Aquaero 5 XT controller review
The new device offers considerably enhanced system monitoring tools and more flexible control settings provided not only for fans but for a wide selection of peripherals, thus resulting in a complex autonomous control over your entire system.
Through panel control
You probably have figured out that you can control Aquaero 5 not only via Aquasuite 2012, but through front panel too. Unlike previous generation of controller, Aquaero 5 features nearly whole set of settings required for full configuration of the device though front panel. Menu navigation is organized via three main buttons and in case of XT version, via four additional programmable buttons and a Remote Control Unit.
Remote Control Unit
First thing you notice when looking at Remote Control Unit at is it has QWERTY button layout. Digits and Symbols are entered by honing green or blue ALT button respectively. Larger buttons in upper right corner make menu navigation much faster and easier. Just opposite these buttons you’ll find a joystick, that could replace PC mouse, although the cursor moves very slowly. More functions can be revealed with IR-receiver connected to Aquaero 5.
Remote Control Unit is quite small, 9x9cm. Smooth curves at the back add comfort while holding it in hands. The unit is power from two AAA standard batteries that are included with the package.
Settings up automatic fan control is similar to what have seen in Aquasuite 2012. A slight difference is in workflow. First you have to pick the control mode (set the name and configure it) and select the temperature source:
Menu/Controller/… select control mode(set name)…/Data source/… select sensor…
Next you have to assign the fan:
Menu/Outputs/Fans/… select control channel…/data source/… select control mode…/… select control mode you already configured…
System safety features
At the moment the variety of safety function provided bu front panel control is wide that one offered Aquasuite 2012 beta 8. In case of system malfunction, controller can execute three successive steps. Possible commands for execution are, as follows:
- Speed signal generator on
- Speed signal generator off
- Alarm buzzer on
- Alarm buzzer off
- Alarm buzzer cycle on-off
- Alarm single tone
- Relay on
- Relay off
- Switch relay for 2 sec
- Switch relay for 10 sec
- Load profile (1-4)
- USB keyboard: Power key
- USB keyboard: Sleep key
- USB keyboard: Wake-up key
Moreover, Aquaero 5 can show “Warning/Alarm” message directly on controllers display.
Here is an example of how to configure the relay to shut down system in case of overheating according to temperature sensor readings:
Menu/Alarm/Alarm and warning levels/Alarm_Warning 4/1st action to be performed/Switch relay for two seconds
Then go back few steps to assign the temperature for safety feature execution:
Menu/Alarm/Temperatures/Temperature alarm 1/Data source/… select sensor…
In ”Configuration” settings select “Temperature exceeds limit” alarm type. “Limit for alarm” sets the value that will trigger the safety feature when reached. In “Set alarm level” select “Alarm_Warning 4”.
After doing so, your system will automatically shut down when temperature of selected sensor will exceed the “Limit for alarm” value. Moreover, the relay will switch for 2 second only and return to its initial state automatically. We recommend these particular relay settings, as controls made though front panel does not require starting of Aquasuite 2012 or eve OS.
Besides temperatures, you can set alarm/warning action to fans speed signal, flow rate, water level in reservoir (requires “Tubemeter”), as well as operation status of Aquacomputers pumps.
Among other interesting options of front panel controls, we should note “Data log” feature displayed as a charts on Aquaero 5 LCD. Data logging can be set for the following parameters:
- flow rate
- fan speed
- fan power voltage
- fan consumed current
- water level in reservoir
- Amount of heat transferred between two point in LC loop
Flow sensor settings has its own peculiarities. For example, it has options to select calibration values according to Aquacomputers flow meter model, or feature to connect the second flow meter instead of 1st fan channel. For the last to work correctly you will need to perform the following changes:
menu/sensors/Flow sensors/flow 2/modes/ Fan 1 = Flow sensor
We have already mentioned that Aquaero 5 XT (or Pro) can have special IR-module connected. Not only it can provide functionality of a keyboard+mouse set, but allows to turn on/off PC with just a push of a button on remote control unit. Moreover, Aquaero 5 XT (or Pro) can learn IR commands from devices other that PC, for example, you home cinema.