Thinking about buying an UPS

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Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:30 am

I hope I'm posting this in the right place. Anyway, I was looking for a good surge protector when I thought to myself "Why not get an UPS and protect my PC from brown outs as well?"
The thing is, there is just too many to choose from on Newegg, and I'm not sure what I need. Do I really need a high wattage one that can power my PC for 15 minutes? I don't think so.
What I really want is just something cheap and small, just a bit clunkier than a normal surge protector, that will give me some better regulation of the voltage going into my PSU.

APC BE750G 750 VA 450 Watts Back-UPS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6842101311
CyberPower CP685AVR 685VA 390W UPS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6842102044

Is one of these what I'm looking for? If so, which one is better? Are they even worth it or would I be better served by something else? Any help will be much appreciated, as always.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:06 am

DeadOfKnight wrote:Do I really need a high wattage one that can power my PC for 15 minutes?

No, you probably don't. Just make sure your system doesn't have peak power consumption larger than the UPS can tolerate without being overloaded. You should measure your system's peak power (while running some program which will utilize maximum GPU and CPU resources) with a tool like "Kill-a-watt", or something similar.
Personally, I would go with some better models, like for example this model series from Cyberpower:
http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/produc ... eries.html
These units have AVR function (which is useful for prolonging the life of batteries) and provide the sine wave output while running on battery, unlike the "stepped approximation to sine wave" output on cheaper models (some poorly-designed power supplies can only work with UPS units which produce the real/pure sine wave output). Plus they are pretty well-built units overall and have the pretty, glowing displays which display various stats, if you're into such things :wink:

Also, I suggest checking other places while shopping for hardware, like Amazon - Newegg's prices are NOT always the cheapest :wink:
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:21 am

JohnC wrote:
DeadOfKnight wrote:Do I really need a high wattage one that can power my PC for 15 minutes?

No, you probably don't. Just make sure your system doesn't have peak power consumption larger than the UPS can tolerate without being overloaded. You should measure your system's peak power (while running some program which will utilize maximum GPU and CPU resources) with a tool like "Kill-a-watt", or something similar.
Personally, I would go with some better models, like for example this model series from Cyberpower:
http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/produc ... eries.html
These units have AVR function (which is useful for prolonging the life of batteries) and provide the sine wave output while running on battery, unlike the "stepped approximation to sine wave" output on cheaper models (some poorly-designed power supplies can only work with UPS units which produce the real/pure sine wave output). Plus they are pretty well-built units overall and have the pretty, glowing displays which display various stats, if you're into such things :wink:

Also, I suggest checking other places while shopping for hardware, like Amazon - Newegg's prices are NOT always the cheapest :wink:
I was looking at these. This one looks like a good choice and has a good rating on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6842102134

It is a lot more pricey and takes up quite a bit more space. I'm just using it to give my expensive gaming PC some extra TLC, it's nothing mission critical or anything like that.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:47 am

That 1500 seems like way overkill for most setups. You could drop down to the Cyberpower 1000va/600w unit instead and save a good bit of cash. That's the UPS I'm looking at buying very soon in fact. It should keep my 2500k/GTX580 PC up long enough to have it power down after 5 minutes for any extended outages.

As noted, Newegg does not have the best prices on these units, so shop around and be aware of the differences between pure sine wave and simulated sine wave and how it matters to your PC's power supply.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:41 am

Yeah, the 1500 is overkill. However, I would also avoid the little ones that look like overgrown surge protectors; I've had universally bad luck with those. Something in the middle ground (around 750-1000VA) ought to do nicely.

At work I can actually run a pair of workstations off of a single 900VA APC unit, though the UPS load does get pretty close to 100% if both systems' CPUs are fully loaded.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:22 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote: I'm just using it to give my expensive gaming PC some extra TLC, it's nothing mission critical or anything like that.

1) In battery backup mode, a UPS outputs some of the dirtiest power a PC might ever see. No problem. Because voltage much worse is also ideal power for all computers. Any 'cleaning' done by a UPS is completely undone inside the computer. And then superior 'cleaning' is done inside the computer to that even dirtier power.

This 120 volt sine wave UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Yes, that is a sine wave output. Because square waves and spike are nothing more than a sum of pure sine waves - as taught in high school math. They did not lie. They just hoped you would make assumptions rather than demand spec numbers that define 'clean'.

