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Powerware 9120 UPS and L1000

Bruce Ordway_1
Occasional Contributor

Powerware 9120 UPS and L1000


I wanted to use a UPS I already had available rather than buy something new.
It is a pretty nice Powerware 9120 3000.

I also want the monitoring to work.

I was checking the cable pinout info on this forum & things didn't seem to be matching up correctly. I think I may have to make my own cable.

The UPS has a built-in female db9.
The L1000 has that 3 to 1 cable with a male db9 labeled UPS.

The UPS manual say pins =

1 - Low Battery
2 - Rx
3 - Tx
4 - reserved, loopback
5 - signal ground
6 - reserved loopback
7 - open
8 - AC fail
9 - no connection, DC supply option

The info I found for a UPS cable for the L1000 looks like it wants
to use pin 9 on the UPS side for signal ground instead of 5.

Would I be OK with a cable like this?

UPS --- L1000
3 Rx ------- 3 Tx
2 Tx ------- 2 Rx
5 GND ----- 5 GND


Bruce Ordway
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Powerware 9120 UPS and L1000

Quite incompatible. The L1000 uses a 9 pin RS-232 serial cable. Even if it was compatible, there is no software on the HP-UX system to monitor the UPS. HP-UX only supports an old Sola style UPS so you would have to write your own monitoring program complete with a graceful shutdown when the batteries are running out, a selftest initiator and status checker, and a warning method to signal UPS battery or inverter problems.

Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Honored Contributor

Re: Powerware 9120 UPS and L1000

No need to code your own UPS software, someone has already done it:


Network UPS Tools (NUT) is an open-source UPS monitoring software.

It's compatible with many UPSes, including Powerware 9120. The serial port protocol used by Powerware 9120 is called BCM/XCP. It is based on actual serial communication, not just contact closure, so your cable has a good chance of working.

The only potential problem is pins 4 and 6: the word "loopback" suggests they might be used to detect cable presence. If the cable won't work as-is, these two might need to be connected to something (to each other and/or signal ground, most likely). Try with the simple cable first.

Your UPS
Bruce Ordway_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: Powerware 9120 UPS and L1000

Thanks for the info.
I have only browsed the site briefly.
I didn't see an HPUX package, so I assume I use the source.

Any more tips you can provide?