Back on November 25h, 2013: I started writing this post:
According to this blog, I received this PowerSource 400 on January 21st, 2008 - click here
In answer to the question at the end of that post, the answer was yes. There are 5 other PowerSource 400's in service in my home.
Anyways...back on October 28th (my 45th birthday ), about an hour after getting into bed there was a power blink....I recall being woken by the PowerSource 400 in the bedroom, but I was still able to breath, so I eventually went back to sleep. I woke in the morning to find that half my network had been down for quite some time, though I didn't see any alerts on the security system control pad.
This being the "network closet" UPS...it was providing backup power for my DSL modem, its associated router, the switch that connects the various rooms in my home together, namely the "living room" and the "back bedroom". Not sure which AP the "side bedroom" was connected to. Though the power outage knocked out my laser printer, which I haven't felt the urge to find out why. Really need to work on finding a more accessible location for it, or work on reversing the entropy in my nuclear room(s)... especially since my other printer is circling the drain, and not sure when I'll get around to getting the new inkjet printer that I've been eyeing.
Restarting the UPS, was when I finally got alerts from my security system. It was a combination of events that happened when I cycled power and events that had been waiting for the return of connectivity. The security system's primary connection is broadband, but it also has a phone line for backup (there's a cellular option, but its been out of stock whenever I've felt the urge to splurge for it....though I kind of have cellular backup anyways....)
It was the return of power that caused it to report loss and recovery of the phone line, along with the queued messages of broadband and power outages, with restores of all... Its built in backup battery had kept it up during the outage (approx 8.5 hours). The phone line from the base station is connected to an ObiHai OBi110. Which has an FXO port to allow selection of analog phone service, or in the event an outage pass through to this. In normal operation the OBi110 is making my Google Voice available to my regular phones, where the OBI110 is configured to use my other Internet gateway. The FXO port is connected to a Cobra PhoneLynx Bluetooth Cell to Home Phone Adapter which is associated with a phone with AT&T prepaid service.
Though I plan to at a later date replace both the OBi110 and PhoneLynx and cellphone with an At&t Wireless Home Phone Base. Which I have sitting, waiting for when I get around to it.
The plan is the OBi110 will move to the living room for use there, though its in associating with the planned inkjet printer replacement.
So, its time to replace the batteries...guess I'll do research on where I can get a pair. Hmmm, it uses the same kind as the pair I had replaced in my SmartUPS 1400 back on October 10th (it went around October 5th, and I ordered them on the 6th). The site provides discounts if you buy multiples. I got 5% off for getting 2, would've gotten 7% off for getting 4, or 8% off for getting 6 (9% for 8 and 10% for 10+).
I hesitate, since I'm waiting to see how the recent problem with BillMeLater goes...so needs to be sometime after Nov 5th to order. Meanwhile a storm comes in on November 3rd, and power is blinking like crazy...and I'm constantly restarting the PowerSource 400. Finally I take it out of service, and everything is just in a regular surge strip. Things remain stable (dbox stayed up straight) until this morning. But, feel that I need to put the PowerSource 400 back into service before my annual Thanksgiving trip.
After much procrastination, and lots of searching. I settle on ordering 4 such batteries from an eBay seller on November 14th. Plan to replace the batteries in my second PowerSource 400 soon, since it was purchased on December 31st, 2008 and provides backup power for my CPAP. (see here).
And finally, this morning, I decided that I've put it off too long and to replace it this morning.
Which was a challenge....
There was supposed to be a page 3, but all I had typed was the page break...so had to figure out how to open it up again. Aside from the 4 corner screws, I remembered that there's a screw behind the sticker in the middle. But, I forgot the rivets in the bottom, and that both parts need to be extracted.
Once opened, I started to disconnect the batteries, and once again threw sparks and added another mark to my screwdriver. Taking a step back, I decided there's an order of operation involved here. The answer is start with the outside connections, and then the inside ones. And, then reverse it. This time I knew the side panels interlock with the batteries to help lock them into place, so made sure the wires were clear, I noted that the neural wire for the front outlet had a kink, I made sure that all the wires were in the channel while buttoning things back up.
Surrounding this, was the challenge of getting it out from behind my headboard, though while I was down there, I found a couple missing packages of mask diffusers, I knew I wasn't using them up that quickly, but couldn't figure out why I kept running out. There was one Xyrem pill bottle, I had one night knocked both down...luckily while the empty (first dose) one went all the way down, the other was just wedged between mattress and headboard in upright position. Since I use bottles longer than a month, I usually go by how grungy the caps get...since I customize the bottles, so I can tell the two apart by touch, which matters when one has a larger dose than the other....and the caps get grunge depending on how many nights I overfill (have always had a problem measuring drinks that way.... ) Or how often they get tipped...
