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Panamax MB1500

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS), voltage regulator, and power conditioner

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  • Panamax MB1500

    Front

  • Panamax MB1500

    Angled front

  • Panamax MB1500

    Back

  • Panamax MB1500

    With rack-mount ears

 

Our take on the Panamax MB1500

by Steve Kindig
Panamax

Keep your home theater safe from sudden outages

The Panamax MB1500 protects your audio/video gear three ways. First, it guards against harmful spikes and surges that can damage equipment with either one catastrophic strike, or the cumulative damage that can compromise delicate electronics over time. The MB1500 also maintains outgoing power at a consistent, optimal level, ensuring the best possible picture and sound from your gear. But what sets the MB1500 apart from most power conditioners is its massive built-in uninterruptible power supply (UPS). When a blackout or brownout hits, the Panamax instantly switches over to battery power — with enough capacity to keep you going through brief power interruptions, or to give you time to shut down your system in the proper sequence.

Panamax MB1500

Plenty of connections for your equipment

The MB1500 gives you a total of eight outlets for protecting your audio/video gear. Four "critical load" outlets take priority over the other four — useful for connecting components that benefit the most from battery backup. That would include hard-drive-based components like DVRs and media servers. It's also ideal for a home theater PC. Panamax included a serial port for connecting to a PC, allowing the MB1500 to send a command to the PC that closes all programs and safely shuts it down when the power goes out.

The benefits of battery backup

The MB1500's battery-based uninterruptible power supply will provide peace of mind to owners of home theaters — especially projector-based systems. During a power interruption, the Panamax's battery power will keep a projector's cooling fan engaged, which allows the bulb to cool down properly. Panamax also included a pair of outputs for IR flashers, so that you can program the unit to send out shutdown or standby commands to IR-controllable components. And besides the protection aspect, the battery backup offers serious convenience value. For example, it can allow your DVR to finish recording a program, and prevent critical equipment from losing setup configuration or other stored data. The MB1500 uses Panamax's largest UPS battery, and provides true sine wave output, to improve compatibility with computer products.

Clean, consistent power for high-performance audio/video gear

The MB1500 features Panamax's tried-and-true Automatic Voltage Monitoring circuitry, which constantly monitors the incoming line voltage. If it senses unsafe voltage conditions such as momentary spikes, it automatically disconnects power to your equipment, protecting it from damage. High-performance audio gear can be especially fussy when it comes to AC power, and the MB1500 addresses that with voltage regulation, which maintains outgoing AC power within an optimal voltage range for your  components. Panamax's exclusive LiFT (Linear Filtration Technology) filters noise evenly across the entire frequency band, removing the harmonic noise that can keep high-performance equipment from performing at its peak.

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Highlights:

  • 8 AC outlets with 4 programmable isolated banks:
    • two isolated, battery-protected banks of two outlets for critical-load components
    • two isolated, battery-protected banks of two outlets for non-critical-load components
  • 1500VA/900W uninterruptible power supply (UPS) provides battery power to components during brief blackouts and brownouts
  • UPS backup time: 12 minutes with full load, 32 minutes with half load
  • automatic voltage regulation circuitry ensures that components receive consistent power by maintaining voltage within an optimum range
  • Automatic Voltage Monitoring circuitry will automatically disconnect equipment from power if it senses an unsafe power condition
  • LiFT (Linear Filtration Technology) filters noise evenly across the entire frequency band
  • type-B USB port allows communication between the conditioner and a computer
  • RS-232 serial communication port for connecting to an automation, media server, or computer system
  • two 3.5mm jacks for connecting IR flashers (requires infrared flashers, not included)
  • front-panel LCD display shows status and menu navigation
  • two resettable circuit breakers provide optimal overload protection
  • maximum current rating: 12 amps (recommended maximum of 7.5A for battery power)
  • includes USB cable (Type-A-to-Type-B), serial cable for RS-232, software CD, and rack mounting ears
  • 17-1/16"W x 4"H x 20-11/16"D
  • weight: 72.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years (2 years on battery)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Type
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UPS
Total AC Outlets
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8
High-Current Outlets
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None
USB Connections
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1
RF-EMI Filtering
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Yes
Joule Rating
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Not given
Powerline Network Compatible
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No
Connected Equipment Guarantee
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N/A
Width (inches)
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17-1/16
Height (inches)
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4
Depth (inches)
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20-11/16
Weight (pounds)
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72.5
Parts Warranty
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3 Years (2 Yrs battery)
Labor Warranty
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3 Year (2 Yrs battery)
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • UPS chassis
  • Front-panel
  • 70" DB 9-Pin cable
  • 70" USB cable (USB Type-A connector on one end and USB Type-B connector on the other)
  • 2 Rack mounting brackets
  • 10 Flat head machine screws
  • 4 Pan head machine screws
  • 5 Flat washers
  • Power Control software CD-ROM (ver 2.2)
  • Owner's Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Front-Panel Installation Instructions (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Quality Assurance Test Certfication

