Battery Backup & Surge Protector UPS System ~ Question (+Star Trek)

Tiffany

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I have the following backup and surge protector UPS system:

CyberPower EC850LCD Ecologic Battery Backup & Surge Protector UPS System, 850VA/510W, 12 Outlets, ECO Mode, Compact, Uninterruptible Power Supply

CyberPower  Battery Backup.png

On one side of the battery backup it says: Battery supported and surge protected outlets. I have plugged in both my laptops and desktop PC on this side.

We live in pseudo country, where we have power outages with bad storms. When we have a power outage, my pc's are shut down, rather then staying on, as the battery backup should maintain as I thought what the battery was designed for?

Thoughts? Have I set this up wrong, since my computers are getting shut down during power outages?
 

Arantor

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Well, only one side of sockets is battery backed (both sides are surge protected), so I’d rule that out first just in cas.

A UPS is kind of for a middle ground - you can use it in complete absence of power for continuity, but it’s not entirely designed for that, it’s more designed that you can keep going for a bit and safely wind down operations that an abrupt outage would otherwise mess up.

Though you *should* be able to use it in the manner you describe, but it likely won’t do the batteries particularly well long term. Not that UPS batteries ever fare well because they’re either staying fully charged or they’re in a bumpy recharge cycle, it’s not like you can really leave them in a place like the better quality end of the lithium ion battery lifecycle keeping them at half charge.
 

Digerati

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A couple thoughts. If the UPS senses too big a load, it will shut down. Two laptops and a PC may be too much all at once. You might just try the PC alone.

Check your manual for how that ECD port should be used. There is a similar port on my APC UPS. It acts as a Master port and if the device connected to it is not powered on at the time of the outage, the other ports do not remain powered when the outage happens.

Also note that UPS batteries wear out and have to be replaced regularly. They typically last from 2 - 5 years - depending on how often the UPS kicks over to battery, how great the demand, and how long they run on batteries. Most are user replaceable.
 

Tiffany

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Well, only one side of sockets is battery backed (both sides are surge protected), so I’d rule that out first just in cas.

A UPS is kind of for a middle ground - you can use it in complete absence of power for continuity, but it’s not entirely designed for that, it’s more designed that you can keep going for a bit and safely wind down operations that an abrupt outage would otherwise mess up.

Though you *should* be able to use it in the manner you describe, but it likely won’t do the batteries particularly well long term. Not that UPS batteries ever fare well because they’re either staying fully charged or they’re in a bumpy recharge cycle, it’s not like you can really leave them in a place like the better quality end of the lithium ion battery lifecycle keeping them at half charge.

Thank you!! Totally makes sense. Maybe one of the issues is the recharge cycle? Lithium ion battery sounds great!
A couple thoughts. If the UPS senses too big a load, it will shut down. Two laptops and a PC may be too much all at once. You might just try the PC alone.

Check your manual for how that ECD port should be used. There is a similar port on my APC UPS. It acts as a Master port and if the device connected to it is not powered on at the time of the outage, the other ports do not remain powered when the outage happens.

Also note that UPS batteries wear out and have to be replaced regularly. They typically last from 2 - 5 years - depending on how often the UPS kicks over to battery, how great the demand, and how long they run on batteries. Most are user replaceable.

You are probably right. I didn't really think about the fact that I had all three on the same UPS battery back up thing. I think I can remove my Mac and test during the next storm and see if my main PC is shuts down.

I'll look online for a manual to read about the ECD port too. Interesting, so much I didn't know!

On this UPS battery, we did replace all four of them through out our house last spring. My husband had suggested the same, to replace them since we have some many outages and we seriously couldn't recall how old they were either.:unsure:
Tiffs, I'll have a think later about your issue with the UPS.

No prob, thanks for suggesting this thread. I've learned more about this UPS then I ever knew. Y'all are great! Thank you so much!! 🤓
 

Arantor

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Maybe one of the issues is the recharge cycle?
Possibly - but most UPS solutions start making loud beeping noises when the battery is out - and if it's dropping everything, that would imply the batteries are just empty. But that would normally mean you'd get noises to let you know that...
 

Tiffany

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Possibly - but most UPS solutions start making loud beeping noises when the battery is out - and if it's dropping everything, that would imply the batteries are just empty. But that would normally mean you'd get noises to let you know that...

Yessss....I'm very familiar with that constant beeping. 😉 Along with the fun constant beeping, we have smoke alarms and hepa machines that seem to decide either a battery needs to be changed or a filter needs to be changed in the middle of the night. :rolleyes: Not fun. These UPS, seem to be fine though. I'll know in a few weeks. Usually, we have some stormy weather for a couple of weeks as the fall is trying to transition to colder weather. When there are large drops in temperature, when a cold front comes in with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, we tend to get some bad storms.

