UPSes

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UPSes

Postposted on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:16 pm

Here's my experience with using UPSes. I buy one, unbox it, plug it in and test it out and it provides about the amount of run-time the box says it should. Fast forward 3-5 years and the power goes out while I'm home. I notice the UPS lasts about 2 minutes. Not good. The batteries in the consumer grade stuff I get perhaps just don't last as long as I wish they did. Maybe my expectations are too high. On one of my APC 600 VA units, the color laser printer (on the non-battery side) now causes the unit to freak out and send the "power down!" message down the USB connector. That sucks when that happens---USB cable unplugged.

I've generally bought a typical APC consumer grade 600 VA for $80 or so. Replacement batteries are generally expensive enough that I just buy a new unit.

I need two units. One powers my home server (draws 50-60W at the outlet). The other powers my gaming/work PC (if it's even on, about 70W when idle, I don't remember), a gigabit switch (8W), and a small router (2W). I'd like to be able to get about an hour runtime out of it. For a 60W load, that should be around a 750 VA unit.

Any better options than continuing forward down my horrible path? Any brand recommendations? Any good battery replacement options? I'm willing to spend more if it means I can get a longer serviceable life. (Recycling UPS batteries is painful.)
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:41 pm

3-5 years is pretty much normal for lead-acid UPS batteries, it's usually all I get on my higher end SmartUPS.

esc_in_ks wrote:(Recycling UPS batteries is painful.)


Do you have a Batteries Plus near you? You can just drop them off there. If not, you can do a search on earth911.com to see if there's anyone near you that will take them.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:35 pm

Your expectations are too high. :P That battery life was normal (it can always vary depending on the amount of power outages or the build quality of each battery).
As for recommendations for a new unit - take a look at Cyberpower units, their "PFC Sinewave" line. Just buy as large one as you can afford (in case if you'll be making an unscheduled hardware upgrades in future).

esc_in_ks wrote:about an hour runtime out of it

Why? If you have such long blackouts - you should invest into a natural gas-powered standby generator :-?
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:47 pm

JohnC wrote:Why? If you have such long blackouts - you should invest into a natural gas-powered standby generator :-?

Have NG to the house and a whole-house gen (20 kW or so, with a single main-line transfer, no 240V loads in the house) is on my short list of things to do with the excess cash I never have. I've got a 1500VA CyberPower on the main box and a small 600VA or so would keep the TiVo happy in the 30 seconds or so for the NG generator to decide it's a real outage and spin up.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:27 am

esc_in_ks wrote:Fast forward 3-5 years and the power goes out while I'm home. I notice the UPS lasts about 2 minutes. Not good. The batteries in the consumer grade stuff I get perhaps just don't last as long as I wish they did. Maybe my expectations are too high.
I would say the expectations are pretty much unrealistic. Even "maintenance free" car batteries eventually need replacement about 3-5 years or so, depending on usage. Didn't your UPS beep you about needing battery replacement? On my more expensive SmartUPS a light will show up prompting me to replace batteries, and the manual did say starting 3 years you should watch for that. If you are the more anal type, you will probably have a spare bought before the light shows up.

esc_in_ks wrote:I've generally bought a typical APC consumer grade 600 VA for $80 or so. Replacement batteries are generally expensive enough that I just buy a new unit.
The tech guy in my previous company said that those <$100 consumer grade APCs are to be treated as glorified power bars. :o So I bought a SmartUPS when they went on sale. A few years back (yes, almost 3 years, so I will be on the lookout for the battery light), I bought a CyberPower unit that are their higher spec'ed line.

esc_in_ks wrote:Any better options than continuing forward down my horrible path? Any brand recommendations? Any good battery replacement options?
Don't buy <$100 units. Look for sales of higher end units at the ~$200-500 range. For batteries, the usual recommendation is upsforless.com (they have a .ca site for Canadians).

esc_in_ks wrote:(Recycling UPS batteries is painful.)
Check out your community's "household hazardous waste collection day" events. They usually hold those days for people to bring weird stuff like old paints, batteries, tires (!) and they will take them for free or a low fee.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:51 am

The part about "<$100 UPS" being a "glorified power bars" is a slight exaggeration :wink: They are cheap, don't have "sine wave"-type output (which doesn't really matter for many devices), don't (usually) have AVR and have slow "transfer time" but they still offer good blackout/brownout/surge protection for low-current devices and have a manufacturer's warranty for device itself as well as Connected Equipment Guarantee. I use these to power stuff like routers and PoE injectors (which aren't always located near PC), they work good for that...
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:04 am

