Suggestions on backup power supply?

fatryan

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I'm a bit of a computer novice. I built the PC in my signature with my brother in law's help. It's a system designed to run my home surveillance and Plex server, so it runs 24/7/365. I need to get a reliable backup power supply in the event of an outage or a would be crook tampering with our incoming service. I don't know what's considered reasonable, but it would be nice to be covered for at least a few hours, if not 1+ days. Recommendations?
 

DeeFrag

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A UPS/battery backup is to provide uninterrupted power so whatever is plugged in has sufficient time to be properly shut down or for a backup generator to fire up. If you wanted to spend in the $400-500 range you would get maybe an hour or so of uptime before the battery died.

To get into the several hours or days for less cost you would need a backup generator or something like the Tesla Powerwall. Those can be installed with an automatic transfer switch so it kicks on by itself in the case of a power outage. If you already have a natural gas line to the house then figure anywhere from $3k to $15k+ for a natural gas generator installed depending on where you live and how much power you want.
 

Zepher

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I have a Cyberpower 1500 on my Plex Server and it can run it for maybe an hour at idle since it uses like 80 watts.
it says 96 minutes in the app but I doubt it will last that long.

plex-ups-power.jpg


I prefer APC units, as I have a pair of APC 1300's running my gaming PC and backup PC and network gear, so I can still game and surf the web when the power goes out for a short while.
I picked up the Cyberpower one since I found it cheap on Craigslist.

For extended run times, you will want a Tesla PowerWall or a generator like DeeFrag said.
 

fatryan

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Hmm ok. Well I'm sure as hell not spending thousands on this lol. I didn't realize they were just a buffer before shutting down. Then i guess it doesn't really matter which one I get right? I mean, I'm not going to buy some super cheap POS, but there's no need to buy anything that will buy me more than say 5-10min right?
 

DeeFrag

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Hmm ok. Well I'm sure as hell not spending thousands on this lol. I didn't realize they were just a buffer before shutting down. Then i guess it doesn't really matter which one I get right? I mean, I'm not going to buy some super cheap POS, but there's no need to buy anything that will buy me more than say 5-10min right?
Pretty much. I've used APC, Cyberpower and Tripp Lite. Tripp Lite is my goto brand, they seem to have better build quality and I've not had one fail yet. I've had 1 APC and 2 Cyberpower fail on me over the years. Small sample size so it's only worth my 2 cents.
 

Zepher

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Hmm ok. Well I'm sure as hell not spending thousands on this lol. I didn't realize they were just a buffer before shutting down. Then i guess it doesn't really matter which one I get right? I mean, I'm not going to buy some super cheap POS, but there's no need to buy anything that will buy me more than say 5-10min right?
these are the estimated runtimes of my 3 APC UPS's, 2 1300's and a 1200 (the 1200 died after 12 years and was replaced with the Cyberpower unit)

Top to bottom,
Dual Xeon machine on APC 1300
AMD FX-8150 Plex Server on APC 1200
4790k 1080ti FTW3 gaming PC on APC 1300
All at idle.
HALs-Plex-APC-Power_Usage.jpg
 

fatryan

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Ok good to know. Thanks. I just bought a bunch of tripp lite AV adapters and cables, because they had the best reviews on Newegg and i recognized the brand (though never used it before). Is that considered better than APC? APC just reminds me of cheap fast n furious bolt on Honda Civic parts lol
 

Zepher

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Ok good to know. Thanks. I just bought a bunch of tripp lite AV adapters and cables, because they had the best reviews on Newegg and i recognized the brand (though never used it before). Is that considered better than APC? APC just reminds me of cheap fast n furious bolt on Honda Civic parts lol
I went with APC since they have awesome customer service.
A friend gave me a faulty 5 year old APC Back Ups Pro 1000 and I contacted them asking how to diagnose the issue with it before buying new batteries.
Told them the batteries were swollen in the unit and were hard to get out and the unit would just beep and turn off when you plugged it in and hit the power button.
They asked for pics, I sent them a few, and then they asked for my mailing address and sent me a new Back Ups RS 1200.
Didn't need proof of purchase and the unit was well past the warranty too.