A UPS does not protect hardware. Its provides temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Time to save data or whatever.

2) Now, how to select a UPS. First determine all power consumption. One recommended using a Kil-A-Watt. A good idea. But most PCs (even with 800 watt supplies) consume about 200 watts; never more than 350 watts. Add the monitor (ie from a label where it power cord connects). Let's assume your total load is 350 watts.

A UPS is made as cheaply as possible. Its battery life expectancy is about three years. A UPS should still provide sufficient power three years later after the battery degrades. So a minimal selection might be a 500 watt UPS for that 350 watt maximum load. 500 watts provides a safety margin necessary for battery degradation and other technical reasons we need not discuss.

3) You considered a UPS as somehow better than a protector? Read spec numbers. How many joules in that power strip? Notice less joules in a UPS. Both are doing near zero protection. And just enough above zero so they can hype it as a surge protector. Again, every answer is useful only if defined by numbers. Best hardware protection is done elsewhere for much less money. That UPS is temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Nothing more.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:04 am

westom wrote: 1) In battery backup mode, a UPS outputs some of the dirtiest power a PC might ever see. No problem. Because voltage much worse is also ideal power for all computers. Any 'cleaning' done by a UPS is completely undone inside the computer. And then superior 'cleaning' is done inside the computer to that even dirtier power.

This 120 volt sine wave UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Yes, that is a sine wave output. Because square waves and spike are nothing more than a sum of pure sine waves - as taught in high school math. They did not lie. They just hoped you would make assumptions rather than demand spec numbers that define 'clean'.

A UPS does not protect hardware. Its provides temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Time to save data or whatever.

2) Now, how to select a UPS. First determine all power consumption. One recommended using a Kil-A-Watt. A good idea. But most PCs (even with 800 watt supplies) consume about 200 watts; never more than 350 watts. Add the monitor (ie from a label where it power cord connects). Let's assume your total load is 350 watts.

A UPS is made as cheaply as possible. Its battery life expectancy is about three years. A UPS should still provide sufficient power three years later after the battery degrades. So a minimal selection might be a 500 watt UPS for that 350 watt maximum load. 500 watts provides a safety margin necessary for battery degradation and other technical reasons we need not discuss.

3) You considered a UPS as somehow better than a protector? Read spec numbers. How many joules in that power strip? Notice less joules in a UPS. Both are doing near zero protection. And just enough above zero so they can hype it as a surge protector. Again, every answer is useful only if defined by numbers. Best hardware protection is done elsewhere for much less money. That UPS is temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Nothing more.

I know enough about electronics to know that neither an UPS nor a surge protector are perfect and that advertised specifications (such as joules) are misleading marketing terms. The bottom line is that either will be better during surges and spikes than being plugged into the wall. Surge suppression will not necessarily minimize, but it can dramatically lower the amount of dangerous voltage delivered to the equipment and hopefully prevent it from burning out. Again it's not perfect, but it is a justifiable expense.

An UPS is designed to deliver standby power during a blackout, it is not designed to clean the power, I know this. That is what the power supply is for. However, it can boost power during brownouts to avoid undervolting the PSU which can also cause damage or cause the equipment to shut down which is why it is preferable to a simple surge protector.

If the standby power isn't needed, perhaps it is not necessary or worth the added cost in areas that deliver reliable power, but it can't hurt. The standby power is nice to have if you're like me and cringe every time your PC experiences a hard shutdown while you're working, even if today's PCs are much better at recovering from them.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:07 am

westom wrote:This 120 volt sine wave UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts.

Which UPS? The Cyberpower model? Does this look like "square waves" (whatever the **** that even means):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media ... isremote=0 ? How the **** do you know it has a "spike of up to 270 volts"? Any sources? The manufacturer's site lists the output voltage as 120v with a variation of -/+ 5%, how does this turn into 270 volt?

westom wrote:A UPS does not protect hardware.

Yes, it sure doesn't - if a damaging surge of power (such as from a close lighting strike) will ever reach the UPS - UPS will simply let it through to burn up whatever hardware that might be connected to it, that is why the UPS manufacturers offer the warranty for connected equipment. :roll:
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:54 am

JohnC wrote: How the **** do you know it has a "spike of up to 270 volts"? Any sources?

