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PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

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JcRabbit_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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6
184

PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/28/2010


Hi!

Currently I have two APC UPSs providing backup power to my 3 systems: a Smart-UPS SUA2200I (less than a year old) and a Smart-UPS SUA1000I.

The 2200 VA model is connected to my main system running Windows 7 64 bit and also provides backup power to 3 x 30" monitors, the cable modem and a couple of external hard disks - runtime with everything on is about 1 hour, or 1 hour and 20 minutes if the displays are in power saving mode.

The 1000 VA model is connected to my secondary system running Vista 32 bit (which shares the monitor with one of my 30" running of the SUA2200I) and also supports a 3rd PC + 24" monitor, which is usually on sleep mode - run time is about 2 hours in this case.

Being a long time APC customer, I have several PowerChute CDs here. And here is what got me confused: when I installed PCBE on Windows 7, the CD apparently only installed the web version. Can't remember if it's something I did, if the CD that came with the 2200VA unit only had that version, if I downloaded PCBE from the APC web site instead of using the version on the CD, or if it was because I was installing PCBE on a 64 bit version of Windows.

What I did notice was that, unlike other PCBE installations I had done over the years, the Windows native power options remained visible and accessible (i.e.; Power Options in the Windows Control Panel shows 'On battery' and 'Plugged in' settings).

Yesterday I installed PCBE 9.0 on the Vista machine from the CD and this time it installed the console, but also replacing the Windows native battery power options.

Now, the cool thing about preserving Windows power management settings is that they are a lot more flexible than those provided by PCBE: for instance, I can tell Windows to turn off the display on my monitors after x minutes idle when on battery (with 3 x 30" monitors connected to my primary PC, this is a big deal), and even to put the PC to sleep on an extended power outage if I am not around (even though this will not provide a clean shutdown if the batteries do run out, chances are the powerful SUA2200I will provide enough run time to carry a PC in sleeping mode well beyond any normal power outage).

On Vista this is not possible since PCBE replaced the native Windows 'On battery' power settings. On the other hand, the PCBE console on Vista is able to monitor the two UPSs at the same time, which is cool.

So, my questions are:

1. Why did PCBE replace the native Windows power settings on one system but not the other?
2. Is there any way to preserve the native Windows power settings while also being able to run the PCBE console?
3. My guess is that the answer to the above question is no, so how about APC adding a bit more flexibility and functionality to PCBE so it is at least as versatile as the native Windows power management? I mean, all it takes to put the monitors to sleep, for instance, is a single call to the Windows API.

Suggestions:

How about implementing a Windows 7 graphical gadget/widget that is able to monitor APC UPSs (displaying run time remaining, battery status, etc...)?

I personaly like system monitoring gadgets (in fact, I make a living making that kind of stuff so I know I'm not alone there 😉 - just check http://www.winstep.net ) The problem with the PCBE console is that it is too bulky to keep open all the time (not to mention ugly, sorry) when all you want is some simple 'live' stats.

If APC doesn't want to bother making such a gadget, I would be interested in writing one myself (and it would be skinnable), but then I have to know how to retrieve the information from the PCBE server. Anybody has any info on this?

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Accepted Solutions
JcRabbit_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
184

PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/28/2010


Hi!

Currently I have two APC UPSs providing backup power to my 3 systems: a Smart-UPS SUA2200I (less than a year old) and a Smart-UPS SUA1000I.

The 2200 VA model is connected to my main system running Windows 7 64 bit and also provides backup power to 3 x 30" monitors, the cable modem and a couple of external hard disks - runtime with everything on is about 1 hour, or 1 hour and 20 minutes if the displays are in power saving mode.

The 1000 VA model is connected to my secondary system running Vista 32 bit (which shares the monitor with one of my 30" running of the SUA2200I) and also supports a 3rd PC + 24" monitor, which is usually on sleep mode - run time is about 2 hours in this case.

