Computers & Electronics

UPS backup power supply worth it?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 18th, 2018 7:52 am
Newbie
Feb 6, 2018
11 posts
3 upvotes
UPS are not that pricey anymore, so I would recommend getting one.
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
20 posts
1 upvote
jadoocian wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 3:56 pm
Any comments or thoughts on the one available at Costco? Bx1500g-ca ?

https://m.costco.ca/APC--Back-UPS-BX150 ... 08054.html
Id go with something a little better then that, as that uses "Stepped approximation to a sinewave" and thats worse then "simulated sine wave". Someone I know bought one of these a few weeks ago and it made his pc buzz..

This would be my min spec to buying a ups nowadays........
"simulated sine wave" or "pure sine wave"
4 or 8ms transfer time,
At least 600watts (thats watts not va) of power as that will keep a average size pc running for about 15-20mins on battery backup
Last edited by speedy2000 on Feb 13th, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2005
2743 posts
189 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 4:47 pm
Id go with something a little better then that, as that uses "Stepped approximation to a sinewave" and thats worse then "simulated sine wave". Someone I know bought one of these a few weeks ago and it made his pc buzz..

This would be my min spec to buying a ups nowadays........
"simulated sine wave" or "pure sine wave"
4 or 8ms transfer time,
At least 600watts (thats watts not va) of power as that will keep a average size pc running for about 15-20mins on battery backup
Thank you for the response.

Is there a link or two you can share to products you'd recommend?

I picked up the costco one on the way home today- but may return it if it's highly recommended to go with something else.
I know nothing about UPS - I just want to be able to keep my computer/monitor/modem on during a power outage - and shut them down properly if necessary.
Toronto Illusionist and close-up Magician.
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
20 posts
1 upvote
Ah yeah I would buy a half decent surge protector too, no matter if the manual says, dont use them. Because surge protectors are useless in UPS, plus like I said they wear out anyhow so by plugging the ups into a surge protector, your protecting the ups... Just make sure you plug in the surge protector into the mains socket and the ups into the protector.

I have no idea why everyone says dont use surge protectors with UPS's. It must be todo with the warranty, if something goes wrong with the ups.... But then again I was advised to use a surge protector with mine, and the customer support person that I chatted to from powerwalker said "your protecting the surge protection inside the ups by using a surge protector, as the surge protector in UPS's cant easily be replaced when they wear out, but you can replace a "surge protector power strip" though".

This is my surge protector, but you cant buy it anymore in the uk for some reason as I was going to replace this one with another... I have had it for about 3-4yrs now, been using it with my old ups. It says the surge protection is still working, but I don't know if its lying or notAstonished Face https://www.tricklestar.com/5-outlet-ad ... -coax.html
Last edited by speedy2000 on Feb 13th, 2018 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
20 posts
1 upvote
jadoocian wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 5:02 pm
Thank you for the response.

Is there a link or two you can share to products you'd recommend?

I picked up the costco one on the way home today- but may return it if it's highly recommended to go with something else.
I know nothing about UPS - I just want to be able to keep my computer/monitor/modem on during a power outage - and shut them down properly if necessary.
I cannot really say what one you want, just research, research and more research....... It took me days/weeks choosing my UPS as I must of gone though them all about 200 times with a fine comb, going though all the manufactures specs to try to find a balance between price, good customer support/good manufacture website and a high spec.. I was going for another line interactive ups, but in the end I thought sod it and went for a proper online ups as my sister was treating me and buying it for me, as I would of never been able to buy such a high spec ups if I had bought it myself.

But this 1 caught my eye a few times, as the spec is quite good and you can get it in 540watts or 900watts, but it isn't cheap as Im guessing your paying for the name aswel.. But if you search around Im sure you can find it cheaper.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/CyberPower-CP9 ... Cyberpower

Sorry I cant be more helpful. just look look look and do loads of research. Plus I would keep the price a minimum £150 (think thats about $300 in the us) as you dont want to go too cheap
Member
Jul 6, 2009
246 posts
35 upvotes
jadoocian wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 5:02 pm
Is there a link or two you can share to products you'd recommend?
UPS type makes no difference to hardware. Stepped, simulated or pure sine waves are often a same UPS unless the manufacturer provides a numbers that defines it - such as %THD. My 200 volt square wave UPS was marketed as a pure sine wave - because the sale brochure did not include numbers such as %THD.

To a computer, one with a high %THD is equivalent to one with a low %THD. No difference to computer hardware. Especially since a PSU converts that power to something far more 'dirty'. Ie well over 300 volt radio frequency spikes. Then superior filters, galvanic isolation, and regulation inside every PSU converts those well over 300 volt spikes into rock stable, low DC voltages (that do not even vary by 0.2 volts).

