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Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

APC UPS Data Center & Enterprise Solutions Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our Data Center and Business Power UPS, UPS Accessories, Software, Services, and associated commercial products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/4/2016


After me becoming victim & eye witness of lightning stroke to earth at my own building, now I do understand that powerful electrostatic charge is the enemy, it does kill all sensitive EPPROM and any smart IC but passive components they do survive.

This is the story of my own SUA1000 XLI 230V, I am 47 years old industrial electrician and electronics repair specialist (a true one).

I asked all ready help and got nothing in return from APC in Greece and USA.

To be more accurate everyone was willing to listen and try helping, but seems that true spare parts this is something that APC does not provide.

While I thought that I can repair my unit with regular electronics component level practices, when I realize that nothing when wrong in ACV input or ACV output and what is dead this is EPPROM chip that makes those UPS as Smart, this was a great disappointment.

My only alternative, if APC did not try helping me by me receiving a new EPPROM? This is me trying searching for complete used PCB from another identical UPS by looking at scrap yards of Europe (dedicated sellers for second hand UPS systems).

 

For my financial size SUA 1000 XLI was a huge investment, this did not die at protecting other equipment, as surge never came from Mains voltage.

Today after this specific failure, I do consider product design of it as true failure.

EPPROM should never be exposed and to be double shielded so such weakness to not be there at all.

Lightning stroke to earth it is easy to happen if you have a regular TV tuner on your computer, or due telephone line.

And the one million dollars question this is how one UPS will protect a telephone line when this is powerless to protect it self from electrostatic charge surge even by be inside of a metal casing?

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Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/6/2016


I am close to smile, there is life in it after all, and Micro controller clock frequency this is there too.

Thanks for all friendly suggestions, and for demonstrated patience and tolerance of forum hosts.

I am neither the first nor the last that I do not feel any more any enthusiasm been an APC/Schneider Electric customer.

Bottom line their company policy it is inappropriate for my taste.

Best Regards from Greece.

See Answer In Context

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9 Replies 9
UnexpectedBill_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


Lightning is funny stuff, as you may already be well aware. I've personally witnessed it burn the motor out of an old electric fan while leaving every electronic device on the same electrical system untouched. And I've been told of a time when a lightning strike to someone's TV antenna resulted in the fire department appearing because they thought there had been an explosion, so big was the fireball. The only damage? Inappropriate magnetization of the picture tube in a color TV. It was easily put right by the set's built in degaussing coil.

What you may find is a lot more damage than is readily apparent in your Smart-UPS.

I assume you're seeking a replacement for that IC. It's much more than just a simple (E)EPROM. It's actually an 87C51 microcontroller.

I don't know if it's possible to copy the contents of an existing and functional microcontroller in a similar model Smart-UPS. If there are copy protection provisions in the microcontroller (it's been a long time since I looked at the 87C51 technical reference), it's a safe bet that APC would have used them.

A microcontroller from a similar era and model of Smart-UPS might work if all the relevant calibration data can be programmed. (Some things can be adjusted from within a so-called service mode, available when communicating with the unit using a 940-0024 cable and a terminal emulator. Information can be found elsewhere online.) Only I've never tried it, can't promise anything and obviously even thinking of doing something like this is certain not to be approved of or recommended by APC/Schneider Electric. You'd be attempting it strictly at your own risk. (I don't represent nor am I affiliated with either company. I'm just an end user who has repaired and reconditioned a lot of their UPS products.)

There are a lot of these units available on the secondhand market and in good working order, and that may be the only safe and reliable way to go.

Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


Thanks for those tips William.

I did centimeter by centimeter electronic component testing and measurements’ (and a ten days research) by looking in schematics and all.

I did manage even to verify: 12V, 5V, -9V, all as it should be.

Micro controller programming this requiring additional skill and special tools, and me I am over-loaded by skills and tools, but even so this specific one it is out of my range.

I did think too using a micro-controller from a similar era and model of Smart-UPS, but for example SUA1000i (widely available one), I am convinced that this totally lacking programming relative to electric fan control.

