- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 17 January 2011
The F1500 has discrete line filtering to four discrete banks of outlets, with each bank being one pair of AC receptacles. In the photo below, you can see that two banks on the left are black. These are for non-critical components that can be programmed to shut down first, leaving components connected to the Critical Loads bank (the white outlets) more time to be shut down. On the right are an RS-232 port and USB port for connection to your computer. If you want the F1500 to automatically shut down the computer, you must leave the RS-232 cable connected. This would be the case where you are using your computer as a media server in your home theater.
The red, black, and green connectors in the middle are for the optional BATT1500-EXT battery pack, which is placed underneath the main unit. This triples the available time for shutdown, and in my opinion, is well worth the expense since it triples the backup time but is only 1/2 the cost of the main unit.
In setting the F1500 up for use, it is best to leave it plugged in overnight before connecting your components. This allows enough time to fully charge the battery.
After the unit is fully charged, and your components are plugged into it (including your computer if you want) connect it to your computer via the RS-232 port (9 pin standard computer connection). Install the included software, and when you boot the program, you will see the following screen, which shows the status of the F1500. In this case, it shows that the incoming voltage is 116 volts, the Voltage Condition is Normal, the battery is fully charged, there are 135 minutes of battery runtime if the AC goes down, and 396 watts are being used currently. The second screen (Summary) is shown in the second screen shot below. It is a record of what has happened electrically over selected periods of time, such as when a power outage occurred. Note that in the second screen shot, the voltage regulation kicked in several times to keep the output within a normal range.
The following six screen shots are from the Configure menu. You can see that the F1500 is extremely flexible.
Note that when setting up the F1500, you need to scroll through the various menus that are accessible on the front panel and set your preferences. If you have the BATT1500-EXT optional battery, you have to scroll to the external battery item in the menu and set it to "Yes". Otherwise, even though the external battery is connected to the main unit, it is not being utilized.
Here is a photo of the front panel display, showing the status of the four power banks and the display panel. To select from the menu, you turn the knob above the word "Menu" until the feature you want to adjust is displayed. Then you push the knob in, and the options in that feature can be scrolled by turning the knob. When the selection is seen, push the knob in again, and it is set.
The F1500 can learn remote control signals as well. This is useful if you want the F1500 to send IR commands if the wall AC power fails. So, it can be programmed to turn off your projector, SSP, etc., before the battery power in the F1500 is depleted. For the F1500 to shut down your computer, not only must the RS-232 connection be maintained, but the software must be running in the background.