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Thread: A Tale of Two Autofeeders

  1. #1
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    A Tale of Two Autofeeders

    Apologies to Charles Dickens!

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    I've used the solar type Esa-Yari Meijin for years (known also as Feeding Master or PXF-17) and have had very little issue. It has proven to be a reliable durable little unit that gets the job done with very little fuss, and is pretty much the standard in koi greenhouses and mud ponds throughout Japan.

    With this being said, you have to choose between solar and AC models which isn't necessarily a bad thing unless you move the unit between spots with no AC power and little direct sunlight.

    Although all my original units are still functioning pretty well (thanks to battery changes) and I've gotten good use out of them, I'm at a point now where I need to buy quite a few more. Honestly, cost is an issue and there are not a lot of options for purchase. These units can be bought for about 70,000 yen retail (~$650) in Japan but then you are left with the choice between air shipping ($$$) and surface/ocean freight. This adds either significant cost or delayed delivery time for the unit. The PXF-17 is available for sale retail in the US but at a hefty price, essentially double what it costs in Japan. Not such an issue when buying a single unit but becomes a major capital outlay if you are buying say...5 to 10 units at the same time. I'd rather spend that money on facilities or parent stock!

    Looking around for options, I came across a unit that looks strangely similar to the PXF-17 and claimed similar functionality. Coming down to crunch time and having to find a solution, I decided to order one of these units to test and see. I have to say I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised when I unboxed the unit on delivery. It was rugged and well made although I was expecting something cheap and flimsy. I've only run a few tests so far, but it performed better than I expected and provides good cost performance as well. Heavy feeding will commence in a little more than a month, so time will tell how it holds up to heavy usage.

    Again, I'm impressed with what I see so far but do have a few observations and a wish list. The unit looks so similar to the PXF-17 so I wouldn't be surprised if a claim arose from that...we'll see I guess. The programming interface is solid, but not quite as simple as what I'm accustomed to. Also, there are no adjustable leg bolts to help level the unit on an uneven surface. Feeding platforms over mud ponds sink and move over time and it's much easier to adjust the legs of the unit than it is the platform itself. These bolts also have a plate that allows you to screw into the wooden platform and keep the unit securely in place. I'm sure there's another way to "bolt it down" so to speak, but not out of the box. I hope they consider this in the future.

    I've attached a photo of the two units side by side for comparison. I'm hoping that it doesn't disappoint so that I can order more and spend the funds saved elsewhere where it can make a difference. Please let me know your thoughts or experiences with this unit if you have any.
    Last edited by Brian; 03-16-2019 at 11:17 PM. Reason: corrected grammar
    Brian Sousa
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  2. #2
    Sansai
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    The hobbyists model from the same manufacturer.

    Not quite as robust when you go scratching inside.

  3. #3
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
    The hobbyists model from the same manufacturer.

    Not quite as robust when you go scratching inside.
    I've heard that from a few people, but I don't think that Fukushin Denki (producer of the PFX-17) has anything to do with this unit. Besides the unit being slightly bigger (and the solar panel as well), the programming panel and buttons and circuit board inside is quite different. If it was just a cheaper version of the original then I would expect to see some of the same components being recycled, the programming interface in particular. SeaSide Aquatics lists it as being made by Hai Feng, so it's probably made in Taiwan or China and not Japan.
    Brian Sousa
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  4. #4
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I've heard that from a few people, but I don't think that Fukushin Denki (producer of the PFX-17) has anything to do with this unit. Besides the unit being slightly bigger (and the solar panel as well), the programming panel and buttons and circuit board inside is quite different. If it was just a cheaper version of the original then I would expect to see some of the same components being recycled, the programming interface in particular. SeaSide Aquatics lists it as being made by Hai Feng, so it's probably made in Taiwan or China and not Japan.
    What is the price difference in the States?

  5. #5
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
    What is the price difference in the States?
    $550 for this one versus $1380 for the Fukushin feeder. Quite a big difference.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  6. #6
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    $550 for this one versus $1380 for the Fukushin feeder. Quite a big difference.
    Thank you.

    Buy now, mumble later.

    You get what you pay for!

    What would we do without China?

    Mumble less.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    They sure do look alike.

  8. #8
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    They sure do look alike.
    Yes they do. It was obviously modeled after the Fukushin unit.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

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