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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Tripp-Lite Smart UPS troubleshooting (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Tripp-Lite Smart UPS troubleshooting
Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1063
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 04-14-2018 11:46 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like we lost our Tripplite UPS for the server rack on Screen 2 tonight.

The unit is a Tripp-Lite SMART UPS 1500LCDXL.

Happened during intermission, so it really didn't interrupt the show.
Everything in that rack is plugged into an ETA power conditioner and power distributor, and then the power conditioner is plugged into the back of the Tripplite UPS. Pretty simple setup.

It's raining here tonight, but we haven't had any lightning that I know of. Employees said the lights flickered, but didn't think anything about it.

I was able to unplug the power conditioner from the back of the UPS and plug it directly into the wall. Ran the second show with no problems, but we've got no voltage spike protection at the moment.

After that screens movies were finished for the night, i was able to plug the UPS back in and got it to power back on.

The screen on the front tells me the input voltage is 123v, the batteries are 100% charged, the output voltage is 123v, and the system runtime is 64 minutes. The system load right now says zero because nothing is currently plugged into the UPS.

The fan on the back is making a weird noise, but there is warm air blowing out the back.

While the UPS was powered on, I unplugged it from the wall and it SHOULD have automatically kicked over to battery power. It didn't, it just shut off.

What do you think happened? Voltage spike? Dead batteries? The batteries are 5 years old. Don't know if the lights flickering CAUSED it to go out, or if it caused the lights to flicker. They all run on the same panel.

The unit is 5 years old, so it may have just died of old age. Any thoughts?

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Arnold Chase
Film Handler

Posts: 36
From: West Hartford, CT United States
Registered: Nov 2013


 - posted 04-15-2018 01:04 AM      Profile for Arnold Chase   Email Arnold Chase   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Five years is a long time for UPS batteries. The units periodically test themselves for a very short period of time, so with no load you can't assume the validity of those batteries. Since the unit is off-line now, plug a significant amount of load into it and see how well it then passes the battery test.

My call is bad batteries.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 865
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-15-2018 06:04 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Devices that use "sacrificial components", like metal-oxide varistors for surge suppression can only take so many hits before resigning completely. I don't know how the voltage regulation in your area is, bit if this thing has taken five years worth of spikes it's possible that the light-flickering incident was the last straw for an MOV that was on the edge of dying anyway. I only took a quick look at this devices's spec sheet but I would think that if the MOV let go you would get some kind of display warning, though.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-15-2018 07:38 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What Arnold says. Plug in a smaller load (like a Monitor, etc.) and see if it switches over. Chances are, though, that the switch over alone could drop the battery voltage enough that the device shuts off. After 5 years, I guess it's time to swap the batteries.

- Carsten

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-15-2018 09:10 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Definitely start with the batteries. The life expectancy for those is generally in the 3-year range. I know that APC UPSes will give a warning when they are about to fail, though. I am surprised that yours did not.

It could also be a bad relay inside the UPS.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-15-2018 10:04 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do you have more than one of these models? Battery swap would be a quick test to see wether the issue changes over with the battery.

- Carsten

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16112
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-15-2018 12:52 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have had the best luck with Powersonic batteries. Not a single failure on over 300 UPS battery changes over the last few years. Also, if the UPS does turn out to be toast (unlikely) then you'll have to replace it. Tripplite does not repair any equipment thats out of warranty I have only ever had one Tripplite UPS that actually failed and had to be replaced.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-15-2018 03:59 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Batteries are 3-5 year items, tops! Start there. Tripplite has the bad characteristic that if the batteries fail (one cell opens even), then it appears to be dead as a door nail. No lights no "change battery" nothing. The battery indicator only comes on IF the unit was on when the battery failed.

But, like Mark, I can't think of any time when changing the batteries didn't bring it back to 100%

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1063
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 04-15-2018 05:46 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I found a set of replacement batteries on Amazon this morning and went ahead and ordered them. They should be here before the weekend, so I'll start there first.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-15-2018 06:34 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, the batteries on these are not hot-swappable?

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 521
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 04-15-2018 07:40 PM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Given that (with noted irony) UPS units do fail, for not very much money one can have an automatic transfer switch, that has a backup feed, that will switch the loads over to the backup when the UPS dies.

For example, the CyberPower ATS units.

The only gothca is that the backup input should be on the same phase as the prime supply for a clean switchover.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-15-2018 07:59 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So would you run an ATS on a UPS?

- Carsten

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1063
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 04-15-2018 08:43 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
So, the batteries on these are not hot-swappable?
Hot swappable.. as in like "on the fly"? Not on this particular model. I was able to remove it from the rack, remove the rack ears and 6 screws from the case and easily separated the case to access the batteries.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-16-2018 06:37 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Tripp Lite units we use (SMART and Smart Online [AKA SU]} do have hot swappable batteries. You do have a finite amount of time while the unit "yells" at you to get the batteries swapped (I forget what the time is but I have never run into it). The battery packs load in/out through the front cover. It takes just a few minutes to pull the screws (typically 6 or so), release the two screws that secure the battery pack, pull the plug and remove the battery pack. Reverse for installation.

As for transfer switches, we incorporate it into our "automation system" but you'll find that most people will look at a transfer switch for the UPS as essentially doubling their costs.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16112
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-16-2018 09:23 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I find that installing a transfer switch in every console is a bit on the ludricous side. If a complex is receiving normal maintainance that transfer switch is never going to be used. Just having one transfer switch per complex in the parts cabinet is sufficient and it can be subbed in place of a dead UPS in about 5 minutes time and you are back up again. Thats less time than it takes a DSS-200 to boot up!

Mark

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