It’s never too soon for an Uninterruptible Power Supply.

After almost two weeks of electrical shenanigans cum buffoonery in my building – ranging from the occasional flickering of lights to full-on-15-minute-blackouts and everything in between, all of which placed my appliances and, more importantly, my computers, in more harm’s way than a kulak with 10 cows – this less than encouraging sign appeared in the elevator.

Electrical Issues

It should be replaced. SHOULD!!1 But really, with a monopolistic utility, who the fuck knows and cares ?

Now, the risks to sensitive computing equipment associated with power surges, spikes, brownouts, and blackouts are well documented elsewhere,i but the situation being the situation, I was less interested in moving into the countryside to run my nodes off a combination of gasoline and stream power, but instead adapt to the new realities of living in Africa, as is the destiny of all Americanos, either North or South.

So how did I respond ? By asking my WoT, of course :

pete_d: Unrelatedly, can anyone recommend a 15min UPS for a workstation ? The power in this building/town is going to the fucking pits, even if it is really goddam cheap. Anyone used CyberPower ? Or is it APC all day everyday. [Looking for] 15min at 400w, to be more specific.ii << one option. << another option.

BingoBoingo: May I instead suggest Honda EU3000iS

jurov: I don’t believe these can sustain anywhere like 15min at 400W.iii But a desktop usually won’t eat 400W either, or are you mining? Have 24″ CRT?iv

mircea_popescu: If you own rather than rent, buying a large unit is a good home improvement move. For one thing, all electronics benefit from power filtering etc, tv sets, whatever has chips in it. For another thing, redundant power is great and brownouts a thing everywhere. Not the worst 5-10k you ever spent, can just sit in the basement and make your day for a week each decade or w/e.

asciilifeform: ;;later tell pete_d look for ‘double-converter’ UPS – 1500VA and up. These draw current at all times, and lack the familiar relay ‘click’ – the inverter is always on. They come ~exclusively~ in rack-mount shape.

But even a WoT isn’t all-knowing and all-seeing,v and it turns out that there is indeed a non-rack-mounted 1500VA double-converter UPS. It’s made by Opti-UPS and it’s their DS1500B model. I found one brand-new for a smokin’ deal and it was delivered to my door in 48 hours.

Just in the “click” of time too. The battle rages on.

___ ___ ___

  1. In summa : power drops risk damage to critical files and hard drives while power surges/spikes will fry any electrical component faster than you can say “Hold the bacon.” I’ve long used protection against the latter, but the importance in protecting against the former is only now coming home to roost.
  2. Fifteen minutes is the longest blackout I’ve seen thus far and 15 minutes is more than enough time to shut down properly or at least unplug the mega-monitor to buy another 5 minutes or so. A 1500VA unit should also provide >24 hours of sleep time, which is plenty given that this isn’t Montreal in 1965. Yet.
  3. FWIW, each firm claims otherwise.
  4. A 10-year-old desktop hooked up to a 10-year-old 30″ LCD and a 6-month-old 24″ LCD have a peak consumption of ~400W as it happens. And that’s just based on the factory quoted figures, which doesn’t account for the fact that I’ve upgraded the graphics card to one with double the RAM and I’ve octupled the ECC RAM (each additional DIMM slot filled consumes ~3-5W for DDR2). In reality, the peak consumption of my home set-up is very likely to be closer to 600W, but this figure would only be achieved very rarely. Normal use is likely closer to 400W. 
  5. Trust, but verify!

One thought on “It’s never too soon for an Uninterruptible Power Supply.

  1. […] other than the US, in particular in countries overseas where cutting-edge innovations such as reliable electrical networks are making communities possible, allowing governments to operate at all, and underpinning new […]

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