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BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

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WizardOfBoz_apc
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BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/24/2015


After three new batteries, and seeing the same problem, I suspect something has gone awry in my BE750G's circuitry. 

Here is the process

1. Replace battery.  Powerchute recognizes battery. I can do a self-test

2. OVer a period of a week or two, the battery charge goes to zero and I can't do a self-test

3. Blackouts with the 750G connected cause my computer to lock up.  That is, the suspected faulty APC unit is actually potentially DAMAGING and not protecting my computer.

Three different batteries, two different brands. 

Anyone else have this problem?

Thanks

The Wiz

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caffonso1_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/24/2015


OK, thanks. I ll see what happens here.

Anyway, it would be very desirable to have some sort of, at least, internal data, service manual, data sheet, specifications, anything, to allow one to check the unit is fine, before buying a new battery or a unit itself.

See Answer In Context

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BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 2/24/2015


I do agree it sounds like a UPS failure rather than a battery issue. I am not sure what would cause it specifically though but for the user, there is not much to do unfortunately.

Did you notice the problem after a power event or outage that could've damaged the UPS perhaps? Or just out of the blue?

If the UPS is under warranty, it could likely be replaced since I can't imagine what other troubleshooting you could do. If it is out of warranty, then you could consider trading it in towards a new unit via the Trade-UPS program. These units aren't serviceable by the user or anything so pretty much the only option we can support is to replace it somehow.

caffonso1_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/24/2015


I d say I have the same problem. I didnt test with other batteries, but....

Charging the battery outside, with another charger, it stays at 13.5 Volts until it is charged and then remains around 12.7 - 12.5 V for days. If I connect it to the APC BE600LM I have, no matter turned on or off, with no load, it will decrease to 9 or even 7 overnight. Absolutely looks like the problem is the APC unit not exactly the battery.

I will make a test I ve read about, that is: charge the battery outside, connect everything back, pull the plug and see whether it can hold the computer for the expected time.

At this time, I d like to ask: some voltage above 12 V should be present at battery terminals with the APC turned on and a discharged battery, right? Support? What would that be?

Please help, Angela / support, for just saying "buy another one" is not very convincing 😉

Thanks

(:)s CAF

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 2/24/2015


The problem is that we don't necessarily have details readily available for products like this that are not serviceable beyond the unit or replacing the battery.

These small 12V batteries have a float voltage at 13.5VDC I believe. So when the UPS's battery is charged up too 100%, you should see ~13.5vDC float voltage if you measure it with a voltmeter. When it is discharged, I would expect anywhere from 11-12V. 10V if it is really dead. If the UPS is not charging the battery, it could be that the battery won't hold a charge or that the UPS is not charging the battery.

I am only saying that if there is a problem with maintaining a battery charge, there is not too much we can recommend a user to do on UPSs of these size/type because they are not serviceable or you can't change anything to do with battery charges or battery voltage. The original poster seems to have eliminated a battery at least. If people want to modify/service the UPS components, it is at their own risk.

caffonso1_apc
Crewman
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/24/2015


OK, thanks. I ll see what happens here.

Anyway, it would be very desirable to have some sort of, at least, internal data, service manual, data sheet, specifications, anything, to allow one to check the unit is fine, before buying a new battery or a unit itself.

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 2/24/2015


We do for some units. Based on the average customer base for these consumer type models though, we don't service them. And schematics of most if not all of our units are proprietary. For larger systems beyond Back-UPS, we have a repair/service partner in the US that can offer some repair options. I think some other regions across the world might also offer that type of thing.

WizardOfBoz_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/28/2015


Well, I do think that the BE750G has a significant design flaw.  It's whole job is to ensure that you have a reliable power source.  If it fails without warning, that's worse than no protection.  You THINK you are protected, and you aren't.  When coupled with the software, blackouts have left my computer locked up.  If this happens during one of Microsoft's "helpful" automatic upgrades it could destroy my system disk.  So:

1) The device fails after a couple years of service.  Not very impressive.

2) The device fails without beeping or warning you.  Dangerous.

3) The lack of warning and diagnostic ends up causing one to buy batteries, when the problem is the unit itself.  Costly and a hassle.

3) The device fails in a way that can cause additional damage to my computer during a power outage.  So it's dangerous to use and  unreliable.

I understand that systems don't have unlimited life, but something that is bought to protect should not fail in a manner that can damage without warning the user. 

"We understand that our consumer line of inexpensive parachutes may fail in service, just when they are needed.  While these units are out of warranty, we do offer a replacement plan at reduced cost for users whose parachutes have failed".

WizardOfBoz_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 2/28/2015


Angela, Sorry if the above is a bit snarky, but you can see why I'd be frustrated.

I mean, if the unit fails, it should fail definitively so that the user's equipment (in this case the laptop I make my living with) is not imperiled.

