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Do-it-yourself UPS

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the shocking-experience dept.

Hardware 388

Giampiero writes "Over at dansdata.com some guy named Dan creates a UPS out of some spare parts. To sum it up, "if you're looking for an industrial-capacity UPS solution, and don't like the prices of the off-the-peg options, it might be easier than you think to roll your own."" Of course you can mentally substitute U.S. 110 volts for Australian 220 volts wherever necessary...

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I want a UPS! (1)

apoKalypse (568147) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614595)

I hope its excessively cheaper than normal UPS' that you would buy, that would be a cool thing to build.

Re:I want a UPS! (2)

plover (150551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614728)

According to the article, his solution can be any amount of money you care to spend, from less than an off the shelf APC ($90 USD for a small one) to far more than your PC cost you.

You'd probably get more bang for the buck though if you already owned some of the components, such as a decent marine battery or a 25A power supply.

His article was more to say that if you roll your own, you can stack up a basement wall full of lead-acid batteries and run your PC for a week offline if you want. And you can do that cheaper than you can buy a real industrial power supply.

Awesome! (1)

LaserBeams (412546) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614598)

APC's estimator tells me I need a $1500 UPS for my computer and all it's gadgetry - but I have nowhere near that amount of money. This sounds like a viable option!

Be Careful (5, Insightful)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614599)

Please, everyone take caution when working with high voltage and moreso, high ampre compenents. We don't want any fried ./ers

Re:Be Careful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614652)

"We don't want any fried ./ers"

Really? I'd love to see a massive winnowing of the ranks.

MMMMMM, fried /.er's (1, Offtopic)

gricholson75 (563000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614689)

Really, I love fried /.er's, with mashed taters and corn. mmmmmmmmmhh.

Although, the smell is hard to get rid of.

Re:Be Careful (5, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614725)

People often misunderstand the electrocution hazards presented by electricity. Yes, technically it's the amps that hurt you, but the volts have to be there too.

I could hold a 1 volt 300000 amp power supply's leads all day and not be hurt. The reason is Ohms law.

Your body generally has a pretty high resistance. Ohms law states that amps=volts/resistance. Your body is probably between 20,000 and 300,000 ohms, depending on which part you are talking about. Wet or sweaty parts have lower resistance. Higher voltage is more dangerous, because more amps will flow through your body. A 500 volt at 1 amp power supply would probably be lethal, especially if you had wet hands.

A rule of thumb is that anything above 50 volts should be treated very carefully. This is about the threshold of where you will normally start to conduct possibly dangerous amounts of current. If your hands are sweaty or wet, or you are grounded well for some reason, better cut that down to 30 volts.

Here's a link [asu.edu]

The parent post is correct though, be careful in any case. Don't try this stuff unless you know what you are doing around electricity.

Re:Be Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614764)

People often misunderstand the electrocution hazards presented by electricity

So what the exactly does that have to do with the batteries in question which have both enough voltage and amperage to kill a person.

Oh I'm sorry... did I rain on your "look at how smart I am" parade?

Re:Be Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614729)

Please, everyone take caution when working with high voltage and moreso, high ampre compenents. We don't want any fried ./ers

Any person stupid enough to play around with high voltage components without knowing what they are doing deserves to be electrocuted.

Re:Be Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614749)

Any person stupid enough to play around with high voltage components without knowing what they are doing deserves to be electrocuted.

Let me correct myself before everyone else does. The voltage doesn't matter, it's the amperage (the strength of the electric current) that kills you.

Finally (1)

Townshend (130057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614600)

Finally I can have a UPS on my $7 / hour budget :-)

second post! (0)

Bob Kronkel (580551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614601)

the link didn't work for me. Anyways, i wonder how much all the parts cost him? i'm sure its cheaper than buying UPS, but still...

GAH! (-1, Offtopic)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614603)

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1003120065 May 30 16:49 /usr/local/apache/logs/goatse.cx_access someone clean the damn logs!

Do it yourself UPS? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614604)

I for one do not have time to truck all my packages individually across the country!

Oh ... um ... never mind.

Re:Do it yourself UPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614638)

You don't have to use a truck, just throw the package with all your strength.

