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UPS with Master Power Switch?

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I'm looking for a good UPS for my home-office and I was wondering if any of them offer the convenience of a 'master power switch'? While most surge suppressors have this feature, I don't see it mentioned on any UPS feature-list. I don't especially want to also buy a separate surge suppressor unit as that functionality is usually built in into a UPS. S

So is there such an animal - switching all plugged-in devices on/off at the same time, while providing battery back-up? :unsure:

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i believe the reason this feature is absent is because 'instant offing' (even if in a valid shutdown state) is not recommended for pc equipment. i've often heard they do not like having the power rug pulled out from underneath them, so to speak.

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I'm not sure I understand your question as all of the UPS's I've purchased (several APC units) all have On/Off switches on them as master power controls. Many also offer automated power down during power outages, (with special software), if you leave your PC on 24/7 as many folks do. You'll also note that many UPS mfg.s do NOT recomment using an additional surge protector as it defeats the built-in unit and could actually allow system damage.

The one issue you may need to address is surge load on power-up of all devices by a single power on switch on the UPS. Generally you will need a much higher output UPS to handle the load of a CRT display and other devices. Laser printers on UPSs also require a bunch of power. If you could live with manually switching (2) switches you could purchase a lower output UPS. APC and others have sizing software on their websites to walk you thru the exercise.

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Laser printers on UPSs also require a bunch of power.

laser printers on upses are a disaster waiting to happen. if you need that level of uptime on a laser printer, buy a diesel-powered generator :)

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I'm not sure I understand your question as all of the UPS's I've purchased (several APC units) all have On/Off switches on them as master power controls. Many also offer automated power down during power outages, (with special software), if you leave your PC on 24/7 as many folks do. You'll also note that many UPS mfg.s do NOT recomment using an additional surge protector as it defeats the built-in unit and could actually allow system damage.

The one issue you may need to address is surge load on power-up of all devices by a single power on switch on the UPS. Generally you will need a much higher output UPS to handle the load of a CRT display and other devices. Laser printers on UPSs also require a bunch of power. If you could live with manually switching (2) switches you could purchase a lower output UPS. APC and others have sizing software on their websites to walk you thru the exercise.

Before starting this thread, I checked out the Tripplite 'OmniSmart' 1000-USB, which IMHO isn't smart enough because when you push the switch OFF, it disconnects battery power to the devices, but does not disconnect the AC to the devices! Apparently, the OFF position is just used to allow the battery to charge without any load on it...

Btw, since I only use my home-office system during business hours 6 days a week, it doesn't seem logical to me to leave that system on 24x6. Am I off-base in that rationale?

And regarding start-up surges, why wouldn't the surge-suppression circuitry (in the UPS) take care of that problem?

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i believe the reason this feature is absent is because 'instant offing' (even if in a valid shutdown state) is not recommended for pc equipment.  i've often heard they do not like having the power rug pulled out from underneath them, so to speak.

Huh... I've never heard that before! Can you present any rationale (or references) as to why 'instant offing' (after a orderly shutdown) is ill-advised???

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On the apc backups RS (and i think CS) models i have,

the on/off only cuts the power to the battery backed set of outlets,

the extra surge protected only outlets always have power.

Kind of odd configuration if you ask me.

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I think he thought you wanted to just hit a button and shut everything off, I did. If you have your computer shut down then it doesn't make too much of a difference if you remove power from it or not as a computer that is shut down uses very little power and the upc is going to protect it from surges and such.

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You'll also note that many UPS mfg.s do NOT recomment using an additional surge protector as it defeats the built-in unit and could actually allow system damage.

***AS I UNDERSTAND IT***

The additional use of a surge strip is fine BEFORE the ups.

It may be of additional benefit.

The problem shows up when attached AFTER the UPS.

This is because of how the surge suppressing elements (which are Metal Oxide Varisitors, AKA MOVs) work.

This is a device that turns on at a set voltage to shunt the surge power to ground.

They turn on at a certain voltage and are usually set at tens of volts above the peak of the sine wave on the wall power.

However, an offline and some line-interactive ups put out a square wave or a barely reshaped square wave (AKA modified sine). In order to get the same effective voltage as a sine wave, the peak on the square wave is higher.

Thus, what CAN happen is that a surge strip plugged into the output of an UPS will blow out the MOV the first time it switches to batteries.

While the MOV is performing its job, it acts like a dead short, thus possibly taking the UPS with it.

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Photobug...

I don't want to get your hopes up, but I recently purchased a Belkin UPS with software that I think might perform the function you wish.

I know there is a "schedule" function, but I haven't taken much of a look at what it can and can't do.

You may want to look at pg. 23 of the manual at this site and see if that gives you some idea about the possibilities:

http://web.belkin.com/support/download/fil...lus_Windows.pdf

That happens to be the manual for Win 98, but I think it's applicable to "Bulldog Plus", the Belkin UPS software for all Windows systems. If not, you can find the appropriate OS manual here:

http://web.belkin.com/support/download/dow...NV〈=1&mode=

Actually I have the 800VA not the 1000VA mentioned on those pages. I do know that however the shutdown function works, it only applies to some of the outlets, not all of them. So for instance, I'm just about certain that you couldn't shut down anything connected to surge protection only outlets.

