OK GHL, it's time to embrace wireless technology

AZMSGT

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Folks, This is a wish list item of sort. But Pab Cables are a pain. It's time to get things working wirelessly with the controller. KHD, IOD, Powerbars, dosers... everything.. I'm hoping you guys are already going down this path since so many components already have the ability to work over a wireless network. But they all need to work through a central point IMHO. So I can log onto 1 item and access all items.

Just an FYI, other companies are going this way. Don't get caught sitting on your hands.
 

Gareth elliott

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Also a coffee maker, after i wake up check my tank. If there was a button to “feed” the reef keeper caffeine on the connect app. My day would be complete.

ok that was in jest lol.
Would the stability be the same? I find my wifi and bluetooth reefing items can be very touchy. Sometimes they respond to a signal other times have to restart their app. adding a stable wifi module to each item would this add large consumer end costs increases?
 

Variant

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I actually hope they do not go wireless for a while. Wireless connections are not as stable as hard wired connections and when it comes to my tanks life support system, I preder reliability versus the ever so slight convenience of not using PABs.

But maybe wireless connections have come a long way? I still have problems with my Bose headset diaconmecting qith my smartphone once in a while...
 

Brew12

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I also fall into the desire to not go wireless. Until the stability of wireless connections improves much further I don't want them on my tank controls.
It may be the future, but I don't think that future is now.
 

reefwiser

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A wireless power bar would be great. I have several thru out the house and they work great. The issue would be management I can program the outlets to work together and then having a probe and testing hub is the future. Tech is there and is solid enough. Less wires is the future.
 

vangvace

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As a network guy by trade, I can see the goal of using a wireless tech, but the wire is still much more stable and less frustrating in a "why doesn't it work?!?!?!?!?!?" kind of way. Bunches of radios in a close space and oodles of reflective or attenuation surfaces...
 

saf1

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We are a ways off from going full wireless. Too much noise in the public spectrum not to mention building codes.

Personally - hard wire is fine. Wireless has its place but fully Monty, not yet.
 

Brew12

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Well.. guess that dream isn’t happening.
It will some day. I wouldn't even mind a wireless option for non critical loads further from the base controller. Would be awesome to have a wifi enabled power bar to turn on and off a pump at the mixing station for doing a water change.
I'm just not there for normal system control yet.
 

Andy-D

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Lets hope not and if they do, go wireless, lets hope the option of wired is still available.
I would love a wired Ethernet port on the profilux 4, wireless works most of the time but not as stable as a hard cable.
 
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AZMSGT

AZMSGT

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Allot of folks talk about “stability” as an issue with wifi. It’s got me wondering, how stable does it really need to be?

Lets break this down a little.

1. The Head unit (profilux) has the sensors plugged in direct.
2. the KHD is an all inclusive unit. The Profilux only reads and reports the results to the user.
3. the dosers, if they kept the schedule of tests in them like the SA units and only interface with the main unit to report results or allowed scheduling updates to be implemented
4. power bars only turn on and off items based on timers or readings. Yes, this is one area where the bars would need to be a little smarter to make WIFI work reliably.

Also in my home I have created a very reliable WIFI network.. so I‘m having a hard time accepting “stability“ as a problem. Yes, my outside internet connection goes down.. but I can still connect to all in home components without issue.
 

Brew12

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Allot of folks talk about “stability” as an issue with wifi. It’s got me wondering, how stable does it really need to be?

Lets break this down a little.

1. The Head unit (profilux) has the sensors plugged in direct.
2. the KHD is an all inclusive unit. The Profilux only reads and reports the results to the user.
3. the dosers, if they kept the schedule of tests in them like the SA units and only interface with the main unit to report results or allowed scheduling updates to be implemented
4. power bars only turn on and off items based on timers or readings. Yes, this is one area where the bars would need to be a little smarter to make WIFI work reliably.

Also in my home I have created a very reliable WIFI network.. so I‘m having a hard time accepting “stability“ as a problem. Yes, my outside internet connection goes down.. but I can still connect to all in home components without issue.
I agree with some of your points. I'd be fine if the KHD and dosers were wireless since they have internal brains to keep functioning. A case in point is that the Mitras LX7's are wireless in how they communicate with the Profilux and I have never had an issue in the 2 years they have been running.
I would even be ok with some of my power bars being wireless. I don't care as much if my T5 supplementals, refugium light, or under stand lighting don't turn on/off at the right time. Same with my reactor pumps, they are only on power bars to make maintenance easier.
I do want a hard wired connection to the power bars that control my heaters, skimmer, and return pumps. And the only reason I care about the skimmer is that it has an emergency shutoff in case the skimmate locker is full. I communication glitch that takes a few hours to resolve (like getting home to reboot) could cause serious issues for me.
 

