I recently had the opportunity to try out an Uninterruptible Power Supply (or UPS) from Tripp-Lite. I usually install APC products so this was something new for me. I only recommend products that I know and trust and this product was going to have to earn that trust…
When your job involves making recommendations to clients about what hardware they should rely on for their business, you tend to stick with the brands and models that you know… the ones that you’ve personally experienced. While I had heard of Tripp-Lite, I had never used them before so I figured that it was high time to put one to the test. Since I had made the APC BR1500g a staple in my POS installations, I choose the OMNI1500LCDT which, feature for feature, is as close as it gets.
The OMNI1500LCDT is a 1500VA Uninterruptible Power Supply with an LCD display on the front panel that gives instant feedback to the user about the supplied voltage, the attached load and how many minutes of run time remain once the power goes out.
Setup is a breeze. Unlike the APC unit that I’m used to using, the OMNI1500LCDT comes with it’s battery pre-installed. Anyone who has had to wrestle an APC unit onto it’s back like an angry alligator and manually connect the battery leads before it’s first use will be thrilled by this simple detail.
The AC cord is nice and long which makes placing the UPS unit where you want it easier. Pressing and holding the power button on the front turns it on and you’re ready to start plugging in your devices.
The 5 grey outlets on the left are surge protected only and not backed up by the internal battery if the power fails. Use these for devices that you wish to protect from lightning or other types of surges such as printers or audio equipment, but that don’t need to keep running in a power outage.
The 5 black outlets on the right are both surge protected and backed up by the internal battery. Plug your computer into one of these and it will not be affected by a brown out or power outage as long as the battery is charged.
There are also data ports just under the fan. These protect your computer and modem/router from power surges that might come in through your internet connection. Whether you use DSL or cable, the ports here will block any voltage spikes that would otherwise cause serious problems.
Last, but not least, you’ll find a little USB port at the top of the back panel. Using the supplied USB cable, plug this into your Mac and it will be instantly tricked into thinking that it is a laptop with a battery! It will actually show a little battery symbol in your menu bar that indicates the charge state of the UPS and how much power remains when the power is disconnected.
Putting The OMNI1500LCDT To The Test
Speaking of disconnecting the power, that’s exactly what you should do once you have everything plugged in and running smoothly on your new UPS. Once the battery is fully charged, as per the LCD display on the front panel, disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet and simulate a power failure. You should see, and hear, the UPS switch to battery power and your computer equipment should not be affected. Additionally, the LCD display on the OMNI1500LCDT shows how many minutes of runtime it expects to be able to provide given the current load.
The OMNI1500LCDT also has a handy TEST button on the front panel for exactly this purpose. Pressing and holding the TEST button will initiate a self-test on the unit for about 10 seconds. This is equivalent to disconnecting the power cord as it will simulate a power outage and test the battery. This is really handy as testing your UPS once a month is highly recommended and the easier it is to do, the more likely it is that you’ll actually do it.
The front panel of the OMNI1500LCDT is simple and functional. The LCD panel is bright and easy to read with obvious indicators of battery charge, the load that you’ve put on it, and the time remaining when the power is disconnected. My only complaint is that I couldn’t find a way to turn the backlight off during normal operation. It was a minor thing given that I don’t sleep in my office but it would have been a nice touch if a simple press of the power button toggled the backlight on the display.
Like most UPS units, the OMNI1500LCDT beeps loudly whenever the power goes out. This can be handy but can also be very annoying… especially in a home office when the power goes out in the middle of the night! Luckily, pressing and holding the MUTE button on the front panel for a couple of seconds puts the UPS into silent mode and you’ll see a visual indication of this on the LCD panel.
Performance wise, I had no issues with the OMNI1500LCDT. Maybe my local power utility was tipped off on the fact that I was testing a new UPS but we’ve been having a crazy amount of power ‘hiccups’ recently. These have not been serious power outages but moments when the lights go completely out and then back on again. Just enough to cause havoc on everything electronic that you own and make every clock in the house start flashing 12:00.
The OMNI1500LCDT performed wonderfully during these repeated tests and left me with a huge smile as I continued speaking with my long distance client over the VoIP phone and internet router which were both connected to my UPS at the time.
With a 21-inch iMac and a handful of smaller peripherals connected, it estimated about 30 minutes of runtime when I performed my own test. This is more than enough for my use and easily saved me from all our recent power issues.
The OMNI1500LCDT met and, in some cases exceeded, my every expectation. The unit is solid and reliable. Just picking it up feels good. I know that is a subjective thing but it feels like it’s well made and will last forever.
With a 3 year warranty and a $250,000 equipment protection guarantee, it’s obvious that Tripp-Lite stands behind their products. They also offer an ‘advanced replacement’ programme which ensures that you get a replacement unit as fast as possible if yours fails during the warranty period.
Pre-installing the battery at the factory is a huge bonus for me, as I expect to be installing many Tripp-Lite products in the future.
I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, but after using the OMNI1500LCDT for a while and putting it to the test, I’m convinced and will be recommending it to all my clients from now on.
If you’d like to purchase an OMNI1500LCDT, just contact our office using our contact form or call 905-337-5923 and speak to sales.