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Review #2
October 22, 2005

Click on any image for the bigger picture.

Energy Meter
frontview
Model EM-100

$24.99 or less Canadian Dollars

My Story go here

The Review go here

Starts with My Story

I am always out looking for something to add to my collection of technical gadgets and new technologies. I stand before you and admit that I am a techno-junkie. However, there usually is a reason why I have bought the stuff.

The EM-100 Energy Meter is a device I wish I had added to the collection a few months ago. This story starts sometime in August 2005. I like to work at night on several computer when the office has settled down and the noise level is just about nonexistent. One night during computer start up I heard a single beep sound come from a battery back up. After the computer and other hardware were operating, the sound never returned. Everything seemed to run normal. For a few weeks I had noticed on start up that this APC 650 would sound this alert. I thought maybe the battery in the back up needed to be replaced, but than I rarely ever had it on back up.

Presently I was using three back ups to run two computers and attached hardware. I used these back ups mainly for those rainy thundering nights or cold snow damp winters. Mostly during when the city transformer would switch to an alternate. Other than that these back ups where just there to save the computer system from brown outs, spikes, and surges if they should happen.

Now this beep sound I could not explain what it was. After three weeks I had decided to change out the oldest of the three battery back ups. I had a new ES650 new design and would use it for replacement.

All the battery back ups are under the computer desk and are rarely seen by anyone unless something is being plugged in to it. Once your under the desk the front and top of each unit is easy to see. However if I had not pulled out one of these units I would not have seen the wire cord that goes into the unit. Where the cord goes into the unit there is a tiny red light with small print which reads "Wire fault" On that night sure enough this tiny light was glowing ever so bright. All the main and diagnose lights are at the front or on the top of these units, so why not put the wire fault light there too? This tiny light which is hard to see in the first place usually faced towards a wall. Under a desk only the front or top is easy to see. I than looked at the two other battery back ups. The other two had a wiring fault light on the same side that the cord goes into the unit. and there lights were glowing as well.

It turned out that the battery back up can use up to and about 12 amps each when under a full load. Most of the time all - plugs on the battery back up are in use at the same time. This means that there is a constant load on the battery back up (UPS) In turn this means that there is a constant load on plugs being used. Each of three plugs I use in the room run on one 15 amp circuit breaker. At the time there were three UPS battery back ups. Attached to the UPS were two computer, one monitor, a couple of hard drives, a printer, tv monitor, and on and on. The 15 amp breaker was just two much to handle a few battery back up. The UPS stopped a office fuse from blowning. Each UPS-back up comes with an internal reusable breaker which also in the last week of the three, had been tripped when starting the computers, this saves on home fuses also.

My solution for this problem was to call an electrician over and have two additional 15 amp plugs installed under the computer desk. Each new plugin circuit, provided one connection for a battery back up. The original plug now runs a power surge bar for things like USB hubs and some additional over head spot lighting. So instead of one 15 amp I have access to three.

I never bought the EM-100 until after I had call an electrician, this device would have been used to determine that an over load was in progress. That there could eventually be serious problems such as hot wires in the wall. Possibly a fire and worse losing the office to a fire. I presently use the EM-100 for monitoring power usage on the computer and other plugs around the office. I feel that this is a valuable diagnostic tool one that can save you money as well in the long run.

EM-100

 What is the EM-100 ? and what can it do for you?

The Energy Meter - 100 plugs into any electrical outlet with a rating of 120V AC, has a 15A Maximum and a Load of not more than 1800W. The EM-100 allows for monitoring an electrical device that has been pluged into it. The EM-100 will show you how much energy and money is being consumed by the unit plugged into it. More of todays electrical products are rated with a sticker to indicate how much consumable amount of energy is needed to run it. The EM-100 is from a company called UPM. This inexpenssive device can help the user to choose appliances more power friendly. For power hungry appliances like a television it can teach you to turn devices off so that energy and cost are reduced. In my own case it may have saved me an expensive call to an electrician who I am glad I had called anyway. I needed to have those additional outlets for a long time. I have found many other uses for this handy device. UPM suggests using the EM-100 for air conditioners, Heaters, Office machines, Fans, TVs, Lamps, Radios and even Appliances.

batteries2
Batteries

 FEATURES: EM-100

The Top Pane
voltage indicated by a (V) symbol
current indicated by an (A) symbol
maximum current indicated by a (MAX A) symbol
Wattage indicated by a (W) symbol
Maximum wattage is indicated by a (Max W) symbol
Set overload current and set wattage is indicated by a (Overload A/W) symbol,

Middle Pane
Shows total energy indicated by a (kwh) symbol
Energy and price indicated by a (s/kwh) symbol
Total cost indicated by a ($) symbol

Bottom Pane
Hours, minutes and seconds of time that have passed when the appliance or device is in use and stops when not in use.

High lights

  • Overload warning
  • Energy monitor and energy consumption tracking
  • Maximum current and wattage readings
  • Energy cost calculation
  • Energy usage time

PA017252
In use

What I Like and What I Did Not

 

What I liked about the EM-100

There is one large LCD screen which is divided by a black line into three areas, which are called panels.

You can set an overload limit and an audio alarm lets you know that the level has been reached.

That it can operate with out the two button batteries. Provided you do not remove it from the plug and that the audio alarm is not needed.

Tells the voltage running through the plug-in.

Tells the amps running through the plug-in

Comes with two button batteries LR44

The manual is easy to read and follow

Comes with a one year warranty

What I did not like about the EM-100

No back light for low light rooms. I used a flash light under the computer desk and beside the stereo stand.

I had a hard time finding LR44 replacement batteries. I had tried Walmart, Staples, and Canadian Tire without success. Futureshop and Best Buy, sold two per package for under five dollars. Microbattery dot com sold them on line in quantities from one to one hundred and were priced in US dollars.

Has no fuse to protect itself.

Right out of the package the LCD lens cover had some deep scratches. This could have happened during shipping.

SPECIFICATIONS: EM-100

Rating 120V AC, 15A

Max Load 1800W

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