_Hardware Reviews
  APC Back-UPS RS 1000 VA  
  Here is a product that I recently purchased for my home setup. I am totally loyal to the APC brand because they have never failed me so it was going to be a choice from their range based on price/features. The new range of APC is of attractive modern design. They are not styled to be pieces of modern art or with a silly colour like the purple MGE Eclipse UPS for instance. they look functional and thankfully are quite unlike some of the old APC models which look ancient these days.  
Layout of Status Leds and Full Front View

If you look at the above picture you can see the front fascia at the top, where the status Leds are. These leds are very important and the more information they can convey the more useful it is, especially in a corporate environment.

Unfortunately the APC Back-UPS range as you can see has minimal information shown by the Leds. It is unlike the APC Smart-UPS range as there are no indicators showing that the voltage is under/over and is being boosted/lowered by the UPS. So with the RS you only get leds showing the UPS is operating from utility power / is on battery / the circuit is overloaded / the battery has failed. These are the minimum which you would require really. One of the reasons that you do not have the additional Leds which the Smart-UPS range has is that the APC Back-UPS range actually does not include that functionality therefore cannot include those Leds.

So let us look at the business end of the UPS, namely the rear. You can see that APC has everything catered for, there are 6 Battery Backup power sockets which is quite satisfactory. Enough to connect 2 PCs and monitors and two other pieces of equipment. Then there is another 2 Surge only sockets for protecting your other pieces of equipment from damage.

There is additionally 1 set of LAN sockets (in and out) and 1 set of Modem protection sockets (in and out).

There is no fuse however, it has another system which cuts out if there is any overload. Then you reset the device with the reset switch on the back instead of having to go find another fuse. A much better more user friendly system. After all, anybody can push a button.

There is a fan also at the back which cuts in when it goes onto battery power. It is much larger than those I have seen before. Then at the top there is an RJ45 socket which you plug in a supplied cable that has a USB connector at the other end.

This is how the supplied APC Powerchute Personal Edition software communicates with the UPS. Personally I just hate proprietary cables and that is what APC have specified here. A downside indeed, lose it and you will have to source another from APC instead of just buying another inexpensive USB cable from any shop.

While we complain about the cabling APC has started to include no cable to power the units as standard although they include two cables to power the equipment. I have loads of cables lying around so that is not a problem for me but someone else might have to go shopping again to buy a power cable.

  Above on the right you can see the door which is removed initially from the top of the front fascia in order to connect the batteries. There is a large plastic plug and socket which is disconnected during transit and in order to use the unit you will have to connect them together. Then on the right you can see the two batteries which are included with the unit as standard. They should be easy to source when they fail which would be in about 3 years with normal use.  
  As expected I took the unit apart to see what was inside. The components look quite substantial which is usually a sign of good build.  

What else is there to talk about then. Well, there is the software which is quite minimal. You can control the annoying UPS battery backup alarms which are useful only if your computer is not on the same circuit as the lights in the room and quite annoying otherwise.

You can also set the UPS to shut down your computer when there is a specified amount of battery backup time left. You can set the unit sensitivity to be high/medium/low.

You can also set it to switch to battery if the power with minimum and maximum limits. Curiously you can set if the voltage goes above a setting of 252V-272V or below 188-208V. For the 230V utility power here in Greece I think that a maximum setting of less than 252 should be available. The actual voltage measured by the UPS was 224V.


So the APC RS 1000 is a nice product which I am quite happy with for the moment. For a 1000VA unit it is not exceptionally heavy because it only has 2 batteries unlike the rackmount Smart-UPS which have 4. Due to its dimensions you can either have it standing up or lying flat down. When it is standing up it has a small stand which can be attached (not shown in the photographs).

The manual says that you can place it under a monitor which is interesting. The unit calculates 30 mins battery backup for a P4 loaded system and a 17" monitor.

  It must be emphasised however that the Back-UPS do not appear to have power conditioning features. When the power is abnormal they switches to battery. This is unlike the Smart-UPS which without switching to battery trim the voltage up or down depending on how it exceeds the limits set. If this unit is in your bedroom and you are having frequent power spikes then it is going to click and switch the fan on every time as it switches to battery. At least you can disable the annoying beeps which UPS normally make, in the software. Personally I wish I had purchased a Smart-UPS instead but this device will be a reliable solution for the moment to protect my several pcs. The 1000VA can support 3 computers, 1 LCD and 1 CRT satisfactorily.  
  Cost : 280 euro in Greece from Plaisio  
A well specified UPS but it is from the cheaper APC Back-UPS range. If you have the extra cash it is well worth buying from the Smart-UPS range instead. The extra power conditioning functions in the Smart-UPS range makes them much more superior
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