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RKL+myreef 2 for Dummies


bioload

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After MUCH frustration I finally got my RKL working properly. I had to go to numerous threads, websites etc to figure this out, so I guess the Dummy part refers to me. I thought I'd start a topic that would put all the info in one place so people don't have to search for it. Hope this help someone from going through all the frustration and #$%@ I did so here goes:

 

BTW, The directions that come with the RKL are a JOKE. There is not even a mention of the myreef software.OK:

 

Before you recieve the RKL do the following: 1. Go to the DA website and register.2. Download myreef 2.0 3. Download and print the FULL directions for the RKL, a pdf file, which is like 18 pages:That will help with any programming issues.

 

http://www.digitalaquatics.com/saltwater/RKL

 

2.When you recieve the unit, check to see if the SID is V2,it will say so right on the USB part. If not, stop here and send the SID to DA for the SID V2. Myreef 2 WILL NOT work without it and you CANNOT update it yourself.You can manually program the RKL in the meantime if you want to.

 

3.Place the USB SID into one of your open USB ports on your computer.When it is recognized, windows will let you know and automatically install the software for it. Do not continue until this happens. I had to reinsert the SID numerous times before it was finally recognized.

 

4.Now open myreef....it should recognize the SID V2 which needs no update.

 

5.Now hook up the head unit by using the telephone double ended female connector....the SID phone jack plugs into 1 end and the RKL head unit plugs into the other end of the connector. myreef should recognize the head unit and tell you if it needs to be updated. I again had to connect and reconnect several times and close and reopen myreef before the head unit was finally recognized.Click UPDATE if needed.

 

6. Disconnect the head unit when done with any updates and now connect the PC4 Module directly to the SID...no need for the coupler....just plug the SID directly into the PC4 where the iTemp is normally connected.Its one of the two phone jack inputs on the end of the PC4 on the same end where the on off switch is located. Leave unit off. The pc4 should now show up on myreef and you can again update as needed.NOTE: In my case myreef said that I didn't need any updates, but I couldn't get everything to work right. I ended up doing a "forced" update on the head unit AND the PC4 and then a factory reset to get everything to work. At the bottom of the update screen it gives you the option to update even if not( according to myreef) needed. Keep that in mind if you have trouble later.

 

7. Now you should be ready to program. Hook up the head unit to the PC4 using one of the female phone jacks and connect the SID directly to the other ....where the i Temp would normally be connected. The iTemp is not connected at this point..The SID is of course plugged into your USB port. Now your entire system should be recognized by myreef and you can program everything from there. Its pretty self explanatory from there but I would just mention the following:

 

a. Name each channel with the channel number AND the function. It is way less confusing that way.Example for CH 1....name it: 1 heater CH2 could be 2 Fan etc. Also remember when setting up the heater and fan/chiller you must pick Controller for each one, not heater or fan in order to fully program it. I got confused on that one. :D Also you can name the entire Module whatever you want.

 

b. It is best to program everything either before your light cycle starts or after it is over. Otherwise the set on /off times may not be recognized.

 

I won't go through all the programming because its pretty intuitive from the myreef software.

 

Now remove the SID from the RKL and assemble the complete RKL with the head unit in one phone jack input and the iTemp in the other. Place the iTemp probe in an area of high flow....power on, and the temp should register on the head unit. You can go into the module that you named earlier and scroll through the 4 channels and you can check the status of each. All the settings you programmed in via myreef should be there.

 

 

 

I hope this helps someone from going through what I did :D Please add anything you think will help

 

EDIT: I wanted to add this so someone else doesn't go insane. Some channels can fail to work correctly with certain functions and devices. This is particularly true for channels 2 and 3. If any device fails to turn on/off when programmed or has any other problems with programming try a different channel.There may be some type of compatibility issue. One of the things I could not get to work correctly was wavemaker with a Koralia powerhead on channel 3. I tried for a ridiculous amount of time, searched and finally found a reference to this issue. I swapped channels with another device, programmed each channel appropriately and VOILA! everything worked.

Edited by bioload
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Great write up, only wish i could use my mac.....

 

Can't the new macs function in a windows environment? Anyway they really should have a prog just for macs. Thanks, BTW and I figured if I help one person my time was well spent because of all the people who helped me.

Edited by bioload
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Thanks for this. I'm thinking of getting an RKL and probably will soon, so this should be really helpful.