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The other day, as I was rebuilding my 5 disk RAID array (which I mean to blog about someday)...for the umpteenth time. A storm came in one morning....this made me concerned about losing power and breaking my RAID in some bad state (it had happened once before). Now I did have the computer and its two disk arrays (and as it turned out monitor) on a Geeksquad 1285VA UPS. And, more serious now that I have quite a lot of data backed up onto this array using backuppc. Had gone through some scary periods where I thought I'd have to start over from scratch.
But, decided that may it was time to put it on a PowerSource 400, like my other two Linux servers. So, I went to my usual source....not available from there, but it listed 3 other sellers; two selling for substantially more than it used to sell for and one selling refurbished units. I went looking around online for other sources, including one other that I had considered as an alternative option (because they shipped using FedEx ground). Found that pretty much everybody that had listings for it, showed it as discontinued and not in stock. I check eBay, there were a few listings...but they were mostly of the store demo variety....seemed too risky for me, given past experiences.
So, I put it in my cart for the next time I was going to place a home bound Amazon Prime order (a PowerSource 400 is a heavy item, so even if I don't know when it'll arrive...I wouldn't want to be lugging it back from the UPS Store).
As it happened, the seller shipped it by UPS Basic, and the mail man showed up with it on the day that I stayed home sick....ran the bell twice and then left it on my door step (took me a while to unmask, get out of bed and find some pants). I didn't immediately set it up....but found somewhere to plug it in to at least charge. I was fully discharged, so it would take a while.
Later that evening a big storm came into the area, alert said golf ball sized hail....it sounded pretty intense out there. Just had to happen as I was trying to do the UPS swap. Discovered some oddities about how I have things run for power around my desk that I had forgotten about. But, I think it is all sorted out now. Though I may opt to move the monitor to another UPS at some later point.
Currently, monitor, server (orac) and the two raid boxes (2 drive - RAID1, 5 drive - RAID6) are on this 'new' PowerSource 400 and its reading 250-260W.
Annoyingly the literature doesn't give an estimate for loads >100W on the PowerSource 400....so I'm not really sure how much time I'll get at this...but hope its something. For comparison. 'lhaven' on its PowerSource 400 is reading 100-110W, and 'box' and the network gear (5 port gigabit switch and g access point) on its PowerSource 400 is reading 150-160W. I may pull the access point off the UPS at some later point in the future, since it is deprecated as I mainly use my Airport Extreme now...which is in another location and on a PowerSource 400.
That other PowerSource 400 is reading ~130W...it has 2 TiVo HDs, both with DVR Expanders, router, 16 port 10/100 switch, and the Airport Extreme. I was originally planning to add a RAID USB storage device to the Airport Extreme...though not sure now...that I have my work Mac Book Pro set up as a client to backuppc. (it also rarely comes how now.)
I don't think I have the courage to test how long any of my PowerSource 400s will actually last....but so far I've been happy with the ones that have endured the few extended outages I experienced last year.
I wonder what will be the successor to the PowerSource 400....and whether there'll be more PowerSource 400s, or what, in the future for me.
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Found another problem with my karmic upgrade of 'box'. The clocks on everything were starting to drift....well 'box' is my NTP server.
I check the ntp.conf, and it was still correct. Then I realized ntp started while bind wasn't....so it omitted a time server to sync with. (and nothing for the initial sync).
So, that's another thing to bounce in /etc/rc.local on boot.
I did find a posting somewhere that suggested apparmor was the causing problems, so I tried removing that....but that didn't solve the problem, though putting it back it did work once....but rebooting again to see if it was a fluke, seemed to say that it was. So, stick with /etc/rc.local as the more reliable way to make sure these things are running.....
Wonder if there'll be a time where I remove this kluge to see if things are fixed...or not.
OTOH, with box on a PowerSource 400, I kind of hope that it'll never go down during typical power outages. Of course, who knows if there'll be another extreme one, like the icepocalypse.
Wonder if the people at Xantrex or Amazon.com are wondering what's with all the PowerSource 400s I've been buying?
The latest acquisition brings the total to 5. With the latest being the 3rd unit in one room.