Thanks,

Jim

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 3/2/2015


Hi Jim,

Yes, I understand and can't disagree with you. It is a tough balance between cost and diagnostic technology I think as far as the design and features this model offers. If the unit has been in service for only a short time like a couple of years, we will gladly replace it under warranty and stand behind the product. I believe BE750G has a 3 year warranty. If there were ever damage to any equipment connected to a Back-UPS product here in North America and some EU countries, we also offer an Equipment Protection Policy.

WizardOfBoz_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/2/2015


I understand that for $88 current cost on the street (including a battery!), the BE-750Gis viewed as a low-cost unit that can't be expected to have the reliability that higher-end units have. Still,  the darned thing should shoot out a puff of magic smoke and die rather than pretending to be alive. Especially since the unit's sole purpose is to enhance systems reliability.  It MUST tell the user that it's not doing that anymore.

I'm an engineer with experience in heavy chemical plant and nuclear facility construction.  I'm used to stuff that just doesn't fail that often, and that fail unambiguously.  At what point in the APC product line do we move from consumer reliability to a more commercial level of protection, with reliable electronics components, and better diagnostics?

I think you guys make systems for stuff like data centers, right?  Surely those systems are more reliable?

Thanks,

Jim

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 3/3/2015


I would say once you get to Back-UPS Pro (i.e. BR1000G), Smart-UPS, Data Center/Facility UPSs, etc the reporting and diagnostics is more robust as far as a error codes go and the level of detail you get about any specific fault conditions. Back-UPS Pro products are able to provide error codes on the front display for example while higher end network/server UPSs through data center UPSs have detailed logging capabilities as well as compatibility with accessories like a Network Management Card that can email, do SNMP, etc.

WizardOfBoz_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/6/2015


Thanks. I ended up getting another BE750G ($85).  I then put in the battery I got two months ago.  It charged to 100%.  To defray some of the cost of replacement, I'm going to sell the new RBC17 that came with the unit on ebay.

I may look for one of the higher-end machines but right now the thing says I've got 49 minutes of backup, and the comm link with the computer seems good.  Question: does the USB port on the back of other machines (e.g. a smart ups xl 1000) use the same cable as that of the BE750G?  Do the higher-end UPSs interface with Powerchute Personal Edition, or is a higher-end software needed?

Thanks.

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 3/6/2015


Hello Jim,

For Smart-UPS communication, we have a nice application note that covers what the current models use for USB and serial cables -> www.apc.com/whitepaper/?an=181 

Mostly Back-UPS products use that cable you have, (AP9827 -> http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=AP9827) or 940-0127 as it is also known as.

A handful of the older SUA models did utilize the AP9827 but I don't have a list of them. Something like the SUA3000 used to use this and I never understood why. Any new UPS should come with the appropriate cables though.

Regardless, if you can give me an exact model/SKU you look at, I can always double check the cable for you.

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Daniel on APC forums on 3/7/2015


Not to hijack the thread, but the paper you linked to mentions RJ45 connectors and then shows a pin-out diagram with 10 pins. RJ45 connectors only have 8 pins. RJ50 connectors have 10.

This is something that I have been struggling with since I started purchasing APC products almost 10 years ago. Why in the name of all things good and pure does APC use a none-standard serial communication port on a consumer product? I am referring to the entry-level models like the OP's BE750G ... it's pretty disgusting that APC charges $34.99 for a replacement cable (your 2nd link). If it was simply a USB B style connector on the unit, a replacement cable would be $6 at any store.

I own 2 companies, and understand that profit is important ... I consider this sort of intentional design "flaw" to be in the worst taste. Proprietary connections on a "Universal" Serial Bus cable ... ludicrous

WizardOfBoz_apc
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/7/2015


Daniel, If I'm not mistaken, the newer models do use all USB.  The unit has a female USB B-type, the other end of the cable is a male USB A-type. 

I think about 90% of all threads everywhere have a "this is off-topic, but it reminds me of something really p****s me off" sub-thread.  Done it myself.  So here goes with MY rant.

Why in the world did the designers of USB not make the plugs orientation-neutral, so you could plug the thing in either way?  OR at least have a0 clear, unambiguous, visible and tactile indication of which direction the plug should be orientied.  Think of the trillions of seconds lost to to people trying the wrong orientation first.  Needlessly.  That time adds up to many, many lifetimes! 

Golly, I have no idea why a company would design a unique, necessary accessory that is only available from them. money-mouth

BillP
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Re: BE750G not charging battery: provides no backup

This reply was originally posted by Daniel on APC forums on 3/8/2015


Unfortunately, you are mistaken. In a fit of irony, it's only the higher end "business" class models that have USB B as an available option. The entry level Back-UPS and Back-UPS Pro models are still RJ50 (I should know, I just bought a couple).

Despite their many design gaffes of late, one thing that Apple did do right was the new lightning plug ... just as you wished, orientation-neutral!!!

Hope springs eternal that companies will do the right thing ...