UPS Battery Backup and Surge Protector, or Surge Protector (alone), or none

GWGeorge007
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Topic 226916

Curious George here,

I wonder whether anyone is using a Universal Power Supply (UPS) Battery Backup and Surge Protector, and if so, what Brand and how many Watts does it protect for?  (i.e., APC UPS 1500VA / 900W battery backup power supply, or a CyberPower UPS 850VA / 510W battery backup system, Tripp Lite UPS 800VA / 475W battery backup surge protector, etc.)

Is anyone using only a Surge Protector?  How many Joules is it good for?  What brand?

Or, if you're not using a UPS or Surge Protector, have you thought about it?

Personally, I am using a Belkin Surge Protector rated at 4000 Joules.  But, the Senior Retirement Community that I live in has a new (6 months) power generator for the entire building that is powered by natural gas and automatically switches over if the power drops out.  I may get a UPS Battery Backup and Surge Protector because I do not know if the voltage supplied through the outlets is good and stable, and the UPS will help protect against brownouts.

What are you running?  If more than one computer, how many?

George

A proud member of the O.F.A. (Old Farts Association)

Ian&Steve C.
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My two largest systems use

My two largest systems use too much power to economically use a UPS. With power draws between 1400-2000W. And the later using 240v. 240V and high wattage supplies are very pricey. 
 

but my main desktop system (3080Ti/7443P) is on a 1500VA pure sign wave UPS unit from Cyberpower, among other devices (like my work computer and test bench and basically all devices on my office desk). And I keep my home server and network equipment on a 1000VA pure sign wave unit as well. They have surge protection built in but I never bothered to look closely at the specific rating. 
 

a UPS is a nice to have and convenient to cover very short power blips, but otherwise not a necessity if you have reasonably stable power from the utility. The systems that don’t have a UPS only need a manual restart a few times a year when we have a power blip. 

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archae86
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I run three PCs, all of which

I run three PCs, all of which serve Einstein.  Each has a UPS, of only slightly varying model.  One is branded AmazonBasics, but I think was built by CyberPower, as were the others.

One example is this one: CP1500PFCLCD PFC.

They like to rate these things in VA.  But if you run at the limiting VA you'd be lucky to get three minutes sustain time when the batteries are new.  So figure on getting a VA rating several times your actual load if you want your PC to keep running through even a short service outage (at least until you can run to shut it down as the beep sounds).  Only one of my three UPS units serves any load other than a single PC.  That one serves my StarLink Internet provision, plus my router.  So I shut that PC down extra-quick when the power fails in order to keep my home Wifi running with Internet for a couple of hours.

The batteries age in a nasty way.  I suspect the manufacturers (both APC and CyberPower) may not do a very good job of providing the right maintenance conditions, as I think a decent lead-acid battery in standby service (for example for exit lighting in many buildings) should last much longer than that.  I figure on getting three or maybe four years before replacement.

Nominally BOINC lets you say "don't run BOINC tasks when the system is on battery".  That works for my laptop (which no longer runs BOINC), but I've not been able to get it to work on my Windows PCs, ever.  If it worked, the self-same UPS unit would give over triple the runtime, and just maybe I could get by with smaller price UPS units with less than 1500 ratings.

I like to think that this grade of UPS unit gives better protection against power trouble than does a typical power strip with included surge protection, but it is nowhere near perfect protection.  In fact, my most recent PC failure was a system which failed to come back to life after a power outage.  Presumably something during the power outage sneaked through the UPS to hit something on the PC it could not stand.  As a result, I broke my kneecap on November 4, and am still recovering.

Keith Myers
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All my hosts are on a UPS.

All my hosts are on a UPS. Mostly the APC SmartUPS SMT1500C or BackUPS 1500 with one host on the APC SmartUPS SMT2200C.  That is a 120V unit on a 20A plug. When I bought it was for a reasonable price $800.  Now I see it is over $1000.  I would take a pass on purchasing it today. Way overkill now for what it is powering since I downsized from 4 gpus to 2 gpus and a less power hungry cpu.

