Tripp-Lite SMART1000LCD Tear-Down

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Daniel Sauvageau

Daniel Sauvageau is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He’s known for his feature tear-downs of components and peripherals.

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  • beetlejuicegr
    It is getting boring to realize everytime that behind brandnames, shiny boxes and marketing show offs, the reality is sticky messy and sometimes even dangerous.

    Where is the quality of products check if there is any?
  • turkey3_scratch
    Turdy. The majority of UPSs out there just suck eggs. Then you have all these people who think they need a UPS when they really don't, only to get some crappy UPS that probably makes their computer only less safe. If you want a good UPS, expect to spend multi-hundreds of dollars for something of quality. And even then, you have to have a legitimate reason to own a UPS in the first place; these misconceptions that everyone needs a UPS is ridiculous, then people go buy garbage like this and think, "yay now my computer is safe" when it would have been perfectly fine without the UPS.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    441494 said:
    Where is the quality of products check if there is any?

    The lack of a breaker is not so much a quality issue as much as it is a horrible cost-cutting decision and inexcusable in a $120+ UPS. Or an UPS of any size for that matter given how even $2 power bars from the dollar store usually have an inexpensive breaker-switch.

    Where UL1363 is concerned, an extension rated for 15A or less (12A here) is required to have a cord with #14 gauge wire. Also, a relocatable tap with more than four outlets must have a breaker. I haven't read UL1778 to see if there were exceptions for UPS - I don't see why there should be any considering how UPS are effectively relocatable power taps with some battery-backup outlets on top. (Edit: I had a glance at UL1778 and wire gauges thinner than #14 are only mentioned for control wires.)
  • razor512
    This is a pic of the inside of my cheap APC UPS (took it a long time ago), took it apart many years ago to remote the alarm speaker.

    https://i.imgur.com/wkLhvEP.jpg
    Luckily it works without the battery being in there,and the construction was not a complete mess.
  • falchard
    I still don't understand the point of the Coax protection unless your house was wired really badly in the '80s. I would be nervous about completing a circuit to ground by having both the coax grounded at the demarc and grounded to the UPS.
  • knowom
    Battery replacement in these UPS devices is expensive unfortunately.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    47103 said:
    Battery replacement in these UPS devices is expensive unfortunately.

    It is a standard battery size, you can get good replacements for less than $30 if you don't want to pay the UPS manufacturer's convenience premium for officially approved batteries.
  • alphax45
    So based on all we have seen what is the "best" UPS for someone that want's to ensure a mid range home PC is getting clean power and the ability to shut down safe in case of power outage?
  • nukemaster
    1736083 said:
    47103 said:
    Battery replacement in these UPS devices is expensive unfortunately.
    It is a standard battery size, you can get good replacements for less than $30 if you don't want to pay the UPS manufacturer's convenience premium for officially approved batteries.

    Any recommended places to get decent batteries?
  • warezme
    Great review and thank you for all that information. Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by all you found and will likely find in the future.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    35532 said:
    Any recommended places to get decent batteries?

    Ideally, look for official distributors. If there aren't any for your state, then eBay, Amazon and the likes are your friends, you just need to be extra wary of third-party sellers who may be selling used or falsely re-labeled batteries.

    If you are lucky, some local electronics, hobby or other shop may carry decent models from a decent brand.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    114152 said:
    Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by all you found and will likely find in the future.

    So far, it does look like they don't make 'em like they used to.
  • WFang
    What we need next is a tear-down of a supposedly great UPS... If you shop e.g. APC's 'business' units and plop down 2-3 hundred USD on a small 'office' unit, will you actually then get the quality you pay for? My guess is "no".
  • beetlejuicegr
    I believe you need UPS for your PC and expensive TV at least. As long as the "waves are waves and not huge lego boxes". For me it feels that you have to spend about 300+ to get a decent made UPS and even then not all models or brands will be decent.
    The problem is the electricity of your area and how stable it is. In my place we get loads of undervoltaging often, which is super lethal. Without a good ups you are playing with fire.
  • Vorador2
    That was really interesting. And terrifying.

