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UPS Suggestions


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Hey guys! I'm wanting to put my router, modem, ISY, & PLM on a UPS. I'm wanting to do this so my Elk will send me notifications through the ISY when the power goes out. I know UPSs can cause communication problems so I was wondering if you guys can make a suggestion for a UPS for this application?



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II don't have an elk so don't know how ISY and it talk (do you need the PLM or does it communicate over the (ethernet) network?) At any rate having a PLM on the UPS (which should be on a filter) will block its power line commands. I think you can get around this by putting an access point in range (but not UPSed) to pick and pass on the command over the power line, however there are two problems with this. Access points don't pass on X10 (if you need that), and things not UPSed will not have power during an outage to respond to what the PLM sends so there's little value (unless elk uses it and is also on the same UPSed circuit.)



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The PLM should not be on the UPS, leave it in a regular outlet.

With no power, the Insteon signals don't work anyway.


UPS the following

  • [*:n8a33oz8]ISY (power)
    [*:n8a33oz8]the network router
    [*:n8a33oz8]your modem
    [*:n8a33oz8]The ELK netowk module (M1XEP)

The actual ELK will be battery backed already, but the 12V wall wart for the M1XEP needs to be UPS'd.


The ISY is soooo much easier than the ELK to setup email notifications.



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I don't have an ELK in my case.

I have the PLM on the AC wall supply and the ISY Power Supply and all the rest of the computing equipment on my UPS.

As pointed out. The Insteon signals don't work with no power and will not pass through the AC input filtering found in most UPS units.

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Depends how long you want power. APC and Tripplite web sites have runtime calculators. What your putting on the UPS will probably only take a few watts in terms of 120v draw. (1W @ 12v = 0.1W @ 120v) If you want really long runtimes look at the units that allow you to connect external batteries - models typically end in XL. You might want to get one that can be configured internally to shutdown with some runtime left. It keeps the batteries from completely running out, which is bad for them but for that I think you might have to go to a "smart" UPS, which will cost more. I've only used smart one myself because I back up a computer and need the UPS to power off and restart in order for the PC to restart. Cheaper ones don't do that.



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The router, ISY, modem and 1 other device uses about 20 Watts on standby. I will need one UPS for those devices. Since the M1EXP is in the Elk cabinet and in a different location, it will need it's own UPS. The M1EXP is only 7Watts on standby but since it's in the elk cabinet it will be difficult to put on a UPS.



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Is this the only reason you need ISY to keep working during a power failure?


Here is what I see.


Mandatory UPS item: your router/switches/modem/gateway/whatever stuff you own that makes your internet work


Then the either your xep or your ISY has to be on a UPS.


If xep is on UPS, then use Elk's email function to send you a text or email when it experiences AC outage (this is a direct rule located under the whenever/misc. system/troubles/AC power failure)


If ISY only is on UPS, then use ISY program option Elk/system/status is not connected to send you a message when the Elk loses comm. This of course will be a generic warning that could have other causes beside AC failure, but AC failure would cause a loss of comm if the xep were not on backup power.


IF ISY and XEP are on backup power, and you want ISY to send the email, you will need to have Elk trigger a rule on power failure that changes an output (used as a flag). Then ISY responds to the output change by sending you an email. But unless you really can't get Elk to send you the email, this is extra work that serves no purpose.

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I think I will do the last option. I would also like to get notifications of alarms even during a power outage. For that I would have to have the ISY, modem, router, and M1XEP all on backup power.


What do you mean by switches?


ethernet switch.


The Elk can directly send you emails for all of those things. But I know some people can't get Elk email to work because of their email server or whatever. But if Elk works with your email, I would go direct from Elk. The main benefit of ISY email is the ability to input variables like zone status and stuff but you didn't mention that.


For sure xep has to be on UPS to get anything sent to you during a power failure except "loss of comm" which would come from ISY.

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Is there a way to get the XEP to use the Elk power source? My electrician put an electrical outlet inside my Elk cabinet so the Elk plug and XEP plug are all in the cabinet with no wires showing anywhere. I'm not sure how to us a UPS with the XEP in my setup without wires going from the cabinet and to the cabinet. If I could get the XEP to run off the Elk power I could then use the Elk battery instead of the UPS.That would keep everything inside the Elk cabinet.


Any ideas on that?

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The xep will almost certainly put your Elk over the current limit if you use the regular Elk power supply and battery. Even if it doesn't, it will bring you battery backup time down. You can download the Elk current calculation forms from their website.


So, assuming a UPS doesn't fit in the cabinet, then you will need to mount one outside of it and bring a wire out.

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I have thought about putting my ISY on a UPS for a while now and keep deciding against it as I have a feeling the ISY will be very unhappy when it can't communicate with anything on my insteon network and be fairly useless in that condition. I do have the ISY notify me at startup and upon internet uplink restored I I do know (after the fact) the the power and/or internet have gone down.



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