how to reduce modem power draw?

2»

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,749 admin
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    If you can, safely, try measuring the voltage across each battery in the UPS... You will probably quickly figure out if they are being charge correctly or not.

    I have never had much luck with small UPS batteries--They seem to fail in about 2 years (more or less).

    Also look for swelling of battery cases and for (especially) the positive terminals being "extruded" out the top of the battery cases. That would indicate internal plate/grid corrosion/sulfaphation issues (also "toastyness" of batteries too).

    If the batteries are "significantly" warmer than enclosure temperature--it would probably indicate excessive charging current (bad battery/cell and/or charger issues).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    will try that in the AM - tks

    just cracked a bottle of 30 yr old scotch i won in a bet with my partner, and me, scotch and tools don't mix well
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    had multi-meter staring at me from across the room so i pulled the cover off and slid the batteries out

    no deformation of the battery cases, no bulging, nothing around the positive terminals - batteries, to the eye look like they did brand new

    they're apparently two 12V batteries, 12 amp hours each, connected in series
    measured voltage across both and got 28V.

    read each battery singularly and got 14V per battery

    and again, what i keep coming back to, was the APC tech saying .9 Amp 115V was normal draw
  • dBeaudBeau Registered Users Posts: 24
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?
    and again, what i keep coming back to, was the APC tech saying .9 Amp 115V was normal draw

    APC makes a couple of different types of UPS. The BackUPS line is cheaper and usually more power efficient but doesnt do as much. They just keep the batteries charged and pass the source through to the load until the source goes dead. Then, it will very quickly switch to the batteries. I have a couple 1500va units that only draw 20watts over the load when not charging the batteries.

    The other type is much "better" but less efficient because it will condition the power. It's inverter is always inline so there's an AC to DC to AC thing going on. I have a 1000va unit (not APC btw) that draws about 60w over what the load draws.

    If you dont need the clean power go with the cheaper design.

    I discovered all this recently when trying to lighten up the load of running two UPS when I really only needed one. I was using two to get the extra run time. I got a great deal on an older and high quality UPS that could take 2.1kwh of batteries. I figured that I'd save the cost of running the extra UPS. Turns out I increased the overhead by 20w! I decided the extra runtime was worth it.

    When I was testing with the kill-a-watt I had a 13w CFL drop light that I used for a load. The big UPS had no trouble with the light, but the ACP BackUPS couldnt light it when on battery.
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    tks - that sheds some light on what's going on - this was a higher end APC, the "Smart UPS" series, 1000va, 670w with a lot of specs about voltage regulation, signal noise reduction - to me it's greek

    not really concerned about clean power - the panamax 5500 ac regenerator will take care of that (and it's being under-utilized so there's plenty of room on it for another 50 watts draw) - my main concern is the lightening strikes / spike voltages we seem to get a lot of around here - had two high end TVs get fried over a 4 - 4.5 year period, when an electrician bud pushed me to the panamax regenerator - but it also delivers, according to it's specs, clean regulated power. Kind of a neat item - it actually takes incoming current, uses it to drive a generator that looks like a shallow bass speaker, to generate outgoing 120V current - so mechanically, incoming current and outgoing are totally separated - and that appealed to my basic electronic comprehension level.
    Found out they quit offering em, so when it goes, i'll be looking around for another solution, but for now i'm covered.

    i need to check it's draw again, but iirc, the TV drew 170 or 175W by itself, and thru the panamax 190W. i can live with that loss. Between the APC UPS and the
    modem, i'm dropping 150 watts - if the new motorola modem only draws 5w and the panamax only adds 5-10w, i'm still 135W ahead or lower load. Even just being 120W net gain or drop in load, that's 2.88 kWh drop per day, or 86.4 per month - definitely makes my day.

