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Lunaray 10-22-2007 07:47 AM

UPS protection?
 
I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So far
I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I don't
feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe save me
from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)

My question is: the UPS I'm looking at comes with software, does this mean
that there might be some utility that will automatically shut down my
computer when the UPS detects a power failure? I know nothing about UPS's!

Thanks,
Ray



Gerald Smith 10-22-2007 09:33 AM

Re: UPS protection?
 
UPS software will soft shutdown your system and is configurable.

Don't rely 100% on the UPS to protect you but they are about the best
protection you can get other than spending some big bucks on a power supply
that has built in overcurrent/undercurrent protection. I live in Hawaii and
power here can do crazy things and I have had two computers go bad during a
voltage spike and this was while using a good surge protector.

Read this article it talks about UPS and surge protectors.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/su....htm/printable


"Lunaray" <lunarayERASE@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:w6KdnQWmXJIIyIHanZ2dnUVZ_uiknZ2d@neonova.net. ..
>I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
>slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So far
>I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I don't
>feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe save me
>from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)
>
> My question is: the UPS I'm looking at comes with software, does this
> mean that there might be some utility that will automatically shut down my
> computer when the UPS detects a power failure? I know nothing about
> UPS's!
>
> Thanks,
> Ray
>



Chet39 10-22-2007 01:35 PM

Re: UPS protection?
 
If you install the software and connect the cable provided, you will be able
to specify how long the system will run before initiating a shutdown.

Many USBs also provide great surge protection. They usually have two sets
of outlets, one set for battery backup and another set that provides surge
protection only. Only put essential stuff on the battery side (CPU,
monitor, modem) to give longer life after outage.

"Lunaray" <lunarayERASE@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:w6KdnQWmXJIIyIHanZ2dnUVZ_uiknZ2d@neonova.net. ..
>I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
>slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So far
>I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I don't
>feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe save me
>from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)
>
> My question is: the UPS I'm looking at comes with software, does this
> mean that there might be some utility that will automatically shut down my
> computer when the UPS detects a power failure? I know nothing about
> UPS's!
>
> Thanks,
> Ray
>




Chet39 10-22-2007 01:36 PM

Re: UPS protection?
 
Beg your pardon, I said USB when I meant UPS.

"Chet39" <nospan@mchsi.com> wrote in message
news:mG1Ti.166489$Fc.12160@attbi_s21...
> If you install the software and connect the cable provided, you will be
> able to specify how long the system will run before initiating a shutdown.
>
> Many USBs also provide great surge protection. They usually have two sets
> of outlets, one set for battery backup and another set that provides surge
> protection only. Only put essential stuff on the battery side (CPU,
> monitor, modem) to give longer life after outage.
>
> "Lunaray" <lunarayERASE@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:w6KdnQWmXJIIyIHanZ2dnUVZ_uiknZ2d@neonova.net. ..
>>I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
>>slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So
>>far I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I
>>don't feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe
>>save me from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)
>>
>> My question is: the UPS I'm looking at comes with software, does this
>> mean that there might be some utility that will automatically shut down
>> my computer when the UPS detects a power failure? I know nothing about
>> UPS's!
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Ray
>>

>
>




Paul 10-22-2007 06:11 PM

Re: UPS protection?
 
Lunaray wrote:
> I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
> slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So far
> I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I don't
> feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe save me
> from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)
>
> My question is: the UPS I'm looking at comes with software, does this mean
> that there might be some utility that will automatically shut down my
> computer when the UPS detects a power failure? I know nothing about UPS's!
>
> Thanks,
> Ray
>


On a power fail event, some UPSes have a communications interface, that
can signal to the computer that the battery is just about drained. The
software you install on the computer, responds by doing an orderly shutdown.
That helps prevent corruption etc. It also allows the right things to
happen, if you leave the building and the computer is left running.

There is an article here that discusses the various types of UPS.

http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/S...NM3Y_R5_EN.pdf

When buying, don't buy the "bottom rung" products. Aim a bit
higher, to get a bit of product quality.

The "line interactive" type might be the most popular now. You
could check the reviews on Newegg, to see what people think of
the various price ranges of products.

Each of the types has its issues. To give an example, I bought
the SPS type (Figure 1 in the above doc), I left the building,
there was a lightning storm, and when I got back, my CRT monitor
had sustained some damage. That monitor had been through a number of
years of "unprotected" operation (before I got the UPS), without a
scratch. Which suggests to me, that a UPS is not "bulletproof". Both
the UPS and the power strips I use to distribute the power, have
surge protection, but that didn't seem to make a difference.

