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Thread: New APEX Users: Read This Thread!

  1. #1
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Lightbulb New APEX Users: Read This Thread!

    I am a long-time owner of Neptune Systems' products, and have been helping fellow controller owners in various Internet forums for many years. Some of you may have noticed that I spend A LOT of time doing so

    In all those years, I've seen patterns of things that people sometimes do which they shouldn't, and things that people don't do which they should. For quite some time, I've been planning to put together a collection of miscellaneous brief informational "nuggets" intended to help new Apex owners avoid making some of these common mistakes, to debunk some common misconceptions, and to avoid some pitfalls.

    Here it is...

    In some cases, I may be rather blunt, but I assure you that it's just to emphasize a certain point
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    CLOCK SETTINGS

    Many new Apex owners skip setting up the Apex clock properly, only to find that their programming does not work as expected. Let's review those settings....

    Auto-Set
    AutoSet enables the Apex to maintain accurate time just like your computer does - by regularly synchronizing with time servers via the Internet. As long as your Apex is connected to your home network and therefore has access the Internet, Auto-Set should be left at the default of Enabled. The only time Auto-Set should be Disabled is in the rare case that an Apex is not connected to a network. (For you geeks, nerds, and other techies like me: The Apex uses NTP, querying time servers participating in pool.ntp.org)

    Timezone
    A new Apex comes with a default timezone offset setting of -8 (US Pacific Time). Any Apex used in another time zone must be set properly for that time zone, using the proper offset from UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), aka GMT. Some of the more common timezones for Apex owners:

    Country/Region Timezone Offset from UTC
    North America/Eastern EST -5
    North America/Central CST -6
    North America/Mountain MST -7
    North America/Pacific PST -8
    United Kingdom UTC (GMT) 0


    If you do not know the proper numeric value to use for your time zone, you can look it up using this web site: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/.

    Australia and New Zealand residents: While most of AU and NZ use whole hour timezone offset values, some areas have atypical timezones which use half-hour or quarter-hour offsets. The Apex does support the use of such fractional timezone offsets like +12:45 as used in NZ's Chatham Islands. This site will help users in AU to find the right timezone offset value to use in the Apex: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/au. For users in NZ and Pacifica: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/pacific

    DST (Daylight Saving Time)
    The Apex currently supports automatic clock changes to accommodate DST as observed only in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada and some northern-most areas of Mexico. If you live in a different part of the world and your locale does observe Daylight Saving Time, you have three options:

    1. Disable DST on the Apex, keeping in mind that the Apex clock will be one hour behind local time while DST is in effect in your region.
    2. Disable DST on the Apex, and manually change the timezone setting in the Apex (NOT the clock time) to compensate for the use of DST, increasing the Apex timezone offset setting by 1 when DST goes into effect for your location and returning the setting to normal for your timezone when DST ends.
    3. For UK users and those in other locations which use a DST schedule which is fairly close to that used in the US & Canada, you can enable DST in the Apex if you want, being aware that the Apex clock will change in accordance with DST dates for US & Canada. For example, in the UK, BST (British Summer Time) starts on the last Sunday in March, and ends on the last Sunday in October. In the US/Canada, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. So, if you do enable DST, your Apex clock will not match local time for two weeks in the spring and one week in the fall.


    Clock settings may be checked and changed in multiple ways:

    • Using the display menu system: System->Clock Settings (any model of Apex equipped with a display module)
    • Using the Classic Dashboard: Configuration Clock setup (Apex Classic/Gold/Lite/Jr)
    • Using APEX Local: Clock Settings (Apex 2016 model only)
    • Using APEX Fusion: Clock Settings (Apex 2016 model only)


    Apex Classic models must be restarted for changes to the Clock settings to take effect.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

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    NETWORK SETTINGS

    DHCP and IP Addressing
    By default, the Apex has DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) enabled. DHCP enables the Apex to get an IP address and other proper network settings automatically assigned by your router. Your computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, Internet-enabled toasters & refrigerators, etc. all use DHCP.