Somewhere in a past shuffle/outage...I had lost a UPS (CPS700AVR), and lost a computer (box). I had rebuilt box, and as interim....put it on the PowerSource 400 that was backing up 'lhaven'. I also put the 8-port [end] switch and my wireless access point onto this PowerSource 400.
This cuts into the available runtime, and its important to me that 'lhaven' never go down. Though its also important from the operation of my home network that 'box' never goes down. And, of course, the switch...and maybe the wireless access point. Though other parts of my home network are on different PowerSource 400's. The stack of equipment at the DSL point is on one, and the stack of equipment at the Cablemodem point on another (though it also includes extra things like 2 TiVo HD's and Expanders and other HT equipment)
So, I have moved 'box' and the network equipment here to the new PowerSource 400....leaving 'lhaven' on its own.
Now the question is whether or not there'll be another 1 in the future....for 'orac'.
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Even though I was up before noon and could do something dangerous, I got lazy and procrastinated the morning away. Continuing the lack of motivation and go out and do stuff, I jumped into the latest equipment shuffle.
I started by turning off the UPS on the left side of my HT rack and seeing what went off. And, then started removing cables and stuff, making sure I knew things were going as expected. Plus there were other cables to nowhere or longer loops caused by the removal of some ReplayTVs and related components.
Then, I moved my 2 TiVo HDs to occupy the void that was once 4 ReplayTVs (at one time 5, but I had removed the dead one some time ago). And, then I swapped the GeekSquad 1285 UPS for the PowerSource 400.
With things powered up, the guage is reading 120W for load. That's pretty good, guess the numbers I pulled off online were a bit too conservative. Means there'll be ample capacity to add another TiVo HD + expander when that time comes. Though alternatively, there is the new void on the right side caused by the movement of a TiVo HD. And, I'm sure the SmartUPS on the right side can handle having a TiVo on it again.
So, it was time to go put the GeekSquad 1285 back into service.
The first plan was to put 'box' on it. And, maybe the monitor. There's an APC BackUPS 1500VA that is powering 'box' and the monitor along with my Windows stack. So, 'box' and monitor needed to move. Ideally, 'box' would go on a PowerSource 400, but that one hasn't been purchased yet. But, once I traced out the cables and discovered some quirks (by accidentally pulling the plug on 'orac'.) I got 'box' and monitor onto the GeekSquad 1285.
Then I noticed the annoyance. The 'silent' icon was no longer lit. Guess that explains why it was making a racket last power outage. Apparently it needs utility power to remember its settings, seems kind of lame. So I got my laptop and set about to reprogram it.
While I was connected I saw that runtime was shorter than I expected the move would get me. Guess 'box' draws quite a lot of power, and the UPS isn't really up to that kind of task. Even though it would also be bad, I ended up putting 'box' onto the PowerSource 400 that backs up the network switch and 'lhaven'. Guess at a future date, I'll move 'box' and switch to a separate PowerSource 400. That'll be fun.
I put the GeekSquad 1285 to back up 'orac' and monitor instead. Interesting that Gnome Power Manager saw the UPS, and seemed to indicate that it knew what to do now. Guess we'll find out next outage. Not sure if that means I should be looking at a UPS other than another PowerSource 400 to protect 'box'. Its a trade off....I would rather 'box' never go down in an extended outage, though it is also modern enough now that it should detect and handle modern UPSs as well.
I guess we'll see when the next impulse hits.
Of course, there's the question of what to do with the now retired CPS1500AVR-HO and CPS700AVR.
That's right, I got another one of these. Bring the total that I have in my home to 4.
I had originally been looking at ordering through another site, that had it for less than what Amazon.com charges (especially since at the time I was looking Amazon.com was out of stock)....but, of course, the other route would mean paying for shipping. Which was okay, because the site in question offered FedEx Home Delivery. Which means I don't have to be home for me to receive it.
Though getting stuff from Amazon.com w/Amazon Prime by UPS hasn't been bad....I can time the order to coincide with when I'll be home late that morning, so I can get it before going in to work. A little trickier with other deliveries by UPS, but usually manageable.
The other site + FedEx Home Delivery is in the same ballpark as getting it by Amazon Prime. But, when it came time to place the order, I saw that Amazon.com had the units in stock again. So, I opted to delay placing the order, so that I could get it delivered today.
However, Amazon choose to fulfill this portion of my order using FedEx 2Day Saver...which means that it was to get to me by 4:30pm today. Well, it didn't arrive until 4:50pm. But, the annoying thing was I had stay home all day waiting for when it would arrive. Because unlike FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx won't leave my package even though I've filled out the leave package form before....
