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Old 08/04/2016, 01:16 PM   #26
jason2459
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsreefadise View Post
Wanted to go ahead and voice my opinion.
Had my Cerebra for about 3 weeks now.
Pretty sketchy service from Aquarium Specialty, they mixed up my order and sent my probes to someone else, and I had to wait till the next shipment came in before I got everything I ordered. No biggy there.

As far as the Cerebra? Very easy set-up and mounting options. There are just a few channels in the back that you install the brackets, and then you just slide the whole thing over some screws in a wall.
Software was very stable as far as controlling heater, lights, and skimmer. Being able to adjust the icon and screen is wonderful, and it's really nice to be able to just glance at the tank and see all it's parameters. I really hate this whole "open my phone to see tank parameters" phrase the hobby is going thru.
Getting thru the menu's was kind of glitchy at first, but in the few weeks I've had it, I have seen it very drastically improve, and now it's no slower than my phone.

The forum has been great. One person recommends something, others agree, and we end up seeing the change on the next FW update- you literally cannot get there anywhere else. This is something really cool to be a part of.

Lots of transparency from Vertex. They've explained every problem, and the admins want you to call them if there is a problem, and they'll try to reduplicate it and fix the problem for everyone.

The probes are pretty spot on, and the float switches are well built.
I wish they had some better mounting options, but that will come in time I'm sure.

A few cons? I came from a Reef Angel and an Apex. With those, it was easy to get some really advanced features with just a little bit of Pseduo-code.
With having to write a whole new app for some advanced features that don't come with the Cerebra, it leaves alot of us behind. It's easy to write If statements, not so easy to write a whole App.
And that means, unless you know how to write an app, you're stuck on someone writing you an app, or just using something that comes standard.

There's something cool that doesn't get talked about alot..
the Virtual Switches are awesome. I have one to turn my lights on at night if I want, one to turn my powerheads off, and one to turn a pump on for water changes. and the labels are right there on the Cerebra. No more digging for my phone.

Overall impression is this thing is money well spent, and I'm excited for everything that is coming out.


I plugged up a speaker to my Cerebra, and sometimes I watch Stephan Colbert from my controller, just for the novelty!!
Are the virtual switches like virtual outlets in the Apex? Interesting they don't have an advanced type mode with out writing an App. That's a little over the top for most and beyond what a quick guide and forum search can provide for a few simple but advanced logic.

I agree I want a display for quick looks. I don't like the Archon and new Apex don't come with one. I picked up a fire tablet though cheap and really like that for the display now connected to the local apex dashboard.


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:08 PM   #27
DarkSkyForever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsreefadise View Post
Wanted to go ahead and voice my opinion.
Had my Cerebra for about 3 weeks now.
Pretty sketchy service from Aquarium Specialty, they mixed up my order and sent my probes to someone else, and I had to wait till the next shipment came in before I got everything I ordered. No biggy there.

As far as the Cerebra? Very easy set-up and mounting options. There are just a few channels in the back that you install the brackets, and then you just slide the whole thing over some screws in a wall.
Software was very stable as far as controlling heater, lights, and skimmer. Being able to adjust the icon and screen is wonderful, and it's really nice to be able to just glance at the tank and see all it's parameters. I really hate this whole "open my phone to see tank parameters" phrase the hobby is going thru.
Getting thru the menu's was kind of glitchy at first, but in the few weeks I've had it, I have seen it very drastically improve, and now it's no slower than my phone.

The forum has been great. One person recommends something, others agree, and we end up seeing the change on the next FW update- you literally cannot get there anywhere else. This is something really cool to be a part of.

Lots of transparency from Vertex. They've explained every problem, and the admins want you to call them if there is a problem, and they'll try to reduplicate it and fix the problem for everyone.

The probes are pretty spot on, and the float switches are well built.
I wish they had some better mounting options, but that will come in time I'm sure.

A few cons? I came from a Reef Angel and an Apex. With those, it was easy to get some really advanced features with just a little bit of Pseduo-code.
With having to write a whole new app for some advanced features that don't come with the Cerebra, it leaves alot of us behind. It's easy to write If statements, not so easy to write a whole App.
And that means, unless you know how to write an app, you're stuck on someone writing you an app, or just using something that comes standard.