We used to have a TV, years ago, that would come on in the middle of the night in high volume and static noise only. Needless to say, that only happened a few times, before we Poltergeisted that TV out of the house. 😈
 

Retro

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Tiffs, as a quick test, I suggest doing the following:
  1. Disconnect everything from the UPS
  2. Connect a desk lamp to a protected socket
  3. Pull the UPS plug out of the wall, or switch the wall socket off
What happens?

What should happen, is that the lamp remains on and the UPS starts bleeping enthusiastically until you plug the UPS back in. If the lamp goes out and there's no noise, then I suspect that the UPS is faulty. From the way you describe its behaviour at the moment, it might as well not be there.

We used to have a TV, years ago, that would come on in the middle of the night in high volume and static noise only. Needless to say, that only happened a few times, before we Poltergeisted that TV out of the house. 😈
A possessed TV? I want it! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I wonder what triggers it like that, though. It seems like mains voltage spikes caused by the storm could have tripped the standby circuit to switch on the TV. It just would come on at high volume blaring out rubbish and waking everyone up with it, lol. I'd love to have seen this thing in action.
 

Digerati

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@Retro - I didn't realize I was on post approval but thanks for taking care of that.

I think I can remove my Mac and test during the next storm and see if my main PC is shuts down.
I would not wait for storm. You need to know if it is going to work before then.

I agree with Retro and you should test with a desk lamp. However, if LED, that probably is not a suitable load. I have two 150W incandescent lightbulbs in a 2-bulb desk lamp that I use to test my UPSs. You can test with the computers, but possible drive/data corruption is always possible when a computer suddenly loses power. So it would be better to test with some other load than a computer.

and we seriously couldn't recall how old they were either
LOL I've been using UPS on all my sensitive electronics for over 30 years (I live in Tornado Alley). So I have an UPS on all 5 computers, my home theater audio system and big screen TV, my garage door opener, and even the electric blanket! After losing track of how old the batteries were, I started labeling them. But even that became a pain so I started a spreadsheet for all my battery operated devices (remotes, phones, smoke/CO detectors, clocks, UPS, mice, flashlights, keyboards, etc.). That's more than 70 devices!

BTW - while not exactly an UPS, since laptops already include a battery and will keep running if the charger loses power (assuming a good, charged battery), they don't really need to be on a UPS if the goal is have power during an outage.

However, IMO, the biggest advantage and primary reason to have our sensitive electronics on a "good" UPS with AVR is the AVR (automatic voltage regulation) and the protection from power anomalies a "good" UPS with AVR provides. Backup power during a full power outage is only a minor bonus feature - the icing on the cake!

A good surge and spike protector (SSP) is better than nothing but we must remember, a surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy and expensive extension cord as they do absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges), or long duration sags (brownouts) - any of which can cause our electronics to suddenly stop, resulting in possible data corruption. And for "extreme" surges and spikes, a surge and spike protector simply kills power (if working properly) to our components. That's hardly good for our computer, drives, or data.
 

Tiffany

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Tiffs, as a quick test, I suggest doing the following:
  1. Disconnect everything from the UPS
  2. Connect a desk lamp to a protected socket
  3. Pull the UPS plug out of the wall, or switch the wall socket off
What happens?

What should happen, is that the lamp remains on and the UPS starts bleeping enthusiastically until you plug the UPS back in. If the lamp goes out and there's no noise, then I suspect that the UPS is faulty. From the way you describe its behaviour at the moment, it might as well not be there.


A possessed TV? I want it! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I wonder what triggers it like that, though. It seems like mains voltage spikes caused by the storm could have tripped the standby circuit to switch on the TV. It just would come on at high volume blaring out rubbish and waking everyone up with it, lol. I'd love to have seen this thing in action.

Great idea. I'll do that test over the weekend! That will be interesting.

This TV was pure evil. Nothing worse then being startled out of your deep sleep by a TV on high volume static screen-noise only. Just imagine a perpetual thunder and lightening strike that doesn't stop.

It was a 19 inch TV, 1980's vintage; maybe JVC or Magnovox brand. When it started this possessed nonsense it was in the mid1990's. It must have been internally possessed, because this TV enjoyed it's fun in two different homes....so apparently we carried the entity with us when we moved. 👻
Here's the manual for it.

Thank you! Such excellent support service at NZ! :)
 

Tiffany

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@Retro - I didn't realize I was on post approval but thanks for taking care of that.


I would not wait for storm. You need to know if it is going to work before then.