3-5 year lifetime for a UPS battery is normal. Better units will periodically test the battery and/or have an alarm that starts sounding a couple of times a day after a few years, to remind you to change the battery. If yours don't have the "change battery" alarm, maybe it is a sign that the manufacturer doesn't expect the UPS to last until it needs a new battery. :wink:

The problem with the laser printer could be due to marginal house wiring. It sounds like the printer is drawing enough current when it starts up to case a mini-brownout; that shouldn't happen. Was the USB message triggering a system shutdown, or just popping up a warning? Plugging the printer into a separate surge strip plugged into a different outlet might help.

In my experience, UPSes costing less than $100 do indeed tend to be junk. They work at first, but all of the ones I've owned have died after a few years (in many cases even before their first battery replacement). I opened one of them up after it died, and the circuit board was charred; another one actually blew in fairly spectacular fashion, shooting sparks and smoke out of the vent holes! In contrast to this, I own several "better" UPSes (nothing fancy, typically in the $125-$150 range) which have all been going strong for a decade or more (and yes, the two oldest ones are on their third battery now).

My community has a hazardous waste drop-off facility. I just keep a couple of boxes in the garage -- one for dead CFLs, and the other one for lead-acid/NiCd batteries (UPS, power tools, etc). Every few months I make a run down to the drop-off facility. As long as I don't show up right before closing there's no (or a minimal) line, and it only takes a few minutes.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:59 am

JBI wrote:In my experience, UPSes costing less than $100 do indeed tend to be junk. They work at first, but all of the ones I've owned have died after a few years (in many cases even before their first battery replacement).


Seconded.

Next time I buy a UPS it's definitely going to be one of those "better" ones. Buying the cheap low-end consumer-grade ones is doesn't seem to work out very long or well.

JBI wrote:My community has a hazardous waste drop-off facility. I just keep a couple of boxes in the garage -- one for dead CFLs, and the other one for lead-acid/NiCd batteries (UPS, power tools, etc). Every few months I make a run down to the drop-off facility. As long as I don't show up right before closing there's no (or a minimal) line, and it only takes a few minutes.


Definitely a good idea. I've used best buy for battery-recycling in the past, but they only take rechargeables. I'm afraid that anything else, or even strange form-factor batteries like power-tools, would just go into the trash. However, if you've got a old cell phone or laptop battery, they can be really convenient if you're going there anyway (I don't usually shop there, but they're right by where I live).
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:43 am

Glorious wrote:Definitely a good idea. I've used best buy for battery-recycling in the past, but they only take rechargeables. I'm afraid that anything else, or even strange form-factor batteries like power-tools, would just go into the trash.

AFAIK non-rechargeables tend to be pretty benign these days. I believe they've all been reformulated to eliminate mercury (which was the issue back in the day).

I do try to use NiMH rechargeables wherever possible. Unless you've got a device that doesn't like the slightly lower voltage, it's a win-win -- cheaper over the long run, *and* less waste.

Some power tools still use NiCd (they're still better at high-drain applications than NiMH), and cadmium is some fairly toxic stuff.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:34 am

Flying Fox wrote:I would say the expectations are pretty much unrealistic. Even "maintenance free" car batteries eventually need replacement about 3-5 years or so, depending on usage. Didn't your UPS beep you about needing battery replacement? On my more expensive SmartUPS a light will show up prompting me to replace batteries, and the manual did say starting 3 years you should watch for that. If you are the more anal type, you will probably have a spare bought before the light shows up.


No no NO NO NO. Do NOT have another lead-acid battery sitting on-hand as a spare. They self-discharge and will crap out after 6 to 8 months. If you keep a trickle charge on them, it'll keep them alive but then the life is going to be about the same as the battery in the UPS so it'll die about the same time, especially if they are from the same manufacturing run (check the burn code for clues to that).

You might be able to get more life out of them using something like a PulseTech charger, but then you've got to factor in the cost of the premium charger and the electricity over X years that you're continually using anyway.

