Does the Orion Online Pro Series UPS System Pass the Test?

SSI’s Bob Grossman puts the UPS to the test and found mixed results from feature to feature.

Orion Online Pro Report Card


  • Complex, feature-rich UPS system marred by subpar documentation and attention to detail


  • Solid construction
  • Feature rich
  • Excellent software with enterprise features
  • 37-month warranty with $150,000 load protection guarantee
  • Channel-friendly distribution


  • Horrible documentation
  • Hard to program without the software

VERDICT (scale 1-5, with 5 the highest)
Features: 4
Construction: 4
Setup: 1
Preformance: 5
Overall: 3

This unit does anything you could possibly want a UPS to do, and if you are already familiar with the unit, you’re in for a great time. It can convert 120VAC mains power to 100V, 110V, 115V or 120VAC at either 50Hz or 60Hz. It has two ECO modes (ECO and advanced ECO), which essentially turn the unit into a line-interactive UPS when you’re within a certain range of ideal power (+/- 3V). Some of the outlets on the rear apron are programmable, so you can have certain devices shut off after a predetermined power outage duration to increase battery run time. There are a number of fault indicators, and the rotatable front panel is a wealth of information.

Here again, we are caught up by the manual. If you are going to do anything other than simply plug the UPS in and use it, you have to crack the manual. And that’s impossible to do without scratching your head at the inconsistencies. Want to try the self-test mode? The manual says “Press ON/MUTE buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds …
” but there is a single button marked ON/MUTE. Connecting the power cable on the 3kVA unit? The manual says you’ll need a 40A circuit breaker, but it’s a 30A plug and a 30A unit. Want to flip the display from landscape to portrait? There is no mention of how to do that. It’s easy to do; you just need a blunt screwdriver to pry it out of the bezel, but how many people want to start poking around a large and expensive UPS with a blunt screwdriver when not specifically instructed? There’s also an emergency power off (EPO) function that will allow you to kill power, instructions as to how to enable it, but no wiring diagram for the switch.

Programming is handled through an arcane and unintuitive set of numeric commands accessible from the front panel using three control buttons. This was extremely frustrating, largely because of the manual, and I ultimately gave up. But wait, I thought, there’s a USB plug on the back, and a serial port. Surely there’s software. Maybe I can program the unit through an easy-to-use and intuitive interface.

The ViewPower software that comes with the Online Pro Series is as good as the manual is bad. Intuitive with a clean user interface, it allows you to easily program all parameters. You can also log purchase information, warranty information and even get a reminder when it’s time to change the battery. There are dozens of reminder events and all can be set for E-mail, local alarm, SMS – if you have an extensive UPS installation, this is the way to go. Unfortunately, very few people use the included UPS software, and that’s a shame in this case.

Again, if all you are looking to do is plug the UPS in and turn it on, and you figure out the battery conundrum, setup isn’t too bad. In the Installation and Setup section of the manual there’s a drawing showing the rear panel with arrows and identification numbers. Of the 11 things that are pointed out, the first four are correct. The others are all wrong, but you should be able to figure them out. The Ethernet surge protection plugs (RJ45) are labeled “Emergency power off function,” the USB port is labeled “RS-232,” and so on. In fact, #11 isn’t even on the list, and #4 is missing from one of the drawings.

At the end of the day, this is a UPS, and in our limited testing it seemed bulletproof in that regard. The front panel display was off by 1 volt on both the input and output sides, but that really doesn’t matter. We tested the various voltage outputs both with devices and a volt meter and found them to be within specs. The included software kept us well apprised as to what was going on, and the Online Pro handled every piece of delicate equipment we plugged into it without a hitch. From an operational point of view this is an excellent product without qualification.

Stay tuned later this month for a review of Orion Office Pro on

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About the Author


Bob Grossman has held positions in all areas of the security industry — giving him plenty of opportunity to learn from his mistakes! Bob has authored articles for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION and other publications and has spoken at numerous industry events both internationally and in the United States. Currently the founder and president of R. Grossman and Associates, a consulting firm, he divides his time between project-based work for large integrated systems and product consulting for a variety of cutting-edge manufacturers. For more information, visit

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