The Shoemaker’s Children Go Barefoot (no more)

For someone who makes the bulk of her income working with power quality, my own computer systems have been fairly under-protected for many years.

I picked up a stand-by UPS (APC Model ES550) many years ago (maybe 10? hard to say, might have been my second device); it has served me reasonably well. And even though I’m well aware of the nature of stand-by UPS (time delay before inverter switches on, step wave inverter output) it’s done a pretty solid job of keeping my computer up and running.

A few days ago, my home office lost power for a bit – clocks were reset, the computer switched off – and I realized it was time to upgrade the office UPS. I picked up another APC – a line interactive, sine wave output model RS 1000MS – rated for 1000VA / 600W.

It’s got plenty of juice for my needs – sitting at about 20% of load / 37 minutes of battery time with my desktop, monitor, cable modem, and a small backup server and peripheral hard drive. I’m much enamored with the front panel LED screen and the PowerChute software. And while I have not set my computer up to hibernate at the command of the UPS, that’s a possibility.

I go back a long ways – when a buck a watt was perhaps a reasonable price to pay for a small UPS. So to get all this for about $150 – well, I’m not complaining.

And I took the time to run my house cable through the internal TVSS and the Ethernet from the cable modem back to the computer through the UPS – so I’ve got a better chance of surviving nearby lightning strikes / transients – related to both transient voltages and ground potential issues. I’m not at the point of driving a ground rod and connecting an external ground though. I’m down in a basement and close to the residence service panel, so not super worried about ground issues.

And I’ve also spent some time separating critical loads (computer, monitor, cable modem, exterior drives / servers) from less critical loads (printers, speakers), plugging these latter into the TVSS only outlets. And while I was down there with the system off, untangling the cable spaghetti, wrapping and tying off cables, neatening things up.

Saying Good-bye to an Old & Loyal Friend

Not a long, emotional post (I’ve saved those for my personal blog and for social media) but I want to note the passing of my beloved canine buddy, Elo. He lived a good long doggie life of 16 years. Some clients may have heard him in the background during phone calls – he was my shadow and wherever I was in the house / office, he followed.

Elo came into my life way back in 2004; he moved with me to my present residence in 2010, and we’ve been a bonded pair ever since. He never had a lot of dog friends (being part Aussie Cattle Dog / Heeler, he was super bossy and would want to herd them) but was a great people dog. I was a little concerned how he’d transition to condo life (having come from a single family house with a fenced in yard) but he did great.

I miss the little f*cker (a pet name, well earned) a lot, although I’m happy to finally have the opportunity to get ahead of the dog hair and shedding.