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A Good UPS Backup for Desktop
Old 06-07-2015, 12:17 PM   #1
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A Good UPS Backup for Desktop

I'm "browsing" for a good UPS backup for my desktop to do a safe shutdown in case of a power outage along with the case of voltage spikes and dips.

What I have now is an old APC Model (ES550 to be exact), which I picked up from Circuity City on the cheap during their out of business sale back in 2008.

Overall, the model I have now does a good job, but when I replaced the battery last year, that was a PITA.

What are some newer UPS models that some of use, that you like?

I'm just "browsing" as the current battery I have may last another 4 years .

What I have now:
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File Type: jpg es 550.jpg (14.8 KB, 137 views)
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post

Overall, the model I have now does a good job, but when I replaced the battery last year, that was a PITA.
Just curious, why was it a pain ?

I would be more concerned with protection from surges and spikes. That kills a lot of equipment. You generally won't get much run time on batteries, maybe a few minutes depending on the equipment. Maybe not even enough enough time to complete a shut down.

Problem you run into these days is the UPS can cost more than the PC it is protecting... so why bother.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #3
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I got one just like the OP... there is no door for the battery.... It think you have to take the whole thing apart to get there.... I hope to hear from the OP... also, what battery did it take

I need to change mine as it now does not hold a charge... my other UPS was easy... open the door, pull out the old battery, put in the new one, close the door....
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #4
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Just curious, why was it a pain ?

I would be more concerned with protection from surges and spikes. That kills a lot of equipment. You generally won't get much run time on batteries, maybe a few minutes depending on the equipment. Maybe not even enough enough time to complete a shut down.

Problem you run into these days is the UPS can cost more than the PC it is protecting... so why bother.
It was a pain because the pos/neg terminals connecting to the battery on the unit is too short. The fit was way too tight. There is a more recent model then the one I have and I wonder if the bad battery change is the reason why.

About 5 times a year, the UPS would kick in. Usually only for about 5 seconds or so. There have been times when the power when out and the unit did a safe hibernation.

If the computer suddenly loses power, isn't it possible to get a corruption on the HD? The protection isn't so much about the value of the old PC but to prevent stuff like corruption.

One I was looking at (by APC also) has a master controller and controlled outlets to automatically turn off vampire energy (monitor, for example).
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:00 PM   #5
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Just curious, why was it a pain ?

Problem you run into these days is the UPS can cost more than the PC it is protecting... so why bother.
I agree, I just use a good surge protector and keep good backups (image and files). If you're running a web server or something similar from home that needs to be up and running all the time then that's a different story.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
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I got one just like the OP... there is no door for the battery.... It think you have to take the whole thing apart to get there.... I hope to hear from the OP... also, what battery did it take

I need to change mine as it now does not hold a charge... my other UPS was easy... open the door, pull out the old battery, put in the new one, close the door....
I got a battery directly from APC. I debated whether to get a cheap brand from China or get one I know will perform. Plus, APC takes the old battery to to dispose of at not charge.

That battery for the model I have is:

Buy APC Replacement Battery Cartridge #110 - Technical Specifications and Information | APC

Battery replacement should be just as easy on this unit, but once again the short connectors.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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APC's quality has been declining. I switched to CyberPower and am happy with the unit. The model I got permits silencing of the "power is out" noise, which is a plus for home use.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:02 PM   #8
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There's no monkeying around with changing the battery with the big unit. Reminds me of changing a toner cartridge.

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Old 06-07-2015, 02:23 PM   #9
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About 5 times a year, the UPS would kick in. Usually only for about 5 seconds or so. There have been times when the power when out and the unit did a safe hibernation.

If the computer suddenly loses power, isn't it possible to get a corruption on the HD? The protection isn't so much about the value of the old PC but to prevent stuff like corruption.
Yep, I usually go with a cheap one to have just enough to handle the occasional blips on the grid. I hear it chirp for a few seconds in when storms rolls by.

Modern file system don't have as much corruption problems as in the past. I would go with good backup to protect my data, cheap ups to protect the hardware ( 24x7 servers are a different game )
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:05 PM   #10
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When my desktop dies, I am going to replace with a laptop. No need for then an ups, but maybe a battery every couple of years.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:11 PM   #11
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Just last week I replaced the battery on my APC UPS. It's a larger tower model - I used to have a fairly large tower computer (that heated up my office :-( ), but now it just powers my iMac and related items.

APC makes it pretty easy to look up the needed replacement battery. And I bought it at Amazon, so shipping isn't an issue. To return the old battery, you just place it in the same packaging as the replacement came in, print out a UPS label (from the APC website) and drop it off at the UPS store.

Installing it was super easy too. Slide open a door, unplug the old battery, slide out the old battery, slide in the new batter, plug it in, and slide closed the door. Simple.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:55 PM   #12
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Another thing I have backed up is the DVR and TV....

Nothing like having a blip and a recording stop.... I also like the protection it gives...
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:11 PM   #13
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Just for grins, today I went ahead and took out the battery and reinstalled it into my APC ES550. Knowing what to expect, the process required about 15 minutes of fumbling instead of the over and hour last time during the real battery change.

