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  • Neptune apex programming help thread!

    Hello all I'm starting this thread for people wanting to learn the programming of these units! There's always a lot of people asking and i think it would be great for some of our members who are a wiz at it!!!! So let the questions role and feel free to post any thing apex related questions.

  • #2
    I'll start!

    First tip… RTFM.

    Second tip… Don't use the "fusion" function. *stepping into flame suit* It simply isn't secure enough to trust with the lives of our animals.

    Third tip… don't be afraid to use an "advanced" control and write the logic yourself. Some of the macro functions are very confusing but the programming language is very straight forward.

    Even if you really, really understand the code and have your Apex humming along, still google some of the other programming posted by people on the forums. I had a VERY functional program and found someone who had nearly exactly the same setup as I had who had creatively engineered a program that did far more useful stuff than mine.
    Last edited by tsiler; 05-15-2014, 10:26 PM.

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    • #3
      Awesome Bill. I was going to start this thread myself this weekend.

      Warning to Tom: be prepared to be peppered with questions: I'm just getting mine going now.

      First question: The cord on my floor water sensor is too short. Can I just use a normal phone cord extension cord? I can't tell, but it looks like there are four wires, not just two like on a phone cord.

      Next: If fusion is not secure, do you have it set up to email/send text messages when something blows up? That was my project for this weekend (after mowing, cleaning out my garage and all the other things on the honey-do list).

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      • #4
        Following along
        Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

        Comment


        • #5
          Like Tom, I also don't run Fusion because of Beta testing phase but mostly due to security. Eric (Roklem) touched on the network side of this before but IMO, it's not nearly as safe as working through my router and IP address. It makes it a little tricky to set up but it's not that bad. I think Fusion's main purpose is to simplify the outside of network setup. I can only imagine how many IT assistance requests they must get.

          One of the under appreciated abilities of the Apex is fail safes. This give the apex a 'brain' to make decisions based on parameters instead of just on and offs. Here is a great one for a heater:

          Fallback OFF
          If Temp < 76.8 Then ON
          If Temp > 78.3 Then OFF
          If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF
          Min Time 010:00 Then OFF

          There are essentially three fail safes above.

          Fallback OFF - (If power fails, it will set the outlet to OFF. A great command to have with heat, chiller, lights...)

          If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF - (If/when a temp probe fails it will usually display a low reading like 59 degrees. The Apex would then leave the outlet on and fry your tank thinking it's cold based off the bad probe reading. Having statement like this that turns off the heater if the temp is 69.9 or below would account for a failed probe.)

          Min Time 010:00 Then OFF - (This makes the heater wait 10 minutes before changing states. It your temp is hovering right at the OFF point, in my case 78.3, then the heater could kick on and off rapidly, wasting electricity and reducing the life of the heater. This makes it wait 10 minutes before turning back on.)

          We can talk about Virtual Timers next!

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          • #6
            Can we sticky this thread?

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            • #7
              You Rock Nerd! Thats why we keep you around. lol


              I never thought about it. I kept staring at your post before reading the rest thinking "If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF" was a typo or something.


              Like Tom, I also don't run Fusion because of Beta testing phase but mostly due to security. Eric (Roklem) touched on the network side of this before but IMO, it's not nearly as safe as working through my router and IP address. It makes it a little tricky to set up but it's not that bad. I think Fusion's main purpose is to simplify the outside of network setup. I can only imagine how many IT assistance requests they must get.

              One of the under appreciated abilities of the Apex is fail safes. This give the apex a 'brain' to make decisions based on parameters instead of just on and offs. Here is a great one for a heater:

              Fallback OFF
              If Temp < 76.8 Then ON
              If Temp > 78.3 Then OFF
              If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF
              Min Time 010:00 Then OFF

              There are essentially three fail safes above.

              Fallback OFF - (If power fails, it will set the outlet to OFF. A great command to have with heat, chiller, lights...)

              If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF - (If/when a temp probe fails it will usually display a low reading like 59 degrees. The Apex would then leave the outlet on and fry your tank thinking it's cold based off the bad probe reading. Having statement like this that turns off the heater if the temp is 69.9 or below would account for a failed probe.)

