Computers & Electronics

UPS backup power supply worth it?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 6th, 2018 6:28 pm
Newbie
Jul 22, 2012
18 posts
12 upvotes
westom wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 9:42 am
Then you do not know about the consumer's primary protection layer. We have only discussed the secondary layer. A primary layer does not need a protector. But it always must have an earth ground. If that street transformer does not have its required earth ground, then that primary protection layer has been compromised. Only earth ground (without a protector) provides and defines that layer of protection.
You're talking about hypothetical scenarios in which a utility company's equipment is not properly installed. A home owner has no control over that situation, so your argument is irrelevant. It must be assumed that the utility grid is correctly designed and installed, as even if it isn't there's nothing a homeowner can really do about it, let alone realize it.
westom wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 9:42 am
Nobody, using well proven science, knew that graphite vein existed or that it would be a problem. It was discovered using an 'art' (that is impossible without science knowledge).
When new buildings are constructed a geological report is performed by a geological engineer to test soil characteristics within the property. If this "science" was done in the first place, the problem would have been discovered and a perimeter grounding grid would have been installed. The only problem is that this isn't done for houses.
westom wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 9:42 am
Third, some best protection only has earth ground - not protector. TV cable, satellite dish, and OTA antenna has best protection only with earth ground. Only item that creates every homeowner's primary protection layer is the always required earth ground - no protector used or needed.
A protector is required (in conjunction with protection, i.e. grounding) for someone's AV equipment and compute to be protected...like the one mentioned in the original post. We're not talking about grounding satellite dishes or OTA antennas.
westom wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 9:42 am
Sometimes 'artist' techniques are necessary because science is unknown.
There is nothing unknown about any of this aside from unknown site conditions.

If you truly believe you're some special grounding artist...I won't try to convince you otherwise. But don't go around saying things like "You are not yet ready to learn what is effective. A long list of misinformation must be unlearned.". To imply that you're the only person in the room who knows what's going on is just plain wrong.

To anyone else who may still be reading - I'll be ignoring any more of Westom's posts after this as he clearly doesn't realize what the topic of the conversation is. Let me know if there's any more questions were you want a coherent response.
Member
Dec 7, 2015
479 posts
102 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
cam1878 wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 8:17 am
Unfortunately there isn't really a better answer than "get the landlord to bring it up to code" to resolve that kind of problem. At least not that I can think of off the top of my head.
While maybe not "better" the answer I keep getting is to buy a $75 (or so) coax isolation transformer - assuming I can't get Rogers and the landlord to cooperate on an upgrade. For most people, the answer seems to be the transformer.
Member
Dec 7, 2015
479 posts
102 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
westom wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 10:05 am
We often say lightning will take the path of least resistance. Not entirely true. Lightning takes a path of least impedance.
The electrical stuff I learned is that it will take all paths and the current is split according to relative impedance. Higher impedance path gets less current,, lower impedance gets more current.
Newbie
Jul 22, 2012
18 posts
12 upvotes
willilumplump wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 11:56 am
The electrical stuff I learned is that it will take all paths and the current is split according to relative impedance. Higher impedance path gets less current,, lower impedance gets more current.
While technically correct, his comment could have been worded better.

Impedance has two components, resistance and reactance.

Say you have one path that's 10 ohms resistance with 5 ohms reactance, and another that's 5 ohms resistance and 100 ohms of reactance. The 2nd has a lower resistance than the first, but still a higher total impedance

The equation is Z = R + jX, where Z is impedance, R is resistance, X is reactance. In electrical engineering, "j" is used instead of "i" for complex/imaginary numbers to avoid any confusion with current.

You are correct that all paths get a current, with the amount relative to the value of the impedances on each path. That's why you want to have your SPD to have the lowest amount of impedance possible, so the majority of the surge current flows through the short circuit rather than the load to be protected.
Newbie
Jul 22, 2012
18 posts
12 upvotes
willilumplump wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 11:53 am
While maybe not "better" the answer I keep getting is to buy a $75 (or so) coax isolation transformer - assuming I can't get Rogers and the landlord to cooperate on an upgrade. For most people, the answer seems to be the transformer.
It's somewhat of a "treat the symptom not the cause" method, but it would still work. It'd probably be cheaper to just outfit every tenant with one than get an electrician in to revise the building grounding and pull a new wire.

If it is causing you issues, that's probably your easiest option.
Member
Jul 6, 2009
286 posts
50 upvotes
willilumplump wrote:
Jul 24th, 2017 11:56 am
Higher impedance path gets less current,, lower impedance gets more current.
And then it gets more interesting. Impedance is not constant. Impedance can change significantly with currents. Most of what we do in electronics assumes impedance or resistance is constant. But not when discussing surges.

