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Hi,
I have a question about a UPS backup power supply such as this simple one:

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Standby-UPS-400VA-Outlet...

Please correct me if I'm wrong. If I have a power outage, and within a minute my generator kicks in to supply power, will this UPS keep my computer and modem running for that minute and then shut off when the generator kicks in to supply power to the house?

Thanks,
RB
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will this UPS keep my computer and modem running for that minute and then shut off when the generator kicks in to supply power to the house?

As long as the connected equipment doesn't overload the capacity (and 400VA isn't very much!), then the UPS will function as you describe... drain the battery only for as long as it takes your generator to spin up, and then cuts to gen power (because it honestly doesn't know where the line voltage is coming from, only that it's there).
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As long as the connected equipment doesn't overload the capacity (and 400VA isn't very much!), then the UPS will function as you describe... drain the battery only for as long as it takes your generator to spin up, and then cuts to gen power (because it honestly doesn't know where the line voltage is coming from, only that it's there).

To add to the answer, assuming the power outlet for the computer is powered by the generator. Some generators only power the more critical circuits in a house.

PSU
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What VA amount would you use for a typical desktop computer, modem, and monitor?
Thanks!
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What VA amount would you use for a typical desktop computer, modem, and monitor?
Probably something in the 700-800 range. The easiest way to figure out what you need is to buy one of those Kill-A-Watt meters, plug it into the wall, and your gear into that. That'll tell you exactly how many watts you need (be sure to round up!), which is what you should be purchasing by anyways. VA looks like a nice big number, but watts are what count. By way of example, the system linked in your OP boasts 600VA, but actually puts out only 360 watts.
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By way of example, the system linked in your OP boasts 600VA, but actually puts out only 360 watts.

What you really need to know is TWO numbers.
First, how many watts do you need. (a typical laptop is 25 to 75 watts. A low end desktop including monitor might be 200 - 300 watts. A more high end gaming desktop could be 1000 watts.

Second, you need to know the number of watt-hours. This is the number of watts you need multiplied by the amount of time you want to power it. If you have a load of 100 watts and you want to power it for an hour you would need 100 watt-hours or 0.1 kilowatt-hours.

Just fyi...watts (w) and volts-amps (VA) are almost the same thing, with a technical different that you might want an EE degree to understand (real power vs reactive power). For a PC you can typically just multiply the VA rating by about 2/3rds or 3/4ths to get the number of watts a UPS is rated for.

Mike
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RB,

The American Power Conversion web site has lots of help for you. Check this out. You don't have to know a bunch of numbers, or worry about the difference between VA and watts. Just choose the devices you want to power and it does all the work.

https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/tools/ups_selector/home/devic...

Charlie Brown
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RB,

I have had a CyberPower 1,500 VA unit for 2 years with a number of outages from a few seconds to over a day and it has performed flawlessly.

I have my Linux box, monitor and DSL modem plugged into it.

Computer-wise, I never notice the difference, house power on or off.

The one "gripe" my wife has is the beep that it makes once a minute while the power is off. Drives her bonkers!


Gene
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The one "gripe" my wife has is the beep that it makes once a minute while the power is off. Drives her bonkers!

You can disable that.
I forget the exact sequence...but you press and hold one of the buttons for 5 seconds...or something like that. I wrote down the exact sequence and taped it to the my unit.

Mike
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My solution is to not be in the same room as the UPS.

PSU
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Thanks.
How long did the UPS power last so you could continue using the computer?

The beep would drive me nuts too! It's absurd they don't allow you to turn that off.
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How long did the UPS power last so you could continue using the computer?

Mine indicates it would run 2 hours and 40 minutes. Perhaps it would.
I bought it for a much bigger computer that had six 10,000 rpm SCSI hard drives in it and 13 cooling fans. My present computer uses much less power than the old one. This ups powers the computer, the monitor, the router. A separate ups powers the outside box that converts the FiOS fiber optic signals to audio for the telephone and 75 MHz ethernet signals down the CAT-5e to my router.

And it does not matter because this UPS needs last only a little over 8 seconds, by which time my natural gas powered backup generator takes over as long as the gas company does its duty.
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RB,

"How long did the UPS power last so you could continue using the computer?"

When the power goes off, it puts a minute counter on the display which usually starts at 985 to 995.

I can turn the beeper off, I just don't tell DW I can!


Gene
All holdings and some statistics on my profile page
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Yes,

But these UPS' are better quality

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00429N19W
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For whatever it is worth, Cyberpower is the brand Costco currently carries.
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And MUCH more expensive. All I need is less than a minute of UPS power on the occasions when we have a power outage. Not much.

Question: once I hook the UPS up, am I right in assuming that to test it, simply unplugging the UPS from the wall socket will simulate a power outage?
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"I can turn the beeper off, I just don't tell DW I can!"

Why?! You like torturing your wife? LOL.
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Question: once I hook the UPS up, am I right in assuming that to test it, simply unplugging the UPS from the wall socket will simulate a power outage?

Yes, but I do not do it that way. The reason is that if I do that, I break the ground connection, and my surge protectors become ineffective. Each of my computers (at one time I was running three at a time, though now, only one) is on its own circuit breaker. So I just flip the breaker off to simulate a power failure. If you plug your UPS into a power strip with a switch, you could just flip off that switch, but UPS manufacturers all (as far as I know) warn to plug the UPS directly in at the wall, not to power strips.

I use APS Smart-UPS models that have serious surge protection in them. I do not know if cheap ones have this. I also have a "whole house" surge protector in my main power panel. One of these. You must get one designed to fit your power panel.

https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/product-range-presentat...
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