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  #1  
Old 02-25-2010
kelemvor kelemvor is offline
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Do you have any plans to review more UPS's? I only see one on the site.

Recently I purchased a 2KW "Ultra" ups (I have doubts about it, but the next 'better' 2k I could find was over double the price). The bottom line for me was that the decision was essentially a crap shoot. I was replacing a belkin 1500 which managed to power my system for about 10 seconds before shutting down.

I liked your review on the PC Power & Cooling branded beam-tech UPS and I'd REALLY like to see more!
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2010
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I'd love to, if companies would only send review samples. I might have scared them all off with that review
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Old 02-26-2010
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Don't have doubts about the Ultra 2KW UPS. It's a decent unit, built by Powercom. I have had one for a few years now. The only thing I don't like about it is that it turns off when there's no load and the battery's fully charged ("green" mode). Problem is, when my wife goes to turn her computer on, it won't turn on because the UPS is off and she goes into freak out mode.
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Old 02-28-2010
Lenny_Nero Lenny_Nero is offline
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I have been looking for some UPS reviews as well, or at the very least something to smooth out the line.

I think I need to work out the full load/run time and go from there, I dont think I needs loads of power, but there is quite a bit of kit that could do with being covered for some of the day.
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Old 03-15-2010
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LOL!

After that review they're probably scared off.

Every single consumer-grade UPS I've seen looks like junk to me.
Bear in mind I've only seen a few up close and personal.
The companies probably know all too well what kind of junk they sell and would prefer that nobody point it out.
For the cut-rate prices the Consumer UPSs go for there's going to LOTS of cut corners and under-rated components. Giving one to Oklahoma Wolf would be suicidal for sales.

Most recently I had a peek inside a No-Name (Cyber Power?) super compact UPS that looks like a large power strip. It claimed to be capable of 850VA.
Somehow, I think that might be a little optimistic. Or maybe outright fraud!
The insides were completely crammed full of parts and a small-ish battery with no room for airflow, no fan and tiny little vent slots.
Let's see.... The battery was roughly 1/2 the size of one of my SUA1500's two 18AH batteries.... Ummm..... maybe 400VA? Maybe "Fire Hazard"?

Even the ones that appear to be nicely constructed often have Square-Wave or Stepped Square-Wave output that can play havoc with our expensive PSUs.

I did my research BEFORE buying a UPS for my expensive Mac Pro, which is particularly sensitive to under-rated or non-Sine-Wave UPSs. (learning from the mistakes of others)

Sine Wave output and 1500-ish VA was what was called for and that's what I got. Unfortunately, there's no Consumer-Grade UPS that meets that spec. so I had to get a used APC Smart UPS SUA1500 which has been just great for 2 years now.

The Smart UPS type of Sine-Wave UPSs are the only ones I recommend.
A review on one of these would be interesting.
It would be nice to see what Oklahoma Wolf's keen eyes would find inside of one of these most excellent Doorstops.

Mine is very solid and heavy and has never let me down, running this computer (1KW-ish PSU), external drives and monitor for an hour or so during blackouts. The 6-year old batteries finally expired this week and I hot-swapped them without incident.

You get what you pay for. Why risk an expensive PSU or computer with a cheapie UPS?


Any midwestern wolfs are welcome to examine my ancient APC...
Keri
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Old 03-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeriJane View Post
Even the ones that appear to be nicely constructed often have Square-Wave or Stepped Square-Wave output that can play havoc with our expensive PSUs.
A stepped sine wave UPS will not harm a PSU. Especially not when running on mains power, when that doesn't make a difference anyway.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero82z View Post
A stepped sine wave UPS will not harm a PSU. Especially not when running on mains power, when that doesn't make a difference anyway.
Well, that's the intent behind stepped square wave anyway.
But if we're mostly concerned with line power any decent power strip will do. Or any UPS with adequate Buck/Boost/AVR.
We buy UPSes because of the times line power cannot be relied upon. The more unstable your line power, the more important the UPS.