    i don't do extensive graphics work or other types of computer work that i'd be afraid to lose if the computer crashed, so a backup is secondary right now to trimming power load.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    Smart UPS is their pure sine wave line. But there are 2 sub-lines, one is an "online" type (inverter is always on like dBeau described in his 2nd paragraph), and would be a direct replacement for your Panamax. The other is like the Back UPS line and is "line interactive", only kicking on when the utility power drops out.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,392 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    I was quite shock at my new office draw with most every thing off, AC units in stand by, a Vongage VOIP box, two gigabyte switches, a hand held charger base and a UPS for the phone and network gear. 192 watts! I didn't have time to track down the culprit but now suspect the UPS from what I see here.
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    first - the panamax, with no load, draws 63 watts, so not a big gain there but i guess there's a price for clean pure current, but to use it, i'd have to leave the panamax powered for 15-16 hours a day, where it currently is only powered from after dinner to midnight.

    based on what dBeau and others have said, i went back to APC's site and figured some reasons for the power consumption. using their load/efficiency charts, the APC-1000 at 670W / 1000va, with a 50 watt load is only something like 63% efficient - the higher the load, the higher the efficiency but i'd have to increase my current load to 30% (200W) to see 94% efficiency, and 60% load to see 97% efficiency - so that unit is efficient under heavier loads

    the APC 550 BackUPS (or "non-Smart" UPS), from APC's efficiency chart, 95% at a 50W load, which translates to the 4-5W load - that seems to tie in to techntrek's descript of the lower model being "line interactive".

    and the more i read, the more i wonder if i'm not discounting the value of clean power too quickly.

    might just leave the APC-1000 in use for awhile
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    There is a lot to be said for having clean power if your utility power isn't, even though it costs extra. Over the 3 years I've had my 6 kw UPS I've gone from leaving it on all the time, to leaving it off, to leaving it on again. My original intent for buying it was to only use it during outages. Partially to keep the quiet at night and partially because this makes the genset more efficient. I ended up buying an online UPS and after several brownouts I decided I would take advantage of its power-conditioning abilities and leave it on all the time. It cost extra since its converting AC-DC-AC, but it took care of all the browouts. Finally I decided to turn it off to save a little money. The brownouts and "blips" continued, so eventually it was on again.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • SlappySlappy Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?
    niel wrote: »
    slappy,
    you are taking a bit of a chance running 14.4v to a 10v item. it may not blow right away, but could degrade with excessive heat shortening its lifespan. if you are familiar with diodes and feel comfortable putting them inline it could reduce the voltage by .5v-.75v per diode. i usually see .5v-.6v with 1n4001 and others in that lineup of diodes. i would put 3 or 4 inline as i would figure you are roughly 2v higher than the circuitry was originally nominally intended for.


    Neil thank you for the tip. yes I do feel comfortable on adding diodes to drop the voltage down, but if it blows that means that the wife will let me get a new modem, (a better one) than the ISP's el'cheap-o, so she can play her online games:cry:

    But yes you are very correct on me taking a chance on doing it this way, but Just going to leave as it is until it smokes and burns. but as mentioned earlier it does not get no hotter than it did on using the wall wart, must have some type of internal regulator. but I dont know?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    ok, i understand.:D
    it is possible it does have an internal regulator and if so you may need to throw it up against the wall or better yet accidentally spill your drink into it so you can get that new modem.;):p
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?
    niel wrote: »
    you may need to throw it up against the wall or better yet accidentally spill your drink into it so you can get that new modem

    I hate it when that happens. :p

    Final update on my small APC 550, after 24 hours it has now fallen to 2 watts with no load.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    the motorola sb6120 came in last nite - wow, super simple install but most important is the lack of heat this thing generates compared to that comcast arris modem
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    The Original Ralph - I'm glad your enjoying your new modem. You might even notice an upgrade in speed if your old one was a docsis 1.1 or 2.0. (some areas Comcast has docsis 3.0 available) Motorola has always been my choice for cable modems. And regardless of what comcast says, they should let you run any cable modem that supports docsis 2.0 and 3.0. Enjoy the energy savings.:D Now I'm heading to the basement to test my UPS again :p
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    actually you're right i am seeing faster speeds, and the motorola is DOSCIS 3.0 - tks
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    followup on the motorola sb6120

    i don't doubt the posters here that vouched for their experience with this modem and comcast. As to the modem itself, before ordering i had searched forums, amazon & newegg reviews, etc and found nothing but positive reports.