I don't wait for anyone to tell me. I ignore hearsay. And have less respect for subjective claims from advertising and a post without relevant numbers. I connected that UPS to my oscilloscope and measured the up to 270 volt spikes found between square waves. What does your oscilloscope show? If you know so well as to post profanity, then what do you expensive test equipment measure?

Returning to the point which somehow got completely ignored in subjective denials. Even 200 volt square waves with a 270 volt spike is ideal power for electronics. Because electronics are designed so robust as to make even 'dirty' UPS power irrelevant. Even an AC power utility demonstrates what a typical UPS output looks like:
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-busi ... tip-03.asp

To obtain a low %THD waveform means a UPS typically costing about $1000 or more. Why does no typical UPS output power that clean and expensive? Because electronics does not need it.

Electronics, to create rock solid and low (5 VDC) voltages, converts 'dirty' or 'clean' UPS power to well over 300 volts (more than the 270 volt spikes). Then converts that to high voltage radio frequency spikes. Does not matter how clean UPS power is. First electronics make it 'dirtiest' Because a best electricity 'cleaner' is already inside electronic appliances. Making a $1000 UPS irrelevant and unnecessary. 'Cleaner' UPS power does little useful for electronics.

How do I know? I even designed this stuff. Why do I have an oscilloscope and others do not? I do this stuff. And expect a useful post to include hard numbers such as 200 volts, 270 volts, and more than 300 volts. If you know otherwise, then post numbers rather than subjective denials. If you know 200 volt square waves with a 270 volt spike is harmful, then state what part is damaged. I already did. No parts are harmed.

Same for a brownout. Show this designer the part harmed by a brownout. Since every power off is also a long slow brownout. How often are your electronics destroyed by power off? And what part is harmed? None.

UPS does virtually no surge protection. Because existing protection already inside electronics is superior. And because no UPS manufacturer numbers claim anything more than near zero protection. A UPS typically claims less protection than a power strip. Don't take my word for it. Ignore any subjective post. Instead, read the hard numbers.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 pm

westom wrote:
JohnC wrote: How the **** do you know it has a "spike of up to 270 volts"? Any sources?

I don't wait for anyone to tell me. I ignore hearsay. And have less respect for subjective claims from advertising and a post without relevant numbers.

The 'scope trace he linked to looks fairly clean to me. Yes, there's some visible distortion near the zero-crossing of the waveform, but it is *much* better than the typical "stepped sinewave approximation" put out by most UPSes. You don't need numbers to realize that it is a lot closer to a sinewave than a squarewave.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:25 pm

just brew it! wrote: The 'scope trace he linked to looks fairly clean to me. Yes, there's some visible distortion near the zero-crossing of the waveform, but it is *much* better than the typical "stepped sinewave approximation" put out by most UPSes.

To be that clean, a UPS must cost about $1000 or more. Others also posted that waveform. Were later to learn that was the UPS still connected directly to AC mains. That was not a waveform powered from a battery. What routinely comes from the typical UPS? A power utility engineer (not a layman) shows the typical output:
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-busi ... tip-03.asp

Meanwhile what is relevant? Please ignore irrelevance about a 'clean' UPS output. Because a 'dirtiest' UPS output - worse than what anyone has described here - is perfectly good power for all electronics. That is the only relevant fact. A ‘dirtiest’ UPS in your town is also perfectly good power for all electronics. Hopefully this repeatedly ignored point will finally be read.

Does not matter how 'clean' a UPS output is. Electronics first convert ‘cleanest’ power to something 'dirtier' than the cheapest UPS. Makes voltages significantly higher. And creates high frequency, high voltage spikes. Only then is power 'dirty' enough to start making rock solid and stable, low voltage DC. How rock solid and stable? Zero difference if power is from AC mains, a $60 UPS, or a $1000 UPS. That’s right. Cleanest power from AC mains or dirtiest power from a UPS - makes no difference due to serious designs routinely found inside electronics.

UPS only provides one useful function. Temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout. That cheapest sub $100 UPS accomplishes what a $1000+ UPS does. Because all is 'clean' enough power for electronics.

This question is also most relevant to every post. And completely ignored by those who ’fear’ dirty power. What part is harmed by 270 volt spikes from any UPS? None. What part is harmed by a brownout? None. Why then would anyone need a UPS to protect those parts? They don’t. UPS is most often recommended by feelings, hearsay, fear, urban myths, advertising, and complete electrical naivety. Not by facts and numbers.

