Uninterruptable Power Supplies

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by John Karpiscak, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. John Karpiscak

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    Anyone have experiences with UPSs and Home Theater?

    I'm looking to add a rackmount UPS to my system in the 1.5- 2kVa range.

    Any traps or bad brands I should be aware of?

    Thanks,

    John K
    www.y2kfam.com/theater.htm
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi John.

    In general, UPS systems are designed for digital devices (computers) not analog audio/video devices. People who have tried these on their AV equipment report problems. The AC output of a UPS is usually WORSE than the noise/problems with the raw AC power.

    Power Conditioners (not UPS's) have been known to do wonders for people who have rough/poor/shared AC power. Others who live in the suburbs have not seen as much improvement as they tend to have much cleaner power on the evening and weekends.

    If you consider a power conditioner, find a local dealer and buy it with a 30-day return policy to see/hear if it makes a difference in your system.
     
  3. Andrea Weist

    Andrea Weist Auditioning

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    John,
    I've heard some people with front projectors (DLP and LCD) use UPSs connected to their projector in case the power goes out, turing off the all important fan and letting the lamp's heat do bad things to the internal organs of the projector.[​IMG] I don't know much beyond that
    Andrea[​IMG]
     
  4. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    That's a good idea Andrea, I'm going to have to look into that.

    We had an industrial client (a bar), who kept burning out their projector because, unknown to us, the projo was on a wall switch, and the barteneders were using the switch, not the remote to power the unit down at the end of the night.

    We gave them some slack because they are huge client, but a UPS would be a good plan. And smarter bartenders.
     
  5. John Karpiscak

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    All: Thanks you for your comments so far. I do in fact have a power conditioner for my system. I've had a Panamax (new/eBay) for over a year in fact.

    The problem I have is that with all the constrcution in a 1 mile radius of the house, the power 'blinks' several times a day, usually in the spring-summer-fall period.

    What I've done for the moment is install a 1kVa UPS in front of the power conditioner, which helps but is only the 60% solution. By that I mean that it stops the quick power (less than 5 second) drop-offs but if the power is off for more than 5 seconds, the UPS is drained.

    Q: Do you think that a larger UPS still that feeds in to the power conditioner might be an acceptable solution?

    John K
    www.y2kfam.com/theater.htm
     
  6. BobAZ

    BobAZ Stunt Coordinator

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    If the UPS drains in 5 secs. then
    1. You either have too much plugged into it, in which case a larger capacity UPS would help.
    2. Or the battery is bad. What brand/model do you have and how old is it?

    I have an APC BX-1000 1kVA UPS with Rcvr, 32" TV, DVD, 120W Sub plugged into it. While playing a DVD, I've left it unplugged for ~2 minutes. I think it might last 5 mins. total.
     
  7. John Karpiscak

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    It's either too much plugged in (and running) or not enough battery. I was scoping out a rackmounted 2kVa APCsystem that would give me a runtime of up to 8 minutes.

    The question is is it worth the cost with respect to expected battery life and cost to purchase, or do I simply rely on my power conditioner to absorb the surge/ drain of electrical disruption?

    And, will the latter be enough to preclude equipment damage from these electrical problems?

    Thoughts?
     
  8. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd just make sure the the UPS that you buy has a pure sinewave output. APC has several models that do just that.

    edit 1: Like this one: Smart-UPS RM 1400 XL 3 U, 1400 VA, 120 V. MSRP is ~$800.00

    edit 2: According to the APC web site, this unit should run ~7 minutes with a 1KW load.
     
  9. Jon_S

    Jon_S Extra

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    If you have the money battery power it all. If you're worried about the line conditioning, add another, APC output is going to be no worse than utility power for sure.

    Here's what I've done though (my computer network is FULL APC, but I'm talking A/V): Panamax Max 1000+ to cover all my equipment and my satellite box and TiVo running off of a fairly small APC UPS that only provides backup power and will pass through whatever the Panamax gives it (unless it's a surge somehow). I would think that you might consider something similar if you want to protect a projector or other specific component.
     
  10. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    Having trouble justifying a UPS for my L300U projector. I use a little surge protector, but the odds of my projector being on when the power goes out are fairly low, and even then it would have to happen a lot to have a major impact. Of course, the projector doesn't need much power, so wouldn't a $75 UPS from the local computer store meet my needs for it?

    As for my receiver, no harm will come to that from power being turned off... That just leaves my HTPC, which I most definately run with a UPS to prevent catostrophic HD damage...

    - Jack
     
  11. Jon_S

    Jon_S Extra

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    Well, the main thing you really need is a line conditioner. A line conditioner controls the power that goes into your device whether the power is on or off on your projector or receiver. Depending on who you talk to, it will also improve the video and sound quality as well of the devices. As for a UPS itself, if you have a line conditioner between a UPS and your equipment, that will add the backup power and keep more constant power to the device in the case of brownouts and similar power fluctuations where there isn't enough power and probably a minor improvement. You do want to watch out that your UPS can handle the power load from your system though, as you don't want it to mess it up by trying to draw more than it is equipped to do so.
     

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