I agree with Retro and you should test with a desk lamp. However, if LED, that probably is not a suitable load. I have two 150W incandescent lightbulbs in a 2-bulb desk lamp that I use to test my UPSs. You can test with the computers, but possible drive/data corruption is always possible when a computer suddenly loses power. So it would be better to test with some other load than a computer.


LOL I've been using UPS on all my sensitive electronics for over 30 years (I live in Tornado Alley). So I have an UPS on all 5 computers, my home theater audio system and big screen TV, my garage door opener, and even the electric blanket! After losing track of how old the batteries were, I started labeling them. But even that became a pain so I started a spreadsheet for all my battery operated devices (remotes, phones, smoke/CO detectors, clocks, UPS, mice, flashlights, keyboards, etc.). That's more than 70 devices!

BTW - while not exactly an UPS, since laptops already include a battery and will keep running if the charger loses power (assuming a good, charged battery), they don't really need to be on a UPS if the goal is have power during an outage.

However, IMO, the biggest advantage and primary reason to have our sensitive electronics on a "good" UPS with AVR is the AVR (automatic voltage regulation) and the protection from power anomalies a "good" UPS with AVR provides. Backup power during a full power outage is only a minor bonus feature - the icing on the cake!

A good surge and spike protector (SSP) is better than nothing but we must remember, a surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy and expensive extension cord as they do absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges), or long duration sags (brownouts) - any of which can cause our electronics to suddenly stop, resulting in possible data corruption. And for "extreme" surges and spikes, a surge and spike protector simply kills power (if working properly) to our components. That's hardly good for our computer, drives, or data.

Great information, thank you so much! We live in Tornado Alley too and get a bit of hurricane season fun, if a hurricane comes in the Gulf and continues north bound. Losing power in our pseudo country neighborhood is the bane of our experience from serious storms that usually occur in the fall and spring as the weather changes or from mid-August to the end of October if there's a hurricane that takes an unusual path.

I will go shopping over the weekend and look for a UPS with AVR. I've lost two computers in the past six years. The most painful was my ASUS and that PC was lost due to storm and definitely heat (like your siggie). The room it was in, was too hot in the summer with the door closed and it was also in an area too compact to stay cool. Now I have an Alien desktop, and I don't even have the tower under my desk as that was even making it run warm. It's sitting out away from my desk totally able to stay cool.

My new checklist:

1. Test my current battery, thank you @Retro
2. Shop for a UPS with AVR, thank you @Digerati
3. I'm also going to check the outlet I'm using to plug this in, as @Arantor, thank you, gave me a thought since we have GFCI switches all over the house.
 
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Tiffany

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I've had a delightful afternoon without power. It would seem that the remnants of Hurricane Roslyn leaving Mexico, a low pressure system, way too much unstable moisture from the Gulf of Mexico has caused way too much turbulence in the atmosphere, hence thunderstorms, heavy rain, internet is down (currently using a hotspot) and this wonderful day was only topped off to compliment the entire ensemble sans power.

With that being said, I failed to confront my UPS issues and before we lost power, the power flashed on and off four times, including beating up my computers while it joyously freaked me out. :oops:

Sooooo....I humbly ask my really smart tech friends....will either of these UPS-AVR's look like what you had in mind? I'm not beholding to any certain brand, I just want it to work. If you have other products you prefer, that's fine too. Not shy about price either. Gracias, Grazie, Vielen Dank. Merci.


 

Digerati

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the power flashed on and off four times, including beating up my computers while it joyously freaked me out.
That would seriously freak me out too. The power dropping is bad enough as that can result in corrupt data, including a corrupt boot drive that may result in the computer failing to boot.

But the power "flashing" back on is actually the scary part as such returns are often extreme (read: damaging) surges that can actually damage the hardware. :( Not good.

So, in the future - at least until you get a "good" UPS to protect your sensitive electronic, I recommend you unplug such hardware until you are certain the storm has passed, power is restored, and the grid has stabilized.

Of the two UPS you linked too, I definitely would go for the bigger 1500VA for a few reason. First, the obvious. 1500VA vs 685VA should easily support your computer, but also all your network gear and even you monitor (assume LED) for much longer runtimes.

The 1500VA also provides power via USB so you can, for example, use it to charge (keep running) a cell phone or laptop.

And a sad fact about many things is the bigger and more expensive models tend to have better and more features. In this case, the 1500VA UPS has that very nice LCD Status Display that can be very informative - giving you invaluable information about your grid voltage as well as the load your connected equipment is putting on the UPS.

