I'm losing faith in uninterruptible power supplies


B

BillW50

I was a huge fan of uninterruptible power supplies since the beginning
(even for laptop use). Besides the computer, you can power lots of other
things. A small lamp, cordless phones, DSL modem, alarm clock, etc. All
great of course. And I have gone through a number of UPS over the years.
Generally the battery fails after 3 to 5 years. And the batteries
generally run in the 25 to 35 buck range and they are heavy to pay for
shipping. And if you wait for a sale on UPS, you could get one for about
the same price as getting a new battery for an old one. So just get a
new one.

Well my CyberPower 685AVR UPS battery just died recently. I tried to
disassemble it and all of the parts fit into slots between the two
halves. And trying to take it apart, some are staying in one half and
some in the other half. To get it apart, all of it has to stay in one
half. But not as easy as it seems. And I have better things to do then
to fiddle with this thing all day.

I checked online and I thought I only paid about 50 bucks for this one
on sale. But nothing comes close to this one under 100 bucks. Sure I
could afford it, but that isn't the point. Why do I need one again?

Being a fan of laptops since my first one back in '84, I am also a big
fan of leaving the battery out (especially Li-Ion batteries). As the
heat and repeated charging only shortens the life of the battery even
far more than just throwing the battery in a drawer and just using it
when you really need portable power.

This all made a lot of sense to me all of these years. Although I now
have five netbook batteries for three notebooks. Nine Gateway batteries
for nine Gateway machines. And five Alienware batteries for five
Alienware machines. That is 19 batteries of only three different battery
types. And I have plenty of them nowadays. And only like three of them
have less than 95% of their rated capacity. Plus chemically, they will
become paperweights in about 10 years anyway no matter how well you take
care of them.

So I figure why not use some of them as an UPS instead? So what if one
wears out in two or three years? I can't possibly wear them all out
before they all will be so old to be any good anyway.
 
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P

philo

I was a huge fan of uninterruptible power supplies since the beginning
(even for laptop use). Besides the computer, you can power lots of other
things. A small lamp, cordless phones, DSL modem, alarm clock, etc. All
great of course. And I have gone through a number of UPS over the years.
Generally the battery fails after 3 to 5 years. And the batteries
generally run in the 25 to 35 buck range and they are heavy to pay for
shipping. And if you wait for a sale on UPS, you could get one for about
the same price as getting a new battery for an old one. So just get a
new one.

Well my CyberPower 685AVR UPS battery just died recently. I tried to
disassemble it and all of the parts fit into slots between the two
halves. And trying to take it apart, some are staying in one half and
some in the other half. To get it apart, all of it has to stay in one
half. But not as easy as it seems. And I have better things to do then
to fiddle with this thing all day.

I checked online and I thought I only paid about 50 bucks for this one
on sale. But nothing comes close to this one under 100 bucks. Sure I
could afford it, but that isn't the point. Why do I need one again?

Being a fan of laptops since my first one back in '84, I am also a big
fan of leaving the battery out (especially Li-Ion batteries). As the
heat and repeated charging only shortens the life of the battery even
far more than just throwing the battery in a drawer and just using it
when you really need portable power.

This all made a lot of sense to me all of these years. Although I now
have five netbook batteries for three notebooks. Nine Gateway batteries
for nine Gateway machines. And five Alienware batteries for five
Alienware machines. That is 19 batteries of only three different battery
types. And I have plenty of them nowadays. And only like three of them
have less than 95% of their rated capacity. Plus chemically, they will
become paperweights in about 10 years anyway no matter how well you take
care of them.

So I figure why not use some of them as an UPS instead? So what if one
wears out in two or three years? I can't possibly wear them all out
before they all will be so old to be any good anyway.



You really need to get a good quality UPS if you want it to last.
I have four commercial grade UPS's and they have been working
trouble-free for years...but you are right concerning the batteries.
The small gel-cells rarely last more than 4 or 5 years...
 
B

BillW50

In
philo said:
You really need to get a good quality UPS if you want it to last.
I have four commercial grade UPS's and they have been working
trouble-free for years...but you are right concerning the batteries.
The small gel-cells rarely last more than 4 or 5 years...

I do like UPS, so don't get me wrong. But if one is running
laptops/netbooks and has plenty of spare batteries for the machines
anyway... an UPS seems somewhat pointless for them anyway.
 
S

SC Tom

BillW50 said:
In

I do like UPS, so don't get me wrong. But if one is running laptops/netbooks and has plenty of spare batteries for the
machines anyway... an UPS seems somewhat pointless for them anyway.

