I know this isn't exactly OT for this group, but I couldn't find anything in
the comp.* tree that looked right.
I have 2 MGE UPS systems Pulsar 14+, that have been sitting around unused
for a year. (Long story about life getting in the way...) When last used,
they lit up and took a charge fine. I pulled them out today, now that I
finally cleaned out and rearranged my computer work area, and wanted to put
them back in service. Nada- no lights, no noise, no nothing. I expected the
batteries to be flat, but the light for the incoming wall power doesn't even
Anybody out there (Jeff W.?) have any idea what is going on? These are from
a garage sale, so no docs. I looked on vendor web page, but didn't find
anything about dying in storage. Did the batteries (gel packs, like a fire
escape light?) crap out completely? They were never dropped, never frozen,
etc. Any point in trying to repair or replace the battery packs? Or are new
ones so cheap it isn't worth the bother? And just how do I get rid of these,
if they are junk?
What bob siaid. But while I'm here, every such thing I know should
work somewwhat or maybe well without batteries if you have AC. I
don't think this will help, but disconnect the batteries altogether
and see if all but one light lights. If not, start iwth the basics,
the cord, the switch, looking for damage on the circuit board.
Maybe check the lights too. Maybe they share a common ground that is
And check the output. Maybe you do have 110 coming out of it.
Just an add, some UPSs completely shut
done with bad or no batteries. The
one right in front of me does that. I
don't remember if the power lights worked
or not with bad batteries, but I know
the computer did not get any power.
And to add to the above, if the batteries were sitting around for a year
w/o charge, (and were old to begin with), they are probably completely
dead. If they are 12 volts, you could take your car battery out and
temporarily hook it up to the UPS to see if it would work. Or string
together a bunch of flashlight batteries, preferably rechargeable.
I wouldn't do either (and I'm an EE by training).
But especially don't mess with the car battery.
1. A car battery contains a LOT of stored energy.
Those really thick cables attached to your car
battery are thick for a reason.
2. It's easy to release that energy very rapidly (e.g.
with a short).
3. The probabily of an accidental short is HUGELY
increased with quick and dirty temporary wiring.
4. In the event of a short, the resulting explosion
can cause concentrated acid to be sprayed all over
the area as well as globs of molten copper and more.
Trust me, you don't want to be near by.
It's about as dangerous as fooling around with a
chain saw except that the dangers are a lot less
obvious to a casual observer.
Don't connect large capacity batteries (esp. lead acid)
using anything except properly rated cables and connectors/
In the case of a UPS, the said applicance is simultaneously
connected to the utility power creating even more scope
for accidents. A broken UPS is by definition umm, broken,
increasing the risks still further since it may do things
that are unpredicable and out-of-spec.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Easier and probably safer would be to simply buy a replacement
battery. If you have an ADI or similar store nearby, the batteries
used by a UPS are the same as the batteries used for emergency lights,
fire alarm panels, etc. - just match chemistry (likely sealed lead-
acid) voltage and amp-hour rating. take the old one(s) with you. I
am currently using a really old APC UPS to back up my cable modem (I
use a laptop) that I scavenged out of a junk pile; the only thing
really wrong with it was a dead battery which I matched up exactly to
a fire alarm battery which is in it to this day.
(Long thread of helpful hints snipped)
Thanks, guys. Don't worry, I realize I'm not an EE (though I do have access
to one), so no dangerous acid-based homebrew kludges. I am 99% certain there
is no mechanical faults in the circuits, since the units worked when stored
away, and the odds of the same fault in 2 units not in use is slim to none.
My first thought was that the sealed batteries crapped out, and several of
you seem to support that. No time this month, but when I get a slow day,
I'll open the units up, using the instructions from vendor website, and see
if any of the supply houses in town have drop-in replacements for less than
half what it would cost to get new UPS units from Sam's Club or mail order.
Based on prior experience in my day and side jobs, I predict these are 'not
economical to repair, based on expected remaining lifespan'. So one question
remains- how do I legally get rid of old ones? 'Free' pile in spring garage
sale? Keep watching ad paper for county HazMat day?