Here's a video of a guy changing a similar model. Like the 550, the red connector is noticeably shorter than the other connector. I assume as a safety, but still IMO a bit if a pain. In the video, the guy fumbles, then you can see he edited that out .



When the battery goes kaput on my current UPS, I'm gonna get an easier change model.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:15 AM   #14
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I'm happy with this one, but haven't had to change the battery yet:

Amazon.com: CyberPower CP1000AVRLCD Intelligent LCD Series UPS 1000VA 600W AVR Mini-Tower: Electronics

currently $110 on Amazon.
It's bee running fine for about 2 1/2 years.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:55 AM   #15
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I live in an old house (1908) that was divided up into apartments 30-40 years ago, but the wiring wasn't upgraded to accommodate all the extra occupants. As a result, when too many people plug in electric heaters, hairdryers, microwaves etc, one of the house circuit breakers flips, and someone has to trudge outside to switch it back on. In the colder weather, this can happen several times a night. As a result, I wanted a decent UPS in order to protect my files.

I purchased an APC Pro 1500 about a year ago and it has worked very well so far. I use it to power my desktop and monitor, as well as a small LED desk lamp and my Wifi router. In the event of a power out, it will power this combination for something like 30-40 minutes, which is plenty of time to power down the computer. In fact, if I power down the computer straight away, it will run the router and desklamp for over 4 hours. If I wasn't the tenant responsible for the power out, I can then happily sit in the light from the desk lamp for as long as it takes until one of my neighbors "gets the message" and does downstairs to switch the power back on

I value the integrity of my files and given the regularity with which brief power-outs occur in my house, this UPS has been a worthy investment.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:50 AM   #16
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I live in an old house (1908) that was divided up into apartments 30-40 years ago, but the wiring wasn't upgraded to accommodate all the extra occupants. As a result, when too many people plug in electric heaters, hairdryers, microwaves etc, one of the house circuit breakers flips, and someone has to trudge outside to switch it back on. In the colder weather, this can happen several times a night.
When I was in college (early 80's) I lived in a house that also had turn of the century wiring.

We had built a concert lighting control computer by hand (wire wrapped!) and oddly every now and then it would spontaneously reset. No rhyme or reason to it. Drove us crazy.

Then one day I noticed the sound of the refrigerator condenser kicking in just as the little computer reset itself. Light bulb moment!

We had built the power supply ourselves and it wasn't especially robust. When the refrigerator drew extra power, the voltage in the house sagged. Enough so that the home made power supply failed.

So we broke down and actually bought a power supply for the darn thing.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:47 AM   #17
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Definitely go with one that protects your ethernet wiring also (like the one linked above). This also means, you probably need a good surge protector for your router/modem.
If you live in an area prone to electrical storms, then consider upgrading circuit breaker with a whole-house surge protector.

And DEFINITELY do backups. Online and local for best redundancy. I use Crashplan and it end-to-end encrypts and can also backup (for free) to your friends/family across the country/world, vice using their servers.
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A Good UPS Backup for Desktop
Old 06-08-2015, 09:58 AM   #18
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A Good UPS Backup for Desktop

I just put in a backup generator that I put half the house on, including computer, tv's-all the important stuff. It works well during its weekly test, but no real live outage yet


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Old 06-08-2015, 10:13 AM   #19
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I just put in a backup generator that I put half the house on, including computer, tv's-all the important stuff. It works well during its weekly test, but no real live outage yet ...
Careful.

I know of a business that had a Generac backup system for their office. They also put their computers on their own UPS systems, so the computers would not lose power during the 20 seconds (or whatever it is) that it takes the generator to sense the outage and startup and switch over.

Sounds good, until they had an overnight outage, and found all the computers dead when they came in. What happened?

Turns out those Generacs do not regulate frequency very well. In fact, they intentionally run on the slow side when there is little load (to conserve fuel and reduce wear/tear on the engine), and rev up when there is a heavy load (in order to generate more power with the faster speed). A kind of positive feedback loop in their controller board. This allows them to get more power range and life from a smaller engine (and is why these are much cheaper than a full 'industrial' version).

Turns out, those UPSs were very picky about frequency, and switched to their battery when they saw it drift away from 60 Hz. Then the UPS batteries ran out, even though the generator was supplying power.

I was helping them out with this, and what triggered it for me was when the shop owner mentioned that the UPS would switch back to the line when their well pump came on - that apparently provided enough load to get the Generac running near enough to 60 Hz for the UPS to say "OK". Then I read about this frequency drift, and saw that the UPS was picky, and it all clicked.

I think they ended up getting different UPSs, not sure.

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Old 06-08-2015, 10:18 AM   #20
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When the refrigerator drew extra power, the voltage in the house sagged.
Yep - whenever the compressor in my refrigerator kicks in, the light in the kitchen dims momentarily.

Aaah, the olde-worlde charm of older houses
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