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(Solved) - Quick Question............. :-)

(20 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by richmondreb
  • Latest reply from Lighthouse
  • Topic Viewed 627 times

richmondreb
Posts: 348

Hi Gang,

Here's an easy one for you. I've heard that when you have a power outage, there's a way you can still use
your desk top computer, there's some USB card you can buy and plug in. If this is so, would you be so kind as to
tell me what it is........

Thanks,
Robin

Posted 1 year ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

No, it is a UPS, Uninterruptable Power Supply.

Goes between the wall power and the computer power cord.

Irv S.

Posted 1 year ago
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bubbatie1
bubbatie1
Posts: 1322

mines only good for 1/2 hour . :(

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

All but the most expensive UPSes only supply enough power to allow a computer to safely shut down after a power outage. The better ones will automatically close programs and shut down the computer.

To be able to continue using a computer for any length of time, either a standby generator (and a conventional UPS) or a huge bank of batteries would be needed, both being very expensive.

Posted 1 year ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

UPS's can cost a lot of be cheap, well under $100 USD. It is the SIZE, in Watt's that determine the price. I 300W unit of course will run a computer for a shorter time than a 1,500W UPS will of course. There is no 'run time length' standard of course. That depends on how many devices are connected and the power draw. A low power Laptop will run longer on the same UPS than a full scale Desktop with many drives and an older monitor. Also if one keeps a modem, router, all-in-one printer attached, and speaker attached as well run-time will be less.

All you really want is enough time to finish what you have started during a power failure. That complete the task at hand and shut the system down. If you live in an area with frequent short power drops (brown-out) that are of short duration, a UPS might keep you running.

Most do have the capability to shutdown your computer (they connect to the PC with a USB cable and a PC app to monitor the UPS) when the remaining run-time on the UPS is too low to continue much longer.

Irv S.

Posted 1 year ago
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richmondreb
Posts: 348

I don't think you understand my question. Either that or I said it wrong.
Let's say you have a power outage and in a day or two your going crazy cause
there's no TV!! But, that's OK cause you have this card that you can plug into
your computer which not only will it get it running but, it will also get you the
internet!! Now,,,,,,,, does that make since??????????? Maybe it's called an "Air Card" ??

Posted 1 year ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

You would be able to access the Internet with a product like the air card, assumming that the cell towers are not also down for power, but it will not power your computer unless it is on battery, like a laptop.

Posted 1 year ago
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richmondreb
Posts: 348

@ Xhi,

So, in the long run, if your not battery operated, your SOOL!!

Posted 1 year ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

Yup! Unless, of course, you have a generator.

Accepted Answer · Posted 1 year ago
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Veegertx
Veegertx
Posts: 376

Yeah cell tower battery went dead after 2 days here during Rita and was 5 days they brought out a generator for it.
I had bought a 5500 watt generator from previous hurricane and back fed my house so I had power to modem and everything small

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I had one of those UPS. I paid $80 for it and after 1 year the backup battery was dead. A new battery was $70 + S&H. So I dopped the idea.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

That's surprising, as they use lead acid batteries. You could always take it out, extend the cables, and connect a car battery. (make sure it is fully charged before you connect it, or you could overheat the UPS charging circuit)

Posted 1 year ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

I have never liked the idea of a UPS because i have too many items that might need one. Luckily, where I live, the power only goes out every three years or so and then not for more than 10 minutes.

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

LH, I really don't know what kind of battery that was. It has since long been in the landfill.

In Florida where I spend the winter, I have only seen 1 power outage in 15 years. Even during the storm season (when I am not there), I have not heard of any. Our power lines are under ground. But when I bought the UPS, I did not know that the power is that stable.

In Germany I remember only 1 power outage in all my life. And that was when half of Europe was without power.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

whs, things like security systems, used to to use NiCads, and they would only last about a year. But what is needed for UPS is lead acid, it can take the load.
As always with batts, discharge and recharge on a regular basis. They do not like constant trickle charge.

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

There are various types of lead acid batteries. Some are designed to handle brief, deep discharges at a high rate of current, such as automotive starting batteries. Others can handle low current discharges but can be more deeply discharged at frequent intervals, such as marine batteries designed to run electric trolling motors. Golf cart batteries are designed for frequent, deep, high current discharges (they are also heavier). Golf cart batteries also can handle floating on a trickle charge better than most other lead acid batteries.

One could make a super USP by using two or more golf cart type batteries (they are usually 6v so they need to paired in series to get 12v), a 120v to 12v converter to keep it charged, and a pure sine wave inverter to convert the 12v back to 120v. The inverter and converter are standard RV (caravan to you all on the other side of the pond from me) equipment. One just needs to be sure the inverter is pure sine wave instead of modified or stepped sine wave (many power supplies will work only on pure sine wave). The converter needs to protected by a good, RV type EMS (Electrical Management System) that provides surge and spike protection and will shut off the incoming 120v if it goes too low or too high (these are expensive, at least $350 US, not some $50 cheapie).

To use as a UPS, the batteries would be fed by the converter (it needs to be large enough to handle all of the load being connected to the "UPS"). The inverter would run off the batteries. The electronics being connected to the "UPS" would be plugged in to the inverter's 120v output. By running all the time on battery fed inverter power, the electronics will always have an uninterupted source of power, no matter how often or frequently the incoming 120v may be interrupted.

Depending on how big the batteries are and hw much load in put on the "UPS", a setup like this could run for hours. However, one will pay through the nose (and other body orifices) for such a setup. I plan on doing something like this when I move into a travel trailer since much of the equipment will be already there.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

LF, what site did you copy that from ?

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Static transfer switch

A static transfer switch uses power semiconductors such as Silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs) to transfer a load between two sources. Because there are no mechanical moving parts, the transfer can be completed rapidly, perhaps within a [ quarter-cycle of the power frequency. ] Static transfer switches can be used where a reliable and independent second source of power is available and it is necessary to protect the load from even a few power frequency cycles interruption time, or from any surges or sags in the prime power source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_switch

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

LH, you disappoint me. I actually worked all that out for myself. I did used to work for a power company, you know. I've also been researching RVs (I actually lived full time in one 40 years ago) for the past year or two since I want to move into one.

Posted 1 year ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

LF, sorry 'bout that, but I did work professionally on the battery front. Tho not for a while I admit. But I do try and keep up with it all. Tis interesting to me.

Posted 1 year ago
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