I used to manage a Batteries Plus back in the day and yeah, we'd have to write off inventory every so often on the obscure stuff that didn't move like 8V sealed-lead-acid batteries or coin cells for the strangest watches you've ever seen. Ok, no, *I* would write off the inventory, I'm sure the other stores just sold the crap instead of testing it first before selling it, but I figure better to find out before the customer walks off with a bad battery when I know the stock is old.

If you have a nearby BattPlus, maybe ask if they have any spare UPSs that they are willing to sell for the cost of the batteries plus 10% or something. They are all pretty much franchises. We used to get $ for spent lead acid cores as part of our car battery shipment. They give us a pallet, we give them one back and they count up how many cores we got. A month later we get a credit on our bill. The thing is, no one takes old APC units so we'd have a stack of them sitting out back. I guess we coulda dumped them in the dumpster. And hey, maybe some franchises now dump them to electronic recycling places. Still, I used my discretion a few times to move batteries plus old UPS with no warranty on the UPS.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:39 am

just brew it! wrote:The problem with the laser printer could be due to marginal house wiring. It sounds like the printer is drawing enough current when it starts up to case a mini-brownout; that shouldn't happen. Was the USB message triggering a system shutdown, or just popping up a warning? Plugging the printer into a separate surge strip plugged into a different outlet might help.


Yeah, get that off the UPS even if in a non-battery outlet. Separate surge strip, different outlet is a very good suggestion.

...we'd use our heat gun (for shrink-wrapping custom-made battery packs) as a 1000W load tester on UPSs to make sure they'd work when swapping out the batteries.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:45 am

Glorious wrote:Definitely a good idea. I've used best buy for battery-recycling in the past, but they only take rechargeables. I'm afraid that anything else, or even strange form-factor batteries like power-tools, would just go into the trash. However, if you've got a old cell phone or laptop battery, they can be really convenient if you're going there anyway (I don't usually shop there, but they're right by where I live).


We used to use a program called RBRC, Recyclable Battery R-something Corporation. I think that's mainly been replaced by this:

http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/

Lotta places take rechargable batteries. If your power tool has a strange form factor, it doesn't matter, they will take it. It used to have plastic baggies you could seal batteries in so bare ones wouldn't short each other out and cause fires but I don't know if they still do that.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:54 am

esc_in_ks wrote:I've generally bought a typical APC consumer grade 600 VA for $80 or so. Replacement batteries are generally expensive enough that I just buy a new unit.


That always frustrated me. Why make the batteries modular if it's not economically feasible to replace them? Oh, wait, it's because APC and Tripplite and the others don't make money on selling batteries, they make them on selling UPS units. Nevermind.

esc_in_ks wrote:I need two units. One powers my home server (draws 50-60W at the outlet). The other powers my gaming/work PC (if it's even on, about 70W when idle, I don't remember), a gigabit switch (8W), and a small router (2W). I'd like to be able to get about an hour runtime out of it. For a 60W load, that should be around a 750 VA unit.

Any better options than continuing forward down my horrible path? Any brand recommendations? Any good battery replacement options? I'm willing to spend more if it means I can get a longer serviceable life. (Recycling UPS batteries is painful.)


I, too, don't understand the 1 hour requirement. Power is out everywhere. UPS is beeping every minute. No internet since I assume the entire area is in a blackout. What you need is an UPS with USB and software that allows you to send graceful shutdown commands to your server and desktop and call it done. I don't know, do some of them do WoL when power is restored? I never looked into that.

If it's just your house where the breaker, um, broke, will it take you 1 hour to reset it? What is the draw of your monitor/LCD? Or will you be RDPing/remoting into these machines via a laptop? Again, to what end?

I have 3 1000W APC UPSs at my place. 1 for the wife's computer, 1 for mine, and 1 for the cable modem/switch/random server in the basement. And honestly, it's just there to give some protection against brownouts and short few-minutes blackouts. Anything longer than about 5 minutes I shut stuff down. At some point I'd love to get a whole-house surge protecter as I live out in the boonies a bit and lightning strikes on the power isn't unknown.

