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Author Topic: Anyone using an UPS for radio AC surge protection?  (Read 812 times)
KW4CQ
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Posts: 129




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« on: April 02, 2008, 11:25:24 AM »

I was wondering if anyone may be using an UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) for protection of your expensive transceiver against a momentary surge in AC line voltage?  My Yaesu transceiver recently went completely dead on me after our neighborhood experienced an AC power interruption lasting only a second or two while I was on the air in an SSB QSO.  The transceiver had to go back to Vertex/Yaesu to be repaired.  You can find various brands of UPS systems being sold in your computer stores under the name of APC, Belkin, etc. rated at up to 1500 VA with 800 or 900 Joules of surge protection.  While the surge protection provided by the UPS's AC outlets in these systems offer a measure of protection from lightning spikes on your AC line it was, I believe in my case, the sudden transitory change in AC line voltage the radio suffered that caused its failure.  Does the Automatice Voltage Regulation (AVR) in these UPS work with transceivers?  Do these UPS systems provide a "soft" shutdown of your radio in case of a power failure?  Anyone out there have experience using an UPS for radio protection? I'd like to hear from you if you do.  Thanks and best 73...Bob...KW4CQ  
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 02:41:28 PM »

Ah, no, I have a surge protector before my Linear power supplies and my shack is 12 volts.  But a high quality UPS should offer you some protection.
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 03:47:43 PM »

hi bob,

I have several older Liebert full sinewave UPS systems,
they were surplus from a supermarket POS system.

They just needed a good cleaning to remove all the dust
that got inside over the years and new batteries.

These are great for field day, when the genset runs out
of fuel we can run 30 min. on the ups while the
genset cools off before we add more gasoline.

I have older kenwood ts-520 and ts-530 hybrid radios,
they run well with the ups online.

newer model ups can interface with the pc for soft shutdown
but I do not know of any ups radio interface.

73 james
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W6CD
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Posts: 213


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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 06:48:04 PM »

Several years ago I did a study of networked personal computers and the networking components (switches, etc.).  The study tracked service and repair insidents for systems with vs. those without voltage regulated battery backup power unit on each computer and network component.

There was a marked difference in service requirements, especially so for those seemingly inexplicable insidents (broken database file, computer locked up and was ok after a reboot, etc.).

The company I was working with started a program of offing a 10% discount on service contracts if the customer fitted and maintained voltage regulated battery backup power unit on each computer and network component.  The support cost savings were if course more than the discounted service amount.

I have kept voltage regulated battery backup power units on televisions, computers, radios, etc. ever since.

Vince

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N8EKT
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Posts: 371




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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 04:03:21 PM »

I am a huge believer in the UPS.
I install a ups on every piece of delicate electronics.
A UPS does multiple things.
First, they usually have power surge protection devices built in MOV's, gas tubes,and avalanche diodes.
Second, the largest percentage of surge damage occurs when the power comes back on.
A UPS has a built in delay that will give plenty of time for the surge to pass before coming back online.
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DWEISS
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 01:36:15 AM »

My specific experience with UPS devices is in network operations centers and at individual workstations.  From a power supply perspective, a modern radio is very much like a computer, so I'd offer the following advice:  First, yes, use a UPS.  But, note that there are different classes of UPS and it may be worth investing in the top end of the line.  The key differences are UPS systems that provide "only" constant power (no small matter), versus those designed to handle and smooth out a wide range of power fluctuations (brown-outs and the like).  My professional preference was always for the APC Network UPS systems, though I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the APC devices, since I've had very good experiences with them.

Technically, the distinction you are looking for is a UPS that doesn't just switch to battery power when needed, but which essentially is always running on the battery.  Thus, as it was explained to me, the better UPS systems are always providing you with your power from the battery such that the battery is more or less in a constant state of being charged.  When power drops out, the charge to the battery ceases but there is no interruption in the power flow to the computer, radio, or other device.

I haven't priced these units lately, but the best of the UPS systems are somewhat more expensive than the basic systems you'll find in the local computer store.  But, I have to say we've never had a problem with the cheaper units, either.

As one of the other respondents to this discussion said, I have adopted the practice of using basic UPS systems on any sensitive electronic equipment that I really care about.  When looking for a UPS for a radio, keep in mind that the basic UPS philosophy is to provide a short period to protect you from a very brief power interruption or give you time to shut down your equipment in an orderly way.  Must UPSes, at least the affordable ones, are not going to provide sufficient battery power to maintain operation for any extended period of time.  With this in mind, a UPS for a 100W transceiver might cost around $40 to $60.  Add more money for higher powered rigs, accessories, and extended run time.

 -Danny.
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KB3RKJ
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 08:04:18 AM »

I asked about this in another thread, and most people said to just use a regular surge protector.  One guy said to use a UPS, and he recommended APC.  I have a 500 volt APC UPS on my desktop PC, about 15 feet from my radio, but the power outlets on the UPS are alll being used for computer stuff.  So, I thought, "OK, just go buy another UPS and use it for the radio gear."  So, I did just that yesterday.  I got an APC unit, 1500 volt, and plugged it in and plugged in the radio gear.  It causes a definitely annoying buzzing burst every few seconds on the radio.  It is loud and annoying.  Taking the radio power cord off the UPS and plugging directly into the wall outlet helped about 15%, but did not eliminate the interference.  Unplugging the UPS and turning it off (it runs on batteries if you just unplug it), led to the noise being completely eliminated.  Moving the UPs to the next room over and plugging it in and turning it on led to the return of the buzzing noise interference.  Needless to say, the $200 UPS is going back to the store after I finish work today.  I may just get another 500 volt unit instead of the 1500 volt unit.  Maybe they don't make such a buzzing sounds on the radio.  
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