Monday, April 1, 2013

CyberPower UPS, An Uninterruptible Power Source

CyberPower UPS,
An Uninterruptible Power Source….




An Uninterruptible Power Source, UPS, is an electrical device providing emergency power and surge protection to other electrical devices such as a computer, when the mains power fails. It differs from a generator in that it will provide almost instantaneous loss protection from your local electrical power utility. It accomplishes this by energy stored in batteries commonly housed in a container with electrical outlet sockets, and a continuous charging circuit connected to the mains. This charging circuit detects the loss of electricity from the mains, sounds an alarm and automatically continues to power the device(s) connected to it. Naturally, the intent is not for you to continue operation of the device(s), but rather to allow ample time to power them down thus preventing possible data loss. The exception to this might be when powering low-power items such as routers, modems, and VOIP devices. Such gadgets might have the possibility of remaining operational for many hours or even days due to their low current draw.

(TIP: A UPS is commonly used for computers, data and telecommunications devices. It’s especially important with VOIP telephone modems allowing for continued operation since the electrical draw is minimal. Another application is with flat screen displays that are fan cooled, since post power shut-down requires such fans to continue operation for a couple of minutes until sufficient cool-down is achieved.)

UPS Power Sources come in various capacities and thus selecting the proper size is dependent on the sum total wattage of all the connected items. My tests were primarily for powering a VOIP such as the Vonage & Internet modem, a router, and a switch, a device that expands the number of router ports. After much research and testing, I chose a CyberPower CP600LCD 600va/340 watt model (100~140vac) since all these items are very low wattage.

Now, one might say, other than capacity, how different can one UPS be from another? Well here’s where the CyberPower CP600LCD shines. This model incorporates a multi-purpose, illuminated LCD meter indicating LOAD being consumed, INPUT voltage, OUTPUT voltage, BATTERY CAPACITY, and estimated RUNNING TIME, along with icons showing battery mode, overload condition, fault condition, and silent mode. All are  important features when the mains power fails. Other features include: USB port to PC, on/off switch, resettable circuit breaker, broadband network, phone ports and audible alarms for overload, battery power engaged, and low battery. Battery replacement is possible and easily accomplished. Expect about a two-year battery life span before replacement.

Like most other UPS’s, there never seems to be enough outlets. This model offers four back-up outlets and four pass-thru ones and is designed for horizontal, vertical or wall-mounted installation. When used with low-voltage devices power overload is generally not an issue. To over come the lack of sufficient outlets I used 2 triple cube taps. When properly configured they accommodate an additional 4 outlets and allows for the use of the oddly shaped power plugs generally used by such devices.

The CyberPower UPS system as tested offers the most bank for the buck! Well built, feature packed, and competitively priced makes it a great buy! Included is a “connected equipment” lifetime guarantee of $125,000.00, software and a 3-year warranty.

MSRP: $74.95

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Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.