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The new generation UltraCap LPS-1.2: USER IMPRESSIONS and QUESTIONS thread

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5 hours ago, Geoff1954 said:

I came across this today and wonder if Alex or others have any reactions?

 

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0119/Goal_Zero_Yeti_400_Lithium_Portable_Power_Station_Review.htm

 

Just watched a YouTube teardown of the above item.  As expected, it is based on a switching DC>AC inverter.  Don't expect any smooth, low distortion 60Hz waveform out of it. Truly not something I would want to power my music system with.  Comparing it to the PS Audio Power Plants seems an insult to PSA.

And of course no relevance to our UltraCap DC power supply.

B|

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Alex,

Thanks for hunting that down... can you send me the link to the vid via PM or email?

I'm not surprised the Goal Zero units use a switching DC-AC converter, given their price. OTOH, if you read the LP Magazin (sic) review of the Stromtank S 2500, you'll see it also uses a 'highly specialized switching power supply, which in turn generates a sparkling clean mains sinus...'. The review also suggests the units are made in collaboration with or licensing the technology of a larger company producing 'solar and wind powered energy solutions...'. So likely a fairly sophisticated and clean high-end switching power supply. Still, for the cost and this application, I'd prefer the fairly substantial linear amplifiers used in the PS Audio units to convert the rectified DC to the clean AC*.

Of course, I put my $$$ where my heart lies, as a nearly new PS Audio P15 lies at the heart of each of my 2 audio setups. AND I still find that in certain and appropriate applications, use of a totally off-the-grid LPS-1/1.2 (or 5 or more) makes an additional and subtantial further improvement.

Maybe someday you can partner with PS Audio to produce a bank-switching Ultracap version of their regenerators... though I doubt I could afford 1, much less 2!

Greg in Mississippi

*P.S. The same LP Magazin (yup, that's how they spell it in their review) does mis-describe the PS Audio regenerators' functioning as 'leave the mains sinus as it is and supplement it where necessary." That is not true, the PS Audio units, just as most linear power supplied amplifiers do, rectify the mains AC down to DC and that DC supply feeds the amplifier modules that produce the 120VAC (or 100VAC or 240VAC) output waveform.

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30 minutes ago, Chiler54 said:

Can there be grounding problems with the LPS 1.2 that can cause cracking in the speakers?

 

Does not seem possible.  Please send a note with system details via our Contact Page and I'll reply.  Then you will have my private e-mail address in case I need you to send us a drawn diagram (phone camera pic of messy sketch is fine).

 

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Hi!! I hear a continuous noise in the SMPS uptone that energizes the LPS-1.2 when LPS in turn off. When the LPS-1.2 is turned on, the noise disappears and returns after a few seconds but now intermittently. I use LPS only in the microrendu and a few times in the dspeaker in 12v DC in 220v AC. Dspeaker consumes 4.5W then I believe no exceeded 1.1A. Send email uptone to find out what can be or if these small noises are normal.

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3 minutes ago, jdoleys said:

Hi!! I hear a continuous noise in the SMPS uptone that energizes the LPS-1.2 when LPS in turn off. When the LPS-1.2 is turned on, the noise disappears and returns after a few seconds but now intermittently. I use LPS only in the microrendu and a few times in the dspeaker in 12v DC in 220v AC. Dspeaker consumes 4.5W then I believe no exceeded 1.1A. Send email uptone to find out what can be or if these small noises are normal.

 

Hi Antonio:

I sent you an e-mail reply on this matter about one hour ago--just about 30 minutes after you sent your e-mail.  Please check there, thanks.

--Alex C.

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@Superdad question regarding the charging supply for the LPS-1.2.  I understand there is a strict requirement for 36W.  Right now, i am powering both an LPS-1 and LPS-1.2 from a single 9V output from my HDPlex 400W DC ATX power supply.  According to the HDPlex website the 9V output is only capable of 3A or 27W total, so assuming that spec is accurate I have a few questions:

  • Is it possible for the LPS-1.2 to be powered at this lower wattage?  I assume I able to because I am powering my 5V SU-1 with it.  Is this correct?
  • If so, is there any potential to damage the LPS-1.2 by powering it at this lower wattage?
  • Is the 36W requirements only if we are using the LPS-1.2 to power something at 9 or 12V?

 

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6 hours ago, tboooe said:

@Superdad question regarding the charging supply for the LPS-1.2.  I understand there is a strict requirement for 36W.  Right now, i am powering both an LPS-1 and LPS-1.2 from a single 9V output from my HDPlex 400W DC ATX power supply.  According to the HDPlex website the 9V output is only capable of 3A or 27W total, so assuming that spec is accurate I have a few questions:

  • Is it possible for the LPS-1.2 to be powered at this lower wattage?  I assume I able to because I am powering my 5V SU-1 with it.  Is this correct?
  • If so, is there any potential to damage the LPS-1.2 by powering it at this lower wattage?
  • Is the 36W requirements only if we are using the LPS-1.2 to power something at 9 or 12V?

 

If the UltraCap units you have are each being asked to supply less than 0.5A (at any output voltage setting) to the devices they are powering, then they will be operating in low-charge-current mode and will demand substantially less current from whatever AC>DC supply you are charging them with.  You can tell what mode their are in if unit feels hot and the other just warm.  I know for a fact that your Singxer SU-1 draws well under 0.5A and so the UltraCap supply you are using with it will never go into high-charge-current mode.

