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#231728 - 09/09/11 05:22 AM UPS for my laptop & cell?
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
I am looking into getting an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to power my laptop and cell during power outages. This is after deciding not to get a power generator. I just need to maintain communication (via cell phone) and to have enough power in case I need to look up crucial data stored on my computer. Has anyone looked into this? Is this viable? Pros and cons?

I haven't been able to figure out from the UPS specs how long my computer or my cell can run on a given model. For example, let's take a UPS with 1500 VA and 1000 W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102104). My computer eats up 15.5 W with the display on. How can I estimate how many hours I can run my computer on it? My cell phone battery is 1500 mAh 5.6 Wh. How many times can I charge it? Do UPS batteries decay over time? Sorry if this is an elementary question.

Thanks!

Da Bing

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#231730 - 09/09/11 06:00 AM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
If possible, ask what date the UPS was made. It should be written somewhere in the documentation. A SLA battery should not sit very long without a charge.


For the cell phone, you might want to consider a portable battery like the Brunton Inspire. I use it when traveling and camping. I have a small (700mA) solar panel that charges it up if I'm out camping. Pretty handy.

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#231732 - 09/09/11 06:30 AM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: LED]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I've got an APC BX1500G UPS powering my modem, router, and iPod Touch charger. According to APC, it's a 1500va and 865w system. Total draw on it is 44w, which gives me 92 minutes before it shuts down.

I don't know how exactly one would calculate power draw from one of these things, but if you're only drawing ~18 watts with your phone/laptop and the UPC your using is 1000w vs. my 865w unit, than, at the very least, you should be getting a bit better than the hour-and-a-half I'm getting.

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#231737 - 09/09/11 11:49 AM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
flinx Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 9
Loc: OCONUS
APC has a product selector tool to help in selecting the appropriate UPS/Capacity.

http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm

Enjoy,

Paul

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#231741 - 09/09/11 12:47 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Nebraska
Bingley,

Take the model, and look at the battery- in this case, googled "CyberPower PR1500LCDRT2U battery"

the battery in it is a 12 volt, 7 Amp hour battery battery
So Watts= volts * amps, so 7*12= 84 watt/hours available in battery.

Your Pc uses 15.5 watts per hour.
You cell phone battery holds 5.6 Watts when full

So in the best of all possible worlds, yous PC could run up to 5 hours. ((((84 divided by 15.5- 5.38)))

OR, you could charge your cell 15 times (84 divided by 5.6)

Or some combo of the 2....

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#231742 - 09/09/11 01:12 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
One word of warning. A number of UPSes will not re-power after you have shut them down when the power is out.

In other words, the power goes out, the UPS kicks on, everything is good, you decide to shut down your laptop, but then later when the power is still out you want to turn the UPS and everything back on and... The UPS will refuse to turn on.

Also, make sure the alarm can be silenced. :-)

-john

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#231743 - 09/09/11 01:18 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: LED]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: LED

For the cell phone, you might want to consider a portable battery like the Brunton Inspire. I use it when traveling and camping. I have a small (700mA) solar panel that charges it up if I'm out camping. Pretty handy.


Agreed. A big portable battery + solar panel would be pretty optimal:

http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypowerall.html

-john

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#231747 - 09/09/11 01:36 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
speedemon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 98
The 2 UPSs I have (both APC), simply have a 12v sealed lead acid battery in them. I see no reason why you couldn't simply hook up a larger 12v battery to them to get a longer life on battery power. I don't know how well or if it could charge a much larger battery, of course you could simply avoid that by charging the battery when power comes on with another battery charger. You would still need to make sure the power supply gives you enough wattage to properly power your devices, but you wouldn't have to buy a giant one just for the extra battery life.

I also checked, these will turn on after being turned off with no power (obviously can't speak of any other brands).

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#231749 - 09/09/11 02:01 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: speedemon]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: speedemon
The 2 UPSs I have (both APC), simply have a 12v sealed lead acid battery in them. I see no reason why you couldn't simply hook up a larger 12v battery to them to get a longer life on battery power. I don't know how well or if it could charge a much larger battery, of course you could simply avoid that by charging the battery when power comes on with another battery charger. You would still need to make sure the power supply gives you enough wattage to properly power your devices, but you wouldn't have to buy a giant one just for the extra battery life.

I also checked, these will turn on after being turned off with no power (obviously can't speak of any other brands).


APC actually makes a piggy back battery for their larger consumer model that doubles the run time.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#231783 - 09/09/11 09:06 PM Re: UPS for my laptop & cell? [Re: Bingley]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3060
Loc: USA
I second the recommendations of being able to turn them on without AC power, and DEFINITELY the ability to silence the alarm. If you may be running unattended equipment, make sure the equipment and the UPS can communicate with each other so that servers and the like may enjoy an orderly shutdown. Never, ever, plug anything into a UPS that has a high transient load, including anything with a motor (including all species of pumps and compressors) laser printers and floor buffers. Yes, the cleaning crew at a former employer took out a UPS and killed the server it was protecting by plugging in a floor buffer. My suggestion is to put child proofing electrical outlet plug covers in each unused outlet, and follow that up with a sign reminding people that you will commit unspeakable acts upon their bodies if they so much as look at your UPS crosseyed.

Runtime degrades as batteries age. Budget to replace your battery or batteries no less often than every five years. If you need to have 90 minutes of runtime, buy at least 50% more (135 minutes) with 100% more being better.

The only brands I would consider for myself are APC and TrippLite. My experience with their consumer grade gear is limited but positive.

Disclosure: I've sold both brands before, however my current employer sells neither.

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