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Awesome-UPS

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Freezer7Pro

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Location
FINLAND. EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE HERE.
I found my old 1998 UPS a couple of days ago, and thought I'd see if it still worked. I plugged it in, and it wouldn't even start, so I downloaded a manual, and sure enough, there needs to be power in the battery for it to even boot. So, I ripped out my ghetto battery charger (I.e 80's 14V/5A power supply) and tried to charge the battery, which, well, made it quite warm, but not much more. I realized that battery was dead.

Those small 12Ah gel-cell batteries are quite hard to get your hands on where I live, and they aren't very efficient in any way, so I thought I'd try something new, as I wouldn't cry if the UPS I got for free five years ago would die.

I went to a local car supply shop, and I was in luck. There was a sale on maintenance-free sealed lead batteries, as they had been standing for a couple of months. Those were just the batteries I was looking for, as they rarely leak acid, and the hydrogen emission that normal batteries have is more or less neutralized, as the cells can be permanently sealed.

I walked out with two battery connectors and a nice 55Ah battery for a grand total of 65€, something that would have been 135€ normally. I forgot to buy any decent cables, however, but that problem was quickly solved by slaughtering the PCI-E connectors off of an old PSU and putting them parallel, three by three. I then hooked up this:

IMG_0073-2.jpg

Testing revealed that it can power my whole stereo system without even breaking a sweat, and that ain't exactly a small shelf stereo. It's two 1988 amplifiers that'll eat closer to 200W a piece on full blast. I didn't go full out, so I'd say the maximum load was around 300-350W. A video of the battery voltage can be found here.

According to calculations, this thing could power my laptop and modem for closer to 30 hours (including a 20% loss) :D

So, anyone else here running an awesome-UPS? :santa:

UPDATE

Yet another upgrade has come upon my beautiful system! After a very successful advert in the local newspaper, I have here, from the local newspaper (lol), a 750W Smart-UPS from 2005 (old one from 1998 :rolleyes:). They had somehow managed to explode the batteries in it, how they did it is beyond me. Not that it matters, as the UPS itself is still working like new. And, well, it is new. The logs in it show that it had been plugged in for two months in 2006, and two days before I got it.

Not only is it 2-3 times as powerful as my old one, it is also 10-15% more effective, provides me with a clean sine wave output as opposed to the jagged on my old UPS, can support a hell of a lot more load, and runs on 24V, so I don't have to think of my cables burning up or my batteries equalizing (series vs parallel, if parallel, they'll charge/discharge each other during an hour or two until they're on the same voltage)

The black beauty:

IMG_0076.jpg
Awesomeness in a box.

IMG_0077-3.jpg
The left side. There used to be a black Smart Slot there, but I ****ed it in favour of better cooling and more space for wiring.

IMG_0078-3.jpg
Extended cooling on the transistors, made up of the heatsink from an old 7300LE. These eight transistors produce less heat than the four on my old one. Talk about difference in efficiency!

IMG_0079-5.jpg
The batteries were hooked up with a nice little adapter, which makes for an awesome connector to connect the external batteries. Way more practical to just plug the batteries from the UPS rather than having to disconnect the batteries and **** around with the cable as soon as I have to move the thing.

UPS_FINAL.jpg
After finally getting around to getting a voltage regulator and installing a fan upon the battery power relay, I've been able to make a more permanent installation. It's a bit messy in the locker, but it gets the job done.

Stupid image limit, links from now on.
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/UPS_FINAL_CABLING.jpg
Oh, isn't that just beautiful? One USB cable, three power cables and one LAN. I'm amazed that it works with a standard USB cable, and doesn't require some crossed crap like it does with the serial interface.

Today I bought this 50kg beast for 5€:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0059-4.jpg

A 3kW big tower-UPS. Got it for a fiver from a guy responding to an ad of mine. And with it, I got these:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0060-3.jpg

Twelve 7Ah 12V batteries. They were hooked up in series in the UPS, to create the hefty 144V (Was 2V total in them when I got it :beer: ) required to run the it. They weigh in at a total of 30kg. Impressive.

Some more pics:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/Bild170.jpg

Rear
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0066-1.jpg

That's a fuse for ya!
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0065-2.jpg

Capacitors. Lots and lots of large capacitors. Battery there for size reference.
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0064-2.jpg

Those are some of the hugest transistors I've ever seen! And so many!
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0062-1.jpg

I'm probably not gonna keep it, as I can't afford to get enough new batteries (The ones I got with it are from 2004, and have been a bit mistreated), and I can get a good 4-500€for it without batts.

It also has LEDs for 0, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150% load, so you can suck 4.5kW out of this monster.