In past ten years I had revive / repair, several APC and other brand UPS, with good success by replacing components with known operating life limits.

Speaking of software I am using APC PowerChute Business Edition, what I was not aware this is that USB port over UPS, this totally lacking of any sort of electrical isolation.

External USB to USB isolators (USB stick) this is known and available for years, even me I got one for 30$, because I was planning to use a special battery charger for all types of batteries, and Isolation was needed because this was powered by external power supply.  http://www.ittsb.eu/forum/index.php?topic=952.0

The point is that now I am wiser regarding APC SUA technical limitations, but I do not have any more any APC UPS so me to protect it.

Second hand market this is a choice but limited in EU, looks like that they are few sources as for example in UK and Belgium, but to find of what you need, this is occasional find, and your should constantly monitor their stock.

Speaking of APC/Schneider Electric, if they need to comply with latest EU directives against planed obsolesce? Then powers that be within APC… they should change their tactics.

Brad_C_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


If you can put your hands on the micro from another similar vintage SUA, it is honestly worth a try. Certainly the older generation (3G & 3.5G) units use the same processor and firmware, they just behave differently depending on what model they have been told they are. It looks like the config is stored in an external eeprom connnected to the CPU, so you *should* be able to swap the CPU and not have to reconfigure anything (if you are lucky).

Lightning is a fussy beast. I've seen anything from charcoaled boards through to a single damaged resistor in the middle of a TV PCB whose antenna sustained a direct strike. Honestly, it's not at all unusual to have lost a semiconductor while leaving other componentry untouched.

Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


.............TV PCB whose antenna sustained a direct strike.....

I had two incidents of those at the same event, both TV tuners shorted at the side of TV connector, but extended damage it should be expected due their plastic housing and lack of ground.

In my own case, I have three phase supply 220 & (380V), and a good ground to earth.

................ units use the same processor and firmware, they just behave differently depending on what model they have been told they are..........

While default functional program this is stored at micro-processor,  an second IC attached to USB port, this gives the impression that holds in it any user settings and UPS ID.

The point is that cheapest experiment it would cost me a minimum of 75EUR (from Europe). 

Next week I am going to visit local scrap yards and test my luck.

 

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voidstar_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


My guess is the USB IC is just for USB.

If I were you, I'd try using UPSLink to reprogram the EEPROM parameters. There's information out there on the web.

Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


There is no RS-232 activity when the unit this is powered off and still receiving battery power.

At power on attempt, complete PCB requiring 200mA at 26V,  and serial port activates RD,CTS,DTR,DSR 

The point is that with micro-controller in place, UPS selects immediate shutdown.

With out micro-controller in place, PCB it does stay powered and beeper is on all the time.

If someone is truly capable to inspect and reprogram this micro-controller over a healthy UPS, I can mail it.  

UnexpectedBill_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


I am surprised that the UPS is able to power up without its microcontroller in place. (That's an experiment I could probably duplicate with a Smart-UPS 1000 here to see if it does the same.)

Every 87C51 that I've ever seen in an APC product (they used it quite often) has been a one time programmable part. It can't be reprogrammed later on.

Perhaps you will have the good fortune to find a scrapped unit with a good microcontroller and that will indeed solve the problem.

Kiriakos_GR_apc
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Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/5/2016


...................... I am surprised that the UPS is able to power up without its microcontroller in place. (That's an experiment I could probably duplicate with a Smart-UPS 1000 here to see if it does the same.)

1) Disconnect two cables (inverter feeding transformer) and then have fun. 

2) Disconnect Mains this is obligatory

Kiriakos_GR_apc
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3762

Re: Lightning stroke to earth cause damage at most sensitive PCB component of SUA 1000 XLI

This was originally posted on APC forums on 11/6/2016


I am close to smile, there is life in it after all, and Micro controller clock frequency this is there too.

Thanks for all friendly suggestions, and for demonstrated patience and tolerance of forum hosts.

I am neither the first nor the last that I do not feel any more any enthusiasm been an APC/Schneider Electric customer.

Bottom line their company policy it is inappropriate for my taste.

Best Regards from Greece.

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