Backups 1000 002.jpg backups 1200 006.jpg

3 years later the UPS didn't catch a power surge or something and my D-Link switch died and they sent me a new Back Ups 1300 to replace this one, which still worked and I kept.
So I got 2 free UPS's from them and then just bought myself another APC 1300 for my gaming PC I built for the garage.
 

fatryan

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I went with APC since they have awesome customer service.
A friend gave me a faulty 5 year old APC Back Ups Pro 1000 and I contacted them asking how to diagnose the issue with it before buying new batteries.
Told them the batteries were swollen in the unit and were hard to get out and the unit would just beep and turn off when you plugged it in and hit the power button.
They asked for pics, I sent them a few, and then they asked for my mailing address and sent me a new Back Ups RS 1200.
Didn't need proof of purchase and the unit was well past the warranty too.

View attachment 243987 View attachment 243988

3 years later the UPS didn't catch a power surge or something and my D-Link switch died and they sent me a new Back Ups 1300 to replace this one, which still worked and I kept.
So I got 2 free UPS's from them and then just bought myself another APC 1300 for my gaming PC I built for the garage.
That's some damn good customer service. You don't see that often at all. "Back in my day..." OK I wont go there lol

So is there anything else I need to know to purchase one of these things? I can guestimate power draw from PC part picker, or is that not a good idea?
 

Zepher

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That's some damn good customer service. You don't see that often at all. "Back in my day..." OK I wont go there lol

So is there anything else I need to know to purchase one of these things? I can guestimate power draw from PC part picker, or is that not a good idea?
Your system probably uses quite a bit less than my gaming machine, mine under load is around 450 watts (actually, that includes everything on my desk, powered speakers, sub, monitor, lighting, networking gear, except for the plex server),
so I would probably just get a 1000-1500 VA unit, these usually have 2 batteries for longer run time. And you also need to have one with USB to connect to the PC so that the UPS can tell the PC to shut down when the batteries get to a certain level which you set.

My desk,
IMG_2704.JPG


here are the Tripp Lites,
https://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Line-Interactive-Protection-SMART1500LCDT/dp/B00AX9Z7W4/ref=sr_1_15_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=tripp+lite+ups&qid=1588983895&s=electronics&sr=1-15-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTEcyS1hFSVdZSDA5JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjIwODc3MVFHOUNFUlFNOVUzSyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjc5NzE0MUo0MUM5RFIyM045QiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX210ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

And the newish model of the APC's I have
https://www.amazon.com/APC-Battery-Protector-BackUPS-BX1500M/dp/B06WD82BM8/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&keywords=tripp+lite+ups&qid=1588984014&s=electronics&sr=1-19&th=1

And the latest models from APC
https://www.amazon.com/APC-Sinewave-Battery-Protector-BR1000MS/dp/B084T67V7V/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=apc+ups&qid=1588984078&s=electronics&sr=1-5&th=1

And the higher end Smart-Ups.
https://www.amazon.com/APC-SmartCon...+ups&qid=1588984173&s=electronics&sr=1-3&th=1

Read the first Review of the Smart Ups link, guy used a pair of Optima Blue Tops to extend the runtime of the UPS.
 
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IdiotInCharge

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Without meaning to, I have two CyberPower desktop units and one rackmount unit. They work, their app works and the USB connection works to keep you informed.

That's... all I ask. Mostly, they're there to provide power factor correction and better surge protection than a normal surge protector, and of course to give myself or my wife a few minutes to save our work if the power goes out, or for the server to shut down gracefully and for the network stack to keep on for a bit.
 

fatryan

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Your system probably uses quite a bit less than my gaming machine, mine under load is around 450 watts (actually, that includes everything on my desk, powered speakers, sub, monitor, lighting, networking gear, except for the plex server),
so I would probably just get a 1000-1500 VA unit, these usually have 2 batteries for longer run time. And you also need to have one with USB to connect to the PC so that the UPS can tell the PC to shut down when the batteries get to a certain level which you set.

