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Mind, I'm not defending APC _per se_, but some of your issues appear to
me to be non-issues.  Just some observations on APC, and UPS units in

On Thu, Jan 01, 2009 at 02:26:45PM -0500, Robert L Cochran wrote:
> The APC unit serving my network support devices failed suddenly after
> a very short lifespan of about a year. I think it developed an internal
> short in it that fried my web server machine.

According to the APC website:

  The APC Equipment Protection Policy pledges up to $25,000.00 USD to
  repair or replace your APC-protected electronics should they ever
  become damaged by a power surge (United States and Canada only ...)

I'd argue with them that was what happened to your server.

> The one serving my personal machine failed quickly as well and the
> combined cost for both these devices was well over USD $300.

You do know you can get those units replaced under warranty.

> The larger-rated APC units of 800 VA or more are physically very large
> and heavy and accordingly difficult to move around.

Goes with the turf--lead-acid batteries are going to be heavy.

> I'm aware that I can recycle UPS batteries but in my location this is
> inconvenient to do, ...

When you buy batteries, almost all of them come with a return mailer for
the used batteries.

> ...and the right batteries are hard to find, ...

Just buy on-line; I can't remember ever buying a replacement battery
locally.  They're cheaper than buying from the vendor, too.  Use a
shopping service such as shopper.cnet.com or www.pricegrabber.com.

> ...and when a UPS unit fails I must decide whether to spend the
> money to replace the entire unit or not.

At least APC units usually take the replacement battery.  I've had
horrible luck with TrippLite UPS units--new batteries often still don't
revive the UPS.

> I've made the decision not to buy APC brand units any longer.

I don't really have anything good to say about any consumer-grade UPS
units I've worked with, especially the little workstation ones.

> I'm using a "Geek Squad" unit from Best Buy for my network devices
> which is higher capacity, cheaper to buy, not so darn heavy, physically
> smaller in size and appears to be better built.

After they charged a client of mine (well, she became a client after this)
a couple of hundred dollars to clean viruses off a system--and "upgraded"
her to Windows XP--it was still infested with the same viruses.  And when
she came to me, I found the XP was using a known stolen activation key
(it came up on a google).  I won't have anything to do with Geek Squad
or anything branded by them.

You do know that "not so darn heavy" probably means it's either not a
lead-acid battery--and depending on the type, that brings its own
problems--or it's an undersized battery.

As I said, I've had bad results with TrippLite (pity, too--they're a
local Chicago company, so I'd like to support them) and virtually
all consumer-grade APC units.  The commercial APC units have been OK,
if not great; battery life for any UPS is about three years, and they
seem to survive that long.  They're too expensive for any significant
run time, however; all you're getting for an affordable price is about
10-15 minutes of run-time on a full power outage, making them essentially
surge/brownout protection and clean shutdown units.

$0.02, YMMV, etc.

	Dave Ihnat

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