There's something cool that doesn't get talked about alot..
the Virtual Switches are awesome. I have one to turn my lights on at night if I want, one to turn my powerheads off, and one to turn a pump on for water changes. and the labels are right there on the Cerebra. No more digging for my phone.

Overall impression is this thing is money well spent, and I'm excited for everything that is coming out.


I plugged up a speaker to my Cerebra, and sometimes I watch Stephan Colbert from my controller, just for the novelty!!
Thanks for the post. When you talk about adding new apps for features - can you explain that further?


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:42 PM   #28
mattsreefadise
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Thanks for the post. When you talk about adding new apps for features - can you explain that further?
well basically,it's an android system.
They've blocked out the Google Play Store, but from what I understand, app developers can create Apps that make your controller do different things.
Like there are apps for your phone that control the flashlight, there may be an app that can control 2 pumps for an Auto Water change.
They are set to introduce the "development pack" for app developers soon.


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:49 PM   #29
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I will say that a lot of the standard functionality will be built into the software from what I've seen. They are working on some software wizards for setting up functionality like a heater/chiller. The apps are things from say Ecotech. Instead of rebuilding all the functionality that Ecotech provides in their app, they are in talks with manufacturers to be compatible with the Cerebra. So you can think of basic/standard functionality through the Cerebra, but more advanced features from manufacturers or other users. That doesn't mean they won't build some of that stuff in tho.


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:49 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mattsreefadise View Post
well basically,it's an android system.
They've blocked out the Google Play Store, but from what I understand, app developers can create Apps that make your controller do different things.
Like there are apps for your phone that control the flashlight, there may be an app that can control 2 pumps for an Auto Water change.
They are set to introduce the "development pack" for app developers soon.
You can't program the controller through the unit to do things like that with the virtual switches?


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by DarkSkyForever View Post
You can't program the controller through the unit to do things like that with the virtual switches?
You should be able to do that. It's just how and when it all gets incorporated. You could probably even do an AWC if you take the time to calibrate it on your own. Apps or wizards would just make the process much easier.


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Old 08/04/2016, 02:57 PM   #32
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Yes, you can. I just used the water change as an example. You can create all sorts of rules with the virtual outlets.
You can create a timed event with the virtual switch that can turn a pump on for X amount of time, turn the ATO off, and then turn another pump on for the same amount of time.

But the app would make it more advanced and easier for the user, i assume. I don't know, but the possibilities are endless. I just wish I could actually do pseudo-code like I was able to with my RA and Apex.


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Old 08/04/2016, 03:00 PM   #33
DarkSkyForever
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Originally Posted by mattsreefadise View Post
Yes, you can. I just used the water change as an example. You can create all sorts of rules with the virtual outlets.
You can create a timed event with the virtual switch that can turn a pump on for X amount of time, turn the ATO off, and then turn another pump on for the same amount of time.

But the app would make it more advanced and easier for the user, i assume. I don't know, but the possibilities are endless. I just wish I could actually do pseudo-code like I was able to with my RA and Apex.
Maybe someone will write an app for that.


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Old 08/04/2016, 04:01 PM   #34
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For anyone interested I talked to Aquarium speciality today and they told me the units have just shipped from Germany today. They are going straight to them and as soon as they arrive they will ship it the same day. They have all the packaging and labels ready to go and stated they would keep us updated as everything progresses.

Also as a side note they still need to go through customs so there will be a delay.


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Old 08/04/2016, 04:20 PM   #35
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Does anyone have pictures of the system setup


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Old 08/04/2016, 08:53 PM   #36
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I'm torn about the app issue. I know 3rd party vendors have had issues getting support of more advanced functions from other controllers like Apex. Neptune gets inundated with requests and has to spend resources developing and coding support with no guarantee that the device will get significant use, or be around in the future, and device manufacturers are limited to Neptune's response. Having an API and the ability for 3rd parties to write Apps themselves would eliminate the issue - if Ecotech doesn't have a compatibility app for the Cerebra, it's their own fault. There's the potential to see much expanded compatibility as well as capabilities with other devices.

