Sunday, May 8, 2011

UPS Part 1 of 2

I replaced the battery of my UPS last year. Unfortunately, the UPS was hit by power surge just before I moved house, thanks to power quality by TNB. Fortunately that did not burn my gadgets but the UPS and power adapter.

While looking for a replacement, I would have to think about how's my setup going to be in the new house. Currently it's a very simple setup like this...


Everything is in the same room: HDX media player connected to the Linksys router, streaming movies from the NAS Synology 209 and output to the monitor which is also used for the PC. Like I posted earlier, the setup is gonna be a little complex in the new house illustrated below...


Obviously, all devices are not going to be in the same room anymore. The PC should be in the office room; the NAS and router should be somewhere near the central network location and the media player should be in the living hall. That said, I need to have not necessarily the same big backup power but separate UPS to protect at least the PC and NAS out from TNB shits. As a result, this brick landed as an insurance to my PC...


The APC Back-UPS CS650.

There are quite a few other CS series that have bigger capacity and even cheaper but without this feature...


The USB connectivity for monitoring purpose. This feature comes with a premium. You will never know the condition of your UPS and how long will it last without this feature.

Unboxing it...


2 grey power jumper cables, user manual and warranty leaflets, 2 CD for information and monitoring software, 1 phone and 1 proprietary USB cable (with one end looks like a RJ45 terminator) for monitoring.



Very simple front plate, a power button and 4 LED showing key status. At the rear, a pair of phone in and phone out for modem protection; the data port for monitoring; circuit breaker; main power input source at the bottom left, 3 black colored surge + backup outlets and 1 grey colored surge protection only outlet. What is the difference? 3 black outlets will protect the connected devices from power surge and provide backup power during blackout, whereas the grey outlet only protects the connected device from surge and doesn't output backup power during blackout. One example use of the grey outlet can be printer, that enables you to protect it but prohibits it from draining the battery during the blackout.

Let's put it side by side with the old SmartUPS...





Understandably 50% of reduction in all dimensions because of 50% reduction in battery capacity. The old SmartUPS delivers 1000VA or about 615W whereas CS650 delivers 650VA or 400W.

3 differences between SmartUPS and Back-UPS - there is no surge-only outlet on old SmartUPS, I believe the latest models come with it. Second, old SmartUPS is equipped with serial port than the USB port for monitoring purpose. The third is not tangible but there is a clear notice printed on the chassis of CS650...


The output of SmartUPS is pure sine wave just like unregulated power from the wall outlet. In contrary, Back-UPS series does not output pure sine wave but stepped simulated sine wave. Look at charts below...


This is what you get if you connect the Back-UPS and SmartUPS to oscillator, respectively. The top one is step simulated sine wave and the bottom chart is pure sine wave.

This is critical if the connected device is sensitive and requires a pure sine wave input. For example, AV Receiver typically comes with transformer and requires a pure sine wave input, the output of Back-UPS (to input into AVR) will not conform with the requirement and therefore will fry the AVR. Some high end computer equipment also requires pure sine wave input, this is why Smart-UPS is much more expensive than Back-UPS with same capacity. So be sure you know the requirement before you head out to get an UPS. I am gonna use this UPS for my netbook (replacement to my PC), thus the output of UPS is not a concern. The estimated total load is about 110W (with LCD monitor), which translates that to the estimated runtime of CS650...


30 minutes should be good as the netbook has its own battery as well. Read through the manual of the devices that you plan to connect to UPS to get the power load and you can perform your estimation at APC website.

Enough theory, let's get into action. Open up the battery compartment...


The battery is shipped in disconnected mode in the compartment. You get a striking yellow sticker to guide you how to connect the battery. Remove the sticker and get the battery out from the compartment and reposition it to connect the '+' and '-' polarity appropriately...



Clearly that the connectors are different, so it's very hard to connect the wrong polarity to the terminator.

Connect all the devices and power it up...


Green light. Cool! Next, install the bundled software APC PowerChute Personal Edition (you can download the latest from APC website)...


The software testified the online estimation chart. Few minutes less due to additional USB harddisks. Oh, alternatively you can enable UPS service in Administrative Tools > Service to use Windows built in UPS service.

Now at least the monitor and netbook are protected. Next, the NASes especially the new precious Synology 1511+.