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GTR73

DIY Backup power

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With storm season upon us and blackouts imminent, I found this link for DIY backup power if anyone is interested:

DIY backup power

One of the best things about the unit is it switches automatically to 12V battery power if the Mains power goes off. Also, most of the material used is easily available.

smile.gif

Edited by GTR73

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With storm season upon us and blackouts imminent, I found this link for DIY backup power if anyone is interested:

DIY backup power

One of the best things about the unit is it switches automatically to 12V battery power if the Mains power goes off. Also, most of the material used is easily available.

smile.gif

G'day

Unfortunately this gadget does NOT work reliably!

I have built it (and others on the forum as well). It has a habit of blowing up inverters. sad.gif

I think it may have something to do with the indication motors that are in the big air pumps dntknw.gif .

If anyone happens to get it going reliably please let us know woot.gif .

Sorry for the bad news

cya Matthew

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No don't apologise Matthew. One of the things about this forum is sharing info and ideas, so if this sucker doesn't work then better to let everyone know.

Good work - I was hoping someone had built and tested the thing. thumb.gif

Maybe someone else has perfected it?

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I know Andrew (the guy behind that site) personally, and he's a very helpful and knowledgable bloke. Maybe email him with your questions, I'm sure he would be happy to help.

I know he has this system running reliably on his tanks thumb.gif

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Another option is to set it up running a 12v compressor/air pump - that way you don't need to worry about the inverter. Depends on what you need to run and how long for though obviously.

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All the 12v compressors i've looked at won't run very long and aren't designed to do so. Most of them say not to be ran more than 8 minutes without letting the unit rest. So an hour to two hours, I would say would be out of the question. Simply using an inverter off a battery of some kind would be the best bet but obviously you have to be home when the power outage occurs. The inverters go up to 2000w. You could setup a series of smaller airpumps if you need and also run your cannisters. I probably wouldn't run heaters off an inverter but you could if you have a large enough inverter.

Anthony

Edited by Ant

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Didn't someone here have a modded UPS with external clamps to go on a deep cycle battery instead of the piddly little UPS gel cell?

I believe one of the issues with this might have been overheating, so perhaps a big 12V fan could go into the UPS case where the old gell cell was?

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With storm season upon us and blackouts imminent, I found this link for DIY backup power if anyone is interested:

DIY backup power

One of the best things about the unit is it switches automatically to 12V battery power if the Mains power goes off. Also, most of the material used is easily available.

:)

G'day

Unfortunately this gadget does NOT work reliably!

I have built it (and others on the forum as well). It has a habit of blowing up inverters. :(

I think it may have something to do with the indication motors that are in the big air pumps dntknw.gif .

If anyone happens to get it going reliably please let us know :lol4: .

Sorry for the bad news

cya Matthew

Hey Matthew, why didn't you mention this thread?

Did you end up having problems with the UPS method too?

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G'day

I didn't mention it because there is difficulty obtaining any more modified UPS's sad.gif

I (and others ) are trying a few more leads and if any work out I will let you all know.

Yes the UPS units work very well. They are still in operation at my place bigsmile.gif

The next modification will be for a larger inverter, I hope. But I am picky and only want a pure Sine Wave UPS.

When I have got a solution (or get some more of the original units), an ad will go up in the classifieds and some info in the Technical forum as well.

Sorry I cannot be of more help.

Matthew

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Possible backup (but you need to be there to activate it blush.gif )

As an interim measure I would suggest a trip down to Jaycar. At the moment they have

100 Watt inverters for $40

150 Watt inverters for $50

and of course the

300 watt inverters are up around the $100+ arena.

But this is a relatively small price to pay for an inverter that will power your air pump through a blackout.

Buy the size that is appropriate for your needs. Heaters are not critical, so don't worry about them. Worry about the water/oxygen movement in your tanks and in your filters.

PS. The Batteries will be the expensive bit. A Deepcycle 120Amp Hour battery is $185 down here. A car battery could be used if required and then you might use your car to keep the battery charged.

