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Recommendations for a small, short-term UPS

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Tiger62, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. VARTV

    VARTV Godfather

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    Dec 14, 2006
    Virginia...
    Same here... any power "burp" made the box reboot. I use my UPS as a bridge between house power and generator power...
     
  2. FHSPSU67

    FHSPSU67 CE'er & Retired Engineer DBSTalk Club

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Windber, PA
    Got ya. I have no experience w/ the BE325R. Thanks for explaining.
     
  3. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Instead of having small UPSs all over the house (or one that's too small inside your cabinet), you could look into a system that gets installed near your panel in the basement. Its not cheap but you end up with a system that can run more than just your sat box, and the batteries will last for 5-10 years.
     
  4. petergaryr

    petergaryr Passed away April 24, 2010

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    Nov 22, 2006
    I'm using APC. Works great. Just had a part of Fay visit us here in Florida and I'm glad I invested in UPS for both the HR20-100 and 700.
     
  5. petergaryr

    petergaryr Passed away April 24, 2010

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    Nov 22, 2006
    I've been looking into something like that myself. I have so many UPS batteries in the house (2 for DVRs, 2 for PCs and 1 for LAN and Cable Modem), that when the power goes out it drives the cats crazy with all the beeping.

    You are right, though, they are pricey.
     
  6. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

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    Apr 26, 2007
    I'm near the edge of my utility's service area so we get transient glitches often and bigger outages can last for up to 2 weeks. We have a whole-house generator, but its too expensive to run 24/7 at $3.50/gallon for LPG. I figure I can get by running it 8-9 hours per day, but it would be really nice to keep the wood stove blower going, the clocks and cordless phones on, the heating blankets going overnight... and the DVR's humming along.

    The heating blankets alone have justified the UPS to my wife. She's cold all winter. The cool thing is once the system is paid for, it won't cost much more to use it since I'll be recharging the batteries with excess generator capacity I'm currently not using. Might bump up my LPG cost by $1 an hour, but that extra $8 buys me 24/7 lights, heat... and DVRs. Hope to do it soon.
     
  7. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    Dec 21, 2006
    Most consumer grade electronics take your 120 and convert it to 6-24 volts DC, successfully providing clean, stable DC power to the electronics in the box from any AC voltage from 90 to 240. Clean power from the wall is the last of my worries. Two or three weeks ago, I had my neutral line almost severed. The only thing it affected was my big AC unit, the compressor blew (well, that and a bunch of light bulbs on the side of the supply that went high instead of low). My electronics came through fine, even the few that were not on a UPS.

     
  8. VARTV

    VARTV Godfather

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    Dec 14, 2006
    Virginia...
    I've been looking for something like this to bridge the time the power goes out and the generator kicks in. Just need 30 seconds of power... :(
     
  9. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    May 28, 2007
    Generally speaking, a whole-house UPS costs about the same as a whole-house generator, and requires about four times the space.
     
  10. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Only if you want as much power as whole-house genset, and you'll only do that by spending WAY more. It would definitely take up four or more times the space, yes. At $10,000 to $15,000+. But you only need that kind of power 1/3 of the day, which is where a $2000 to $4000 genset would be used.

    An average "whole house" UPS is usually sized in the 1kw to 4kW range and takes care of all the lights and select critical loads overnight and while you are at work - when you don't need your well or air conditioning. This will put you back $1000 to $3000 and will take up about as much floor space as a large portable genset, for the battery enclosure (the inverter and subpanel goes on the wall) The batteries would then be charged with the genset.
     
  11. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

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    Apr 26, 2007
    If you are only looking to bridge the gap until your automatic genset starts, the far cheaper and easier option is plug-in UPSs. In your case the only critical loads are computers: PCs and DVRs. Everything else will last 30 seconds.

    Now if you want extended power w/o running your genset or just can't sit in the dark for 30 seconds, then you'll need something like I've described. If you just want something that will keep your DVRs and some lights going for 30 seconds, you could get away with something around $500 to $700. Get into extended power and you're into the price range of my last post.
     
  12. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    May 28, 2007
    But VARTV was looking for something to bridge the gap between a power outage and when the generator kicked in. If his generator is a whole-house unit, designed to power A/C and other potential high-amperage devices, then he’d need an equally powerful battery backup unit. I suppose it would be possible to install a smaller battery system in the thousands of watts that would not feed the A/C and other big draws, but I’d say your subsequent advice about individual UPS units where needed is the best thing.

    My experience in all this was with data centers. I setup several of them where we had six and seven-figure budgets just for the power systems. These were generally 1,000+ amp three-phase systems. I even had one setup where the generator had its own fuel level and oil quality sensors that would phone the service center for maintenance and refueling when necessary. As much as I’d love to have a whole-house UPS and generator, it’s just not worth the cost considering we average less than an hour a year in power interruptions.