Being a long time APC customer, I have several PowerChute CDs here. And here is what got me confused: when I installed PCBE on Windows 7, the CD apparently only installed the web version. Can't remember if it's something I did, if the CD that came with the 2200VA unit only had that version, if I downloaded PCBE from the APC web site instead of using the version on the CD, or if it was because I was installing PCBE on a 64 bit version of Windows.

What I did notice was that, unlike other PCBE installations I had done over the years, the Windows native power options remained visible and accessible (i.e.; Power Options in the Windows Control Panel shows 'On battery' and 'Plugged in' settings).

Yesterday I installed PCBE 9.0 on the Vista machine from the CD and this time it installed the console, but also replacing the Windows native battery power options.

Now, the cool thing about preserving Windows power management settings is that they are a lot more flexible than those provided by PCBE: for instance, I can tell Windows to turn off the display on my monitors after x minutes idle when on battery (with 3 x 30" monitors connected to my primary PC, this is a big deal), and even to put the PC to sleep on an extended power outage if I am not around (even though this will not provide a clean shutdown if the batteries do run out, chances are the powerful SUA2200I will provide enough run time to carry a PC in sleeping mode well beyond any normal power outage).

On Vista this is not possible since PCBE replaced the native Windows 'On battery' power settings. On the other hand, the PCBE console on Vista is able to monitor the two UPSs at the same time, which is cool.

So, my questions are:

1. Why did PCBE replace the native Windows power settings on one system but not the other?
2. Is there any way to preserve the native Windows power settings while also being able to run the PCBE console?
3. My guess is that the answer to the above question is no, so how about APC adding a bit more flexibility and functionality to PCBE so it is at least as versatile as the native Windows power management? I mean, all it takes to put the monitors to sleep, for instance, is a single call to the Windows API.

Suggestions:

How about implementing a Windows 7 graphical gadget/widget that is able to monitor APC UPSs (displaying run time remaining, battery status, etc...)?

I personaly like system monitoring gadgets (in fact, I make a living making that kind of stuff so I know I'm not alone there 😉 - just check http://www.winstep.net ) The problem with the PCBE console is that it is too bulky to keep open all the time (not to mention ugly, sorry) when all you want is some simple 'live' stats.

If APC doesn't want to bother making such a gadget, I would be interested in writing one myself (and it would be skinnable), but then I have to know how to retrieve the information from the PCBE server. Anybody has any info on this?

See Answer In Context

6 Replies 6
JcRabbit_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
185

Re: PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 1/5/2011


Thanks for the follow up, Clarkson.

Unfortunately the subset of the USB Power HID supported by APC does not pass the all important Remaining Battery Lifetime value, making both currently available options (Serial and USB HID) pretty useless for an APC UPS widget.

Pity, as I would have actually enjoyed making such a widget (it's something I would use myself), and the co-operation with Winstep Software Technologies would have made sure that the APC stand-alone widget had plenty of nice free 'skins' for it.

If someone on APC's management changes their mind, or would like to cooperate with Winstep Software Technologies (http://www.winstep.net) on making such a widget (under a NDA, of course), please feel free to send an email to Winstep support, or to the email address I used here.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
185

Re: PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This reply was originally posted by Charlie on APC forums on 3/10/2012


Maybe they need to get their act together as their competitor Cyberpower has a Win 7 Gadget for their UPS that does everything APC's standalone program does

voidstar_apc
Janeway
Janeway
0 Likes
0
185

Re: PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 1/7/2011


>
Thanks for the follow up, Clarkson.

Unfortunately the subset of the USB Power HID supported by APC does not pass the all important Remaining Battery Lifetime value, making both currently available options (Serial and USB HID) pretty useless for an APC UPS widget.
>

You mean RuntimeToEmpty?

