Who here is still looping?

Just wondering who here is still using LOOP ?
Which version/branch are you on and why?

I personally love looping and plan on doing it for quite some time. I recently purchased a use Macbook Air for $300 and re-programmed my loop. I pesonally chose Autobolus because I couldn’t get freeaps to work plus it is going unsupported. I haven’t turned on the Autobolus feature yet though.

I also recently bought the Orangelink and love it! So much better range than the RileyLink and I love that it takes AAA batteries and doesn’t need a nightly charge.

I thought I read somewhere on facebook that the G7 is supposed to work as is with loop, but I could be wrong. Anyone know anything about that?

(I read the boards while at work but don’t have access to facebook at work, so I can’t copy/paste).

Hi, Brad. I’m still looping and would really miss it if for some reason I had to stop.

I use Loop with a MiniMed 722 pump. I’ve only ever used the master branch and have not experimented with the auto bolus branch or any custom tweaks. I’ve enjoyed success with the master branch and that success has tamped down any interest to experiment with other branches.

I’ve also read that the Dexcom G7 will be compatible with Loop but I don’t think that can actually be known before Dexcom ships the G7 and Loop developers have a chance to integrate it into Loop.

It’s nice to see that there’s a good alternative to the RileyLink. I’ve been reasonably satisfied with my RL performance but do notice regular, but not extended, drop-outs. I’ll stick with my RLs for the time being but great to know a better system is available.

I’ve been on this system for 4.5 years now and am very happy with it. It’s not perfect and I do need to pay attention every day so I can keep it happy.

When I read discussions on the current commercial closed-loop hybrid systems, I am grateful that I can choose a glucose target that works for me. My target is much lower than what Medtronic or Tandem permit. I also have direct access and control of a wide array of settings including insulin basal rates and insulin sensitivity factors as well as protective settings like maximum bolus and max temporary basal rate.

It’s my longer-term plan to jump over to a commercial offering as I get older. At this time, however, the performance gap between DIY and commercial is too wide for me. I’m sure I could make one of those commercial systems work well but I don’t think either of the two could enable performance similar to what I already enjoy.

I think the DIY systems demand a good working knowledge of insulin action and management whereas it appears to me that the commercial products are aiming for a market that values more of a “set-it-and-forget-it” performance.

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I’ve been using Loop since July '19 (Omnipod/Dex) and have no plans on stopping. I’ve only used the Master branch, although I’ve thought about using AB, but just haven’t tried yet.

Depending on the features and/or restrictions for Omnipod 5 or the Tidepool Loop, I may stick with the DIY when they’re released, at least for a bit.

I am using Loop, I use the FreeAPS branch. It has various AB options that you can enable and disable and tweak via settings (you don’t have to rebuild). It is maintained by the Loop and Learn group (it has a fork). It is being tested with DASH pods, so hopefully, DASH will be available with AutoBolus on the iPhone in a few months. I believe it is already available on the Andriod if you want to go that route.

I choose to use the DIY loop options because my ideal BS is 83 and the commercial options like TSlim don’t let you set it to that low of a range. My last A1C was 5.0 with zero lows for the previous 90 days. And no, I didn’t do a low carb diet to get that number.

(I am affiliated with the Loop and Learn forum and web site).

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Welcome back to TuD, Mark! You may, of course, make a post more than once every 8 years!

I’m using the DIY Loop with an old Med-T pump for similar reasons. Your control without using a low-carb way of eating is impressive. I do use a low carb way of eating for many reasons beyond glucose control.

When I started using DIY Loop five years ago, it was recognized that it is at least five years ahead of the commercial systems. It appears to me now, however, that the DIY systems are more than five years ahead of the commercial groups.

As I am aging into the geriatric cohort, I am hoping that I can convert to a commercial system that could be simply maintained by a less knowledgable caregiver. That’s my hope, but the progress the commercial systems are making are coming more slowly than I hoped while my age marches forward. We shall see!

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Many here are very happy with the medtronic and tandem “smart” pumps. I switched to Tandem X2, 2 years ago, and think it can match what other loopers have reported.

Having an out of the box solution and 24x7 technical support/replacement warranty is a great feature too.

However, I think the pump companies benefit from the DYI communities, and probably led to improvements in their features.

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I came back here looking for an old friend that I lost contact with, unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be active here anymore.

I know some people have very good results with the commercial systems. For the average diabetic, systems like TSlim can greatly reduce the burden of Diabetes. I wish every diabetic on the planet had access to a commercial system like that.

For me personally, with my targets, my A1C would be about a full percent higher unless I played games with fake entries and keeping it in sleep mode. Mind you, a 6.0 A1c is nothing to sneeze at. 98% of Diabetics would be thrilled with, and much better off with, that number.

