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Thread: Apex 2016.....FUD or Truth?

  1. #51
    Regular Vistor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extinguishfire View Post
    So RUSSM, is it true that all is fairly better with 2016 APEX after firmware updates? Or are there still people having issues? I need to get one and want to make sure I have the least problems as possible on something controlling my tank.
    Any issues will likely be WIFI related. Since I started using a IP over house wiring i gave not had a single issue. I have also figured out how to run a WAV at 100% in a 60 cube with blowing sand all over the place.

  2. #52
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    I've had the 2016 unit almost a year, always hard-wired. My experience is that every couple months it starts going crazy and you have to reinitialize and wipe it. Erratic network, lights and pumps randomly turning off/on, console scrolls painfully slow. I've had to do this three times now. Last night I gave it my regular "initialize all", got it connected back up to Fusion, and decided to update the firmware before reprogramming it all. Bricked my device (fast blinking blue light forever when you plug the network cable in).

    Currently reverting to my pre-2016 unit until I get it sorted out.

    (Kudos to Neptune support for an email response to my issue very late on a Friday night!)

  3. #53
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Apex 2016.....FUD or Truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronschneider View Post
    Bricked my device (fast blinking blue light forever when you plug the network cable in).
    Flashing blue does not mean the Apex is bricked, and it does not go "forever". Flashing blue indicates that the Apex is delaying the boot-up by 2 minutes, which happens after a loss or disconnection of power and the network connection is wired, which is beneficial when a wired connection to a router is used; some routers take a while to boot up, and initialize the Ethernet ports well before other services (like DHCP) are ready.
    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. #54
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    Thanks Russ, I'd be very happy to be wrong. In this case, I've let it sit for hours, no change. Here is what I wrote to support this AM, thoughts welcome.

    <quote>
    Thank you for your prompt reply late on a Friday night!


    Powering up the Apex unit the indicator is solid orange (regardless of how long i leave it there).
    Plugging in the ethernet cable, the indicator fast blinks blue forever.
    The device is never visible in the Apex Browse utility.


    Note that if I unplug the Apex2016 unit and plug my older unit into the same ethernet cable and powerbus cable, everything works fine - grabs an appropriate DHCP address, display works, shows up in apex browse, I can browse to it from my PC, etc.


    Please advise. Is there a total hardware reset capability on the 2016 unit?



    [COLOR=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.8)]R</q
    [/COLOR]

    </quote>

  5. #55
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    I have been using mine on wifi since day 1 and experienced no issues. I had an Ethernet cable nearby for the old Apex and never bothered to plug it in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #56
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronschneider View Post
    Thanks Russ, I'd be very happy to be wrong. In this case, I've let it sit for hours, no change.
    The flashing blue should expire after two minutes. You'll need to work with Neptune support to resolve.
    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. #57
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    Following up to close the loop. Neptune support contacted me and sent a replacement unit. All happy and green so far, slowly reconfiguring everything.

    Thanks Russ for helping a poor noob and thank you Apex for excellent customer support!

  8. #58
    Regular Vistor
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    Denver
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    I just got a new Apex 2016 three weeks ago. Set it up on Wifi and did the FW update. Have never had a reboot, crash, hang or port do something unexpectedly. (expect if I programed it wrong. LOL)

  9. #59
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    I finally fixed my Apex disconnect issues by disabling DHCP. and assigning an IP address in my router for it.

  10. #60
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    Hey folks, I am new to this forum, getting ready to setup my first reef tank, and about to buy my Apex 2016 system.

    I saw this thread and initially said whoa.... back up the truck a second. But then I read through the whole thing and saw some patterns. I am an IT systems engineer (for 20+ years) and am very familiar with many forms of devices similar to this, and computers in general, and I think I have some suggestions for you all. I may not be correct on this, but I think it looks likely based on what people are reporting.

    Based on this I am still leaning toward continuing with a purchase, hoping I am correct on this, or at least it might be a contributor. I have seen these exact types of issues on all kinds of other devices, and the people involved almost never think of some of these issues I describe below. They just return it and think it is crap.