Re:Do it yourself UPS? (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614786)

or build one of these [iinet.net.au]

Better than paying 100 bucks for a Blackout Buster (-1, Offtopic)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614605)

And is it just me or do I have the 3rd or so post?

Re:Better than paying 100 bucks for a Blackout Bus (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614620)

And is it just me or do I have the 3rd or so post?
It's just you.

Re:Better than paying 100 bucks for a Blackout Bus (0, Offtopic)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614621)

I guess it was just me...

Re:Better than paying 100 bucks for a Blackout Bus (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614644)

Could someone please mod this down a bit? :)

No hard feeling zorg, just the third post thing..

Re:Better than paying 100 bucks for a Blackout Bus (0, Offtopic)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614651)

Yeah, I agree with you...I was in the mood for a bit of trolling.. :/

Yo. (-1)

Cryptopotamus (460702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614607)

Supa powas!

Can I UPS some arabs back to the desert? (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614610)

To save money, i'll cut them all up and dehydrate before shipping.

Fuckin muslims.

Re:Can I UPS some arabs back to the desert? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614738)

I am interested in your newsletter or idea, may I enroll a subscription?

But, don't get all crazy on the Muslim thing, just quick fry the ones that wear those stupid turbans... we all know that those are the terrorists!

Fucking pansy leftist commy "democrats" who want to sell our country for campaign contributions. You fucking idiots bitch about Bush and his oil ties, howabout Clinton and his nuclear secrets for campaign money ties? (oh, sorry, that is just heresay...) Just remember how you voted when the Chinese nuke your kids.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614611)

Suckeeeiiitt biznatches!

For it to really be "ghetto" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614612)

it would need to use a 12-V car battery (preferably stolen!)

so will i be able to... (1)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614614)

drive the truck when i deliver my package or do I need a special license for that?

Do-it-yourself UPS? It's been done. (5, Funny)

TheFrood (163934) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614615)

I've been doing this for years. I have a big brown truck, and whenever I want to send something to someone else, I just put it in a box, hop in the truck, and drive it over to them. I've even got a little portable touchpad for them to sign on, so it feels like the real thing.

TheFrood

Re:Do-it-yourself UPS? It's been done. (2)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614657)

Then you keep asking yourself "What can brown do for you?"

mao mao (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614616)



I had sex with my asian girlfriend last night.

So so tight. A little dark, a little skin, a simple hymen sin.

Re:mao mao (-1, Offtopic)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614647)

nice. too bad your anonymous...i guess the truth cant be let out that your asian friend is really a kobe tai pocket pussy

I don't know... (4, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614622)

..."rolling my own" world-wide shipping conglomerate sounds like a little too much work to save a few bucks on shipping. I'll just stick with Pullman Brown, thank you very much.


On the other hand, would I get to wear the little shorts? Chicks seem to dig those.

Re:I don't know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614726)

Fuck, yea, man. I'd do the UPS guy any day of the week.

I feel like an idiot (1)

God Takeru (409424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614625)

Because I really don't think I can figure out how to do this. And even if I could, I wouldn't have the hand skills to work with it...just because you can roll an 18 dexterity in D&D doesn't mean you have any skills.

Anyone else here, or am I just a fucking moron?

Re:I feel like an idiot (-1)

The Anime Troll (577873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614632)

Takeru! Hikari's been looking for you!

Re:I feel like an idiot (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614711)

Fear not my friend; for what it's worth you're not alone in the Moron Guild! I don't have a clue on half the studd that guy talks about, and I am under the impression that if I fiddle with that gizmo I'll be the greatest badass DYI apprentice in the whole cemitery.

Re:I feel like an idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614765)

DYI?? Do Yourself In?

CmdrTaco's first time with Tyrone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614626)

CmdrTaco was new to the slashdot compound. He had just recently come out as gay even though he had known at some level that he was a flaming homo his entire life. CmdrTaco had discovered a website called slashdot that helped him come out, and eventually he came to be a part of the crew of Slashdot janitors living in the Slashdot compound.

CmdrTaco had heard CowboiKneel and Homos talking about Tyrone. They didn't say much in the way of useful information. All they would tell CmdrTaco was that Tyrone visited the Slashdot compound every other week on Friday. Then they would just smile.

CmdrTaco wondered with anticipation about Tyrone, but would have to wait a week to meet him.