So that impedance to protected items stays high, then impedance to what we connect a surge to (ie earth ground) must be as low as practicable.

Isolation transformer should be unnecessary. Whereas code does not require any protection on AC electric, it is required on TV cable, telephone, satellite dish, and OTA antenna. Phone line must have a protector installed by the telco for free) to provide that protection. Others simply provide best protection only with a hardwire. Code also says each must connect to the same earth ground. Cable company must and routinely does reinstall their cable if that requirement is violated.

Of course, some will intentionally violate code. In one case, a cable installer grounded his cable to dirt is a window ledge flower box.

Cable is rarely an incoming surge path. AC electric is a common incoming path. But this is electricity. To be damaged, an appliance must also have an outgoing path. Cable (or HDMI ports) is a classic outgoing path. Damage often appears on the outgoing path. Eliminate cable as an outgoing path and that surge will hunt for and find other destructive outgoing paths.

Always better is to earth that current BEFORE it can enter a building.

If I did not already mention it, even the electric utility can provide AC mains protection - without anyone's permission but yours.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 13, 2004
3691 posts
273 upvotes
Lol that's me. Went looking for a UPS, discovered a masterful troll. Fun reading the thread, but feel sorry for those who got trolled.
Everything in moderation... including moderation :twisted:
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
22 posts
1 upvote
Hey westom,, I have just bought a 2000va/1800watt online ups... now these dont provide dirty power as they keep a constant output voltage of 240v output, or what ever you set the output voltage to.

The ups still can be destroyed from large surges, but it still should protect the stuff tha'ts connected to it, as its never outputting the mains power, its using the battery 24/7. I have mine running in "eco mode" though to save power,, so it only uses the battery (online mode) if voltage goes under or over about 10volts in 4millisecounds . So it acts a bit like a line interactive ups,,,,,,, but in "eco mode" the ups is much more sensitive to the mains voltage then a line interactive ups is.

I was even advised from the manufacture to connect the ups to a surge protector, as surge protectors in ups's wear out and cant be replaced. So I have my ups plugged in to a 4000joule surge protector
Member
Jul 6, 2009
286 posts
50 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2018 9:29 pm
I was even advised from the manufacture to connect the ups to a surge protector, as surge protectors in ups's wear out and cant be replaced. So I have my ups plugged in to a 4000joule surge protector
Surge protectors degrade (ie its Vb voltage changes by 10%). Some, adjacent to appliances, degrade quickly due to near zero joules.

Worse and completely different is catastrophic failure - a failure reported by its indicator light. Catastrophic failure means near zero protector parts must be disconnected as fast as possible - to avert fire. Just another problem with so many plug-in protectors.

That light will never report degradation.

Properly sized protectors degrade only after many decades. And do not have same fire risks.

An MOV manufacturer describes how many surges without degradation when an MOV is sufficiently sized:
> The change of Vb shall be measured after the impulse listed below is applied 10,000 times continuously with the interval of ten seconds at room temperature.

Making a protector with too few joules does get the naive to recommend it and buy more. Since it failed on a surge too tiny to overwhelm superior protection inside appliances.

A utility demonstrates stable voltages from a 'clean' UPS - that are also 'dirty'. See:
https://www.duke-energy.com/energy-educ ... /tech-tips

Tech Tip 3 shows a Dranetz meter display. The first waveform is clean AC power. Following waveforms are from a UPS battery. All measure a stable 120 volts. By your definition, that battery is 'cleaner' power. Really?

My 120 volt UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Perfectly 'clean' for electronics. But problematic for motorized appliances and power strip protectors. It was called a pure sine wave UPS - subjectively. Those square waves are nothing more than a sum of pure sine waves. They did not lie. They simply promote myths using subjective reasoning - no numbers. Things are completely different once numbers are provided.

How is that 'clean'? It is when a claim is subjective, Realty: it is not. Since electronics already have robust protection, then even dirty UPS power is 'clean enough'.

Voltage can vary so much that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. Even that much voltage variation is good (clean enough) power for all electronics. Since that is what a power supply does. Massively changing voltages (ie tens of volts) result in much less than 0.2 volt changes inside electronics. How often do your bulbs dim that much?

Power supply already does what some spend $hundreds for on a UPS. UPS is only temporary and 'dirty' power for blackouts. Nothing more.

UPS should be protected by a properly earthed 'whole house' solution. Protector adjacent to a UPS does not claim to provide effective protection. Obviously. No low impedance (ie less than 10 foot) connection to earth. Each anomaly (blackouts, low voltage, 'dirty' power, surges, excessive current, voltage variations, etc) require a different solution.