    Honestly, I’d rather see a standard residential DC voltage system. This would eliminate the wasted space and heat of wall warts and power bricks. It would make it easier to integrate solar-power battery chargers to run it. Nearly all electronic devices these days immediately convert 120VAC to low DC voltage, it just makes sense. We just need the standard created with appropriate connections and wiring.
     
  13. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    Dec 21, 2006
    I absolutely agree about the DC. It would not even require any household re-wiring, as wiring capable of handling 15-20A 120 is more than capable of 12-24VDC. Of course, one would still need to supply AC for air conditioning and heating devices.


     
  14. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    There are some issues with DC. It is more affected by resistance in the wiring and that’s why we actually use AC current (we have Mr. Tesla to thank for that discovery). Also, besides the A/C, there are some other things that would probably need 120VAC. Plasma TV’s are one. Also, anything that pulls over 200 watts would probably be better served by 120VAC.
    Back to the topic of the UPS, it’s too bad that at least for this purpose, we can’t have a standardized DC connection (say USB?) for our electronics so they could be plugged into a DC battery continuously charged off household 120VAC. At least that would eliminate two things – the inverter in the UPS and the transformer for the electronic device.
     
  15. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

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    Apr 26, 2007
    DC wiring isn't used mainly due to cost. The rule of thumb is you don't want to have more than a 2% voltage drop over any length of wire. To do that you need to use very thick wiring to carry a low voltage. Let's say you have an 80 foot run from your panel to the farthest room, and in that room you want to run 100 watts of stuff. At 24 volts that's a 4.17 amp load, and you don't want to loose more than 0.48 volts. To get below 2% (.48V) that requires 6 guage wire. A random price for 3-conductor 6-gauge I found was $3.83 per foot.

    That's $300 for wire to run a very small load, and only that load. Add on more small loads in the other rooms between the panel and that farthest room and you're talking double or triple-aught gauge... well over a thousand dollars for very little output. Wire up every room and its many thousands of dollars, and each component still needs to have circuitry to drop the 24V to whatever it may need. And you still need to run AC lines to handle your big loads. Its much cheaper and more efficient to use high-efficiency AC-to-DC switching power supplies in each room, fed from the AC system.

    rudeney - To just bridge the 30-second gap I made the assumption that he can get away with only keeping the lights and computers/DVRs going, like you said. The rest can wait 30 seconds for the generator. This keeps costs down if he really wants a hard-wired solution. But for a bridge, its definitely cheaper to just use several plug-in UPSs. The hard-wired systems only make sense for long-term output.
     
  16. narrod

    narrod Godfather

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I've ordered two of these because of the price. If they don't work I'll return them.
    I'll post the results. I just want something to handle those short (30 second) power blips. Anymore than that and I will live with the reboots.
     
  17. narrod

    narrod Godfather

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I received them and they work great for those short power blips. We've had two this morning and neither 700 rebooted. Nice for $20 each.
     
  18. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    May 28, 2007
    As the unit ages, the battery will slowly lose capacity. After about a year, my battery is not strong enough to supply the HR20’s demand and it starts beeping. I can unplug the HR20 from it for a day and the battery recovers through charging, but then it takes about 3 or 4 days of supplying the HR20 for it to starts beeping again.
     
  19. russdog

    russdog Godfather

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    Jul 31, 2006
    I have a couple of these: CP600LCD. With patience, you can find them for a bit less than $60. You can also get other adequate models for less. I paid a tad more to get the little LCD screen that shows status of power (in and out), minutes of back-up power available, etc. With both DVR and TV plugged in, I get about 10 minutes of backup power. My generic problem is the power flickering for just a moment or two. For the last couple days, constant Ike-related winds have salt crystalizing on the power lines, so last night I lost power for 2-to-5 seconds about 8 times. With these, the house briefly went dark, but the HR21 and TV (and DSL) kept working fine.
     
  20. bigkatnyc

    bigkatnyc Cool Member

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    Feb 12, 2007
    Need some suggestions as to which UPS solution to go with......I will be plugging in a 42 inch rear projection LCD (Sony), HR21 DVR, and a Antec MX-1 (WD 1TB HDD) inside.

    Here is what I'm considering....
    http://www.jr.com/apc/pe/AMN_BE550G/

    or

    http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/APC-Back-UPS-ES-350-Battery-Backup-Surge-Protector-BE350G/sem/rpsm/oid/217087/catOid/-13021/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

    I guess the question is would the UPS function properly w/ those components connected to it.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     

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