    Leave DHCP enabled! Do not disable DHCP unless:

    1. You have a good understanding of IP addressing and networking, or
    2. You are advised to do so by Neptune technical support, or
    3. You are advised to do so by one of the Apex experts here

    Email
    Do NOT enable email in the Apex Network Settings unless you fully configure and test the other email settings. It is strongly recommended that you do NOT use the email capability built into the Apex itself; using the Apex to send email alarms is the old (pre-Fusion) way of sending email alerts. Instead, configure APEX Fusion to send email and text alerts - it is much easier and faster to set up notifications in APEX Fusion. Enabling email in the Apex Network Settings is NOT required to use APEX Fusion notifications.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    MISCELLANEOUS APEX SETTINGS

    There are two miscellaneous settings in the Apex display menu system which are disabled by default (with good reason), but are very tempting to enable... "Hmm... this sounds really interesting, I think I'll turn it on."
    Resist the urge! Don't do it!


    They are:

    Power Monitor
    Power Monitor should only be enabled in certain circumstances; most Apex installations do not have the required conditions to use the feature. Specifically, in order to use Power Monitor, a 12-volt AC adapter must connected to the Apex base unit and one or more EnergyBars be supplied power via a battery-backup system.

    Probe Expansion
    This has nothing to do with enabling or using the probe ports built into any model of Apex or in the Apex PM1/PM2/PM3/ASM modules. Probe Expansion should be enabled ONLY when an old, pre-Apex module called the PX1000 is connected. More info here: https://forum.neptunesystems.com/sho...robe-Expansion

    These two options are found in the System->Misc setup area using the Apex display menu. The Power Monitor is also available in the Classic Dashboard Misc settings page (Apex Classic models) and in both APEX Local & APEX Fusion on the Misc page (Apex 2016)

    Note: The Probe Expansion option is not present in the Apex 2016 model, in the Apex Jr, or in Apex Classic/Gold/Lite models which are running firmware versions higher than 4.40.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    PUMP CONTROL TYPE

    The Apex has a number of Control Types to make it easy to program an outlet for a specific use. One of these is the Pump control type. The Pump control type is intended for use ONLY with alternative/oscillating wavemaker-type pumps & power heads. Pump Control Type makes an outlet turn on and off at relatively brief intervals in a cyclic manner.

    It is not suitable for use with pumps which are normally always on, like return pumps, skimmer pumps, and reactor pumps. For such pumps, you must use either the Always Control atype which easily allows you to configure an output to be always ON, or use the Advanced Control Type, and (initially) use a simple program to make the outlet be on all the time:

    Fallback ON
    Set ON

    Later, you can add programming to turn off the return and/or skimmer pumps during feeding times, and other more-advanced things like that.

    Do not attempt to modify the settings in in the Pump Control Type wizard to trick it into being on all the time by using bogus values in the Pump wizard - do it right by using the Always Control Type or by using the Advanced Control Type and proper programming.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    GETTING STARTED GUIDES
    Use the Getting Started Guides. They will help you get up and running quickly. Enough said

    DON'T OVERLOOK THE APEX and MODULE MANUALS

    Besides the Getting Started Guides, there is a wealth of information available in other documentation. All are in PDF form, and can be viewed online or be downloaded on the Neptune Systems web site. As a minimum, as a new Apex owner, you should read the manual for each APEX module you have - there are manuals or user guides for every module.... EnergyBars, DŌS, WAVs, PMx modules, etc. There's even a QuickStart Guide for APEX Fusion. Most are only a few pages long, and reading them will be time well spent. The Comprehensive Reference Manual is a goldmine of info with FAQs, programming examples, and detailed explanations of many Apex features and capabilities.

    Most (if not all) PDF reader software has a search feature (usually available by pressing CONTROL-F on your keyboard) - this can really help you locate info within a manual. If you don't have a PDF viewer installed on your computer, Adobe Acrobat Reader and FoxIt Reader are two popular choices.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    SOME DEVICES SHOULD NOT BE PLUGGED INTO ENERGYBARS

    Some equipment should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet, or there is little or no value to plugging them into an EnergyBar because it's a waste of the "smart" outlet. For such devices, it's best to power them directly through a wall outlet or power strip.

