit. Did I mention that it was loud.
    4. There is absolutely NO way that I can use this to take measurements at night with the kids being about the same 30 feet away from the unit.
    5. I installed the app of a different phone and the unit did not show in my login. I know it likely has to do with Bluetooth and all, but at least it could show that I do have a unit under my account and maybe for a pair or something.
    6. At this price, there should at least be a double junction pH probe included.


    Here is a video that I made that somewhat demonstrates the noise-level. It is much louder in person than you hear in this video.



    I am posting this so you can make your own decision about the unit and not be swayed one way or another based on the warm and fuzzies in the original thread. If I could make this decision again with what I currently know, I would have waited for the Trident. Still going to give the KH Guardian the benefit of the doubt since it has been on the market for a bit. Hope to have a better experience with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  2. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Also wanted to mention, others my have had a better experience with this unit or can deal with the noise level or the quirkiness of the bluetooth/wifi and noise, but not this guy. I work hard for my dough and do not want a $1000 doorstop.
     
  3. Greenstreet.1

    Greenstreet.1 Valuable Member

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    I have been following they thread in the process of making up my mind on a unit. I do see that they say that they have a fix for the noise don’t know if they charge for the fix I don’t think they should but they say that they have one.
     
  4. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Honestly even with the fix I personally will not trust this unit to dose my alkalinity with what I see now with it in its current state. I would rather measure twice daily like I have been before letting it do the dosing for me. Hopefully the KH Guardian is much better than this one. I thought I made the right decision, but guess I didn't.
     
  5. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Did you hear how loud it is from the video?
     
  6. Greenstreet.1

    Greenstreet.1 Valuable Member

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    Yes I did could not deal with that myself.
     
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  7. hart24601

    hart24601 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Sorry to hear of the troubles but very much appreciate the review.
     
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  8. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    No problem dude. Jus wanted to share my own experience with the unit so people can see both side of the fence. I honestly wish this think would have been what I was looking for.
     
  9. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    It’s weird too that seems like the manufacturer’s presence the last day or so has not been the same like it was before I purchased. Could definitely just be a coincidence, but very timely, lol.
     
  10. dougers31

    dougers31 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I was watching the video and thinking that's kind of annoying but not too bad and then the squealing kicked in LOL. No way something you spent that much money on should sound like that.
     
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  11. Greenstreet.1

    Greenstreet.1 Valuable Member

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    Did you hit them up about this ? Cause I find it weird that they did not reply in the thread as it would seem as if they were on top of all issues that came up.
     
  12. JonasRoman

    JonasRoman Well-Known Member

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    Very shortly hear:
    sound issue is 100% solved
    If someone have issues with software after update, we solve that. Contact us at FB. We have 100 units running, most of them 100% smooth, and if we have had any issue, all of them are so far solved. Software is easy, the latest update works very well, but some have have problems during update process, but most user have not problem, so please just contact us and we solve it.

    the sound for our B and D is reduced my almost 100%, you simply not hear the machine now when these pumps starts, and A and C is more soft and reduced by 50% and is also a huge diff. Listen to this video.

    Concerning other units, feel free to compare precision, stability and accuracy. When machine is installed and use have done everything correct, we have recorded thousand of perfect measurements within +- 0.05. That is what I feel i have to explain.

    But as I said, issues, please contact us at fb, messenger, there we have the support.

    Regards
    JOnas
    se video link below demo if the "new" sound
     
  13. JonasRoman

    JonasRoman Well-Known Member

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    listen from 8.20(pump C), and from 8:54 we have the pump B(which was the loud one before upgrade, now only a whispering).

     
  14. JonasRoman

    JonasRoman Well-Known Member

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    have answered;-)...just some time zone difference here:)
     
  15. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Quote from your original thread:

    Existing production line is already that silent version, and for users who wants to upgrade it it very easy to do that, and no further difference it will be, so at the end of the day, independently when and where you purchased, you will all have quite units according to the upgrade kit. We will be helpful and make this with reasonable discount so there will be no difference for you, and will be back with details. Until then, use and setup your unit so you do not loose the interesting learning time:)

    See this is a problem at least for me. This was definitely something that is a serious issue and you guys expect people to pay for the flaw in you initial design. Doesn't work that way. In situations like that (at least to me) those a RECALL items if you cannot resolve the issue with firmware updates. The unit I have is on the latest 3.1.1 (I made sure of that before doing anything). Just cannot find myself spending any more $$$ on this and I just received the unit yesterday.
     
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  16. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    UPDATE 1: So now that I have finally been able to get measurements, I do have to say that it is accurate and matching my Hanna ALK checker. Getting everything setup wasn't super complicated, but at the same time I think it could be simplified still. I was running into an issue where it wasn't reading, but I'd say that was my fault.

    I will say that you ABSOLUTELY have to read the instruction step-by-step and not miss anything. If you do you will have problems. Still a few things for me to work out like dealing with the noise level and getting the data uploaded to the website, but right now I can say that I am happier than I was a day ago.

    The noise for me is not great (will have to see what the fix for it does) because I am a light sleeper and when I wake, it is very difficult for me to go back to sleep. With having a 4 & 5 year old we need all the sleep we can get. For now I will not test at night because I cannot deal with the noise of the pumps.
     
  17. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Also, I was running into an issue with the liquid that was in the bottle that I thought was ready to use, but it was actually concentrated so I had to make a batch following the instructions in the manual and everything started ready well after that.

    Jonas has helped pull me off the ledge, ;). I am going to go ahead and keep the unit and hope that they do something for us individuals that recently purchased the unit to deal with the noise.
     
  18. JaimeAdams

    JaimeAdams Valuable Member R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah, I was fully expecting the seller to watch your video and say that yours was broke and send you one many times less noisy than that one. I hope that you get it sorted out. Glad to hear that the measurements are accurate though.
     
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  19. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    They actually have owned up to people complaining about the noise, but from the looks we may have to pay for the fix. I definitely do not want to have to do that with the amount of noise out of the box. I can see after using the pumps for some time that the noise may increase, but right of the bat it is noisy as you can see from the video. Jonas posted a video with the noise fix, but they have released any info about it yet. He also mentioned that the current production line has the fix already in place.
     
  20. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Ok guys. I have an update on #3 and #4 on the list I posted in the first post. I am happy to say that Focustronic/CoralVue are going to come through on this one. Jonas has confirmed that the will be a coordinated effort with CoralVue to get the noise fix in the hands of us with the unit.

    To me this is a defining moment in a companies existence. When faced with challenges and adversity, they stood up and owned up to get this resolved.

    I know as they continue to work on their product line things like the web experience, setup, etc. will be ironed out as long as they continue to listen to our feedback whether good or bad.

    I am in the market for a dosing system and do not like the Neptune DOS because from what I have read is the pumps need frequent replacement. I have had a Vertex stepper that I have not had that issue with but I desperate need phone control. I hope that the Dosetronic comes out soon since it has beeen in the works.

    I’ll keep this post updated with my personal experience and how the noise fix works out.
     
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