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APC BR1000G Tear-Down

Flipping Instructions

How do you connect the battery in the BR1xxxG? You open the cover, pull the battery out, flip it front to back (the perspective does not look quite correct on that arrow), put it back in, and reinstall the door. There's no messing around with high-current connectors. Surely I'm not the only one who has owned a UPS long enough to require a battery replacement and injured himself in the process. Can you guess how APC got rid of the cables inside its battery compartment with a simple flip?

Label

As expected from a unit with a 3x#16 cord, the input and total output ratings are 12A. Want to bet that we are going to find a 15A breaker inside anyway?

In another break from what I'm used to seeing, there's no bilingual text in the notice and caution paragraphs. Other changes include the total harmonic output increasing from 45% to 50%, the single harmonic dropping from 35% to 30% under 25% load, “no user-serviceable parts inside” returning to the caution area, and no more risk of an exploding battery. Of course, any of what was removed may still be on the instruction sheets.

Battery Door

These are some of the deepest reinforcement ridges I have seen on a battery door, which is to be expected in a unit using a pair of substantial batteries. Slides at both ends of the door, two tongues at the top, and three more at the front edge share the burden of keeping the door and batteries in place through shipping.

If you're wondering why the battery door seam takes an odd turn to the right above the label area, it's to cover the screw well near the middle. And did you notice that hole between the batteries?

The Trick

How does the BR1xxxG’s battery flipping trick work? Simple: the “disconnect” end of the spacer between batteries is a blank hole, while the other houses the spade connectors. Initially, I worried that the battery could be inserted backwards by flipping it left to right instead of front to bottom, but I quickly realized that the guides on the top and bottom of the spacer are offset to one side just enough to make this impossible by mere accident. Even if you pound the battery pack all the way in, the spades are also offset to one side and wouldn’t line up.

Battery Pack

Like the old BX1000, the battery pack consists of two batteries stuck together using thick labels and a plastic spacer in-between to hold them in the correct position, while also providing space for wiring and terminals in-between. When my only reference was photos from the Internet, I wondered if the “RBC123” was some odd proprietary job. But with the hardware in front of me, guide bumps and the lack of an external cable aside, this looks suspiciously similar to the BX1000’s battery pack. It even has a similar 7 Ah, 24 V rating and a CSB sticker visible in the bottom-right corner.

Are we going to find the same GP-1272 as the BX1000 hiding under the stickers?

Behind The Battery Sticker

What do we find covered by APC’s sticker? As suspected, the same CSB GP-1272 batteries used in the old BX1000, except that these were manufactured in the Philippines instead of China.

This time around, we also find orange squiggles instead of blue ones.

Battery Bay

With the spacer’s guide pins restricting movement from front to back and the snug battery door preventing vertical movement, the only axis with some slack left is side to side. A pair of leaf springs visible on the top side take care of that. At the bottom of the bay, we find the spade connectors’ counterparts mounted in a raised housing, waiting for the battery. A simple, neat, and very functional arrangement.

Now that the battery is out, the real tear-down fun begins.

Hitting A Snag

After removing all of the visible screws and popping all of the snaps, I hit an impasse with the front trim (the glossy piece straddling the seam on the left). Using plastic cards as shims, I couldn’t get either the top or bottom to pop off. Before breaking out the crowbar for extra leverage, I needed confirmation that there were indeed screws I needed to gain access to. Here is that confirmation: slight circular depressions in the battery bay wall betraying the presence of screw stems on the other side. When plastic injection quenches the molds to solidify the plastic, plastic shrinks and large uneven masses on the other side of a flat surface cause the surface to get pulled in.

Prying Harder

After more prying, I finally managed to get the front trim to disengage from the slots it hooks into, but not before partially ripping out the top slot. I had to insert a pick behind my crowbar to separate the front trim from the broken plastic piece. An actual tear in a tear-down? What a novel idea! To remove the front trim without damaging either the trim or the slots it snaps into, some form of custom tool needs to be inserted in the center slot to lift the pins straight out from inside.

With the bottom end freed up, the rest of the front trim slides up to unhook from its other retention points.

The Prize

Aside from the tabs snapping the bottom shut and locking the front trim into place, it is also held in place by a pair of sideways tabs, a pair of sliding hooks near the middle, and a reinforced bar that hooks in across the top where the buttons are located. Many of those areas show cracking and strain whitening from all of my prying efforts. Thankfully, none of it is readily visible when the trim piece is installed.

  • avatar_raq
    Please do a teardown for the APC SUA1500i Smart UPS.
    Reply
  • VVV850
    I would like to see that too.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Thanks for this.

    BTW, if you setup a kickstarter for funding your reviews, I'll bet you'd get lots of donations. I'd certainly chip in.
    Reply
  • Zaxx420
    Am a regular reader of ur UPS teardowns here at Tom's...having a backround in "EEE", I find them very interesting to say the least. I have an older APC BACK UPS RS-1500 that needs a new battery. B4 I spend on a new batt was wondering if you've reviewed any APC 1500VA 'home' units? Are they decent or should I look at a newer unit instead of a fresh batt?
    Reply
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    18676443 said:
    I have an older APC BACK UPS RS-1500 that needs a new battery. B4 I spend on a new batt was wondering if you've reviewed any APC 1500VA 'home' units? Are they decent or should I look at a newer unit instead of a fresh batt?
    If your RS-1500 is from ~2005, look for my APC BX1000 tear-down. Based on how the BX1000's battery cover says XS1000 and the firmware version says RS1000, I suspect that the RS1500 will be practically the exact same thing except for having that third FET location on the heatsink plates populated and a larger HVDC transformer..
    Reply
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    18676391 said:
    Thanks for this.

    BTW, if you setup a kickstarter for funding your reviews, I'll bet you'd get lots of donations. I'd certainly chip in.
    Glad you liked it.

    For Kickstarter, I do not think a platform where I need to meet a goal to get funds would work too well. Patreon might be more appropriate for my use: contribute monthly, piece-wise or one-off to help me get what I need, when I need it.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18677660 said:
    Patreon might be more appropriate for my use: contribute monthly, piece-wise or one-off to help me get what I need, when I need it.
    Good point. I'm just thinking of some way that people can chip in to buy you equipment to test. Any extra you might use to fund your time + maybe you can ebay some of the re-assembled units, when you're done. Perhaps it can be setup for people to vote on different models with their contributions, if patreon has a way of creating different projects for people to contribute towards.

    Personally, I'm interested in higher-end UPS models and AV powerline filters (like those from Panamax).
    Reply
  • Tim_103
    You're going to get grief for your use of "spastic".
    Reply
  • WFang
    Yes, a Patreon option would certainly be interesting way to get funds for higher end UPS and powerfilters!
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    18676443 said:
    Am a regular reader of ur UPS teardowns here at Tom's...having a backround in "EEE", I find them very interesting to say the least. I have an older APC BACK UPS RS-1500 that needs a new battery. B4 I spend on a new batt was wondering if you've reviewed any APC 1500VA 'home' units? Are they decent or should I look at a newer unit instead of a fresh batt?
    I'd slap a battery in it if I was you. I mean, you're already got the unit. If it had some other failure or you were lacking a UPS but in the market for one, the BR1500G is probably the best in it's price class. I've got one - if you tear it open it's going to look pretty similar to the BR1000G in this tear-down. It does have a fan which it fires up whenever it's on battery. Again, very decent unit for the money, but it's not going to be built quite up to the standards of the older units. In actual use though this thing has been kick-ass - I needed something with enough oomph to sustain my system for a bit if I lose power while gaming. Gives me time to gracefully exit the game and finish anything I needed to do.
    Reply