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Ultra Products Brand UV Mod Gear - Page 1 of 1
Posted: October 06, 2004
Author: Hellfire
Manufacturer: Ultra Products
Source: Ultra Products
Comment or Question: Post Here

People are always looking for a way to distinguish themselves from everyone else. PC users are no different. Computer case modifications can take shape in various ways, from simple case windows to full acrylic cases. One specific case modification that has really become popular is the inclusion of Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL) tubes. I hadn’t fully appreciated the purpose of this type of modification in the past, however after receiving several UV products from Ultra Products, I can say without a doubt that this modification can make a PC stand out in the crowd.

Ultra Products tempted me with the following items from their UV line:

• Super Brite CCFL UV Light Tubes
• Super Brite CCFL 80mm Round UV Lights Kits
• Blue UV Dual 18" IDE Cable
• 80mm UV Reactive Translucent Blue Fan

The four items listed above are sold in the retail packaging shown below...

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CCFL UV Tube Super Bright Lights:

First, let's take a look at the CCFL UV Light Tubes.

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The tubes are 12 inches in length, with slightly more than .5-inch end caps that have foam tape on one side that allow them to attach to the case. One piece of advice: Be sure you know exactly where you want to place these before you tape them down. Included in the kit is a power inverter that provides power to both tubes. From the inverter, power is supplied from a 4pin Molex adapter into the inverter’s 2pin power plug. An added feature to the kit is a power switch that mounts in an expansion slot. The power switch is a good thing, however you’ll need to have access to the back of your case in order to turn it on and off.

The power cable is 11 inches in length, which I found to be barely long enough to locate the tubes at the bottom of a mid-size tower. This unfortunately means that you likely won’t be able to mount the tubes in the middle of a full-size tower. I ended up placing both tubes at the bottom of my case (which is the same location the installation guide shows them). The problem with this is they only light the bottom half of the case very brightly. When comparing the Ultra with two other UV CCFL tubes (a generic and a Vantec), the Ultra UV tubes were the brightest of the three.

Round CCFL Super Bright Lights:

Next, let's look at the 80mm Round UV Lights, and see if they can enhance the effectiveness of the tubes.

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The 80mm Round UV lights were designed so that they to be installed on any 80mm fan. The kit includes the same accessories as the light tubes; power cable, inverter, and expansion slot power switch. The inverters are the same, so you can use one light tube from the first kit, and one 80mm fan tube from this kit with the same inverter. The only extra accessory in the 80mm kit is the inclusion of screws. The 80mm kit was very simple to install -just screw in four screws onto your favorite fan. The screws weren’t long enough to install both the light and a fan grill, which I found to be mildly disappointing. Once installed, the lights extend just a little over the edge of an 80mm fan. This is not a problem if you use screws to mount your fans, but if you have fan brackets that the fan snaps into, you can't use these lights with those brackets. Unfortunately, both of my Antec cases have these brackets.

Using one of these round CCFLs, with the tube CCFL makes a great combination. Placing a tube light at the bottom, and a round one at the top of the case provides ample light to brighten up any UV accessory you have.

18" Blue UV IDE Cable:

Having UV lights in your case is pointless unless you have things that are UV reactive. To show off the power of UV, Ultra also provided me with an 18" Blue UV IDE cable.

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The cable is built extremely well with a heavy (but flexible) UV plastic cover and aluminum mesh shielding. The way this cable reacts with the UV lights is incredible. Wherever the UV light hits the cable, it causes the cable to appear as if it was glowing. As far as performance goes, I ran some HD speed tests using standard IDE flat cable, and a generic round cable that came with my MSI motherboard. I did not find a difference in HD performance. The Ultra Products cable did get slightly better speeds but only VERY slightly. Having one blue UV cable, and one red cable in your case looks a little funny, so I went to my local CompUSA and picked up a generic blue UV cable to replace the red one. You would think one blue UV IDE cable would look similar to other blue UV IDE cables, but they don't always. The one Ultra Products sent me really IS blue, even without the UV light. The generic one I picked up, is ONLY blue when UV light is on it, otherwise it looks a very faint blue, almost looking clear. This is another plus on Ultra's side: when they say Blue UV cable, they really do mean it's blue (without UV light) and also UV reactive.

UV 80mm Blue Translucent Fan:

Finally, we have the 80mm UV translucent blue fan. This fan is a standard 80x25mm fan with a speed rating of 2500 RPM, airflow of 33.2CFM, and a noise level of 29.8dB. They included everything you need to install this fan -screws and a power adapter to connect the 2pin power cable to a molex power plug. I found this fan to be quieter than my other fans (Antec, SVC generic, and Memorex) of similar speeds. The quietness of this fan is a plus, even if you aren’t interested in the UV aspect of it. I did not notice any temperature difference when running this fan. One unique thing I did notice is that the direction of the airflow is near impossible to tell from just looking at this fan. It would be nice if the manufacturers would include some indicator to tell the direction of the air flow, so you don't have to test it to find out.

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And with everything installed, we have the action shots below...

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Conclusion:

In conclusion, I found these Ultra Product UV items to be very high quality and very effective at making your case appear more vibrant.

I found both of the UV lights for sale at places such as Tiger Direct, ZipZoomFly, and theNerds.net, for about $12 and $20 each, which makes them a little more expensive than the generic and Vantecs (which I purchased for $5 each). The 80mm UV fan was available for $5 to $7, and the UV IDE cables sell for about $10... not bad.

I would have no problem recommending these UV CCFLs to anybody that wants to add a little extra flash to their case. I would give these 4.5 stars out of 5, with the only major complaint being the length of the power cable.

Final Rating (4.5 out of 5 stars):


Pros:

• Very high quality
• Very bright UV light
• Gives your case just a little extra "flash"
• Very quiet fan (does not apply to CCFLs)

Cons:

• UV Light cables could be longer to suit larger cases
• No visual cue on fan to determine air flow

Special thanks to Ultra Products for supplying the UV Mod Gear to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel free to discuss this review!

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