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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [03.22.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Enermax
Model Number: UC-106TMFA
MSRP: $38.00

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In use

These three buttons control the LCD and the alarms associated with its data.  Setting it up is a bit of a pain, but you should only need to set it up once, and then it'll be fine. That's assuming you even bother, since the defaults are fairly adequate. You can set an alarm in case the fan speed drops too low, or the HDD temperature gets too high.  Of course, if the temperature gets too high, you can turn the fan up with the dial right on the front.

The LCD is a little hard to see, depending on angle and lighting.  A segmented LED display, similar to the PC Geiger would provide much better visibility. Ideally, you should be looking at this LCD at or near eye level to see it.  But the nice blue-glowing lighting is very cool looking.  Oh, and the red activity LED is SUPER bright.

Pressing the "reset" button will set the RPM and temperature alarms to their defaults (45 degrees C and 1000 RPM, which are pretty good for most setups).  So unless you're seriously into positive control of your setup, all you should ever have to hit is that "reset" button. You might notice  F2 and T2 values in the configuration if you set it manually.  That's because Enermax uses the same controller firmware on their other products, some of which have 2 sensors for temperature and fan. 

Hit one of the alarm values, and an alarm buzzer sounds, and the numbers in the LCD start flashing.  This is good, but what ISN'T good is that the alarm stops after 30 seconds, even though the LCD continues to blink.  It would be better if this were a user-selectable option to have it continue or stop after 30 seconds.  Another good option might have been the ability to have the fan automatically adjust its speed based on the temperature reading from the hard drive.  I'm not sure how hard it would be to implement, but it would certainly be handy.

We played around a bit with the fan.  Unfortunately, the HDD we were using isn't known for producing very much heat, so it didn't make a whole lot of difference in temperature.  it DID, however, produce a lot more flow noise when turned all the way up, so there are situations where you'll want to adjust it.  One thing you'll want to watch out for is the placement of the thermistor.  As you can see, with some hard drives, it should be bent into place so that it's got good contact with the HDD itself, because it won't automatically touch.  Ideally, you want to touch the metal part at the top, since that will probably be quite a bit warmer than the plastic on the sides.  You don't want to try slipping the thermistor into the seam in between the two; you might break the airtight seal and render the HDD inoperable. I didn't spot any thermal tape in the box, but in a situation like this, ordinary "scotch" tape would most likely work fine if needed.

This is a nice device.  While not as flashy as some might like, it's a very useful, functional tool with a clean, modern design.  It's also an incredibly useful tool when used with a hot-spare or hot-swap RAID setup, or as a way to test hard disk drives.  I know I'll be HAPPY to use this to test hard drives; it's ideal for us when we need to measure how hot a HDD gets.  It supports all the way up to ATA-133 as well.  What more could you want?  Pretty colors?  Buy a can of paint and make it whatever color you want, already! Well, ok, so it can't react on it's own to an over-temperature setting, true.  And the alarm stops after 30 seconds. The LCD is the most visible at eye level, but the blue highlighting is still nice. Nothing is perfect, and if you can live without these things, then that is a pretty good unit to have.  The price is a bit higher than many swap setups, what what do you expect for the extra monitoring and cooling functions?

  • Available in 3 colors
  • Solid, sturdy design
  • Good fan setup
  • Integrated monitoring
  • Great for testing
  • Perfect for ATA RAID servers

  • Alarm stops after 30 seconds
  • Fan can't auto-adjust based on temperature
  • LCD could be more visible

Final Score: 80%