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Old 28-10-2018, 09:36   #1
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DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

Has anyone figured out an effective way to get UPS notifications into whatever machine is running openCPN? Via USB or serial, but network notification could work if necessary.

I'd like to set something up that used 12v via a DC-DC power supply, to assure delivery of stable 12vdc and not the typical 11-14v from alternators. I'd also like to get a heads-up when the DC power has dropped to do a clean shut-down of the computer.

Yes, this would be adding another battery in-line from the existing 12v system. But my goal here is to simply keep things running long enough to do orderly shutdowns.

Are there any 12vdc UPS systems out there already?
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Old 28-10-2018, 14:31   #2
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

This is an OS / Device feature and it is highly unlikely to ever to be a feature in Opencpn.


Look up small Lithium Battery UPS systems. I have not recently looked but they often have a Usb connection and some software/drivers for your machine. Try newegg
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Old 28-10-2018, 19:44   #3
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
This is an OS / Device feature and it is highly unlikely to ever to be a feature in Opencpn.

Look up small Lithium Battery UPS systems. I have not recently looked but they often have a Usb connection and some software/drivers for your machine. Try newegg
Agreed, I wouldn't expect it to be something in OpenCPN itself.

Newegg's searching is a mess, nothing obvious comes up. But I'd welcome a link if I missed something obvious.

A bit of searching elsewhere brought up this:
OpenUPS2

That's more along the lines of what I'm after. Take an automotive 12vdc source and output regulated 12vdc. While also providing a USB output so the OS can take action when power is lost.
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Old 29-10-2018, 04:32   #4
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

Use a laptop "UPS" is built in.

If not installed in a server farm with professional maintenance, an external UPS will make your system less stable than a system without UPS
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Old 29-10-2018, 18:17   #5
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

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If not installed in a server farm with professional maintenance, an external UPS will make your system less stable than a system without UPS
What? That's nonsense.

Boats are already a laundry list of maintenance items. An added 9ah SLA battery is trivial compared to everything else on board. And I say this as someone that's actually spec'd, installed and operated rooms full of computer server and telecom gear, including power conditioners and diesel generators.

What'll make a system less stable would be having power go out without doing an orderly shutdown. Or having power blip when starting engines or running the windlass.
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Old 29-10-2018, 21:59   #6
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

Most stock ups won’t turn on without ac power
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Old 29-10-2018, 23:01   #7
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

My experience with computer controlled machines was that it was not the voltage variation but the transients which crashed the computer. Easily solved with a couple of filter capacitors and a inductor or two in the supply line.
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Old 30-10-2018, 01:36   #8
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

As I said " in a server farm with professional maintenance," Yes, but a standalone in a boat - no - go for the laptop with built in battery. Why ? In the ed of the day you will have less trouble. UPS might seem to be a nice thing, but the battery solution in normal laptops is a far better solution and no external added hardware.
ad also like you, I say this as someone that's actually spec'd, installed and operated rooms full of computer server and telecom gear, including power conditioners and diesel generators.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
What? That's nonsense.

Boats are already a laundry list of maintenance items. An added 9ah SLA battery is trivial compared to everything else on board. And I say this as someone that's actually spec'd, installed and operated rooms full of computer server and telecom gear, including power conditioners and diesel generators.

What'll make a system less stable would be having power go out without doing an orderly shutdown. Or having power blip when starting engines or running the windlass.
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Old 30-10-2018, 05:00   #9
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

A laptop with battery is the simplest way to go. They will power off when battery gets low while preserving everything. When power is restored the system will come back as it was before the power failed. Windows 10 is the best in this regard.
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Old 30-10-2018, 21:53   #10
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

I took the opposite tack. I made my file system read only so I can survive an unexpected power outage. Makes shutting down simpler also, just flip the main switch. It also keeps me from messing stuff up while underway. If something goes wrong just power cycle and your are back to default.
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Old 01-11-2018, 16:22   #11
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

A laptop may be simpler for you, so run with that. I'm not interested in trying to use a laptop for this purpose, for a variety of reasons outside the scope of the question I've posed here.

While using a read-only filesystem has merits, it doesn't help if you're expecting to use the machine for any number of other purposes. For situations where you can pare down the install to basics, and configure anything that needs read/write to use a ramdisk... sure, that's a workable option.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:04   #12
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

I made my computer bootable either read only or read write. When sailing I keep it read only because I don't have time for ( and don't want ) anything except opencpn. If I want a full computer I just reboot into read write mode.



My hard drive as a 500GB SSD but the OS footprint and all apps and all US charts are still small enough to make into a bootable USB, for a good stand alone backup solution.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:13   #13
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

Depending of the electrical installation in your boat:


If the primary power source for your boat is 12 or 24 volt from batteries charged form an alternator or solar panel during normal use of the boat, and id you want to use a stationary computer, you have the possibility to change the ATX power supply to a 12 or 24 volt model that will run directly from your battery bank.


Normal stationary computers use a 220 or 110 volt power supply mate to be connected to be used in your office or home. - if unstable electric supply, they will need a UPS to avoid computer crash. If you use a such computer in a boat with 12 or 24 volt main supply, you will have to use a inverter to get 220V7110V to your pc. - a far bettr solution in this case is to connect your pc direct to 12V or 24V by replacing the power supply.


even is you have a 220 / 110 volt generator set onboard who is always running, it's a far better solution to change the powersupply to a 12/24 volt version and run off the battery bank.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:55   #14
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

NUC nuc5cphy ($130 from amazon) works fine with no external power supply off 12V bank.
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Old 02-11-2018, 16:47   #15
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Re: DC-DC power supplies and UPS notification

If you want to stabilise and filter the power supply and want an off-the-shelf solution you could use something like the Victron Orion dc-dc converters.

However, given the acceptable input voltage range of almost all modern electronics adding an extra device actually reduces reliability by adding another point of failure.

Your battery is very unlikely to suddenly fail and you are going to notice that battery state of charge is getting low during your normal watchkeeping checks (aren't you? ) so you have plenty of time to shut things down and save power.
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