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Old 12/31/2019, 10:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Howell, Mi
Posts: 94
Question AFS disassembly

Anyone taken an AFS apart? Mine is a couple years old and for the second time rotates multiple times on a feeding and frequently does not stop in the right position to retract. Not spending $ for another repair want to look inside to see if I can resolve. Could not find a thread saying how to open the feeder up to get at the insides. Anyone pulled one of these apart?

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Old 12/31/2019, 08:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Livingston, NJ
Posts: 851
Tagging along... I have two non-functioning AFSs...

"I love the smell of skimate in the morning..."

Current Tank Info: Multiple - 600+ Net Gallons
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Old 01/01/2020, 11:17 AM   #3
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Location: Howell, Mi
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There is a clear film on the front of the AFS covering the access points and the Neptune logo. Once removed there are 2 plastic clips, with 2 prongs each, on either side of the USB plugs that need to be released to get the body separated. I got one side released at a time but went slow as not to damage. The screws you see hold the circuit board in place and do not have to be removed to get the AFS apart.

Inside there is a photo interrupter switch that controls operation. When the wheel completes a full turn the switch is tripped by a small piece of plastic on the barrel extending from the body that holds the food drum, motor reverses and the drum returns to home base. I'm not an EE major so trying to figure out why the switch is not operating all the time. Maybe the width of the plastic that blocks the light is to narrow or the interrupter switch is not aligned properly? Still playing with it so stay tuned, any suggestions would be helpful.

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Old 01/02/2020, 12:54 PM   #4
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Watching operation the drum shaft/barrel turns around twice: the first run is extension of the food drum and the second rotates the drum to dispense the food. On the first rotation the plastic off the barrel goes past the switch quickly and does not trip the reverse of the motor. After dispensing the food as the barrel rotates in the fully extended position right before the home position it hits one of the risers on the barrel sleeve which slows the motor enough for the switch to be tripped reversing the motor, that is the clicking sound we hear as the drum gets close to the retraction position. I'd think over time the height of the riser will wear down and stop the switch from signalling the reversal of the motor.

After assembling the AFS seems to be working correctly, for now. I think the exact position of the circuit board - and the sensor attached to it, is the primary cause of the malfunction. Be careful when inserting the USB plug. The board is held in position by 4 guides and gap to the AFS body set by 4 posts. The only hing holding the board in place is a 2 sided sticky adhesive on the top, not screwed down. I think as the AFS is running the movement in the body/vibration and the tacky adhesive is allowing the board to move out of ideal position resulting the switch not being tripped to reverse the motor.

We'll see what happens over time now that I'm working properly again. What was happening was the drum would rotate multiple time and not retract in the correct location/ not good on the motor or gears. I'd fill it up and after a few days find the drum not in the correct position and empty - dumping a whole drum into my tank. Can you say massive over feeding and chemical spikes? For the money I'd think this would have been engineered and field tested a little better, worst Neptune product I've tried. Hopefully a next gen will be better designed and manufactured.

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Old 04/03/2021, 08:22 AM   #5
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Location: Ladera Ranch, CA
Posts: 587
Curious if your AFS problems were solved by disassembly and reassembly? Any other tricks to get it working properly?

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neptune afs disassembly

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