The next Friday Tyrone visited the Slashdot compound. CmdrTaco nearly fainted when he saw Tyrone. Tyrone was huge (nearly 6 feet 6 inches tall), black, and incredibly muscular. This was in direct contrast to CmdrTaco who was short at 5 feet 3 inches tall, white, and incredibly thin. Tyrone saw CmdrTaco and said in his deep voice, "Fresh meat. I want to take him first."

CmdrTaco was both nervous and excited as he and Tyrone went to his room in the Slashdot compound. When they got there Tyrone closed the door and locked it. Tyrone then picked up and threw CmdrTaco on the bed. Tyrone then proceeded to all manner of homosexual acts against CmdrTaco's small body. Tyrone made CmdrTaco suck his dick. He would also make CmdrTaco take his dick up CmdrTaco's ass. Since Tyrone had a big black dick, CmdrTaco cried out in pain. Eventually, CmdrTaco fell unconcious.

The next day CmdrTaco woke up with bruises all over his body, with every part of his body in pain. The rest of the Slashdot janitors were in a similar state. CmdrTaco couldn't wait for Tyrone to come visit again.

Re:CmdrTaco's first time with Tyrone (-1, Offtopic)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614660)

such a fine troll and a the work of an AC...*sigh*

Fixing APC Smart Rack UPS (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614628)

Does anyone know anything about fixing, or getting fixed a UPS that doesn't work that I got for cheap?

I can give more details if needed

Re:Fixing APC Smart Rack UPS (1)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614678)

If you got it for cheap, used, its batteries are probably shot. Like most laptops, replacing the batteries on an older UPS would often be more expensive than simply replacing the UPS.

A lot of companies bought a UPS or two at more or less the same time (remember the dot-com days?) and these are about at the end of their operational life. So, if you see a cheap used UPS on ebay, it's probably worthless.

Cheap UPS (2, Informative)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614631)

Or, then again, instead of building one you could scour your local office supply stores and just might happen to get lucky. I got a "last year's model", 650 VA UPS, new but in a beat-up box in the clearance bin. It really looked like trash and subsequently was repeatedly marked down from well over $100 to $10.

Somehow, I get the nagging feeling that this pristine condition UPS (that I'm using right now) was worth more than $10 :-)

Re:Cheap UPS (2, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614770)

My story:

A well-known power accessory company which shall, for obvious reasons, remain nameless* recently released a new model of their networked rackmount UPS, thereby necessitating a price reduction for the previous model. After some calculations by representatives of the nameless power accessory company*, it became evident that the exorbitant "official testing and certification" taxes charged by the state govt would, when the price reduction on existing stock was taken into account, mean that the company would barely break even on sales of the older, but just as fantastic, UPS units.

Outcome: the units got "misplaced".

Some quick emails and phonecalls went out, and guys-who-knew-guys-who-knew-guys made a series of surreptitious visits to the warehouse. Along with many others, I walked off with a direct-from-factory, unopened, 1400VA, DHCP-addressable, http-serving, rackmount UPS. Insane.

God bless bureaucracy!

*APCC

Why convert DC to AC to DC? (4, Interesting)

cyberformer (257332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614639)

A major part of the description on the site (and the cost of a "real" UPS) is how to convert the DC output of a UPS to the AC power required by most PCs.

Of course, PCs don't actually use AC power: there's a big box in the back that converts all the AC input back to DC. So why not save some money and bypass this, by running the PC straight off the battery (like a laptop)?

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (3, Informative)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614662)

Well, for one, your computer isn't simply running 12V -- you need 5V and in most cases 3V as well. (Possibly others.) Additionally, some components (AMD processors in particular) have very narrow operational ranges in terms of how much juice they get, and battery levels fluctuate.

Yes, you could work around this without going to AC, but it's easier and more flexible to just provide AC and let the power supply worry about the rest.

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (3, Informative)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614773)

ATX Mobo connectors have to supply voltages of +12v, -12v, +5v, -5v and +3.3v. The molex connectors supply +5 and +12.

As a tip, if you need alot of voltage for a fan, you can splice the -12v going into the mobo, and put the fan between that line and a +5 or +12 to get a potential of 17v or 24v to run your fans off of. My Athlon almost runs at non-nuclear temps using this trick.