A UPS only has one function. To provide temporary and very ‘dirty’ power during an outage.. Those other ‘claims’ are myths - a bogeyman - invented by ad men to manipulate the most naïve consumers.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:18 pm

FYI, this westom guy is a crackpot who rambles all over the internet on any threads about ups/surge protectors/lightning, save yourself the trouble of triggering the avalanche of noise by getting into an argument.

Two things from real world use:
-Output voltage wave pattern does matter with some active PFC power supplies. Many redundant server PSUs will see a typical consumer ups big fat square wave output and promptly shut off assuming things are bad. They are only a little bit picky though, wall power isn't so grand to begin with.

-Double conversion ("online") ups can be found for under 1k brand new, but I still wouldn't call them cheap or necessary for most home gear.

If you're patient and a little bit savvy, the cheapest method is to find a nice server UPS from either fleabay (maybe, shipping lead bricks tends to kill good deals though) or craigslist/liquidation (local) and put in brand new batteries (also local).

Like most things, the safest method is to buy something with good reviews and price from the usual places with a good return policy ;)
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:43 pm

Bauxite wrote:FYI, this westom guy is a crackpot who rambles all over the internet on any threads about ups/surge protectors/lightning, save yourself the trouble of triggering the avalanche of noise by getting into an argument.

Yea, I figured just as much... Good thing that "ignore" function works perfectly on these forums ;-)
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:20 pm

Further about sine wave/non sine wave: modern PSU's are designed to take both US (120) & European (230) power sources (or really, pretty much anything in between). So in the US, PSU's are generally fine even with the higher than normal peak voltage coming off some modified sine wave (squareish) UPSes. In Europe however, I'd think about a pure sine wave design. Modified sine wave UPSes there generate peak voltages high enough to do damage in some PSU designs.

See also:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthr ... 964&page=4
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/archive ... -7866.html
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:44 pm

westom wrote:UPS does virtually no surge protection.

LOL... I've personally seen inexpensive consumer-grade UPS units that were severely damaged (melted/cracked casing and permanently destroyed internal circuitry) by nearby lightning stike but which still protected all the equipment that was connected (and running) to them during the strike, whereas the similar equipment in same house that was NOT protected by any power protection system was permanently damaged. I think I'd rather believe in my objective experience than some armchair power protection doomsayer on internets, thank you very much :wink:
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:01 pm

Bauxite wrote:
-Double conversion ("online") ups can be found for under 1k brand new, but I still wouldn't call them cheap or necessary for most home gear.



Opti-UPS makes a relatively inexpensive double conversion UPS line

Excuse the ignorance, but what is the advantage of having an online UPS? Is it to protect against voltage spikes and dips from the AC supply? If the AC supply is normally fine, why would you want this function?
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:02 pm

I also have the Cyperpower CP1500 linked above, and I'm very happy with it, although as mentioned above, for most setups it is overkill. Pretty much only crossfire/sli setups need apply. I presume the 600w model would suit you just fine. I got my CP1500 for $180/free shipping I think (waited for a deal), so if for some reason you do decide to go with it, I'd wait for a better price than $220 at newegg right now.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:25 pm

I just bought a CP1500PFCLCD from NCIX to replace a UPS that died. I've got my dual Xeon X5650 rig connected to it. No noise and much smaller than I expected. +1 for Cyberpower.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Jason181 wrote:I also have the Cyperpower CP1500 linked above, and I'm very happy with it, although as mentioned above, for most setups it is overkill. Pretty much only crossfire/sli setups need apply. I presume the 600w model would suit you just fine. I got my CP1500 for $180/free shipping I think (waited for a deal), so if for some reason you do decide to go with it, I'd wait for a better price than $220 at newegg right now.

I was about to say the same thing. I'm also the proud owner of the exact same UPS mentioned above. Cyberpower has great, stable software and their units are the best in the business. Best of all, the damn alarm can be turned off so it's completely quiet! No humming, buzzing or other unnecessary noises! 8)
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:34 pm

I had the older version of the APC BE750 mentioned in the original post. It didn't play well with my Antec power supply with active PFC. My PC and monitors are only drawing around 200W so I was well within the capability of the APC; it's just an example of one of a power supply that doesn't like UPS with square wave output. I replaced it with a Cyberpower 1350PFCLCD and everything is happy. It's a bit bigger but I plan to hang another server for the household off it. The other UPS I looked at were APC SmartUPS models, which I have experience with at work, but the Cyberpower cost less.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:36 am

Bauxite wrote:FYI, this westom guy is a crackpot who rambles all over the internet on any threads about ups/surge protectors/lightning, save yourself the trouble of triggering the avalanche of noise by getting into an argument.