My desk,
View attachment 244033


here are the Tripp Lites,
https://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Line-Interactive-Protection-SMART1500LCDT/dp/B00AX9Z7W4/ref=sr_1_15_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=tripp+lite+ups&qid=1588983895&s=electronics&sr=1-15-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTEcyS1hFSVdZSDA5JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjIwODc3MVFHOUNFUlFNOVUzSyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjc5NzE0MUo0MUM5RFIyM045QiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX210ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

And the newish model of the APC's I have
https://www.amazon.com/APC-Battery-Protector-BackUPS-BX1500M/dp/B06WD82BM8/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&keywords=tripp+lite+ups&qid=1588984014&s=electronics&sr=1-19&th=1

And the latest models from APC
https://www.amazon.com/APC-Sinewave-Battery-Protector-BR1000MS/dp/B084T67V7V/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=apc+ups&qid=1588984078&s=electronics&sr=1-5&th=1

And the higher end Smart-Ups.
https://www.amazon.com/APC-SmartConnect-Interactive-Uninterruptible-SMC1500C/dp/B077Y62GSJ/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=apc+smart+ups&qid=1588984173&s=electronics&sr=1-3&th=1

Read the first Review of the Smart Ups link, guy used a pair of Optima Blue Tops to extend the runtime of the UPS.
Thanks for the links. I guess if I'm planning to use the UPS to save my work, I'd need one to power my monitors too then right? Or at least power 1 monitor? I really only have 1 main display, but I resurected an ancient Dell display I got for free from work 6 years ago, so I can have dual monitors to work at home. My main display is an AOC U3277PWQU (32" 4k monitor), which I imagine eats a bunch of power. So I'd be looking to power my machine, 32" monitor, and my PoE switch which is good for maybe 10-20W more tops. If I wanted a UPS for my modem and router, I'd need to buy a second UPS. They're too far away to run off the one for my machine.

Without meaning to, I have two CyberPower desktop units and one rackmount unit. They work, their app works and the USB connection works to keep you informed.

That's... all I ask. Mostly, they're there to provide power factor correction and better surge protection than a normal surge protector, and of course to give myself or my wife a few minutes to save our work if the power goes out, or for the server to shut down gracefully and for the network stack to keep on for a bit.
So they even have UPSs with apps that let you know when powers out? Man thats pretty crazy ha ha
 

Zepher

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Thanks for the links. I guess if I'm planning to use the UPS to save my work, I'd need one to power my monitors too then right? Or at least power 1 monitor? I really only have 1 main display, but I resurected an ancient Dell display I got for free from work 6 years ago, so I can have dual monitors to work at home. My main display is an AOC U3277PWQU (32" 4k monitor), which I imagine eats a bunch of power. So I'd be looking to power my machine, 32" monitor, and my PoE switch which is good for maybe 10-20W more tops. If I wanted a UPS for my modem and router, I'd need to buy a second UPS. They're too far away to run off the one for my machine.

So they even have UPSs with apps that let you know when powers out? Man thats pretty crazy ha ha
You can get a small UPS for the networking stuff, something like a 400-600VA
Your monitor and other random stuff doesn't use too much power compared to the PC, anything over 1000VA should be fine for your setup.
 

fatryan

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You can get a small UPS for the networking stuff, something like a 400-600VA
Your monitor and other random stuff doesn't use too much power compared to the PC, anything over 1000VA should be fine for your setup.
It's there any way to actually provide full backup power to the modem and router for an extended period of time? Are they low power enough that a standard PC UPS could power them for a few hours?
 

Azrak

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It's there any way to actually provide full backup power to the modem and router for an extended period of time? Are they low power enough that a standard PC UPS could power them for a few hours?
The APC 1500VA SmartUPS that I have will power the cable modem, Netgear WNDR4500 router, and mostly-idle work laptop (no battery in laptop and no external monitor) for about 2 hours. I used it during a power outage a couple months ago. Power was restored before I needed to shut down due to low battery power in the UPS.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I went with APC since they have awesome customer service.
A friend gave me a faulty 5 year old APC Back Ups Pro 1000 and I contacted them asking how to diagnose the issue with it before buying new batteries.
Told them the batteries were swollen in the unit and were hard to get out and the unit would just beep and turn off when you plugged it in and hit the power button.
They asked for pics, I sent them a few, and then they asked for my mailing address and sent me a new Back Ups RS 1200.
Didn't need proof of purchase and the unit was well past the warranty too.

