I picked up my first UPS several years ago as one of the deal items at a Black Friday doorbuster sale. I used it as a battery backup on my PC for several years. Since then, I’ve upgraded to higher wattage uninterruptible power supplies to support more electronics and have more time in the case of a power outage. Using a UPS has saved my computer from lightning strikes that fried my cable modem and has saved my work more times than I’d care to admit when random power outages happen.
Until recently, I’ve been lax on using a UPS in one area of my house that is a concentrated location for electronics – the entertainment center. I bought and used a fancy power strip that promised a “$250,000 guarantee” if your devices were fried, but I didn’t make the same jump to use a battery backup for the HDTV, A/V receiver, TiVo, PS3, and other gadgets up there. Unlike the computer, where I might have unsaved homework, websites, or work-related things that would set me back a few hours, putting a UPS with the entertainment center is more a matter of convenience. Not losing my place in the middle of a movie is convenient and avoiding the lengthy boot up time of the TiVo is a time saver but a UPS actually goes beyond that.
A UPS may actually lengthen the life of your electronics by providing them with “filtered” electricity. A UPS is often both battery backup and surge protection. It goes beyond the protection you get from a surge-protector power strip. A UPS is able to protect electronics from surges, sags, spikes, and “dirty” electricity noise or instability. For this reason, it made good financial sense to protect my electronics with a battery backup. The Eaton 3S750 UPS would do the job perfectly. The power rating is 750VA/450 Watts and is able to provide electricity to the devices if the power goes out for a little while.
When talking to some people about getting a UPS, they’ve told me that they find them intimidating. Some believe they are more complex than just plugging into the wall outlet or a surge-protecting power strip. Hopefully they’re less intimidating than eRecycling that new TV because it was fried from a lightning strike or a power surge. To help make a UPS a bit more approachable, I’ll walk you through unboxing and preparing my Eaton UPS.
Step 1 is to just remove the UPS from the box. The Eaton 3S UPS has 10 outlets – five are battery backups/surge protection and the other five are surge protection. Two outlets of each are spaced nicely apart for transformers that normally take up an outlet and a half. Along with the UPS, securely shipped with packaging material, it comes with a user’s guide and a USB cable. The USB cable allows you to connect your UPS to a computer. Once connected, you can use Eaton’s Intelligent Power Protector Software Suite to safely shut down your computer if the battery backup is running low. The UPS also has a protected RJ-45 network jack. You can plug a network cable into the UPS from your router and then use another network cable to connect to your device. This ensures that a surge doesn’t kill your devices.
It’s pretty easy to prepare the UPS for first time use. If you flip it upside down, you’ll find the directions for the next steps to take.
Zooming in on them, we read that we need to connect the battery before use.
- Remove tape (that doubles as the instructions)
- Open the battery door
- Connect the battery
Removing the tape and sliding the cover off, we see the battery with its blue writing. We can also see a loose wire there that we will need to connect.
Tipping the battery up a little bit, we can see the positive (red) wire is already connected but the ground (black) is disconnected. We just slide the black wire onto the battery connector and lower the battery back down and we’re all set once we get the cover back on.
Our UPS is now fully operational. Flipping it back over and removing the other stickers from the top-side reveals the sleek piano finish on the top of the UPS. It will look quite good with the entertainment center!
In addition, the 3S model includes an EcoControl outlet to help save electricity from vampire draw, saving you money. To make the most of these controlled outlets, you have to understand how they work. If we plug something into the Master outlet, like our TV, and then plug the cable box into one of the three controlled outlets, their use will be linked. If I power off the TV, the cable box will automatically get powered off by the UPS. This can save a lot of electricity for three devices – especially when the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that our set-top box can inefficiently consume as much electricity as our refrigerator in a year!
The five battery backup outlets are not controlled by the master switch and that’s an important point for those with TiVos or DVRs who want those devices to run even if the TV (or other master device) is off. For that same reason, a DVR makes a lousy Master control because it never gets turned off. You might have to think about your setup to find out how to optimally take advantage of the Eaton UPS EcoControl capabilities. For me, my A/V receiver is the master and other things like the TV and PS3 are only available when the receiver is on.
With pictures of the three steps required to prepare a UPS, hopefully they’re less intimidating now. If you picked up some cool new gadgets on Black Friday, perhaps you’ll consider adding an Eaton UPS to your holiday wish list in order to provide battery backup, prevent vampire draw, and “filter” the electricity for a longer life of your electronics.
Welcome to the world of sleek, savvy and sophisticated power protection with Eaton’s new 3S battery backup. The ideal solution for home office/small office computers and accessories, networking and VoIP systems, and home entertainment devices. Learn more at: http://powerquality.eaton.com/
DISCLOSURE : PAID
The author of this article was paid or otherwise directly compensated to promote a product, service, or topic mentioned in the article.