I tested a 4G SmartUPS (past generation) and a 5G SmartUPS (current generation) and they appear to have that usage exposed via USB HID.

voidstar_apc
Janeway
Janeway
0 Likes
0
185

Re: PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/29/2010


>
\[regarding USB protocol not being released\]

Pretty useless these days, since modern PCs don't even have serial ports. 😉
>

While APC does utilize a proprietary USB protocol, it also supports a subset of the standard [USB Power HID|www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/pdcv10.pdf]. Good luck.

JcRabbit_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
185

Re: PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/29/2010


Thanks clarkson, and thanks voidstar for that link. 🙂

Lots to read, the 'subset' is what worries me, though. Wonder if I can get the all-important runtime remaining in minutes (RunTimeToEmpty) instead of just 'percentage of battery remaining' (RelativeStateOfCharge?).

JcRabbit_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
185

PCBE - Confused + questions and suggestions.

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/28/2010


Hi!

Currently I have two APC UPSs providing backup power to my 3 systems: a Smart-UPS SUA2200I (less than a year old) and a Smart-UPS SUA1000I.

The 2200 VA model is connected to my main system running Windows 7 64 bit and also provides backup power to 3 x 30" monitors, the cable modem and a couple of external hard disks - runtime with everything on is about 1 hour, or 1 hour and 20 minutes if the displays are in power saving mode.

The 1000 VA model is connected to my secondary system running Vista 32 bit (which shares the monitor with one of my 30" running of the SUA2200I) and also supports a 3rd PC + 24" monitor, which is usually on sleep mode - run time is about 2 hours in this case.

Being a long time APC customer, I have several PowerChute CDs here. And here is what got me confused: when I installed PCBE on Windows 7, the CD apparently only installed the web version. Can't remember if it's something I did, if the CD that came with the 2200VA unit only had that version, if I downloaded PCBE from the APC web site instead of using the version on the CD, or if it was because I was installing PCBE on a 64 bit version of Windows.

What I did notice was that, unlike other PCBE installations I had done over the years, the Windows native power options remained visible and accessible (i.e.; Power Options in the Windows Control Panel shows 'On battery' and 'Plugged in' settings).

Yesterday I installed PCBE 9.0 on the Vista machine from the CD and this time it installed the console, but also replacing the Windows native battery power options.

Now, the cool thing about preserving Windows power management settings is that they are a lot more flexible than those provided by PCBE: for instance, I can tell Windows to turn off the display on my monitors after x minutes idle when on battery (with 3 x 30" monitors connected to my primary PC, this is a big deal), and even to put the PC to sleep on an extended power outage if I am not around (even though this will not provide a clean shutdown if the batteries do run out, chances are the powerful SUA2200I will provide enough run time to carry a PC in sleeping mode well beyond any normal power outage).

On Vista this is not possible since PCBE replaced the native Windows 'On battery' power settings. On the other hand, the PCBE console on Vista is able to monitor the two UPSs at the same time, which is cool.

So, my questions are:

1. Why did PCBE replace the native Windows power settings on one system but not the other?
2. Is there any way to preserve the native Windows power settings while also being able to run the PCBE console?
3. My guess is that the answer to the above question is no, so how about APC adding a bit more flexibility and functionality to PCBE so it is at least as versatile as the native Windows power management? I mean, all it takes to put the monitors to sleep, for instance, is a single call to the Windows API.

Suggestions:

How about implementing a Windows 7 graphical gadget/widget that is able to monitor APC UPSs (displaying run time remaining, battery status, etc...)?

I personaly like system monitoring gadgets (in fact, I make a living making that kind of stuff so I know I'm not alone there 😉 - just check http://www.winstep.net ) The problem with the PCBE console is that it is too bulky to keep open all the time (not to mention ugly, sorry) when all you want is some simple 'live' stats.

If APC doesn't want to bother making such a gadget, I would be interested in writing one myself (and it would be skinnable), but then I have to know how to retrieve the information from the PCBE server. Anybody has any info on this?