 

Where did you get your RKL from, and for how much? Supposedly if you get one direct from DA it may already be updated to the newest firmware...

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Thanks for this. I'm thinking of getting an RKL and probably will soon, so this should be really helpful.

 

Where did you get your RKL from, and for how much? Supposedly if you get one direct from DA it may already be updated to the newest firmware...

 

 

119.00 from Marine Depot. Came in a couple days and had all the latest firmware and the SID V2 which is the most important thing because you can't update it on your own. After 1 day everything is working perfectly.The only thing I haven't done yet is program my MH to turn off if the system temp goes beyond a certain point. No rush on that here in Michigan since its been below zero every night for the last week or so :D Glad to help!!! P.S. I just noticed I spelled "receive" incorrectly...more than once....sorry.

Edited by bioload
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Can't the new macs function in a windows environment? Anyway they really should have a prog just for macs. Thanks, BTW and I figured if I help one person my time was well spent because of all the people who helped me.

They can run windows but you would have to buy the windows software to do so. XP was great for this but Microsoft doesnt sell it anymore. There's no way I would do that so I can run/upgrade my RKL.

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They can run windows but you would have to buy the windows software to do so. XP was great for this but Microsoft doesnt sell it anymore. There's no way I would do that so I can run/upgrade my RKL.

 

That's too bad because it is so easy to program and update from myreef. My fluctuating temp seems to be a thing of the past, its been a steady 79.2 since last night.. My question is does anyone know how accurate the iTemp probe is out of the box? If you calibrated it, how? It seems to register about 1 degree higher than my old cheap digital thermometer. I would assume the iTemp is more accurate without any calibrating ???

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Thanks for this. I'm thinking of getting an RKL and probably will soon, so this should be really helpful.

 

Where did you get your RKL from, and for how much? Supposedly if you get one direct from DA it may already be updated to the newest firmware...

 

There are a few people still selling the basic unit for $99. Do a google search, or use the tool in my sig. Bulk Reef Supply did a price match for mine, and I saved like $50 on the RKL level 3 with NET.

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There are a few people still selling the basic unit for $99. Do a google search, or use the tool in my sig. Bulk Reef Supply did a price match for mine, and I saved like $50 on the RKL level 3 with NET.

 

Just make sure you get the SID V2 with it because you can't use myreef prog without it.Everything else can be up dated to the latest firmware as long as you have the correct SID. If the SID is not the correct version you can send it back to DA for the V2 version at no charge, but I'm too impatient for that :mellow: If you don't mind an extra wait the savings may be worth it to you.If the $99 version includes the SID V2 then its a no brainer.

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Nice write-up bioload! You can get a splitter from DA that will allow you to have your itemp probe connected as well as your SID so you can monitor and graph your tank via myReef. The splitter and cables are straight-through cables and not phone cables, phone cables can damage the system so get any parts needed directly from DA.

 

As far as calibrating that depend on how far from the head unit the probe is. Mine have always been pretty spot on. If you do need to calibrate it then in the head unit go to Menu - Modules - RKL - itemp and choose calibrate. Put in a known good temp preferably around 78-80 degrees and it is done.

 

msujeff, do what I do and find an old Dell that had XP on it and peel the M$ label off the side/top and use that key. Dells with XP have never been activated so once you put it on a new PC you activate it and all goes well. Technically as long as the old Dell is no longer used it is legal since you can only run it on one PC and the old Dell is no longer running.

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Nice write-up bioload! You can get a splitter from DA that will allow you to have your itemp probe connected as well as your SID so you can monitor and graph your tank via myReef. The splitter and cables are straight-through cables and not phone cables, phone cables can damage the system so get any parts needed directly from DA.

 

As far as calibrating that depend on how far from the head unit the probe is. Mine have always been pretty spot on. If you do need to calibrate it then in the head unit go to Menu - Modules - RKL - itemp and choose calibrate. Put in a known good temp preferably around 78-80 degrees and it is done.

 

Thanks! How would you determine what a "good" temp would be? I have a digital probe,and a stick on the tank one and everything reads at a different temp? The iTemp probe reads the highest, a full degree+ above the others.I guess close enough?

 

Thanks for the tip on the DA splitter I'll check into the cost on that.

 

As an update, there were a few settings I wanted to change so this morning I disconnected the iTemp probe and plugged in the phone jack end of the SID then plugged the USB part into my laptop port. Then I started myreef. My system was recognized right away and I made my changes in a couple minutes. All my changes were immediately updated on the RKL head unit. Cool!

