2007/03/19: APC

For no particular reason that I can locate my APC Pro 1000 UPS caused my server to reboot on two separate occasions.  I have all my network wiring terminating in my furnace room in the basement, as my house is wired with CAT5e for gigabit connectivity.  I keep the cable modem and router there as well, connected to a UPS along with my Small Business Server machine.  All the wiring is neatly organized on a big piece of plywood on the wall.  The cable modem, router and SMC gigabit switches are attached to the wall with strapping so everything is easy to get to.

Until this week the server and UPS sat on the floor; I had wanted a short two post rack to put in the corner but I couldn’t get the space to work.  Instead I’ve picked up a three sheft wire serving cart at Sam’s Club.  After assembling everything I found the server wouldn’t fit on the bottom rack, but with one shelf removed everything fits nicely.  The server sits on the bottom shelf and the UPS, keyboard, mouse and monitor sit on the top shelf with the wiring neatly going off one leg.  I secured all the wiring on the rack with velcro strapping.  The old 15″ CRT monitor I was using ended up being too large so I swapped it with a Philips 15″ LCD monitor that was just sitting around.

With my equipment fitting so nicely on the new rack I have room to move my Windows Home Server onto the bottom shelf of the cart.  I could set it up headless and just move the monitor over if there’s trouble, but a small KVM will work better and I just happen to have one gathering dust.

Back to the UPS.  It’s an older model with batteries about four years old.  Since it is an older model the software APC provides for free is creaky and looks to be from the NT 4.0 era.  It’s basic but gets the job done.  The first reboot I passed off as a power outage as this is very common in my area.   The second reboot made me head downstairs and take a look.  The instrument panel showed a bad battery, so I unplugged everything and shut down the UPS.  I cycled it’s power and the error light went away.  I plugged the equipment back in and ran a battery test, which ran successfully.

I use several UPS units around the house, but they’re in the role of line conditioners to keep power levels even to my computers and A/V rack.  I really don’t need the UPS to do anything but shut down my PCs gracefully on a power outage and get them back up when the power comes back on; nothing mission critical at the house, although I am running a mail and web server.