I have access to more UPSs as well. 1500W units. 3000W units. But when looking at my use, I couldn't justify maintaining them. Do I *really* need that kinda uptime? For what purpose? If you really care about uptime, do something like this:

http://www.dansdata.com/upsupgrade.htm

Use marine or RV batteries (deep cycle) as they have thicker lead plates and are designed to be completely depleted and get recharged. Regular car batteries use thinner plates for more surface area for more PUNCH when turning over/starting the engine but as a consequence when they get depleted the lead plates tend to disintegrate so can't be used all the way up and recharged more than 2 or 3 times. At least, I wouldn't count on it working more than that.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:09 am

Last spam before I get back to work. My experience in ripping apart UPSs is about 10 years old at this point, but I remember the CyberPower units as being kind of piles of crap. Hard to get to the batteries, not very well-designed units. Maybe things have changed since then. My memory of UPSs is thus:

APC/Schneider Electric - switches from wall power to battery when power goes out
Tripplite - always runs off the batteries, no switching done when power goes out
Everything else - random consumer crap

Not once did someone bring in a rackmount unit that was anything but APC or Tripplite in the years I worked at that battery shop. And most of the "bad" APCs that I was brought to recycle just needed new batteries and they were fine. The business mentality was to just buy a replacement and call it done but at $1000+ for a new UPS versus $300 for new batteries, it made no sense to me. I told the people who brought them in but at that point it was too late anyway and they didn't care. Ah, well.

I don't want to be all brand-snob, but I think it's a better chance that some of the quality from the server-room equipment trickled down to the consumer options than someone like CyberPower over-designing their UPSs for consumers.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:28 am

Same here. I got myself a Powercomm 1KVA UPS in April 2009. Back then I was still sporting an Athlon X2 4800 with an HD4670. I tried to see how long the UPS can provide juice to the system while running a game (Thief Deadly Shadows), and it was 25 minutes. Not bad. Fast forward to about 2-3 years later. When the power goes out, so does the PC. No delay. The UPS is practically useless.

Also, does anyone here know whether or not a typical UPS will 'waste' more energy than an AVR? I'm using a coil-type AVR with this PC. I'm sure it introduces some level of inefficiency to the system, i.e., if the PC needs just 100w off the wall, putting an AVR between it and the wall will make the whole PC+AVR suck a bit more than 100w off the wall. Is this right? And will using a UPS instead of an AVR introduce more inefficiency?
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:51 am

Scrotos wrote:No no NO NO NO. Do NOT have another lead-acid battery sitting on-hand as a spare. They self-discharge and will crap out after 6 to 8 months.

Yes, I learned this the hard way, but not because I kept a spare sitting around. Let's just say that if a place is selling discontinued UPSes on clearance (TigerDirect... *ahem*), be aware that you may need to replace the battery after just a few months, and factor that into the price. The one included with the unit is probably on its last legs already because it has been sitting in a warehouse for months.

Scrotos wrote:Why make the batteries modular if it's not economically feasible to replace them? Oh, wait, it's because APC and Tripplite and the others don't make money on selling batteries, they make them on selling UPS units. Nevermind.

The solution is to use 3rd party replacement batteries. When the battery pack in my APC XS 900 needed replacing recently, I shopped around and concluded that APC was essentially charging $40 for a piece of double-sided foam tape and a 2 inch jumper wire (this particular UPS uses a pair of 12V SLAs wired in series). So I ordered a pair of compatible batteries on Amazon, re-used the existing jumper wire, and supplied my own 10 cents worth of double-sided foam tape.

Scrotos wrote:Tripplite - always runs off the batteries, no switching done when power goes out

I had an older Tripp Lite that switched. It was a smaller, cheaper one though; this was in fact the unit that shot sparks out the vents when it died!

ronch wrote:Also, does anyone here know whether or not a typical UPS will 'waste' more energy than an AVR? I'm using a coil-type AVR with this PC. I'm sure it introduces some level of inefficiency to the system, i.e., if the PC needs just 100w off the wall, putting an AVR between it and the wall will make the whole PC+AVR suck a bit more than 100w off the wall. Is this right? And will using a UPS instead of an AVR introduce more inefficiency?

Whether or not the AVR wastes a measurable amount of power likely depends on the design of the AVR. If they're just feeding the line voltage straight through when voltage is nominal, then it shouldn't introduce any appreciable losses except when the AVR actually kicks in (over/under voltage condition). Easy way to check: Does the AVR unit get warm even when line voltage is good?