              Min Time 010:00 Then OFF - (This makes the heater wait 10 minutes before changing states. It your temp is hovering right at the OFF point, in my case 78.3, then the heater could kick on and off rapidly, wasting electricity and reducing the life of the heater. This makes it wait 10 minutes before turning back on.)

              We can talk about Virtual Timers next!
              Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

              Comment


              • #8
                See Joe, you can still learn new things when you're old!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hollback View Post
                  Like Tom, I also don't run Fusion because of Beta testing phase but mostly due to security. Eric (Roklem) touched on the network side of this before but IMO, it's not nearly as safe as working through my router and IP address. It makes it a little tricky to set up but it's not that bad. I think Fusion's main purpose is to simplify the outside of network setup. I can only imagine how many IT assistance requests they must get.

                  One of the under appreciated abilities of the Apex is fail safes. This give the apex a 'brain' to make decisions based on parameters instead of just on and offs. Here is a great one for a heater:

                  Fallback OFF
                  If Temp < 76.8 Then ON
                  If Temp > 78.3 Then OFF
                  If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF
                  Min Time 010:00 Then OFF

                  There are essentially three fail safes above.

                  Fallback OFF - (If power fails, it will set the outlet to OFF. A great command to have with heat, chiller, lights...)

                  If Temp < 70.0 Then OFF - (If/when a temp probe fails it will usually display a low reading like 59 degrees. The Apex would then leave the outlet on and fry your tank thinking it's cold based off the bad probe reading. Having statement like this that turns off the heater if the temp is 69.9 or below would account for a failed probe.)

                  Min Time 010:00 Then OFF - (This makes the heater wait 10 minutes before changing states. It your temp is hovering right at the OFF point, in my case 78.3, then the heater could kick on and off rapidly, wasting electricity and reducing the life of the heater. This makes it wait 10 minutes before turning back on.)

                  We can talk about Virtual Timers next!
                  I need a "Like" button for this post!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since I touched on this earlier, here is another good one related to the Defer and Min Time statements.

                    Defer - will delay or defer an outlet from changing its state for X amount of time.

                    Min Time - will insure an outlet stays in its current state for a Minimum Amount of Time.

                    So when would you use one vs. the other?

                    Scenario 1: I've got a float that bounces up and down in my turbulent sump. I want to smooth that out so it's not turning my ATO on/off all the time.
                    Solution: Add a Defer to your ATO outlet program of a minute. That will eliminate the little bounces and only turn your outlet ON or OFF after it's been in that state for a full minute.

                    Scenario 2: I want to make sure my lights stay off for 5 minutes to cool-down in case of a power failure.
                    Solution: Add a Min Time of 5 minutes to your light outlet. Even if you try to turn them back ON in that time, they'll stay off.

                    So how are they used? Here's an example of each:

                    Defer 1:00 Then ON
                    Translated: Defer the ON state for 1 minute. (OFF would be immediate).

                    Min Time 5:00 Then OFF
                    Translated: Minimum Time of 5 minutes in the OFF state. (ON would be immediate)

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                    • #11
                      Jason:

                      Ok, so the "Temp" parameter in your earlier post: Is "Temp" what you named your heater? I've seen examples like this before, but if I named my heater, "heater," I assume I would use that, rather than "Temp." This is a stupid question, I'm sure, but it has discouraged me from the programming aspect since I picked this up.

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                      • #12
                        Those variable names are set under your "probe / input" configuration. Whatever value you set as the probe name is what you'd use in the logic statements. The default is "temp" IIRC.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tsiler View Post
                          Those variable names are set under your "probe / input" configuration. Whatever value you set as the probe name is what you'd use in the logic statements. The default is "temp" IIRC.
                          Exactly as Tom said. The "Temp" is the name of the temperature probe reading.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hollback View Post
                            Exactly as Tom said. The "Temp" is the name of the temperature probe reading.
                            Cool. I just didn't know it was smart enough to talk back and forth between the names and the code stuff. That is helpful.

                            Now, any ideas about the cord for the water sensor? (above) I guess I could just look around and see if I have an extension telephone cord and see if that works.

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                            • #15
                              The extension for the ALD cables is a standard phone cable extension, and requires all four wires. I can make one for you if you don't have one that will work.

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