Saturday, April 30, 2016

Less Uninterruptible

Woke up this morning to an unfamiliar beeping noise. My first thought was that it must be time to change a fire alarm battery, but those sound a bit different. Turns out it was the UPS behind my computer desk.
That's UPS as in uninterruptible power supply, not brown delivery trucks. I've had this one for years...maybe 8? 10? I don't remember exactly, and I'm too lazy to go look it up. A good long while, anyway. A decent UPS is a long-term device that you don't even notice is there, ideally. At least, until the power goes out. I had this one connected to just about all my media center electronics. The beeping was because the battery had finally given up the ghost and was no longer holding power.

Originally I got this UPS because the power in my condo would flicker on a fairly regular basis. Not every day, but probably once or twice a month. That doesn't sound like much, but if you've got electronics that are always on (particularly computers), that kind of inconsistency can really mess with the system. Fortunately, that problem has gone away as of a few years ago, when the local electric company upgraded the various power delivery systems in my area. I haven't seen a power flicker since, and full outages are rare as well.

The other major reason for having the UPS was that I would occasionally want to access my home system when I was traveling, and for that it needed to always be on. If there was a power outage, everything would turn off, and there was no one at home to turn it back on. With the UPS, as long as the power outage was a fairly short one (under a half hour or so), everything would keep running. Since I rarely do extended travel any more, this isn't really a concern any more either.

The UPS was also a surge protector, again a very important component for sensitive electronics. Especially during the summer, when thunderstorms are in the area. Everything important is plugged into power strips, though, with their own surge protector functions. Short of a direct lightning strike, which would fry anything regardless of surge protection, it should be pretty safe.

So I think I'll just do without a replacement UPS, at least until something changes that makes it necessary to have one again. I'll find a recycling center where I can take the old one - it's got a big, heavy battery so you don't want to just toss it in the garbage - and stick with basic power strips to power and surge protect my various electronic devices.

No comments:

Post a Comment