 

A couple of general guidelines (for those who insist on charging their UltraCap units with something other than the stock AC>DC chargers):

  • Since we specify minimum wattage (to a level that assumes our units may be called upon to deliver their full 1.1A output) over a range of charge voltages (18W/7.5~12V for original LPS-1; 36W/7.5~24V for LPS-1.2) you can see that charge current requirement goes down as the voltage goes up.  Example for LPS-1.2: 9V*4A=36W and 12V*3A=36W, 18V*2A=36W.  Many linear AC>DC supplies will have an easier time producing the required wattage at 12V or higher--since the actual current is lower.
  • If your charging supply is not up to the task, one of two things will likely happen: 1) The UltraCap supply will act weird and its LED will turn red (or flash in other odd ways); 2) Your charging supply will complain big time because if its voltage droops because it can deliver the required current, then per the above you can see that the UltraCap unit will try to draw ever more current as the voltage drops.
  • Generally you will not damage an UltraCap unit by trying to charge with an under-spec'd supply (though don't be surprised if the UltraCap unit can't deliver more than 0.5A output because it can't get itself into high-charge-current mode with an inadequate charger).  
  • All the third-party charger related destroyed UltraCap units we have ever seen (and so far only with the original LPS-1) were due to over- voltage (continuous or spikes) from the charger.  The LPS-1 can be charged with up to a 12V supply, but 15V+ will burn a nice hole in a 24-pin regulator on the charge side of the circuit board rendering it scrap.  We can quickly tell when this has occurred and it is NOT covered by our generous 3-year warranty.  So best be sure any third-party charger you us has over-current protection. (Early generation HDPLEX 100W & 200W units apparently did not, but I understand that newer ones do, though I do not know about the 400W unit that @tboooe mentioned he uses.

Hope that clears some things up.  :D

--Alex C.

 

 

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5 hours ago, tboooe said:

@Superdad question regarding the charging supply for the LPS-1.2.  I understand there is a strict requirement for 36W.  Right now, i am powering both an LPS-1 and LPS-1.2 from a single 9V output from my HDPlex 400W DC ATX power supply.  According to the HDPlex website the 9V output is only capable of 3A or 27W total, so assuming that spec is accurate I have a few questions:

  • Is it possible for the LPS-1.2 to be powered at this lower wattage?  I assume I able to because I am powering my 5V SU-1 with it.  Is this correct?
  • If so, is there any potential to damage the LPS-1.2 by powering it at this lower wattage?
  • Is the 36W requirements only if we are using the LPS-1.2 to power something at 9 or 12V?

 

Here is what is actually going on inside: the ultracaps are charged at two rates, the high current mode is roughly twice the current of the low current mode. The change between modes is determined by the output current, with a threshold of 0.5A. Above 0.5A the high current mode is used, below,, the low current mode.

 

There is also a fixed current overhead that powers all the control systems, sensors, ADCs, opto isolators etc. The overhead is constant, so "low current mode" is a bit more than half of what high current mode takes.

 

For a particular charging mode the current to the ultracaps is constant, BUT the voltage it charges to is higher for the higher output voltages. The caps are charged to 5V higher than the output voltage. Thus the power required to charge the caps increases as you go to higher output voltages.

 

Thus the highest input POWER happens when in high current charge mode, and 12V, output. At lower output voltages the maximum input power is lower but it is NOT in strict relationship of output  voltages. Remember the charging is 5V above the output voltage, the fixed overhead and the fact that the charging current actually increases at lower output voltages. There are fixed voltage drops in the charge circuit, at the lower voltages these become a larger percentage of the whole voltage budget, thus the current has to be increased to cover these fixed losses. Its all quite complicated, but we take care of all that.

 

THEN once you have the input POWER requirement you get to compute the input current needed for a particular input voltage. But the conversion is not perfectly efficient, there ARE some losses there. The result is that yes the input current requirement decreases for lower output voltage, and for output current below 0.5A, but there is no easy way to calculate exactly what it is.

 

Its not even easy to measure, the input current is not constant, charging happens for a period of time, then turns off while the other bank is discharging. In addition the current changes during a charge time. When charging is happening the charge current is constant, but the voltage increases, thus the power during a particular charge time is increasing. If you look at the input current on a scope you will see a saw tooth because of this. The peak of that saw tooth is the important part, that is the peak current required by the input supply. To actually measure it you need a peak hold current meter or a scope.

 

So yes, the input current requirement IS lower for lower output voltage, but don't even try and figure out what that might be. The 36W covers everything so we recommend using that. A 27W or 25W supply MAY work for a particular load and output voltage, but there is no way to calculate that in advance. You can certainly try something lower if you want to, but it may not work, there is no way we can guarantee anything below the 36W. We know 36W works for the maximum the LPS-1.2 can output, for anything else it's up to you to test it out.

 

On a note to Alex's post above, the LPS-1.2 has a much higher maximum input voltage than the LPS-1, it is rated for 24V input.

 

John S.

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25 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

Here is what is actually going on inside:

 

Great post John.  But likely more than any users needed or wanted to know. :D  I was trying to keep with practical info for them.

 

25 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

On a note to Alex's post above, the LPS-1.2 has a much higher maximum input voltage than the LPS-1, it is rated for 24V input.

 

I did mention that.  Now I have gone back and put that line in bold.

Thanks.  I'll try to phone you later.  Been doing parts ordering for you know what board today...

-ALEC

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