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Old 08-24-2006, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Ultra 2000VA UPS

Life isn't certain but one thing you can be certain of in life is that your power is going to fail at one point or another. When that happens you can either be prepared with a UPS on your PC or you can go commando and be caught short.

Read Matts review right here and discuss it here!

I have to say, this looks to be one of the best products we've reviewed recently. I love the fact that the software is so robust.
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:52 PM   #2
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It's a sweet little UPS...well, it's not so little. It also doubles as a footwarmer
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:00 AM   #3
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Well done, Matt!

I never noticed the "80 to 90 minutes" myself until Nate over at Legit Reviews pointed it out. I asked the guys at Ultra where the 80-90 minutes came from and they pointed out that they had a Socket 370 IBM NetVista with on-video and a 15" LCD that ran for 89 minutes on the 2000VA.

Umm... yeah. That's a PC someone in the 2000VA demographic is going to have.

I told them that it should say "up to 80-90 minutes" and they said that they realize that and that the box is getting changed for multi-lingual anyways and at that time "up to" will be added.

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Old 08-25-2006, 11:30 AM   #4
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Thanks Jon. I'm glad to see you joined the forums, hopefully we'll see you around a bit.
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums jonny!

" That's a PC someone in the 2000VA demographic is going to have. "

At least they didn't estimate it by powering a PDA.
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
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At least they didn't estimate it by powering a PDA.
True. True.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default configuration for self-test

i stumbled into a configuration for the self test utility. i can't get back to it, but it had options for the self test, like test until the battery was low, test for x minutes, etc.

do you know how to get back into it? I'm using UPSMON Plus 2.8.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default ULTRA 2000VA UPS TRUE TEST

Hi All,

I caught the Ultra 2000VA UPS on Tiger last week for $160, so picked up FIVE for all of our remote locations. We have two data switches, a small router box, and a ShoreTel phone switch. During outages, they've never had enough protection. We haven't lost any hardware, but I dread the day we DO. I connected this unit up and ran some initial tests. For the price, FOR THE PRICE, I'm fairly satisfied. BUT, not impressed.

On initial setup, I found a few serious concerns.
1. It runs HOT, even when not running on battery. Compare this unit to an APC. You'll find a dramatic difference in temp. Why? I don't know.
2. On first removal and power on, the unit STINKS like they JUST finished dry coating it with black paint. If you let it sit and run for a few days, that odor will go away just like any metal-bonding paint product.
3. The software is weak at best. It feels like something that was developed in the mid-90's on Visual Basic. The graphics are poor and the functionality is simple. For such a big VA ups, this should be more feature rich. Compare to PowerChute by APC and you'll see.

My inital test was using a laptop because I wanted to see how long the UPS would stay running just by itself. This would give me a solid baseline to see it's performance without any load. I connected a laptop to the USB interface after installing the software and plugged the laptop AC into the UPS. I started my test and after 4 minutes, the ups SHUT OFF. What????

After a call to tech support (at least it was a toll free number), they could only guess that the UPS has a load sensor that if it can't even get 1%, it just shuts itself off to help save battery. Ok, I'll give them that one...but now I don't have any baseline.

I connected a Dell Dimension desktop and a 17" LCD monitor to the unit, which then showed an 8% load (5-pc, 3-lcd). I waited for 100% battery, then unplugged the power from the wall. I configured email notification, which was simple, but very weak in design. I got the email right away through our mailserver. In less than 30 seconds, the UPS went from 100% "Battery Level" right down to 75%. WHAT?? Why would it drop from 100 to 75?? I have a brand new APC 1500VA and it starts dropping by single percents. This worried me A LOT. I will give this until a "pro" and APC a "con". This unit reports both battery level and "load", but will not report life in MINUTES, which is what we humans live by. It's not like at Noon we all turn to eachother and say, "Wow...50% of the day gone...only 50% left, huh?" or "How much longer will you be working on my car? Response: We only have 34% left on this job..." YET, APC only reports estimated life in minutes, not load on the ups based on what's connected.

With 3 switches and a firewall connected to the APC 1500VA, I get a report of about 80 minutes. I hope I can trust that with a 2000VA and only one PC/LCD that I should expect about 2 hours or more, right? I'm approaching 1 hour "on battery" and the UPS is reporting approximately 45%. I'll post as soon as it hits 0.

