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RS800VA Not Working Properly

APC UPS for Home and Office Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our APC offers including Home Office UPS, Surge Protectors, UTS, software and services and associated products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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DebNCgal_apc
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RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/7/2008


Hello, I'm a bit frustrated this morning. I purchased an RS800VA in 12/06. All was working fine till about a month ago when there was a brief power glitch and my Mac, which is connected to the UPS, shut down. There was no prior indication from the UPS that the battery needed to be replaced. But I've encountered that before with other units, so I ordered a new battery and installed it when it came in.

However, another power glitch occurred last night, and the UPS didn't kick in as it should have. My Mac went down again. I usually shut down the Mac at night, but last night I left it on. I awoke this morning to the UPS's steady beeping tone and my Mac had again shut downf.

What I've got plugged into the Battery Backup outlets >> Mac G5, 30" Display, 2 Lacie external drives.
What I've got plugged into the Surge Only outlets >> 1 scanner, 1 external hard drive

I need to know what's going on. Is my RS800VA faulty? If so, is it still under warranty and will it be replaced at no charge? Or is it inadequate for what I've got plugged into it?

What's my next step in correcting this situation? I can't keep having these sudden shutdowns.

Thanks.

Deb Phillips

P.S. I don't use the software that comes with the UPS, as I *usually* I don't leave the Mac on when I'm away.

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BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 7/9/2008


Thanks JoeMomma!

And yes, Deb, please let us know if you have any other questions that either of us can answer for you.

I am glad we could help!

See Answer In Context

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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Matt on APC forums on 7/9/2008


You're quite welcome. Come back anytime!

DebNCgal_apc
Crewman
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RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/7/2008


Hello, I'm a bit frustrated this morning. I purchased an RS800VA in 12/06. All was working fine till about a month ago when there was a brief power glitch and my Mac, which is connected to the UPS, shut down. There was no prior indication from the UPS that the battery needed to be replaced. But I've encountered that before with other units, so I ordered a new battery and installed it when it came in.

However, another power glitch occurred last night, and the UPS didn't kick in as it should have. My Mac went down again. I usually shut down the Mac at night, but last night I left it on. I awoke this morning to the UPS's steady beeping tone and my Mac had again shut downf.

What I've got plugged into the Battery Backup outlets >> Mac G5, 30" Display, 2 Lacie external drives.
What I've got plugged into the Surge Only outlets >> 1 scanner, 1 external hard drive

I need to know what's going on. Is my RS800VA faulty? If so, is it still under warranty and will it be replaced at no charge? Or is it inadequate for what I've got plugged into it?

What's my next step in correcting this situation? I can't keep having these sudden shutdowns.

Thanks.

Deb Phillips

P.S. I don't use the software that comes with the UPS, as I *usually* I don't leave the Mac on when I'm away.

DebNCgal_apc
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/7/2008


Thank you, i picKed a winna, for your very detailed response. I've only ever used the Back-UPS line on my Macs, without apparent problems. However, I believe all my other units have been Back-UPS Pros. This is my first Back-UPS RS model.

** I'm not exactly sure what you mean by, "Have you ever seen it work correctly?" I didn't have a problem with the battery backup not working until about a month ago, and I use my Mac constantly.
** When the glitches occur, the Mac is doing a hard shutdown.
** I'm afraid I can't tell you the wattage info you requested. The specs provided by the manufacturer do not give that info.The two external drives are Lacie d2 Big Disk Extreme w/Triple Interface 600GB drives.
** The tone was a constant flat tone, and I think the light was red -- and not blinking.
** My Serial # stars with "QB" instead of "JS."

As further info, after posting my issue, I ended up chatting with one of the APC support persons, and they seemed to think the problem was that when I got the replacement backup battery, I didn't let it charge fully for 16 hours without anything being connected to it. He recommended that I try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, and then unplugging it from the AC to see if the battery would take over, and it did. He then advised that I let the unit charge fully for 16 hours without anything connected to it. I'll do that whenever I order another backup unit that I can fully charge. Right now, I can't be off my Mac for 16 hours!