So far I haven't had issue with FedEx Home Delivery packages left for me when I'm not home, even when I wasn't given the tracking number by the shipper.... like the delivery of the Buckwheat pillow I got yesterday.
The Amazon Prime order included other items, and the rest came separately by UPS...which showed up at a normal/reasonable morning time.
This PowerSource 400 is slated to go where I had originally been planning to get another SmartUPS for my Home Theatre setup. Since I've been running this side with a regular UPS for years (in the post DLP acq...a CyberPowerSystems 1500AVR-HO and now a GeekSquad 1285)....I decided that a PowerSource 400 would likely serve me just fine in this location for less than another SmartUPS would be.
The GeekSquad 1285 would move to the back and run 'box', which has been running off another computer's UPS ever since its UPS died. Rather than to replace the failing CPS700AVR that backs up 'orac'.
Hopefully the PowerSource 400 will be adequate and giving long runtimes to the stuff on this side of the HT rack. Though I'm wonder if I shouldn't have measured things first. It would've been adequate for when it was ReplayTVs and some network equipment (cable modem, switch, router). But, the ReplayTVs have been retired, and now it'll be 3 TiVo HD's with external drives (currently just 2, but I see a 3rd in the not too distant future)....and some additional networking equipment.
And perhaps the media player and DVI switcher, I knew the media player wasn't protected...but was caught off guard that the DVI switcher isn't.
Hmmm, based on figures I have from google searches...3 might be cutting it close (especially with all the other stuff) if I want a reasonable runtime...perhaps I'll leave one of the TiVo HD + drive setups on the left side. Though I think I'll slate the 3rd one for there. Since I think a little cleanup of the nest of cabling might be in order....
I have picked up another fan....using Amazon Prime. Strange how lately after I order an item, Amazon is suddenly out of the item and projecting 1-2 months before they'll have it again. Makes it hard to get another immediately after if I find that I like it (or love it....wouldn't mind having another one or two PowerSource 400's)
Anyways...had a AM doctor appointment last Thursday, so I quickly ordered a few new items using Amazon Prime to arrive later that morning. The main item being Lasko 42" Wind Curve Platinum. I had originally wanted the Lasko 52" Oscillating Pedestal Fan, but it went out of stock by the time I was ready to place the order....with a projected 1-2 months before it'll be in stock again. In retrospect, it might have been more useful for my application.
This morning, I was thinking about the bad nights I had had lately. One was waking up wet from sweat. I had intended to have a second more direct fan for my bedroom, but the Honeywell proved to be too noisy for sleeping use, even on its lowest setting.
So, I set about to find a spot in my bedroom where the Lasko fan would go. Ideally I wanted to rearrange the furniture of my bedroom, but the UPS fiasco of July 3rd...threw a wrench into my plan to maybe take a stab at doing it this long weekend. I may just have to burn some vacation time to get it done. Eventually, I decided the stop next to my bed is currently occupied by floor lamp...which wasn't plugged in (because I needed the outlet for CPAP stuff) and I haven't used. So I moved it into storage.
The fan is a little low standing along side my bed, hence the thinking that the 52" might have worked better. Though I knew I needed tall, so the normal 33" ones would definitely not have worked (I had tower fans in Dublin, OH, but I didn't bring them in move because there were close to worn out...and I ran out of space on moving truck.) A quick test and it seems that it should do the job more than adequately, perhaps too well (perhaps when I rearrange the bedroom it won't be placed so close to the bed).... However, during the testing, I discovered that the fan's remote conflicted and triggered strange behavior in the Honeywell fan.
I had been meaning to have a fan in the living room, and had intended the Honeywell fan to initially take that spot. Except that there was stuff in the spot that I was considering for it. So, today was finally the day to toss clear that spot. The biggest item being the box for my Dell Dimension XPS computer (circa 1993). I decided to toss it. Even though the computer will likely be around for a few more years, I hope that I won't have to move before I get around to replacing it.....
That brings the number of units in my condo to 3.
I go this one to replace the UPS (a CyberPowerSystems 1500AVR-HO) that was backing up 'lhaven' and the 8 port switch.
After getting it set up, I moved my wireless access point (Belkin F5D7130) over to this. It had gotten left behind when I moved my DSL modem and router. So it was in a place that didn't really make sense anymore. Though originally it wasn't my wireless access point, it was one of a pair for NDS bridging. But, now that I strung a cable to the remote point...I did it to solve the apparent heavy shielding of the walls in the condo.
