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APC UPS Question?

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January 16, 2008 10:21:12 AM

Hi, I am looking for some protection for my high-end computer and have a few questions. First I can't seem to find an APC UPS that has both surge protection + battery backup on the same outlet. What in the world are UPS makers thinking by only putting battery backup without surge protection on the same outlet? The picture below shows that you can either choose battery backup or surge protection but not both, whats the deal here I need both in one outlet. Thanks you





By systemlord at 2008-01-16



By systemlord at 2008-01-16

More about : apc ups question

January 16, 2008 10:08:06 PM

The battery ensures an equal flow of electricity not allowing or at least enough to affect the system. Of course you get 3 surge protectors as well as battery supported connections. Let someone better versed in electronics give you a more technical explanation
January 16, 2008 10:36:05 PM

g-paw said:
The battery ensures an equal flow of electricity not allowing or at least enough to affect the system. Of course you get 3 surge protectors as well as battery supported connections. Let someone better versed in electronics give you a more technical explanation



Yes can someone go into detail about this please? Confused I am.
Related resources
January 16, 2008 10:50:33 PM

I can tell you that as long as I've been using a UPS, couldn't even tell you, I've never had a computer affected by a power surge or outage, which will hopefully help put your mind at ease.
January 16, 2008 10:59:28 PM

g-paw said:
I can tell you that as long as I've been using a UPS, couldn't even tell you, I've never had a computer affected by a power surge or outage, which will hopefully help put your mind at ease.



I got many small surges today when I was in the garage the lights kept dimming down getting dimmer then brighter over and over again. I guess thats what I get for living in a very heavy populated state, Southern California. Thank god for Active Power Factor Correction in our PSU's.
January 16, 2008 11:19:31 PM

Curious, was the computer affected when it was plugged into the UPS?
January 16, 2008 11:36:38 PM

if you are very paranoid, then plug the UPS to a surge protector (a ~$10 Belkin single outlet will do)
it will ensure you that the surge protector will take the place of your UPS in case a very large lightning strike hits the power lines near your home (thus increasing the chance of saving the life of your UPS)

edit:
wise choice in investing in a UPS BTW as I believe they help prolong the life of a PSU
January 17, 2008 12:15:09 AM

The entire unit is a surge protector. Thus the outlets with battery backup also include surge protection.

The other outlets do not have battery backup, thus those outlets have surge protection only.
January 17, 2008 12:15:50 AM

PS: I own the XS 900, the bigger brother to the unit that you are evaluating.
January 17, 2008 3:27:29 AM

So with the system in my signature I should have at least ten minutes to power down my system before the battery wares down? I used a PSU calculator and my computer uses 350 watts @ 30amps, with this kind of power draw how long should I expect to run my computer with the UPS in the picture on my first post? Thanks.
January 17, 2008 3:33:28 AM

g-paw said:
Curious, was the computer affected when it was plugged into the UPS?


I don't have a UPS yet, and after time these surges will wear down the reliability of all my computer components. I'm not paranoid I just want to protect my computer because these surges have already killed my 42" Toshiba LCD HDTV.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 5:01:34 AM

I am willing to bet half the "Blown PSUs" are spiked and surged that way(Not talking about cheap ass ones....but good ones...)...

The entire surge UPS is protected from surges. Just that half the outlets are not battery backed up....

Normally the rated surge is lower on the UPS then a power bar(Good ones again...not cheap ones...). In my case i have a Belkin PureAV surge protector.... 2655 joules sounds better then the 900 or what ever the UPS can take is....double protection for me :) 

My UPS is a BX1200 from APC....But i wish i got the BX1500 for its external battery option.

Make sure you get the latest power chute software if its not included....

Also do not expect it to run you through long power outs...its protection and safe shut down....and as always its good for those little intermittent outages....
January 17, 2008 5:12:00 AM

StevieD said:
The entire unit is a surge protector. Thus the outlets with battery backup also include surge protection.

