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Request for advice - UPS for my PC
I had a problem a few months ago when there was a very brief power
outage or fluctuation at home (one flicker of the lights) and this
messed up the hard drives of one of my PCs. Fortunately I was able to
rebuild it and had the data reasonably up to date elsewhere - phew. I
I think what I want is a UPS (actually, I think I need two as I have
two systems that I want to protect). Having looked into this a bit, I
have confused myself something awful - there seems to be too much
choice and I don't know enough to know how to collate the information
to come to a decision.
In an ideal world, I have two key systems that I would like to
Firstly my server in the garage (second hand Dell PE 4400). This has
no screen attached, I remote desktop to it over my home LAN.
The other system is my desktop PC (Dell 5150 and 2 flat panel screens)
together with the router (as I need that to communicate to the server
should it be necessary if the power goes off) and a powered USB hub
that drives the keyboard and mouse. I don't think that I need both
monitors to be powered if there's a proper power cut.
I wouldn't need the backup power to last very long - a handful of
minutes would be plenty to protect against the sort of problem I had
late last year.
But I would want the systems to shut themselves down 'cleanly' if the
power was off for more than a few minutes (as I reckon in these
circumstances, the electricity probably ain't coming back on any time
So, over to the group - does anyone have any suggestions as to
suitable bits of kit that might do the job for me? How do I choose?
One of the questions that really confused me from my research was how
"big" a UPS (in terms of power) I needed. As the rated power on the
PSUs of the bits of kit didn't seem to correspond to the numbers on
the UPSs. And it seemed to depend on all sort of other factors too. I
Of course, I'd like not to spend too much cash (but I'd rather have
the right thing than something that won't actually do the job
Thanks in advance to all
Reply to brian [.] white [@] pobox [.] com
[Not got a decent sig yet - another thing to do!]
Request for advice - UPS for my PC
Brian White writes:
[I need a UPS]
Just get an APC Smart-UPS 750I for your desktop+monitors, and a 420I for
the garage server.
750I - £124 delivered
420I - £76 delivered
Ebuyer is (or was, last time I checked) consistently cheaper than other
retailers for APC UPSes. Fine if you don't mind waiting a few days to a
week for it to be delivered with "Super Saver" delivery (next business
day for both the 750I and 420I together is +£16.21).
The Smart-UPS range has buck/boost upon high/low voltages, AVR, easily
replaceable batteries, and the software (Powerchute) can be configured
to run a script to cleanly shut down any other devices.
I have my APC 750I set up with fastmail.fm's email2sms to text me when
it goes off/on battery. My 750I has worked well during a few surges,
low/high voltages and accidental tripping of mains fuses. It runs my DSL
router and WRAP 1E router, my P4D desktop with two HDs, external HD, USB
hub, and 17" monitor with about 52% load and 16-minute runtime - plenty
of time to figure out what caused the trip and take a leisurely walk to
the fuse box to reset it.
I use an APC Back-UPS for little bits of hardware that don't use much
power and aren't essential to keep powered up if the power does go off.
One thing to note with USB+Serial APC UPSes is that if you are using the
USB interface to monitor it, don't connect the serial cable while in use
- it will completely turn itself off. It has to be "dead headed" before
you connect the serial cable - instructions are on the APC
And another thing - I found that the voltage sensitivity was a little
too sensitive when I first got my 750I. I changed it to "medium" and it
now only kicks in when I also reckon it's a bit high/low.
Plus, APC UPSes just _look_ heavy-duty, too.
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