I replaced the battery on my APC UPS. I don't recall
the exact costs but it was certainly economical. APC
sent me the new battery and a prepaid shipping label
to return the old one (for which they offered a credit
As for disposal... it almost certainly depends on your
location. Around here (San Francisco Bay Area) car
batteries can be dropped off at various locations.
Last time I needed to do that, Kragen Auto Parts
accepted them for recycling. I suspect they will take
units from a UPS too.
Otherwise, call your local garbage company, city or
county offices. In my experience, they'll quickly
tell you how to correctly dispose of just about
anything. Actually, I sometimes think that's the
only thing they're any good at -- they've never
been much help to me with anything else ;-)
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Measure the voltage on the current ones before buying new. Even on
the UPSes that don't work without batteries there must be a lower
voltage limit for them not to work.
Baltimore County has four places, one of which takes batteries. In
addition the junk yard I go to most often takes batteries, maight even
pay a bit for them (I didn't ask) and I would think most junk yards
reccyle car batteries as well as these.
But I don't believe at the right store the price of baytteries is
alsway close to the price of a USP. Prices vary widely on the net, for
The size is in the url. None of this is more than 20 including
shipping. I havent' dealt with him but the vendor has 2400 sales and
a 100% positive rating, over 4 years Except one of the four doesn't
give shipping costs. Shipping is half for items after the first one..
Agree with measuring the voltage first. Heck, the voltage is going to
be low. Why not just determine what the battery voltage is supposed to
be and if it's 12 volts, put each battery on a car battery charger for
a few days. Check the voltage, did it go to 12 or more? If so, put
them in and see if the ups will come up.
I'm only familiar with commercial large scale UPS's, know nothing
about these little guys. What happens with these little UPS systems
when the battery voltage gets low after a power outage? Do they just
shut off, switch to raw power or what? Your system may just be
experiencing what it thinks is a low battery condition and it does
make sense that the circuitry would be such that if there was no
battery voltage, the unit isn't going to do anything but shutdown. It
also may require some battery voltage to even turn on.
Consider the car battery charger idea just to see if the batteries
will take a charge then try them.
The stored energy in a car battery is much greater then the 60ah
mentioned, go by cold cranking amps and your are looking at 500 plus
amps of power instantaneous. If you are the adventurous type, put the
daggone ups in the driveway, run a couple number 10 gauge wires to the
ups, run a 100 foot power cord to the ups leaving it unplugged from
the house or garage, plug it into the UPS, and then go back and plug
it into the garage or house. Get your binoculars and try to see if any
lights are on on the UPS. Also maybe consider waiting until night time
to do this just to get the benefit of any short circuit there is, or
July 4th. Sorry, just having a little fun but not serious, best to
play it safe.
I bought a new 900 ups and it would not stay on when I first applied
power. I figured the batteries were drawing too much juice and
shutting down the whole system.
I hooked it (the battery) up to my automobile battery charger and
gave the battery a quick charge and it has been going fine for 3
My point is that the UPS may need a little help getting the batteries
to a satisfactory state so it can start charging them.
All 3 of my UPS charges uses a 12 volt lead cell. On two of them, I
have connected up sears die hard batteries and thrown away the little
batteries it shipped with. When power goes with ice storms or
hurricanes, I can keep computing for up to 12 hours.
Depends on who you are and who you know. I was an engineer for a branch
office of a major fire alarm supplier at the time; I can't remember if I
got the battery I needed "at cost" or the warehouse guy just told me to
take it and get out of his face. (probably would have cost the company
more in his time to do the paperwork to charge me for it than it would
have been worth, truth be told.) The distributor cost on those things
is ridiculously low; you wouldn't believe the markup. If you have a
friend that works in fire alarm, security, etc. it's definitely cost
effective to replace the battery in a still-good UPS.
I'll agree with that; I think a typical UPS battery is something like
10-12AH; a typical car battery is something like 60AH. This is
handwavy, but a general guideline for a lead-acid battery of the type
we're discussing is that you can reliably pull the same number of amps
as the battery's AH rating without serious voltage drop due to battery
internal resistance; obviously short circuit current will also be a
rough function of capacity if that holds true. Bigger battery = bigger
spark = bigger boom (if things go pear-shaped.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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