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Your favorite computer hardware

poltergeisty

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Being into computers and what not, I have a love fascination with certain computer hardware. No, it's not the CPU, or RAM, or hard drive, or even a nice dedicated sound card. It is in fact the UPS. These things are fantastic. I bought a CyberPower CP850PFCLCD last year right before Summer since I knew that during the Summer is when I get most power outages and I was tired of having the potential of destroying my expressive desktop. I have read on forum after forum people's computer's biting the dust after a power failure. So I knew I had to invest a good quality UPS. When I got the UPS I made sure to test it. As soon as I flipped the power strip to off, the UPS kicked in like nothing ever happened. It was awesome! Right now I have two monitors, a gaming PC with an Antec 750 Gold PSU, and Logitech Z5300e 5.1 speakers connected to it and the UPS states 20 minutes of battery life. About 15 while playing a game. Plenty of time to safely close out of what I'm doing and shut down the PC normally during a power outage.

I did measure the current draw from the UPS with my homemade AC line splitter and clamp meter and was surprised there wasn't much draw at all. I even emailed CyberPower asking them how much draw there was on battery charging and they informed me about 20 watts.

If you don't have a UPS, I highly recommend it. Just make sure you get the right one based on your PSU. Since I have an active PSU, the UPS I bought supports that. If not sure, email the manufacturer. That's what I did. Like I said, I have read many computer forum posts of people's computers being hosed due to a power outage. It actually happened to my netbook's power adapter during a power outage. I use a netbook in the kitchen that uses the program PhoneTray and acts as an FTP server who's storge is on a SD card and runs a Team Speak server when I use it. The netbook is on 24/7 and has been for about the last 4 years. When I had that power outage, the power adapter just went bust. So to eBay I went and bought a replacement. This despite having the netbook connected to an Ace Hardware branded surge protector. Wonder if I should upgrade that to something better?
 

KB4MSZ

Max
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I would further suggest a online (dual conversion) UPS. These units provide a much more robust isolation from the mains than a offline UPS, and the switching time is zero. Of course, they average about 50% more cost than the same sized offline unit.

Another note: Be careful using surge protection power strips on the output side of a non-true sine wave UPS, some power strips (especially the more expensive designed units) will see the non-sine wave aspect of the UPS output as a error and try to clamp it. If this happens, a fire could occur.
 

poltergeisty

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I would further suggest a online (dual conversion) UPS. These units provide a much more robust isolation from the mains than a offline UPS, and the switching time is zero. Of course, they average about 50% more cost than the same sized offline unit.

Can you give a link?

Another note: Be careful using surge protection power strips on the output side of a non-true sine wave UPS, some power strips (especially the more expensive designed units) will see the non-sine wave aspect of the UPS output as a error and try to clamp it. If this happens, a fire could occur.
Now that I did not know. Though, this one states Adaptavie sinewave

The surge protector I'm using on the output ( I know, stupid to use one with a UPS.) looks like this. I don't know the exact model and it's behind my computer and crap and hard to get at.


 
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KB4MSZ

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Yes, you have a good unit for "offline" backup. The unit you have is designed for providing power to devices with APFC (Active Power Factor Correction) supplies. These supplies take the backcurrents produced by reactive loads and adjust output to accommodate these backcurrents. Some UPS units, when generating the sinewave , allow the waveform to have a detectable "zero" value which causes a problem for the power supply to control. Your UPS accounts for this with it's sinewave generation.

An "offline" UPS, such as yours, takes the mains power feed and further regulates it for frequency and also watches nulls and spikes to keep the output stable at the desired 120 volts 60 Hz. There is a charge circuit in the UPS which keeps the battery maintained as well. When the power fails, the circuitry in the UPS switches the battery to the regulation circuit and produces the AC voltage at 60 Hz.

In a "online" UPS, the mains power is immediately converted to DC (usually 36 or 48 volts). Then the battery power is re-converted to AC by the regulation circuit, and then sent to the power outlets for your equipment. Because the UPS is always running via the batteries, there is no switching time when the power fails because your equipment was already running on the converted battery power. This added conversion of AC to DC back to AC makes it almost impossible for any spike on the mains to reach your equipment. These active UPS units cost more due to the added circuitry and the need for a more robust battery array.

As for the surge protectors, I don't use them with UPS units. I do use power distribution strips that do not have surge protection. Of course, the power output the UPS is designed to operate must not be exceeded by connecting too many loads. Below is a 1500va we use on our telephone/internet system at our office. They are big units due to the batteries. Hope this information was helpful.

SmartOnline Double-Conversion 1.5kVA UPS, Tower, Extended Run, Network Card Options, USB, DB9 Serial | Tripp Lite
 
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N9JIG

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I am not 100% sure, but since it is a Tavern Post it might not. I don't think Tavern Posts add to Post Counts either, otherwise Crabby Milton would be in the stratosphere range!

BTW, back to the topic at hand: I use a pair of APC XS-1500's, one for my Mac station and the other for my PC station. They provide line voltage monitoring which I like. I have had them for 5 years and have swapped out the batteries at the 3 year mark so am probably going to do so again soon. The battery swap is simple and they even arrange to have you return the batteries if your retailer won't take them. The software works great and since I run Windows on my Mac I can keep tabs on it there as well.
 

poltergeisty

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@KB4MSZ You seem to know a thing or two about electronics. Question: the room where my gaming desktop resides doesn't have ground. Just how bad is that in terms of surge protection? Will surge protection even work?

I can't even afford the massive bill it would take to have ground run into this room. So I'm a little stuck.
 

KB4MSZ

Max
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Assuming that your residence is wired to standard electrical codes you should be in good shape. Surge protectors have three prong plugs and assume a properly grounded outlet.
 

a417

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:rolleyes: are sudden blackouts and the need for continuous lighting that big a need?
 
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