ROFLMFAO that's hilarious, why would anyone care that much about surge protectors?
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:58 am

DeadOfKnight wrote:
Bauxite wrote:FYI, this westom guy is a crackpot who rambles all over the internet on any threads about ups/surge protectors/lightning, save yourself the trouble of triggering the avalanche of noise by getting into an argument.

ROFLMFAO that's hilarious, why would anyone care that much about surge protectors?


Bad case of OCD? :wink: I've seen that happen before - people get obsessed with some particular topic (anything from computer operating systems to people's race/nationality to all-wheel-drive systems in particular car brand :o ) and can't prevent themselves from spamming each forum/message board related to particular topic with some redundant, repetitive assumptions with no valid references...
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:07 am

JohnC wrote:
DeadOfKnight wrote:
Bauxite wrote:FYI, this westom guy is a crackpot who rambles all over the internet on any threads about ups/surge protectors/lightning, save yourself the trouble of triggering the avalanche of noise by getting into an argument.

ROFLMFAO that's hilarious, why would anyone care that much about surge protectors?


Bad case of OCD? :wink: I've seen that happen before - people get obsessed with some particular topic (anything from computer operating systems to people's race/nationality to all-wheel-drive systems in particular car brand :o ) and can't prevent themselves from spamming each forum/message board related to particular topic with some redundant, repetitive assumptions with no valid references...

Well if that ever happened with me you'd never know it because I don't use the same handle in every forum.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:31 am

In any online discussion of electrical surges in power lines, westom is an environmental presence with persistence
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=81945&p=1123447#p1123447
His admirable adherence to the doctrine of "single point earth ground" mimics religious behaviors.
One might say he is an "evangelickle" Ground Earther.

But he does make some points with some data on occasion, and perhaps his beliefs should be construed as a faith-based way of life, like those of the fashionably alarmist AGW or gay-rights movements.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:34 am

JohnC wrote: I've personally seen inexpensive consumer-grade UPS units that were severely damaged (melted/cracked casing and permanently destroyed internal circuitry) by nearby lightning stike but which still protected all the equipment that was connected (and running) to them during the strike, whereas the similar equipment in same house that was NOT protected by any power protection system was permanently damaged.

So a refrigerator, washing machine, furnace, every dimmer switch, every bathroom GFCI, all clocks, and every smoke detector were also destroyed? If all those devices (not on a UPS) were not destroyed, then your conclusion is classic junk science reasoning. You cannot just ignore examples that contradict your conclusions. Or do you have invisible UPSes on those other undamaged appliances?

Reality. Appliances have superior internal protection. A surge, too tiny to harm most appliances, easily destroyed a grossly undersized (less robust) UPS. Had one 'whole house' protector been installed, then even the UPS (and a few other less robust appliances) would be unharmed.

The scam is quite popular and easily believed when ignoring what a surge is. It is an electric current. If incoming to a UPS, then the same current is also outgoing via attached appliances. A current existed simultaneously on both sides of that UPS. But the UPS was so grossly undersized as to be severely damaged long after that current was inside everything. Appliances, conducting that same current, obviously demonstrated superior internal protection - were unharmed. Those appliances must protect themselves because a UPS connects AC mains directly to each appliance. Even the manufacturer says that UPS has near zero protection. Or do you ignore numbers?

Well, many think a surge struck a UPS, did damage, and stopped. Even elementary school science says eletricity does not work that way. But the scam is easily promoted when one only uses observation; forgets to include basic science. Knowledge only from observation is classic junk science. Knowledge requires learning (and remembering) concepts even taught in elementary school science.

That is the point. So many are even nasty because the scam so easily manipulated them. They foolishly thought a UPS or protector, that does not even claim protection, has somehow performed magic. UPS numbers do not claim that protection. The UPS was so poorly designed as to be harmed by a tiny surge that could not damage most other household appliances. Better is to attack the messenger rather than admit that adverising has so easily manipulated them.