PS.
One feature I see NO NO NO sense in is the configuration option "Power Failure Windows Shutdown Delay". What this means is that if the power fails, the UPSMON app waits X seconds (I think default is a few minutes), then shuts down the OS. What's the point of THAT? I set the time to 20000 seconds. If I have a monitoring system on my UPS that's telling me voltage, life, and load, if the UPS powers it down 2-3 minutes after the power goes out, the only way know what's going on is the little green bars on the front. Instead, they have another variable, "Low Battery Windows Shutdown Delay". THIS makes sense. I set that to a minute or so to shut down the OS once the battery reaches to low of a state to keep the components running. The ONLY sense the first variable makes is to shut down a power-hungry PC that's connected so you keep the router/switch, light, whatever you have connected in the other outlets. Otherwise, it's nonsense.

I have an open ticket with ULTRA on that 100%-75% drop. They're supposed to get back to me soon with an answer. Might have to RMA this unit. We'll see if/when I decide to unbox the next one and repeat this testing...

Dan
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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Default Update on APC v ULTRA

My bad. Here's the following APC information:

APC SUA1500NET
Connected: HP Proliant G3 ML330 Server, AC Adapter brick for Ext USB HD
Load: 13%
Est. Runtime: 86 minutes
Actual Runtime: unknown/untested

APCSUA1500NET
Connected: Adtran 1335 Switch, HP Procurve Switch, Fastron POE Switch, Cisco Firewall, Adtran T1
Load: 18.8%
Est. Runtime: 68 minutes
Actual Runtime: unknown/untested

THIS TEST
ULTRA 2000VA UPS
Connected: Dell Dimension 2400 PC
HP 17" LCD monitor
Load: 6%
Est. Runtime: app does not report
Actual Runtime: 70 minutes

So why does this 2000VA UPS not last longer if it has 25% more capacity than the APCs??

Two questions still unanswered.

1. Why does the ULTRA unit drop from 100% right down to 75% in less than one minute.
2. What can the APC1500VA units TRULY do when tested? I'll have to come in during outside of business hours and get a true test. If the APC can truly last as long as they claim, then you know why they're one of the very best... If not, just throw brand loyalty OUT THE DOOR.

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Old 06-30-2009, 03:36 AM   #10
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As to the smell, I never noticed any smell on mine. Yes it does run warm but it's not just a UPS it also does PLC duties full time, does the APC?

The dropping to 75% thing sounds like it's got a battery with a dead cell, mine doesn't do that. It could also explain why it's not lasting as long as it should.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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Default Still not impressed

Hi.

What do you mean by PLC? Do you mean AVR? I would hope a brand new APC SUA1500RM2 unit for $400 would do as much if not more than an ULTRA 2000VA unit for $160...?

I called Ultra, because now that I stress tested the battery, it would only REcharge back up to 96% and no further after 18 hours when it's listed to be able to fully recharge in 6. Again, I'm not impressed. I'll be in this Sunday to stress test my APC units since they list 80 minutes at 2-3x the load on the ULTRA.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:48 AM   #12
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PLC, Power Line Conditioning. It certainly sounds like it's got a bad battery, mine pops up to full from half charged in about 10 minutes, it's run everything on my desktop (speakers, PC which is in no way a Dell, 21" Dell Trinitron monitor, lamp, fan, phone charger, mouse charger and an assortment of wall warts) for 45 minutes. I seriously doubt the APC would do much better.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:33 AM   #13
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Wow, that sounds like the worst UPC I've ever seen or heard of. UTLRA is nothing but a budget brand and I would never recommend their products for mission critical uses or for protecting sensitive hardware. I've seen them take to many shortcuts on their line of PSU's to ever use them for anything I'd be upset to lose. To address your points:

1) The heat produced by the unit partly has to do with how efficient the unit is at converting AC to DC, it sounds like ULTRA does not use high efficiency components and/or doesn't provide sufficient cooling for them. Even when not charging the battery the unit should be conditioning the incoming power, although the implementation on ULTRA's seems to be basic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ULTRA
AVR automatically increase output voltage 15% above input voltage if -9%
to -25% of nominal.

AVR decrease output voltage 13% below input voltage if +9% to +25% of
nominal
2) I've owned APC, Tripplite, and Belkin UPS devices, I don't recall any smell to them except for a new factory (plastic) smell my latest APC unit had for the initial few minutes after I unwrapped it.

3) Out of all four models and three brands of UPS devices, none of them power off when there is zero load on them. That sounds suspicious, do all of the units you puchased do this? For that matter, does more than one jump from 100% to 75% capacity on you?

4) After checking the review: regarding the power shutdown software, ULTRA does offer the ability to base the PC shutdown on the capacity of the UPS as well, so I don't see any problem with them offering the extra time-based system shutdown options.