All UPS outputs are converted to something that dirty. Best UPS is one that is well less than $100 and can provide power long enough to save unsaved data.
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User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
3356 posts
272 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
jadoocian wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 5:02 pm
Thank you for the response.

Is there a link or two you can share to products you'd recommend?

I picked up the costco one on the way home today- but may return it if it's highly recommended to go with something else.
I know nothing about UPS - I just want to be able to keep my computer/monitor/modem on during a power outage - and shut them down properly if necessary.
Since you already have it - and it's from Costco - I would try it out to see if there are any problems powering your connected equipment, to see how long it will power your connected equipment and to check that it automatically powers down your computer when it runs low on battery.
The other thing to check for is how readily available replacement batteries are.

I bought a couple of basic UPSs for my desktop Mac and monitor and another one for my modem, router and cordless phone system.
Had them for at least six years, replaced the batteries once.
They are just the ones with the stepped AC waveform and for basic computers and such, that's fine - no need to go to something fancy (and expensive)
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
20 posts
1 upvote
My Max THDi is ≤5% whatever that means........ I might have been wrong saying that "Stepped approximation to a sinewave" is worse then "simulated sine wave" as they might mean the same thing, but someone bought a apc ups with a "Stepped approximation to a sinewave" and it caused his pc to buzz... Jadoocian you could try the ups that you have bought, then if your not happy with it, return it to the shop?

For me Im looking at the bigger picture, not just for pc backup for when the power goes off. A UPS is much more then battery backup for me anyway , mine keeps the output Hz and voltage nice and constant and its corrects itself if it goes up/down by 10volts or .05Hz and it totally disconnects itself from the mains if the input voltage gets too high...... I can even lock the output voltage and the Hz if I put it on "online mode". So basically the mains power only keeps the batteries charged and the batteries power goes to the devices that are connected.. But Im sure you know how a online ups works anyway tom. You probably know how one works better then me, as I can get by with semi technical stuff, but most of the things you say tom, just goes straight over my head... Sorry
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
3356 posts
272 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
How can you say -$100 ups are good? Thats roughly £50 in my country. No
wonder you think ups dont protect anything if you pay that little for
them..I would say buy a decent quality "online" or "line interactive" ups
and then come back with your findings after a few months of using it.
I wouldn't even pay $100 for a UPS, but that all depends on what one needs.

In my case, the AC power is very good - we either get very short outages of sometimes only seconds or at most a few minutes......or when it goes beyond two minutes or so, the the outage will last for one to three hours - in that case a transformer or something failed and workers and equipment have to be brought in to fix the problem,

All I want a UPS to do is to bridge the short, few minute outages so that I don't loose whatever I'm working on with my computer and then possibly have time to shut it down properly.
So a UPSwith stepped sinewave approximation works fine for me and a 550VA unit can be bought for less than $50.- on sale

Here is a CyberPower one at $C70.- regular price; TrippLite is a bit more expensive.
https://www.123ink.ca/p-311683-ps-cp550 ... e-shipping

Last ones I bought years ago were Belkin UPSs which I still use.
But I think they got out of the UPS business - too compatitive and not enough margin.

I think the other thing to consider is that a UPS is not life-threatening or even problematic if it doesn't work.
So people aren't willing to spend much money on it especially if their main AC power is reliable.


BTW -A UPS with sinewave output is quite a bit more money - at least double for the same power.
This one is a 1000VA
https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... lsrc=aw.ds
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2012
872 posts
238 upvotes
Hamilton
A ups essential if you need 24x7 internet. Your power goes off a few minutes, and now there is at least a ten minute time window where you security cameras are useless. You are dropped from that important call, and you lost your unsaved work.

Your ups won’t keep you running for long but it will last through that short blip and give you time to transition to laptop and cellular.

Protecting your electronics is secondary to protecting your livelihood.
Member
Jul 6, 2009
246 posts
35 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 9:52 pm
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.
Life expectancy of a UPS is typically 3 years. It would not be the sine wave. A UPS is often made as cheap as possible. Eight years is well beyond what anyone should expect.
Member
Jul 6, 2009
246 posts
35 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 8:47 pm
My Max THDi is ≤5% whatever that means........
That means it is an expensive UPS with, what others want to call, a sine wave output. Electronics will be perfectly happy even with a 10% or 20% THD.

Stepped sine wave, simulated sinewave, etc are the hype and lies - subjective claims - to play games with the consumer. %THD is only what is relevant. Because honest claims always come with numbers.

Electronics convert that 'clean' or 'dirty' power to 'dirtiest' power - ie well over 300 volt radio frequency spikes. Then superior filters, galvanic isolation, and regulation convert that to rock stable, low DC voltages. Therefore even keeping frequency stable - completely unnecessary.