DIY systems aren’t for everyone. Insurance doesn’t cover the cost of your phone, developer accounts, hardware etc. Also, very few doctors will support it. Mine gave me the FDA letter against DIY systems the first few visits after that letter came out. I have to ask her specific questions about settings, she won’t look at my Loop settings directly and make recommendations, I have to ask about specific issues. So, much of my settings support comes from my own learning enhanced by the volunteers in the community groups (not doctors). I am dealing with the challenge now of finding a new endo in VA that will be willing to take a DIY looper, many will not.

I do feel much better when I am on a low carb diet. The whole pandemic, layoff, year out of work, 6 months with Long Term Covid, moving all the way across the country for a new job etc, pretty much killed any kind of eating plan, or exercise, or anything else. Now that I am finally settled into my new job and my new home in VA, I hope to get back to paying attention to things like Diet, but there are still the pandemic challenges related to the supply chain, simply buying a deep freeze is a challenge for example…

Forgetting to bolus for a Taco, having Loop recognize that and correct to keep me under 160 without going low, I find that priceless. Getting a real soda instead of a diet soda in a drive-through and having Loop recognize that and keep me in range, priceless. Not having lows anymore (as long as I have a good sensor on, there is still that challenge), priceless.

The out of the box solution, 24x7 support, an Endo helping with settings, a warranty, those things are priceless for most people. Those people SHOULD stick with the commercial systems.

My unofficial understanding from off-the-record discussions is that none of the commercial systems will allow a low range below about 110. Of course, that could change as they come to market. No one really knows for sure until it all gets past the FDA. My day time range is 78-88, I don’t see any commercial system allowing a target like that. What I don’t like about some of the commercial systems is that they hide the algorithm from the user. You don’t have any way to know or understand why it is doing what it is doing. It is just a magic box, making decisions for you. I personally think the user still needs exposure to what the box is thinking and doing on your behalf, even if many people seldom or never look at it.

The CGM companies benefited or suffered, from the DIY community, depending on how you look at it. Without NightScout and the #WeAreNotWaiting community, I doubt that Dexcom follow would have ever come to market. Dexcom now appears to be dialing that back and trying to restrict access to our data, we should be angry about that (but that is a whole nother topic).

The pump companies have also made changes, I believe because of trying to catch up with the DIY communities. They are having a harder time of it because of the FDA.

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I agree with you, Mark, that current commercial hybrid closed loop systems can enable significant benefits to almost all insulin-using diabetics. I am aware that my experience with DIY Loop is just a small slice of our demographic. Yet, the experience and values of this small slice can and will exert an influence on the commercial efforts. This influence may be painfully slow but it is moving in the right direction.

Seeking support from other users of DIY systems is a benefit to me. For years I sought advice and support from doctors and other professionals. Looking back, I now view their expertise as often incomplete and lacking. I’m sure there were competent medical professionals but I only found such people and advice by reading books and interacting online.

The medical profession that I interacted with did not help me much. They certainly provided crucial Rx support and met some basic health needs but they didn’t have as good of an understanding about type 1 diabetes I was starting to develop.

Low-carb eating was a large break-through tactic for me. Combined with better insulin dose timing and through paying attention to my CGM, I made gains that still amaze me. My time in range went way up and even more importantly, my glucose variability went way down. This not only improved my safety but also boosted my quality of life. It enabled much less metabolic drama and restored a lot of what diabetes took from me.

I do think that the commercial companies have benefitted from the DIY community. They know that they must accept our role in this market. We are vocal about our experience and are active in online communities like this one. We are a small minority but can influence the mindsets of many.

We bring to our game the lived-experience that gluco-normals can’t fully appreciate. Our skin-in-the-game authority brings credibility that cannot be simulated.

I’m ambivalent about the role of regulators like the FDA. On the one hand, they can seem like a no-value added impediment to improving our lot in life. On the other hand they play a critical role to ensure the safety of anyone who uses diabetes hardware. I think that people who dose insulin for decades do not need to be reminded of the potency and danger that insulin represents. There’s a fine balance needed between safety and efficacy.

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For those not familiar with Looping, here is a good summary.

I just switched from main to FREEAPS. THis is a great place to learn about the various versions. They have a wonderful script to use. All you have to do now is update your OS, Update Xcode and follow the script commands. Really easy now.

https://www.loopandlearn.org/

I agree, @BradP, Loop and Learn is a great resource for DIY Loopers. I used their script for the first time when I did my annual update last month.

Even though I’ve been looping for almost five years, when you only need to update about once per year, I don’t get enough practice for these habits to sink in. So it’s nice to rely on the Loop and Learn info.

I am still using Loop, but have moved to a Developer branch that allows the use of Dash pods. What DIY solutions is everyone else using?

I finally bit the bullet and am moving over from Dev with Dash to OM5. THe main reason is that I love that I don’t have to have my phone with me at all to have the 2 talk directly to each other. Not to promote other boards, but I’ve been chronicling my journey at Diabetes Daily and am starting a new thread on my OM5 journey.

DIY Loop master branch in auto bolus mode.

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