Uninterruptible power supply
Thread poster: Angel_7

Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:57
French to English
+ ...
May 23, 2006

Has anyone ever used one of these? What exactly is it and can anyone recommend a good one that doesn't cost the earth?

Thanks.

Sarah


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:57
English to German
+ ...
Wouldn't want to work without them May 23, 2006

Hi Sarah,
Sarah390 wrote:

Has anyone ever used one of these?

I'm using several, actually: one powers my server, the second one my two workstations.

What exactly is it and can anyone recommend a good one that doesn't cost the earth?


Basically, it's a battery that is being kept charged constantly, taking over whenever there's a power shortage or cut. Depending on the sizing, it can keep your PC running for 10-15 minutes in the event of a total power failure. More importantly, though, a UPS shields your machine from split-second power shortages or peaks.

There are various suppliers - APC is rather well-known.

HTH, Ralf


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Aliseo Japan  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 15:57
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Highly recommended May 24, 2006

Sarah390 wrote:
Has anyone ever used one of these? What exactly is it and can anyone recommend a good one that doesn't cost the earth?


We have two of them (Omron brand) and work perfectly. Without them we wouldn't feel safe enough.

However, just to feel safer, we rush to switch off all our computers as soon as a storm comes near us. In other words don't trust them completely.

Mario Cerutti
http://www.aliseo.com

[Edited at 2006-05-24 07:10]


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Isabel Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:57
Italian to English
Be careful of the type of UPS technology May 24, 2006

I used to work for a UPS manufacturer here in Italy. UPS are useful bits of kit that are often overlooked & seen as an optional extra.

Note: only an ONLINE UPS guarantees absolute zero downtime, as a line-interactive or an offline UPS has a small switchover time when it goes from mains to battery because of a power cut / surge / slump and this can be enough to disturb your PC.
Naturally online UPS cost more....

Also check the total load of all the stuff you want to connect up to the UPS to make sure it is 'powerful' enough to protect all the apparatus.

Some UPS offer you the chance to expand power and extend runtime at a later date, good if you are planning to add extra PCS/apparatus in the future. Otherwise don't bother.

There are many good brands, make sure your choice offers good local after sales service because the batteries will start to lose their efficiency starting from year 3 and eventually need replacing.

Many manufacturers have UPS configurators on their websites to help you choose the best model for you. Some also calculate the cost of UPS ownership (running costs per year) as the UPS obviously consumes power.
Most offer free shutdown software, but quite frankly if you only have 1 PC you don't really need it.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:57
Member
English to French
Useful indeed May 24, 2006

I own a PCStar (sort of "no name") model of 500W, they are fairly cheap and do the job all the same.

Make sure you choose a properly sized UPS, if for instance you plan to plug in a computer with a big power supply and a large CRT display. The power supplied by the UPS must withstand the power consumed by the hardware connected.

I have power cuts almost every month, so given the price for these UPS, it didn't take me long to buy one.

I would strongly recommend that you buy one if your area is prone to storms, snow, or just at the very end of the grid!

Regards,
Philippe


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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:57
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Missing deadlines May 24, 2006

Philippe Etienne wrote:

I own a PCStar (sort of "no name") model of 500W, they are fairly cheap and do the job all the same.

Make sure you choose a properly sized UPS, if for instance you plan to plug in a computer with a big power supply and a large CRT display. The power supplied by the UPS must withstand the power consumed by the hardware connected.

I have power cuts almost every month, so given the price for these UPS, it didn't take me long to buy one.

I would strongly recommend that you buy one if your area is prone to storms, snow, or just at the very end of the grid!

Regards,
Philippe


Just out of interest Philippe, if you have frequent power cuts do you find yourself often missing deadlines because you can't access a computer (due to a power cut) or do you have a way around this?

Sarah


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:57
Member
English to French
Power generator, barrel of petrol, hand pump and satellite phone May 24, 2006

Sarah390 wrote:

Just out of interest Philippe, if you have frequent power cuts do you find yourself often missing deadlines because you can't access a computer (due to a power cut) or do you have a way around this?

Sarah


Hi Sarah,
No, only joking... I have never faced power cuts longer than say 1 hour during daytime, and usually it strikes only a district (I assume because of power demand or works). And it never happened to me at a critical delivery time. The neighbourhood where I live in Casablanca is fairly safe gridwise, provided that you pay your electricity bills on time.
If need be, I would transfer my stuff from the desktop to my laptop (thanks to the UPS power), rush to the nearest powered cybercaf and plug my laptop in there.
Have a good evening,
Philippe


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
A must for safe computing May 24, 2006

Hi Sarah,

I can only repeat what most of the fellow colleagues have said here. There are of course different brands on the market but the principle is just the same, as Ralf explained it.

I now have my 2nd UPS as the first one got burnt in thunderstorms, and it wasn't worth repairing the box. In any case I was lucky that just the UPS broke down and protected the computer. No damage at all in the computer.

The strange thing was that the electricity peaks came from far away as we had fine weather. So you never know when you really need it. I would never ever feel safe working without a UPS.

Erik

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