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (0)

mentin (202456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614781)

Actually, unless you have some custom hardware, standard AC->DC adapter in PC only supplies 5V and 12V to motherboard - it is just standard. And motherboard itself provides lower voltage levels, suitable for particular CPU.

I also think that battery level fluctuate much less than the result of DC->AC->DC conversion of it. And you don't have to connect batteries directly to motherboard - you can use the same stabilizer that is used in PC's AC->DC adapter.

So I think avoiding DC->AC->DC layer can be a very good idea if you build custom hardware.
At least, you can spare couple of coolers and get quiter PC.

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (3, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614746)

So why not save some money and bypass this, by running the PC straight off the battery (like a laptop)?

A latop doesn't run "straight off the battery". It has a switching power supply circuit which is not entirely unlike your desktop's AC->DC supply. Most of the stuff in there runs at 3.3V, whereas the battery is 18V or more. So you still need a power supply.

For desktop PCs, a 110V->5V supply is cheaper than a DC-DC supply.

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (1)

ReverendRyan (582497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614769)

Another good reason is that you cant convert DC-DC and still maintain a decent amperage. The power supply in your computer uses multiple coils to attain the desired voltage+amperage levels.

Re:Why convert DC to AC to DC? (5, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614776)

I have, for years, wished for a DC input on the PC's power supply, and a standard for UPSes that would plug in to that DC input.

Taking DC, converting to AC so the PC power supply is happy, then the power supply converts to DC... it would be nice if it could just be DC all the way.

The problem is that your monitor, modem, etc. all expect AC power. It's easiest just to make a UPS that provides standard AC power, and plug everything in.

Someday, I think we will have "smart" plugs. Wall power outlets will not be live by default; they will only serve power when a proper coded request goes in over a smart plug. The device will be able to tell the wall outlet what kind of power it wants, and the outlet will be able to tell the device what kinds of power it can offer. Then little kids will stick butter knives into wall outlets and not get fried; PCs and monitors will ask for +5 and +12 volts DC and get it; and UPSes will be able to feed +5 and +12 volts DC to those PCs and monitors.

Actually, if you have the complicated smart power system I envision, there will probably be a UPS integral to the system. When your home loses power, the smart power system would broadcast a "power interrupted" signal and devices like your refrigerator and your laser printer will power themselves down; your PC will run for about 5 minutes and then power itself down (unless you are there and override it) and medical devices will run indefinitely. Maybe only the DC devices in your home will be on the UPS by default?

steveha

Australian monopoly money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614640)

I can substitute 110v for 220v easy enough, but can someone please be a karma whore and do a Google search to tell me how much $AUD1 is in a real man's currency?

Re:Australian monopoly money (2)

MaxVlast (103795) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614745)

1.18 New Zealand Dollars =)

Re:Australian monopoly money (1)

Wild Wizard (309461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614762)

between 55c and 60c check the sign in the front window of your local bank they should have a list of exchange rates
or try a travel agent

Re:Australian monopoly money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614779)

Rule of thumb

$US1 = $AU2

It's actually not quite that bad, but basically just half the $AU amount.

And what do you mean "real man's"? Your money is all green, and it all looks the same!

Basically what I've got for my emergency radio (5, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614642)

Coupla caveats:

Put a "battery isolator", or at least a power diode with a heat sink, between the power supply and the battery. And allow for the fact that it will drop .3 or .7 volts.

Don't even think about wet cells inside the house. Sulfuric acid belongs out of doors. There's a reason you're allowed to ship the Concorde battery without declaring it hazardous: it won't spill. Further, a non-sealed battery will release hydrogen while it's being recharged. Is your computer room free of all ignition sources?

Fred KC7YRN

(I've seen a commercial 500 VA unit for US$40)

Re:Do-it-yourself UPS (2)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614643)

What's a separate-boxes do-it-yourself UPS rig good for, besides making you look all technical and competent? ...You can use a bank of truck batteries to power your PC for a week without mains, if you like.
I fail to see a practical use for this, but that's gotta be one of the coolest things I've ever heard of.

Great solution... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614646)

But now you have 3 big boxes under your desk, instead of 1

Australia runs 240 V, not 220 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614650)

did you even read the article?

Mistook UPS for.. (1)

Kelerain (577551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614653)

United Parcel Service. It was kind of a shock at first. "out of spare parts"..