The other outlets do not have battery backup, thus those outlets have surge protection only.


+1 This is stated in the manual.

The outlets with no battery backup are there so you can plug in non-essential things in there and not drain the battery during a black-out, such as printer, desk lamps, etc.

Also, with any expensive equipment in my house, I at least put surge supression on it. APC makes some nice power bars with surge supression for your cable input as well. All my TVs are plugged into one of these. These power bars are very cheap and are often on sale for about $20.
January 17, 2008 5:19:52 AM

Surge protection built into the battery outlets = TRUE.

In fact, if it's an online UPS then the battery outputs have an extra surge suppressor that the protected-only outputs don't have, i.e. the battery.
January 17, 2008 9:37:51 AM

Wow thats a lot of helpful information there, I will be getting a UPS on Feb 1st because my place (lights) surge when there are high winds. Do you guys think that this UPS I have selected has enough power so that I may have a few minutes to power my computer down or do I need more power battery backup for my system in my signature?

I would like to thank all for the helpful valuable information and suggestions. :)  Systemlord :sol: 


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a c 78 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 3:18:27 PM

I recommend going a bit bigger(500 watts as opposed to 300)...

Reason 1 - Your power flickers allot so you want a bigger reserve of power...
Reason 2 - With your rather over clocked video card your power consumption climbs by quite a bit....I can not guess your power also due to the fact that i am not sure what the efficiency of your psu is at a given load....

300 should work...but with lots of fluctuations the batter may never get a full charge(if its real bad and transferring to the battery allot).....Also note that small flickers are taken care of by capacitors in the surge protection portion...so maybe you will not be constantly transferring to battery....I do not know your power conditions...

Do you also plan to add your screen another other equipment to the battery unit?

Alright I did some testing....

In my case.

Modem
Router
Switch
Speakers
Phone Base(Charging)
78 Watts

Add my computer Idle
296 Watts

Start Folding @ home(2 SMP Clients 2 cpus each)
358 Watts

Start up ATI Tools Spinning Cube(This takes allot more power then ANY game i have seen, But i am going worse case) and Defrag 2 hard drives
452 Watts (374 without all the other stuff.....this is a new test for me(used to never be able to get it over 350)...so my power use has gone up....not in real world day to day, but in max testing...)

Either way....you system should take about 40-80(maybe more) watts less than mine(Dual core saves power, as does 1 hard drive vs 6....Your VGA over clock will take some of that away.)

Thats the general reason i suggest a 500 or more. If you load it real good you may(There are variations from system to system) start to hit the limit....
January 17, 2008 4:25:19 PM

I was looking into getting a UPS myself.. But i have a 1000W power supply..

Any suggestion which unit to buy that doesnt cost literally $1000's and can back up....1000W :( 
a c 121 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 4:42:23 PM

I agree with Nukemaster in that you might want to consider a bigger one, especially if you want extended run time.

I have what I think is the predescessor of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(no cooling fan, just a vent; not sure it has LAN protection)
It works well, and has plenty of run time for my .sig rig, and I also have a 5W CFL desk lamp plugged into it.

For use during an extended outage, I've got a 104AH battery on a cart with a 350W inverter mounted on its box cover :kaola:  .
a c 121 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 4:45:37 PM

Grieve, you don't need to size the UPS to the PSU, but to what it pulls from the wall. Looking at your configuration, the one I linked in my previous post should be fine for you as well; 1200VA or 780W.
January 17, 2008 5:07:47 PM

awesome thank you
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 5:33:56 PM

Onus said:
I agree with Nukemaster in that you might want to consider a bigger one, especially if you want extended run time.

I have what I think is the predescessor of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(no cooling fan, just a vent; not sure it has LAN protection)
It works well, and has plenty of run time for my .sig rig, and I also have a 5W CFL desk lamp plugged into it.

For use during an extended outage, I've got a 104AH battery on a cart with a 350W inverter mounted on its box cover :kaola:  .

Awww thats mine :)  483 watts(all thats stuff above + another computer) is only 8 min of backup according to the software....

