Monthly Archives: October 2013

APCUPSD FTW

APC was less than cooperative with their EventLog file format so I started Google searching again.  An article about the Smart-UPS intrigued me on Wikipedia and the article referenced this as an alternative to the PowerChute shortcomings:

http://www.apcupsd.org/

Installation on Windows was easy… it defaults to use USB but the configuration file was easy enough to edit in Notepad and change to COM3.  The file formats are text and you can configure even faster polling intervals than PowerChute would allow (although I am mimicking the configuration I had in PowerChute Business Edition for now).

Coding Has Begun

Started officially working on the Avionics code which will be responsible for network communication, intercom, motion control, power, lighting, etc.

Code documentation by Doxygen

First thing I tried to tackle is monitoring data from my APC SC1500 Smart-UPS.  I had to get a DB9 to USB conversion cable since newer computers lack a serial port.  That was actually pretty easy (Prolific driver included!).

Much to my surprise, this Smart-UPS does not include an internal temperature probe.  I recommend that you verify that the next Smart-UPS that you buy has this probe internally or supports their environmental monitoring module because I am looking at an extra $15 for a sensor and $80 for a board with a few ADC’s to USB!

While I am waiting for the temperature monitoring components to arrive I used our old Rise Server “apcsmups” class as a starting point for reading the data in.  Unfortunately APC also changed the file formats between the Personal and Business editions of PowerChute.  The DataLog is easy enough (fixed width, tab delimited text) but the EventLog has me baffled… it used to be a 20 byte fixed record width binary file but no longer!).  I have opened a support ticket with APC as my Google search has come up with nothing but this helpful guide for Personal edition users.