Monday, October 13, 2014

Crappy Sienna Plantation Power: Here's what I did to Fix it!

Don't want to read this article? Too long?

Then go ahead and Click here to buy an APC brand from Amazon.

I've owned some other brands, and they have been the best so far.

Moving on:

I bought several of these in varying sizes. A 1300VA for my main large desktop, and a 350VA for my monitor and some smaller devices.

Don't forget: if you have an expensive piece of gear like a TiVo or other DVR, you want a small one for that too. Don't miss your shows, and don't damage your $600 TiVo with Lifetime subscription.

Terms: a 'VA' basically means a watt. Look on your gear and see what wattage it uses. UPS=uninterruptible power supply. A battery kicks in when the power goes off or blinks.

APC has a tool to help you figure it out, and I do computer work in Sienna.

Click here to open that tool. (New window opens.)

Setup is minimal, you really just plug it in, but if you need help picking a size or brand, let me know.

In short: a 1000VA or higher will run for a few minutes on anything you are likely to use it with.

Optional: the larger ones like my XS1300 will automatically shut down your PC with a cable that talks to it and tells it remaining capacity. So, you can tell it to shut down after the power is out for a few minutes or it drops below a certain charge level. Desirable if you leave your computer on.

-to increase the run time, plug things like speakers and printers into the 'Surge' outlets that do not use battery power from the UPS. My secondary monitor isn't on the UPS battery but my main is.

-some of these have a 'cold start' feature which means even if it's off, if it has battery charge available, you can turn it on and plug things in. What you might use this for is to save the juice for something you need intermittently like charging up your laptop. For a cellphone, I'd probably use a USB port on the laptop or your car since you lose power by converting the UPS battery to 110V AC then back down to 5V DCfor the phone.

If you use the Amazon widget above or search box on the side, you help support my time to write these little articles and have more time off my main job to come help you out. :)

If you have a hurricane type power outage, I have a Biolite Stove for cooking and charging a large battery for later use to charge cellphones and such:

Stove link in my Store:

Get a steel wok for quick outside cooking with the Biolite. I have one like this:

-Rob, Sienna Resident, happily using his Mac through MANY power blinks today.

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