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Dave Ihnat wrote:
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.

I see several companies having breakthroughs in the ultracapacitor field, I think that's the future of UPS. They charge fast, have vastly longer service life, and are lighter than lead-acid. Last month EEstor got a patent on a new unit they hope will be a power unit for an electric car, but the patent makes it clear it can be downsized to UPS sizes. And in cases where power comes and goes fast charge time is a bonus.

Also, both plug power and MTI are making small fuel cells for the military, room for a new technology there when cost comes down.

I agree that current UPS provides time for a short operation followed by a clean shutdown, but that's not a bad thing compared to falling over hard.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
  "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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