UPS question.

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Dave49, Feb 10, 2008.

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  1. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    Along with using TI 11, I'm concerned with what seems to be increasing power fluctuations in my area. The way the power goes on and off every few minutes sometimes, I'm worried about this damaging my machine. Will you guys give me some advise as to which UPS systems are the best? And which ones have the space between outlets for the bricks which manufacturers insist on putting on the very end of the power cables?

    I would need one with 1 outlet for the Dell XPS Gen5 computer, having 2HDDs, 2 DVD drives, and not much else. I've got some peripherals like printer and scanner, cable modem and wireless router, speakers, etc. But I don't think power interruptions would really hurt that stuff.

    Thanks,

    ~Dave
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I'd look at the APC brand before any other. You will have to change batteries after a few years, and you want a manufacturer who has replacements.

    All that really needs to be on the UPS is the computer. All other units can be on good quality surge protector strips. The more things plugged into the UPS, the faster the battery will run down when there is a power outage, so reserve it for what needs to have power long enough for a safe shut down if necessary.

    If the outages are of short duration but frequent, you might want to have your cable/DSL modem and router on the UPS. If the bricks won't fit on the UPS directly, you can connect them via a short power strip plugged into the UPS.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have had good and bad units with several major brands.

    Currently, I use APC. I would recommend you don't go lower than a 900VA unit. This will allow more run time and also let the unit operate at under 50% load (in most cases). In my experience, the cheaper ones are not worth it. I've had two flake out within one year (650VA units).

    Figure on replacing the unit or the batteries at least once every three years. More often if power switching is often. My UPS gets triggered quite often, so I don't usually get three years. One to two is probably closer.

    If you have frequent brownouts, consider getting a unit that will handle them without having to switch to the battery.

    I don't worry about the outlets. If I need more space, I just connect a standard powerstrip (no surge protection, not needed) and use that. I'd never get all my "bricks" into any normal sized unit otherwise.

    Along with the computers and monitors, I keep my routers, DSL modem and switches plugged into the UPS units. This allows the internet connection and network to stay up when the power flicks.
     
  4. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    I'm not sure what that means. Doesn't the battery kick in and prevent shutdown during brownouts?

    Would you guys care to suggest a model?

    ~Dave
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  5. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    I'll have to second MudCrab's suggestion above of APC. We have quite a few of these at work that have been flawless.

    APC BACK-UPS 900VA 120V
     
  6. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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  7. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    It's not a bad price but I personally prefer to buy these type items from a walk up merchant so that I can see them eye to eye if it breaks, but that's just me :cool:

    In any case, here's some price range comparisons $76.00 - $182.00 at 19 stores. You can input your zip code if it does not pick up your actual IP.
     
  8. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    That's great! Thanks, Bubba et al.

    ~Dave
     
  9. spydikers

    spydikers Registered Member

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    DAVE49.....I have very much the same situation where I live [St. Pete/ Tampa
    Florida] area and got sick of repairing/replacing Ram, Motherboards, and other electronic things. I bought two such units as recommended by the other posters here[one Tripplite model Smart 1000 LCD and one Cyberpower
    model 1285 AVR] .I have all of my computer set up plugged into both of these units [with the exception of my Canon inkjet printer] and when the power gos off I can stay at my computer and use it uninterrupted for about
    30mins give or take a few. The LCD monitor does not even blink [an alarm does beep though]. Both of these models come with LCD readout panels on the units themselves and both come with user setup power mgt software.
    I did all of this and more [regular battery ups for other electronics, DVD revorder etc] about 2 years ago and I have had no electrical/electronic repairs since.....William
     
  10. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    I have used Tripplite surge suppressors in the past. They have always been very fine products.

    ~Dave
     
  11. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Look for user replaceable batteries. I replaced a Belkin UPS only problem was the batteries. My APC batteries are user replaceable.

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  12. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    I've owned a Belkin, then an APC, and now a CyberPower. From all of those, I have had more luck with this CyberPower (like the one spydikers stated) and haven't had to replace the batter as fast as the other two. This CyberPower I have is 1285VA but Best Buy Geek Squad branded, they are the same thing though. I got that one for $100 when it went on sale, its regular price is $150.

    dja2k
     
  13. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    I live in an area where power outages are normal facts of life. It's been a couple of week since the last one and it is better than a few years ago.