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Panamax MB1500 is an all-in-one, programmable Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Automatic Voltage Regulator, Surge Protector, and Power Conditioner that features Panamax's Automatic Voltage Monitoring (AVM) circuitry and Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT).

  • Uninterruptible Power Supply: A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) maintains power temporarily to ride out short black-outs or brown-outs preventing lengthy restart sequences. It allows safe shut down for extended black-outs. DVR's can continue to record. Unique IR control (Patent Pending) allows projectors to cool their lamps properly to prevent damage from excessive heat before shutting down.
  • Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR): Voltage regulation (keeping voltage within specific operating ranges) prevents equipment lock-ups due to power sags and keeps equipment from heating up (power supplies require more current when voltage is low). There are two AVR settings; Sensitive AVR supplies 120 volts AC +/- 5 volts with an input of 98-135 volts, Standard AVR supplies 120 volts AC +/- 10 volts with an input of 93-145 volts, AVR can also be turned off.
  • AVM Automatic Voltage Monitoring: Panamax's power monitoring circuitry constantly monitors the AC line voltage for unsafe voltage conditions such as momentary spikes or prolonged over-voltages and under-voltages (brownouts). These unsafe conditions pose a very dangerous threat to all electronic equipment within the home. If the MB1500 senses an unsafe power condition, it will automatically disconnect your equipment from the power to protect equipment from damage. When MB1500 disconnects from the power, the Battery Backup Outlets are switched to battery power. When subjected to a 6,000V (open circuit voltage) / 3,000A (short circuit current) surge, the MB1500 limits its voltage output to less than 330V peak, UL's lowest rating. The MB1500 will withstand, without damage, 10,000A surges, far exceeding the UL requirement of only 3000 Ampere surges.
  • Protect/Disconnect Surge Protection:  If the magnitude of the surge is greater than the capacity of the surge protection components, the MB1500's Protect or Disconnect Circuitry will disconnect your equipment in order to protect it. The MB1500 will need to be repaired or replaced by Panamax if this occurs within the 3 year product warranty.
  • LiFT Linear Filtering Technology Noise Filtration: Unfortunately, traditional AC power conditioners have been designed for unrealistic laboratory conditions. Prior technologies, whether multiple-pole or conventional series-mode filters, could actually harm audio and video performance more than they help, due to the resonant peaking of their antiquated, non-linear designs. Under certain conditions, these designs can actually add more than 10 dB of noise to the incoming AC line. Worse still, lost digital data, the need to reboot digital presets, or destruction of sensitive digital converters are frequently caused by excessive voltage spikes and AC noise contaminating the equipment ground. Panamax's LiFT takes a different approach, ensuring optimal performance through linear AC noise filtering with no ground contamination.

Critical Load Function: The MB1500's Critical Load Function sets the battery capacity level where the non-critical load outlets are turned off and all remaining battery power is reserved for equipment plugged into the four critical load outlets. The non-critical outlets can be set to turn off immediately when power is lost. This value is stored internally by the UPS and is not dependent on having the software running on a computer.

Learning IR Control: The learning IR function lets you program the UPS to send standby or shut-down commands to components such as a projector. If the power fails, the projector's lamp is turned off while the UPS continues providing battery power to the projector's cooling fan. Proper shutdown is ensured and expensive lamps are protected from damage. The UPS can learn two IR commands. The learned commands will be transmitted on both output jacks so you have ability to control two different pieces of equipment or use a two-step macro for one component.