View attachment 243987 View attachment 243988

3 years later the UPS didn't catch a power surge or something and my D-Link switch died and they sent me a new Back Ups 1300 to replace this one, which still worked and I kept.
So I got 2 free UPS's from them and then just bought myself another APC 1300 for my gaming PC I built for the garage.
Christ those batteries. I've seen swollen SLA batteries, but never that bad.

But this shows why you replace your batteries as scheduled maintenance in UPSes rather than wait until they die. UPSes are not smart and cannot reliably detect SLA battery faults, not even the $20,000 variants used in the enterprise. They'll keep trying to charge a long dead battery until they either kill themselves or utterly wreck the batteries. The last hospital job I worked, I saw such a $20,000 unit completely wreck 40 SLA batteries and nuke itself because it could not detect that the batteries had failed. Most were leaking badly, some had cracked and vented, others were inflated and deformed. The charging circuitry had a crater in it.

I see people argue all the time that their 4-7 year old SLA batteries are just fine because their UPS is telling them so. That's a disaster in the making. Change your batteries every two years, at most four. UPSes are really hard on them with the constant charging and heat.

I regularly buy $200-400 UPSes for pennies on the dollar because the original owner says they stopped working, or from the junk yard where they're thrown out because the batteries were never replaced and they stop working.
 

fatryan

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The APC 1500VA SmartUPS that I have will power the cable modem, Netgear WNDR4500 router, and mostly-idle work laptop (no battery in laptop and no external monitor) for about 2 hours. I used it during a power outage a couple months ago. Power was restored before I needed to shut down due to low battery power in the UPS.
No way am I buying a UPS that expensive just for the router and modem. So I guess I'll just forego that part. That's only 2 hours on that thing too, hardly seems worth it.
 

fatryan

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Christ those batteries. I've seen swollen SLA batteries, but never that bad.

But this shows why you replace your batteries as scheduled maintenance in UPSes rather than wait until they die. UPSes are not smart and cannot reliably detect SLA battery faults, not even the $20,000 variants used in the enterprise. They'll keep trying to charge a long dead battery until they either kill themselves or utterly wreck the batteries. The last hospital job I worked, I saw such a $20,000 unit completely wreck 40 SLA batteries and nuke itself because it could not detect that the batteries had failed. Most were leaking badly, some had cracked and vented, others were inflated and deformed. The charging circuitry had a crater in it.

I see people argue all the time that their 4-7 year old SLA batteries are just fine because their UPS is telling them so. That's a disaster in the making. Change your batteries every two years, at most four. UPSes are really hard on them with the constant charging and heat.

I regularly buy $200-400 UPSes for pennies on the dollar because the original owner says they stopped working, or from the junk yard where they're thrown out because the batteries were never replaced and they stop working.
See, I didn't even know you had to replace batteries on these things at all. Every 2 years? That seems like an incredibly short lifespan. Do they not have trickle charge built in? That should significantly prolong battery life. How much do that batteries cost?
 

Zepher

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See, I didn't even know you had to replace batteries on these things at all. Every 2 years? That seems like an incredibly short lifespan. Do they not have trickle charge built in? That should significantly prolong battery life. How much do that batteries cost?
Mine usually last 3-5 years and they are around $45 for a pair for the APC branded ones.
 

Azrak

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No way am I buying a UPS that expensive just for the router and modem. So I guess I'll just forego that part. That's only 2 hours on that thing too, hardly seems worth it.
UPSes are not designed to withstand long power outages. They are designed to provide enough power to run the load to perform a safe shutdown or until the generator starts up and is ready to handle the load. Any other use is "beyond the design or intention of operation". A UPS is not a Tesla Powerwall.

