Turdy. The majority of UPSs out there just suck eggs. Then you have all these people who think they need a UPS when they really don't, only to get some crappy UPS that probably makes their computer only less safe. If you want a good UPS, expect to spend multi-hundreds of dollars for something of quality. And even then, you have to have a legitimate reason to own a UPS in the first place; these misconceptions that everyone needs a UPS is ridiculous, then people go buy garbage like this and think, "yay now my computer is safe" when it would have been perfectly fine without the UPS.
Where is the quality of products check if there is any?
The lack of a breaker is not so much a quality issue as much as it is a horrible cost-cutting decision and inexcusable in a $120+ UPS. Or an UPS of any size for that matter given how even $2 power bars from the dollar store usually have an inexpensive breaker-switch.
Where UL1363 is concerned, an extension rated for 15A or less (12A here) is required to have a cord with #14 gauge wire. Also, a relocatable tap with more than four outlets must have a breaker. I haven't read UL1778 to see if there were exceptions for UPS - I don't see why there should be any considering how UPS are effectively relocatable power taps with some battery-backup outlets on top. (Edit: I had a glance at UL1778 and wire gauges thinner than #14 are only mentioned for control wires.)
I still don't understand the point of the Coax protection unless your house was wired really badly in the '80s. I would be nervous about completing a circuit to ground by having both the coax grounded at the demarc and grounded to the UPS.
Ideally, look for official distributors. If there aren't any for your state, then eBay, Amazon and the likes are your friends, you just need to be extra wary of third-party sellers who may be selling used or falsely re-labeled batteries.
If you are lucky, some local electronics, hobby or other shop may carry decent models from a decent brand.
What we need next is a tear-down of a supposedly great UPS... If you shop e.g. APC's 'business' units and plop down 2-3 hundred USD on a small 'office' unit, will you actually then get the quality you pay for? My guess is "no".
I believe you need UPS for your PC and expensive TV at least. As long as the "waves are waves and not huge lego boxes". For me it feels that you have to spend about 300+ to get a decent made UPS and even then not all models or brands will be decent.
The problem is the electricity of your area and how stable it is. In my place we get loads of undervoltaging often, which is super lethal. Without a good ups you are playing with fire.
That a supposedly reputable brand and a "pricey" UPS model has two critical defects and questionable cost cutting decisions makes me worry about buying any UPS.
The SMART1000 is the only UPS I have looked at so far that lacks a breaker and a dedicated standby/charger power supply. Buy just about anything else (perhaps not from Tripp-Lite, I haven't looked at their other models to see how much of an isolated incident the SMART1000 might be) and you won't have either issue.
I would love to see a tear down of an APC unit. Like a SmartUPS or BackUPS line. I owned 2 of the larger brothers of the APC BackUPS us had in the size comparison shot (I had the 1500VA ones, and one of them I extended with the expansion battery to 3000VA). They lasted me about 10 years before something inside them finally died (probably capacitors).
They lasted me about 10 years before something inside them finally died (probably capacitors).
I did a tear-down of my BX1000 two years ago and 10 years is just about how long it lasted before it started freaking out. I plan to investigate what went wrong and possibly fix it in the near-future. My initial suspicion says caps too, even though most are Nippon Chemi-Con if I remember correctly.
Would love to see a tear-down of a "home theater" UPS - are they really better/different than a standard UPS for computers? Example: APC's S15
While there is little doubt that they are better, the real question are: how much so and how different do they need to be to do so? Most of the answer for the first question can be inferred from the spec sheets: multiple AVR buck/boost ratios to provide actual line voltage regulation instead of the one-step buck/boost in typical UPS, extra output filtering, surge suppression, etc. The second one is trickier since there is a handful of ways most of the differences can be implemented and I can imagine how UPS engineers may get creative with component re-use in a consumer UPS to implement more features using few to no additional parts.
An even bigger question is: are those really necessary? The bulk of modern AV equipment uses switching supplies too. There isn't much point in having super-clean 50/60Hz when the first thing you do is introduce broadband 0Hz-1MHz noise with a switching supply and then filter that again.
Hi there. Thank you for this article. I would greatly appreciate if you could mention, for every equipment you dissect, other products in the same category that are worth the money (in all the price ranges). And if you could update your old articles with these mentions it will be even better. This will encourage serious manufacturers to continue their hard work and put pressure on those cutting costs in order to save crumbs.
by me we have occasional power outs for 1-2 seconds, rarely lasting more than 2 minutes, but last summer we had a really bad power cycling that had the power turn on and off somewhere around 2-300 times in under 3 minutes, and a bad brown out that cut power for upwards 5 hours.
Due to have having a 3d printer now, the small 1-2 second ones are an issue
Due to the power cycling and brownout, i would like an ups for my computer too.
Anyone able to give me some good options for 400watt psus, 750 watt and 1250 watt (400 is 100 more then the 3d printer uses, but safe then sorry, 750 is a worst case scenario for my computer where everything demands 100% at once along with monitors, 1250 because I may repurpose my current computer as a networked render box when i build a new one and it would be nice to have both on a ups.)