 

Keith Myers
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archae86 wrote: That one

archae86 wrote:

That one serves my StarLink Internet provision, plus my router.  So I shut that PC down extra-quick when the power fails in order to keep my home Wifi running with Internet for a couple of hours.

So may I ask what you think of your Starlink connection?  How long were you on the waitlist?

 

Keith Myers
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archae86 wrote:Nominally

archae86 wrote:

Nominally BOINC lets you say "don't run BOINC tasks when the system is on battery".  That works for my laptop (which no longer runs BOINC), but I've not been able to get it to work on my Windows PCs, ever.  If it worked, the self-same UPS unit would give over triple the runtime, and just maybe I could get by with smaller price UPS units with less than 1500 ratings.

I put in a Github request to make this work for PC's on a UPS and the main developer coded it up for me.  But the issue Add support of UPower to detect battery status on linux #3425

has never been merged to the client code.  I have built the client myself to implement the code fix and it works as it should by suspending BOINC processing when the UPS kicks on that dramatically drops the load on the UPS which is also powering my internet gateway and router.  It does take a minute or so for the notification to get recognized though. So I get an hours worth of internet connectivity if the power goes out for that long.

I normally can only support my load for about 7 minutes and the software shuts the PC down after about 3 minutes normally.

 

archae86
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Keith Myers wrote:So may I

Keith Myers wrote:
So may I ask what you think of your Starlink connection?  How long were you on the waitlist?

Financially, using Starlink is nuts for me.  I get high uptime Internet service from Comcast with about 100 down 5 up for $55/month.  I pay StarLink $99/month for somewhat inferior service.

I think StarLink sold too many dishes into my location (Abuquerque New Mexico) or it is just that the people who are sharing the provision with me are unusually heavy users, as the numbers I see when I check my up/down speeds are well below those reported by most users on the Reddit forum, not to mention extremely far below those seen by new users who are nearly alone in newly served locations.

But the rather modest up/down speeds have seldom had practical adverse effect for the real usage I am my wife make.  10 down, 2 up most of the time would be plenty.  What was a real problem in the early months was short dropouts.  These had little effect in my typical web usage, but were materially objectionable during Zoom meetings, of which my wife has enough to care.  I actually kept Comcast service alive, and learned I could switch back and forth very quickly at need.

I gave Starlink my name and email as soon as they were collecting them.  When they actually started accepting deposits for service, I again got in line as soon as I could, ordering on February 8, 2021.  By April 27 I had it up on my roof and running.  They only had about half the number of actively serving satellites then as now, and I was right at the southern boundary when they shipped my dish.  I hope they are not shipping more dishes into my service area until the system capacity increases (probably means more satellites, and, later, higher capability satellites).  My service deficit is local, as Santa Fe Starlink speeds are among the highest reported in a survey.

Summarizing the experience of users from the Reddit forum, for users who are far enough off the beaten path not to have decent high-speed service wired to their home (who generally use either geosynchronous sateltie or terrestrial WISP service) Starlink is a huge improvement, in capability and in price/performance).  But for users in urban areas it is generally a losing proposition on both performance and price/performance.  All that is probably as it should be, at this stage.

Just personally, I like the gee-whiz factor, and I prefer sending my dollars to SpaceX over sending my dollars to Comcast.

 

 

Gandolph1
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I run the same UPS as

I run the same UPS as Ian&Steve C. on all of my PC's, NAS, Printer, and even on my OLED TV a Cyberpower 1500va Pure Sine.  But I live in Florida and to say we get a fair amount of lightning would be an understatement.  I did put my NAS, printer, Switch, and Gateway on the same UPS, but one each for everything else.  I used to use APC but they really go thru the batteries, so I switched to the Cyberpower and I have to say they've been great compared to the APC.  Just keep in mind, if your PC is relatively modern then your power supply wont like the less expensive UPS that provides a severely clipped square wave that they like to call "simulated sine", only get a UPS that provides pure sine wave.

Keith Myers
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Thanks for the user

Thanks for the user experience Archae86. I am interested in the system since I doubt I will ever get a better connection (ATT 16Mbs) than I have now from the available providers.