Does you UPS manufacturer also sell power strip protectors?
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
22 posts
1 upvote
My last ups was a "simulate sine wave" and 1 or 2 things I plugged into the ups over the years didnt work that great, but the new ups is "pure sine wave", so the most mains power like wave a ups can produce. But if you know your always going to be using it for a pc, you may as well get the cheaper simulated sine wave" ups, as pc's dont really care about wonky wavesSmiling Face With Open Mouth. I have noticed things that didn't work well or not at all on my old ups, now work fine on the new ups. Also when its on batt mode with no mains power the voltage is much more constant as it stays at 240volts much better.

Plus with it being a online ups its generator supported, so even though it has a quite impressive runtime of 2hrs with my pc and stuff plugged into it, I will buy a half decent generator to work along side the ups for when we have long powercuts.

The manufacture of the ups is "powerwalker", I know what some of you are thinking "why didnt I go with APC or a well known manufacture"? 1 reason,,,,, price..... A APC or a Cyberpower ups with the same high spec would of costed £1000 or more, I got this one for half that. I think your mainly paying for the name, as they are all pretty much made the same way and mine is made in good old Germany.. There custom support are superb as they have a live web chat week days and I have asked them loads of questions too..hehe... Heres the spec of my ups for those that are interested........ http://www.powerwalker.com/?page=produc ... 42&lang=en

I didnt think my ups had surge protection as the spec sheet didnt mention anything and I was advised to use the ups with a surge protector. I opened the ups up a few weeks ago to change the fans for quieter ones and you can deffo see some surge protection going on inside the beast. What a beast it looks to, its been chopped down the middle, so you have the batts in 1 half of the case and the electrics in the other half, also Its stupidly tidy inside for a ups... Heres are some pics. I wouldn't like to get a shock from this thing.

On the underside of those things that look like heatsinks,,,, it looks to be where the transfer switches are.

1 half of the ups

Image

Image

the 2nd half of the ups
Image

Any idea what those plastic pins are called that keep the plastic sheeting in place as I have lost 1.
Last edited by speedy2000 on Feb 12th, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Feb 4, 2018
456 posts
25 upvotes
I'm not wasting my time even reading Westom's drivel.

I'm sure he makes some very good points about house wiring and I could give 2 flying tosses about inductance vs reactance.

Bottom line is:

1. Sure a good ground to earth is ideal. If your house wiring doesn't have one, get an electrician to come and install one. That will protect from most catastrophic overloads.

Some people can't though. They might be renting, or in an apartment.

2. A UPS will not protect from catastrophic events, but it will be a layer of protection from mild surge and undervoltage conditions. What's the big deal about spending an extra $50 or even $100 to give you 5 mins to shut your @#%#@ down in a blackout and not worry too much about damage? Sure it can still happen, but even a cheap UPS probably reduces your chances of damage by 70%.
Member
Jul 6, 2009
286 posts
50 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 4:21 pm
My last ups was a "simulate sine wave" and 1 or 2 things I plugged into the ups over the years didnt work that great, but the new ups is "pure sine wave", so the most mains power like wave a ups can produce. But if you know your always going to be using it for a pc, you may as well get the cheaper simulated sine wave" ups, as pc's dont really care about wonky waves.
So what did not like that other UPS? What created the "didn't work that great" conclusion?
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2005
2784 posts
218 upvotes
Look my for recommendations on for a UPS (preferably on sale) for a $2k desktop and an$1k monitor please.
Toronto Illusionist and close-up Magician.
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
22 posts
1 upvote
westom wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 6:43 pm
So what did not like that other UPS? What created the "didn't work that great" conclusion?
hi-end sound system,...... Old ups would power it for a few secs, then the amplifier would turn off. New ups runs it fine
A low powered chicken incubator.......... The old ups would cause the thermostat not to work properly and the heater would not switch off. Havent tried it on new ups.
Micro hifi that I use on my pc..... If the hifi is turned on at the time when old ups switches over to battery mode, the hifi will switch off instantly. New ups runs it fine.

I can't think of anymore things that the old ups has had trouble powering over the years, but I'm sure there's other things aswell,. But strangely enough old ups powered my 3d printer fine and thats all motors and heaters. Thats 1 of the reasons I wanted a larger ups to keep the printer going for a longer amount of time if power goes off. The new ups will keep my pc and 3d printer going both together for about a hour and thats a big improvement to 5-10mins what my old ups could do.

Im not going to talk too badly of my old ups though, as its been superb, its never let me down at all in about 8+yrs of 24/7 of use, only for the things it didnt like powering, but thats the was the cause of the rubbish "simulated sine wave" Im guessing.

Im hopeing new ups will last as long or longer then the old ups and will run anything I throw at it, as I have spent about 3x more money on this ups.

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