Please explain this inverter setup you have? you just turn it on in a power out while the ups holds?

@ grieve - Your power should be similar to mine(see above)...
a c 121 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 6:06:19 PM

I got the inverter setup primarily for camping trips and lighting on extended power outages (had some really long ones a few years ago). I would probably not plug my UPS into it, as I don't know how well it would like the waveform, but I wouldn't hesitate to plug my laptop and DSL modem/router into it.
It consists of the 104AH AGM battery (size of a large car battery) that I put in a heavy plastic battery box (available in auto parts stores). I bolted a 350W inverter to the top of it, and connected it to the battery through a 30A circuit breaker. I usually plug a single 13W CFL bulb into it, but one time I wheeled it out when a power failure occurred just before one of my wife's favorite shows. It ran the lamp, cable box, and my 27" TV for the next hour or so without breaking a sweat and maybe losing only a couple of percent S.O.C. I will probably get a bigger inverter soon, as it apparently isn't quite enough for my refrigerator.
January 17, 2008 6:45:27 PM

I agree, I should get a bigger UPS, because I might go SLI in the future and having to buy another one later...
500 watts it will be, there not that much more and I can spend upto $500 next month for a bigger unit. I am using 350 watts based on Tom's PSU listings so getting a 300W is just under my normal system draw, so yea it wouldn't be enough.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 17, 2008 7:00:16 PM

We have something similar 1000 watt inverter(Canadian tire power box with battery) and a large battery from some mining equipment. But by the time we ever use thing thing it's battery had been sitting for over year and a half....so it was not much good....

In your case i guess its charged enough for camping and stuff.....for us...long power outs are just to far apart...
January 17, 2008 7:02:09 PM

systemlord said:
I agree, I should get a bigger UPS, because I might go SLI in the future and having to buy another one later...
500 watts it will be, there not that much more and I can spend upto $500 next month for a bigger unit. I am using 350 watts based on Tom's PSU listings so getting a 300W is just under my normal system draw, so yea it wouldn't be enough.


Keep in mind that the wattage / amperage rating on your PSU is based on your DC output, not your AC amperage usage at the wall.

My APC Smart-ups 1000 will run my PC, 24" LCD, firewall, DSL modem, several phone chargers, plus a laptop for about 35 / 45 minutes of outage before it goes into shutdown mode. The whole UPS draw is about 1.25 A @ 240 VAC with the PC running a moderate to heavy load.


January 26, 2008 6:58:55 PM

I have been doing some reading on this forum regarding which UPS to buy. The discussions have focussed on the Wattage or VA rating of the UPS units. However what about the Joules rating which is linked to the capability of the unit to protect against power surges? I find that most of the lower VA rated UPS units have very low - 300 to 500 Joules. I think you have to balance the battery backup wattage rating with its Joules rating if you need the surge protection too.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 26, 2008 7:55:13 PM

yes thats is true...thats why i have my PureAV surge protector before the ups :) 
January 26, 2008 8:15:38 PM

Is it safe to plug a UPS into a surge protector like Pure AV ? I thought there was a problem when you daisy-chain these devices. What model of Pure-AV do you have and is the UPS on a switched line ?
I have a Pure-AV PF31 and also have a Belkin5ooVA PSU, but plugged the PSU to the wall socket.
January 26, 2008 8:23:45 PM

Yes it's safe to plug a UPS into a surge protector. It will work just fine. There is really no difference between a surge protector and a regular outlet under normal operation. The surge protector has a MOV (metal oxide varistor) tied to ground. If a surge occurs that exceeds the MOV's threshold, then it routes it to ground.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 27, 2008 12:25:30 AM

The serge protector i have is a f9a923-08(above the upc?) according to the box, it has no writing that i can see on the front. 150 000amp max spike 2655 joules. It also says level 1. so there is one over 4000 joules in "Level 2"

Its this one(but cost about 30$ i think)

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=22008&vpn=F9...

