On the top side, all but one battery backup outlet is covered by the customary APC “Connect Battery” instruction tape. If you pay attention to the metallic reflection from the ground pin holes after removing the tape, you can see that the first and fourth battery backup outlets and both surge-only ones show little to no metal. I predict that I won’t like the type of ground strip I find inside.
On the ledge, we find the power button, a single USB charging port, and a glossy black fingerprint magnet with the model and brand printed on it.
As usual, the bottom side is dominated by the battery door, which is used to illustrate lead battery disposal instructions. The remainder of available flat space is populated by approval logos, the model and serial number sticker, and a specifications sticker. Due to its longer chassis, the BN650M1 also gets an extra screw between the two feet at the cord end.
Succinct cautions appear to be APC’s new standard: chemical, electrical, and energy hazards are wrapped up in one sentence. In the notice department, we see the usual 35% peak harmonic and 45% total THD output description attached to all stepped approximation UPSes.
The BN650M1’s door is slightly wider and thinner than the BGE90M’s. That extra width is used to provide room on the left for the battery cables to slide into while removing or putting the battery back in. There is also a small area to cram the positive terminal into so it won’t flap around during shipping.
What’s that date code on the battery to the left? December 2015. Who’s warehousing between four and six months worth of batteries? CSB or APC?
At least one of APC’s mechanical engineers noticed the same loose battery issue I noted in my BGE90M’s tear-down and came up with a simple fix for it: add narrower slotted sections to two sides (a large one in the top and two small ones to the right) to pick up the slack. While some shifting can still be felt when shaking the chassis, it is far more subtle than the BGE90’s obvious clacking noise from the battery smashing against the walls.
In the battery department, we have an incremental improvement from CSB's HR1224 to its HR1228. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any corresponding specifications. According to my scale, their weights are 1970 and 2058 grams, respectively, which means that there is less than 5% more material to explain a 16.7% power rating difference. The remainder must be a combination of manufacturing improvements and subtle changes in rating methodology. Since the nearest equivalent is the HR1224, I’ll skip the battery comparison table.
Opening The Hatch
After seeing clever design tweaks in the battery bay, I didn't expect to find the breaker clipped on the bottom part of the enclosure instead of the top, where everything else is. This is at odds with how much consideration APC appears to be putting into making its UPS convenient for assembly and maintenance. While easy enough to unhook, the design seems like a slight regression from the BGE90M.
This is no mere BGE90M shuffle: the BN650M’s board is slightly wider than the whole BGE90M, and the USB port function is integrated on the same PCB as everything else. From this angle, you can also see some wire management hooks molded into the case, another manufacturing tidiness improvement.
Unfortunately, the praise ends with that shameful ground strip across the bottom that I suspected we'd find.
What was that winning number? If you bet on 15 A, as I did, then you were correct: the UPS contains a 15 A Qualtek breaker.
If you read my CyberPower LX1500 tear-down, you may remember the slide where I showed how one of the wires got crushed due getting wedged between enclosure components during assembly. APC significantly reduces the chances of that happening by providing supports to prevent shifting during the build process.
I wonder at what point during the cable harness assembly or installation those squiggles on each wire were made. The blue wire was even marked on both sides of its common-mode choke.
What’s that mostly hidden by the blue MOV in the bottom-left corner with the blue and brown wires going into it? Looks like a connector’s corner...