    Here are some points:
    Wifi
    - It appears the Apex doesn't like to be disconnected from it's Wifi connection, that is a shame I hope they will put more tolerance into the device for shaky internet connections, especially Wifi.
    - However, there is a tremendous amount of room for external issues here...
    - Have a microwave oven? That will kill most Wifi within a pretty good range while it is operating, try it
    - Many other things that can cause a similar situation, don't know if the Apex can do 5GHz vs. 2.4GHz, but stick to 5 if it can, less likely to be a problem
    - I could write a book on network issues, I wire most everything in my house with CAT6 for this and a whole list of other reasons, only use Wifi if I must (smartphones, etc.), make sure you buy quality network cables and equipment... I noticed one person using Ubiquiti, I use their access points and I like them, not sure I would recommend to just anyone though.
    - If you can't easily do CAT6, next best would be MoCA if you have some cable tv lines in the wall already that you are no longer using, and then would come the power line network adapters... but beware, those power line adapters generate a ton of noise and may cause you other problems.

    UPS / power
    - Reading all the issues here, it REALLY looks to me that this Apex may be sensitive to "dirty power", many (most?) people have dirty power in their homes, either from the street or caused by devices in their home (microwave, refrigerator, vacuum, hair dryer, etc.). This can come in the form of over/under voltage, harmonics, and a bunch of other problems. Reading this I would strongly consider putting this on a line conditioner (e.g. Tripp Lite) which will smooth it out.
    - Heck, I would not be surprised if some of the pumps and equipment being controlled are themselves contributing to the problem, maybe need to small filters between things like pumps and the Apex power strip (home theater power filters do this to keep connected devices from interfering with each other).
    - OK, you can use a UPS right? Be careful!! Most cheap UPS units have what is called square-wave output, because it is cheap to do. Computers don't care because most computer power supplies are big enough to deal with it, have PFC (power factor correction) and other protections. But try plugging something like a digital clock into it, and it will not like it at all. I doubt the Apex is any different, from the looks of it the internal power supply is way to small to have those kinds of protections. I would not blame Neptune for this, it would raise the cost (and size) of the unit considerably and it is already expensive. On the other hand, they could offer something like a "medical grade power supply" for those people with dirty power problems, which is just a line conditioner or power supply with line conditioning.
    - What I would recommend is you buy the slightly more expensive UPS units with "sine wave output", and then you are fine. Some of them can even be found with line filtering / conditioning built in, maybe even use a home theater type unit, although they are wayyy overpriced.
    - I read some of you using generators.... are you serious? Good idea for protecting from a power outage, but the power output of a small generator is extremely dirty (especially when it first comes on, and when the power comes back), enough so that you could cook even some computer power supplies. Never plug sensitive electronics into a generator directly, it must be conditioned. A cheap UPS will pass this dirty power right on through...
    - I myself am using an APC RT-series smart UPS, this is an even more expensive unit that does "double conversion", where it takes all the A/C power and converts it to D/C, and then back again, and it has sine-wave output. These are expensive, but they output perfect clean power. I use it to run home theater equipment to eliminate noise from the line. I only have one of these though, now will have to consider something for this. Given what we are all paying for some of these reef setups already, what is another $1500 bucks huh? Oh and you can add external battery packs to extend it's run time on battery.
    - Unfortunately detecting dirty power and other problems could be expensive, I suggest just getting thing to protect and filter regardless, and don't cheap out on them.

    I think these issues could go a long way in explaining the wide inconsistency of the results in this thread. I would bet the people with problems happen to have dirty power, either some or all of the time, and the others just happen to be lucky and have relatively clean power.

    My house has solar power, and I am considering getting the Tesla Power wall storage battery so I have a source of backup power that doesn't have the problems of a generator, but they are expensive. But now that I am adding an expensive reef tank, I think that puts me over the line of making it worth it.

    I hope this helps.

    -jcl123

  11. #61
    Regular Vistor
    Join Date
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    Merritt Island, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcl123 View Post
    Hey folks, I am new to this forum, getting ready to setup my first reef tank, and about to buy my Apex 2016 system.

    I saw this thread and initially said whoa.... back up the truck a second. But then I read through the whole thing and saw some patterns. I am an IT systems engineer (for 20+ years) and am very familiar with many forms of devices similar to this, and computers in general, and I think I have some suggestions for you all. I may not be correct on this, but I think it looks likely based on what people are reporting.

