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UPS recommendations

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UPS recommendations

Postby mpostor » Tue May 15, 2012 9:42 am

Does anyone use a UPS to keep their FOH setup safe from accidental power outages?
Can anyone recommend a suitable device?
I've got a Yamaha 01v96VCM with external pre-amps and a CD player.
Our lampy tripped the power at our last gig. It was only off for a second, but it was enough to reset everything. I'd like to avoid that in the future (after the gig we took the lampy outside and reset him with a mic stand; gave a new definition for 'insert device' ).

Any suggestions of what to get or avoid would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Stu.
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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby chris... » Tue May 15, 2012 10:34 am

When you say "reset", does the 01V not boot and resume from where it was, once the power returns ?

(I appreciate lots of other gear might not)
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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 15, 2012 11:03 am

APC are amongst the industry leaders and I've always found their products to be very cost-effective and reliable.

http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13

You will need to decide what power load, capacity, and run-time you require, and then find the appropriate unit. The little Back-UPS models are quite popular amongst TV drama and Film recordists.

http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/DFAH-8GLQK6_R0_EN.pdf

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby mpostor » Tue May 15, 2012 11:43 am

chris... wrote:When you say "reset", does the 01V not boot and resume from where it was, once the power returns ?

(I appreciate lots of other gear might not)

Yes, the desk does resume where you left off, but only after a lenghty reboot.
There's also a spike sent down the audio lines when the pre-amps start up as well.
Done in the right sequence, as it is during setup, there's no issues (PA is the last thing switched on).
The momentary loss of power, followed by restoration was enough to put a loud BANG through the PA. It was loud enough for someone to come running in from another part of the building carrying a fire extinguisher.
Yes, we've identified a failing in our working practices (the lampy), but we need to look at how we can minimise problems when it happens again. I say 'when' because it would be foolish to assume that it won't ever happen again, even if we are careful and we prevent the lampy from touching anything.

Thanks for the APC info Hugh. I'll look into them.

Cheers.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby chris... » Tue May 15, 2012 12:10 pm

Good luck!
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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby seablade » Tue May 15, 2012 12:50 pm

mpostor wrote:Does anyone use a UPS to keep their FOH setup safe from accidental power outages?
Can anyone recommend a suitable device?
I've got a Yamaha 01v96VCM with external pre-amps and a CD player.
Our lampy tripped the power at our last gig. It was only off for a second, but it was enough to reset everything. I'd like to avoid that in the future (after the gig we took the lampy outside and reset him with a mic stand; gave a new definition for 'insert device' ).

Any suggestions of what to get or avoid would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Stu.

You need to make sure you have an 'online' UPS that is constantly powering the equipment plugged into it from the battery. While not as common these days and 'offline' UPS means that it will switch to the battery and sometimes this doesn't happen fast enough to prevent problems in computer based equipment, thus why you may have had problems, or else your battery is really shot if it really died in a fraction of a second(Assuming you didn't have anything like a full amp rack on it).

And yes APC is considered popular, to be honest they aren't really all that special in many ways. I am taking a close look at the SurgeX offering in this area, who are very popular for their power conditioning products to see how their new UPS system does.

Personally my preference is to make sure the UPS is in a nice rolling rack, so I prefer not to mess with the bricks Hugh posted for live sound. I can see why they would be popular for film sound, but I prefer as much of my stuff to be rackmounted as possible.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby chris... » Tue May 15, 2012 1:01 pm

seablade wrote: 'offline' UPS means that it will switch to the battery and sometimes this doesn't happen fast enough to prevent problems in computer based equipment, thus why you may have had problems,

That said, an offline UPS (designed for computers) will hopefully be better than nothing (the current situation).

With an online UPS, would we expect a significantly greater chance off the UPS itself failing (for whatever reason) hence taking down the show, while the raw mains feed itself is perfectly fine ? With the offline UPS, at least the show is effectively running off raw mains until something goes horribly wrong. Or am I being paranoid ?
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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 15, 2012 1:10 pm

seablade wrote:You need to make sure you have an 'online' UPS that is constantly powering the equipment plugged into it from the battery.