On the other hand, the stability of the controller potentially becomes limited by the programming skills of someone besides the Vertex team, and troubleshooting issues with the controller gets much more difficult if you have apps from 4 or 5 different vendors running. I might be a bit paranoid, but there have been issues with malware and viruses on the Android app store, so there's a potential security risk, and as was mentioned, it could significantly limit the flexibility that coding gives on the Apex.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out...


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Old 08/04/2016, 10:28 PM   #37
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For anyone interested I talked to Aquarium speciality today and they told me the units have just shipped from Germany today. They are going straight to them and as soon as they arrive they will ship it the same day. They have all the packaging and labels ready to go and stated they would keep us updated as everything progresses.

Also as a side note they still need to go through customs so there will be a delay.
I received the exact same information. Waiting patiently for my Cerebra, multibar, dual junction ph probe, conductivity probe and probe holder....I did receive one powerbar though??


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Old 08/05/2016, 08:18 AM   #38
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I received the exact same information. Waiting patiently for my Cerebra, multibar, dual junction ph probe, conductivity probe and probe holder....I did receive one powerbar though??


Well, I wouldn't say you're waiting patiently :P



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Old 08/05/2016, 08:21 AM   #39
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Well, I wouldn't say you're waiting patiently :P



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One thing is for sure.....I AM waiting. Lol


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Old 08/05/2016, 10:27 AM   #40
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i was one of the first to get one when they first came out however ive just played with mine and put it back in the box . it will go on a new tank that ill soon be setting up


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Old 08/05/2016, 10:47 AM   #41
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That was my understanding as well. He briefly came into the other thread on RC, but ducked out just as fast for reasons anyone in that thread will understand. Hopefully he comes in here from time to time.



I took it to mean they had 20 left in their pre-order allotment that was being shipped to them. I could be wrong, but I ordered mine the day they opened it up and it came as a pre-order and will ship when received.
LOL yeah, I started typing a handful of posts in that thread and then just deleted them before posting. That thread has degenerated so far away from something valuable and pretty clearly dominated with transparent agendas and likely some version of shills trying to steer the conversation to that agenda. Not many people are going to want to take part in that mess. This thread is on a much better path; let's hope it stays that way, and we keep the repetitive agendas out of it.

After the new product team had approved it Charlie and I sat down and basically tried to break it every way we knew how. We decided it was in a suitable state for customers for a beta product. We did run into some issues when using multiple float switches which we reported but overall we were able to apply four or more rules or parameters to each outlet and have them behave as intended as well as use the same sensors for multiple outlets. We also calibrated probes, confirmed fail state operation for the outlets and a handfull of other things.

There is only so much any one person can do and why something as critical as this should be initially offered as beta. More or less this is the brains of the tanks life support system and has millions of possible combined functions. That said after some research, we were confident it was ready to be tested and evolve in the real world by reefers as long as they understand it does need a more watchful eye than something that's been out a bit longer.

Because our new product process for this is a bit longer than some of our competitors they likely received more Beta units for sale than us. After approval, we were allocated 100 units. A vast majority sold in 24 hours to those who signed up to be notified and the other ~20 sold when we sent out an email on Monday. I don't expect to receive any additional units at that price point. Vertex plays a lot of this pretty close to their chest so that could change but I wouldn't hold my breath, and I would buy yours immediately from whatever vendor still has stock if you are interested.

Purchasing just told me they hope they will be here by next Friday but they are coming direct from Germany so that's typically in the hands of customs more than anything. Should be pretty fun to see what peoples first thoughts are. I think the part I am most excited by is where both of these products end up years from now. With two intelligent well-funded companies competing I think we are going to see some really cool things happen, particularly on the software and usability front.


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Old 08/05/2016, 11:07 AM   #42
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I'm torn about the app issue. I know 3rd party vendors have had issues getting support of more advanced functions from other controllers like Apex. Neptune gets inundated with requests and has to spend resources developing and coding support with no guarantee that the device will get significant use, or be around in the future, and device manufacturers are limited to Neptune's response. Having an API and the ability for 3rd parties to write Apps themselves would eliminate the issue - if Ecotech doesn't have a compatibility app for the Cerebra, it's their own fault. There's the potential to see much expanded compatibility as well as capabilities with other devices.

