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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The power was out about 3:00AM for maybe 15 minutes and it looked like the whole town was dark. After the power was restored I tried my ring doorbell and my security cameras and they wouldn't work because they internet wasn't working. I reset my router and got everything working. I told the wife that I want a UPS so that it will keep the router working. She said that if the power is off then we don't have internet for the whole town. I might be wrong but if the router had uninterrupted power wouldn't the internet work as soon as power is restored to the town or would I have to reset my router anyway? From the reviews I read on Amazon there don't seem to be a lot of reliable UPS. Anybody know of one that is quiet and reliable that won't blow up and catch fire? Just trying to figure out how to get by if the power goes out when we are away from home and unable to reset the router.
 

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Our internet works even if power is down for much of the city. I assume generators are in play since so many people have IP telephone service through cable providers.
How much time do you want to cover yourself for, and how much power draw do you have to deal with?
I have UPS that will run my modems & router for about a day. My friend has one that will run his 60" TV, Denon stereo, several computers, modems and router for a day.
All depends what you need, followed by what you want to spend.
 

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Water driven wheels are pretty uninterruptible as long as the creek don't run dry. A nice standby, stationary, auto-start diesel generator, hard-wired into the house, seems to work for the well-heeled. The whole idea of a "UPS" (when taken literally) seems to me...an oxymoron. :blink:
 

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I have 500VA APC brand UPSs at all my devices I want to be able to handle short outages - modem & router, main networking switch, DVR, PCs that are most likely to be in use. For the PCs, I want enough time to shut them down gracefully. The other devices will stay working for quite a while with those small power draws. Laptop can connect to the internet if need be.

Thing about UPSs - the batteries will lose capability even when not used - you'll have to replace them every 5 years or so. Usually you can find better pricing at the battery stores than from APC directly.
 

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I also have 3 APC (American Power Conversion) UPS units for my three computers and I strongly recommend them. They come in various sizes/capacities. Get one from a computer store, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.
 
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APC makes decent stuff. I have a rack mount APC 2200XL unit in the basement hitched to the natural gas heat. It pulls very little power for the blowers, so the batteries last a few hours. Had to run a dedicated 120v/30A circuit, but worth it. I have other APC units on the cable modem/phone and all the computers. LED table lamps run for a long time, even on the smaller UPS units. If I need more, I have a 1950's 8kw generator in the garage that I can fire up and deafen the neighbors...
 

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plan on replacing the first one you buy...get a fresh one, they are dated, last about 4 years, can'nt tell ya how many Ive replaced,
grainger, McMaster, office depot....you never get old stock from Grainger/McMaster-Carr..
 

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APC is the very best out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand that it is hard to figure how long a UPS will last when the power is off. I just need one for keeping a couple of routers and cameras going during a power failure. I think that the APC 500 VA should be big enough for what I want. I always look at the one star ratings first but the percentage of people who have problems may be very low in comparison to the number sold. Thanks for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
plan on replacing the first one you buy...get a fresh one, they are dated, last about 4 years, can'nt tell ya how many Ive replaced,
grainger, McMaster, office depot....you never get old stock from Grainger/McMaster-Carr..
I used to tell the young guys that when I was young I wanted everything to have a life time warranty but now that I'm old I want to outlive everything that I have.
 

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Mine is 50-50. It depends on the location of the power outage. If it's just local, as in my block, I usually still have internet. If it effects the whole neighborhood it takes the cable system equipment down and it will usually come back on about 15 minutes after the power is restored.
 

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Our internet works even if power is down for much of the city. I assume generators are in play since so many people have IP telephone service through cable providers.
How much time do you want to cover yourself for, and how much power draw do you have to deal with?
I have UPS that will run my modems & router for about a day. My friend has one that will run his 60" TV, Denon stereo, several computers, modems and router for a day.
All depends what you need, followed by what you want to spend.
I was told that the power lines are highest up on the poles and the cable or fiber optic lines are on the bottom. If a tree branch falls, the power lines get it but in most cases the cables is intact. A UPS connected with an auto start generator (or even a manual start one) should keep you on line.
Now, if a car hits a pole and brings it down, all bets are off.
 