As far as your recommendation to use the Smart UPS line, when I use APC's online UPS Selector to figure out which unit is best for me and choose the "Desktop" option (I'm on a PowerMac G5) and then select all the other applicable options, only Back-UPS RS units come up to choose from. Although I've looked around, I've found nowhere on the APC website where one can actually just see a list of the various products. Unless I've overlooked it, it seems my only option has been to go through the UPS Selector to determine which model to purchase. So if I really should be using one of the Smart-UPS models, the APC website has not brought up those options -- unless, of course, I've overlooked where else I could look for various models.

However, I now have a even more pressing problem. In the process of unplugging things and trying a Back-UPS Pro 500 (that was connected to my PC), which apparently doesn't have enough power for my Mac and its peripherals (it gave an "overload" warning), once I got my Mac up and running again, I got a notice that the clock had been reset to December 31, 1969. I reset the clock. But now I cannot access the Internet from the Mac. I'm on a wired network at home, and I CAN connect to the Internet from my PC, just not from the Mac now..

In the Network Preferences on the Mac, it shows a green light for the Built-In Ethernet and indicates "Connected." I tried renewing DHCP and also tried running the Network Diagnostics available in the Network Preference window, but it did not succeed in rectifying whatever happened when I disconnected the power from my Mac.Apparently, having the power off for the time that it was off messed up some network setting, maybe?

Right now, I really can't do the work I need to do on my Mac without Internet access, as I'm supposed to be working on the design of a published blog via WordPress.

So I NEED to get the Internet access back as quickly as possible, before I can concentrate on the UPS solution. Right now, I'm using my PC just for barebones communications.

I realize this is not a Mac forum, but if you have any thoughts on what I should try next to get my Mac seeing the Internet again, I'd surely welcome it. Sorry this is so long and involved.

Thank you.

Deb

BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 7/7/2008


hi deb,

I need to know what's going on. Is my RS800VA faulty? If so, is it still under warranty and will it be replaced at no charge? Or is it inadequate for what I've got plugged into it?

have you ever seen this work correctly? do you know if the PC is shutting down gracefully via the operating system (since you noted you arent using powerchute - meaning is the data cable plugged in even so_? or just a hard shutdown? we'd need to know the power supply wattage on this as well as for the hard drives on the battery side. the unit can handle 540 watts. you also noted a "steady" tone - was this a constant flat tone - or 4 beeps every thirty seconds? did you see any lights on? a constant flat tone would indicate an overload but in conjunction with flashing lights could mean something else.

if it needs to be replaced - these have a 3 year warranty. if you look at your model/serial number - it should be BR800 (or BR800BLK) and the serial number should start with JSXXYY - the XX is the year of manufacture and the YY is the week. So as long as its within 3 years (if made in 06 or later - if not it has a 2 year warranty) or you have a proof of purchase from december 06, the warranty will be honored if it is determined this needs to be replaced. the new unit will be sent at no charge but APC asks that you pay the shipping of the old one back to us after you receive your new one.

furthermore, depending on whats going on here, some mac's do not like the step approximated sine wave that the "Back UPS" line outputs, nor the transfer time to battery, which is 4-6 ms. For mac's, we generally recommend the Smart UPS line because the transfer to battery is lower, and it also outputs a pure sine wave. we consider a lot of the high end mac's just like a server.

dont get me wrong - there are people on the forums here that have Macs and the Back UPSs work fine but there are also some that dont.

if you can answer my above questions, we should be able to determine whats going on.

BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 7/7/2008


The tone was a constant flat tone, and I think the light was red -- and not blinking.

This would indicate that the unit was overloaded most likely.

By working correctly, I meant that during a power outage, the unit would go to battery and the computer would stay up and then do a graceful shutdown (if you have that option configured). If it hasnt been working at all, then I would assume that we had a problem from the get go here.

