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UPS question

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March 23, 2006 5:10:53 PM

I bought a CyberPower 900VA 560Watt ups last week b/c Best Buy had them on sale and I recently upgraded my PSU so I thought I might need more power. This UPS is the first one I've bought that said it features "AVR". My house is pretty old so I thought this might ensure that I get a stable current going to my PC from the old wiring. It seems to work fine except it occasionally "clicks" from AC power to battery and then quickly back again. It probably does it 3 or 4 times daily. However, the supplied software records no event for the power problem. I don't recall my past UPS performing the same way. I'm mainly concerned with this thing damaging my PC. I only have a 485W PSU and my 15' LCD plugged into the battery outlets and some Altic Lansing powered speakers and sub woofer plugged into the surge only outlets. Is this normal for a UPS with AVR to jump from AC to battery? Could my house wiring really be that bad? I can't get much help from best buy or cyberpower customer service so I about ready to take it back.

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March 23, 2006 5:31:38 PM

Old wiring doesn't necessarily mean bad wiring.

Check the settings on the UPS, there may be a threshold setting you can adjust so it doesn't switch from AC power so often.
March 23, 2006 5:43:22 PM

I agree about the wiring part. I've haven't had problems in the past. The settings on the UPS are for a threshold of 90-130 for the incoming AC power. With normal AC being 120 volts, I usually get 122-23. If I was surging that much you would think it would record an event in the summary log. I'm wondering if this UPS isn't crap. Can anyone recommend a good UPS for under $100 that can easily handle my 485W PSU and LCD?
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March 23, 2006 5:47:27 PM

Well, the thing is, you can't just go by the size of the power supply. That's not how much power your computer is pulling. But anyway, for under a $100 you might be hard pressed to find something, but check for the APC 500-650 models. Even a 420 would probably be OK to clean up the power and give you 5 minutes to shut down.
March 23, 2006 6:15:11 PM

I have a Cyber Power 900VA AVR that I bought from Best Buy, I have a 500 Watt power supply 19 inch LCD Monitor, a pair of Logitech Z-5300 speakers, and an alarm plugged into the battery backup, and a scanner, a printer, a USB Hub, and phone charger plugged into the surge only side and I have not had a problem at all with any clicks of any kind other then when power goes out in my room. I didn't bother putting the software on my computer because my power is always reset before my UPS is drained. Maybe you have a faulty UPS i would exchange it and try a new one.


P.S. Customer support for technical problems is always bad at Best Buy, thats why you see someone whose walking around in the computer department like me or you ask the Geek Squad. (Yes I work at Best Buy)
March 23, 2006 6:40:06 PM

I wish mine was working like that. I have alot less plugged into the thing and when it clicks you can see the green AC power light switch to battery and then back again, but nothing in the event log. I checked Newegg and it seems others are having the same problem with the 1200VA model by CyberPower. I might try uninstalling the software and unplugging the USB from my PC. Don't really see why that would help though. I'm a little confused on what to look for as far as the VA power rating vs. actual watts. I realize that b/c my PSU is rated for 485W, that's far from what I'm actually pulling. But should I buy a UPS that is rated for over 485W actual watts anyways.

I thought this might work

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1684...
March 23, 2006 6:44:13 PM

Yea I know that is wierd I wasn't going to buy it because I like APC UPS/AVR's but I have had no problems with this yet. I don't know why hooking it up to your computer would make a difference unless there something in your computer telling it to turn off and back on again... Wierd def.

I would still try to exchange it first so your not out another 90 bucks.

I believe VA is Volt Amps. I could be wrong though.
March 23, 2006 6:52:39 PM

VA is indeed volt amps, and speaking simplisticly, it's the same as watts. Watts are calulated by multiplying voltage time amperage. In AC circuits, the VA rating will be about a third higher than the wattage rating. It's magic. :wink:
March 23, 2006 7:17:35 PM

I have some old APC units. My fist unit (600va) cycles 4 times more than the newer one (650va). It just means the threshold is tighter. And not necessarly meaning the unit is bad. It will not damage your equipment.

You may have an appliance (refigerator) cycling on/off, triping your unit. I see this quite often in residential areas particular in older homes.

VA is volts x amps. Total all of your equipment up. and compare it to the rating. Most UPS units these days are actually switchers. On Original UPS equipment, you ran all the time on UPS power. The AC just charged the batteries. Switchers meaning that they have to switch feeds, the clicking you hear. With todays electronics they can switch on faster than a 1/4 cycle. Which means you will see no impact on the signal feeding your equipment. Most units produce a trapozoid signwave. Which is more effecient for switching power supplies. I had a system that would carry 900va on a 600 va ups. I just had to stage the startup.

You have the right idea on hooking up your equipment. Only hookup CPU and Moitors, modems, routers to the UPS side (critical equip). Connect all other equipment to the filtered side. Do NOT EVER connect a Laser Printer to the UPS side. I don't even recommend conecting them to anything but a surge protector, by it self. They kick out a bunch of line noise. And have I current draw with the fuser.
March 23, 2006 9:17:55 PM

Great answer Blue68F100. You lost me right about "trapozoid signwave", but it sounds like your saying that my UPS is OK and not going to fry my PC. I actually have a refrigerator in the same room as my PC and the house was built in 1906 you're right on. My old UPS was ancient so that might explain why I didn't remember the "click" near as often.
March 23, 2006 9:58:00 PM

I have a CyberPower UPS 1500VA, I got it for $130 on sale at NewEgg.
They are very good quality UPS's, IMO.
That switching, if your PC continues stable during, is probably normal and shows the UPS doing its job, and electric grids are known to spike or brown occasionally, some more than others.
It could be that it did not log it since it was marginal, and may have even over-reacted switching to battery.
March 23, 2006 10:04:08 PM

The trapizoid sine waves have more power than the std sine wave. Meaning it has a higher/longer flatter voltage wave at the peaks.

Your house may only be a 2 wire system, meaning there is NO Earth or equipment ground. The receptical should have a D shaped hole under the 2 flat slot. Some surge protectors and UPS units check for this. IThis is required for a unit to dispate voltage surges. You can get these 3 prong circuit testers from most home improvement stores.
March 24, 2006 9:41:49 AM

Though not ideal, you can use a outlet adapter and be sure to secure the third prong ground lug to the center screw on the outlet. The outlet itself is grounded to the box, which is tied [or should be tied] to ground in the panel. You can verify that by using an ohm meter, or the outlet tester, and then check that ground and the neutral [the longer slot of the plug] are tied together. They won't be tied together in the outlet box, but they will appear to be tied together because they are tied to the same ground lug in the panel box. If that test doesn't pass, then indeed there are ungrounded outlet boxes which may cause problems.
April 22, 2006 1:56:18 PM

I'm having the same experience with the 1200, and tech support does not reply to emails. What virus scanning software are you using? A friend with an APC reported all sorts of software problems when running Symantec Client Security. I run Client Security as well.
April 22, 2006 5:29:04 PM

Well since I posted this question I have decided that it must be a CyberPower software issue. I am always reconfiguring my machine with different hardware from various builds and I occasionally reinstall Windows from time to time in order to get a clean slate. On my last reinstall I decided to unhook the USB cable from my PC and not install the software. My PC has been running for about 2 weeks now and the UPS hasn't clicked to battery once to my knowledge, where as it used to do it several times a day. I have no idea why the software would cause such issues as I had updated to the newest version via the website. Anyhow it worked for me, but it's unfortunate since if the power shuts off while I'm not home the PC will run till the battery dies and then do a hard shut down.
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