Edited by bioload
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There are a few people still selling the basic unit for $99. Do a google search, or use the tool in my sig. Bulk Reef Supply did a price match for mine, and I saved like $50 on the RKL level 3 with NET.

 

Thanks! I didn't know BRS would price match. Just contacted them since I'd rather buy from them than some of the less reputable companies out there.

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Thanks! I didn't know BRS would price match. Just contacted them since I'd rather buy from them than some of the less reputable companies out there.

 

 

I wonder if they include the latest SID V2? If so then its a great deal. Still a good deal if you don't mind sending a pre V2 back to DA for the new one.(free upgrade)

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Mod.........my itemp probe kept coming loose....those suction cups never hold it seems. I superglued the suction cup to the inside of this:

 

http://www.marinedepot.com/Two_Little_Fish...IMTAMCM-vi.html

 

 

Now it stays just where I want it. The itemp reads exactly the same before and after so I don't think the magnet interferes with accuracy.

Edited by bioload
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msujeff, do what I do and find an old Dell that had XP on it and peel the M$ label off the side/top and use that key. Dells with XP have never been activated so once you put it on a new PC you activate it and all goes well. Technically as long as the old Dell is no longer used it is legal since you can only run it on one PC and the old Dell is no longer running.

Thanks but my macbook is about 4.5 years old so I do not have bootcamp or the updated OS.

 

Mod.........my itemp probe kept coming loose....those suction cups never hold it seems. I superglued the suction cup to the inside of this:

 

http://www.marinedepot.com/Two_Little_Fish...IMTAMCM-vi.html

 

Now it stays just where I want it. The itemp reads exactly the same before and after so I don't think the magnet interferes with accuracy.

Suction cups are weird sometimes. My itemp has remained in the exact same spot since i put it in there.

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Thanks but my macbook is about 4.5 years old so I do not have bootcamp or the updated OS.

 

 

Suction cups are weird sometimes. My itemp has remained in the exact same spot since i put it in there.

 

I've never trusted suction cups for long term placement. One thing I used to do before the magnet mounts for powerheads(or anything with suction cups) was to apply aquarium silicone sealant to the suction cups and then stick the suction cup mount onto the aquarium glass wall where I wanted it. Just hold it there for a minute or two and it would stay put. A razor blade would remove it if and when you wanted to. If a powerhead with suction cups came loose which it seems they invariably did they could spray water anywhere disturbing or injuring your corals or even spraying water into your MH......not good.

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Do you know the difference between the new itemp and the 1/2" thick probe a few months ago? If so, why the change?

 

No clue. All I know is my itemp reads a full degree above 3 other thermometers I've tried now. Just gonna leave as is, I think the most important thing is stability and the RKL with the fan and heater used on controller function is keeping my temp rock steady. Also I have alarms set now for my MH to trip off at 84 and my heater to do the same, That redundancy with the heater should make it virtually impossible to fry my tank even if the heater thermostat was to malfunction and stick in the "on" mode.

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I just bought another PC4 so I could plug in my heater. Temp hasn't moved since I did it. Habit a controller is so nice and completely worth the money. Setting up different delays for standby is sooo nice during feedings.

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All new RKL/E's are being shipped with the SID v2. The temp probes for the RK's are VERY accurate (not lab grade mind you, but close enough).

 

A 1'f difference isn't large enough to worry about.

 

Btw, bioload you do NOT NEED the software to program the Reefkeeper units... it makes it easier but is definitely not necessary. As a matter of fact, I would recommend AGAINST only using the software. Otherwise if you are stuck in a pinch/emergency and don't know your way around the controller it becomes MUCH more difficult to identify/fix your issue if you run a large RKE setup (like I do on my 120).

 

Remember MSUJEFF to plug your heater into port ONE only on the PC4's. Otherwise the powerload can "lock" the channel in the on position, which can cause problems as well. A better way to do temp control is to plug your heater into a GFCI plug that bypasses your RKE/L completely and set the temp at the desired temp, Then setup some fans that can be turned on/off from the RKE/L. Give that channel a 1/2'f heuristics range, and your temp will never fluxuate more then 1'f in either direction, and your heater/fans will never fight with either other.

 

As a failsafe setup an alarm that turns off all lights, and sends an audible alarm if the temp goes too high.

IF you have the RKE w/net you can also setup email warnings (which I've got and has saved my ass many times).

