Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Cons:

  • Lack of Documentation/Outdated Documenation
    • This is my biggest negative for the Reef Angel. It seems like there isn’t much documentation, or what they have is outdated. This is most frustrating in relation to changes, both to the hardware and libraries, overtime. A perfect example: I purchased my Reef Angel used. I had no idea this meant that I had an outdated Relay Box that needed an additional (albeit cheap) part to get my PWM signal for my LEDs since current Relay Boxes include it.
  • Open Source
    • Normally this would be a Pro (and, in face I list it there as well) but it does create some drawbacks. Since some of the programs that are used in relation to it are created by sources outside of Reef Angel, they occasionally cause issues. Updates to the libraries can also create issues with these programs. A prime example: I installed the desktop sidebar app. However, apparently this causes issues with the wifi, and I ended up unable to keep a connection more than an hour at a time. Once I deleted this, and updated the Reef Angel Client, all my wifi issues disappeared.

Pros:

  • Open Source
    • Apart from what I wrote above, I see Open Source as a great thing. I can update the libraries as I see fit for my own needs if I wish, or create my own applications to interact with the controller. Of course, the one caveat to this is that I need to be aware of how updates to the controller’s software would interact with the custom software.
  • Versatile
    • With a little coding, you can do things that are outside the box. The Arduino Coding language is based on C and C++, making picking it up fairly easy. I have done a fair number of things that were entirely custom to my personal setup.
  • Cost
    • At the time of my purchase, it was the cheapest option that included everything I needed.
  • Support
    • Hands down, this is the best part about the Reef Angel. What it lacks in documentation, it more than makes up with in support.  They are EXTREMELY helpful with any and all questions on the Reef Angel forum. They have helped me from the simply questions to helping with complex issues.
  • Remote Connection
    • Gotta love accessing the vital statistics about your aquarium on the go!

Overall, I am pleased with my Reef Angel. I definitely would recommend it. Until my recent issues with poor documentation, I absolutely loved this thing. However, their support makes up for the documentation.  Fair warning, it’s the only controller I’ve used… but definitely so far I’ve been impressed!