Advice needed choosing a UPS

By fitzy75
Jul 12, 2006
  1. I would like to buy a UPS device for a server that I run at home, I need some advice as to which one I should buy.

    Basically I will tell you my current setup and why it needs to be changed.

    I've got a UPS already but the batteries only last for about 5 minutes and then it just turns off (I haven't got a serial cable or shutdown software for it). The one I have is made by Socomec Sicon but it seems to be an unusual model and I cant find any information about it anywhere on the 'net so I don't know what the power rating for it is.

    I was going to use my old UPS to run my broadband router and a couple of network switches so that will keep the internet going as well then.

    The server it has to protect is as follows:
    • 300w ATX power supply
    • 2 hard drives
    • 512mb ram
    • AMD Athlon 700Mhz cpu
    I think thats all the important things when it comes to power consumption etc. If you need to know anything else just ask.

    I've been looking around on a few websites but I don't really know how powerful it needs to be to run my server during a power outage (they seem to be happening about once a day this week, so something needs to be done).

    I noticed on the ones i've been looking at, the power rating is in VA, but I don't know how many watts that is or how to convert it to watts etc.

    It would also be useful if the UPS would run an LCD monitor for a few minutes as well if possible but that isn't too important, as long as the UPS comes with automatic shutdown software.

    Please can someone recommend a reliable UPS which hopefully will run for 15-20 minutes with the setup I have. Or tell me a suitable VA rating which would run it because I have no idea how to work it out, and maybe have a bit extra power incase I add anything else to the system. I don't really want to spend more than £100 if I can help it.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
  2. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 222

  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    start here -- GET ONE!
    make life easy; just add up all the watts (or VA)as shown on the device labels, then buy a UPS with AT LEAST
    that VA rating :)

    don't get cheap here -- you're buying PROTECTION for the system, which certainly cost far more than the £100. Look for a product with replaceable batteries -- far less costly to maintain it than buy another 2 years later.

    Personally, I run a CyberPower 800AVR and it powers
    • 1 eMac
    • a router, switch, and modem
    • a canon i860 printer
    • and a mini-tower boat anchor 733 gateway server (but not its monitor)

    the UPS SPEC

    btw: the UPS will keep a system running when power drops (for a limited time), but will not cold boot it -- the startup power is about 2x the stable state requirements.
  4. fitzy75

    fitzy75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey guys thanks for the replies.

    I had a look at the links and they were quite useful, I also came across this link on google which was helpful as well.

    I had a look round the internet and bought a few different serial cables, but I haven't yet found one that works with it. Then I was going to make one because i've got a load of cable and plugs, but I couldn't find any pinouts to go by. So in the end I just decided that I would use that UPS just for my adsl box and a router and then get a new one for the server.

    I added up the watts using the link in Gars' post and then used the link I posted above to work out a VA rating for what I need. It said minimum should be an 800VA and recommended should be 1000VA.

    That one you got looks like a nice one, it's a shame that RadioShack don't have any stores in the UK now, they used to be a really good store.

    I had a quick look around earlier and I decided either a Belkin or APC, unless I see any other good brands.

    Thanks for your help guys
  5. fitzy75

    fitzy75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Also I forgot to mention I also found this website useful.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    I actually purchased from BestBuy; the link to RS was just the first from a
    google on the product :)
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    save yourself the expense and just buy a new battery for your UPS. Many recyclers will accept the old batteries. You can buy new ones off the net. SOme may require you to send the old one in for reprocessing and recycling.

    It's a lot cheaper than buying a new one. I bought my UPS used and dead. I replaced the battery and it works just great.
  8. fitzy75

    fitzy75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was going to do that at first, then I just decided that the one I've got already just isn't powerful enough to take the load (I believe its only 350VA, and for what I'm running on it, it should be 800VA minimum).

    So I thought I could use my old one for low powered stuff like routers, modems etc. and get a new decent one for the server.
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