The power supply part of it may be worthless (in essence) on a laptop, but the surge protection is nice to have. I'd
rather replace a cheap (by comparison) UPS after a large surge than try to find parts to fix a laptop's power circuit,
especially the ones that don't have the external brick.

I have a CyberPower 800AVR that I replaced the battery a couple of years ago. IIRC, the trick to getting the two halves
apart was to unplug the cables that linked each half, change the battery, then plug the cables back while working the
halves back together. I kinda recall it took a lot longer than the APC's and TrippLite's we had at work.
 
B

BillW50

In SC Tom wrote on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 19:51:28 -0400:
The power supply part of it may be worthless (in essence) on a
laptop, but the surge protection is nice to have. I'd rather replace
a cheap (by comparison) UPS after a large surge than try to find
parts to fix a laptop's power circuit, especially the ones that don't
have the external brick.

Laptops as well as desktop power supplies have been using power
switching supplies for about the last 15 years now. And they can easily
handle an unstable AC input and still work fine in the 85 to 264VAC
range. And they continue to put out power even if the AC is interrupted
for 10 to 20ms. They are also very forgiving of surges on the AC as
well.

And out of over 20 laptops I have since '84, not a single one has the
power supply ever failed yet. I did have one Toshiba T1950CS ('94) that
the power circuit inside of the laptop failed after 5 years. But that
had nothing to do with the input AC. As it was a design problem and they
all normally died due to too much heat. They didn't sport a fan either
and that would have helped a lot.

My CyberPower 800AVR UPS does nothing if the input AC is fine. It only
does something if it goes too high or too low. And the software keeps a
log of the times that it does. And in the last five years, it never
logged of any high voltage.

And yes, I did worry about power surges for decades. But I am not
worried about them anymore. I have too many backups that all hell could
break loose here and I am still covered with lots of backup laptops
anyway. People without hardware backups probably should worry.
I have a CyberPower 800AVR that I replaced the battery a couple of
years ago. IIRC, the trick to getting the two halves apart was to
unplug the cables that linked each half, change the battery, then
plug the cables back while working the halves back together. I kinda
recall it took a lot longer than the APC's and TrippLite's we had at
work.

I didn't get it apart enough to see all of the cables yet. One end
lifted about an inch to an inch and a half and things started to bind.
The other end seemed like it was hinged (it I don't think it is, but
something there is holding it where the two halves fit).

I am sure if I spent a few hours to a day I could figure it all out. But
I stopped because I know at some point it just isn't worth the time and
money for me. Maybe when I have some time to kill, I'll take another
look at it and much thanks. ;-)
 
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R

RJK

BillW50 said:
I was a huge fan of uninterruptible power supplies since the beginning
(even for laptop use). Besides the computer, you can power lots of other
things. A small lamp, cordless phones, DSL modem, alarm clock, etc. All
great of course. And I have gone through a number of UPS over the years.
Generally the battery fails after 3 to 5 years. And the batteries
generally run in the 25 to 35 buck range and they are heavy to pay for
shipping. And if you wait for a sale on UPS, you could get one for about
the same price as getting a new battery for an old one. So just get a
new one.

Well my CyberPower 685AVR UPS battery just died recently. I tried to
disassemble it and all of the parts fit into slots between the two
halves. And trying to take it apart, some are staying in one half and
some in the other half. To get it apart, all of it has to stay in one
half. But not as easy as it seems. And I have better things to do then
to fiddle with this thing all day.

I checked online and I thought I only paid about 50 bucks for this one
on sale. But nothing comes close to this one under 100 bucks. Sure I
could afford it, but that isn't the point. Why do I need one again?

Being a fan of laptops since my first one back in '84, I am also a big
fan of leaving the battery out (especially Li-Ion batteries). As the
heat and repeated charging only shortens the life of the battery even
far more than just throwing the battery in a drawer and just using it
when you really need portable power.

This all made a lot of sense to me all of these years. Although I now
have five netbook batteries for three notebooks. Nine Gateway batteries
for nine Gateway machines. And five Alienware batteries for five
Alienware machines. That is 19 batteries of only three different battery
types. And I have plenty of them nowadays. And only like three of them
have less than 95% of their rated capacity. Plus chemically, they will
become paperweights in about 10 years anyway no matter how well you take
care of them.

So I figure why not use some of them as an UPS instead? So what if one
wears out in two or three years? I can't possibly wear them all out
before they all will be so old to be any good anyway.

My APC Back-UPS 650, (which was the cheaper version and did not come with
the RS232 lead with the wierd pin-outs - bought the lead on ebay for a few
pounds),
must be over 20 years old, (at a guess), ...never had to put a new battery
in it, ....get several short mains power outages here every winter ....never
lets me down.
....so APC every time !!!

regards, Richard
 
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