    I have two right now, need two more or a network one. I have an Emerson Liebrert Iton 600 which at the moment powers two computers. The other is a old King Giant UPS 625 which powers one computer my flat screen, my providers DSL Router, My router, and KVM switch. I use a power strip and short power cord (12") for the power adapter bricks. I have one computer bravely plugged in to a AVR. All other equipment (printers, scanner, speakers, etc.) is plugged in to AVR's.

    For a single computer (monitor) 600KVA should be enough. My Emerson USP above is at 45% load right now. I cannot tell you about the King UPS as it does not have a computer interface connection.

    My next UPS(s) will be probably 1000KVA or better and have an interface connection to signal a shutdown on power loss. I am somewhat limited on my name, model choices here but as long as it has an interface connection and I can get replacement batteries I don't care.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    On a lot of the lower-end models, yes. The UPS switches to the battery to supply power. However, some of the more business oriented models (and higher-end models) offer brownout voltage compensation which ups the output voltage without having to switch to the battery. I think the general priciple is that it results in less switching and longer battery life. Of course, if the voltage drops too low the UPS will switch to the battery to keep the connected devices powered.

    If you live in an area with frequent outages, the UPS will always have to switch. If you live in an area with frequent brownouts, a UPS that supports this feature should provide longer service.

    Here is a excerpt from the APC website:
     
  15. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    One has to remember the primary reason for a home UPS is to keep the computer up until you can safely power it down, not to keep it running until power returns. If you need that, then buy a generator.

    Most decent UPS's provide AVR capabilities. My definition of a brownout is reduced voltage levels. In this area we rarely get brownouts of any significance and they are handled quite well by my UPS's and AVR's. Not to long ago we had a very noticeable brownout, both UPS switch to battery. The most common is a total blackout or loss of power.
     
  16. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    I currently run a Belkin for about the last year to eighteen months, used to go through periods of very short powercuts, like 20-30 seconds, tops and get several in the space of a few hours, then nothing for months, then same again. According to my electricity company most of these were cased by work on the power lines.
    Have now moved to a different location and whist I have not experienced any power failure here, I do notice the light dim slightly quite regularly. more like a flicker than anything else, but it is constant. So I am looking for a new UPS, as suggested I will prolly move up to1000VA or 1200VA, currently only using a 650.
    Looking at these two
    Belkin 1200VA

    APC 1500VA
     
  17. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    Wow. Thanks for all the great advise. I ordered the APC 900VA one suggested by Mudcrab and Bubba. I'll let you know how it goes, as I've never used one of these things before.

    ~Dave
     
  18. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I have a pair of 650W Advice UPSs. They work quite well. They usually work at about 45% load. The battery can last for about 20 min. Plus, the UPS have the feature to safely turn off the computers after 5 minutes, preventing data loss in case of longer outages.

    It's amazing how many tiny, 0.5sec spikes are there. 1-2 every week, maybe more. These are life-savers for computers. On a side note, a high-quality PSU (power supply) also goes a long way in keeping the machine healthy.

    Mrk
     
  19. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Yes I would be interested in your experience with that one.

    From what I can see the issues for me are on the one hand, the Belkin has standard UK plug outpu, the decent APC's do not, so additional power leads have to be bought. On the other hand it is not very clear how you get replacement batteries for the Belkins as they do not support user replacing batteries. APC seems much more amenable here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  20. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    Well the APC seems to work just fine. The Powerchute 2.0 Personal Edition allows for shutting off alarms, and making a couple decisions about how long to wait before shutting the system down during a prolonged outage.

    One note about the software:

    Compatibility issues with Symantec's Norton AntiVirus Corporate
    Edition:
    The Corporate Edition of Norton AntiVirus can have compatibility
    issues with PowerChute Personal Edition. We do not recommend that you
    have both of these applications installed at the same time.


    ~Dave
     
  21. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx for the update Dave
     
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