Maybe the Stepped Square wave wasn't as important as well, lying about the actual capacity.
SUA1500 Sine wave UPS- 2x 18AH 12v batteries.
RS1500 Stepped Sine wave- 2x 9AH 12v batteries.

The cheaper Consumer-grade unit of supposedly the same VA capacity has HALF the battery capacity! This is not likely to help in conditions of sudden increase of power demand. Like when waking up a Mac Pro.

The thing that was driving Mac Pro users nuts 2-3 years ago was this:

1- Computer is put to sleep. (with UPS connected via USB)

2- The power is interrupted.

3- The UPS wakes up the computer via USB

4- The 1st-gen Mac Pro overloads the UPS upon wakeup which shuts it down and causes an unordered shutdown due to sudden lack of power.

The same machine will start up cold on UPS power.
Apparently the wake from sleep condition has a larger or faster sudden current demand than the initial start-up.

Some people even had bad luck with stepped square wave UPSs of 1500VA capacity. The recommendation at the time? Sine wave UPS of 1500VA and higher. The common complaint? But those cost so much! And they weigh a ton.

It would be interesting to see someone talented and knowledgeable dissect, examine and compare the two above units from the same company.

If the Consumer grade Stepped Sine wave unit has half the batteries of the Sine wave UPS it's pretty likely a whole lot of other important stuff is 1/2 the size too. Important stuff that makes it go.
And if the stuff that makes it go is as under-rated as the batteries... is 1500VA really an honest rating for the whole unit?

Or are they hoping (like PCP&C) that maybe that tiny inverter with no fan will be capable of the full load because they scratched the numbers off?

Are we now in an era of current-carrying capacity being determined by fiat rather than specification?

Questions that the UPS companies most emphatically do not want answered!
Or even asked.

You still get what you pay for (if you're lucky)
Have Fun,
Keri

PS> That review was fantastic. It's sad to see that a once-reputable company like PCP&C is selling products with apparently undersized, undercooled parts with the numbers scraped off.
The battery capacity seemed a little low also.
RS1500- 18AH
PCP&C 1500- 21AH
SUA1500- 36AH
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Last edited by KeriJane; 03-15-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Remember that the VA rating doesn't determine how long the UPS can supply power for, but only the instantaneous rate of power delivery. Many less expensive UPSes still can supply their full power rating, just not for a very long period. What a UPS should really be used for is not to maintain power to your computer during an outage, but to give you enough time to save whatever you're doing and shut down safely as opposed to allowing the power to the PC to be cut abruptly. In that respect, even a few minutes of uptime is plenty.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeriJane View Post
PS> That review was fantastic. It's sad to see that a once-reputable company like PCP&C is selling products with apparently undersized, undercooled parts with the numbers scraped off.
To be fair, PC P&C isn't to blame for the part number issue, according to themselves and OCZ. They probably came that way from the factory.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Yes, that's true.
Smaller batteries might provide the same power for a shorter period if the load doesn't exceed their capability to deliver. Apparently either the batteries or something else in the Back-UPSes can't in all cases which is why I got interested in this 2 years ago.

That's why it would be interesting to do a side-by-side analysis.

APC didn't make the SmartUPS units so big, powerful and (ugh) Heavy just to give people hernias or to drive up the price and shipping charges.

Maybe it was just for extended runtimes. But for that all you would need is the bigger batteries.
Maybe it was also for more ability to cope with "unreasonable" demands such as those made by early sleeping Mac Pros or to better protect expensive equipment when nobody is around to shut it off.

One thing to consider: the Standby power in your PSU, Monitor and anything else connected to UPS is always on and exposed to the UPS power even if you set the computer to shut down very soon after power goes out.

If the square wave or inadequately "stepped" stepped square wave of cheaper UPSes damages your 5vsb circuits in the PSU, you still need inconvenient and expensive repairs.

For me, I'll stick with the better protection that Sine Wave UPSes offer.
Keri
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