    • The Neptune DŌS power supply should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet
    • The Neptune 1LINK power supply should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet
    • The Neptune FMM/ATK power supply should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet
    • The power supply for an EcoTech Vortech pump which is controlled through a Neptune WXM module should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet - the pump can be turned off through the WXM control channel
    • The power supply for a MaxSpect Gyre pump which is controlled through an IceCap Gyre Interface Module should not be plugged into an EnergyBar outlet - the pump can be turned off through the 0-10v control channel
    • AI Sol, AI Hydra, & AI Vega LED fixtures controlled through a Neptune VDM (for Sol) or AWM (for Hydra/Vega) module should not be plugged into an EnergyBar. These fixture can be turned off via the module control channel, plus these fixtures need power to run the fan for proper cool-down after the LEDs are turned off.


    This lists just the most commonly used equipment which should generally not be powered through an EnergyBar outlet; there are others. If you really want to power any such device through an EnergyBar, such as simply for the sake of convenience and you have the EB outlets to spare, program the EB outlet to be always ON:

    Fallback ON
    Set ON
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    KNOW AND OBSERVE THE LIMITS OF YOUR ENERGYBAR(S)

    On the label on the face of every EnergyBar, the maximum load rating in Amps is printed for each outlet by number. These values are also listed in the User Manuals for each module of Energy Bar, and also in this sticky post. Do not overload an outlet; the best practice is to not exceed 85% of the rating for any particular outlet. I've seen too many reports of people doing things like plugging an 800w heater (which draws almost 7 Amps of electrical current) into an outlet rated for 5 Amps, and causing the EB to be damaged. Do the proper due diligence - Verify that equipment which draws a larger amount of electricity can safely be used in the desired outlet. If you are not sure, ASK here in the forum.

    Also, do not exceed the overall maximum Amps rating for the entire EnergyBar.

    The aforementioned sticky should be read by everyone having an EnergyBar8; it has valuable additional info about the two different types of outlets in an EB8.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    USE OUTLET TILE SLIDERS PROPERLY, & PROGRAM ALL OUTLETS

    On the dashboard's outlet sliders, ON and OFF positions are manual overrides. Programming for an outlet is only executed when the outlet slider is in AUTO. Many new Apex users have posted that their programming is not being followed, and it's often because the outlet was set to ON rather than AUTO.

    It's bad practice to use manual ON or OFF as the normal condition; these positions should only be used on an as-needed, short-term basis. The proper way to do it is to program the outlet suitably and leave the outlet slider in AUTO.

    For an outlet you want to be on 7/24, use Advanced control type and program it like this:

    Fallback ON
    Set ON

    For an outlet which is unused, it should be programmed to be either on or off and the slider put in AUTO. I prefer to have unused outlets be off:

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    UNDERSTAND THAT AQUABUS IS NOT USB

    AquaBus is the way the Apex, EnergyBars, and various modules communicate and how system power is supplied by EnergyBars to the Apex and modules.

    Although the Apex's AquaBus physically looks like USB, it is not USB. AquaBus uses a different communications protocol, and carries 12 volts versus the 5 volts of USB.

    NEVER, NEVER plug any USB device into an AquaBus port.

    If you do, you will probably FRY that device, and possibly cause damage to the Apex system.
    Every EnergyBar and Apex Jr ships with a warning sticker over the AquaBus ports, and similar warnings are in various manuals, yet some people seem to ignore these.

    Don't be the guy who smokes his fancy new $2500 computer by connecting it to the Apex system with an AquaBus cable.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    APEX FUSION AND APEX FIRMWARE UPDATES

    APEX Fusion will at times advise you that you are not running the latest firmware, and informs you that a newer version is available. APEX Fusion will NEVER tell you that you MUST update your Apex's firmware, nor will APEX Fusion reject communications from your Apex just because your Apex is not running the most recent firmware.

