CyberPower UPS... hidden incompatibilities with PFC

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CyberPower UPS... hidden incompatibilities with PFC

Post by flyingsherpa » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:57 pm

I bought a CyberPower 685AVR UPS a little over a year ago. It seemed to work fine for a few months and then I would come home to find it emitting a continuous beep and the power to the computer would be tripped off. No power failure had occurred (I have clocks that flash 12 with the slightest interruption so I know if there has been one or not). The first time it happened, I thought it was a fluke. A few weeks later it happened again... at 3am. Nothing like waking up to an alarm for no reason! Again, no power failure had occurred. You'd think I'd learn my lesson, but nope, I kept using it. The third time it happened it woke me in the middle of the night again and I said @#$%^@# it. I reverted to my old surge protector and shoved the thing in a corner. I waited months to ask about a warranty claim because I was going through a very difficult time emotionally and just couldn't be bothered with something like that.

So this spring I finally got an RMA and sent it in for work. CyberPower sent it back a few weeks later, but did not include any paperwork or anything on what they did. It seemed to work ok for a few weeks so I was satisfied. But then it did the same damn thing at 3am again. The next day I moved all my PC parts from the battery outlets to the non-battery ones, so that only my cordless phone wall wart was on the battery outlets. This time I caught it in the act... it did the same thing while I was sitting just a few feet away from it. WTF?!?!

So I contact CyberPower again and am obviously upset with the quality of their original product and their repair process. The guy had me test the battery and it checked out ok. Then he asked me for a detailed list of what was attached to the UPS. He siezed upon my PSU (Seasonic super silencer 300) and said that it...

... has PFC which will not work on the sine wave our UPS puts out on battery... you need a ups that can out put a true sinewave such as a PP800SW.

I replied:

I read the user manual and no where does it state any compatibility issues with computers with active PFC. Active PFC is incredibly common in PSUs used by homebuilders, I think it reflects poorly on your company to not disclose such incompatibilities either on the box or in the manual.

In any case, that is a side issue, unless you're also saying that my PSU could also cause the faults I originally described. I would find that hard to believe, especially since the UPS has also tripped the alarm when only a cordless phone was plugged into the battery side. That remains the primary issue... my UPS, which has already been fixed once, is still not in good working condition.

His reply:

Pfc power supplies depending on the design will flat out not work or work sporadically cycle o overload [sic]

I'm pretty pissed at this guy. He is ignoring my real questions and has no answer as to why they do not disclose such a major incompatibility. I checked Newegg, and of the 466 PSUs they are currently selling, 73% have either active or passive PFC. Basically they are selling UPS's that are incompatible with the majority of (non-OEM system) PSUs, yet they do not disclose that fact anywhere.

I'm going to try to escalate this at CyberPower, but I urge everyone to think twice about getting one of their products.
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Post by tima » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:14 pm

The Active PFC issue has the potential to affect all UPS's that aren't true sine wave. That said, my APC XS1500 has worked find for years with my APFC Antec NeoPower HE 550. My problem with CyberPower is that their pure sine wave UPS PP1500SW-T2 tripped the AFCI breaker in my house as soon as it was powered on. It did so in every room equipped with AFCI, including my home office, where the APC has no problem. I had to return the CyberPower to Amazon as it was incompatible with my brand new house. :roll: It's really starting to seem like everything I buy lately is abject crap, from a noisy Antec Signature 650 to a buggy Denon receiver to a new i5 750 system which is maddeningly unstable. I'm about sick of electronics. :x

ETA: I can't believe I forgot the noisy-ass GE refrigerator I bought from "Home Depot", who refused to take the piece of crap back. That was the third "Energy Star" piece of crap I tried, LG and Samsung models having been returned to Best Buy for being so much noisier than the 15 year old Kitchenaid they were to replace. Unfortunately, "Energy Star" garbage is all you can buy these days. The government actually claims that "Energy Star" compressors run less and are quieter than old compressors, which are just outrageous lies. My 15 y/o Kitchenaid, whose icemaker broke, has been relegated to the garage, where in an ambient summer environment of 90F, it runs less and is quieter than the three "Energy Star" pieces of crap I tried in my 73F house. All I can say is that I'll never shop at "Home Depot" again, having been lied to by multiple salespeople about their return policy, and after their manager refused to honor the return policy that was plainly displayed on a giant sign.

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