The only time daisy chaining stuff is a problem is if you draw more power then the first power bar can handle.

So if you take a 3 x 6 outlet power bars(the cheap ones without a built in breaker) connect 5 computers to the first one. 5 22inch CRT's the the second one and 6 laser printers to the last one. Then the wires one the first bar may overheat and cause a fire...

BUT.....

this should never happen since your house has breakers or fuses that should blow/trip first.... still, don't do it....

In the end i have 2 external DVD burners and a few low power devices on the bar and everything else is on the UPS....so for the most part the power bar is acting like a surge protector and not a power bar....all the big stuff is on the ups....
January 27, 2008 1:31:26 AM

I thought he was already aware of the fact that you can't run the whole house off of one outlet, maybe not.

This is always a bad idea.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 27, 2008 5:08:04 AM

dont laugh.... my setup looked worse then that before....as long as its not over 15 amps(For me) it is fine

I had piggy back plugs with transformers bricks on then and all kinds of stuff...

Stuff piggy backed on one another....:) 
January 27, 2008 6:36:39 AM

nukemaster said:
dont laugh.... my setup looked worse then that before....as long as its not over 15 amps(For me) it is fine

I had piggy back plugs with transformers bricks on then and all kinds of stuff...

Stuff piggy backed on one another....:) 
http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/3290/wiredej3.gif


Wow now your scaring me nukemaster. :ouch:  Your going to cause the first thermal nuclear meltdown of a house, Lol. :pt1cable: 


January 27, 2008 12:29:54 PM

/Silent Scream
January 27, 2008 1:42:45 PM

StevieD said:
The entire unit is a surge protector. Thus the outlets with battery backup also include surge protection.

The other outlets do not have battery backup, thus those outlets have surge protection only.

What he said.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 27, 2008 6:53:18 PM

Good points....but since i use a power bar as a surge protector only...this does not effect me...and if power fluctuates that much...someones needs to have some re-wiring(and surge protector checked) done....
January 28, 2008 3:50:03 AM

Link one - IMO the outlet was bad or the connection to the house cabling was loose. The poor connection led to increased resistance and heat causing the outlet to burn. This was also addressed by one of the posters below the OP. It had nothing to do with the surge protector on the output side of the UPS, I call BS.

Link two - The document makes perfect sense. Nowhere in the document does APC warn against fire. That's because there won't be any. On the input side they are concerned with yahoos overloading the surge protector/power strip and that the UPS would see a low voltage condition and trip to "back up" and back again frequently. They are overstating the obvious, and apparently they have to. Everyone should know the rating of the outlet(s) on the circuit, and avoid running the circuit at close to it's maximum. If you want to draw a lot of power then verify which outlets are on the same circuit and different circuits and split the load up. Pretty much just basic common sense aye?

As for putting the surge protector after the UPS the same applies. Everyone thinks they can buy a 500VA UPS and then just load the he!! out of it and it will handle the load with no problem. Again, use a little common sense and don't exceed the rating of the UPS, preferably leave a little head room as well. The only problem that they indicated was with a surge protector that additionally employed EMI/RFI filtering. Their concern in that case was that apparently this caused distribution problems in the surge strip so that some loads would not receive an adequate current. So they say use a power distribution unit. I assume they are talking about a standard power strip, but I can't be sure. If you use a surge protector without EMI/RFI filtering it would be the same. As I stated in my post above the only difference is the MOVs tied to ground, and they don't conduct unless there is a surge. I use one after the UPS, but not for protection just because it was handy and I needed additional outlets. Also plug the computer into the UPS directly and the peripherals e.g.,speakers, routers, modems etc. into the power strip, because they draw less current and are less sensitive.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 28, 2008 5:01:20 AM

thats a nice unit....kind of surprised at your load power....but hey(the extra video card does add)........
January 28, 2008 5:13:38 AM

That's a nice one. It's rated at 850 watts, you don't really want to run your UPS at max anyway. That unit gives you 13.1 minutes @ 432.5 watts, so it looks like you chose the right size. Also, it leaves you with a little head room. I'm sure you will find something else to plug into it.
January 28, 2008 6:40:18 AM

ausch30 said:
I just bought this one yesterday (Sunday). It's a little overkill but a very good price. According to the LCD my system is using about 500watts under load.
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=163...;PRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=3


Hmm... That means that you are pulling about 4.125 A from the wall at 120 VAC. I am dubious.