Check out my awesome multi-charger rig:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb8/Freezer7Pro/IMG_0068-3.jpg

Charging them with 15V to break some of the sulfatisation in them, and they're actually responding really, really well for
being lead batteries that have been lying discharged for quite a while. They started by drawing about 3.5-4A, which
soon jumped to 5.5A (Had to put a fan on my poor PSU that's designed for 5A/13.5V, lol), and during the night slowly dropped to 2.5A, and now steadily dropping, with all but the one that didn't accept any charge yesterday being not even warm.

Bravo, Sonnenschein, I've never seen sealed batteries charge that good from a complete discharge before!
even being warm.
 
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four4875

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Location
I can see walmart, 44906
for a while i was running an APC rackmount 1400VA UPS that stock had 4x 12V 7AH batteries, i connected 4x 12V26AH batteries, ran my whole room minus AC for a couple hours. eventually the batteries wore and got to the point where they caused the UPS to complain all the time, so i took that beast out of service

I got the batteries used, and i abused them as well by running a car amp from them, a rockford fosgate 800a4, bridged with 2 ohm loads. too many charge / (DEEP)discharge cycles, and they were well past their rated 5 year life.
 

KosAMD

Member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Location
CT
I'm admiring your Finnish surge protector strip there, very different looking then the US versions. Cool mod, always love projects that involve car batteries.
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
I was considering doing something like this, too bad I threw out my old APC unit when it died. I'm still thinking of finding a cheap old unit and just using a nice battery with it, nice mod! :)
 

Xenocide

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Location
Charlotte, NC
Uh, I am shocked nothing blew up with the amount of current that car battery is capable of providing..

I don't mess with that ****.
 

Enablingwolf

Senior Member overclocking at t
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
If you notice. The battery is putting out a standard 13.2v. Which is nicely inside the 10% ATX spec (+/- 1.2v.) The APC will condition the power level anyways. So it is going to do ok. And not blow stuff up or kill anything.

For an extra little tidbit. A marine deep cycle battery is better suited for the task actually. :D
 

RJARRRPCGP

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
Wow! I want to do that with my Belkin UPS! :thup:

(Which I purchased on June 16, 2002)

Because the darn original battery appears to have kicked the bucket. :(

(Would stop within seconds even with nothing plugged in)
 

Randyman...

Member
Joined
May 8, 2004
Have you tested actual runtime yet? I know some APC UPS' actually determine runtime based on software algorithms. They come pre-programmed to know how long the stock APC battery should last. Lots of users have reported no increase in runtime with a simple battery upgrade.

Just curious. I tracked down the apps to do this on my SU2200RM3RU, but I'm slightly hesitant that I will fry the firmware :) It has desent runtime already, but I'd like to extend it for powering my fish tanks during a hurricane.

:cool:
 
OP
Freezer7Pro

Freezer7Pro

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Location
FINLAND. EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE HERE.
Have you tested actual runtime yet? I know some APC UPS' actually determine runtime based on software algorithms. They come pre-programmed to know how long the stock APC battery should last. Lots of users have reported no increase in runtime with a simple battery upgrade.

Just curious. I tracked down the apps to do this on my SU2200RM3RU, but I'm slightly hesitant that I will fry the firmware :) It has desent runtime already, but I'd like to extend it for powering my fish tanks during a hurricane.

:cool:
Oh, I've forgotten about this thread. There have been several improvements lately, gonna post them in a min ;)

To answer your question, yes, they come with runtime pre-programmed, but they won't shut off until the battery voltage reaches critical levels. They will, however, tell the computer connected to the interface to shut off more or less immideatly after switching to battery, if under heavy load. If you unplug the data cable, they'll just hum on.

The runtime I get with the new UPS is about 2.5h with the gaming computer under load.

Uh, I am shocked nothing blew up with the amount of current that car battery is capable of providing..

I don't mess with that ****.

You'll be surprised about how little the difference between the stock battery (7Ah) and these (55Ah) is. The stock battery can output a good 2-300A if shorted, these will do 800-1000. No matter, as long as the voltage is right, it'll work with DC. That's why I love DC.
 
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Sam__

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Location
UK
So you pretty much just replaced the normal battery in the UPS with two car batteries in parallel? if its that easy im pretty temped to this when i get some spare ££.
 

Gomeler

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Location
Boulder, CO
Would be even cooler to then hook the battery pack to a solar array or some other form of alternative energy. That's my ideal setup, one day I'll have it..
 

nightelph

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
I'm not sure how big your UPS is but a motorcycle battery would be a nice compact alternative. :) All depends on what you have laying around.
 
