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APC 500VA UPS $30 (VERY good product for any electronic's reliability)

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APC 500VA UPS $30 (VERY good product for any electronic's reliability)

Old 07-15-2004, 01:25 PM
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Thumbs up APC 500VA UPS $30 (VERY good product for any electronic's reliability)

This is a pretty darned good price on a piece of equipment that I've become completely sold on over the years. It's great for computers but also works well for other lower power home electronics who's reliability is important (by low power I mean no appliances, large stereos, etc).

http://www.slickdeals.net/#p4950

Basically it's a surge protector with a battery in it that intelligently controls the voltage output going to your computer. Surge protectors only protect against large surges and some more expensive models may also filter out some minor line noise, but that's about it. A UPS acts as a capacitor in a sense that you can have all the line noise, voltage drops, or voltage spikes you want and your computer never sees them because it's absorbed into the UPS's battery and averaged out before being sent to your computer.

As an added bonus (and actually the main reason most people buy these things), if the power goes out your computer won't even skip a beat... it'll still run for somewhere around 20 to 45 minutes... giving you time to save your work and shut down safely or maybe even ride out the outtage entirely. If you aren't around when the power goes out the UPS will save your work for you and shut itself down once the battery gets close to running out of juice.

*It's worth noting that the cheapest UPS models that you can often times get for $30... this model just has some extra nice features and better capacity for failure.
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Old 07-15-2004, 02:12 PM
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I just use a laptop for my workstation

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Old 07-15-2004, 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by DougsfastZ
I just use a laptop for my workstation

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Does your laptop run on batteries or directly on A/C when plugged into the wall?

BTW, what are you driving now? G35?
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Old 07-15-2004, 02:18 PM
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I have a port replicator that plugs into the wall at work, but at home I usually use the battery(s).

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Old 07-15-2004, 09:55 PM
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A UPS acts as a capacitor in a sense that you can have all the line noise, voltage drops, or voltage spikes you want and your computer never sees them because it's absorbed into the UPS's battery and averaged out before being sent to your computer.
Not true with this or nearly any inexpensive UPS. These lower-end devices are switched units (called "standby" or "offline" units), meaning output=input exactly (less the surge protection provided by the metal oxide varistors) until the input drops below a certain voltage (typical in the 87VAC range), then the battery turns on, and provides a "modified sine wave" output (meaning a two-stair stepped square wave actually) to the PC until the input is restored.

What you are describing is an "always on" or "online" UPS. These types are constantly converting the input to DC, filtering it through a rather large network of capacitors, charging the battery, and then back to AC to the output. The output of this type of UPS is NEVER connected directly to the input.

Tripplite makes a middle of the road piece that they call "Line Interactive." Standby technology, with voltage regulation of the online units built in. $100-ish or so.

But, your point is noted that they are quite useful for even casual home use. I have a cheap APC 330VA unit that lasts about 5 minutes or so- long enough for me to finish up, and shut down. Nothing lost.

Don't forget to periodically test the runtime capacity of your unit, every six months or so. Just unplug it from the wall, and let it run out, and time it. Once it gets to about 40% of what it was new, time to replace the battery(ies). Figure 5 or so years to get to that point.

I procured a 2200VA, always on, pure sine wave out unit from work. It is loud as crap, so I don't use it (well that, and it requires a 30A, 120VAC outlet for power- funky round plug). It is two boxes- one for the voltage control/generation, the other for the eight 12VDC batteries. When I set up a dedicated room for Home Theater and Media, it will likely supply that entire circuit, save for the subs. The waveform this thing puts out is just so... pretty.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by Killerjello

I have one with a 40 minute capacity for my desktop.
40 minutes at how many volts?

I have one thats a real good one, advertised 1 hour.
but with my computer, and both monitors and the printer, I only get about 14 minutes, take the printer off and I get 20 minutes.

But I really just like it for filtering the power and keeping it up and running.

They are doing lots of work to the power grid around here (relocating major lines, and replacing a lot of stuff) and I get 5 minutes of power outage every other day.
and cause theres alot of temp stuff for hte lines when there is a lightning storm every 10 minutes the power dims, and its nice that I keep power during them, I had an old box running and in 5 minutes it restarted like 10 times, I would have hated to have had my main comp do that.
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Old 07-15-2004, 11:58 PM
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Re: APC 500VA UPS $30 (VERY good product for any electronic's reliability)

Originally posted by Threxx
This is a pretty darned good price on a piece of equipment that I've become completely sold on over the years. It's great for computers but also works well for other lower power home electronics who's reliability is important (by low power I mean no appliances, large stereos, etc).

http://www.slickdeals.net/#p4950

Basically it's a surge protector with a battery in it that intelligently controls the voltage output going to your computer. Surge protectors only protect against large surges and some more expensive models may also filter out some minor line noise, but that's about it. A UPS acts as a capacitor in a sense that you can have all the line noise, voltage drops, or voltage spikes you want and your computer never sees them because it's absorbed into the UPS's battery and averaged out before being sent to your computer.

As an added bonus (and actually the main reason most people buy these things), if the power goes out your computer won't even skip a beat... it'll still run for somewhere around 20 to 45 minutes... giving you time to save your work and shut down safely or maybe even ride out the outtage entirely. If you aren't around when the power goes out the UPS will save your work for you and shut itself down once the battery gets close to running out of juice.

*It's worth noting that the cheapest UPS models that you can often times get for $30... this model just has some extra nice features and better capacity for failure.
I have one and I love it, even helped light my house with one of those florescent 16w light bulbs during power outages.
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