Read specs. Frequency at 50 or 60 hz is same frequency to electronics. Because frequency can increase or decrease much more - and even that is ideal.

>voltage nice and constant and its corrects itself if it goes up/down by 10volts

Incandescent bulbs can dim to 50% intensity or double in intensity. Voltage changes even that much are perfectly ideal for all electronics. We may even design in an inrush current limiter to decrease that voltage even more. Because low voltage especially on startup can be better for some electronics. But is undesirable to what is more at risk - motorized appliances.

That much voltage change is hard on motorized appliances (refrigerator, furnace, vacuum cleaner). If voltages are changing that much, then a UPS is more needed for those appliances - and not for any electronics. A 10% voltage variation is a no voltage variation to electronics. UPS is not needed there. Central air more needs that UPS.

As KRS says, "All I want a UPS to do is to bridge the short, few minute outages so that I don't loose whatever I'm working on with my computer" That is only what a UPS does. It provides temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data can be saved. It does nothing to protect hardware and does nothing to protect saved data.
Member
Jul 6, 2009
246 posts
35 upvotes
speedy2000 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 4:47 pm
Someone I know bought one of these a few weeks ago and it made his pc buzz..
Was it a system designed by engineers? Or one assembled by a computer assembler? Power supplies marketed to computer assemblers are often missing many required functions such as the AC line filter. Responsibility for that required function is not on a supply manufacturer. Responsibility for that function lies 100% on the computer assembler - who often has no idea what an AC line filter is or why it is required.

Therefore he had to pay massively more for a UPS because a required and few dollar line filter was missing.
Newbie
Feb 10, 2018
20 posts
1 upvote
Apparently for a UPS to be compatible to work with a generator, the ups needs low THD and a wide Hz range, as a 50-60Hz range is not wide enough for a generator to power the ups, without the ups going bonkers..hehe, The Hz range on my new ups is 40Hz - 70Hz and you can change the Hz frequency manually if needs be.
krs wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 10:07 pm

In my case, the AC power is very good - we either get very short outages of sometimes only seconds or at most a few minutes......or when it goes beyond two minutes or so, the the outage will last for one to three hours - in that case a transformer or something failed and workers and equipment have to be brought in to fix the problem,

All I want a UPS to do is to bridge the short, few minute outages so that I don't loose whatever I'm working on with my computer and then possibly have time to shut it down properly.
So a UPSwith stepped sinewave approximation works fine for me and a 550VA unit can be bought for less than $50.- on sale

Here is a CyberPower one at $C70.- regular price; TrippLite is a bit more expensive.
https://www.123ink.ca/p-311683-ps-cp550 ... e-shipping

Last ones I bought years ago were Belkin UPSs which I still use.
But I think they got out of the UPS business - too compatitive and not enough margin.
My mains power isnt exacly terrible either, we have a odd power cut for a few secs a couple of times a yr and have at least 1 big powercut a year. But the main reason I got a ups in the first place, was because our trip switch was dodgey and our power was always going off and we thought it was our house wiring and would of costed big money to get it fix, so I bought a ups to keep my pc from going off all the time.

But since we have had our mains power fixed, I have always kept the ups, I dont know whey really as its not the end of the world if my pc turns off during a power cut, but since getting a 3d printer it has been a life saver as some prints take 12hr+ to print, so having a powercut when your 6hrs into a print its earth shattering. Plus its also very handy if their's a storm and Im not around to unplug my stuff, as my stuff has a better chance not blowing up if its connected to the ups, and its handy when a light bulb blows, that sometimes causes our mains power to trip or when something gets wet. So its piece of mind more then anything.

My old ups was a Belkin aswel the 1200va version and yeah they dont make ups anymore, its a shame as its been a brilliant ups.
westom wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 12:46 am
Life expectancy of a UPS is typically 3 years. It would not be the sine wave. A UPS is often made as cheap as possible. Eight years is well beyond what anyone should expect.
Thats when the batteries need replacing, I have replaced the batteries in my belkin ups about 3 times in the 8+yrs I have had it for.
westom wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 1:11 am
Was it a system designed by engineers? Or one assembled by a computer assembler? Power supplies marketed to computer assemblers are often missing many required functions such as the AC line filter. Responsibility for that required function is not on a supply manufacturer. Responsibility for that function lies 100% on the computer assembler - who often has no idea what an AC line filter is or why it is required.

Therefore he had to pay massively more for a UPS because a required and few dollar line filter was missing.
He build the pc his self, I think it was his psu that made the buzzing noise.. This is the actual ups that he bought http://www.apc.com/shop/uk/en/products/ ... P-BX1400UI#

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