Tripp Lite HT1000UPS
Mar 1, 2006 12:00 PM,
By John McJunkin
A UPS system that is small on cost and big on protection and impression.
One sure-fire way to ensure happy clients and gain repeat business is to be a superhero. If you can accomplish the impossible, your clients will be thrilled to retain your services on an ongoing basis. What do I mean by impossible? Imagine an important million-dollar sales pitch with a crucial PowerPoint presentation. The sales people are in rare form — sharp, persuasive, and rapidly approaching the close. The atmosphere is electric. The PowerPoint presentation is excellent — attractive, concise, and effective, strongly supporting the sales people, who are about to seal the deal. Suddenly, a flash from outside illuminates the boardroom, and then BOOM! A lightning strike. The lights flicker for a brief moment, and then extinguish. The power is out.
Nevertheless, the video display is still on. The audio is still on. The computer is still on. The presentation is still on. You were smart enough to use a surge-suppressing/voltage-regulating uninterruptible power supply in the system. The salespeople crack a joke about the lightning and carry on, buttoning down the deal in the next few minutes. Without the benefit of the UPS and its accoutrements, the wheels on this deal could have easily come off, at a loss of millions in revenue, and for what? The lack of a UPS. Whether the application is toddlers playing video games, a million-dollar sales pitch, or a meeting of world leaders on which pivots war or peace, you can be the hero by ensuring uninterrupted power. It’s a no-brainer to use some kind of UPS, and Tripp Lite has a wonderful solution: its HT1000UPS. I spent some time with one and discovered it to be a helpful tool in the superhero’s kit.
The HT1000UPS comes in a smart black ABS box. There is a single feature on the front of the unit: a pleasant blue LCD, which displays the wall input voltage in large numerals that are even visible from across the room. There is also a bar-graph battery charge indicator directly below the input voltage. I was able to clearly see the display and the system’s battery level from quite a distance.
Four small icons below the battery charge graph indicate various states of the system. First, there is a sine-wave shaped icon indicating AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation). The second is a battery-shaped icon with a slash through it to indicate when it’s time to recharge or replace the battery. The battery is typically solid and usable for four to six years under normal circumstances. The third icon is battery-shaped and has no slash through it — indicating that the line input has either sagged below 89V or exceeded 139V, hence triggering the battery operated inverter to engage. The fourth icon is an “unbalanced” lever atop a fulcrum, indicating an overload (or fault).
In the upper left-hand corner of the display is the main power button, and in the upper right hand corner is the mute/test button, which enables testing of the system and mutes the alarm when the system goes active. Some alarms cannot be muted, in particular those that are critical. For instance, when the system is overloaded and no longer capable of maintaining output voltage or when the battery is approaching empty. The four icons are hopelessly small to read from the distance that the wall voltage and battery charge graph can be seen, but once I memorized the order of the four icons, I knew exactly what was going on with the unit from a significant distance. One particularly slick feature of the LCD display/control surface is that it can be rotated 90 degrees to facilitate the installation of the case in either a vertical or a horizontal orientation.
The back panel of the HT1000UPS is relatively sparse, perfectly appropriate considering the function of the device. There are two strips of standard three-slot AC sockets. Each has four outlets, one of which is offset by a bit of space for a wall-wart or any other extra-wide connector — very clever. I hate not being able to get a wall-wart plugged in between regular AC plugs. The outlets of one of the strips are only surge-protected and do not provide battery backup in the event of a blackout or brownout. The other strip, on the other hand, does provide both surge protection and battery backup. I really like this — in any given system, there will be certain devices that must remain powered under all circumstances, and some that are not so critical. It’s your choice.
The back panel also has a USB port for a PC connection, enabling a very slick computer integration feature: unattended system shutdown. Essentially, during an extended brownout or blackout in which the battery drains completely prior to the user returning to manually shut down the computer, this software will save open applications and safely shut down the computer prior to the end of battery power. This pleasantly surprised me, considering the low price of this system.
There is also an I/O pair of telephone/DSL input jacks (of the RJ variety). I really love being able to surge-protect a phone or modem as well. In the same vein, there’s an I/O pair of coaxial television cable jacks. Pretty clearly, this unit is more intended for home theater use, but is a pretty solid, if inexpensive, professional solution as well.
I pulled this unit out of its shipping box and had it in place and completely set up in about five minutes. A few minutes later, I had the PowerAlert software installed on my computer, and I had the computer connected to the UPS. Clearly, this is a no-brainer setup, and it took no time at all. The beauty of it is the peace of mind I had knowing that the components I powered with it were in good hands, safe from surges.
One minor disappointment is the lack of EMI/RFI filtering, but at the price of this unit, that really is almost too much to ask. I tested the unit to discover that it engages extremely quickly, so fast that there’s not so much as a hiccup in the service. With a 42in. plasma television, a 125W surround receiver, a DVD player, and an HD-DVR cable box all simultaneously powered, the battery lasted for a little more than four minutes.
Most AV or other similar industrial applications are going to have a current draw in the same ballpark as the system I tested, and four minutes should be plenty of time to resolve the situation or at least make preparations for a new course of action. Obviously, there are other, more robust systems available if you need guaranteed power for a lengthier period of time, but considering the price of the HT1000UPS, this is quite a bang for the buck. You can be a superhero for very little money, and your clients will love you for it.
Company: Tripp Lite
Pros: Inexpensive UPS solution, useful computer application.
Cons: Tiny display icons not visible at distance, no EMI/RFI filtering.
Voltage compatibility: 120V
Frequency compatibility: 60Hz
Output volt amp capacity: 1000VA
Output watt capacity: 500W
Output nominal voltage: 120V
Output voltage regulation: Battery mode: PWM sine wave 115V ±5%
Output frequency regulation: Line mode: Passes line frequency of 60Hz ±10%
Battery mode: Inverter regulated to 60Hz ±0.5Hz
Maximum input current: 12A
Recommended service: 120V/15A
Battery runtime (full load): 3 minutes (1000VA/500W)
Battery runtime (half load): 14 minutes (500VA/250W)
DC system voltage: 12V
Typical battery lifespan: 4-6 years (depending on usage)
Battery recharge rate: 2-8 hours to 90%
Voltage regulation: Corrects brownouts as low as 89V
Direct pass through: Voltages of 105V and greater are passed
Brownout correction: Input voltages between 89 and 104 boosted 14%
AC surge suppression: 1,920 joules
AC suppression response time: Instantaneous
Dataline suppression: Coaxial, TEL/DSL (RJ connector) 260V clamping
Transfer time-line to battery: 2-4 milliseconds
Conditions for battery transfer: Input below 89V, until average exceeds 94V; Input above 139V, until average below 135V
John McJunkinis the principal of Avalon Studio Service in Phoenix and consults for both studios and live sound applications.