    Based on this I am still leaning toward continuing with a purchase, hoping I am correct on this, or at least it might be a contributor. I have seen these exact types of issues on all kinds of other devices, and the people involved almost never think of some of these issues I describe below. They just return it and think it is crap.

    Here are some points:
    Wifi
    - It appears the Apex doesn't like to be disconnected from it's Wifi connection, that is a shame I hope they will put more tolerance into the device for shaky internet connections, especially Wifi.
    - However, there is a tremendous amount of room for external issues here...
    - Have a microwave oven? That will kill most Wifi within a pretty good range while it is operating, try it
    - Many other things that can cause a similar situation, don't know if the Apex can do 5GHz vs. 2.4GHz, but stick to 5 if it can, less likely to be a problem
    - I could write a book on network issues, I wire most everything in my house with CAT6 for this and a whole list of other reasons, only use Wifi if I must (smartphones, etc.), make sure you buy quality network cables and equipment... I noticed one person using Ubiquiti, I use their access points and I like them, not sure I would recommend to just anyone though.
    - If you can't easily do CAT6, next best would be MoCA if you have some cable tv lines in the wall already that you are no longer using, and then would come the power line network adapters... but beware, those power line adapters generate a ton of noise and may cause you other problems.

    UPS / power
    - Reading all the issues here, it REALLY looks to me that this Apex may be sensitive to "dirty power", many (most?) people have dirty power in their homes, either from the street or caused by devices in their home (microwave, refrigerator, vacuum, hair dryer, etc.). This can come in the form of over/under voltage, harmonics, and a bunch of other problems. Reading this I would strongly consider putting this on a line conditioner (e.g. Tripp Lite) which will smooth it out.
    - Heck, I would not be surprised if some of the pumps and equipment being controlled are themselves contributing to the problem, maybe need to small filters between things like pumps and the Apex power strip (home theater power filters do this to keep connected devices from interfering with each other).
    - OK, you can use a UPS right? Be careful!! Most cheap UPS units have what is called square-wave output, because it is cheap to do. Computers don't care because most computer power supplies are big enough to deal with it, have PFC (power factor correction) and other protections. But try plugging something like a digital clock into it, and it will not like it at all. I doubt the Apex is any different, from the looks of it the internal power supply is way to small to have those kinds of protections. I would not blame Neptune for this, it would raise the cost (and size) of the unit considerably and it is already expensive. On the other hand, they could offer something like a "medical grade power supply" for those people with dirty power problems, which is just a line conditioner or power supply with line conditioning.
    - What I would recommend is you buy the slightly more expensive UPS units with "sine wave output", and then you are fine. Some of them can even be found with line filtering / conditioning built in, maybe even use a home theater type unit, although they are wayyy overpriced.
    - I read some of you using generators.... are you serious? Good idea for protecting from a power outage, but the power output of a small generator is extremely dirty (especially when it first comes on, and when the power comes back), enough so that you could cook even some computer power supplies. Never plug sensitive electronics into a generator directly, it must be conditioned. A cheap UPS will pass this dirty power right on through...
    - I myself am using an APC RT-series smart UPS, this is an even more expensive unit that does "double conversion", where it takes all the A/C power and converts it to D/C, and then back again, and it has sine-wave output. These are expensive, but they output perfect clean power. I use it to run home theater equipment to eliminate noise from the line. I only have one of these though, now will have to consider something for this. Given what we are all paying for some of these reef setups already, what is another $1500 bucks huh? Oh and you can add external battery packs to extend it's run time on battery.
    - Unfortunately detecting dirty power and other problems could be expensive, I suggest just getting thing to protect and filter regardless, and don't cheap out on them.

    I think these issues could go a long way in explaining the wide inconsistency of the results in this thread. I would bet the people with problems happen to have dirty power, either some or all of the time, and the others just happen to be lucky and have relatively clean power.

    My house has solar power, and I am considering getting the Tesla Power wall storage battery so I have a source of backup power that doesn't have the problems of a generator, but they are expensive. But now that I am adding an expensive reef tank, I think that puts me over the line of making it worth it.

    I hope this helps.

    -jcl123
    Great Information.. Thanks..

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