Aside from that limitation, I'm thinking that the software will perform the function you require. It seems to even be able to suspend or hibernate the OS as well, rather than completely shut it down. But all of that is on a schedule, and I don't see anything about manually shutting everything down, if that's one of your requirements.

Any of these functions are unnecessary for me, and I don't even have the software installed right now, so I can't tell you much more than that.

For some reason, I thought the APC SmartUPS models could do the same thing, but I may be wrong about that as well what I've suggested about the Belkin UPS and software.

HTH a little anyway, and that the UPS can actually do what you'd like.

AppX

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While I appreciate all of the interest, apparently there's still some confusion as to the feature I'm looking for. As stated in my original post...

I'm looking for a good UPS for my home-office and I was wondering if any of them offer the convenience of a 'master power switch'? While most surge suppressors have this feature, I don't see it mentioned on any UPS feature-list. I don't especially want to also buy a separate surge suppressor unit as that functionality is usually built into a UPS.

To some, it's no big deal to throw/push several power switches (PC, monitor, printer, etc.) every time they need to turn their equipment ON and OFF and some people just leave their equipment on all of the time! In my case, besides my monitor the other power switches are not within easy reach and leaving everything running 24 x 7 doesn't make any sense to me! Years ago, I had a power-center (with surge-suppression) that my monitor 'sat on'. Everything plugged into it and I could turn everything ON/OFF with one master power switch (it also afforded me individual control if I so chose). What I want now is the same 'master power-switch' control feature on a UPS! :unsure:

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As has been said previously, the APC models I have used all turn off power to the battery backup outlets when you turn off the front panel switch. The always-on sockets are just that. If your printer is an inkjet and not a power hungry laser then plug everything into the battery backup outlets and enjoy one touch power off/on.

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can anyone confirm or deny what i've heard and posted about the 'instant off' issue?

No, but that won't stop me from posting about it. :-)

When the PC is "off," all the power supply voltages are off except for the +5VSB (plus five volt standby) power which is necessary in order to feed, say, the circuitry that monitors the front panel "power on" switch. If that wasn't on, then the mobo couldn't "hear" the front panel power switch and couldn't be turned on.

That's way better than the olden days (AT power supplies) when there was 117VAC fed up to the front panel switch.

So I don't know what else could care about whether or not the power was suddenly shut off.

On the other hand, if the PC is on, meaning that it has booted, then it is definitely detrimental to simply turning off.

-- Rick

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honold:

From the User's Manual of an older APC UPS (BK 500) I have:

"CAUTION: Do not connect a laser printer OR surge suppressor to the UPS. Such devices may overload the UPS when operating on-battery."

But that's all it says and I wouldn't know if the same "caution" applies to all makes and models. However, I don't know why that would apply to the non-battery outlets, but I suppose APC provides that caution for good reason.

Powerbug:

I'd still suggest a simple note to one of the customer service desks of the UPS companies themselves asking for a definitive answer.

With the right UPS and shutdown software, I think I could get close to doing what you suggest - but basically, on a regular, scheduled basis. The scheduling software is surely meant for a normal "9-5" office environment though, where people would be only be using PCs at certain hours. So those of us who use our PCs at any time of day may not benefit from many of the software's functions. Mostly, I like the automated shut down in case of a power failure; the scheduling function does much the same thing, and more, but at prescheduled times. Maybe you could set up a schedule to shut everything off, including powering down Windows gracefully, and just override the software if you wanted to work outside the scheduled hours. Seems like it would be tricky, and not exactly what you want, but maybe better than nothing.

If you're interested, here's what the manual I mentioned above says about the automated scheduling function:

"Action - Shutdown: Shutdown/Hibernate/Suspend the operating system

or shutdown UPS. If you select the shutdown item Bulldog Plus will

execute or ignore the Auto-Save function depending on your selection in

the Action dialog box. But if you select the “suspend” or “hibernate” item,

the program will ignore the Auto-Save function.

The action of “shutdown”, “hibernate” or “suspend” are the same as if you

select the Shutdown Option from the Windows Start menu."

The software dialog box also shows a calander that graphically displays the functions scheduled for each day of the month.

Also, what Rick said is probably an important consideration. I just read somewhere about someone who was shutting down his UPS when he turned off his computer and he was having problems with his Raid array when he tried to power up again.

I don't know if the two were related, but the fellow claimed that when he stopped shutting down the UPS, his problems with his Raid array went away.

AppX

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that would apply to the non-battery outlets, but I suppose APC provides that caution for good reason.

APC claims that our Smart 1000XL with a UXBP24 battery pack(basically 4 car battery sized batteries inside the pack) gets half the life that the estimator claims, simply because there are surge protectors attached.

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