On the other hand, the stability of the controller potentially becomes limited by the programming skills of someone besides the Vertex team, and troubleshooting issues with the controller gets much more difficult if you have apps from 4 or 5 different vendors running. I might be a bit paranoid, but there have been issues with malware and viruses on the Android app store, so there's a potential security risk, and as was mentioned, it could significantly limit the flexibility that coding gives on the Apex.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out...
I agree it could be good and bad. But the upside to being able to hand out an API and tool kit is awesome particularly to equipment makers. The downside is the hacks (not talking malicious.)


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Old 08/05/2016, 02:38 PM   #43
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LOL yeah, I started typing a handful of posts in that thread and then just deleted them before posting. That thread has degenerated so far away from something valuable and pretty clearly dominated with transparent agendas and likely some version of shills trying to steer the conversation to that agenda. Not many people are going to want to take part in that mess. This thread is on a much better path; let's hope it stays that way, and we keep the repetitive agendas out of it.

After the new product team had approved it Charlie and I sat down and basically tried to break it every way we knew how. We decided it was in a suitable state for customers for a beta product. We did run into some issues when using multiple float switches which we reported but overall we were able to apply four or more rules or parameters to each outlet and have them behave as intended as well as use the same sensors for multiple outlets. We also calibrated probes, confirmed fail state operation for the outlets and a handfull of other things.

There is only so much any one person can do and why something as critical as this should be initially offered as beta. More or less this is the brains of the tanks life support system and has millions of possible combined functions. That said after some research, we were confident it was ready to be tested and evolve in the real world by reefers as long as they understand it does need a more watchful eye than something that's been out a bit longer.

Because our new product process for this is a bit longer than some of our competitors they likely received more Beta units for sale than us. After approval, we were allocated 100 units. A vast majority sold in 24 hours to those who signed up to be notified and the other ~20 sold when we sent out an email on Monday. I don't expect to receive any additional units at that price point. Vertex plays a lot of this pretty close to their chest so that could change but I wouldn't hold my breath, and I would buy yours immediately from whatever vendor still has stock if you are interested.

Purchasing just told me they hope they will be here by next Friday but they are coming direct from Germany so that's typically in the hands of customs more than anything. Should be pretty fun to see what peoples first thoughts are. I think the part I am most excited by is where both of these products end up years from now. With two intelligent well-funded companies competing I think we are going to see some really cool things happen, particularly on the software and usability front.
Thanks for taking the time to properly test and hold off on the sale of these before deciding to sell them. I was one of the people who signed up to be notified when you'd have them in stock, and I can't wait to set it up and test out the features. Will you be doing another video on the unit now that you took pre orders on them?


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Old 08/05/2016, 10:09 PM   #44
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Thanks for taking the time to properly test and hold off on the sale of these before deciding to sell them. I was one of the people who signed up to be notified when you'd have them in stock, and I can't wait to set it up and test out the features. Will you be doing another video on the unit now that you took pre orders on them?


Ditto x100! One of the reasons I like to support BRS. (That and they're local! )


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Old 08/06/2016, 10:30 AM   #45
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Anyone know if the Cerebra has the equivalent of a breakout box for your own float switches or doorbell buttons ? I see they have their own float switches but not sure if we can add our own.


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Old 08/06/2016, 11:11 AM   #46
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Anyone know if the Cerebra has the equivalent of a breakout box for your own float switches or doorbell buttons ? I see they have their own float switches but not sure if we can add our own.
Once you get into the owners forum they have posted the pin designations for the mini din, this will allow you to make your own switches.


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Old 08/06/2016, 11:35 AM   #47
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Once you get into the owners forum they have posted the pin designations for the mini din, this will allow you to make your own switches.
Sweet. Thanks.


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Old 08/06/2016, 11:38 AM   #48
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Anyone know if the Cerebra has the equivalent of a breakout box for your own float switches or doorbell buttons ? I see they have their own float switches but not sure if we can add our own.
There is a module coming soon, but I don't recall when it will be available.


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Old 08/06/2016, 11:47 AM   #49
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There is a module coming soon, but I don't recall when it will be available.
I thought the module was for 0-10v ?? RJ45 and RJ11.


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Old 08/06/2016, 03:53 PM   #50
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There is a module coming soon, but I don't recall when it will be available.
If it's a plug/cable you can buy from Digikey or eBay, then it should be easy to make your own box. Something like this


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