Review: Ultra Dual 12" Green Cold Cathode Kit

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by RObErT_RaTh, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. RObErT_RaTh


    Aug 24, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Australia Mate!
    First off I would like to thank Case Mod God and Ultra Products for this great prize which I won in their latest month long contest.
    Product: Ultra Dual 12” Green Cold Cathode Kit
    Supplied By: CMG and Ultra
    Price: MSRP $14.99
    First Impressions:
    Since the Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lights (CCFL’s) themselves are clear/white it was good to see some packaging with a green background. I’ve noticed lots of other kits have the same packaging and a box on the back of the packet is marked with the corresponding colour. With the packaging being coloured there is much less chance of someone purchasing the wrong colour in store.
    The CCFL’s came neatly packaged with everything you need to install this kit without needing to modify your case in any way. Some kits come with a round rocker switch which you may need to drill a whole in your case or a spare drive bay cover to mount it but this kit comes complete with a switch that can be mounted on a supplied PCI bracket.
    A Closer Look:
    When I opened the packet I found the two cathode tubes, an inverter that supports up to two cathodes, a PCI bracket with space to mount a switch, and the inline cable to supply power to the inverter with a connected switch. I liked the fact that the inverter had two sets of several small holes drilled into the box so that warm air could escape. I have heard of other cheaper grade inverters over heating and catching on fire but I can’t see this happening with the quality Ultra Products kit.
    Since this kit came with a PCI bracket to easily mount the switch we may as well use it. First you have to disconnect the switch from the cables to clip it into the bracket. This can easily be done by sliding back the plastic shielding over the connectors, sliding off the connectors and that’s it.
    Now you have to push the switch into the bracket and once it is flush it locks itself in place. I found this to be a little difficult to start with and I actually put too much force on it and began to bend the PCI bracket. I’m now very glad that Ultra supplied a steel bracket instead of an aluminium one because otherwise I could have easily bent the bracket in half. Hook the connectors back up to the switch and slide the plastic covering back over them and you are done.
    Simply mount this bracket at the rear of your computer in a spare PCI slot and connect the cables up to your power supply. The cables are designed to work inline so that you don’t need a spare power cable to hook up this kit. This can be handy if you already have many items installed inside your case. If you are out of connectors just unplug another item, connect the supplied cable up to it and then plug it back into the original item.
    Connect the other part of the cables to the inverter and also connect the CCFL’s to the inverter and mount them where you think would be appropriate inside your case. I always find that around the edge of the left side of the case there is always room. It also keeps the tubes out of direct view so that you get a nice glow in your case with a window and not a bright light that people don’t want to look at.
    To aid in the mounting of the CCFL’s Ultra has supplied the tubes with some adhesive pads on each end so the tubes don’t go flying around your case when you are moving it or taking it to a LAN.
    The tubes themselves are fairly lightweight and are just a clear cylinder with 2 clear mounting blocks on the ends. They have a small length of cable attached to the end to connect up to the inverter but it isn’t long so try and mount your inverter near your CCFL’s. They don’t look like much now but just wait until we turn them on.
    I installed the CCFL’s in my system along the rear and base of the left hand side of my system. I sat the inverter at the back near the PCI slots but if I was planning on moving this case around I would want to secure it. I have used velcro before and it has been quite affective especially if you plan to move your CCFL’s around or put them in a different case. Here is a shot of the entire kit installed with the flash on.
    And this is how it looks without the flash.
    I don’t know about you but I think that looks pretty green to me. These CCFL’s really are quite bright and by the looks of it could easily light up the largest of cases with ease.
    What more could you want in a CCFL kit? You get not one but two tubes, a quality inverter, and a mounting bracket for the switch to avoid unnecessary case modifications and all for a low price. And if you don’t like green then here is a great selection of different colours to choose from. I think Ultra has done a great job with this kit but there are a couple things I would have liked to see. Having velcro on the ends of the tubes would have been preferred because it allows more room to move and also some velcro or adhesive pads on the bottom of the inverter would have been nice. Other than that I can’t see anything wrong with this kit.
    The Good:
    Great price
    Very bright and show true colour
    No need to modify case
    Comes with everything
    The Bad:
    Nothing to mount the inverter with
    The Ugly:
    I give it 9/10
    RObErT_RaTh, Aug 24, 2005
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