Are the batteries fully charged?

Have you installed the APC software?

Have you run the self-test / diagnostics?

Something's wrong here, there is no way that your piddly system can be pulling that many watts. Don't mean to offend, but I've seen some pretty mean servers with rather large drive arrays that don't pull that many watts under heavy load.
January 28, 2008 7:33:55 AM

on a rough guess his base system is about 300W give or take. Add the monitor, that he probably has plugged in and that adds 85W. Add the router, modem, speakers and sundry USB goodies and you are approaching 500W. So it could be at 500. I'm sure you just have the server boxes plugged in w/o all the additional goodies.
January 28, 2008 1:41:38 PM

I am glad that the postings above have provided a lot more information about these devices than one could find
at the vendor's website. One aspect of the UPS that is still confusing to me is the different types available (off-line, line-interactive etc) and the advantages of each time. Any ideas guys ?
January 28, 2008 3:08:48 PM

I'd like to amplify and perhaps add some simplification to what supremelaw had to say about the PowerChute software that comes with the APC brand: It allows you change frequency and voltage specs to limit variations and provide smoother power to your components. As systemlord mentioned, many believe that these minor changes in voltage/frequency just might be why we see significantly decreased life of not only our computer components but also our other electronics.

Wanted to throw out another recent experience. I have an AR power strip/supressor on my large screen TV. I noticed a squeal from the strip and thought maybe it was defective. The squeal turned out to be the ground alert. Upon further investigation, found that none of the outlets on that circuit were connected to ground. It appears that when the circuit was installed, the electrician relied on the wall box to provide a ground and not the outlet post. Unfortunately, these were plastic boxes!

It seems to me that the circuitry protection and monitoring with line smoothing (not line conditioning) along with surge supression are critical functions of the UPS.
January 28, 2008 3:11:14 PM

croc said:
Hmm... That means that you are pulling about 4.125 A from the wall at 120 VAC. I am dubious.

Are the batteries fully charged?

Have you installed the APC software?

Have you run the self-test / diagnostics?

Something's wrong here, there is no way that your piddly system can be pulling that many watts. Don't mean to offend, but I've seen some pretty mean servers with rather large drive arrays that don't pull that many watts under heavy load.


I have 4 hard drives and the CPU and both video cards are overclocked. Also my speakers are plugged into it and the take 50watts by themselves.
January 28, 2008 3:54:00 PM

croc said:
Hmm... That means that you are pulling about 4.125 A from the wall at 120 VAC. I am dubious.

Are the batteries fully charged?

Have you installed the APC software?

Have you run the self-test / diagnostics?

Something's wrong here, there is no way that your piddly system can be pulling that many watts. Don't mean to offend, but I've seen some pretty mean servers with rather large drive arrays that don't pull that many watts under heavy load.


Although I knew the wiring in my building was bad I found out when I hooked up the UPS that the plug is only delivering 112volts rather than the standard 120.
a c 78 ) Power supply
January 28, 2008 4:05:52 PM

actually in the USA they state 110 as normal don't they? Everything i ever bought there was 110 @ 50hz(vs the 120 @60 i have)
a c 121 ) Power supply
January 28, 2008 4:39:32 PM

USA is typically 110-120VAC, at 60Hz.
A reason for not plugging a surge protector in after a UPS is because it may react unpredictably to the waveform of the UPS when it is on battery. Better ones (like APC) approximate a sine wave, but cheaper and/or older UPS units used to provide more of a square wave, and the usual methods of figuring RMS didn't apply.
!