|Submited By: Steve Felker on 08/06/2010|
I used to be a die hard fan of APC SmartUPS UPSs, but sadly this is not the same company it used to be. Their new models are mostly plastic, poorly built, cheap junk. Even worse, they are dangerous. For this model family, they opted to go with a one-size-fits-all chassis, and in the case of this unit, the battery pack doesn t fill the battery compartment (not even half of it), so they added a heave metal bar to secure it in place. Unfortunately, this bar is attached to the cheap plastic frame with only 2 very small screws. Well, as you can imagine, on both units I bought anyway, the bar broke loose during shipping, allowing the the battery to bounce around the inside of the unit like a wrecking ball. With all the plastic on the inside of the unit smashed up, those tiny screws and the metal bar can now get up into the once sealed electronics compartment, where there is a lot of exposed metal, and possibly short something out or start a fire. So the UPS you bought to protect your computer, might actually burn down your house.
The software that ships with it is a joke. Like an earlier reviewer, I was also unable to get the USB to Serial adapter to work. The included driver CD for the adapter does not even work with Vista despite the fact that Vista has been out for well over 3 years now. I did manage to find the drivers online, and they seem to have installed, but the UPS is still not recognized. Then I realized that the included APC software wasn t for Vista either, even though it installed without error. So I went to APCs website and downloaded the latest version for Vista and installed it. Even with the latest software, I was still unable to see the UPS using the adapter. So, giving up on USB and my desktop that doesn t have a serial port, I moved over to an old XP Pro box that does have a serial port on it. After installing all 3 APC applications (yes, 3!, all with their own set of services running!) for the third time, I was still unable to see the UPS even using the included db9 to db9 serial cable. I even disabled Windows Firewall thinking that might be interfering with the communication between all these services. This is horrible, horrible software.
My only reason for even fighting with the software in the first place was to diagnose a problem with one of the units I bought. It appears to randomly switch to battery power for a second or two, beep, then switch back. The other identical unit, in use in another room, doesn t do this, so I know it s not a power problem. It seems like a sensitivity setting or maybe a really frequent health check, but unfortunately, without working software, it can t be checked or changed. Remember on the older units, there was a little white sensitivity adjustment button on the back? Not anymore... So now I have to listen to beeps at random times during the day or night and wonder how that is degrading the batteries and my sanity. What a disappointing purchase. Never again, APC. You have lost this long time customer.