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Archive for the ‘APC Smart-UPS’ Category

APC UPS battery replacement for Smart-UPS 1500 (SUA1500) and XL 3000 (SUA3000XLT): batteries RBC7 and RBC55

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/11/28

On the right and bottom how the APC SmartUPS 1500 looked before cleaning. Despite APC claims of being non-spillable, lead acid batteries do eventually leak. APC just doesn’t tell you when (they say there is some fine print about replacing them, but hey – if the UPS doesn’t complain about capacity loss…).

Like I mentioned in my first post about the leaking, I cleaned the inside with sodium bicarbonate (easily to get – even in The Netherlands – as “baking soda” or “zuiveringszout” in most grocery shops. “zuiveringszout” is the same but much cheaper).

So after cleaning, you need to assemble a new battery pack and reinstall it. The RBC7 stock battery packs from APC are very expensive and since warranty expired on the UPS and APC batteries leaks anyway, it is much cheaper to re-assemble your own battery pack from a pair of UB12180 batteries. The same holds for the RBC55 (which are just basically two pairs of assembled UB12180 batteries). The decoding of these battery numbers are fairly easy: 12V holding 18.0 Ah of charge. Different battery manufacturers use different battery size nomenclature usually with a similar structure.

Disassembling and re-assembling the packs is fairly easy. Be sure to do this carefully: replacement sets of the APC battery connector wiring harness and fuse will set you back another USD/EUR 15-20 excluding shipping.

The below youtube videos are much clearer on this than any picture series I could have made.

The RBC7 Battery Replacement for APC SmartUPS 1500 is easy: there is a single RBC7 battery in it. Just swap out the old RBC7 and put in the new one:

Similar for the APC Smart-UPS XL 3000VA 230V Tower/Rack Convertible (model SUA3000XLT) or the SUA48XLBP battery enclosure is similar to the 3000VA model:

Instead of the whole chain of batteries in the video, you get:

But: according to APC, these are leak free. In practice they aren’t, so why pay the APC premium price?

It’s much cheaper to remove the head and terminals, then use standard batteries. I was lucky enough that both the RBC55 and RBC7 internally use the same UB12180 battery packs: APC Generic Replacement Battery Cross Reference Lookup is an excellent reference on that.

In the Netherlands, these are links for the replacement batteries as sets:

You can also create your own sets of individual UB12180 batteries. Be sure to get the ones with T4 nut&bot terminals. Forget about the ones with M5 threaded terminals (that often are slightly cheaper). From the same Dutch seller: UB12180 Loodaccu 18Ah – at about EUR 55 each.

For the RBC55, this is how to do the replacements:

And for the RBC7, it works in a similar way:


Posted in APC Smart-UPS, LifeHacker, Power User, UPS | Leave a Comment »

APC: getting turned out to be tricky

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/24

I tried updating my downloads for my APC7920 and APC7921 PDUs.

I knew the APC download site was slow and navigation unfriendly (lots of ERR_CACHE_MISS as you cannot ctrl-click on downloads), but it’s also buggy: Some of the ftp download URLs do not contain the authentication and one file would not download at all.

The solution for that is to prepend the credentials as username:password@ like these URLs where each first one is generated by the download site and each second one works:

  • ftp://restrict:Kop$74!
  • ftp://restrict:Kop$74!

The username is restrict and the password Kop$74! which requires single quotes on the command-line to prevent parameter and event expansion.

Otherwise you will get bash errors like these: event not found for the part starting with an exclamation mark and Login incorrect. for the parts having a dollar.

One file would not download at all: as all download attempts would time out:

  • Chrome with and without username:password@ (you will get a ERR_FTP_FAILED)
  • wget with and without username:password@ (it will result in a )
  • plain curl with and without username:password@ (it will result in a curl: (28) Timeout was reached)

The only command that would work was this:

curl -G > powernet417.mib

via: SimplicityGuy/pynoc – Travis CI

The trick is to:

  1. leave username and password away
  2. specify the -G (or –get) parameter forcing GET behaviour (which should be the default).