I have read that the waitlist is very long now with the limited semiconductor availability issue hampering things.

 

archae86
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Keith Myers wrote:Thanks for

Keith Myers wrote:

Thanks for the user experience Archae86. I am interested in the system since I doubt I will ever get a better connection (ATT 16Mbs) than I have now from the available providers.

I have read that the waitlist is very long now with the limited semiconductor availability issue hampering things

The waiting time varies hugely by location.  Some people are getting systems a week or two after signing up, while others are bitterly complaining that they have been waiting for nine months.  I'm very confident the nine month people are stuck in a cell into which Starlink has already sold enough disks that they don't want to push down the service level by adding more in that cell unit they get more satellites in service.

U.S. customers are now getting the second generation physical terminal, which has a rectangular antenna, burns less power than the first issued ones, and has the router integrated into the power brick.  The current pace of shipments seems to be pretty brisk, so they are continuing to get chip supplies, though likely not so many as they'd wish.

On the flip side, they have a queue of hundreds of thousands of people who have put down their deposits and not yet got a dish.  As the dishes in service seems to be a bit under 200,000, there are lots of impatient peope.

Two other things to think about regard both your and your location.  The dish wants a good view of sky, so you need a place to put it where it is not trying to look through trees, houses, cliffs...  The Starink app projects a template on the sky specific to your location telling you what needs to be clear if you put the antenna right where you are holding your cell phone.

The second point is physical installation, which is mostly about holes.  You need to mount the antenna.  For flat roof people that mostly means drilling a few holes in your roof and screwing the provided screws to hod up the mount, trusting the provided sealant tape.  For pitched roof people that usually means finding a way to afix a pole high up on the side, so the actual antenna can be above.   Secondly, a cable has to connect the antenna to the power brick.  As the antenna is outside and the brick inside, that generally means drilling about a one inch hole through an exterior wall.  They sell a kit with drills, grommets, and sealant.

If none of that scares you, I suggest you sign up.  You give them $99 up front, but you get it back if you cancel before they ship.  Depending on your location, they might ship real soon now, or not for a long while.

Good luck.  If you want me to share more on any aspect of my experience, please ask.

 

Mike Hewson
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I use just a surge protector

I use just a surge protector built into the Belkin powerboard for two computers at home. I don't recall the overload rating but have had no trouble with any damage while using it.

When I ran my own business ( medical practice ~ 15 years ago ) we had a lead acid battery array which would power certain 240V AC outlets in the building with power on outage. There were several dozen of these deep discharge type, similar to what you would find in a large prime mover vehicle say. This would provide for about 20 minutes on average for the whole business. The price of this included a DC/AC converter to charge and discharge the batteries, with automatic switching to take us off grid when the grid was down and return us to grid when it came back. It had over- and under-voltage protection as a side effect ( it would kick if sine wave loss within 1/3rd of a cycle ). All up not a cheap option though, but the asset being ultimately protected was our entire financial position and medical records. So quite cheap in comparison to the potential for loss. It required not too much maintenance ( keep the batteries topped up ) and was a good solution for the business size. We also used surge protectors at every outlet throughout the building to be extra sure. The reason for all this was the low reliability of grid power supply at the time, mainly due to the running down and lack of maintenance of fixed hardware in the area. The most vivid of these problems was exhibited as an explosion of a nearby old 'kiosk type' transformer which erupted in flames one day, only a few metres from the clinic. An extra tax credit to the relevant provider to upgrade the plant and installations fixed that problem, so now the local grid hardware is 'gold plated' as it were. The only outages now are due to wild storms, trees falling, vehicles running into poles, and deranged mutant koala attacks.

{ I could tell you about our arrangements for data backup*, but then I'd have to kill you .... :-) }

Cheers, Mike.

* Rule One : Do data backup frequently

Rule Two : See Rule One

Rule Three : Test retrieval & system recovery from backup

Rule Four : See Rule Three

Rule Five : Did I tell you about Rule One and Rule Three ?

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter ...

... and my other CPU is a Ryzen 5950X :-) Blaise Pascal

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