UPS protection?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Lunaray, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Lunaray

    Lunaray Guest

    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
    Lunaray, Oct 22, 2007
    #1
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  2. Lunaray

    Gerald Smith Guest

    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/surge-protector.htm/printable


    "Lunaray" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >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, Oct 22, 2007
    #2
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  3. Lunaray

    Chet39 Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >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, Oct 22, 2007
    #3
  4. Lunaray

    Chet39 Guest

    Beg your pardon, I said USB when I meant UPS.

    "Chet39" <> 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" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>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, Oct 22, 2007
    #4
  5. Lunaray

    Paul Guest

    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/SADE-5TNM3Y_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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101076

    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
    Paul, Oct 22, 2007
    #5
  6. Lunaray

    Lunaray Guest

    "Chet39" <> 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! :)
    Lunaray, Oct 22, 2007
    #6
  7. Lunaray

    w_tom Guest

    On Oct 22, 3:47 am, "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 :)


    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?
    w_tom, Oct 23, 2007
    #7
  8. Lunaray

    Nelson Guest

    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.
    Nelson, Oct 30, 2007
    #8
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