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Power may also go out if a tree branch lands across a primary power line tripping the cutout or circuit breakers on the poles. Most of the power cables are not insulated and the system is designed to shut off power if the lines are shorted. Saw it happen a few times when a squirrel crossed primary lines, sounded like a cannon when the breakers tripped as the squirrel droped to the ground as a lump of charcoal.


Cable TV and telephone to not shut down like that and, unless the actual lines are broken, they will be the last services to fail. This is one reason I still have hard wired phones in the house; your cordless base will not work if the power goes out without a UPS or generator. If you have telephone though your internet provider you may suffer loss of phone service once the battery bank runs down in the utility pole mounted boxes, maybe 18 hours or so. AT&T placed a bunch of portable generators at their U-Verse boxes around here a few years ago when we had a one week power outage, primarily to restore telephone service.

As far as UPS, it may be cheaper to replace the battery instead of the whole unit. I've picked up replacement batteries from Home Depot or online from www.batteries.com for a fraction of the cost of replacing a UPS unit.
 

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I can survive without the internet. It might get a bit boring, but I don't really lose anything.
 

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Unless you are spending hundreds of dollars, a UPS is only designed to keep a PC system running for a very short time - typically no more than 10 to 15 minutes. It is intended to allow the computer to shut down normally and prevent data loss. They also have a significant added side benefit of providing much higher levels of protection against power irregularities (e.g. surges, brown outs, etc).

If you intention is to be able to run your router and some cameras, it should run for longer. But, I don't think it would be many hours. I would suggest you do some homework.

1. Are all the devices located in the same general area such that a single UPS will be adequate? I would think cameras would not be located in the same general area.

2. Be sure of exactly what you would need to power. You mention the router, but is the router a combo router/modem or do you have a separate modem? If so, where is that located? It would such to go to all this trouble and realize there was a separate Single Point Of Failure that you overlooked and you have powered cameras that aren't doing anything useful. For that matter, aren't the cameras attached to some other device for recording purposes or are they just IP cameras? A recording device will likely have a bigger power draw.

3. Do some research to approximate out how much load each device requires or at least find some rough estimates. Then, determining how long you want the devices to be able to run on batter backup, you can check the different models to see what they provide. There should be data for most/all UPS devices that show max run time at max load and some minimum load. Based on the approximate load of the devices devices to be powered, you should be able to figure out within that range the stated run time for your devices. But then, take that time and divide it by half. As others have said, the batteries wear out over time and the stated run times will be with the best batter they could put in it when they generate their data.

On a side note, you state the main problem was that after power was restored you had to 'reset' the router to get it working again. That seems odd since cycling power is the normal way to reset a router - unless you are saying you had to perform a hard reset (factory reset) in which case that would have been an anomaly. With the different systems I have used over the years, I have not had to do anything after a power outage to have my modem/router connect back to the internet. Your device(s) may be more finicky or something abnormal happened during initialization.

Good luck. I hope you find the solution you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Power may also go out if a tree branch lands across a primary power line tripping the cutout or circuit breakers on the poles. Most of the power cables are not insulated and the system is designed to shut off power if the lines are shorted. Saw it happen a few times when a squirrel crossed primary lines, sounded like a cannon when the breakers tripped as the squirrel droped to the ground as a lump of charcoal.


Cable TV and telephone to not shut down like that and, unless the actual lines are broken, they will be the last services to fail. This is one reason I still have hard wired phones in the house; your cordless base will not work if the power goes out without a UPS or generator. If you have telephone though your internet provider you may suffer loss of phone service once the battery bank runs down in the utility pole mounted boxes, maybe 18 hours or so. AT&T placed a bunch of portable generators at their U-Verse boxes around here a few years ago when we had a one week power outage, primarily to restore telephone service.