See, I didn't even know you had to replace batteries on these things at all. Every 2 years? That seems like an incredibly short lifespan. Do they not have trickle charge built in? That should significantly prolong battery life. How much do that batteries cost?
Having a UPS is not a cheap investment. It requires a (relatively) significant monetary commitment on a periodic basis in addition to the initial purchase cost, depending on the UPS.

Cheaper/lower-end UPSes do not have user replaceable batteries. Once the cells wear out, you throw the UPS away and buy a new one or send it away to be refurbished and get the batteries replaced which sometimes could exceed the original purchase price making it not worth it (usually it's the shipping costs due to weight that make it cost-prohibitive).

Higher-end UPSes have user-replacement batteries. Better ones allow battery swaps to occur while powering the load. My APC SmartUPS 1500 has this functionality. I remove the front panel, open the battery door and slide the old batteries out, disconnect the power connector and install the new batteries reversing the process.

Every 2-3 years the battery pack is replaced to due aging of the cells. The sealed lead-acid cells break down over time due to the chemical reactions involved in their design.
The UPS keeps the cells topped up via trickle charge when the UPS is plugged into AC power.
Replacement battery cost varies and is somewhat linear with the size of the UPS. APC charges $170 for replacement batteries for my model which I find ridiculous, so I use third-party batteries which cost about $100 (still ridiculous) and last just as long (about 3 years).
My UPS performs a self-test every 2 weeks where it switches to battery power for about 5-7 seconds in order to get a read on how much the voltage drops in the battery while powering the load. If the battery voltage drops too much, the UPS declares the battery dead and lights up a red LED and beeps an annoying sound every 6 hours to tell you the replace the batteries.

I think the UPS is worth the constant upkeep investment cost because I don't want power hits, brownouts, etc. to damage or destroy my computer equipment. It's a personal decision you have to make. Most people don't want to spend that kind of money on something that may only get used once or twice a year. It depends on your power situation and what you are trying to protect.
 

mls1995

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I have a Cyberpower 1500 on my Plex Server and it can run it for maybe an hour at idle since it uses like 80 watts.
it says 96 minutes in the app but I doubt it will last that long.

I prefer APC units, as I have a pair of APC 1300's running my gaming PC and backup PC and network gear, so I can still game and surf the web when the power goes out for a short while.
I picked up the Cyberpower one since I found it cheap on Craigslist.

For extended run times, you will want a Tesla PowerWall or a generator like DeeFrag said.
I have 4 or 5 Cyberpower 1500 units in my house (can't remember). They've been fine, I'd recommend them.
 

fatryan

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UPSes are not designed to withstand long power outages. They are designed to provide enough power to run the load to perform a safe shutdown or until the generator starts up and is ready to handle the load. Any other use is "beyond the design or intention of operation". A UPS is not a Tesla Powerwall.


Having a UPS is not a cheap investment. It requires a (relatively) significant monetary commitment on a periodic basis in addition to the initial purchase cost, depending on the UPS.

Cheaper/lower-end UPSes do not have user replaceable batteries. Once the cells wear out, you throw the UPS away and buy a new one or send it away to be refurbished and get the batteries replaced which sometimes could exceed the original purchase price making it not worth it (usually it's the shipping costs due to weight that make it cost-prohibitive).

Higher-end UPSes have user-replacement batteries. Better ones allow battery swaps to occur while powering the load. My APC SmartUPS 1500 has this functionality. I remove the front panel, open the battery door and slide the old batteries out, disconnect the power connector and install the new batteries reversing the process.

Every 2-3 years the battery pack is replaced to due aging of the cells. The sealed lead-acid cells break down over time due to the chemical reactions involved in their design.
The UPS keeps the cells topped up via trickle charge when the UPS is plugged into AC power.
Replacement battery cost varies and is somewhat linear with the size of the UPS. APC charges $170 for replacement batteries for my model which I find ridiculous, so I use third-party batteries which cost about $100 (still ridiculous) and last just as long (about 3 years).
My UPS performs a self-test every 2 weeks where it switches to battery power for about 5-7 seconds in order to get a read on how much the voltage drops in the battery while powering the load. If the battery voltage drops too much, the UPS declares the battery dead and lights up a red LED and beeps an annoying sound every 6 hours to tell you the replace the batteries.

