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Old 08/10/2013, 09:09 PM   #1
dfleary
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Question Potentially dumb question - Second Power Bar 8 vs. I/O Breakout Box

I know this probably seems like a dumb question for a lot of people, but I'm not a tekkie when it comes to electronics, and I have no prior experience with a Neptune Apex Crontroller (nor any other aquarium controller).

I have a standard Neptune Apex Controller with the Power Bar 8, and I know that you can attach a second one to the first. How do you connect them together, and once they are connected together, how are the outlets numbered/labeled in the system?

Also, what is the point of adding an I/O Breakout Box? What does this device do as opposed to adding a second Powerbar 8?


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Old 08/10/2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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I'll +1 this, curious to know the answer as well

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Old 08/11/2013, 02:41 AM   #3
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Another eb8 (energybar 8) conects thru the aqua bus cable that comes with it, the module will name the module and give it an aquabus number on each ouet of the bar ex. Name (could be skimmer, lights, etc) 5-1 which means energy bar number 5 (this is the number that got assinged) outlet number 1, so on

The breakout box is used with floats to sense if they are closed or open and sends the info to the apex brain to be translated and take appropiate actions, hope all this makes sense

Sana


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Old 08/12/2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanababit View Post
Another eb8 (energybar 8) conects thru the aqua bus cable that comes with it, the module will name the module and give it an aquabus number on each ouet of the bar ex. Name (could be skimmer, lights, etc) 5-1 which means energy bar number 5 (this is the number that got assinged) outlet number 1, so on

The breakout box is used with floats to sense if they are closed or open and sends the info to the apex brain to be translated and take appropiate actions, hope all this makes sense

Sana
I will add to that. In addition to the floats, the breakout box can be used for momentary switches such as a garage door opener button that triggers an action such as a feed mode, pump turning on for a specified period etc. Use a momentary switch attached to the frame of a cabinet door and the Apex can turn on the cabinet lights when the door is opened. Water of the floor sensor can be connected to the breakout box, etc. I use it for floats, garage door opener button which triggers my mixing pump to turn on for one hour. I use that for when I mix saltwater. I also use it for water on the floor sensors.

I'll be adding another garage door opener button in the near future which will trigger my mixing pump to run until my ATO float switch closes. When I do a large water change, I can use it to fill the tank and get the exact amount of water back into the system so that my sump level remains perfect.


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Old 08/12/2013, 07:55 PM   #5
dfleary
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Thanks for the replies, but I'm still a little confused about the point of the I/O Breakout Box. -- What can the I/O Breakout Box do that another Energy Box 8 cannot do?


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Old 08/12/2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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If you want to use any type of switches... something that has a couple wires coming from it... you need the breakout box. The EB8 has no way to connecting those wires to the Apex base unit. But a breakout box has screw terminals that you attach the wires. The breakout box then has a connector that plugs into the base unit of the Apex (not the EB8).

By itself, the breakout box does nothing. All it does is gives you the ability to direct the Apex to do something based on the on/off state of an external switch.


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Old 08/13/2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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Thanks, that's a big help. I think I understand it much better now.


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Old 08/13/2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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Note that you don't want to apply any sort of voltage to the terminals on a breakout box. Might be better to say that it looks for an open/closed state of an external switch (vs. on/off)


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Old 08/13/2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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. . . So the switch itself would be providing its own power, in that case?


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Old 08/13/2013, 05:29 PM   #10
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The controller looks for a closed or open contact between "GND" and one of the numbered "Ix" terminals on the breakout box. Common uses are float switches to control water levels or simple momentary open/closed push buttons to trigger other programming events. See page 82 of the Comprehensive Apex PDF.


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