Lee Marzke on 8 May 2009 19:15:25 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Is Any UPS Any Good?

I've never liked the design of the really small units, though I have used them
to provide power to WiFi mesh routers ( very low load )

FYI,  the VA rating of the UPS does not indicate how long it will run.
VA = Volts*Amps =  Watts

The runtime is related to the energy stored in the batteries, e.g. Watts*Seconds (Joules) and this
is not usually listed.

So an inexpensive 700VA UPS could have a much shorter runtime than a very expensive
700VA UPS,  and you really have to look at the manufacturers runtime charts.

The following was discussed at PLUG central a few nights ago.

1. Network UPS tools ( NUT)  package   has support for lots of UPS's
   suggest picking a UPS  supported by NUT.

2. APC brand is generally regarded as 'it just works' , but may not be the least expensive.

3. You may want to power your ethernet switch and/or a monitor. ( So you can shutdown
the unit from monitor or ssh in case the auto shutdown doesn't work )

Personally, I think a refurbished older commercial unit (e.g. Ebay Smart UPS 700 ) may be quite affordable for you, just get it with new batteries and change them every 2 years - even if they test OK.
The older units are serial - not USB, and generally less expensive.

These units also regulate the voltage ( boost or buck ) to keep the output near 120 V, and they
also act as surge protectors.

For my office I've only used APC Smart UPS 700, 1400 units and they have been flawless for 5+ years.

The SmartUPS 1400 3U Rack Mount is particularly beefy, the thing weights nearly 100lbs ! But be aware the serial cable is not a normal cable -you need to make or buy the special one.


Casey Bralla wrote:
During the last thunderstorm, my power went out for about 3 minutes. naturally, 2 of my UPSs failed to hold on and then was totally dead afterwards. I have been underwhelmed by the reliability of the UPSs I have bought. After investigation, I find the batteries themselves usually still have a charge, but the charging circuitry is fried.

Most power outages last just a few seconds. I don't care about monitors and such, so I have only the main CPU box plugged in to these puppies. I had thought this meant that I could buy low cost, low capacity units. Maybe I was wrong.

Are any of them any good?

"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion..."  - Kryptos K1

Lee Marzke,  lee@marzke.net   http://marzke.net/lee/
IT Consultant, VMware, VCenter, SAN storage, infrastructure, SW CM
+1 800-393-5217  office         +1 484-348-2230               fax
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fn:Lee Marzke
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