Variant

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With the KHD, I need to have it communicating with all my other devices and is far from standalone based on my setup. I have sensors that stop tests when my waste container is full, I have both alk dosing as well as NSW dosing back into the tank to replace all the sample water I used. The KHD is not really standalone since you have to PAB xonnect the KHD and the supporting doser.

There is also the upcoming Ion Director which will then measure but will have to communicate to my other dosers how much calcium, magnesium, nitrate, etc to dose and adjust based on readings.

But as you mentioned one of the main and basic place reliability is critical is powerbars. Think about a hiccup in the wireless communication that ends up with sensor readings that are stale that keep the heater on or off.

No matter how good the wireless function is at the consumer level most professional and commercial use seems to remain plugged. Think about the audiophiles still using wired headset for maximum quality, the gamers who prefer wired controllers, keyboards and mice for professional play, then all the data centers that are heavily wired.

But honestly maybe I am just full of anxiety haha. I already freak out wnough when I see even a slight change in my acros (oh ny god is it STN or RTN!!!). So having to worry about lost connections is just one thing I dont want to worry about (;
 

TheHarold

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No true wireless.

Power bars still need to be smart enough to maintain their programming when signal is lost. Wireless should just be for updating their program, or perhaps power monitoring. That avoids critical failure.
 
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AZMSGT

AZMSGT

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With the KHD, I need to have it communicating with all my other devices and is far from standalone based on my setup. I have sensors that stop tests when my waste container is full, I have both alk dosing as well as NSW dosing back into the tank to replace all the sample water I used. The KHD is not really standalone since you have to PAB xonnect the KHD and the supporting doser.
Just saying, you don’t need a profilux to run a KHD. It can run on a SA doser separate from everything else.

I’m betting the Ion will be able to do the same. Based on readings you can dose on another doser.

None of the above should need a Profilux.
 
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LC8Sumi

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I actually hope they do not go wireless for a while. Wireless connections are not as stable as hard wired connections and when it comes to my tanks life support system, I preder reliability versus the ever so slight convenience of not using PABs.

But maybe wireless connections have come a long way? I still have problems with my Bose headset diaconmecting qith my smartphone once in a while...
While I agree that the ESP chip used in the GHL devices (and I've just seen the same (I think) chip in the RS ReefLED today - and people are already starting to ***** about that one as well) is far from the best on the market (it's probably the worse when looking just at the radio built into it, I'll talk about this later), with a good core wifi network it can give pretty decent results.

I've had been using these chips in different projects for the past 2 years, and what I've found is that - they ofcourse have poor signal rx/tx abilities, which when coupled with the cheapest access points (so basicly the ones that you can buy in your local store or your ISP provides to you with their service) are very unrelieable. The problem is, that most people have these kind of routers/AP's in their homes, mainly because.. well they're just not IT expert/enthusiasts - and that is totally fine. The issues really build up when people also start to couple these entry level WiFi stations with repeaters and stuff in order to skip the need of cabling.

Anyway, since I've began to use just one step better AP's, which are still not the highest end, like the ones they use in crowded areas & when placed and connected properly - in my case, Ubiquiti, I've had _zero_ connectivity issues with the ESP chips in the past, let's say 1.5year. And I run a lot of them. These are 24/7 online systems, so I would have noticed if there was an issue.


I'm new to GHL and only had the P4 for about 1.5 weeks, but with the said access point there was not a single drop of a packet.

So yes, there is a way to make these reliable, but you also have to pay more for it:
1, You have to pay the price if the manufacturer (GHL in this case) puts a better chip in their circuit*
2, You have to pay to have a decent WiFi network - realistically this is the more easier and cheaper to implement
Maybe as mesh wifi networks are starting to get off in the comming years, it'll be more realistic to have a wifi intra-connected network @home, even with ESP like cheap chips. So those will give redundancy somewhat, because every unit on the network is a client and a base as well & connections are rerouteable via different paths, which somewhat decreases the required reliability of one invidual unit/chip.

*it's not just the hardware really. See the ESP is very easy to interface with, because it is an all in one chip and has everything (protocols, software) built into it. It encapsulates and masks the whole network layer inside of it, and this makes "talking" to it very-very easy. Other WiFi chips might need other dedicated chips, hw/sw in order to present the same features.. So it's not just the matter of using a $20 chip instead of a $1 one, a lot of dev has to go into it as well.
 
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