[CQ-Contest] Headphones and Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Bill Tippett btippett at alum.mit.edu
Mon Sep 10 13:02:23 EDT 2001

KQ2M wrote:

> 2) American Power Conversion (APC) Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
> We get lots of "blips" and "double blips" and voltage spikes here in
> Connecticut.  The radio equipment and amps and computers  DO NOT like this.
> I have been thinking of buying some UPS to solve the spike and blip problem
> and allow for shutoff when we lose power (fairly often).
> Does anyone use this?  Any thoughts as to size needed?  What about for the
> amps which run on 220?
> Is there a UPS that can handle 220 + 110 in the same unit?

        I have always lived in remote areas that have power problems and
would suggest the following for the momentary blip problem you mentioned:

1.  UPS is a MUST for your computer (at least the CPU...not the display)
since ANY power interruption will reboot a standalone computer (another
is to run a laptop with the battery charger on). 

2.  My transceivers (FT-1000MP and TS-930S) recover to previous settings 
after power interruptions so UPS is not required for them unless you wanted
to operate during more extended outages (a few minutes).

3.  Amplifiers are not critical except for the start-up delay.  The important 
thing is that the tubes are warmed up properly and a momentary power failure
will not affect this.  However, power interruption MAY cause some amplifiers 
(my Alpha 76PA for one) to fully recycle which can be 45 seconds delay for 
8874's or 3 minutes for 8877's, 3CX800's, etc.  Fortunately my LK800 recovers
instantly without going through the start-up recycle.  Worst case is that you
might be limited to transceiver power until your amp recycles.  Another
alternative would be to defeat the start-up delay circuitry as long as you
were the only one to be using your amp and knew to watch warm-up time when
first turning it on.  I'm not recommending this but just stating it as an

4.  UPS's are rated by VA ratings which you can find in the specs for your
equipment.  If you wanted to put everything on one UPS, you might consider
one for 220V and switch your transceiver and computer to 220V (simple
switch setting for most) and run everything from one UPS.  I would guess 
that a UPS in the range of 10 kVA would easily handle 2 transceivers, one 
1500W amp, computer and all accessories.  However, I only use a small and 
very inexpensive 200 VA UPS on my CPU only (no monitor).

5.  The surge suppressors that W0OSK mentioned are nice protection from
spikes (I recall mine was about $150 for my 400 amp service), but they 
do nothing for the problem you are describing which is caused by momentary 
power failure.

        I am personally looking forward to the advent of power cells which
will allow us to generate our own power independently.  Until then, if you
are really in an area prone to extended power failures (I was QRT for over
1 week in January 2000), you might consider a backup generator.  One for
10 kW would be sufficient for most homes in an emergency (shutting off 
non-critical circuits) or a contest station.  Tell your XYL it's for the
house but just make sure she doesn't turn on the electric range, well pump
or heat pump compressor while you are operating!

                                                   73,  Bill  W4ZV 

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