I dont think what the APC support rep suggested is going to make a difference, especially with the lights and the entire scenario. If the UPS had to go to battery, and the battery wasnt fully charged, I would think that the UPS would have at least a little bit of charge, run for a couple of minutes and then completely turn off. A constant tone CAN cause a constant tone on this unit I believe but it would be accompanied with a blinking replace battery light which is red in color. Note that the overload LED is also red, so make sure you note which one it is - replace battery is the bottom light, overload is the third LED down from the top.

Plus, the battery charges even with equipment plugged in, just maybe a little slower if it needs to use the battery while its charging (incase of an outage or something). Unplugging the battery and reconnecting it with the power turned off does reset the unit though.

Here is a link to APC UPS systems: [For Back UPS click here|http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13&subid=5], [For Smart UPS click here|http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13&subid=51].

As for the Mac not getting to the internet issue - I am not an expert but - were you able to see your IP address for the ethernet connection? At least if you are getting a 169.254.x.x address, we know that it is not getting an IP address from your modem or router or whatever you may have. I am not sure if it would still say you are connected though..


Essentially, it sounds like to me that the UPS may be overloaded with those other items plugged in as well.

I did find [this website here though|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=32486] which lists all of the G5's. Do you know which one you have??

Assuming that it pulled the maximum wattage..it may have been overloaded anyway.

The hard drives I cant seem to find a spec on them, its usually written on them some place or on the external power adapter if they use one.

I think we are still fuzzy on what happened though. I hope this helps.

Oh and on the serial number, the letters dont matter but what are the 4 digits after? That will tell us if its in warranty.

DebNCgal_apc
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/7/2008


Thanks so much for wading through my post and responding so thoroughly.

First, I've solved the Mac Internet connection issue. It turns out it's a bug in some versions of Leopard (at least in 10.5.2, which is what I'm running). The fix was merely to disconnect the Ethernet cable from the Mac, then set the Firewall to temporarily allow all connections, then plug the Ethernet cable back in -- and Voila! I had Internet access. So that's great to have working again.

It does sound like the unit may be overloaded. I'm afraid I didn't pay close enough attention to which light was red -- I was too exasperated when I heard it ringing out this morning at 6:15! But a question I have is, shouldn't it be indicating now that it's overloaded, or is it on the threshold and only becomes overloaded when there's some kind of power episode?

Thanks for the info about the battery still charging while plugged in. I thought that was the case, but I wasn't sure.

The Mac I have is the PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz, to which I have added a number of components: 2nd internal hard drive, PCI card, replaced the graphics card with a beefier one for the 30" display, and added 4GB of RAM. So I suppose those components plus all the other peripherals may be requiring quite a bit more power than is available in the backup unit.

As far as the wattage on the two Lacie drives, there was no specific "watts" reference on them, but I did find the following on the back of the drives: 90-240VAC 50-60 Hz.

The electrical info on the adapters was:
AC Input: 100-240V - 50-60Hz 1.0A
DC Output: 12V - 2A.5V - 2A

I don't know if any of that is helpful or not, but that's all I saw.

It sounds like I do need to get a larger-capacity UPS. With the info I've given you on all the internal and external components on my Mac, can you make a recommendation that allows for 20-25% extra power available? I looked at both links you provided, and the Smart UPS units are rather pricey. Do you think going with one of the Back UPS would be reliable with my equipment, or not? If so, would you mind recommending the specific model for each of these types for me to consider?

I do have a cosmetic issue involved, though -- I prefer that the unit be BLACK, as the white will stick out like a sore thumb where it's located!

I was also wondering if APC has a unit that with both Ethernet and coaxial protection. I'm having a hard time locating a replacement for another UPS unit (of a different brand). I'd prefer to go with APC, but I'm not sure whether you offer those feature together.