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp'Yeah Bob, I just happened to have a couple hundred large moving vans, some tracking gear, and a few spare employees out in the back yard, so I decided to start my own parcel service! Now if I could just find some boxes...'

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbspAlthough the real article is kinda cool, its didn't hold a candle to my origional expectations. Foiled again...

Expanding batteries (2)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614655)

One of the main gripes I have about the offerings from APC et al is that only their expensive, high-current supplies have the connector for expanding the batteries. This is unfortunate for those of us who care more about running time than wattage rating.

The other thing that's irritating it that they rate these things in "VA" (watts?), when watt-hours would be a more useful to know.

Anyway, it turns out that it's not too difficult or expensive to jury rig your own UPS with extended run times. Pick up some 12AWG power cable, a couple of marine/RV deep-cycle batteries (don't waste your money on sealed or gell cell). Then take apart the UPS, and wire two of the 14V batteries in series with the internal 28V supply. Oh, and use a fuse. :)

For about $500 in all, I was able to build a UPS like this that could power six servers for over 24 hours.

Re:Expanding batteries (5, Funny)

El_Nofx (514455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614684)

When I did tech support for Gateway I got a guy who worked for APC, he had a UPS on his Fridge, his microwave, his TV, his stereo, and his pc but forgot to protect his phone line, Lightning struck by his house and took out his modem, along with his mobo. After he told me all that I laughed so hard he hung up, I wonder what ever happened to him, hehe

Re:Expanding batteries (2, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614756)

Keep in mind the AC safety rating of 12 guage wire (for wiring houses) is 20 amps. Probably less for DC. If your UPS is more than a small one, better use 6 or 8 guage.

Also, running non-sealed batteries indoors can be dangerous. Putting them in a box outside and running wires in would be best. It also allows for more expansion, and solar charging systems. :)

Energy drain. (2)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614666)

Where's your battery-power going to go when the mains fail? How is it going to be stopped from running back into the mains? Thats the same problem with smoke-detectors that plug into the wall and have a backup battery. When the power fails, the battery is pretty much instantly drained back into the main.

Re:Energy drain. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614722)

bridge rectifier!

Re:Energy drain. (1)

MaxVlast (103795) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614766)

Burly diodes?

Re:Energy drain. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614768)

A single diode is all you need to prevent that. As another poster pointed out, make sure the wattage of the diode is high enough, and also allow for voltage drop of the diode.

An alternative would be to have a relay operated off a wall wart that would stay energized while the wall power was on, and cut the charging system off when the wall power went off. Again, watch amp ratings.

BUG-SPLAT! (-1, Troll)

BUG-SPLAT! (579472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614668)

Oh oh look look hooman, big news, news matters news nerds! "Doo it yerself UPS"! Veree VEREE imporant news matters hooman. Not matters THIS hooman:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/753586.asp

Ask manee of bug: "What most powerfull weppun bug armee?" Good question! Most powerfull weppun bug armee, weppun #1 at disposall: HOOMAN. HA HA!

Poosh buttuns hooman!, MILLYUNS hooman die in secunds. Not care hooman, not care bug armee, not care treaty creeturs bug armee. End of day big battle onlee left standeeng bug armee.

Go UPS build it yerself hooman! Nutheeng better too doo.

BUG-SPLAT! @-@

The value of your data (2)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614669)

Aside from corporate networks where constant uptime is absolutely necessary, why in the world would someone want to shell out for a power supply? I can understand the hack value in piecing together your own UPS, but it's all pretty much worthless in the end. Any catastrophe that could knock out power to your outlet is going to be big enough to ruin the UPS in the process.

Unless you live in Myanmar with its unpredictable power producing capabilities, this kind of expensive toy is useless. Even in Myanmar, though, you'd expect that you'd be accustomed to backing up every once in a while.

Re:The value of your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614686)

Any catastrophe that could knock out power to your outlet is going to be big enough to ruin the UPS in the process.

You mean like a lightning bolt hitting a power line? I don't know about you, but up in Massachusetts, we get power outages once in a while - especially during winter. My (APC) UPS has saved me more than once this last year.

Re:The value of your data (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614707)

I'm sorry you live in a third world neighborhood where the power lines are still above ground. Do the cows stampede when there's thunder?

