EcoTech Marine announces EcoSmart Live Beta
EcoTech Marine announced earlier this week that they are starting Beta testing of their new EcoSmart Live update which adds the much anticipated VorTech control as well as a slew of other features. I was able to get in on the Beta and take a look around. If you are interested in joining the Beta yourself, I will include the instructions to sign up below.
The new update includes a completely redesigned webpage that doesn’t look anything at all like the old one. It loads much faster and is much more responsive to clicks and settings changes. It is clear that the new version of the software is geared more towards daily/instant control features with prominent buttons for things like feed mode, that are accessible without having to go into sub-menu’s, etc.
The Radion programming in EcoSmart Live was already fairly robust with the ability to change and program individual parameters, live preview, etc. Some additional features such as the ability to adjust the override timer, lunar phases, and travelling sunrise/sunset have been added which are a nice touch.
As you can see from the picture, the software allows you to schedule different pump modes throughout the day by dragging the mode you want onto a timeline. Once on the timeline, you can lengthen and shorten the bars to adjust how long each mode runs. The timeline approach is really intuitive and easy to use. Clicking on an individual mode on the timeline will open a drop- down box allowing you to adjust the relevant parameters (max speed, pulse length, etc.).
With the new visual interface, it opens a whole bunch of programming options that otherwise weren’t possible on the pump itself. For example, you now have the ability to set what speed the pumps go to when feed mode is activated. Instead of just being stuck with 50% you can choose 50%, 25%, lowest speed, or “barely”, though it doesn’t explicitly say what “barely” is. Hopefully some tips will be added as the beta progresses.
You can also edit the duration of the feed mode, the speed the pumps will operate at while on a battery backup, the length of time you can override the program using the buttons on the controller, and set the LED’s on the driver to dim after a time of inactivity. All things you might not have even known you wanted the ability to change until you had the ability to do so!
Also new is the “Aquarium Layout” feature. This page allows you to enter the dimensions of your aquarium and layout the placement of your pumps and lights. To be entirely honest, at this point I didn’t see much use for this at the moment but I have a feeling it will come in handy for things like the promised “Gyre Wizard” that is supposed to be coming soon. At the very least, the pumps show up when using the VorTech “Live Demo” tab so it can be useful to help visualize with which pump you’re working.
Keep in mind that this is still an early Beta. Slots are limited but if you are interested in participating you can join by logging into your existing EcoSmart Live account and going to the settings menu and opening “Manage Account”. From there a small checkbox is in the bottom that says “Participate in Beta Releases.” Check that box and agree to the terms. Keep in mind that being a Beta it is fully expected that there will be some bugs and glitches, as well as a certain level of risk. As of this morning though there were still openings to join the Beta.