I think the UPS is worth the constant upkeep investment cost because I don't want power hits, brownouts, etc. to damage or destroy my computer equipment. It's a personal decision you have to make. Most people don't want to spend that kind of money on something that may only get used once or twice a year. It depends on your power situation and what you are trying to protect.
Definitely not worth it to protect my router and modem. The RT68U can be had for $100 on a good sale, and my CM1000 was about the same price. I actually have a spare RT68U laying around too. Not expensive enough for me to care to protect them. My rig on the other hand cost me nearly $2000, including monitor. So that I want to protect.
 

fatryan

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Thanks.

I've read reviews on a lot of the APC UPSs recommended here, and several have complained about smoke and fires coming from the UPSs. Has anyone heard about this?
 

GiGaBiTe

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See, I didn't even know you had to replace batteries on these things at all. Every 2 years? That seems like an incredibly short lifespan.
UPSes are very hard on SLA batteries. The confined space and heat is one thing, but the "trickle charging" is the ultimate killer of the batteries. There is usually no thermal monitoring of the battery, or really any sophisticated monitoring, especially on cheap shitty UPSes. The UPS will charge at a specific voltage/current and if the SLA battery becomes weak or develops a fault, like a failing cell, it will continue to charge the battery at that same rate. It's why you see heavily damaged SLA batteries where they inflate, crack, leak or boil dry.

But UPSes aren't the only devices guilty of shitty trickle charge systems. Alarm and fire panels have the same crap and eat batteries worse because the panels are often located in non-climate controlled areas that often stay over 100 degrees for long periods of time.

Do they not have trickle charge built in? That should significantly prolong battery life. How much do that batteries cost?
I've never seen a sophisticated trickle charger in an UPS, even really expensive models. The "trickle charging" is like I said above, usually a fixed voltage/current constantly, irregardless of the state of the battery.

I wish that UPSes would start using lithium batteries more. They last a whole lot longer in service and have a far higher capacity. Lithium iron phosphate ( LiFePO4 ) are probably the best substitute because the battery technology is more stable than lithium ion or lithium polymer, and have a 3.2v cell voltage, which can be easily adapted to existing SLA systems. In fact, I've seen companies selling lithium iron phosphate packs in the shape of a standard 12v 7aH SLA battery with internal circuitry for cell protection.
 

fatryan

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UPSes are very hard on SLA batteries. The confined space and heat is one thing, but the "trickle charging" is the ultimate killer of the batteries. There is usually no thermal monitoring of the battery, or really any sophisticated monitoring, especially on cheap shitty UPSes. The UPS will charge at a specific voltage/current and if the SLA battery becomes weak or develops a fault, like a failing cell, it will continue to charge the battery at that same rate. It's why you see heavily damaged SLA batteries where they inflate, crack, leak or boil dry.

But UPSes aren't the only devices guilty of shitty trickle charge systems. Alarm and fire panels have the same crap and eat batteries worse because the panels are often located in non-climate controlled areas that often stay over 100 degrees for long periods of time.



I've never seen a sophisticated trickle charger in an UPS, even really expensive models. The "trickle charging" is like I said above, usually a fixed voltage/current constantly, irregardless of the state of the battery.

I wish that UPSes would start using lithium batteries more. They last a whole lot longer in service and have a far higher capacity. Lithium iron phosphate ( LiFePO4 ) are probably the best substitute because the battery technology is more stable than lithium ion or lithium polymer, and have a 3.2v cell voltage, which can be easily adapted to existing SLA systems. In fact, I've seen companies selling lithium iron phosphate packs in the shape of a standard 12v 7aH SLA battery with internal circuitry for cell protection.
For a glorified battery that's so expensive, you'd think they'd invest in a basic battery tender style trickle charger that's sole purpose is to prolong battery life. Seems crazy and unsafe.
 