The VA rating on a UPS does not actually tell the capacity of the unit, it's just a voltage-ampere rating. Specifically, I've seen 1500VA units rated for barely over 800W loads, and still other 1500VA units rated for 930W loads for the same amount of time. The VA rating is like using the wattage rating to judge what speaker system is better... it doesn't actually tell the consumer anything by itself. Just look at the wattage ratings for various 1500VA units and they can range wildly. Basically, just like many PSU manufacturers this number gets played with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmat View Post
PLC, Power Line Conditioning. It certainly sounds like it's got a bad battery, mine pops up to full from half charged in about 10 minutes, it's run everything on my desktop (speakers, PC which is in no way a Dell, 21" Dell Trinitron monitor, lamp, fan, phone charger, mouse charger and an assortment of wall warts) for 45 minutes. I seriously doubt the APC would do much better.
First, that unit itself states it requires 6 hours to recharge the battery to 90% right on the box, so obviously if the software claims it charged 50% capacity in 10 minutes then their software readouts are pretty inaccurate and nearly uselessly so at that.

Ontop of that, LR's testing claims it took 14.5 hours instead of 6 hours to recharge to 89%. Considering APC states my smaller 1500VA unit requires 16 hours to recharge, obviously ULTRA is fudging quite a few of their numbers...

Regarding the software indicating a near instant 100% to 75% capacity, it sounds again like a software issue. Legit Reviews observed the exact same behavior with their test unit: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/367/6/

LR tested their 2000VA unit with a 192W load and got 35 minutes of battery life on it. This is a small load for such a large unit. I set up an identical computer+monitor 192W load on my APC 1500VA unit and got 28 minutes of run time.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Wow, that sounds like the worst UPC I've ever seen or heard of. UTLRA is nothing but a budget brand and I would never recommend their products for mission critical uses or for protecting sensitive hardware. I've seen them take to many shortcuts on their line of PSU's to ever use them for anything I'd be upset to lose. To address your points:

1) The heat produced by the unit partly has to do with how efficient the unit is at converting AC to DC, it sounds like ULTRA does not use high efficiency components and/or doesn't provide sufficient cooling for them. Even when not charging the battery the unit should be conditioning the incoming power, although the implementation on ULTRA's seems to be basic.



2) I've owned APC, Tripplite, and Belkin UPS devices, I don't recall any smell to them except for a new factory (plastic) smell my latest APC unit had for the initial few minutes after I unwrapped it.

3) Out of all four models and three brands of UPS devices, none of them power off when there is zero load on them. That sounds suspicious, do all of the units you puchased do this? For that matter, does more than one jump from 100% to 75% capacity on you?

4) After checking the review: regarding the power shutdown software, ULTRA does offer the ability to base the PC shutdown on the capacity of the UPS as well, so I don't see any problem with them offering the extra time-based system shutdown options.

The VA rating on a UPS does not actually tell the capacity of the unit, it's just a voltage-ampere rating. Specifically, I've seen 1500VA units rated for barely over 800W loads, and still other 1500VA units rated for 930W loads for the same amount of time. The VA rating is like using the wattage rating to judge what speaker system is better... it doesn't actually tell the consumer anything by itself. Just look at the wattage ratings for various 1500VA units and they can range wildly. Basically, just like many PSU manufacturers this number gets played with.



First, that unit itself states it requires 6 hours to recharge the battery to 90% right on the box, so obviously if the software claims it charged 50% capacity in 10 minutes then their software readouts are pretty inaccurate and nearly uselessly so at that.

Ontop of that, LR's testing claims it took 14.5 hours instead of 6 hours to recharge to 89%. Considering APC states my smaller 1500VA unit requires 16 hours to recharge, obviously ULTRA is fudging quite a few of their numbers...

Regarding the software indicating a near instant 100% to 75% capacity, it sounds again like a software issue. Legit Reviews observed the exact same behavior with their test unit: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/367/6/

LR tested their 2000VA unit with a 192W load and got 35 minutes of battery life on it. This is a small load for such a large unit. I set up an identical computer+monitor 192W load on my APC 1500VA unit and got 28 minutes of run time.
I never claimed that rising to 100% in ten minutes time was accurate but it shows that the UPS will, indeed, reach 100%, not stay below it. Also, if the $400 1500VA APC is superior to the $160 2000VA Ultra why is it that the Ultra did, indeed, have the superior run time? Your own testing confirms that it has a higher capacity. Not the 33% higher as the rating claims but enough to help stroke the ego of someone that paid less than half as much for their Ultra as did someone buying an APC.

And FWIW I've been running the Ultra for the past three years, the batteries are still the set that came with the unit. My room-mate has a 700(ish)VA Belkin that got new Interstate batteries at the same time as I got the Ultra and his batteries have already gone. Both PC's and UPS's have been run nearly identically in terms of usage hours and both have been on the same power so both have endured the same power losses in that entire period.