Re:The value of your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614736)

The USA is a third world country now?

Re:The value of your data (1, Flamebait)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614785)

"america is a third world country, and people don't recognise it...and i think that that's pretty god damn sad, that they don't recognise their own country as a third world, third rate, third class slum."

Godspeed You Black Emperor! - bbf3

Tim

Re:The value of your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614706)

"Any catastrophe that could knock out power to your outlet is going to be big enough to ruin the UPS in the process"

A tree limb knocking down a line blocks from me will not hurt my UPS to the best of my knowledge.

Re:The value of your data (1)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614732)

Any catastrophe that could knock out power to your outlet is going to be big enough to ruin the UPS in the process.

What about high winds knocking over power lines? Or too many laser printers on one circuit tripping the breaker? Neither of those (usually) toast a UPS. Circuit breakers and fuses generally prevent the average commercial quality UPS from dying.

UPS systems exist for a reason; to supply backup power for small hiccups, to protect from surges, or possibly to give power for just enough time for the generators to get online.

Re:The value of your data (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614783)

Any catastrophe that could knock out power to your outlet is going to be big enough to ruin the UPS in the process.

You must not have weather where you are or something. 98% or so of the people in the world live in areas where natural events knock out power at least once a year. (educated guess)

Realistically (1, Troll)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614670)

I live where there are a lot of storms and blackouts. Most of us aren't concerned with an UPS when shit happens that takes out our power. We're looking for candles, culverts, and the closest basement. We're filling our bathtubs with water because when we lose power, our water company does too. We're throwing first aid supplies in the back of a 4WD truck, not fucking around on the Internet. We're searching for loved ones, not URLs. I don't care if my PC suffers an unrecoverable crash as much as I care that my children are OK.

Get a life, people.

Re:Realistically (1)

Gerrioholic99 (309014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614691)

Well UPS's are useful in large corporations that can't lose anything at all, and it can help to keep the company network running while a generator heats up.. that way there is absolutely no down time.. But why would a big company need to build their own.. beats me. I agree with you that as far as PC's go, a UPS isn't really worth the extra effort or cash

Re:Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614699)

whoa! whoa!

obviously since you have no use for a UPS, all efforts are wasted.

really, get a life and stop preaching.

Re:Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614700)

Hey, you forgot the tags!

Re:Realistically, Stupid HTML tags (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614716)

Hey, you forgot the &ltwhine&gt &lt/whine&gt tags!

Re:Realistically, Stupid HTML tags (1, Flamebait)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614752)

Good of you to remember to include the new [asshole] and [/asshole] tags with your post as well.

Asshole.

Re:Realistically, Stupid HTML tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614775)

I don't get it. Are you saying that I'm an asshole for calling the parent poster a whiner or that the parent poster is an asshole whiner?

Re:Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614774)

Get a life, people.

Some of us have lived in countries where power outages are common and not necessarily caused by natural catastrophies.

Is it worth the trouble (1)

Gerrioholic99 (309014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614674)

I want to know... just how reliable is it.. is it worth the extra few bucks you save. Isn't the whole point of a UPS reliability.. and for someone who has never done anything like build one.. is this method a reliable and safe alternative to saving a few extra bucks.. IMHO it is worth sacrificing a few extra bucks to make sure that you don't lose that precious data

too easy (1)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614676)

slashdot is supposed to be for geeks: i would like to see a DIY flywheel backup system; efficiency is on the order of 95-98% if you use magnetic bearings... there is an exellent IEEE article in the IEEE spectrum magazine a while back -- it's not online though; few links here: Flywheel energy storage [beaconpower.com] Magnetic Bearing stuff [revolve.com]

Or Even Better ... (1)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614677)

You could substitute 110V to 240V for us Aussies.

And whoever modded the other guy down who pointed this out, grow a brain.

220V (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614680)

How the heck did 220V suddenly become Australian? :D. here i thought we used it over here in Europe too, just those wierd yanks that use 110v :)

DEATH TO AMERICA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614681)

DEATH TO AMERICA

boom boom boom boom boom

thats the sound of more cities falling

Re:DEATH TO AMERICA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614743)

You part of the Muslim mafia? I think you missed some women and children.

can you (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614782)

please blow up all the negroes first? thank you.