Dead Parrot

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If keeping the surveillance system up 24/7 is important, might want to create a separate system just for that purpose and optimize it for low power usage. The data handling capabilities of small SBCs like a RaspberryPi are getting fairly impressive. Don't forget power for the cameras. If you can design your system so that all the equipment uses 12V DC, a simple large deep cycle marine type battery might power it for several hours.
 

fatryan

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If keeping the surveillance system up 24/7 is important, might want to create a separate system just for that purpose and optimize it for low power usage. The data handling capabilities of small SBCs like a RaspberryPi are getting fairly impressive. Don't forget power for the cameras. If you can design your system so that all the equipment uses 12V DC, a simple large deep cycle marine type battery might power it for several hours.
It's critical that it runs 24/7, but periodic outages aren't that big of deal. All cams are PoE, so they're powered by the switch which i plan to put on the UPS.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
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I've actually had several people ask me about this sort of thing. Something to handle their home surveillance and record video, etc. I know OP already built a system, but really, what works best for this kind of thing is a laptop. It doesn't even have to be a new laptop. Laptops are built from the ground-up with power conservation in mind, and come with a built-in battery. Many laptops, in situations where the screen is off and CPU usage is minimal, can last 8+ hours on battery. Some considerably longer. You could add a UPS to that also of course, or potentially have a separate UPS just for your modem and router to maintain internet during an outage. A UPS that only has to power low-power devices like a cablemodem and router will last a long time also, unless you have a really power-hungry router. Lithium-Ion laptop batteries seem to hold up better than Lead-Acid batteries over time if they are actually being used and not just sitting in a closet. I have several laptops in the 15-20 year old range that can still hold a charge for over an hour using their original battery.
 

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
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I've actually had several people ask me about this sort of thing. Something to handle their home surveillance and record video, etc. I know OP already built a system, but really, what works best for this kind of thing is a laptop. It doesn't even have to be a new laptop. Laptops are built from the ground-up with power conservation in mind, and come with a built-in battery. Many laptops, in situations where the screen is off and CPU usage is minimal, can last 8+ hours on battery. Some considerably longer. You could add a UPS to that also of course, or potentially have a separate UPS just for your modem and router to maintain internet during an outage. A UPS that only has to power low-power devices like a cablemodem and router will last a long time also, unless you have a really power-hungry router. Lithium-Ion laptop batteries seem to hold up better than Lead-Acid batteries over time if they are actually being used and not just sitting in a closet. I have several laptops in the 15-20 year old range that can still hold a charge for over an hour using their original battery.
Well my existing laptop wouldn't fit the bill, as it has dedicated graphics (probably a crappy card too), and the batteries are trash. Not to mention it's only a 720p screen so I'd still need a monitor. And although it has 2 drive bays, I could never get the equivalent storage to what i currently have in my tower. I think building a laptop from scratch, if that's even a thing, would likely cost the same or possibly even more than my desktop.
 

[Spectre]

[H] Admin
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I went with APC since they have awesome customer service.
A friend gave me a faulty 5 year old APC Back Ups Pro 1000 and I contacted them asking how to diagnose the issue with it before buying new batteries.
Told them the batteries were swollen in the unit and were hard to get out and the unit would just beep and turn off when you plugged it in and hit the power button.
They asked for pics, I sent them a few, and then they asked for my mailing address and sent me a new Back Ups RS 1200.
Didn't need proof of purchase and the unit was well past the warranty too.

View attachment 243987 View attachment 243988

3 years later the UPS didn't catch a power surge or something and my D-Link switch died and they sent me a new Back Ups 1300 to replace this one, which still worked and I kept.
So I got 2 free UPS's from them and then just bought myself another APC 1300 for my gaming PC I built for the garage.
Seems like it would be nicer if the units didn't keep having problems so you didn't have to replace them and attached equipment.....
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
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Seems like it would be nicer if the units didn't keep having problems so you didn't have to replace them and attached equipment.....
I got 12 years out of the first one, and the second one is still going strong after 9 years.
The D-Link could have failed from a surge through one of the network jacks, but since it was powered by the UPS and stopped working one day, I just assumed it was a power surge and told APC that.
It was only a $40 8 port switch and was over 5 years old.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I got 12 years out of the first one, and the second one is still going strong after 9 years.
The D-Link could have failed from a surge through one of the network jacks, but since it was powered by the UPS and stopped working one day, I just assumed it was a power surge and told APC that.
It was only a $40 8 port switch and was over 5 years old.
I'd blame the wall wart before the switch, those things fail long before the electronics they power do. I keep several of them on hand because I replace them so often.
 