Lastly, the 4 digits after the first two letters are: 0643. I don't know whether I'd qualify for an exchange of some sort on the Back-UPS RS 800VA. Is that possible?

Well, I think that's all.

Again, thank you for your help.

Deb

BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 7/7/2008


hi deb,

I'll mark my comments in bold 🙂

First, I've solved the Mac Internet connection issue. It turns out it's a bug in some versions of Leopard (at least in 10.5.2, which is what I'm running). The fix was merely to disconnect the Ethernet cable from the Mac, then set the Firewall to temporarily allow all connections, then plug the Ethernet cable back in -- and Voila! I had Internet access. So that's great to have working again. *Glad that is all set! I am not a Mac person so I have no idea :[*

It does sound like the unit may be overloaded. I'm afraid I didn't pay close enough attention to which light was red -- I was too exasperated when I heard it ringing out this morning at 6:15! But a question I have is, shouldn't it be indicating now that it's overloaded, or is it on the threshold and only becomes overloaded when there's some kind of power episode? I hear ya on that one. If the UPS for instance (since it has a 540 watt limit) is normally pulling say 500 watts and then the computer starts doing some extra processing or something, it could jump up say 75 watts, putting it at ~575 watts and throw it into overload. These can sustain a little but of an overload say, 105% for a few seconds but then it will stop providing power at one point. If a power outage occured while it was overloaded, it wouldnt be able to support your stuff.

Thanks for the info about the battery still charging while plugged in. I thought that was the case, but I wasn't sure.

The Mac I have is the PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz, to which I have added a number of components: 2nd internal hard drive, PCI card, replaced the graphics card with a beefier one for the 30" display, and added 4GB of RAM. So I suppose those components plus all the other peripherals may be requiring quite a bit more power than is available in the backup unit. *This sounds beefy (and nice) so I wouldnt be surprised if its pulling a couple hundred watts, while idle. I'd just want to see what is stamped on your power supply but plus with those other drives, its probably cutting it close. I cant be sure without seeing.*

As far as the wattage on the two Lacie drives, there was no specific "watts" reference on them, but I did find the following on the back of the drives: 90-240VAC 50-60 Hz.

The electrical info on the adapters was:
AC Input: 100-240V - 50-60Hz 1.0A
DC Output: 12V - 2A.5V - 2A

I don't know if any of that is helpful or not, but that's all I saw. *Well, this is pretty good - 1 amp x 120v = 120 Volt-amps - so we know its probably around 120 watts or less.*

It sounds like I do need to get a larger-capacity UPS. With the info I've given you on all the internal and external components on my Mac, can you make a recommendation that allows for 20-25% extra power available? I looked at both links you provided, and the Smart UPS units are rather pricey. Do you think going with one of the Back UPS would be reliable with my equipment, or not? If so, would you mind recommending the specific model for each of these types for me to consider? *If anything, I'd recommend the [BR1500LCD (or BX1500LCD if you look for a retail version) model]|http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BR1500LCD]. It's black, has an LCD screen and a 865 watt capacity. This has network protection and coaxial (since you mentioned it below.) It is our largest Back UPS line. The Smart UPS don't have data line protection so you'd have to start looking at using one in conjunction with our [ProtectNet product line|http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=145]. They provide stand alone dataline protection and you can ground them with the TVSS screw on the back of our UPSs. Smart UPS you'd probably want to look at the SUA1500 model and you'd need to get the data line protection separate. [Click here for that|http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SUA1500]. The SUA2200 is another option [seen here|http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SUA2200] but it's a bit pricy as well and then the units start getting larger. don't for get about the dataline protection.*

I do have a cosmetic issue involved, though -- I prefer that the unit be BLACK, as the white will stick out like a sore thumb where it's located! *I agree, see above - I recommended all black units.*

