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#42654 by fonzerelli
Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:02 pm
My experiences with power outages and Internet connectivity are a bit different than most people.

When I moved to southern Maine from Los Angeles, I was really unprepared for the amount of power outages we get here. I live in a pretty rural area (10 miles to the nearest traffic light!) so the outages are more numerous and longer lasting than if I lived in a city or town.

My phone service for most of my time here was Vonage, and if the power went out I noticed I had about 10-20 minutes to make a call to the power company to notify them of the outage. Likewise, I could do stuff on the web for the same amount of time. This led me to believe that there is some sort of battery built into the cable company's street level hardware.

Now, the really cool thing is, after a few years of this, I built a UPS system for my entire house, which typically gives me about a day of power for most of the stuff I run in my house. When we had a massive ice storm at the end of 2008, in which almost everyone in this region lost power for an extended time, I would need to recharge my batteries once a day and then go about my business.

After a few days of this, I noticed I had phone service and full Internet access! My cable company actually went around and hooked up small generators to their street equipment, enabling me to use all my Internet connected equipment!

They left the generators running for the next day and a half or so, until utility power was restored here.

Anyways, the person who suggested a UPS for your phone hardware was spot on. Besides protecting your equipment, it will enable you to make a few quick calls before your battery is discharged, which is a good thing!
#42671 by bw1
Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:24 am
fonzerelli wrote:I built a UPS system for my entire house, which typically gives me about a day of power for most of the stuff I run in my house.


Can you provide any more info on this? Was it a commercial system or something DIY?

I don't need anything to power the entire house, but it would be nice to be able to power a few things, including the phone system for a few hours.
Here's what I got but haven't had a chance to hook it up yet: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/APC+-+1500V ... Id=9307831
#42689 by murphy
Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:43 am
Read the specs and do some calculations. That is an 865 watt UPS. It will hold up 865 watts for about 5 minutes. At 100 watts it will last for 80 minutes. The lower the load, the longer it will run. It was designed to run a large PC or server long enough to do an orderly shutdown as opposed to a crash. The batteries require replacement every 3 - 5 years.

I use a couple of UPSs to keep things running until my automatic generator fires up and grabs the load. That typically takes 45 seconds.
#42707 by fonzerelli
Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:40 am
bw1 wrote:
fonzerelli wrote:I built a UPS system for my entire house, which typically gives me about a day of power for most of the stuff I run in my house.


Can you provide any more info on this? Was it a commercial system or something DIY?

I don't need anything to power the entire house, but it would be nice to be able to power a few things, including the phone system for a few hours.
Here's what I got but haven't had a chance to hook it up yet: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/APC+-+1500V ... Id=9307831


My system is a DIY, though people like it so much when they see it, I'm thinking of doing it for other people.

That 850 watt system should be more than fine for your networking equipment, especially if you can shut down your computer quickly to conserve battery power.

I'm not a big fan of APC however. Recent purchases from them have seemed to indicate a slip in quality. I like CyberPower Systems.
#42708 by fonzerelli
Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:42 am
murphy wrote:Read the specs and do some calculations. That is an 865 watt UPS. It will hold up 865 watts for about 5 minutes. At 100 watts it will last for 80 minutes. The lower the load, the longer it will run. It was designed to run a large PC or server long enough to do an orderly shutdown as opposed to a crash. The batteries require replacement every 3 - 5 years.

I use a couple of UPSs to keep things running until my automatic generator fires up and grabs the load. That typically takes 45 seconds.


Buy yourself a 12 volt desulphator. You will add years to all of your batteries if you use this on all of your 12v batteries.

APC does seem to use crappy batteries too, so this should be very helpful.

How much did you pay for your automatic generator? My system transfers instantly to battery.
#42714 by murphy
Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:03 am
fonzerelli wrote:How much did you pay for your automatic generator? My system transfers instantly to battery.

I have the older (at least 3 years) 7 KW version of this generator.

http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Gener ... ogId=10053

I had to use propane since natural gas is not available where I live.
#42721 by Mike-o-Matic
Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:28 am
We should start a thread dedicated to all this stuff - home-power backup/UPSes/etc. Good stuff.

I would but I'm no particular expert on the subject.
#42800 by bw1
Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:54 pm
murphy wrote:Read the specs and do some calculations. That is an 865 watt UPS. It will hold up 865 watts for about 5 minutes. At 100 watts it will last for 80 minutes. The lower the load, the longer it will run. It was designed to run a large PC or server long enough to do an orderly shutdown as opposed to a crash. The batteries require replacement every 3 - 5 years.

I use a couple of UPSs to keep things running until my automatic generator fires up and grabs the load. That typically takes 45 seconds.


I've estimated my cable modem, my Telo and my cordless base station draw about 14 amps. So, if I divide 865 by 14 and multiply that by 5, I get 308 minutes. Is that right?

If power went out with any regularity, I would get a Generac automatic generator. But around here, the power is really pretty reliable. Except for the "Northeast Blackout of 2003" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_Blackout_of_2003), the power has only gone out for a few minutes to a few hours (2-4) about once a year. Though, I'm predicting it will get worse in the future.

However, I have a relative with an Ooma hub and their power goes out more often for up to 8 hours at a time.


fonzerelli wrote:That 850 watt system should be more than fine for your networking equipment, especially if you can shut down your computer quickly to conserve battery power.

I'm not a big fan of APC however. Recent purchases from them have seemed to indicate a slip in quality. I like CyberPower Systems.


I'm not planning to hook up the computer or monitor to it.

I've read that about CyberPower before, I'll have to check one of those out too. I have up to 45 days to return this one.
#42812 by murphy
Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:56 pm
I hope you meant 14 watts instead of 14 amps. 14 amps would be around 1680 watts.

It's not a linear relationship.
If you go to the APC web site and find the specs for the UPS it will include a discharge curve of load vs time.
#42817 by bw1
Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:05 pm
murphy wrote:I hope you meant 14 watts instead of 14 amps. 14 amps would be around 1680 watts.

It's not a linear relationship.
If you go to the APC web site and find the specs for the UPS it will include a discharge curve of load vs time.


Doh, yes, I meant watts!

This model is not on the APC site for some reason.

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