 

Spyrule :ninja:

Edited by spyrule
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All new RKL/E's are being shipped with the SID v2. The temp probes for the RK's are VERY accurate (not lab grade mind you, but close enough).

 

A 1'f difference isn't large enough to worry about.

 

Btw, bioload you do NOT NEED the software to program the Reefkeeper units... it makes it easier but is definitely not necessary. As a matter of fact, I would recommend AGAINST only using the software. Otherwise if you are stuck in a pinch/emergency and don't know your way around the controller it becomes MUCH more difficult to identify/fix your issue if you run a large RKE setup (like I do on my 120).

 

Remember MSUJEFF to plug your heater into port ONE only on the PC4's. Otherwise the powerload can "lock" the channel in the on position, which can cause problems as well. A better way to do temp control is to plug your heater into a GFCI plug that bypasses your RKE/L completely and set the temp at the desired temp, Then setup some fans that can be turned on/off from the RKE/L. Give that channel a 1/2'f heuristics range, and your temp will never fluxuate more then 1'f in either direction, and your heater/fans will never fight with either other.

 

As a failsafe setup an alarm that turns off all lights, and sends an audible alarm if the temp goes too high.

IF you have the RKE w/net you can also setup email warnings (which I've got and has saved my ass many times).

 

Spyrule :ninja:

 

Thanks for the info Spyrule! Good stuff. Yeah I'm not worried about the 1 degree diff....I'm going with the itemp as is. As far as the myreef software yeah everyone should know how to prog from both the head unit AND the myreef software IMO. Theres a couple reasons for using the myreef software initially:

 

1.Update if needed. In my case I couldn't get the RKL to work properly until I updated the software even though I apparently allready had the latest firmware.Maybe corrupted OS or some other issue.And you will want to update when DA comes out with new firmware for bug fixes or added features as they become available.

2.MUCH easier to get everything initially set up on your comp screen and being able to customize the names of the channels was a plus, for me at least , less confusion as to what channel was set up for what :P

 

Totally agree you also need to know how to prog from the head unit because you don't want to have to hook up your comp everytime you want to make a small change in your settings.

 

I think you can use 1 OR 4 for high amp equipment like a heater, 2 and 3 won't handle as much.My heater is in 1,with an alarm set to trip the channel off at 84. Also my heater is set at 81 so both the RKL and the heater would have to fail to fry my tank.I have my MH in 4 set to trip at 84 also.

 

Now that I have everything set up I assume I will rarely use the myreef prog, but its nice to know the ins and outs of both.

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84??? (That's rather high)

 

I would lower that is it doesn't leave you room for failure spikes (most corals/marine fish will start to die @ 85-86'f).

 

If I could suggest setting your heater to a lower cut off point, and then set your lights in a steped cutoff (cut off MH's at 83'c, cut off PC/T5's at 85'c).

 

On a side note, if you've got everything working as expected you could always get a USB over Wifi adapter, and keep the software online to talk to your headunit and record information (which is invaluable to test stability of your system).

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84??? (That's rather high)

 

I would lower that is it doesn't leave you room for failure spikes (most corals/marine fish will start to die @ 85-86'f).

 

If I could suggest setting your heater to a lower cut off point, and then set your lights in a steped cutoff (cut off MH's at 83'c, cut off PC/T5's at 85'c).

 

On a side note, if you've got everything working as expected you could always get a USB over Wifi adapter, and keep the software online to talk to your headunit and record information (which is invaluable to test stability of your system).

 

Maybe I should lower the trip temp a bit. I guess I was thinking more in terms of catastrophic failures since last summer without the RKL my temp never got over around 83 (central air) and everything was fine in that range( mostly sps tank). So I will lower that a little, couldn't hurt.

 

The only other lights I have besides the MH are two stunner strips which don't seem to produce much heat but I guess it wouldn't hurt to have them trip off too.

 

The Wifi suggestion is awesome. Thanks!

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One other little thing I forgot to mention. Depending on where you mount your RKL head unit you might not want to permanently affix it using the supplied screws. I mounted mine on the side of my stand where I can easily see it, but its a little inconvenient to program. I attached mine with two small velcro fasteners which keeps the unit firmly affixed but still easily removable for programming.

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This is exactly what I needed! Thanks bioload! I'm currently waiting for my SID to return from DA.

 

I'm interested in getting the NET unit. What's a good USB over wifi unit?

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