I was also wondering if APC has a unit that with both Ethernet and coaxial protection. I'm having a hard time locating a replacement for another UPS unit (of a different brand). I'd prefer to go with APC, but I'm not sure whether you offer those feature together. *See above for BR1500LCD or BX1500LCD. We have non LCD models but they are white and have no coax, only ethernet I believe. The SUA1500 is black as well.*

Lastly, the 4 digits after the first two letters are: 0643. I don't know whether I'd qualify for an exchange of some sort on the Back-UPS RS 800VA. Is that possible? *That would give you a three year warranty and I believe that should be in warranty. If this is determined faulty, which I am not sure it is yet, you'd be entitled to a replacement. Just make sure you note that the unit is a BR800BLK (i am assuming) to note that its black.*


*Once you have some time, what i'd recommend doing is maybe plugging in a lamp or something into the battery back up side and unplugging it from the wall to make sure the unit operates on battery like it should and supports a load without going to overload. I am assuming maybe a 60 watt lamp or something, as long as its under 540 watts* 🙂

*I think thats it for now..let me know if you have any other questions*

BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Matt on APC forums on 7/9/2008


Good afternoon!

i picKed a winna is off-site today, so I'll fill in to answer your most recent inquiries. My replies are in bold.Good morning, i picKed a winna! Once again, thanks for all the info. I've just got a few more comments/questions, and I think I'll be wrapping up this dialogue!

Thanks for the confirmation on the Ethernet ports for the BR1500LCD.

With the BR1500LCD not having the "Trim" feature, am I correct in understanding that the battery will still function to curb overvoltages -- but just not in as efficient a manner as it would if it had AVR "Trim"? Correct, this UPS does not have the ability to adjust abnormally high voltage without resorting to use of its battery. It will definitely take action if the input voltage starts to get too high for your attached load by switching to battery.

I'm relieved to know the cable for the BR1500LCD is 6 feet and not 3 feet. Just so you can see what made me wonder that, if you Google "BR1500LCD" and select the first Amazon result, the 1/14/08 and 5/1/08 reviews mention the "short" cable. Since, as you say, the cables are indeed 6 feet long, I'm uncertain what's behind those reviewers' statements. Anyway, glad we're talking 6 feet and not 3 feet. *"Short" is subjective based on the application of this product, I suppose. The input power cord is indeed 6ft long.*

Thanks for the confirmation on using the ProtectNet coaxial device. I'll definitely be getting one of those. *I own a BR800BLK just as you do, and the [ProtectNet PV|http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=pv] device does work nicely in protecting my HDTV from excess voltage on the coaxial cable coming out of the wall.*

Last night, before retiring, I attached a lamp with a 60W bulb to the RS800VA and unplugged the UPS from the AC, in order to check its runtime. I'm happy to report that after one hour, the lamp was still lit. I was curious just how long it would have lasted, but I decided it was more important to turn in. (I presume that a computer and monitor drawing power from the same battery only wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as an hour, right?) So it looks like the battery is fine. And I'm guessing the previous battery that I thought was going bad is actually OK. I'll try putting that previous battery back in the RS800VA before connecting it to another computer, and see if it works alright. *That is good news, and appropriate runtime for a 60W load. I agree that a typical PC and monitor would consume more than 60W, which would result in shorter runtime. We have calculated that a 50W load on the BR800BLK would result in about 2hr 9min runtime. You can view the Back-UPS RS family runtime chart here.*

That's it, I think. If you could just especially respond to my question regarding overvoltages, I believe I'll move on from here and order my new, higher-capacity UPS!

DebNCgal_apc
Crewman
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/8/2008


Thanks for all the info! I've pondered it all and now have a few more questions. 🙂

BR1500LCD/BX1500LCD:*
*1)* I'm leaning toward the BR1500LCD model, but I want to confirm that it definitely has Ethernet ports. The product shot for it shows 3 ports that are labeled "Modem/Phone/Fax." I just want to be sure, because the back of the RS800VA that I have has the same-named ports, plus two Ethernet ports.