    That a supposedly reputable brand and a "pricey" UPS model has two critical defects and questionable cost cutting decisions makes me worry about buying any UPS.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    128698 said:
    That a supposedly reputable brand and a "pricey" UPS model has two critical defects and questionable cost cutting decisions makes me worry about buying any UPS.

    The SMART1000 is the only UPS I have looked at so far that lacks a breaker and a dedicated standby/charger power supply. Buy just about anything else (perhaps not from Tripp-Lite, I haven't looked at their other models to see how much of an isolated incident the SMART1000 might be) and you won't have either issue.
  • FallenKell
    I would love to see a tear down of an APC unit. Like a SmartUPS or BackUPS line. I owned 2 of the larger brothers of the APC BackUPS us had in the size comparison shot (I had the 1500VA ones, and one of them I extended with the expansion battery to 3000VA). They lasted me about 10 years before something inside them finally died (probably capacitors).
  • Tarrant13
    Would love to see a tear-down of a "home theater" UPS - are they really better/different than a standard UPS for computers? Example: APC's S15

    http://www.soundandvision.com/content/apc-s15-battery-backup-power-conditioner#Q3vxo75YO6mgZQYp.97
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    10899 said:
    They lasted me about 10 years before something inside them finally died (probably capacitors).

    I did a tear-down of my BX1000 two years ago and 10 years is just about how long it lasted before it started freaking out. I plan to investigate what went wrong and possibly fix it in the near-future. My initial suspicion says caps too, even though most are Nippon Chemi-Con if I remember correctly.

    2250969 said:
    Would love to see a tear-down of a "home theater" UPS - are they really better/different than a standard UPS for computers? Example: APC's S15

    While there is little doubt that they are better, the real question are: how much so and how different do they need to be to do so? Most of the answer for the first question can be inferred from the spec sheets: multiple AVR buck/boost ratios to provide actual line voltage regulation instead of the one-step buck/boost in typical UPS, extra output filtering, surge suppression, etc. The second one is trickier since there is a handful of ways most of the differences can be implemented and I can imagine how UPS engineers may get creative with component re-use in a consumer UPS to implement more features using few to no additional parts.

    An even bigger question is: are those really necessary? The bulk of modern AV equipment uses switching supplies too. There isn't much point in having super-clean 50/60Hz when the first thing you do is introduce broadband 0Hz-1MHz noise with a switching supply and then filter that again.
  • JonDol
    Hi there. Thank you for this article. I would greatly appreciate if you could mention, for every equipment you dissect, other products in the same category that are worth the money (in all the price ranges). And if you could update your old articles with these mentions it will be even better. This will encourage serious manufacturers to continue their hard work and put pressure on those cutting costs in order to save crumbs.

    Thank you
  • Creatif
    Huawei got U(PSes) covered:

    http://www.huawei.com/en/EBG/Home/products/network-energy/ups/ups2000-a


    P.S.: Don't get me start(l)ed on the price increase. Quality has its price to protect your precious parts downstream. Or should I have written 'down there' ... ;-?
  • LordConrad
    I have a CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD. I would love to see a teardown of this to see how it fares.
  • alidan
    by me we have occasional power outs for 1-2 seconds, rarely lasting more than 2 minutes, but last summer we had a really bad power cycling that had the power turn on and off somewhere around 2-300 times in under 3 minutes, and a bad brown out that cut power for upwards 5 hours.

    Due to have having a 3d printer now, the small 1-2 second ones are an issue
    Due to the power cycling and brownout, i would like an ups for my computer too.

    Anyone able to give me some good options for 400watt psus, 750 watt and 1250 watt (400 is 100 more then the 3d printer uses, but safe then sorry, 750 is a worst case scenario for my computer where everything demands 100% at once along with monitors, 1250 because I may repurpose my current computer as a networked render box when i build a new one and it would be nice to have both on a ups.)
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    37884 said:
    I have a CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD. I would love to see a teardown of this to see how it fares.

    I have something of the sort about three stories down in my pipeline - I'm in the process of editing photos and writing it now. The next UPS tear-down will contain a little teaser about it.