Review of the MGE Nova 1100 UPS

by Maskil on February 6, 2008

This brief hands-on review was originally prepared for the Digital Planet website. It seems as if the item is no longer stocked by Digital Planet, so I’m not sure whether the review ever appeared on their site or not.

Some comments regarding my initial experience with this UPS unit. Includes lots of real-life testing, thanks to Eskom’s January 2008 campaign of rolling mass blackouts across the nation.

The Digital Planet website does not provide sufficient information regarding the unit. I eventually found more information here:

MGE NOVA 1100VA 660W UPS, Line-interactive Technology, USB interface

I queried whether management was by means of a Serial or USB Port, and was assured in writing that it uses a USB port. Despite, this however, the unit supplied has only a Serial Port. As I work from home, I was too desperate for some power protection to return the unit…

In common (apparently) with most UPS units, this one makes use of male “kettle cord” connectors for output to the devices to be protected. This means you need to butcher all your power cables and hope you won’t need the originals again. I wasn’t happy to do this and asked the hardware store to make up a custom extension cord, replacing the 3-pin plug with a male kettle cord connector. All components then plug into a power strip instead of direct into the UPS. Not exactly as per the manufacturer’s directions…

Management software is not provided in the box, but must be downloaded from the vendor’s website.

I left the unit to charge fully overnight (8 hours suggested) and, with the assistance of Eskom, carried out a power failure test the next morning. I wasn’t able to record how long the unit held out for as the power was already off by the time I arrived home. I was, however, able to carry on working for +/-20 minutes and shut down all components properly before the beeping became frantic.

The unit begins to beep annoyingly every 10 seconds when running on the battery. This is a “feature” I would like to disable, but it doesn’t appear to be configurable.

Pros

  • Price

Cons

  • Need to butcher power cables
  • Irritating beep once unit is on battery
Does what it promises at the right price.
 
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