I don't believe this is the case -- at least not for this application. And online UPS are fiendishly expensive.

I have used simple off-line UPS systems with a Yamaha DM1000 digital console, and it manages to flip over to battery power quite fast enough to prevent the Yamaha from being aware of a mains outage. I also use larger off-line systems to back up my desktop computer and NAS etc, again without any glitches during power outages.

Personally my preference is to make sure the UPS is in a nice rolling rack, so I prefer not to mess with the bricks Hugh posted for live sound. I can see why they would be popular for film sound, but I prefer as much of my stuff to be rackmounted as possible.

If you're trying to protect a large system then a rolling rack makes a lot of sense -- UPS batteries are heavy, and big capacity systems get extremely heavy, and who deosn't like rack-mounted gear?

The model I linked to above was simply a suggestion of a small, compact and affordable solution that would provide the required protection for a small digital desk, and which I know from trusted feedback does the job adequately for those on a budget.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby seablade » Tue May 15, 2012 2:51 pm

chris... wrote:
seablade wrote: 'offline' UPS means that it will switch to the battery and sometimes this doesn't happen fast enough to prevent problems in computer based equipment, thus why you may have had problems,
That said, an offline UPS (designed for computers) will hopefully be better than nothing (the current situation).

With an online UPS, would we expect a significantly greater chance off the UPS itself failing (for whatever reason) hence taking down the show, while the raw mains feed itself is perfectly fine ? With the offline UPS, at least the show is effectively running off raw mains until something goes horribly wrong. Or am I being paranoid ?

Ahh sorry I misunderstood, I thought you HAD a UPS and had the issue, my fault.

I haven't had one fail in such a way yet myself.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby seablade » Tue May 15, 2012 2:53 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
I don't believe this is the case -- at least not for this application. And online UPS are fiendishly expensive.

I have used simple off-line UPS systems with a Yamaha DM1000 digital console, and it manages to flip over to battery power quite fast enough to prevent the Yamaha from being aware of a mains outage. I also use larger off-line systems to back up my desktop computer and NAS etc, again without any glitches during power outages.

Yes you CAN use offline without issues on occasion, in my experience it really varies on the quality of the UPS and how picky my power supply is.


If you're trying to protect a large system then a rolling rack makes a lot of sense -- UPS batteries are heavy, and big capacity systems get extremely heavy, and who deosn't like rack-mounted gear?

The model I linked to above was simply a suggestion of a small, compact and affordable solution that would provide the required protection for a small digital desk, and which I know from trusted feedback does the job adequately for those on a budget.

Hugh

Yea don't get me wrong, as I mentioned above there are places those make sense. Just in sound reinforcement I find the rackmount units a better fit. Then again decent rackmount units do cost money.

Seablade

Who does have a couple of those bricks in his house for the record.
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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby chris... » Tue May 15, 2012 11:17 pm

seablade wrote:I haven't had one fail in such a way yet myself.

With an online UPS, the load is always running from the batteries, right? So if the batteries give out (e.g due to being too old - you should have replaced them months ago), can that cause loss of power, where the mains itself is fine ? Or does old batteries simply mean the autonomy time is poor ? Or maybe the online UPS can quickly switch the load onto raw mains if the batteries fail. Or something.

I worry that you protect against one type of problem, only to become vulnerable to another.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby seablade » Wed May 16, 2012 12:48 am

chris... wrote: So if the batteries give out (e.g due to being too old - you should have replaced them months ago), can that cause loss of power, where the mains itself is fine ? Or does old batteries simply mean the autonomy time is poor ?

The latter. And typically long before that you get annoying beeping to alert you to your battery needing to be replaced.

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Re: UPS recommendations

Postby Jamie Taylor » Wed May 30, 2012 1:22 am

I second Hugh on APC UPS' we use lots of them on our show (Jersey Boys London) for FOH computers, samplers and the entire comms rig. They will need maintaining long term (the batteries do not last forever) and I have known them to fail on very rare occasions but the company that supplies the kit supply many very big shows and find them the most reliable option.
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