Monday, July 24, 2006

My not-in-warranty UPS

(Pictures Below)

A friend of mine gave me a old UPS of his. The batteries had run out and he just went out and bought a new one. It sat in my closet till my brother built his own. Then the gears started turning and I decided build my very own.
Now keep in mind that this will void your warranty and is not for the meek.

Parts
  1. UPS (free)
  2. Eight feet of No.10 Gage wire ($4)
  3. Terminal Clamps ($1.99)
  4. 'Big Fat Wire' between batteries (optional) ($3)
  5. Marine deep Cycle batteries (approx $50) (you may need two, wired in series)
  6. Two wire nuts
Steps
  • Take the old battery from the UPS and return it to a Battery recycling center
  • No. really, you should! It will not cost you anything!
  • Cut the eight foot wire in half.
  • Attach them to the terminal clamps (not to the battery yet!)
  • Clip the ends of the wire that are in the UPS (strip about an inch)
  • Twist the eight foot wires (now four feet) to the ends in the UPS
  • Screw the wire nuts on TIGHT (there will be many AMPS flowing here)
  • Attach the red (positive) to the plus on the battery
  • Attach the black (negative) to the minus on the battery
  • (if you need 24v, like me, use the plus on one battery and the minus on the other, on two different 12v batteries, then attach the 'big fat one' between the other plus and other minus, don't short it!)
  • Charge overnight
YAY, your done.
If you did everything right you should have many many hours of runtime (depending on your load)















Marine Deep Cycle Battery
















The Red (Positive) Terminal





















In the cabinet (sorry about the power wire in the picture, it is live, cant move it that well)
















The Big Fat Wire

8 comments:

Mike said...

Why did you use a Marine/RV battery versus a regular auto battery?

Mike said...

btw - I got to your blog from Engadget, and have been wanting to use a setup similar to yours since the battery gave up on my APC UPS. :)

A Critical System said...

I use a Marine deep Cycle, because it is designed to be discharged completely. Unlike a regular car battery it that is meant to be kept fully charged at all times.

In the event of an extended power outage the deep cycle will recharge back to full capacity with less "damage" to the internal cells.

A Critical System said...

Mike-
Glad to help, let me know how it goes.
BTW I got my batteries from Sams Club; They where very very curious as to why I needed two batteries, they are probably still wondering :)

boatermon said...

I set up something similar to this. Check out these batteries that will give amazing backup capability. Lots of info on their website.
http://odyssey-batteries.com/index.html.

Darrell said...

While this will obviously work electrically, you have at least two physical problems with your setup that can both be solved with the same solution.

First is acid leakage over time if the seals on the battery fail.

Second, and more importantly, you have a fire hazard from the exposed metal battery terminals. If anything metal shorts the terminals, the high current discharge can easily heat the metal shorting the battery to a melting/exploding point. That is why "good" battery terminals in cars are insulated and the battery secured from moving around. Yes, it is unlikely that something may get across the terminals, but I don't want to be in the room if the freak "accident waiting to happen" occurs.

The simple fix is to put the batteries into a plastic box with a cover... they sell battery boxes for exactly this use in the car battery section. One box will probably hold both of your batteries with a bit of room to spare. The plastic box will contain any leaks as the whole battery is inside the sealed bottom of the box. The lid can be strapped down with the supplied strap to keep it from falling off, and molded gaps in the lid will allow the wires to exit the box without problems.

First link found when
Googling for "battery box" so you can see a picture:

http://www.batterymart.com/c-battery-boxes.html

Anonymous said...

I did practically the same. I bought a deep cycle/marine battery in sam's club and placed it away from the work desk, using long #8 wires.

The best way to protect the terminals from shorting is to place an inverted milk crate over the battery. This way the battery still has ventilation around it to avoid a concentration of hydrogen gas.

Zvi

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