The Apex Base Unit - It All Begins with the Brain
The Apex Base Unit is basically the brains of your entire Apex System. The Apex Base Unit (ABU) is far different than from what any other controller at this price level is offering. The ABU is basically a small computer whose only job is take care of your aquarium. It has a 32-bit microprocessor and a built-in web server. The web server makes it possible for your to configure and operate your Apex from any network-connected computer or mobile device – no software to install on a PC – it also means it’s Mac compatible!
The Apex runs at up to 10x the speed of other controllers in its class due to its advance processor technology (most others use 8 or 16 bit microcontrollers). It also has enough memory on board to store nearly a years worth of complete tank data in non-volatile RAM. Even with a power outage, your tank history and all configurations are safe.
Built-in Internet Connectivity
The Apex Base Unit is Internet-ready straight out of the box. Just plug it into your router and you are good to go – no software to install! This means that you can control your tank from any computer (or mobile device) in the house. There is no need, ever, to connect it directly to a computer to monitor your aquarium or update its firmware. And, once you set up external access via port-forwarding on your router, you can easily access your Apex from anywhere in the world via a web browser or via our iOS or Android apps!
And, with Internet Connectivity, the Apex can be configured so that you will get an email or text message whenever something is not quite right with your system – whether that is an over-temperature condition in your tank, the pH is out of whack, or there’s a leak on the floor!
Best Software Available on Any Aquarium Controller
Hands down, the Apex has the most feature-rich, field tested software of any controller on the market today. It all starts with the onboard web server inside the Apex Base Unit. This web server is part of the Apex’s firmware and is truly the secret sauce to it’s success.
Not tech savvy, no worries
Built-in wizards allow even the most technophobic person out there to be able to program the basics like light timers and heater control in a matter of minutes. Then, as you build up confidence and engage the awesome Apex user community, you will be taking it to the next level in no time.
Uber Reef Geek, we have you covered as well
The Apex has a powerful yet easy to learn programming language. This enables every user to get creative and come up with new cool ways to use their Apex…from creating storms in their tanks, to complex dosing of additives, to unique mixing of colors on their DIY LED lights. The possibilities are pretty much only limited by your imagination. And again, the Apex community is out there to help you along as well.
Graphs, Graphs, Graphs!
The Apex has a full-featured graphing engine built right in. As an example, you can very easily compare the cycles of your outlets with temperature and pH, identify ongoing patterns of trouble, and even discover ways to cut costs like being able to visually see when two external devices (such as a heater and a chiller) are on simultaneously when they really shouldn’t be.
Going Mobile ? The Apex did!
The Apex is the only controller on the market that has manufacturer-written, full-featured applications for the computer browser (Mac or PC), iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Now you can take your Apex with you anywhere and check in on your tank, reprogram your lights, or even feed your fish remotely from the touch of your phone!
Complete Aquarium Monitoring right out of the box
The Apex Base Unit is equipped with the following monitoring ports:
- Temperature Port
- pH Port
- pH/ORP Port (can be used for either – a feature unique to the Apex)
- 6 – I/O switch inputs (for use with leak detectors, door switches, feed buttons, ATO, etc.)
Let’s Talk About A Little Thing Called Galvanic Isolation
This is a topic other controller companies like to avoid. Why? Because not all monitoring ports are created equal. Galvanic Isolation is key to getting accurate readings on pH, Temp, ORP, and Conductivity. Some controllers either do not do it well (they are still figuring it out) or possibly not at all.
So what is Galvanic isolation? Well, the tech-answer is that it’s where two or more electric circuits must communicate, but their grounds may be at different potentials. It is an effective method of breaking ground loops by preventing unwanted current from flowing between two units sharing a ground conductor.
Now of course that is all geek-speak to most of us so let’s just put it this way: on a controller without galvanic isolation, your readings of pH, Temperature, ReDox (ORP), Conductivity/Salinity, etc. will be completely inaccurate. Of course it costs us more to add this circuitry into the Apex, but what good is a controller if it doesn’t give you accurate readings?
LED Dimming and Tunze Pump Control
The Apex Base Unit comes standard with four channels of 0-10V control. These outputs are controlled in the Apex software and are most commonly used for LED dimming or Tunze speed control pumps. By using one of our optionally available cables, you can connect any Apex Ready 0-10V device to these ports. This means you can do cool things like have your LED lights ramp up and down to simulate sunrise and sunset!
They can also be used for various DIY purposes like controlling the dimming level on Meanwell LED drivers. Should you need additional channels of 0-10V control, no problem, simply purchase our VDM module and get four more – and also get a connection for Apex Ready+ LEDs!
External 12V Power Capability – UPS Ready!
The Apex Base Unit comes with an external 12V power input. With an optionally available wall transformer and a second Energy Bar, this enables you to configure your Apex for power-outage mode. You just plug the 12V transformer into your Apex and then into a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) along with your extra Energy Bar. You then plug a powerhead and an air pump with stone into this Energy Bar. If the power should ever go down, your Apex will sense the problem, and will activate the powerhead and air stone potentially saving the day for your fish and corals!