As far as UPS, it may be cheaper to replace the battery instead of the whole unit. I've picked up replacement batteries from Home Depot or online from www.batteries.com for a fraction of the cost of replacing a UPS unit.
I ordered the APC 600 VA and the battery only costs $18. I figure that it should supply power for about five hours if we are away. I'm learning to look at amp hours and suggested life of the battery some have less amp hours and some are only supposed to last a year or so. But upgrades only cost a few dollars more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unless you are spending hundreds of dollars, a UPS is only designed to keep a PC system running for a very short time - typically no more than 10 to 15 minutes. It is intended to allow the computer to shut down normally and prevent data loss. They also have a significant added side benefit of providing much higher levels of protection against power irregularities (e.g. surges, brown outs, etc).

If you intention is to be able to run your router and some cameras, it should run for longer. But, I don't think it would be many hours. I would suggest you do some homework.

1. Are all the devices located in the same general area such that a single UPS will be adequate? I would think cameras would not be located in the same general area.

2. Be sure of exactly what you would need to power. You mention the router, but is the router a combo router/modem or do you have a separate modem? If so, where is that located? It would such to go to all this trouble and realize there was a separate Single Point Of Failure that you overlooked and you have powered cameras that aren't doing anything useful. For that matter, aren't the cameras attached to some other device for recording purposes or are they just IP cameras? A recording device will likely have a bigger power draw.

3. Do some research to approximate out how much load each device requires or at least find some rough estimates. Then, determining how long you want the devices to be able to run on batter backup, you can check the different models to see what they provide. There should be data for most/all UPS devices that show max run time at max load and some minimum load. Based on the approximate load of the devices devices to be powered, you should be able to figure out within that range the stated run time for your devices. But then, take that time and divide it by half. As others have said, the batteries wear out over time and the stated run times will be with the best batter they could put in it when they generate their data.

On a side note, you state the main problem was that after power was restored you had to 'reset' the router to get it working again. That seems odd since cycling power is the normal way to reset a router - unless you are saying you had to perform a hard reset (factory reset) in which case that would have been an anomaly. With the different systems I have used over the years, I have not had to do anything after a power outage to have my modem/router connect back to the internet. Your device(s) may be more finicky or something abnormal happened during initialization.

Good luck. I hope you find the solution you need.
Thanks for all the information. I am running a dedicated circuit from the camera in the front of the house everything else is in a central area. I did unplug the router to get it working again. I just call that resetting it. Quicker and easier to say then to explain how it's done. I am sure that the cameras and the routers will not be a very big load on the UPS. If I have to I can always plug other things in so that the UPS will recognize a load.
 

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I was told that the power lines are highest up on the poles and the cable or fiber optic lines are on the bottom. If a tree branch falls, the power lines get it but in most cases the cables is intact. A UPS connected with an auto start generator (or even a manual start one) should keep you on line.
Now, if a car hits a pole and brings it down, all bets are off.
It has been a while since I worked for a cable company but I imagine that some things haven't changed. You are correct about where the various utilities live on the pole. It is power on top, then a big jump down to telephone, and a much smaller jump down to cable TV. That said, it doesn't take a break in the line to cause a cable outage. The cable equipment runs on AC powered amplifiers. There is one every couple of blocks or so. If the power company suffers an outage that stops power to one of those amplifiers, then everything down stream from that amplifier is dead until the power is restored. Try explaining that to a customer who has called in irate because their cable has stopped working "Power outage?? My lights are on!! We have no power outage here!" So yes, the cable connection needs working power all the way from your computer to their headquarters.

As an aside, I have learned that power companies vary widely in their ability to provide reliable power. I lived many years in the pacific NW, where the power rarely goes out, before I moved for awhile to California. In the part of California where I lived the power is supplied, occasionally, whenever they feel like it, as long as it is not raining nor the sun is shining, and depending on the phase of the moon, and any other random reason, by our good friends at PG&E. You know of PG&E. One of their true stories was told in the movie Erin Brockovich. They are also famous for

,

and many other failures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I called the cable company and asked them if they have an uninterrupted power supply in our area. The woman that I talked to just talked in circles until I told her that I was going to have a UPS on my end. Then she said " no we don't have backup power for our cable service." Usually the power only goes out for a half hour or so in our area so when the cable comes back on my end should be up and running pretty quickly.
 
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