Power Control Software (Version 2.2): The Power Control software is designed for use with Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. It works in conjunction with the UPS to provide full protection of home theater equipment including digital video recorders, home theater PCs, and video projectors/lamps. This program may be used temporarily during the initial system setup or used to manage your home theater computer.

  • UPS Initial Setup: An installer can use a notebook computer to set the variables within the Home Cinema Power Control software. Once the setup is completed, the notebook computer can be disconnected and all the settings are stored in the UPS.
  • UPS Manager: The UPS can provide continued power to the computer to maintain recording capabilities when it is used as a digital video recorder. It is also capable of saving open documents and shutting down the computer during extended power failures. This requires a permanent RS232 or USB connection and having the Power Control software running in the background.
  • UPS Schedule: There is also a Scheduled feature that can automatically save and close open files and then shutdown the computer and UPS at a user specified date and time as well a re-start the computer at a user specified date and time. Use of this feature is optional and is not required for the power failure shutdown to occur.
Note: The UPS will provide surge suppression, automatic voltage regulation, and battery backup without this software. Automatic shutdown of a computer requires the used of this software.

Front Panel Display: The MB1500 features front-panel LEDs and a LCD display to indicate the following:

  • Bank 1: LED illuminates blue when the two Bank 1 (critical) outlets are on
  • Bank 2: LED illuminates blue when the two Bank 2 (critical) outlets are on
  • Bank 3: LED illuminates blue when the two Bank 3 (non-critical) outlets are on
  • Bank 4: LED illuminates blue when the two Bank 4 (non-critical) outlets are on
  • Line Fault Indicator: LED illuminates red to warn the user that a wiring problem such as a bad/missing ground or reversed wiring exists within the AC receptacle.
  • Status Display: Blue backlit LCD indicates current status, menu items, or settings.

Rear Panel Connections: All of the MB1500's connections are found on the unit's rear-panel:

  • Non-Critical Load Outlets: Four battery powered, AVM protected outlets for connected equipment ensures temporary uninterrupted operation of connected equipment during a power failure. These outlets will shut off when the batteries drain to a designated level to reserve remaining battery charge for the critical load outlets
  • Critical Load Outlets: Four battery powered, AVM protected outlets for critical-load equipment ensures temporary uninterrupted operation of connected equipment during a power failure.
  • Circuit Breakers: Two resettable circuit breakers provide optimal overload protection.
  • RS232 Serial Communication Port: The serial port allows connection and communication between the UPS and a home automation system or computer; this allows the installer to program a number of variables, including the Critical Load Battery Threshold; a 70" DB 9-pin serial cable is included.
  • IR Output Jacks: Two standard 3.5mm mono mini-jack ports for connection to IR flashers (sold separately).
  • USB Port: The MB1500 can also be connected to a computer using the USB (type-B) port.

Battery: The MB1500 UPS uses a sealed, maintenance-free, lead-acid battery which requires 4 hours charging time (6-8 hour charge recommended before initial use). Consumer replacement not recommended, contact Panamax customer service at 800-472-5555 for battery replacement information.

BlueBOLT Compatible: The Panamax MB1500 is BlueBOLT compatible (with BlueBOLT-CV1 interface card, sold separately), which provides remote access to reboot components, power equipment on/off, and monitor power quality from anywhere in the world.

Rack Mountable: The MB1500 comes supplied with two mounting brackets and hardware which allow you to rack mount the unit.

Warranty Information:

  • 3 Year Product Warranty: Panamax warrants to the purchaser of this Panamax audio/video component style uninterruptible power supply, for a period of three (3) years from the date of purchase, that the unit shall be free of defects in design, material, or workmanship, and Panamax will repair or replace any defective unit.
  • 2 Year Battery Warranty: Panamax warrants to the purchaser of this uninterruptible power supply, for a period of two (2) years from the date of purchase, that the batteries shall be free of defects in design, material, or workmanship, and Panamax will replace any defective battery.
 
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