A UPS (by itself) will be less efficient than an AVR (by itself), since you're converting the AC to DC to charge the battery and keep it topped up, then converting that DC back to AC again whenever the inverter kicks in. These conversions waste energy.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:52 am

Thanks, JBI. That's what I was afraid of.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:27 am

anybody run into the problem with APC UPSes and active PFC on your PSU? i have an older APC back-UPS xs that needs new batteries, but my power supply was upgraded not too long ago and it now has active PFC. saw some articles a while back saying that this combo will cause all kinds of issues. anybody have any first-hand experience with this? if so i will just buy another brand UPS i guess.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:50 am

There should be no problem with inexpensive UPSes which use stepped approximation to sine wave output and PFC PSUs... Unless the junky PSU was not designed properly. In which case you should get rid of it :wink:
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:26 am

just brew it! wrote:
Scrotos wrote:Why make the batteries modular if it's not economically feasible to replace them? Oh, wait, it's because APC and Tripplite and the others don't make money on selling batteries, they make them on selling UPS units. Nevermind.

The solution is to use 3rd party replacement batteries. When the battery pack in my APC XS 900 needed replacing recently, I shopped around and concluded that APC was essentially charging $40 for a piece of double-sided foam tape and a 2 inch jumper wire (this particular UPS uses a pair of 12V SLAs wired in series). So I ordered a pair of compatible batteries on Amazon, re-used the existing jumper wire, and supplied my own 10 cents worth of double-sided foam tape.


Yeah that's what Batteries Plus does (or did). Reuse the wires and fuse (depends on model), use some packing tape to tape the batteries together, BOOM call 'er done. On some of the "smart" UPS the manufacturer used to recommend leaving it to charge for 24 hours with nothing else plugged in so that it could "learn" the new batteries. Dunno if that's the case.

But yeah, god help you if you buy batteries direct from APC.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:28 am

JohnC wrote:6.3L V8 451hp@6,500rpm and 443 lb-ft@5,000rpm, 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT, aux oil cooler, 14.2" rotors & 6-piston calipers front, 13.0" rotors & 4-piston calipers rear, 30% LF LSD, 18" AMG wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 5P


Is that a mercedes of some kind? I always see the stats of the car and all the junk you added to it but I have no idea what car it is. I'd have thought you'd put "Mercedes C63 Black" or whatever at the front of the list of stuff. :)
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:51 pm

Scrotos wrote:
JohnC wrote:6.3L V8 451hp@6,500rpm and 443 lb-ft@5,000rpm, 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT, aux oil cooler, 14.2" rotors & 6-piston calipers front, 13.0" rotors & 4-piston calipers rear, 30% LF LSD, 18" AMG wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 5P


Is that a mercedes of some kind?

Nah, it's a Zaporozhets:

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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Scrotos wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:I would say the expectations are pretty much unrealistic. Even "maintenance free" car batteries eventually need replacement about 3-5 years or so, depending on usage. Didn't your UPS beep you about needing battery replacement? On my more expensive SmartUPS a light will show up prompting me to replace batteries, and the manual did say starting 3 years you should watch for that. If you are the more anal type, you will probably have a spare bought before the light shows up.


No no NO NO NO. Do NOT have another lead-acid battery sitting on-hand as a spare. They self-discharge and will crap out after 6 to 8 months. If you keep a trickle charge on them, it'll keep them alive but then the life is going to be about the same as the battery in the UPS so it'll die about the same time, especially if they are from the same manufacturing run (check the burn code for clues to that).
...

What I meant was that some people (stereotypically those who work IT support/admin/tech as their day job) who will just swap out a battery in 3-5 years on their own schedules, regardless whether it beeps or the battery light shows up. So for example if said person expect to be needing a battery every 4 years, then at 3.95 years he will probably go shop around and buy a battery on hand to replace it when he has spare time after that. Of course you don't buy a battery and leave it sitting here. Since I have easy access to upsforless.ca, I did my last battery purchase when I couldn't bare the constant beeps. :o

Scrotos wrote:APC/Schneider Electric - switches from wall power to battery when power goes out
Tripplite - always runs off the batteries, no switching done when power goes out
Everything else - random consumer crap
That should be in the spec (or people find out): standby, line-interactive, and online. The bigger name vendors will make more than one type.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:11 am

esc_in_ks wrote:Here's my experience with using UPSes. I buy one, unbox it, plug it in and test it out and it provides about the amount of run-time the box says it should. Fast forward 3-5 years and the power goes out while I'm home. I notice the UPS lasts about 2 minutes. Not good. The batteries in the consumer grade stuff I get perhaps just don't last as long as I wish they did. Maybe my expectations are too high. On one of my APC 600 VA units, the color laser printer (on the non-battery side) now causes the unit to freak out and send the "power down!" message down the USB connector. That sucks when that happens---USB cable unplugged.

