Questions about Apex vs GHL vs Hydros

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Chee-tomorpha

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Is the AP wired to the router?
I don't want to hijack the OP's thread, but yes the single 2.4ghz channel AP has a wired connection to one of the mesh pucks which should eliminate the channel hopping as described. But it is still on the mesh network which I am told is the problem.

I came from a single-point router, and replacing the mesh is not something I am going to do to get two power strips to work while 30+ other IoT devices are working flawlessly.
 
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I don't have a mesh network, 99% of the time, I run just 1 wireless router (both 2.4 and 5ghz bands). I don't like the idea of someone saying they don't support a mesh network. Is this all 3 companies?
 

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I don't mean to down-talk Hydros. I'm having issues specifically with their power strips and support with it. The X4 and X2 controllers are working fine. I've heard others say that the XP8 works fine if you are going that route.

I chose to go with the Hydros ecosystem because of its ease of use and expandability. There are just some caveats you should know that aren't talked about much.

#1 is that mesh networks are not recommended
#2 the feature to create a collective has a distance limitation to be able to use the multi-brain backup feature

I'm in the process of linking the two X4 and X2 together via a DIY CAT5 cable so I don't have any experience with #2 yet. I understand I won't be able to use the multi-brain backup feature, but I am optimistic about being able to utilize all connected ports in future automation plans.
 
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I don't have a mesh network, 99% of the time, I run just 1 wireless router (both 2.4 and 5ghz bands). I don't like the idea of someone saying they don't support a mesh network. Is this all 3 companies?
The Hydros will work on some mesh networks. Not everyone with a mesh network has had the issues. There is no issue unless the wifi power strips are used since they will connect to 5ghz and 2.4ghz. They need to stay on 2.4ghz to communicate with the controllers since the controllers are 2.4ghz only. The wifi power strips are Tuya protocol power strips. There are several that you can get that will pair with the controllers, but for $40 a strip and you get the mounting bracket I am not sure it would be worth using a different brand strip. Most of the time it only requires changing the name of one of the channels to separate them. There is always the access point with a different name and wired directly to the router and not another access point. That will work since it does not use the wifi mesh part of the mesh system. Mine will usually run several weeks without a wifi strip issue. When I do have one rebooting my router will fix it. I tired rebooting controllers and strips first and it alway end up at the router, but I have to reboot it occasionally to get my Surface to connect also. I guess it may be getting too old for all the things that are now connected to it.
 

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I don't mean to down-talk Hydros. I'm having issues specifically with their power strips and support with it. The X4 and X2 controllers are working fine. I've heard others say that the XP8 works fine if you are going that route.

I chose to go with the Hydros ecosystem because of its ease of use and expandability. There are just some caveats you should know that aren't talked about much.

#1 is that mesh networks are not recommended
#2 the feature to create a collective has a distance limitation to be able to use the multi-brain backup feature

I'm in the process of linking the two X4 and X2 together via a DIY CAT5 cable so I don't have any experience with #2 yet. I understand I won't be able to use the multi-brain backup feature, but I am optimistic about being able to utilize all connected ports in future automation plans.
They sell 50' data only command buss cables. They use CAN buss communications on the command buss. My tank is 35ft from my garage and I have controllers in both locations and all are in the same collective. Not sure what you mean by multi-brain backup but if they are in a collective they will not show in the list as separate controllers and the backups in the cloud are for the whole collective. Below is a screenshot of the left menu an only the collective shows as a selection. The second screenshot is the controllers within the collective once it has been selected. The app normally comes up with it selected and in the Hex Tank status page.

40E48DBA-C901-4D24-9B89-66A5C5DF4E37.png


9FE6D716-5489-468E-8800-FA0E94120487.png
 

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With hydros, if I have a controller upstairs and a controller downstairs, can they form a collective without a wire running between them?
They have to have a command buss connection for a collective, but if you can run a CAT cable there are instructions on making command buss to CAT5. The command buss cables have a 5 pin GX12 connector. So that is not much difference than running pre made CAT5.

8E990A62-48F2-40DC-BBDB-79B70A7A3F98.jpeg
 

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I'd rather have the ability to export raw numbers than to see someone else's chart.

Which ever route you go if this is important then see what sort of option they have for data logging. I export my data to grafana as it is easy to see trends. I also have a secondary alerting option should I choose.
 
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They sell 50' data only command buss cables. They use CAN buss communications on the command buss. My tank is 35ft from my garage and I have controllers in both locations and all are in the same collective. Not sure what you mean by multi-brain backup but if they are in a collective they will not show in the list as separate controllers and the backups in the cloud are for the whole collective. Below is a screenshot of the left menu an only the collective shows as a selection. The second screenshot is the controllers within the collective once it has been selected. The app normally comes up with it selected and in the Hex Tank status page.
I haven't created a collective yet so I could be stating it wrong.
 

