The wireless EcoDrift models of propeller pumps follow on the wildly successful EcoDrift pumps from Aqua Medic. The EcoDrift line now includes wireless control in all of the EcoDrift models, as well as an EcoDrift Wireless Master controller which can communicate to an unlimited number of other EcoDrift pumps.
The pumps in the wireless EcoDrift line are exactly the same as before, and only the controller has been upgraded with new features. The wireless control is the most obvious new addition to the line, but each controller now also has a port for external wired control using 1-10v input.
Although the EcoDrift controllers have wireless control, two pumps cannot communicate directly to each other, this is where the EcoDrift Wireless Master unit comes in. The wireless master can adjust pump speed, wave frequency, and there are two channels of ‘effects’ that the Ecodrift wireless master can enable. The EcoDrift Wireless Master can also alternate between each channel of flow pattern, with a built in timer from anywhere between one and 99 minutes.
The EcoDrift Wireless Master doesn’t seem to synch with the EcoDrift controllers, instead it seems to broadcast a simple signal that the wireless EcoDrifts listen to for instructions, making set up and wireless control much easier than an actual digital synch. This means that it’s a breeze to synch up to EcoDrift pumps to make a wave on the same pulse, but you can’t effectively put them into anti-synch the way you can with a Tunze Stream or Vortech pump.
The EcoDrift Wireless basic approach to wire-free control gives up some of the more sophisticated features but it makes the pumps and controller dead simple to use. At first all the buttons and indicator LEDs on the EcoDrift controllers might be confusing to look at. But once it sinks in the analog interface of the EcoDrift controllers is actually quite intuitive to use, and we didn’t have to look up the instructions to perform any of the pumps’ functions.
It’s no secret that the Aqua Medic EcoDrift are based on the Jebao WP propeller pumps but at least with Aqua Medic you get a higher level of fit and finish, and especially customer support should anything go wrong. With the new wireless control features, reasonable pricing and decent performance at moving water, we wouldn’t hesitate to use the new EcoDrift Wireless on our own tank.
If you’ve got multiple tanks, the wireless master will make it so much easier to adjust your pump flows and patterns on the fly, especially to briefly shut them all down for temporary top-down viewing. Pricing on the new wireless EcoDrifts, the wireless master or controller upgrade is totally unknown, since we expect Aqua Medic won’t have these ready until some time around InterZoo at the end of May.