I’m not sure why it works, but it does.


Posted in *nix, APC Smart-UPS, cURL, Power User, UPS | Leave a Comment »

Some notes on apcupsd, a SUA3000XLI and a SUA48XLBP battery pack

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/22

I’ve had a SUA3000XLI for years using the USB cable and default Windows support as PowerChute Personal Edition would fail to recognise it and abort installation (so I could not use APC drivers as described on youtube).

A while ago, Liander – the energy distribution company – wanted to replace both the gas and electricity meters to become “smart” during day time. The server configuration load was heavy enough for Windows to indicate the UPS would last about 30 minutes. At night that’s not much of a problem but during 1 hour replacement day-time it would be a problem.

So I bought a SUA48XLBP battery pack (and a SUA039 cable as the cable wasn’t long enough to keep an inch or so air space between UPS and battery pack) so the battery would last about 3 times as long.

Windows would still show it would last about 30 minutes. Strange. So I started looking around and it appeared the SUA3000XLI needed calibration which requires PowerChute. Since PowerChute won’t work, I was almost back at square 1. Almost, as I know knew it required calibration.

In the past I had come across apcupcd but that was a long time ago when it supported a limited set of operating systems and a limited set of features so I never installed it.

But when searching how to calibrate the without using PowerChute, it quickly appeared that the apctest part of apcupsd can do just that: soft calibrate the UPS/battery combo. There are some steps and prerequisites (the most important ones are to turn off the apcupsd and provide enough load and 100% battery charge at start).

Spoiler: the combined UPS/battery-pack now lasts for almost 2 hours which is long enough.

Installing apcupsd

I’m describing this from a Windows perspective and it’s dead easy:

  1. download the latest release
  2. run the installer
  3. allow the driver to be installed
    1. indicate it’s OK to install an unsigned driver
    2. now Windows won’t recognise the UPS any more, but in a few steps the apcupsd and helper program will
  4. update the configuration file (no changes needed when it’s a USB connected one)
  5. wait for the service to start
  6. wait for the apctray helper program to start
  7. look in the “system tray” for apctray helper program icon 
  8. optionally configure your system to auto-start apctray after logon

The USB connection to the UPS delivers slightly less options than using a serial cable

Using a serial cable instead of a USB one

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in APC Smart-UPS, apcupsd, ESXi5, ESXi5.1, ESXi5.5, ESXi6, Liander, Power User, UPS, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 9, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows XP | 1 Comment »

“Sealed, non-spillable”. Yeah right: @APCbySchneider batteries do leak. How to clean lead acid battery leaking residue.

Posted by jpluimers on 2015/12/26

I found out the hard way that the so called APC “Sealed, non-spillable” lead acid batteries inside their UPS systems do leak when used normally.

So I head to clean up before the damage would get bigger.

A few links on how to clean:

This is what you need:

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate, in Dutch Zuiveringszout*)
  • Water
  • Wrench
  • Wire brush
  • Steel wool
  • Soft cloth(s)
  • Petroleum jelly (or in Dutch: vaseline** that is acid and fragrance-free)

Baking soda paste: 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water.

Baking soda solution: 1 parts baking soda in 10 parts water.

* ZuiveringszoutNatriumwaterstofcarbonaat (natriumbicarbonaat, dubbelkoolzure soda): E-nummer E 500 (ii).

In The Netherlands, you can get it expensively as “bakpoeder” ingredient (baking powder) or cheaply as cleaning agent called Zuiveringszout.

** Vaseline usually is petroleum jelly with extra ingredients, be sure to get the pure white one that is acid and fragrance free.


Source: “Sealed, non-spillable”. Yeah right +ApcbySchneider : How do I clean up this …

Follow-up: The details of one of my UPS-es. There is no such thing as leak free lead acid batteries, despite APC saying so…

Posted in APC Smart-UPS, Power User, UPS | 1 Comment »

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