Many also believe power cycling destroys light bulbs only because a bulb fail on power on. Power cycling does not harm bulbs. But many, with so little ability to learn, instead become an expert by using observation. They saw a burn fail during power on and therefore know it all. So many also love to waste $85 on a $4 power strip with some ten cent protector parts. Or will spend over $1000 on a UPS that only accomplishes what a $60 UPS does. Because hearsay and advertising (not facts and numbers) has educated them. Those, the most easily scammed, will even post disparaging remarks.

UPS only useful function is temporary power during blackouts. Your failed UPS demonstrated that superior protection was already inside appliances. Damage from a current (maybe once every seven years) is routinely averted by earthing a 'whole house' protector. But that means learning over 100 years of well proven science. And remembering concept even taught in elementary school science.

A UPS was destroyed because the only effective protection was inside its attached appliances. UPS protected nothing - not even itself.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:57 am

westom wrote:So a refrigerator, washing machine, furnace, every dimmer switch, every bathroom GFCI, all clocks, and every smoke detector were also destroyed? If all those devices (not on a UPS) were not destroyed, then your conclusion is classic junk science reasoning. You cannot just ignore examples that contradict your conclusions. Or do you have invisible UPSes on those other undamaged appliances?

Reality. Appliances have superior internal protection. A surge, too tiny to harm most appliances, easily destroyed a grossly undersized (less robust) UPS. Had one 'whole house' protector been installed, then even the UPS (and a few other less robust appliances) would be unharmed.

The scam is quite popular and easily believed when ignoring what a surge is. It is an electric current. If incoming to a UPS, then the same current is also outgoing via attached appliances. A current existed simultaneously on both sides of that UPS. But the UPS was so grossly undersized as to be severely damaged long after that current was inside everything. Appliances, conducting that same current, obviously demonstrated superior internal protection - were unharmed. Those appliances must protect themselves because a UPS connects AC mains directly to each appliance. Even the manufacturer says that UPS has near zero protection. Or do you ignore numbers?

Well, many think a surge struck a UPS, did damage, and stopped. Even elementary school science says eletricity does not work that way. But the scam is easily promoted when one only uses observation; forgets to include basic science. Knowledge only from observation is classic junk science. Knowledge requires learning (and remembering) concepts even taught in elementary school science.

That is the point. So many are even nasty because the scam so easily manipulated them. They foolishly thought a UPS or protector, that does not even claim protection, has somehow performed magic. UPS numbers do not claim that protection. The UPS was so poorly designed as to be harmed by a tiny surge that could not damage most other household appliances. Better is to attack the messenger rather than admit that adverising has so easily manipulated them.

Many also believe power cycling destroys light bulbs only because a bulb fail on power on. Power cycling does not harm bulbs. But many, with so little ability to learn, instead become an expert by using observation. They saw a burn fail during power on and therefore know it all. So many also love to waste $85 on a $4 power strip with some ten cent protector parts. Or will spend over $1000 on a UPS that only accomplishes what a $60 UPS does. Because hearsay and advertising (not facts and numbers) has educated them. Those, the most easily scammed, will even post disparaging remarks.

UPS only useful function is temporary power during blackouts. Your failed UPS demonstrated that superior protection was already inside appliances. Damage from a current (maybe once every seven years) is routinely averted by earthing a 'whole house' protector. But that means learning over 100 years of well proven science. And remembering concept even taught in elementary school science.

A UPS was destroyed because the only effective protection was inside its attached appliances. UPS protected nothing - not even itself.

No one said that equipment connected to an UPS is safe or that the UPS itself was immune to damage, nor has anyone said that all electronics are incapable of surviving a surge on their own. With your reasoning people would be better off with an insurance policy in case of damage ignoring all preventative measures to help minimize the headaches of such an event. Also, I think there are more credible people than you who work for large corporations and government agencies that decide it is worth the added expense of an UPS to protect their electrical equipment...which they all do, universally. Maybe not for every computer on the network, but they definitely have them to protect their larger, mission critical assets. That's in addition to an insurance policy, most of the time.

Edit: Ok, I admit I have no idea what your credentials are. Given how obsessed you seem to be with this topic you could be the go-to guy for these things in your workplace, but my point still stands. The truth of the matter is that this "scam" seems to be universally accepted by cost-conscious organizations with deep pockets and large assets to protect, don't you think there's something you might have missed? OK, I'm done feeding the uh...windbag.
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DeadOfKnight
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:40 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote: Ok, I admit I have no idea what your credentials are.