    Do not read deeper into these firmware version advisory messages... if your Apex suddenly starts having issues communicating with Apex Fusion, it probably is not due to your Apex having older firmware. Look elsewhere for the cause - most likely it's a network-related issue.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  12. #12
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    DISABLE PROBE PORTS YOU ARE NOT USING

    Don't just hide unused probe ports on the dashboard. You should disable any unused probe ports which do not have a probe connected. Doing so removes the tiles and graphs from APEX Fusion so you don't see tiles and graphs with bogus data.

    You can do this using the display menu system or the classic dashboard (for Apex Classic/Gold, Lite, and Jr) or through APEX Local and APEX Fusion (for the Apex 2016 model)
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    CONDUCTIVITY PROBES

    There are four common misconceptions about calibration of a PM2 (or conductivity port in the new 2016 Apex) and a Neptune Systems conductivity probe.

    • There is bogus info about calibration of a conductivity probe out there on Internet forums where other controller users have written that when the 1st step pf the calibration process is performed, the conductivity probe should be completely dry, and that "dry" means to let it sit out of water for several hours or even overnight. This is wrong! Just follow the procedure in the PM2 manual.

    The calibration procedure in the PM2 manual, which says:

    Apex Display: Go to Setup –> Cond Setup –> Cond Calibrate
    1. If you have more than one Conductivity probe enabled on your system, use the up/down arrow keys to choose the probe you wish to calibrate, press Select.
    2. Remove the conductivity probe from the tank and rinse with RO/DI water, then dry it off. It is not necessary to let the probe dry out – just gently shake off excess water and blot the tip with the corner of a paper towel.{remainder of procedure omitted}

    • A myth that has been perpetuated in forums for years that a new Neptune Systems conductivity probe must be soaked in tank water for an extended period of time of a week or more before calibrating for the first time.

    A new (or dried out) conductivity probe need only be soaked for a few hours to a day prior to calibration.


    • Refractometer calibration fluids and conductivity calibration solutions are not the same. Use the proper calibration solution.

    In general, you cannot use calibration solution meant for calibrating a saltwater refractometer to calibrate a conductivity probe (and vice versa). While there are a couple of calibration solutions available which are labeled as being suitable for both uses, I've found the results of using them to be inconsistent. I strongly recommend that only the Neptune 53mS (53,000μS) calibration solution be used to calibrate a Neptune conductivity probe. It has always given me good results.


    • Do not expect a conductivity probe and a refractometer to give the exact same salinity reading.

    Conductivity/salinity probes estimate salinity by measuring the electrical conductivity of a liquid. Refractometers estimate salinity by measuring how much light bends as it passed through the liquid sample - a physical property. Both are indirect methods of measuring salinity, and different measurement methods can give different results. Measurements obtained by a properly-calibrated conductivity probe and a properly-calibrated refractometer should be close, but will not necessarily be exactly the same. Plus, refractometers are subject to reading errors due to parallax.... if you are not looking dead center down the body of some refractometers, the refractometer may show a different reading compared to when properly centered with your eye.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    APEX FUSION - WHAT IT IS and WHAT IT ISN'T

    APEX Fusion is the primary user interface for management and monitoring of your Apex system and your aquarium. Apex Fusion lives "in the cloud", out there on the Internet. It does not reside in the Apex itself.

    Some key points:

    • You cannot install APEX Fusion on the Apex or on your computer - it is a web site you access with a web browser like Firebox or Safari, just like you access www.cnn.com, www.espn.com, www.google.com, etc.
    • The software which runs inside the Apex is called "Apex Operating Systems" (AOS) for Apex 92016) models and "firmware" for Apex Classic models.
    • AOS and Apex Classic firmware is not APEX Fusion.
    • When you update Apex firmware, you are not updating APEX Fusion.
    • You cannot update APEX Fusion. APEX Fusion is updated as necessary by Neptune Systems' development team. Updates to APEX Fusion are transparent to you - you don't need to do anything to get or use them.
    • The Apex Classic Dashboard consists of the web pages which are in the Apex itself. The Classic Dashboard is the original Apex user interface which existed long before before the advent of APEX Fusion. It's still available in the Apex, but the Classic Dashboard is not APEX Fusion. Note: The Classic Dashboard is present only in the Apex Classic/Gold, Apex Lite, and Apex Jr. It is not in the new 2016 model of Apex. The 2016 Apex has a totally new and different local user interface called APEX Local.
    • Your Apex's programming does not run in APEX Fusion; it runs inside the Apex.
    • When you program your Apex using the APEX Fusion user interface, that programming is sent to and stored in the Apex itself.
    • If your Apex loses communications with APEX Fusion, programming will still continue to be executed.