This is an example of a "double conversion" UPS. The power from the
line side, goes to battery, and from there, is converted back to A.C.
again. This should give better protection from any kind of
event on the power company side, and perhaps would have afforded my
poor old ($3000 CDN) CRT monitor some protection. They don't seem to make
double conversion units in lower power versions, I guess because
they would be so far from being price competitive with the other
UPS architectures. Most of the time, the other types would be fine,
until you come home some day, and discover your CRT is sick :-)
(The reason the CRT was so expensive, is it was the best thing you
could buy at the time. You can probably find them used for $100 now.)

APC SURTA1500XL 1500 VA 1050 Watts (6) NEMA 5-15R Outlets SMART-UPS RT 1500VA 120V - $981
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16842101076

So this is very much a perception issue, as to how much risk you
think your AC presents, the value of the equipment being protected,
and so on. Note that, in my case, I'm still using the same UPS,
the battery in it has far exceeded the normal expected lifetime.
My monitor has been replaced by an LCD. And I haven't seemed to
have learned any lessons :-) So I guess my gear just isn't expensive
enough, to buy a better UPS.

HTH,
Paul

Lunaray 10-22-2007 06:44 PM

Re: UPS protection?
 

"Chet39" <nospan@mchsi.com> wrote in message
news:QH1Ti.149399$Xa3.74092@attbi_s22...
> Beg your pardon, I said USB when I meant UPS.


I did the same thing when I posted, I caught it though! :-)



w_tom 10-23-2007 04:23 AM

Re: UPS protection?
 
On Oct 22, 3:47 am, "Lunaray" <lunarayER...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I live in a small town on the Oregon coast and it seems like everytime the
> slightest little windstorm comes along, it causes my power to fail. So far
> I've been lucky, my PC has always restarted without a problem, but I don't
> feel comfortable with it and I think I should get a UPS and maybe save me
> from much grief (winter's coming and with it, comes the wind :-)


A typical 'computer grade' UPS protects data from blackouts and
extreme brownouts. Others have claimed additional features. Where
are numeric specs that make that claim? Good luck trying to confirm
some claims made here by others. Many see a word, make assumptions
what that word means, and forget that without numerical specs, then
that word is irrelevant.

"It is called a monitor. Therefore that display monitors what?"

UPS connects AC mains directly to the computer when not in battery
backup mode. This is typically some of the cleanest power a computer
will see. When mains voltage drops below a preset number (ie 103
VAC), then a UPS switches to battery and outputs some of the
'dirtiest' electricity.

Numbers from one 120 volt UPS when in battery backup mode: two 200
volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts between those square
waves. Electricity so 'dirty' at to damage some small electric motors
and power strip protectors. But not destructive to computers that
contain circuits to make 'dirty' electricity irrelevant.

That UPS outputs a modified sine wave. They use a fancy expression
so that the naive assume it is a clean output. Its a 'sine wave', so
it must be clean? Instead, learn numbers for a modified sine wave -
some of the 'dirtiest' electricity that a computer might see. "Sine
wave" reasoning is common with UPS recommendations that ignore
manufacturer numeric specifications.

Only some UPSes have a signal cable telling computer that UPS has
switched to battery. Computer now has time to save data and then
shutdown. For many UPSes, that signal is nothing more than a switch.
That signal is only about data protection - time to save data before
UPS battery discharges.

UPS rarely uses itsr battery. But UPSes are typically built so
cheaply as to suffer battery failure in something like three years.
Verify battery can be replaced AND how much that replacement battery
costs. Sometimes it is just cheaper to replace the entire UPS every
three years. Meanwhile, size the UPS so that a quickly degraded
battery can still provide sufficient time to save data.

One final point. Computers must have overvoltage, overcurrent,
underpower, and undercurrent protection circuits. Functions that were
standard over 30 years ago - long before PCs even existed. Also
required by Intel specs. Also listed in power supply numeric specs.
But too many computer assemblers cannot even understand those specs.
Which poster provides answers with numbers and demands manufacturer
spec numbers before knowing something. Which just assumed all UPSes
are line interactive? Each "while using a good surge protector" can
even contribute to damage of the adjacent computer - as Gerald Smith
in Hawaii has demonstrated. Just because it is called a surge
"protector" means it must provide "protection"? Again, where are the
numbers to justify that reasoning?


Nelson 10-30-2007 08:08 PM

Re: UPS protection?
 
It's a good idea to use a UPS. I've always used APC UPS'es and have never had a problem. The smart-ups series seem to be a good choice for a desktop computer or workstation. They are not bottom-rung devices but are still affordable. A 1000VA model should work fine for a desktop computer. You can usually get a good deal on them at eBay but if you choose to buy a used one, be prepared to also buy new batteries at the same time. I don't have any experience with other models so I can't say anything about UPS'es other than APC.



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