Octo Pulse: Advanced Controlling

In a previous video we covered the basic fundamentals and new features of the Reef Octopus Octo Pulse Flow Pumps.

In this video we will concentrate on connecting your Octo Pulse pump to a 3rd party controller by using an available 0-10 volt port.

This makes the Octo Pulse pump very versatile and almost universally compatible with most system controllers like the APEX by Neptune Systems or the Reef Angel. 

I will show you how to program your APEX controller to take advantage of the advanced controllability of the Octo Pulse flow pumps.

Now, this video will only cover the configuration and programming of your Octo Pulse pump with an APEX controller from Neptune Systems.  It assumes that you already have a fully configured and working APEX Controller as well as a free Variable Speed port.  You should be familiar with the creation of virtual and regular Outputs. If you have not configured your APEX controller, a really good place to start is Neptune Systems website.  They have an amazing website full of support articles, videos as well a support forum with a thriving community of experienced staff and fellow APEX users.  You can visit them at www.neptunesystems.com.

Before we proceed with the video, here is a list of things that we will need:

  • An Octo Pulse pump and its controller
  • 0-10v Link Cable (not included with the pump)
  • APEX controller by Neptune Systems with the latest firmware version installed

To connect your Octo Pulse pump to the system controller, you will need to plug one end of a connection cable into the 3.5mm jack on the bottom of the Octo Pulse controller and the opposite end with the Ethernet jack into an available 0-10v port on your existing system controller.   That is it! No need to make any changes to the controller.  The Octo Pulse controller will automatically recognize that it is connected to the another controller and await its commands!

Now that we have the pump and controller connected to our Neptune System’s Apex, let’s get started with “Octo Pulse Pumps: Advanced Controlling”.

This is Neptune Systems APEX Fusion interface. If you do not know how to access it, we recommend you head over to www.neptunesystems.com.  They have a community forum that is monitored by their staff as well as fellow APEX users always happy to help. 

Before we start to configure our pump, we need to figure out which Output our pump is connected to.  The variable speed Output on your APEX can control two pumps at the same time.  To start, make note of which Variable speed port we connected the cable to.  If we connected the cable to Variable Speed port 1 and 2, then we know our pump is going to be controlled by either variable speed Output 1 or Output 2. 

With that in mind, we must first turn both Outputs OFF by moving the slider to the OFF position. 

Now click on the gear icon to the right of the Variable Speed Output 1 name.  This will open the Output Configuration page. 

Set Control Type to Advanced.  Clear the configuration window and then type “Set 50”. 

Save your changes by clicking on orange cloud icon located on the upper right and then repeat the same for Variable Speed Output 2. 

Now, turn your Octo Pulse pump’s controller ON. On your APEX Fusion interface, go back to the Dashboard by clicking on the first icon on the upper left and manually turn Variable Speed Output 1 ON.  

If the Octo Pulse Pump does not respond, then turn Variable Speed Output 1 OFF and now turn Variable Speed Output 2 ON. 

Make note of which Output turns your pump ON as that will be the Output we will be working with.  For this video, our Octo Pulse is running on Variable Speed Output 1.   Let’s go ahead and turn both Outputs OFF. 

Now, once again, click on the gear icon to the right of the Output’ name to access the Output Configuration Page.  Let’s go ahead and rename this output Octo Pulse. Don’t forget to save your changes!

The next step is to figure out the pump’s Minimum Flow Intensity.  This is the minimum speed the pump will continually run without stopping. Basically, anything below this intensity, the pump will not run.  We usually recommend 15%.  If we keep our programming to an intensity of 15% or above, we should be fine. 

On the Output Configuration Page, click on Wand located on the upper left corner… it is the third icon from the left. This is the Advanced Configuration Wizard.  Using this simple graph, we can go ahead and create different flow patterns. 

Since this output has never been configured before, APEX loads up a sample program.  In this case, we are going to delete all points except for the first one. You delete the points by clicking on the orange gear icon to the left of the point and then select “Remove Point”.  Go ahead and save your changes.

In this video, we are going to create:

  • A day schedule where the pump ramps up for 60 minutes and then slowly ramps down for 60 minutes
  • Then at night, we will give our critters a break and have the pump run at a gentle constant speed. 
  • We will also program our pump to slow down to minimum intensity when Feed is engaged. 

Click and hold the dot of the first point.  Now drag that dot to the right until we reach 08:00 hours with an intensity of 20%. 

If you are having a hard time reaching that 8 o’clock mark, you can always click on the orange gear and then select “Adjust Point”.  Select 08:00 and then enter power of 20. 

Let’s go ahead and add a second point at 09:00 with an intensity of 80%.  To add the point, just click on the orange icon next to the first point and select “Add Point”.

We will repeat the same pattern every hour until we reach the 22:00 hour mark with an intensity of 20%.    Don’t forget to save your work!

For our night schedule, we will leave the pump running in constant speed at 20%.  Since our pattern begins and ends at the 20% intensity mark, the APEX is smart enough to fill in the hours that we did not program and will run the pump at 20% intensity from 22:00 hour to 08:00 the next morning.  Then the APEX will instruct the pump to start the pattern again!

Now we have a flow pump that basically pulses at a 60min frequency during the day and then slows down to constant speed of 20% at night to give our fish and critters a break. 

If you have a second pump, you can place it on the opposite end of the tank and then reverse the pattern so that they are running in opposite direction providing your tank with some very cool and intricate pattern. 

Finally, we need to program our pump so that when Feed mode is engaged, the pump shuts down completely. In the Advanced Configuration Wizard screen, click on the Gear Icon located on the upper right hand corner.  It is the 4thicon from the right.  Now click on the “Advanced” tab. 

Before we instruct the pump to turn off, we must take into consideration the type of critters and fish that are in our tanks. If you have small fish that like to perch on surfaces and may find their way inside of the pump, we highly recommend NOT to turn the pump off completely.  In this case, we would program the pump to slow down to something like 20% during feed.  You can accomplish this easily by typing the following statement.

If FeedA 000 Then 20

If you want to go ahead and instead completely shut down the pump when Feeding, then use this line instead…

If FeedA 000 Then OFF


Well, we hope this video was helpful and you got a good understanding of how to connect your new Octo Pulse pump to your system controller.  Please use the information you learned as a base or starting point and feel free to experiment more.  Your pump is now able to do things that it could not do before so have fun with it… the sky is the limit.

If you would like to learn more about the Octo Pulse Flow Pumps including detailed specs, beautiful high-quality pictures and replacement parts, head on over to Coralvue.com.  

If you have any questions or issues with the product, don’t hesitate to visit our support portal at coralvue.com/support. Our friendly support reps are eager to help you with any questions or issues you may have. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date on all our latest products reviews and tutorial videos.  You can also follow us on twitter @Coralvue and give us a like on Facebook at Facebook.com/coralvueaquariumproducts.

 

Author: Carlos

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