    But the experience has been strange - in the 2 weeks i've had it, i've lost internet connection at least once every day or two, and sometimes twice in a day. With the comcast modem, i lost internet svc maybe once every 2-3 months.

    In every instance, when the motorola modem went down, disconnecting power to the modem restored svc. But today, i happened to be looking up at the modem when it flashed all the lights, and then went totally dead (ie no led lites). Then it slowly started or tried to restart. I unplugged it, left it unplugged for a couple minutes, plugged back in and internet svc came back.

    When it flashed off, it was exactly like when comcast does a modem reset remotely from their end and i hate to be paranoid - i have no concrete basis for saying this, but it sure does appear that it's comcast trying to convince me i made a mistake in dropping the monthly rental plan on their modem.

    that was the only complaint i found on any modem discussions - some folks were alleging exactly that. Got to wonder if it's not true - ie that comcast does it enough to generate some chatter on the web to discourage the practice of owning your own modem
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,749 admin
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    I too have the Motorola SB6120.

    Installed 10am on September 27th--3pm on September 29th, still working fine.

    With basic Internet (~$46 per month+$13 for basic TV), I am getting around 20Mbit/sec download and around 2-4 Mbit/sec upload. And 18-33 msec ping.

    Depending on how your network is configured, I access mine at:

    http://192.168.100.1

    and you can check the logs there (my logs seem to be clear--although the initial time/dates seemed to be messed up--and it did take 15 minutes of fiddling at Comcast's end to get their system to recognize and provision the modem).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    how do you find your modem's url?

    and how much stock in comcast did you buy to qualify for $13 tv svc - lowest i could get was either $26 or $29
  • xiphiasxiphias Solar Expert Posts: 52 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    FWIW, I have a surfboard 5101 that has been running flawlessly for at least 2 years, maybe 3 (?). Never drops. Draws something like 7-9 W. It is only powered down if no one is home for a week or more. Otherwise, it's on. Had one before this that I would put into standby every night. It only lasted 367 days.... Cycling seems to kill them.

    Around here the $12 comcast service is called 'lifeline' or something like that. Only a couple channels.

    the 198 url above is typical for the modem.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,749 admin
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    Yes, 198.162.100.1 is typical for the standard router/modem setup... Go ahead and place the IP address in your browser URL... Either it will work, or not--and if not, it will not hurt anything.

    The comcast package was the cheapest Internet I could get ~6 years ago. ~45 for the internet and $13 for TV (local broadcast + Discovery Channel and one of the Chicago stations). Total bill with taxes is ~$65 a month (still not "cheap"--but so far, reliable and fairly fast Internet compared to AT&T--which my inlaws just disconnected after the special ended).

    Frankly, I get a lot more TV on my over the air digital TV than basic cables this days (Plus cable is plain analog and the over the air is HD and other flavors of digital TV).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • The Original RalphThe Original Ralph Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    found the ip - it is the same - tks

    odd, mine only shows 1 day's events logged and there were four critical events - two showing to be "calls for maintenance from broadcast provider (which i assume is comcast) but no maintenance received, T4 timeout"

    so it looks like there were a couple of outages i didn't noticed

    found something you might want to know about - looks like they've been rolling out firmware updates that seem to be bricking the sb6120

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Firmware-Update-Cripples-Some-Motorola-SB6120-DOC-3-Modems-108333

    by the looks of it, one of the posters described exactly what i'm experiencing, multiple resets/reboots on his modem daily

    PS - just figured out why mine's only showing 1 day's events - it has the latest firmware (SB612X-1.0.3.3 ) that folks are complaining about - and apparently it did some full "resets"
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,749 admin
    Re: how to reduce modem power draw?

    I have an 1:8 splitter (really only need a 1:4 at most, or even a 1:2)--so my signal levels are way down compared to a direct connect. But, so far, not bad at all:
    Model Name: SB6120
    Vendor Name: Motorola
    Firmware Name: SB612X-1.0.3.3-SCM00-NOSH
    Boot Version: PSPU-Boot 1.0.0.4m1
    Hardware Version: 3.0

    For all four channels:
    SNR: 37 db
    downstream power level -4dbmV
    upstream power level 51 dBmV

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.