August 31 2013,

Vertex Aquaristik had their power house Cerebra Controller on display at MACNA 2013, and they were kind enough to spend time with Reef Builders for a run down of the unit’s immense capabilities. The Cerebra is an Android based controller designed to do more than control and program your usual tank automation needs. Each outlet and probe from the Multi-Bar appears as an icon, and the icon includes relevant data for the hobbyist. As you set ranges and alarms, the icons also indicate whether all is well or not via green, yellow, or red.

They plan to release the usual variety of probes such as pH, conductivity, O2, etc.. But their temperature probe was rather special. They designed it to include red and green LED’s that will help illuminate a dark area of your sump and  indicate whether the temp is in range. Of course you will likely use the controller to text or email you when temp’s are too high, but a nice visual reminder in the sump during your day to day maintenance is a cool addition. The Multi-Bar power strip has visual LED indicator lights as well. As for automation, Vertex will have both optical and float level switches and the Cerebra interfaces nicely with their spectacular Libra dosing system. The amount of Multi-Bar power strips desired is only limited by USB standards for # of devices connected to a single port.

Cerebra runs on an andriod based system, which is one of the defining attributes. Andriod opens it up to do so much more. The HD display allows you to pull up the internet, check email, and anything else you can imagine. Imagine buying a coral from the browser in the controller interface, or doing a quick google lookup to see how much Calcium Chloride to add to your tank volume. We even spent a minute previewing Vertex Youtube videos on the Cerebra! They are also looking into developing an App Store, where vendors and users can develop their own android apps for the Cerebra. And everything can be managed remotely via their cloud-based web interface. The final product will have wifi built in, but they are looking at bluetooth as well.

Pricing is to be determined, but it will fall in line with other controllers while factoring in additional features. Availability is planned for the November/December time frame. Hopefully, we can knock out an in-depth hands-on review then!


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