    When posting here in the Neptune Systems Community Forum, please do not use the term "APEX Fusion" as a collective term for the entire Apex software & user interface ecosystem... that just causes confusion.

    Also, use the APEX Fusion sub-forum here only for posts which DIRECTLY pertain to using the Apex Fusion web site. Use the other sub-forums as most appropriate for the topic of your programming related questions, your firmware questions, etc.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  15. #15
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    USING THE IF TIME STATEMENT

    The If Time statement is often misunderstood. Let's look at one...

    If Time AA:bb to YY:zz Then ON

    The second time value is included in the period the statement will be true. Think of it as "Take the specified action starting at time AA:bb and do so until the time IS NO LONGER YY:zz"

    Here's a typical simple program used for lighting: turn on at 8AM, turn off at 6PM

    Set OFF
    If Time 08:00 to 18:00 Then ON

    This turns on the outlet at 08:00 sharp, as expected. But the outlet will not turn off right at 18:00 as you might expect; it will actually turn off at 18:01. But we want to outlet to turn off promptly at 18:00 (not at 18:01), so we'll use this program instead:

    Set OFF
    If Time 08:00 to 17:59 Then ON

    This isn't a big deal for something like lighting, but it is important to factor this in when doing short periods of time and when doing complex programming. Let's say we want a 3-minute ON period starting at noon:

    Incorrect:
    Set OFF
    If Time 12:00 to 12:03 Then ON

    Correct:
    Set OFF
    If Time 12:00 to 12:02 Then ON


    One additional note: The minimum duration of an If Time statement is 2 minutes, i.e. If Time 12:00 to 12:01 Then ON (or OFF). If Time 12:00 to 12:00 Then ON (or OFF) is not valid - it will result in the output being the the specified state all of the time.

    So, you might ask, how do I use an If Timer statement if I only want an outlet on for a period less than 2 minutes? Here's how... you add an Defer statement to delay turning on the outlet.

    Let's say we want an outlet to be on for 30 seconds once a day, such as might be needed for a skimmer neck cleaner.

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Time 09:00 to 09:01 Then ON
    Defer 1:30 Then ON

    Now, when the time is 9:00, the If Time statement tries to turn on the output for 2 minutes, but the Defer delays that by 1 minute and 30s seconds (90 seconds). When the the Defer of 90 seconds has expired, the outlet will turn on (sharply at 9:01:30), and then the If Time will turn the output off exactly at 09:02:00, resulting in the output having been on for the desired 30 seconds.

    This technique is fine to use for short duration events once or twice a day, but is not ideal for short-lived events which occur at more frequent and regularly-spaced intervals, such as dosing pump operation. For that type of usage, the OSC (OSCillate) command is far better to use. OSC allows much more flexibility for programming repeated events, and also allows 1-second resolution compared to the 1-minute granularity of the If Time statements. For more details about the OSC statement, see the "Oscillate" topic in the Comprehensive Reference Manual. Chapter 6.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    New APEX Users: Read This Thread!

    Understanding the Set command

    The Set command is the simplest command used in the Apex, but it is sometime misused. It is used to define the default state of an outlet whenever no other program statement is true.

    One thing I see commonly is confusion between the Set and Fallback statements. They are not equivalent and are not interchangeable. Fallback is a special command that has no affect on the state of an outlet during normal program execution - Fallback tells a module what to do should that module lose communications with the Apex. See this sticky post for more about Fallback.

    Now, let's review proper usage of Set:

    The Set requires an action to be specified - OFF, ON, or if the output being programmed supports variable intensity, a profile name.

