Interruptible Power Supplies

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 03/15/2016 - 11:07

Our history with Uninterruptible Power Supplies reveals there is no such thing.

TWR maintains an LP powered generator at the POP in Galax. When Apco goes down, the generator starts up and power transfers to the generator. However brief, the outage dumps all the equipment to the POP including ours.  As a temporary bridge, we install a battery backup which hopefully transfers power fast enough to keep our equipment running. We have had many UPS failures in the past notably on July 23, 2015. We rush ordered a new UPS but it acted badly when first plugged in, so on the advice of APC, we left it powered down but plugged in for 24 hours. That appeared to do the trick when we installed it at the POP on July 28th. On March 8th, it failed completely. We had a new one drop shipped to Mish and Jaison which they charged tested and installed on March 13th. These may be battery issues but the main circuit board was suspect too.

On a possibly unrelated matter, the power supply in our web server (helen) died in February. Woody rigged a temporary replacement and a new one was installed. This failure was in filter capacitors. I have had several blow over the years. I once was sitting near one when it exploded like a rifle shot and the cover flew about the room richocheting off the walls and ceiling. I was a bit shaken but uninjured.

An industrial spy stole the formula for the stabilizer from the Japanese in the 90s losing part of the recipe. In the rush to the bottom in the cost of electronics, the faulty capacitors infected power supplies for a decade. It is hard to spot "cheap" and we have a blind spot in discerning quality in the face of a 50% discount.

So we have been up for 48 hours and hope is restored. A new "helen" is in the works as part of the late April - early May round of upgrades.