Lacking some features (2, Interesting)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614682)

IMHO un attended shutdown is one of the best features of the higher end UPS systems.. It safely saves your work and turns the computer of in case of an extended outage.. also what kind of surge protection do you get from that getto unit? Remote battery status? I use a UPS to protect my self from bad wiring and surges.. Hooking up to a settup like that would just be to unstable IMHO.. To each thier own, I guess

I Don't Know If I'd Want To (2, Funny)

dupper (470576) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614704)

The Speed of Business has been estimated, by a group of eminent physicists and economists, as roughly equivalent to the Ludicrous Speed. Seeing as how I have restraining belts in my garage workshop, stopping for lunch might destroy my beautiful helmet, thus rendering me unnattractive to that nice Druish girl I'm holding captive. No, I'll leave UPS to the proffessionals.

Note to MOCs (Moderators On Crack): not offtopic, as comment is based on a rather uncreative allusion to what I originally thought was the story's topic after first reading its subject line, before reading the body.

UPS maintenance (3, Interesting)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614737)

These do-it-yourself UPS thingies are going to require maintenance. Car batteries are designed to deliver about 3400 amps directly into the alternator of a car, only during the time that you turn the key. They they trickle charge very slowly off the engine mains.

By contrast, UPS batteries are designed to discharge at a slower rate, but charge very very quickly to be able to work if the power suddenly cuts out two or more times in a row.

The problem with using one battery where another is required is that a memory effect can develop. That slow discharge on a car battery can cause it to lose capacity and in as little as 6 months it'll be useless for any power failures over about 5 seconds.

How much does a car battery cost? about $50. But, you're going to need one every 6 months or so, making a home built UPS actually many times more expensive than one you buy at Comp USA.

I know it's counter-intuitive, but many things about batteries are.

Re:UPS maintenance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614751)

Actually car batteries also act like capacitors when you car is running giving you better DC regulation then the almost AC your alternator puts out. They would probalby work fine in this situation, but given that they leak acid I wouldn't use them in doors.

The guy sounds interesting. (2, Funny)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614741)

(Note - driving around the city with a passenger who's pointing a 240 volt disco strobe at unsuspecting pedestrians is neither condoned, nor encouraged, by the author. And even though it makes rain look really cool, please do not stand in the rain holding the strobe.)

It looks like he's tried this before. I wonder if he'll have an article on how to take apart your UPS and use it to scare pedestrians with a strobe.

D/\ Gooberguy

Home brewed UPS (2, Funny)

ClimberTech (580264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614742)

My friend once made a UPS out of some furbies and a big-ass fishtank... it was sort of cool, although it didn't really work, at all. But it was cool, ie: when we cut the power, one of the furbies blew up, and the water started bubbling... but the computer still shut off, o well.

Australian Voltage (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3614750)


Isn't Australian mains Voltage 240v not 220v

speaking of conversion... (3, Informative)

trb (8509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614753)

$1.00 AUD = $.56 USD = €.60 EUR

The Remains (5, Informative)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614760)

Be careful with this stuff. Batteries can be nasty. At my previous job we had a "switch room" which housed out 50,000kva (yes "K"va) UPS. On the wall across from it were huge "grab the handle and yank" circuit breakers...which were covered in battery acid from the previous UPS.

Now this wasn't your home little ups box, this thing would blend in with three refrigerators side by side, and would run a 500 person electronics factory, and 500 person office (PC's at least) for 8+ hours. That was a kickass battery box.

Just remember, UPS's can go "BOOM" and I wouldn't want to try my hand at making my own and seeing it for myself. Some things are better left to APC and crue.

-Pete

If you're looking for exandability... (2)

Corgha (60478) | more than 12 years ago | (#3614767)

What's a separate-boxes do-it-yourself UPS rig good for, besides making you look all technical and competent?

Well, it lets you have monstrous battery capacity, if you like.


Why not buy the power supply and inverter in the same box, like this one [tripplite.com] , which sells for around USD$235 [pcnation.com] .

Maybe it's a bit more expensive, but it can deliver 500 W (1000 W) peak, instead of 210 W (there are larger models available as well, up to 3600 W), you can use all the car batteries you want, and you may run less risk of electrocuting yourself.
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