I hope I ordered the right UPS for the Raspberry Pi

Posted on Dec 27, 2018

We have a Plex server running on a Raspberry Pi 3 and a file server running on an older RPi, but I haven’t been leaving them on because we get so many power blips. A garden-variety Raspberry Pi really does not like having its power yanked unceremoniously. I had a Best Buy gift card and after researching UPS models, settled on an APC BackUPS 650VA. No idea yet if that was the best one, but here’s what led me to pick it:

  • Back when I was briefly a Unix admin, we had one of the iconic APC boxes sitting beside our server. I don’t know if the quality is still there these days, but we’ll see.
  • All I need it to do is run the two RPis and one external hard drive long enough for a graceful automatic shutdown, so this model doesn’t seem like overkill.
  • There’s a Raspbian-compatible daemon called apcupsd that can talk to an APC UPS.
  • Eaton looks great but is too rich for what I need.
  • CyberPower was off the table because of their dorky name, and because of reviews that mentioned them catching on fire and tech support saying, “oh well, that happens”.
  • Tripp Lite, having a stellar reputation for surge protectors, doesn’t seem to have a great history with UPS units according to at least this one person on Reddit:

I can’t really speak to the Linux driver side, but I can tell you from a Systems Administration point of view, Tripplite is a Nightmare. The MIB’s for SNMP rarely work and the Management interface for most of their Gear in Java (not HTML like APC.)
I personally prefer APC, even Eaton before I would go Tripplite.

More after the thing arrives and I get to play with it.