People can bag on Ultra's stuff as much as they want but I personally know who okayed their UPS lineup as well as their X3 PSU's and their first "Pro" PSU's and I'll take his word for them being pretty decent units over any hack at Legit Reviews.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I never claimed that rising to 100% in ten minutes time was accurate but it shows that the UPS will, indeed, reach 100%, not stay below it.
You stated the unit went from 50% to 100% in 10 minutes... that's just not possible, but I was trying to politely mention that without directly calling you out on it. Such a feat would take several hours, at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by =madmat View Post
Also, if the $400 1500VA APC is superior to the $160 2000VA Ultra why is it that the Ultra did, indeed, have the superior run time? Your own testing confirms that it has a higher capacity. Not the 33% higher as the rating claims but enough to help stroke the ego of someone that paid less than half as much for their Ultra as did someone buying an APC.
It has the superior run time because it is supposed to be a 2000 volt-ampere rated unit. And yes, my point here was that it is not as high as it is rated for.

Since you are bringing price into this, you should know I bought my last APC 1500VA LCD unit for $150 at Fry's. The ~$400 model produces a true sine-wave output and is designed for server/enterprise use, something I don't need for 3x the price. The ULTRA obviously won't have true sine-wave output production, while on the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmat View Post
And FWIW I've been running the Ultra for the past three years, the batteries are still the set that came with the unit. My room-mate has a 700(ish)VA Belkin that got new Interstate batteries at the same time as I got the Ultra and his batteries have already gone. Both PC's and UPS's have been run nearly identically in terms of usage hours and both have been on the same power so both have endured the same power losses in that entire period.
That sounds familiar, the Belkin UPS I bought had the batteries utterly and completely die in two years, which pretty much ruined their supposed good name in electronics for me. My Tripplite unit still works although the batteries are mostly gone after somewhere over three years.

My first UPS was an APC 1100VA unit I bought in 2003 that cost a bit over $100 after tax, and the batteries have lasted just over five years. A few months ago the APC unit ran a regular self-test (switches power to the battery using the system load) and determined the batteries could no longer sustain any significant load for more than a minute, but they still had enough of a charge to run small items and keep the device itself powered. The Belkin unit was as dead as a doornail when it died on me, so needless to say I was impressed the batteries/unit lasted at least five years of useful life. That was incentive enough for me to invest in a new APC 1500VA UPS that had some better functionality in a smaller footprint than the original APC unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmat View Post
People can bag on Ultra's stuff as much as they want but I personally know who okayed their UPS lineup as well as their X3 PSU's and their first "Pro" PSU's and I'll take his word for them being pretty decent units over any hack at Legit Reviews.
Well, everyone including myself are entitled to their opinions. Knowing the people does help. I don't know them, however, I do know how ULTRA built some of their PSU's and the shortcuts they took on them to keep their manufacturing costs minimal, and that's enough reason for me to avoid their products for use in anything I'd be upset to lose. Plenty of electrical engineers have dissected their units and the results are out there. That ULTRA appears to have fudged or left out important numbers on their UPS product specs didn't help anything either.

I was careful to never claim nor directly imply that I believe the APC to be much better quality, but since you bring it up, yes, that is my belief based on having owned three brands and four models of UPS devices for the last six years.

I'm not sure if the UTLRA performs a battery self-test once a week to ensure it can support the current load charges on it, but both of my APC units do that and the first unit has proven to me that it works. I also enjoy having the LCD display built into the device, it shows Hz, watts, and volts for both input power and output power, along with Load (watts), Load(% capacity), estimated run time on the current load, event ID's, battery charge, and unit status. Yes, that's a hell of a price for a 2000VA UPS, but for 7 minutes of difference at a 192W load simply having all the unit info readily available and built-in P3 power meter is worth the difference to me. And for being a "smaller rated" unit, it offers an extra UPS-supported plug on the back than the ULTRA 2000VA.

At a more typical load the difference in runtimes would decrease to just a couple minutes, I run a 700-800W load on mine which gets about 4 minutes before the auto-shutdown kicks in. Most UPS manufacturers consider 435-600W to be a "typical" half load for 1500VA rated units, and it doesn't help ULTRA deliberately hides their "runtime" estimates by not giving any idea of the power load they used to calculate it with. It sounds like they used a 100W system, which is ridiculous.

Of course, I would recommend and would love to get my hands on the PC Power & Cooling Pro-Source 1500 UPS, but paying 2x for true sine-wave output wasn't an option at the time. Theirs is the cheapest true sine-wave output UPS I've yet to see, and comparing street price to street price it's only a $100 difference between it and the ULTRA.
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