[time-nuts] UPS for my time rack

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Sun Oct 11 12:24:14 EDT 2015


If your problem is transients, from lousy power companies or from lighting on your power line, there are ways to address that. 
High voltage at the service line into the building should be fixed at the point the line comes in. If you don’t, then you get into
all sorts of neat “transient went here, then there, then nuked the gizmo”. For things like time or frequency distribution this 
is a very real thing. The power to one set of gear may / may not be on the same UPS as the power to another set of gear.

The best answer is a whole house protection device. These can range from < $100 at your big box store to > $1K. They can be 
a wire it in on a spare breaker or a call out a pro sort of thing. A lot depends on just how bad your problem is. The net effect is that 
your line is fully clamped to local ground at the panel. The phases are both clamped to a level that should not affect properly 
designed gear that’s in good condition. There is always a tradeoff between how tight to clamp and how fast the gizmo wears out. 
There is the usual  “get what you pay for” in terms of knowing the current degree of wear out of the device. 

The alternative is to get your entire lab (and all the devices that feed it) onto a good isolation transformer. . Everything then ties to 
a single “lab ground”. What ever bounce you get is now all on everything at once. Each time I’ve done this, keeping all the standard 
lines, antenna feeds, ethernet cables, GPIB cables, cable TV feeds, and the rest of it correct has become impossible after a year or two. 
There’s just to much going all over the place. 

We are already more than just a bit  off topic for this list. There is another twist this can take, that heads over to talking to 
your power company and the people who regulate it. I have seen that work (as in the nice new line that feeds this side of town). 


> On Oct 11, 2015, at 10:44 AM, Jim Sanford <wb4gcs at wb4gcs.org> wrote:
> Where I live, there are two problems.  Frequent long outages. Solved with a natural gas standby generator, which has run several times in anger for extended periods since installed.  (Vulnerable supply, low priority for restoration.)
> The bigger problem is transients.  On a good night, my computer UPS activates at least once an hour.  SOmetimes you can see the lights blink, some times not.
> In the last 6 months, I have had problems with a UPS (recovered by extended shutdown), an Astron Power supply for amateur radio equipment, a spectrum analyzer, two signal generators, a network analyzer, and an oscilloscope.  All were power supply failures, not all repairable.  My lab is now protected from the power company by a SmartUPS 2200NET.
> I expect the grid to get /less/ reliable.
>    -- In 2007, DOE published a grid study which said there did not exist sufficient generation capacity over load to maintain grid stability.  Insufficient additional generation was booked for construction, so they predicted widespread rotating blackouts by 2010.
>    -- The 2008 recession greatly suppressed aggregate load, which is probably why the rotating blackouts did not happen.  I read recently that demand has not yet recovered above the suppressed levels following the precipitous drop in 2008.  (Which generates interesting other questions . . . .)
>    -- I have lost track of the number of GigaWatts of generation which has been shut down.
> If the load ever recovers . . ..
> Good luck!
> Jim
> wb4gcs at amsast.org
> On 10/11/2015 9:05 AM, Bob Camp wrote:
>> Hi
>> Unless you live in an unusual location, long term power outages are going to be pretty
>> rare. At the house I’m now in, we had a high voltage feed that was on it’s last legs. We
>> had short outages on a “many times a week” basis if the wind was blowing at all. We had
>> rare outages in the > 5 minute range. The short / frequent blip stuff is what most light weight UPS’s
>> are designed to handle. Not everybody has this problem. I no longer have it, they
>> ripped out 10 miles of old feeder and the new one works fine.
>> Indeed there are locations that experience multi hour outages on a fairly regular basis.
>> The combination of bars closing late on Saturday and a long straight road with an abrupt
>> turn in it was particularly hard on a feed line I once had to cope with. In that case gas turbine
>> generators were the answer.
>> If you have a case where long outages are common, rotary machines are often the better
>> answer than batteries. In the case above, the power company was the one footing the bill
>> for the gear. Fair in this case since they were the ones that *could* have moved the line.
>> If a > 10 minute outage is a “less than once a year” sort of thing, and OCXO’s are your only concern,
>> let them shut down. The net impact to your lab will be relatively small. The cost to fix the problem will
>> be relatively large. Short blips often, are well worth fixing.
>> The hidden issue with running a UPS is the relatively short life of the batteries.
>> Sealed lead acid is low cost up front, but they simply do not last when charged the way
>> a typical UPS charges them. Before you go into “can’t be true” mode … plug a 100W light
>> bulb  load into your UPS and see how long it runs. Battery still *shows* as good on the indicator.
>> Gizmo only runs for 1/4 the time it should … hmmmm …. It’s very common to go into these
>> projects with a  reasonable budget, and then find out that the budget to keep it going is
>> not quite so generous.
>> Bob
>>> On Oct 11, 2015, at 4:57 AM, Kasper Pedersen <time-nuts at kasperkp.dk> wrote:
>>> On 10/11/2015 12:07 AM, Dr. David Kirkby (Kirkby Microwave Ltd) wrote:
>>>> Essentially the charging circuits are not designed to run as long as needed
>>>> to charge big batteries. Even on ones designed for external batteries,
>>>> there's a recommended limit on the size of them. So if you think you might
>>>> want to increase runtime by adding some batteries, buy one designed for
>>>> that service.
>>> I have gone down that route, so I have some real data to share:
>>> My (soon to be replaced) backup is an old back-ups CS 500, with a
>>> rewired battery pack out of an RT3000 UPS. So instead of 7Ah, the UPS
>>> has 40Ah. With plenty of fuses.
>>> When charging the standard 7Ah battery, the UPS delivers about 0.7A
>>> (from memory) for many hours, and sits at about 14C above ambient.
>>> When charging the 40Ah, the current is the same, the temperature is the
>>> same, just for longer, as it should be, since the thermal time constant
>>> is much shorter than the time it takes to charge the 7Ah.
>>> Where this has problems is during discharge:
>>> I have about 55W load on it, which in turn is at least 5A on the
>>> battery. After 2 hours a timer in the UPS shuts it off, regardless of
>>> battery voltage.
>>> Also, if you run the UPS at high load where the standard battery lasts
>>> shorter than the thermal time constant, then there might well be trouble.
>>> The replacement, a back-ups pro 1500 behaves differently.
>>> It has support for external battery packs, and will happily run for at
>>> least 5 hours, even when the external-pack-present signal is not connected.
>>> The external-pack-present signal does make a difference when charging;
>>> Without it, it charges at 0.7A. with it, it charges at 1.5A, and the fan
>>> is on continuously.
>>> /Kasper Pedersen
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
>>> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
>>> and follow the instructions there.
>> _______________________________________________
>> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
>> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
>> and follow the instructions there.
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
> _______________________________________________
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> and follow the instructions there.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list