Thor is messing with my UPS

Or: Why are my battery status LEDs blinking all the time?

This post is related to a post from 2017 titled The Tale of Thor’s angry electrons. Related as in that it takes place at the same location in the western part of Norway where my family lives. Most of the equipment referenced in the previous post has been replaced by now. Most notably, the old ADSL internet line has been replaced by a long distance fiber line. That reduced the number of internet outages considerably. The power line and transformers were also updated at some point. I do not remember if this was before or after the incident chronicled in 2017, but it gave a massive improvement in power delivery. Multi-day outages was not uncommon during the rainy season. An in this part of Norway, the rainy season never ends, unless it is replaced by a short-lived snowstorm or a massive heat-wave, that is, a couple of days with temperatures above 20 degrees C.

But back to the internet. There will be no internet without power. But wait, we have mobile phones and laptops I hear you say. Well, the mobile phone talks to a base station. This base station requires power to operate. So even if we have a handy dead dinosaur converter that creates enough electricity to keep the fish frozen and the laptops charged, without power to the base station and the local internet distribution point there will not be any internet. Neither the magic floating wireless internet or the more traditional and stable wired variety coming out of the wall.

As you would know if you have read the previous chronicle, we have employed several measures to ensure a stable Internet connection (and power delivery). One of those measures is an APC SmartUPS 1500. It makes sure that the core network components receive clean power, and it provides backup power for at least 30 minutes. As a line-interactive UPS it is definitely a massive overkill for a residential building, but it has done everything asked of it without complaining since it was made in 2008.

I chose the APC SmartUPS series because I have only ever seen one that was utterly destroyed. It was connected to a network switch in the engine compartment of a massive cargo ship and had been subjected to “a small amount of water”. It still tried its best though. It didn’t care that the batteries had expanded inside the battery compartment and had to be removed using a crowbar and a hazard suit. Fitted with a new-ish battery it provided output, but the charging circuit was destroyed. Sadly no pictures, this was a long time ago.

Continue reading “Thor is messing with my UPS”