fatryan

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So I got my SMC1500C installed and setup. Its saying my estimated runtime is 60 minutes...seems inaccurate based on what everyone here is saying. Battery is also only at 92% right now, but its charging. On the UPS, I have: tower, 32" 4k monitor, Old 20"? Dell monitor, Netgear PoE switch, and an extension cord with miscellaneous small device chargers attached (only tablet is charging atm). Does this thing just need time to learn the load before providing accurate estimates?

What is the serial port for on the back of the USP? I tried to find info on it within the documentation, but there was no mention of it. Hell, the documentation itself was pretty much useless.

There is no mobile app for this Smart Connect feature right? Its only accessible via the website?
 

Zepher

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The Serial port I believe just does the same as the USB and NIC, communicates with the PC for machines that have a serial port on them
 

GiGaBiTe

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Does this thing just need time to learn the load before providing accurate estimates?
UPSes are not that smart. SLA batteries are always hard to gauge remaining capacity because environmental conditions (heat, cold) and battery age play a large part in the then current capacity of the battery. Always treat the run time the UPS gives you as an estimate and not a guaranteed run time, because you won't always get it. Be sure to replace your batteries as scheduled maintenance at least every 2-4 years, because your UPS won't always tell you. If you wait too long, a bad SLA battery can kill the UPS, both from damaging the charging circuitry and from exploding/leaking.

What is the serial port for on the back of the USP? I tried to find info on it within the documentation, but there was no mention of it. Hell, the documentation itself was pretty much useless.
To communicate with the device it's powering. You'll need a special null modem cable for this, which transposes the TX and RX lines.
 

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
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The Serial port I believe just does the same as the USB and NIC, communicates with the PC for machines that have a serial port on them
OK, well I got it connected to my network switch and USB to tower, so it should be able to communicate fully. I can def check it's status from here at work.

UPSes are not that smart. SLA batteries are always hard to gauge remaining capacity because environmental conditions (heat, cold) and battery age play a large part in the then current capacity of the battery. Always treat the run time the UPS gives you as an estimate and not a guaranteed run time, because you won't always get it. Be sure to replace your batteries as scheduled maintenance at least every 2-4 years, because your UPS won't always tell you. If you wait too long, a bad SLA battery can kill the UPS, both from damaging the charging circuitry and from exploding/leaking.



To communicate with the device it's powering. You'll need a special null modem cable for this, which transposes the TX and RX lines.
Noted about the batteries. Guess I'm just lucky with those estimates, considering how high they are? Maybe once I get my 2060 KO in there tomorrow it'll drop a bit.

To be clear, I don't need the serial port, right? It's just a secondary means of communication as Zepher said?
 

GiGaBiTe

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Noted about the batteries. Guess I'm just lucky with those estimates, considering how high they are? Maybe once I get my 2060 KO in there tomorrow it'll drop a bit.
If the batteries are new, the estimates are more accurate. It will definitely drop with a higher draw card, but only really while it's loaded down, unless it has crappy idle power draw.

To be clear, I don't need the serial port, right? It's just a secondary means of communication as Zepher said?
You don't need to use it, but it is nice to have. The UPS can tell the PC when it's on backup power and the PC can gracefully shut itself down automatically, rather than wait until the batteries go flat and abruptly shut off.
 

fatryan

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If the batteries are new, the estimates are more accurate. It will definitely drop with a higher draw card, but only really while it's loaded down, unless it has crappy idle power draw.



You don't need to use it, but it is nice to have. The UPS can tell the PC when it's on backup power and the PC can gracefully shut itself down automatically, rather than wait until the batteries go flat and abruptly shut off.
SO thats the only way to get it to shut itself down – using the serial port? What does the USB connection do then?
 
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