We could never have damage. So we even broke open integrated circuits to discover what human mistake made damage possible. How to separated the informed from the sheep? The informed are appalled when sheep so routinely believe outright lies. The informed see scams when claims are made without hard facts and numbers. That UPS recommendation is a perfect example of sheep fraudulently portraying themselves as experts while recommending bogus solutions.

You were clearly manipulated by junk science, advertising, and hearsay. Probably did not even realize it. Ignore what is irrelevant such as credentials. View what is relevant. Did you read and post UPS manufacturer spec numbers? Where is even one number that claims hardware protection? Where is even one number that defines a 'pure sine wave'? Those questions define the fewer informed consumers who are not so easily manipulated by lies (subjective claims). But again, why did so many just know cigarettes increase health. For the same reasons you thought a UPS does surge protection. Even the manufacturer does not claim that protection. Adveristing, hearsay, and the most naive do.

Facilities that protect their hardware locate solutions where power and communication wires enter the building. That is where a completely different device, also called a UPS, is located to protect hardware. You could have equivalent protection for about $1 per protected appliance. Why would anyone spend $100 per for a UPS that does not even do such protection? Scams are that easily promoted.

Your asked
I was looking for a good surge protector when I thought to myself "Why not get an UPS and protect my PC from brown outs as well?"
The answer was simple. For about $1 per protected appliance, install protection for everything. Even today's stoves need that protection. Protection even from direct lightning strikes. Its specification numbers say so. That solution is found in every facility that can never have damage including ones I worked on. Including military bases, nuclear hardened facilities, commercial radio stations. ham radio stations. all telephone COs (without exception), ships, and even munitions dumps.

Why spend less for superior protection? Because that superior solution was routine even 100 years ago. So that direct lightning strikes caused no damage.

Again, the topmost point. How many who just knew without first learning. How many were experts only because they saw something - also called junk science reasoning. How many know (like the lemmings in Apple's famous TV commercial) because other told them how to think. Only a minority know, by first learning hard facts, the numbers, and a few decades of experience, making even direct lightning strikes irrelevant. Knowledge that makes others here just nasty ... rather than admit how easily advertising can play them for a fool.

If you did not want a best answer from the few who really know this stuff, then why do you keep posting? Best solution, without exception, is earthling a 'whole house' protector.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:59 pm

westom wrote:Electronics, to create rock solid and low (5 VDC) voltages, converts 'dirty' or 'clean' UPS power to well over 300 volts (more than the 270 volt spikes). Then converts that to high voltage radio frequency spikes. Does not matter how clean UPS power is. First electronics make it 'dirtiest' Because a best electricity 'cleaner' is already inside electronic appliances. Making a $1000 UPS irrelevant and unnecessary. 'Cleaner' UPS power does little useful for electronics.


The primary purpose of a UPS is to supply power in the event of a power failure, so that you can keep working in the event of a short failure, or shut down cleanly in the event of a longer failure. A good UPS will also provide some surge protection.

How do I know? I even designed this stuff. Why do I have an oscilloscope and others do not? I do this stuff.


Ownership of an oscilloscope does not automatically convey master status on the subject. I own a stethoscope, and yet I am no doctor.

And expect a useful post to include hard numbers such as 200 volts, 270 volts, and more than 300 volts. If you know otherwise, then post numbers rather than subjective denials. If you know 200 volt square waves with a 270 volt spike is harmful, then state what part is damaged. I already did. No parts are harmed.


And yet, despite your numbers, most folks who support PCs and servers have experienced issues with these machines when plugged into dirty power. Even if parts aren't being physically "harmed" there are potential memory issues, timing issues, crashing, etc.

Same for a brownout. Show this designer the part harmed by a brownout. Since every power off is also a long slow brownout. How often are your electronics destroyed by power off? And what part is harmed? None.


Again, despite your numbers, many of us here have experienced problems caused by brownout conditions. Burned out power supplies are one example of a part being harmed. But, as with dirty power, even if there isn't physical harm to any part, your PC can experience memory issues, timing issues, and outright crashing. I can prevent these issues with a UPS.

