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Thread: optical level sensor

  1. #1
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    optical level sensor

    Anyone know if it matters how you place the optical level sensor in the water? Sideways? Facing up or facing down? Does it matter? All of a sudden having an issue with the one on my ATK so checking before I ask Neptune. thx

  2. #2
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Facing up or sideways only. Facing down can allow a bead of water to stick to the tip and give false CLOSED readings.

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  3. #3
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    Thanks. Something isn’t right. Acts like its stuck open.. Whether its in water or not it stays open. if I unplug it then it shows closed when in the water but then changes to open after few minutes. I went ahead and sent in a support request. appreciate it

  4. #4
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have it configured for auto-detect or leak and not configured for optical. Go back into module setup and make sure it's set right.

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  5. #5
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    its configured properly. had that issue a month ago when I bought it and IAMCHADSTER pointed out the config page. I have it set to sensor.

  6. #6
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Does the module firmware show (OK)? That could also cause the behavior you describe if it shows (OLD)

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  7. #7
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    yes it shows ok. When the power went out yesterday afterwards it showed an X or !, cant recall but after i rebooted it everything worked. i didn't pay attention to the OLS at that point it was today that i noticed it wasn't working but again the module reports good. i even re-uploaded the update just to make sure. It reports OK. Seems to be the module bc the sensors are pretty simply. cant really see an issue with the sensor itself.

  8. #8
    NSI Member rkpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joenla View Post
    cant really see an issue with the sensor itself.
    They do fail. I had one on my ATK fail in the CLOSED position, 3 months after installation. Others have reported the DDR container low level optical sensors (which is the exact same part) failing as well.

  9. #9
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    Thanks. Currently its working. Guess I'll just have to keep an eye on it for now

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    Since this is already open I figured I would just ask in here instead of a new thread. Does anyone know the pinout of these sensors?

  11. #11
    NSI Member rkpetersen's Avatar
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    You won't get any help with anything like that here. Not publicly, anyway.

  12. #12
    Frequent Visitor 2mk's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me the sensor position on the sensor mount?

    Are the sensor position 1 on the top and sensor 2 on the bottom? Or vice versa?

    I am confused of it after switching over the way the sensors facing.

    My programming is as follows:

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Swx4_1 OPEN Then ON
    If Swx4_2 CLOSED Then OFF
    When On > 005:00 Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:04 Then OFF
    Min Time 060:00 Then OFF

    and my sensor is showing as follows:

    atk.jpg

    Currently, the bottom sensor is at water level and is in the closed position, and the top sensor is way above water level and in the open position.

    It seems like the sensors are switched. I don't dare to add the pump to it and cause a major tank problem.
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  13. #13
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Looks like you have it correct. For optical sensors, CLOSED is wet, OPEN is not in water.
    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
    Frequent Visitor 2mk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussM View Post
    Looks like you have it correct. For optical sensors, CLOSED is wet, OPEN is not in water.
    so what will this do? if swx4-1 is open, then PMUP turns on and fill from ATO tank. When Closed, it will turn off PMUP.

    But I don't understand the SWx4-2. Right now it is OPEN. Would that not turn the PMUP on?
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  15. #15
    Frequent Visitor 2mk's Avatar
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    I think I got it. Based on my progrmming above, if SWX4-2 IS now open, and if water keeps pumping in and reaches it, it will then be CLOSED, then the PMUP will shut off. Is this correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    If I add a third optical sensor in SWX4-3, and place this in the sump, while sensors 1 and 2 are in the main tank, how would my program below looks like to have it shut off the PMUP when water reaches the 3rd sensor? is the following correct?

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Swx4_1 OPEN Then ON
    If Swx4_2 CLOSED Then OFF
    If Swx4_3 CLOSED Then OFF
    When On > 005:00 Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:04 Then OFF
    Min Time 060:00 Then OFF
    When You're a NOOB, You need lots of help all the time

  16. #16
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2mk View Post
    I think I got it. Based on my progrmming above, if SWX4-2 IS now open, and if water keeps pumping in and reaches it, it will then be CLOSED, then the PMUP will shut off. Is this correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    If I add a third optical sensor in SWX4-3, and place this in the sump, while sensors 1 and 2 are in the main tank, how would my program below looks like to have it shut off the PMUP when water reaches the 3rd sensor? is the following correct?

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Swx4_1 OPEN Then ON
    If Swx4_2 CLOSED Then OFF
    If Swx4_3 CLOSED Then OFF
    When On > 005:00 Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:04 Then OFF
    Min Time 060:00 Then OFF
    Why would you put an ATK in the main tank, or was that just a mixup in your question? The sump is what changes level as water evaporates

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  17. #17
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    I’ve had issues with my sensor in the ATO water storage attracting bubbles and giving me false readings. Blows up my phone and email and drives me crazy. Have to wipe off the bubbles off the sensor every couple days.

  18. #18
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
    I’ve had issues with my sensor in the ATO water storage attracting bubbles and giving me false readings. Blows up my phone and email and drives me crazy. Have to wipe off the bubbles off the sensor every couple days.
    You have the tip pointed horizontally or down right? If not that would explain the bubble accumulation.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  19. #19
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    Horizontally. It’s my low water sensor in the storage box.

  20. #20
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
    Horizontally. It’s my low water sensor in the storage box.
    Assuming this isnt drilled through the side, you could try pointing straight up instead and see if that helps.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    Assuming this isnt drilled through the side, you could try pointing straight up instead and see if that helps.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
    Drilled in the side...

  22. #22
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
    Drilled in the side...
    If you have a tiny powerhead or submersible pump laying around you could point to in the general direction of the sensor and that might bandaid the problem.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  23. #23
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
    Drilled in the side...
    Also if not done already, make sure you have a reasonable defer in your email (10 seconds to a couple minutes) and that may help suppress false alarms.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

  24. #24
    Frequent Visitor 2mk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie View Post
    Why would you put an ATK in the main tank, or was that just a mixup in your question? The sump is what changes level as water evaporates

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
    My tank is a 35g Read Sea Max with a build in sump with skimmer on the back of the tank. I have since added an overflow box, and a DIY 2 to 3 gallons sump below in the tank's cabinet.
    Currently, I use a Hydor Probe Sensor ATO with the probe in the sump area. It had an accident caused by the overflow not "overflowing" to the sump, making the ATO continuously adding water diluting and overflowing the main tank.
    Putting the sensor on top make more sense. But, it seems like it can cause the same problem too at the sump if the sensors are placed on top.

    I think I might be able to place the Apex ATK sensors on the sump area after taking off the float valve. But, it can also cause the sump overflow problem just as before when the ATK fails to stop pumping to the main tank above.

    I have ordered an additional Apex sensor, intending to have the 2 main sensors (without float sensor/valve) placed in the sump while the 3rd sensor placed in the main tank build in sump area (given if the main senors without float valve fits in my mini sump).

    Can you tell me if this will avoid my overflowing main tank / sump problem with the following programming? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Swx4_1 OPEN Then ON
    If Swx4_2 CLOSED Then OFF
    If Swx4_3 CLOSED Then OFF
    When On > 005:00 Then OFF
    Defer 000:10 Then ON
    Defer 000:04 Then OFF
    Min Time 060:00 Then OFF
    When You're a NOOB, You need lots of help all the time

  25. #25
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    I personally would do it the other way around. Have the ATK unit in the sump to control that level with the extra sensor in the main tank protecting against overflows. The code you showed will work for that.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

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