    • Set OFF
    • Set ON
    • Set Constant50

    Let's look at a simple program for a lighting schedule:

    Set OFF
    If Time 08:00 to 17:59 Then ON

    Whenever the If Time statement is true (between 08:00 and 18:00, the outlet will be ON. Whenever the If Time statement is not true, the Set OFF statement tells the outlet to be OFF. Simple enough.

    I sometimes see people do this instead:

    If Time 08:00 to 17:59 Then ON
    If Time 18:00 to 07:59 Then OFF

    So what's the difference between the first example I gave (using one Set and one If Time statements) and this one (using two If Time statements)? Functionally, the outcome is exactly the same - the outlet will be on from 8AM to 6PM, and off the rest of the day. But the first program is better, and the preferred method - it's cleaner, more efficent programming. Plus, if you need to modify the ON time, you only need to modify one statement, not two statements.

    Side note: Are you wondering why I used 17:59 instead of 18:00 in the statments above? See the USING THE IF TIME STATEMENT post in this thread.

    In general, you should use a Set and a conditional (If) statement whenever you can, instead of using two conditional statements.

    But there are three occasions when a Set statement should not be used:

    1. Whenever an OSC command is used, a Set should not be used, because the OSC command has explicit ON and OFF states.

    2. When it is desired to operate over a range of probe values, such as if using temperature to control a heater.

    Let's take an example: we want to have an outlet used for a heater come ON if the temp drops below 77.0 degrees, and stay on until the temp exceeds 78.0 degrees.

    Wrong:

    Set OFF
    If Temp < 77.1 Then ON
    If Temp > 77.9 Then OFF

    The problem with this program is that it will not cause the outlet to operate over the desired range of temperature; instead, it will operate around a single temp of 77.0 degrees. If the temp drops to 77.0, the heater outlet will turn ON, and it will shut off as soon as the temp goes up to 77.1. The If Temp > 79.9 statement does absolutely nothing here, because the Set OFF will be the only true statement as soon as the temp goes up to 77.0. The result will be that your heater gets switched on and off fairly rapidly. But that's not what we want... we want it to stay on until the temp is raised to 78.

    Right:

    If Temp < 77.1 Then ON
    If Temp > 77.9 Then OFF

    In this second simple program, we did not include a Set statement. The outlet will turn ON as soon as the temperature drops below 77.1. It will then stay ON until the temp hits 78.0, and then will turn OFF. It will then stay OFF until the temp goes below 77.1 again, then will turn ON, stay on until the temp once again exceeds 77.9, so on and so forth. This will maintain the tank temperature with the specified 1-degree range.

    3. When using two switch inputs to control an outlet, such as if using a low and high switch to control refilling of an ATO reservoir.

    Wrong:
    Set OFF
    If ResLo CLOSED Then ON
    If ResHi Open Then OFF

    Right:
    If ResLo CLOSED Then ON
    If ResHi OPEN Then OFF

    In summary:

    A program with a Set and one If statement will operate around a single threshold.
    A program with two If statements testing for low and high values of the same input will operate over a range - i.e., between the two specified thresholds.

    Do not mix the two techniques.

    One more point about using Set... always use a Set and *one* If statement when testing for the state of a single switch input rather then using two If statements to check for both CLOSED and OPEN states of the same switch input.

    This is wrong:

    Set OFF
    If Switch CLOSED Then ON
    If Switch OPEN Then OFF

    In this case, the If Switch OPEN Then OFF line is not needed - the Set OFF statement handles turning the outlet OFF whenever the If Switch CLOSED Then ON line is not true. Some people mistakenly think that this will add redundancy - it will not.

    This will work, but is not the right way:

    If Switch CLOSED Then ON
    If Switch OPEN Then OFF

    This is the right way:

    Set OFF
    If Switch CLOSED Then ON


    One final note... The OSC (oscillate) command is used to turn an output ON and OFF at regular intervals. OSC has explicit ON and OFF states, so a Set ON or Set OFF statement is not needed and should never be used in any output program containing an OSC statement.

    Wrong:
    Set OFF
    OSC 0:00/5:00/5:00 Then ON

    Right:
    OSC 0:00/5:00/5:00 Then ON
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

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