UPS Recommendations and Questions...

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by c128, 1 Feb 2010.

  1. c128

    c128

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    I'm not totally convinced this belongs here, but then neither does it seem to totally fit on the other forums (mods: please move if appropriate).

    I'm looking for recommendations for a cheap UPS (up to £100) to cover me for power outages of at least 30 minutes - this is a personal rather than a business thing, so I'm just looking for the best I can get for the budget rather than something cast-iron with support. The items to be powered amount to the following:

    1 x router
    1 x cable modem
    2 x Sheevaplugs (small, very low power consumption, linux machines)
    1 x external hard-drive
    1 x external hard-drive caddy with 4 drives
    1 x Gigabit switch

    ...and the reason I need a continuous power supply is mainly because Sheevaplugs aren't that robust when cold-booted in terms of mounting their hard-drives; the above serves a web-site (amongst other things) and some user intervention is currently required when there's a power outage, which isn't that useful if I'm not about.

    In total, my cheapo power meter tells me that all of the above idles (disks spun-down etc.) at around 40-45W and peaks at 65-70W.

    Now...having had a Google around, I see that APC UPS units come up quite a bit in the cheaper end of the market, specifically these:

    http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=21

    ...and the 700VA version, from the specs, looks like it would cover my needs - ~£90. However, not all of its 8 outlets are battery backed up (I have 7 items in total) and I've no idea how well APC units are regarded (can't find many meaningful reviews). So...

    Anyone any experience of lower-end UPS and have any recommendations?
    Assuming I'm within the specs of the UPS, but the UPS doesn't have enough outlets for all of my items, am I OK to plug more than one item into an outlet?
    Does using a UPS in itself increase power consumption greatly - I'm guessing they just charge, then trickle charge until needed?
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve

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    Very cheap UPS will give a modified sine wave, which isnt good for equipment.

    Good UPS will give a proper sine wave, and will provide power "through" the batteries, so that if the power fails the batteries take over straight away. With cheaper ones there is a slight delay (less than half a second)

    You need to read the specs to figure out what you need.

    Good UPS will also filter the mains supply (some use the batteries as a "buffer" for spikes and dips)
     
  4. Lectrician

    Lectrician

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    APC are pretty much the defacto when it comes to UPS's, certainly in our area it is the choice.

    Not sure on software for the linux machines (if you wanted to use it, as you do not have to). The software can be used to email events, and also shutdown machines either immediately or near to the end of the battery life.
     
  5. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Regardless of how many protected outputs the UPS has, you can have as many as you need using a suitable PDU chained from the outlet. If you check the datasheet for your chosen unit then it will provide you with an estimated runtime for a given load - I know that the APC site for sure has an online calculator tool for this.

    Other well regarded brands are Riello, Liebert and MGE (although MGE may now have been purchased by the Schneider group who, I believe, also own APC).
     
  6. I picked up a "nearly new" (used for all of 2 weeks) APC Smartups 1000 for £50 of ebay which holds my server up until it powers itself down... very rare find but if you are willing to stalk ebay for a few weeks they do crop up every now and then... the replacment bat's for them are the killer really....

    WE use APC UPS's at work - stick with the SmartUPS range - dont bother with the BackupCS range - they really are pants...

    MY setup takes around 100w and could prob keep the server going for around 15-20 minutes. With the smartups - i think APC do make software that controls Linux stations and will shut them down. All come with serial connectors - where as the later models come with serial and USB connectors.

    I have a "modified" 4 gange extension - which has a 3 pin "kettle" plug on the end rather than a normal plug - which plugs into the rear of the UPS and allows you to plug in routers and switches which have transformer bricks on them.

    Do you really need the switches and routers running through the UPS? - i would consider putting them on a surge protector instead and just run the servers and hard drives the UPS which should extend the runtime slightly... ok your website will go down from the outside - but they should self recover when the power comes backup easier than your linux servers.
     
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  8. Lectrician

    Lectrician

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    Routers and modems use next to no power at all - if you can, you might aswell keep them on the UPS.

    I to have a SmartUPS - I got mine from ebay a few years ago, and it is still going strong. Mine is the 1500, and I use it to power my main computer, my server, router, two switches, a monitor, speakers, and believe it or not, the cordless phone base station and the fax machine! With all this connected the green LED bar graph only shows a single lights (out of 5) when the main PC is turned on.
     
  9. FourFootMedia

    FourFootMedia

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    I'll third that, they're all we use at work and I have 2 1500's in my rack at home and a 2200 stand alone unit (which was used for running a boiler for an hour during a power cut when it was freezing :D).

    Not the cheapest, but if you can get one second hand you can get a reasonable price. (I got mine new via work when we made a large purchase).
     
  10. c128

    c128

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    Thanks all - very useful!
     
  11. dan86

    dan86

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    I've got a few apc ups's they are 500va, 1000va and a 1500va. I've always used apc and apart from the odd battery replacement which is easy they are pretty good. You ca pickup a apc ups from ebay and just get replacement batteries if they have gone or just a new buy one.


    I have looked at using deepcycle leisuire batteries in replacement of the standard ones inside however that comes with pros and cons mainly cons if you don't do it right. It can work out good or very bad. These would give you loads of run time than the stock batteries.
    Dan
     
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