OP
Freezer7Pro

Freezer7Pro

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Location
FINLAND. EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE HERE.
So you pretty much just replaced the normal battery in the UPS with two car batteries in parallel? if its that easy im pretty temped to this when i get some spare ££.
Depending on your UPS, you might have to put them in series. I picked up a battery pack of 4 7Ah batteries today, for a UPS that ran on 48V :O

It was even charged :p
Would be even cooler to then hook the battery pack to a solar array or some other form of alternative energy. That's my ideal setup, one day I'll have it..
I wish I could afford solar cells, they're so ridiculously expensive. No matter what, the sun never shines around here :(
Awesome! I've got a dead APC 1400 I think I'll make a project out of now, rather than just replacing the battery again :D
:drool:

Those large ones are sexy. Hell, they even ship with dual or quadruple 17Ah batteries :drool: :drool:
I'm not sure how big your UPS is but a motorcycle battery would be a nice compact alternative. :) All depends on what you have laying around.
A motorcycle battery has half the capacity of one the stock batteries ;) And I found four of those thrown away today.

IMG_0010-2.jpg

It wasn't easy hooking them up all in parallel with nothing but random cables, I can tell you.

Gonna get some more decent cables and run them with my little 420VA to power my modem, switch, laptop, etc. leaving the large one for extended blackouts and my gaming rig. I charged them up about 90% today, and they ran my laptop for a good 1h 40min.
 
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Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Man thats some crazy stuff :p I just bought a new UPS the other day, an APC BackUPS for about $70... says 70 mins runtime but when I plugged the USB into my server and checked on the monitor it said I had like 18 minutes with 100% battery. The unit is 750VA, 450 watts but I was thinking of picking up a cheap battery at wallmart and running an extension from my UPS to a battery box and running both batteries (new and stock) in parallel, would this work and is it a good idea? It seems weird to use a car battery with a new UPS but I can't afford a UPS that could handle my power load for a decent amount of time using the battery it comes with. Would the APC utility know the new capacity and give me accurate battery levels and estimated runtime?
 
OP
Freezer7Pro

Freezer7Pro

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Location
FINLAND. EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE HERE.
Man thats some crazy stuff :p I just bought a new UPS the other day, an APC BackUPS for about $70... says 70 mins runtime but when I plugged the USB into my server and checked on the monitor it said I had like 18 minutes with 100% battery. The unit is 750VA, 450 watts but I was thinking of picking up a cheap battery at wallmart and running an extension from my UPS to a battery box and running both batteries (new and stock) in parallel, would this work and is it a good idea? It seems weird to use a car battery with a new UPS but I can't afford a UPS that could handle my power load for a decent amount of time using the battery it comes with. Would the APC utility know the new capacity and give me accurate battery levels and estimated runtime?

Massive TL;DR coming up.

Running different-size batteries in parallel is not recommended. If you have, say, an original battery consisting of a 7Ah gel cell, and connect a 60Ah flooded battery parallelly, the 7Ah would discharge a lot faster than the 60Ah, so with a power failure that doesn't last long enough to completely drain both batteries, the 7Ah will then be charged by the 60Ah. At currents tenfold the maximum recommended charge current. The result is one very hot, very swollen, dead 7Ah battery. Might as well just rip the stock batteries out and buy something like a $10 battery charger and $20 8W/12V fluorescent light. Aforementioned 7Ah battery will run one of those for around ten hours, which could come in handy.

Also, when shopping for batteries, it's really worth it to spend a little extra cash on a Calcium battery. Standard lead-acid batteries aren't very good at handling deep-cycles, and a cheap Wall-Mart battery can have half its capacity cut in under ten cycles. A Calcium battery can usually take 30-50 deep-cycles without loosing more than a couple of percent.

As for the monitoring, no, APC are aware of the problem of people modding their UPSes, and have limited the firmware of their UPSes to discover only that much runtime on that load percentage. If you run for too long on too high load, the monitoring software will report low battery and terminate. This is, however, very easy to get around: You simply unplug the computer cable. The inverter itself counts on battery voltage, and won't shut off until the voltage is only a tad over 11V per battery, which is more or less a 75-80% deep-cycle, and just about the max you can/should suck from a lead-acid battery.

When adding external batteries, make sure you get thick-enough cables. The ones inside the UPS are usually too thin to sustain high loads for extended periods of time, and will cause quite a lot of loss if you take that thickness and run it for a couple of metres. If you put your UPS under 70-80% load, you can easily feel how warm they are ;). You should look into getting some starter cables. They also come with a nice set of clamps that you can use to connect batteries.

And by the way, the 450W is just the rated power for equipment with passive or no PFC. The VA value is what you get with any computer equipment manufactured after 2000.
 
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