One major (IMO) problem with all UPS is the small spacing between the power connectors in back. Those big, bulky DC power blocks (wall warts) used by many devices can easily cover up two or more of those outlets. I found these 18 inch 4-way spider extension cords and these 8 inch single extension cords to be invaluable (nice for Christmas lights too).
 

Tiffany

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Thank you @Digerati for all of your helpful tips and insight.:) I'll get the bigger 1500VA, as you suggested and I'll order it today. Are you saying though, I should only plug in one computer on this device? Just checking? I have three pc's (two laptops and one desktop)....should they be divided up on different UPS's?

Meanwhile, I will unplug my hardware, especially on Friday, where we have more bad weather coming in, though likely not as bad as it was yesterday. We are still without internet and I'm using a hotspot.
 

Digerati

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Are you saying though, I should only plug in one computer on this device? Just checking? I have three pc's (two laptops and one desktop)
No, but you do have to be careful about the total load you put on the UPS at any one point in time.

I would not put two power-hungry PCs on a single UPS. And in your case, I would not put both laptops and your PC on the same UPS if you were going for that smaller UPS.

But two laptops and a PC on that big 1500VA is probably fine - even with a monitor and network gear. The typical laptop charger is rated at 90W or less. I don't know what your current PC power supply is rated for, but it is not likely both laptops and the PC would demand maximum power at the exact point when the power goes out. That would be the most extreme scenario for the UPS - but with that 1500VA equating to about 900W of capacity, it still should be able to handle that with ease.
 

Retro

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I would not put two power-hungry PCs on a single UPS
Two 13900K rigs with RTX 4090 running flat out on Furmark and Prime95 at once. That'll do it. :p Oh and melt the PCIe cables while it's at it lol.


I really should start a thread on this.
 

Digerati

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Two 13900K rigs with RTX 4090 running flat out on Furmark and Prime95 at once. That'll do it
It's not just the total power demand. The load a computer puts on a PC power supply is constantly varying from around a 100W at idle to maximum demand in just a few clock cycles. The power supply, in turn, places a similarly varying load on the grid, or in this case, a UPS.

Normally, that's no problem.

But when two power hungry PCs are placing two, rapidly varying demands on a UPS at the same time - or actually, milliseconds apart, I have seen where the UPS simply shutdowns even though "in theory" (and according to the specs), the UPS "should" be able to handle the demands (in terms of capacity) with no problems.

I can only assume (okay, an educated guess) the UPS sees that combined, but double-varying load as "unstable" - confusing, if you will. And, in an "over abundance of caution" shuts down and kills power to the connected devices to prevent any damage.

I really should start a thread on this.

I think its already been discussed ad nauseum.
 

Tiffany

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It's not just the total power demand. The load a computer puts on a PC power supply is constantly varying from around a 100W at idle to maximum demand in just a few clock cycles. The power supply, in turn, places a similarly varying load on the grid, or in this case, a UPS.

Normally, that's no problem.

But when two power hungry PCs are placing two, rapidly varying demands on a UPS at the same time - or actually, milliseconds apart, I have seen where the UPS simply shutdowns even though "in theory" (and according to the specs), the UPS "should" be able to handle the demands (in terms of capacity) with no problems.

I can only assume (okay, an educated guess) the UPS sees that combined, but double-varying load as "unstable" - confusing, if you will. And, in an "over abundance of caution" shuts down and kills power to the connected devices to prevent any damage.



I think its already been discussed ad nauseum.

Now that totally makes sense with your observation with the UPS shutting down. My daughter does not have the problem I'm having and she has the same UPS, purchased new at the same time as my UPS, though she does not have three PC's plugged in on her UPS, as I do.

I have an electrical question ~ Now that I realize that plugging in all three computers was not a good idea,:eek: when I add my new UPS, do I need to make sure both UPS's are plugged into separate wall outlets and maybe even one in a different room? I know this sounds maybe like a simple question, but in our house, we don't run numerous appliances at the same time in the kitchen, like toaster, coffee maker and microwave, we wait, even though we have sufficient power, in using several appliances at the same time like that, we've tripped a breaker.
 

Digerati

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purchased new at the same time as my UPS
Remember, UPS batteries typically need to be replaced every 2 - 5 years. And two identical UPS will be different as it depends on how often the UPS switches over to battery, and how long they run on batteries.

As far as the same outlet, if all the computers are currently in the same outlet, probably not a problem. But I really have no way of telling because I don't know what is currently on that circuit in your home, or what the breaker is rated at.

Kitchen appliances typically consume a lot. A toaster can use 1500W. That's a lot. A coffer maker can be close to that while brewing (just the warmer is much less). Microwave ovens can too.
 
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