*2)* Does the BR1500LCD have the exact same specs as the BX1500LCD? I've seen conflicting info in some Amazon reviews. Some say they're the same. Others say they differ.

*3)* Is the power cord for these units really only 3 feet long? That's been cited as a drawback by some folks in their Amazon reviews. If that's true, I would agree. I'd have to use an extension cord to reach the outlet.

*4)* Are there replacement batteries for the BR1500LCD and the BX1500LCD? If so, would you mind either giving me those #s, or the link to the replacement battery info?

*5)* If either of these batteries dies before the 3-year warranty is reached, will APC replace either the battery or the unit under the warranty?

ProtectNet Products*
I'm thinking I'll move the RS800VA I currently have on my Mac to a less-demanding computer and connect the APC PROTECTNET BC/CATV/DSS to the back of it. That PC is where my cable modem and router are located. I looked on the back of the RS800VA and saw the screw that's labeled "TVSS GND." I assume that's where the APC PROTECTNET BC/CATV/DSS would be connected, correct?

Testing Current Unit*
I plan to test the runtime for the RS800VA this evening and will get back with you if there seems to be a problem with that. Otherwise, I'll simply plan to replace it with either the BR1500LCD or the BX1500LCD.

Miscellaneous Question*
On a two-computer network, if you run one end of an Ethernet cable into and out of one UPS unit, do you need to run it into and out of the UPS connected the second computer? Or is it safe from a power standpoint to run it directly into the second computer? I'm mainly just curious about that.

Thank you so much, i picKed a winna! You have made this decision-making process much easier to sort through. I really appreciate your help and your very specific information.

Deb

DebNCgal_apc
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/9/2008


Thanks for jumping in, JoeMomma. I had a feeling that i picKed a winna was not online today. Thanks for responding to each of my inquiries or comments.

Compared to how I was feeling Monday morning, I now feel like I have a handle on what happened with my UPS setup and the action I need to take.

I appreciate "very much" the great support I've received here.

Best regards to you and to i picKed a winna,

Deb

DebNCgal_apc
Crewman
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/9/2008


Good morning, i picKed a winna! Once again, thanks for all the info. I've just got a few more comments/questions, and I think I'll be wrapping up this dialogue!

Thanks for the confirmation on the Ethernet ports for the BR1500LCD.

With the BR1500LCD not having the "Trim" feature, am I correct in understanding that the battery will still function to curb overvoltages -- but just not in as efficient a manner as it would if it had AVR "Trim"?

I'm relieved to know the cable for the BR1500LCD is 6 feet and not 3 feet. Just so you can see what made me wonder that, if you Google "BR1500LCD" and select the first Amazon result, the 1/14/08 and 5/1/08 reviews mention the "short" cable. Since, as you say, the cables are indeed 6 feet long, I'm uncertain what's behind those reviewers' statements. Anyway, glad we're talking 6 feet and not 3 feet.

Thanks for the confirmation on using the ProtectNet coaxial device. I'll definitely be getting one of those.

Last night, before retiring, I attached a lamp with a 60W bulb to the RS800VA and unplugged the UPS from the AC, in order to check its runtime. I'm happy to report that after one hour, the lamp was still lit. I was curious just how long it would have lasted, but I decided it was more important to turn in. (I presume that a computer and monitor drawing power from the same battery only wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as an hour, right?) So it looks like the battery is fine. And I'm guessing the previous battery that I thought was going bad is actually OK. I'll try putting that previous battery back in the RS800VA before connecting it to another computer, and see if it works alright.

That's it, I think. If you could just especially respond to my question regarding overvoltages, I believe I'll move on from here and order my new, higher-capacity UPS!

Thanks, again.

Deb

BillP
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Re: RS800VA Not Working Properly

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 7/9/2008


Thanks JoeMomma!

And yes, Deb, please let us know if you have any other questions that either of us can answer for you.

I am glad we could help!