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Which ever route you go if this is important then see what sort of option they have for data logging. I export my data to grafana as it is easy to see trends. I also have a secondary alerting option should I choose.
What do you have? I believe this is an option for GHL or Apex, but it is a deal breaker on an device I was otherwise leaning towards.
 
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I should also consider the "Reef Angel". It seems to have never really caught on and is losing the market share it had to the 3 I already mentioned - but it's an Arduino. This is literally the most flexible and future proof option as anything it doesn't support can be added.
 

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#2 the feature to create a collective has a distance limitation to be able to use the multi-brain backup feature

I'm in the process of linking the two X4 and X2 together via a DIY CAT5 cable so I don't have any experience with #2 yet. I understand I won't be able to use the multi-brain backup feature, but I am optimistic about being able to utilize all connected ports in future automation plans.

Nice work on the DIY cables, very happy to see it! For those of you who dont want to DIY cables, you can custom order from us at CoralVue, but we SKU a 25ft and 50ft DATA ONLY Command Bus Cable. The official DATA ONLY Limit for a command bus cable is 200ft, but its theoretically beyond that. As for Data & Power, the limit is 14ft.
 
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As far as my future I think I'll just grab a Arduino or Raspberry Pi. For extra setup time, you get true full customization (it can do anything) at 1/3 the cost.

I am still tempted to drop $300 on an Apex Jr. I am so busy right now, and It will help to have a reference to compare my own solution to if I ever have enough free time. The GHL solution is $100 more. The X3 monitor pack is the same price, but forces you to use their pH calibration fluid and doesn't export logs. The idea of a 'collective' is a really great one, but not enough to overcome the limitations, especially if you aren't planning on expanding into more Hydros products in the future.
 
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As far as my future I think I'll just grab a Arduino or Raspberry Pi. For extra setup time, you get true full customization (it can do anything) at 1/3 the cost.

I am still tempted to drop $300 on an Apex Jr. I am so busy right now, and It will help to have a reference to compare my own solution to if I ever have enough free time. The GHL solution is $100 more. The X3 monitor pack is the same price, but forces you to use their pH calibration fluid and doesn't export logs. The idea of a 'collective' is a really great one, but not enough to overcome the limitations, especially if you aren't planning on expanding into more Hydros products in the future.
Where did you get that you have to use their calibration fluid. I use Pinpoint fluid with the Hydros. They do jot have a way to export at this time but from what I understand that both graphs and a way to export is on their list of thing to do. It is a long list though. I don't export so it is no big deal for me. I usually put down the readings from the Hydros when I do my other test each week. The only ones are temp and pH anyway. My previous controller did not export either it was the Archon.
 

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What do you have? I believe this is an option for GHL or Apex, but it is a deal breaker on an device I was otherwise leaning towards.

I use apex but as I noted if that is a req of yours then just see what options they support. I run Grafana in my home lab so have the data pulled and stored in influx. Graph away.

I do not know what controller allows what. Sorry.
 

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As far as my future I think I'll just grab a Arduino or Raspberry Pi. For extra setup time, you get true full customization (it can do anything) at 1/3 the cost.

I am still tempted to drop $300 on an Apex Jr. I am so busy right now, and It will help to have a reference to compare my own solution to if I ever have enough free time. The GHL solution is $100 more. The X3 monitor pack is the same price, but forces you to use their pH calibration fluid and doesn't export logs. The idea of a 'collective' is a really great one, but not enough to overcome the limitations, especially if you aren't planning on expanding into more Hydros products in the future.
The subject of exporting data came up in their live stream with Reef Automation. It is a good way into the live stream but Carlos says it is on the to do list .
 
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Where did you get that you have to use their calibration fluid. I use Pinpoint fluid with the Hydros. They do jot have a way to export at this time but from what I understand that both graphs and a way to export is on their list of thing to do. It is a long list though. I don't export so it is no big deal for me. I usually put down the readings from the Hydros when I do my other test each week. The only ones are temp and pH anyway. My previous controller did not export either it was the Archon.
For example, I can make a Borax calibration of 9.18 instead of the 10. It's cheaper, faster than ordering, and I trust it more. I've seen videos showing an Apex being calibrated to a value other than 10, but it doesn't look like the Hydros has this option. I've read both manuals, and neither address this.
 
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I use apex but as I noted if that is a req of yours then just see what options they support. I run Grafana in my home lab so have the data pulled and stored in influx. Graph away.

I do not know what controller allows what. Sorry.
I do want to be able to export the data, but this really shows the mentality of the company. If an engineer designed this product, data export would be the first feature added. Someone here designed the marketing brochure first.
 
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