Sounds about right... I just replaced the battery on my 750W APC.
you can get compatible batteries about 1/2 APCs price on Amazon.

I have the issue with the laser printer firing up on the surge protected side as well... likely has more to do with there initial power draw is very "dirty" and very high. I really did not want the printer on the UPS but I had no choice with where I placed it and lack of outlets in the room.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:31 am

JohnC wrote:
Scrotos wrote:
JohnC wrote:6.3L V8 451hp@6,500rpm and 443 lb-ft@5,000rpm, 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT, aux oil cooler, 14.2" rotors & 6-piston calipers front, 13.0" rotors & 4-piston calipers rear, 30% LF LSD, 18" AMG wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 5P


Is that a mercedes of some kind?

Nah, it's a Zaporozhets:


It'd be cool if it were, but somehow it seems more like some random merc. I was looking into getting a used SL600 (one of the V12 models) a few years ago but couldn't justify the maintenance cost. Some merc forums gave me horror stories of repair costs on their SL600s and http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons ... rison-test kind of sealed the deal for me as the other car I was looking to get was a Dodge Charger. The lack of AWD also was a factor.

But to the point, it's odd that you're puffing your chest out (in your sig) about everything BUT what the actual make and model of the car is. Is it like a test where only the true car aficionado would know what car you're referring to? I just find that strange, is all.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:20 pm

Thanks for the great replies, everyone.

One question was asked as to why I need an hour of battery life. That's a good question, and actually, I don't have a good answer---I've always had an hour of runtime. I think it dates back to the time when the low battery notifications/shutdown didn't work on Linux or weren't available on consumer models and I would have to shut things down myself. Of course, that's no longer the case and hasn't been for a while. So, thanks for making me re-evaluate my nonsense requirement.

I do think something's wrong with my existing APC UPS. When the color laser fires up (on the surge only side of the UPS), it doesn't draw *that* much current, on the order of a few hundred watts during warm up according to a Kill-a-watt, but still causes the UPS to fire the "oh no battery running out signal" to the PC. I've run a 1kW heater on the same circuit (not on the UPS, of course) along with everything else and not had a problem. So, I tend to think it's the UPS not dealing well with the laser's high initial power draw.

I'll look around and find an upgrade to something a little more "professional".
Home: 650D, X750, Sabertooth Z77, 3770k, H100, 16G, 840 EVO 500G, 830 256G, GTX 780ti, U3011, Linux, Windows 7
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:09 pm

esc_in_ks wrote: I think it dates back to the time when the low battery notifications/shutdown didn't work on Linux
Network UPS Tools (NUT) has worked well for me, although it can be a pain to configure.

esc_in_ks wrote:When the color laser fires up (on the surge only side of the UPS), it doesn't draw *that* much current, on the order of a few hundred watts during warm up according to a Kill-a-watt, but still causes the UPS to fire the "oh no battery running out signal" to the PC. I've run a 1kW heater on the same circuit (not on the UPS, of course) along with everything else and not had a problem. So, I tend to think it's the UPS not dealing well with the laser's high initial power draw.
A 1kW heater is a pure resistive load, whilst the laser printer has all kinds of electronics in there. There's likely a huge inrush current that something like a Kill-a-Watt will just average over and not see, it could easily be a lot more than the heater draws for several milliseconds.
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Re: UPSes

Postposted on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:14 pm

esc_in_ks wrote:I do think something's wrong with my existing APC UPS. When the color laser fires up (on the surge only side of the UPS), it doesn't draw *that* much current, on the order of a few hundred watts during warm up according to a Kill-a-watt, but still causes the UPS to fire the "oh no battery running out signal" to the PC. I've run a 1kW heater on the same circuit (not on the UPS, of course) along with everything else and not had a problem. So, I tend to think it's the UPS not dealing well with the laser's high initial power draw.

I would say it has more to do with line noise than with draw. I remember the old days of isolated circuits in offices for the computers (orange outlets) that you were not to plug non-computer equipment (including printers) into.

Certain things you plug in tend to create line noise due to the motors and heaters within (ie printers and vacuum cleaners)
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