UPS does virtually no surge protection. Because existing protection already inside electronics is superior. And because no UPS manufacturer numbers claim anything more than near zero protection. A UPS typically claims less protection than a power strip. Don't take my word for it. Ignore any subjective post. Instead, read the hard numbers.


Once again, your numbers aside, experience tells us otherwise. I've seen firsthand a UPS after it's taken the brunt of a massive surge, leaving the equipment attached to it intact. Which means that instead of replacing many thousands of dollars of computer equipment, we replaced a UPS.

You can cite whatever numbers you want - the fact of the matter is that many of us actually experience the things that you're claiming don't happen... When I say I believe a UPS is useful, I'm not saying that because of advertisement or whatever - I'm saying it because I've had multiple experiences where a UPS actually worked as intended.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:14 pm

cphite wrote: And yet, despite your numbers, most folks who support PCs and servers have experienced issues with these machines when plugged into dirty power. Even if parts aren't being physically "harmed" there are potential memory issues, timing issues, crashing, etc.

Many if not most IT people do not even know how electricity works. Even a problem among most computer repair people as demonstrated by a consumer magazine. One need not know anything about electricity to pass the A+ Certified Computer Tech exam.

Some of my earliest jobs were supporting computers and servers (back then called computer centers). We literally fixed computers by replacing the ICs. (One disk drive moved its heads with motor oil.) Power was almost never a reason for failure. We never really saw any UPSes. We designed the hardware. Programmed it. And literally knew what every semiconductor did. Even tested designs by running at lowest and highest voltages - that most homeowners never see.

Unfortunately many IT people who just know it must have been bad power also would not know the difference between a tens of dollar stethoscope and a multi-$thousands oscilloscope. And have no idea how hardware works. Most IT people blame bad power because advertising says so.

If you know a brownout caused hardware failure, then again, what specific part was damaged and why? This challenge was posted numerous times. Never once answered due to so many without basic electrical knowledge.

Why do you suspect damage from a brownout? Conclusions made only from observation? What part failed or why? Not a rhetorical question. An answer that should have already been posted. Otherwise you have no idea what caused a failure. Again, a junk science conclusion only from observation.

How many minutes were your lights at less than 40% intensity? Not even that number is provided. But you just know a brownout did that damage? Many even knew crashes from counterfeit electrolytic capacitors were due to surges. Until press reports finally educated them.

What is the most common source of computer failure? The naive automatically blame heat or power - the usual suspects. Neither. The most common reason is manufacturing defects. But then few actually fix computers let alone know what each part does. Most only blame what urban myths and hearsay suggest.

OP asked for surge protection. How was it done even long before the IBM PC existed? When we fixed computers that were never on any UPS? When a UPS dd not even exist? Single point earth ground and 'whole house' protector. Then best protection already inside electronics need not be overwhelmed. Brownouts only cause damage because a popular urban myth says so.

Why were brownouts not destructive when computers were so less robust - long before the PC even existed? Nobody was hyping a UPS in advertising to naïve consumers.
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Re: Thinking about buying an UPS

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:26 pm

westom wrote:
JohnC wrote: I've personally seen inexpensive consumer-grade UPS units that were severely damaged (melted/cracked casing and permanently destroyed internal circuitry) by nearby lightning stike but which still protected all the equipment that was connected (and running) to them during the strike, whereas the similar equipment in same house that was NOT protected by any power protection system was permanently damaged.

So a refrigerator, washing machine, furnace, every dimmer switch

Yes, they were all damaged and replaced. The furnace was disconnected from the circuit, so there was no damage. Would they still work with a whole-house surge protector? Yes, they most likely would, but that's not the point of this discussion (nobody was asking ANYTHING about whole-house protection until YOU came and FORCED this topic onto everyone... just like you were doing on every other forum). The point of this discussion is that good UPS unit can provide proper protection (including protection from damaging surges) for all connected equipment. My (and other people's) personal experience proves that it can. The point was also that more expensive UPS units which provide sine wave output are sometimes better for connected equipment than the cheaper UPS units which can only provide a stepped approximation to sine wave output. Other people's experience and PSU manufacturer's direct statements and PC manufacturer's direct statements show that to be true. You "believe" otherwise, but your personal baseless beliefs are irrelevant. Not sure why you can't understand that...

westom wrote:Reality.

Which drugs do I need to take to try that... "reality" of yours? :wink:
Last edited by JohnC on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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