The CyberPower CP1000AVRLCD Intelligent UPS/Surge Suppresser/Voltage Regulator offers you protection from brownouts, spikes and power outages, and is a great little device for the money.
The unit has a power capacity of 1000VA/600 Watts and has nine NEMA 5-15R receptacles (5 with battery backup, surge suppression and voltage regulation, 4 with surge suppression and voltage regulation only), and it also has inputs/outputs for RJ11/45 and Coax filtering and surge suppression.
CyberPower’s GreenPower technology means that the Automatic Voltage Regulation feature only kicks in if there is a drop or spike in the supplied current, and it reduces energy consumption by 75% over comparable units. Surge protection is rated @ 1080 Joules, and it has an easy to read LCD screen that displays 11 different functions, including input and output voltage, load, and approximate run time on battery given the current load.
It also has both a USB and Serial port for connection to your PC, and comes with a copy of PowerPanel Personal Edition UPS Management software which allows you to status the UPS from the PC and interfaces with Windows power management to automatically close files and shut down the PC.
I have a 20” iMac, a Windows Media Center PC with a 19” LCD screen, a 1 terabyte external hard drive, and my FiOS router plugged in to the 5 battery protected outlets. With all devices powered on, load is at ~ 38%, with peaks of 50% during reboots. Estimated runtime @ 38% utilization is 14 minutes, more than enough time for a clean shutdown. The PC is the real hog at the trough here, though; when only the iMac, hard drive and router are on, estimated run time is a whopping 60 minutes.
The unit is compact and light, weighing in at about 16 lbs, stays cool to the touch, and is virtually silent; all enormous plusses, and it also has more available outlets then most units in its price range. I have our inkjet printer/scanner, another external hard drive and a small digital cable box that I use with the Media Center PC plugged into the 4 suppression/AVR only outlets, allowing me to unplug everything with one swift pull in the case of a severe lightning storm. Pretty cool.
I like this baby so much that I’m going to order another one for my entertainment center. The battery backup will keep my Cable box/DVR and my DVD recorder from resetting, and protect the LCD TV and audio components from brownouts and spikes. It will give me “one plug pull” in an emergency for the entertainment center also. Nice.
The only drawback to the unit is that although it’s advertised as having “widely spaced outlets to accommodate transformer plugs”, that’s not the case at all. I have no idea why they would put this claim so prominently in their product description when it’s so obviously false, but they do. You can plug in 3 standard power cords and 1 transformer block, at best, on the 5 outlet battery side.
One way to deal with this is by using one or two 1’ extension cords for your power block devices, although CyberPower strictly forbids the use of both extension cords and power strips with their unit. Nein, Verboten! Use of said devices will result in the voiding of both the 3 year warranty on the UPS and the $350,000 connected device replacement feature, so proceed down this avenue at your own risk. I can see why they have this caveat; you could plug any piece of crap power strip or threadbare extension cord in and create a massively dangerous situation.
My advice is; if you’re going to bend the rules, do it right. Use a short, heavy gauge cord like the ones referenced above, or a small, high quality power strip, and only use it to allow for transformer plugs, e.g.: don’t use a power strip so that you can plug in an additional 8 or 9 devices into the UPS and overload it. That’s a very dumb and dangerous thing to do. I saw that little light bulb going on in your collective heads; don’t be that chucklehead.
You can find this unit at Staples for ~$120, or online at Amazon ($106) and Walmart ($111) . That’s pretty short money for a little protection and peace of mind.
While we’re on the subject of protection and peace of mind, here’s another helpful little tip; I have a small, open, 2 shelf bookcase with lattice style sides under my desk. All cords, connectors and power strips are on it, protecting them from wandering feet and rising fluids. I have the cords woven through the latticed sides for a little added strain relief also.
Because my home office is in my basement, the bookcase itself sits on a thick block of Styrofoam, so that if there is water, it won’t soak into the wood and wick its way up to the electronics. That’s a little trick I learned from the ServiceMaster guy the last time we had water issues. Also, the PC tower itself is up on a wheeled tower stand. There should be nothing in direct contact with your floor.
Keeping everything up and semi mobile not only protects you from minor flooding, it will also help with heat dissipation and makes it easier to clean under the desk. Beware the deadly dust bunny.
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