[nSLUG] UPS

Rich budman85 at eastlink.ca
Tue Dec 20 01:47:16 AST 2005


On Mon, 2005-12-19 at 09:21 -0400, Dop Ganger wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Dec 2005, Rich wrote:
> 
> > I checked the site, the model is a BK650MC made in 1998.
> [snip]
> >
> Looking at the spec page 
> (http://www.apcc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BK650MC&language=en&LOCAL.APCCountryCode=us) 
> that UPS is rated for a 400W max draw. I'm mildly surprised you managed to 
> plug all those devices in and keep going - especially if the monitors were 
> on there too. It's a bit tricky to tell what the draw is if the UPS 
> doesn't tell you (and I'm not sure if an early model like that does); if 
> not, you'll have to get something like a Kill A Watt 
> (http://www.p3international.com/products/special/P4400/P4400-CE.html) and 
> test each unit individually.
> 

I only noticed the system resetting when I got my first 1Ghz system
prior to that, its possible the draw wasn't much.  I mostly got it to
save the system from power drops, the infamous light dimming fizzle.

I was working on a system one night many years ago when the power
company decided to change out a transformer at 4am.  I was always a
night owl, working second shift at the time, it was perfect for computer
exploration and programming.  That night I heard lights sizzle, go on
and off about 6 times in 15 secs.  By the second trip, I already had my
finger on the power off button, trying to save my drives.  40MB's
weren't as durable as today's drives. :)


> > I talked to NovaScotia Power about the numerous spikes in the lines
> > causing brownouts and surges.  The lady told me there is NO such thing
> > as a brownout or spike.  When she asked me "Do the lights dim?  Do they
> > get Bright?  Do they flicker?"
> 
> If you're in an apartment it could be that either the internal wiring 
> isn't up to snuff, or the building as a whole is drawing more power than 
> it's rated for (quite possible in this era of stupidly large televisions, 
> multiple computers, home audio, etc). This is particularly noticeable in 
> older buildings that weren't designed for the high power draw of modern 
> life. I believe it is your landlord's responsibility to get this checked, 
> but I'm not (fortunately) a lawyer, nor an expert in building codes - I 
> just run into issues similar to this on a semi-regular basis.
> 

The place I'm at is only 3 years old. Pretty decent on hookups, each
room is wired for cable and computer. However, I do notice the lights
flicker here a lot, at least once a day.  Reminds me of the movie
"Christmas Vacation", when they kick on the auxiliary. :)


> What I *would* note is that when it comes to UPSen, there's three things 
> to consider. The first is the quality of the incoming power, which 
> obviously needs to be addressed. The second is the peak power draw; bear 
> in mind that the peak power draw is usually passed straight on to the 
> incoming line, so you can't simply use a UPS as a buffer to avoid tripping 
> a circuit breaker (and speaking from experience on that one!) Finally, 
> there's the average power draw, if you constantly pull more current 
> through than the UPS is rated for you will burn the UPS out.
> 

Yes, I am looking at picking up two when I can.
It definitely sounds like its on its last legs.
All I can say is I must have gotten lucky with this unit. I hate to see
it go, its been such a staple and durable device.  I sobbed when my
floppy drive died (6 years old) hehe.  I gave it a mock funeral, it saw
4 computer systems.  It was a good drive. :,) hehehe.  

> The UPS also has a finite (though unpredictable) life, much like a surge 
> protector power bar. If it's exposed to a lot of spikes then it will, 
> after a while, turn into a plain power bar with only fuse protection (same 
> as a surge protector turns into a plain power bar). I'm sure Jason Kenney 
> can point you to some useful reading material on Metal Oxide Varistors... 
> :-)

hehe I saw one smoke at work one time.  I don't know if it was a
defective unit. I think there was something in that caused it to short. 
Thick white smoke.

Workers do stupid things when it comes to computer equipment.  I hate to
see what some of these users houses look like.  The colors... I cannot
get over some of the color schemes I saw. Enough to take that person out
to a pasture and keep them away from computers. 

Computers have turned into peoples brains.  
You know the 10% usage or was it capacity... :) 
I need a Dual CPU that supports SMP for my new 3-D Poker/Solitaire Game,
the dealer moves too slow.  If people only knew the true power of what
they have at their finger tips...  ranting over... long day.. :)


Rich


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