If I do a WiFi scan around this computer, I can only hear like 4 other APs. Move to the other end of the condo...and there are dozens of APs.
The UPS plan calls for at least one more UPS....still leaning towards another SmartUPS for that one...though who knows, might go with another PowerSource 400....
Last night I experienced another Kansas Weather Event. Starting to wonder if I had known about these things, would I have called Manhattan, Kansas home?
Last night it was rain, and lots of it. I may as well have been a solid water coming down everywhere....almost the instant it started....I could hear water pouring into my living room. I had towel handy, and the put empty trash containers along the patio door and that kept most of the water at bay.
Carpet was dry by morning.
But, then the inevitable next happened. The power flickered and then went away. I was watching TV at the time (L&O: Criminal Intent). Guess I'll have to pick up the ending later. Things were humming on the UPS. Though somethings bounced...I turned off the TV and the V880N. Seems my HDVI5 switcher isn't on a UPS. So, there was no using things while the UPSs beeped. I thought I had disabled the beeper in the UPS, but maybe it only disables if it knows there's a computer attached....there isn't so...hmmm.
The UPS handling 'lhaven' died immediately. So, no IRC. So, even though the cable modem was still working and lasted more than half an hour. And, the DSL modem never went down. I was quickly without Internet, as computers ran down. And, my wireless access points are connected to desktop UPSs. I think I should move the access point to the PowerSource 400 that was backing up my phone/VoIP/router/dsl.
I went around shutting down some other computers to help stretch the UPSs....
Seems the Lasko floor fan and the Kenmore Envirosense air purifier didn't like being on the UPS...probably the TRIAC to make low speed fan and the simulated sine wave of the UPS output not getting along. I turned these things off. And, then after pacing around for a while, and checking various light sources. And, finding it getting warm and stuffy indoors. I went out and listened on my HT to the weather spotters, and checked out the area.
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This morning, there was a loud beep along with a variety of other strange sounds that woke me. The power had gone out. I could still breath, so my PowerSource400 was doing its job.
I don't yet have the humidifier plugged into the PowerSource400, but I was only using it in passive mode last night. Though I was told in chat that it'll work on an inverter, so it would work on the PowerSource400. The brochure even touts it as a feature of benefit to truck drivers and campers.... Didn't occur to me to find out. Though biggest problem is forgetting to turn it on at night, and/or turning it off in the morning.
Almost as soon as I was fully aware that the power was out and that I was still getting air....there was another beep, and power was back on. I went back to sleep for a little while longer....
Later I saw the clean air filter light was on the air purifier in the room next to my bedroom, so wondered if the air cell would fit in my ultrasonic cleaner. So, first I cleaned my cushions using it....and then found the air cell was too big. But, also time to replace white filter....or rather swap a white filter in for the grey filter....gonna say it picked up a long more funk because I traveled last weekend....
Also in between cushion cleaning and air purifier cleaning...I decided that it was time to try my hand at modifying my ComfortLite II mask. Guess we'll find out how that works tonight.
Finally, I was looking at my data...and decided I should see if I can get EncoreViewer & USB reader working on my new laptop...where its running Ubuntu...with Windows XP in a VirtualBox VM.
Had lots of fun trying to get USB working, but basically it was combine various information found online on the subject...until I got it to work. There was a bit of VirtualBox/USB and Intrepid. udev file didn't quite match, since there was already a vbox one that did the same thing that it described. Another forum post had a different method, but talked of creating a separate group...make the device nodes in that group...and adding vbox & user to the group....while the 'VirtualBox/USB' method said add user to vboxusers group.
What I went back and did was have it make the /proc/bus/usb device nodes for the vboxusers group...and then finally the devices showed up (after a reboot).
The XP VM detected the USB devices, installed drivers and the light turned green....EncoreViewer started reading the smartcard, but then it failed. I fiddled some more...eventually rebooted the XP VM, it did a bunch of stuff (some 33 updates?)...and trying again, I was able to successfully read the smartcard.
Then it was a matter of copying some files from my desktop to the VM, so I could have the historical data. Laptop way will just be so I know it would work rather than use it regularly....of course, that might change if I make it the bedroom computer after the rearrangement. Though I'm thinking a whole new computer would go there....perhaps one of those ASUS atom based all in ones.
What kind of trouble can I get myself into next.
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