BRAND NEW Product! Controller for Protein Skimmers

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers' started by MadMAX, Mar 18, 2016.

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  1. MadMAX

    MadMAX 3reef Sponsor

    Aug 23, 2009
    It has been quite some time since my last "Lazy Reefmeister" sequel. Dummies Dummies

    The last subjects were written during my grad school years; back when I needed a break from the mundane accounting, marketing, and finance classes. Most were posted on RC, but like many of you reading this today, we no longer associate with that site. So, I revive the lazy Reefmeister here today to show off a device that I find particularly worthy of mention:

    The "SOS" Skimmer Overflow Stopper, is offered by the Zaya Company

    The SOS retails for about $50 and is no larger than your standard VHS video cassette (LOL, that pretty much indicates my age)


    So, I must admit that my first impressions were somewhat unimpressed and skeptical. I mean, just how much "control" is really necessary for your average every day protein skimmer? Well, you are about to find out!


    First, ignore the two probes coming off the right side of the unit for now. Those are really "bonus" features, that are quite cool and absolutely desirable, but lets take a gander at the main unit and what is does for your expensive air blender, skimmate Juicer, Fred, or whatever else you've nicknamed your protein skimming device. I'm thinkin' about starting a company called Bubble Queen; it'll skim your water, iron your clothes, make your coffee (slap) HEY, this is MY thread, Dammn It! I can day dream all I want. : )
    Seriously though, if I'm gonna pay nearly $2k for a cone of acrylic with a pump attached, it sure as heck better do more than blow air if you know what I mean (cough)

    So, Did I mention the SOS is only $50? You can't bring home a McDonnalds dinner for your family for that price, much less purchase something useful for your reef, right? Well, read on, Luke Skywalker

    The fancy Table of Contents you see written on the face of our SOS is really not as complicated as it looks. The device (independent of those probes) is basically a On/Off timer. Push the button, and your skimmer turns off. Hit the button twice, and the skimmer stays off longer. Hit the button Thrice and (well, you get the idea) Our little Time Machine here is evidently meant to give us time to:
    - Clean the skimmer
    - Feed your Fish
    - Medicate your tank
    - Silence your Wife

    HEY! I TOLD you this was MY day-dream, alright?

    Which for some strange reason now reminds me of those probe things :)

    So, probe number 1 is mounted on your Protein Skimmer Collection Cup. Normally the probe wire is looped between the collection cup and its lid, but since my skimmer had vent holes already drilled into its lid, I simply reamed one of the holes a little wider so as to allow the probe to be inserted through the lid. (cleaner look i think)


    The little cube you see on the outside is merely a rare-earth magnet designed to help hold the probe in place.
    closer inspection of the probe will reveal two pin/needle like devices. In a nutshell, if water makes contact with both of those probes it sends a signal to shut off power to the receptacle on the bottom of the unit. Surely you've figured out by now what this does.
    Step A) Water goes into the cup,
    Step B) the cup nearly runneth over
    Step C) The SOS dials up some guy named Vinny who proceeds to drive to SCE and break the knee caps of whoever controls the electrical grid. (slap) Stop it!

    The probe creates an interruption of the circuit thus shutting off power and sounding a faint alarm
    Upon draining your cup, power is then restored, Pump comes back on, and Skimmer, Hobbyist, and Fish Community all are in happy Equilibrium once more.

    Here is an INSIDE shot of the actual probe:


    Now, before the owner of Zaya starts calling me and yelling at me for being such a pin head, let me confess that this is the WRONG way to install your overflow probe. If you'll notice the open face of the plastic holder is pointed OUT. Well, this is a splash guard. and......well, come on guys, I was doing this at like 3AM, Ok? (sigh) be sure to turn it around when YOU do it so that random splash during skimmer operation does not inadvertently trigger your power off.

    I mean, we wouldn't want "Premature De-fractionation" now would we? (Badda Boom!)

    Ok, focus people
    So what does this really do for you? It turns off your skimmer OFF automatically whenever your skimmer cup is full, then back on when you drain it.
    Which begs the question....
    WHY oh WHY couldn't those expensive skimmer manufacturers not implement something like this into their unGodly overpriced designs??? I mean, really $2k and you couldn't add $50 worth of electronics? (sigh) Me and this Zaya guy really need to talk. My "Bubble Queen" idea is really beginning to sound better and better now that I think about it.

    OH but WAIT! Call NOW and we will DOUBLE our offer. TWO probes for the price of ONE! That's right, call now and we will give you TWO input probes (pay only additional shipping and handling, premium upcharges, State tax, federal tax, manufacturers tax, retailers tax, reefers tax....)

    No, seriously, there IS a very useful purpose for the second water probe:


    Remember what happens when you shut your return pump off and your sump fills up with water? Thats right. Your skimmer goes absolutely bonkers!

    So THIS probe senses the water level in your sump and thus cuts the power to your skimmer should there be a sudden rise in water level. Water rises above normal parameters...skimmer turns off....water level drops back to normal levels.....skimmer powers back on, EQUILIBRIUM is restored and World Peace is finally realized in our lifetime thanks to the Lazy Reefme.....(slap!)

    So HERE is a close up shot of that same probe, only from an "inside view" from inside the sump


    Ok, let me just say this before I get into trouble....
    NO iPhones were harmed, injured, or otherwise stressed during the production of this article.
    but I will let you know that yours truly definitely put his equipment in jeopardy in order to bring these photos to your computer screen.
    I mean, I was totally on the verge of dropping this puppy right into a frosty saltwater bath the whole time that I'm maneuvering into nothing else....IF NOTHING ELSE, please respect the daredevil that lurks from within. (that's right).

    By The Way, have you ever tried to take a "cell phone selfy"? NO, not of YOU. I mean, literally a selfy of THE CELL PHONE.
    It doesn't work. You try taking a picture in the mirror and it only reflects back your cell phone's screen in a mirror, of a screen showing a mirror, of a mirror in a ....ok now I'm getting a headache. Hmmmm, perhaps if you mutter "Candy Man" three times in a row, it'll.... (shut up Lazy)

    So HERE is the system all in one shot:
    I refuse to divulge the make/model of my skimmer (rhymes with "Nicaragua Tax") because it is a total piece of crap.
    But the SOS on the other hand, that I AM VERY happy with! It is brilliant in its simplicity. Moreover I can really appreciate the thought and ingenuity that went into this thing, AND MOST OF ALL.....the fact that the inventor decided to keep it affordable! Quite seriously, I think a price point of about $100 (with probes and all) is justified and would still be a great bargain. Again this is only my humble opinion.
    The SOS is not only inexpensive but may also save your tank one of these days, especially if you have your system hooked up to an Auto Top Off device of some sort. The SOS is yet another back-up of safety, not to mention a major convenience item.

    Speaking of safety, I like to use these little wire retainers every now and then, not only to provide that clean installation look, but to keep things from accidentally falling into the water.


    I'm not saying that has ever happened to me (cough) but I can imagine

    Or if you are really bored you can always take some really cool Laserium photographs with your poor, abused and exploited iPhone camera:
    (hmmm, ipilf)


    Ok, that's it for now folks! I just wanted to bring this product to your attention as it is one of the neatest things I've seen come around for quite some time. It is nice to see new innovative things that are not just copy cats of other people's inventions. My Bubble Queen gets a free pass though. : )

    KUDOS to Zaya Company on a job well done! The SOS Skimmer Overflow Stopper should sell very well.

    Until next time......

    Armydog likes this.