(Please correct me here if I am wrong with any of this advice! dntknw.gif I am not an electronics person no.gif )

Matthew

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G'day

I didn't mention it because there is difficulty obtaining any more modified UPS's  sad.gif

I (and others ) are trying a few more leads and if any work out I will let you all know.

Yes the UPS units work very well. They are still in operation at my place bigsmile.gif

The next modification will be for a larger inverter, I hope. But I am picky and only want a pure Sine Wave UPS.

When I have got a solution (or get some more of the original units), an ad will go up in the classifieds and some info in the Technical forum as well.

Sorry I cannot be of more help.

Matthew

A pure Sine wave UPS! shock.gif You are picky!

Are you an audiophile by any chance as well?

A better alternative than running the car (Possible toxic fume buildup me thinks) is to buy 2 or more car batteries and have them hooked up to a cheap battery charger and swap them once they reach a certain level. To avoid overcharging, there is a mod from Jaycar that will fit the Arlec units.

Word of caution though, while they may be 12V and DC, do not forget that they can discharge a fair amount of current in a very short space of time.

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Hi Wui39,

A better alternative than running the car (Possible toxic fume buildup me thinks) is to buy 2 or more car batteries and have them hooked up to a cheap battery charger and swap them once they reach a certain level. To avoid overcharging, there is a mod from Jaycar that will fit the Arlec units.

I think Matthew was talking about using the car to charge the battery during the blackout - don't battery chargers just convert 240v mains to 12v ???? dntknw.gif

Cheers

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I should have been more specific then.

Have 2 or more batteries as your backup. Have them hooked up to a charger when the power is on. They are all kept at peak levels. When power goes off then use them. When one runs out then swap. In fact if you want to get really technical, build an automatic change over switch that will detect the voltage level of the battery and then will swap to the next battery.

Edited by wui39

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Hey Wui

The problem is...........what happens when the blackout occurs and your not at home. dntknw.gif

You need something that will cut in automatically when the power goes off. yes.gif

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Here you go here is a link that will fix when your not home.

DIY UPS

Not elegant but it will work for a certain amount of time.

Unless you have a better design. The system is always on and therefore when you lose power on the input, the battery will start powering straight away.

I did say an automatic change over switch in my previous post. Perhaps that is not automatic enough for you.

If you want I can specify the system that is good enough to power the computer centre and trading floor for banks, but perhaps that will cost you more than your entire fish room.

Edited by wui39

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G'day Wui39

Please note I am not an electrically capable individual, I have to trust what others tell me. shock.gif

I have read this article in the past. The inverter would need to run permanently, are they designed to be run permanently? My initial thoughts were that I was adding another gadget into the air pump circuit that might fail. Previously I have had some trouble with them dying on me.

That is why I went for a modified UPS unit. Because the inverter is only running when the power drops out. (Or so I was told).

If this was your problem how do you suggest it be solved. ie. What would you recommend that we do? confused.gif

The UPS/backup power units are generally used to power 40, 80 and or 100 Watt air pumps. Occasionally people put them onto water pumps as well. Although so far I have not been recommending that they do this.

So what would you suggest?

Thanks very much

Matthew

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Generally in the UPS industry the Online method is preffered over the standby method beacuse there is negligable change over time when the power cuts out. Although I'm not sure that is really a problem here unless you have a hard to restart device.

Yes the Jaycar inverters will probably fail on you, they are not designed to work for 24 hours a day all through the year.

A possible alternative are these:

High quality solar inverters

Yes they are not cheap, although they are reliable and 400w is enough for most air pumps. unsure.gif

Here is an article on inverters as well explaining the difference between them:

inverters

I suppose it is up to the individual to justify the cost difference. unsure.gif

Although if you are already running the mod UPS system and it has been working well, I wouldn't change it unless you plan on upgrading to more tanks. Then the possible alternative is the online system.

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