Thursday, 7 July 2016

EATON 9130 2kVA (1800W) Full-conversion UPS

As I no longer service UPS, all my stock has aged and its far more cost effective to buy a brand new unit than to refurbish the old "line-interactive" units.

Two of my 1500VA units have now died and were not worth my time repairing so now I'm down to one small one for the Home Theatre and two big ones for the storm pumps.

The problem with these old units is they are NOT tolerant of operating on generator power and as their batteries age, it now costs a minimum of $480 for the small ones and $1200 for the big ones, just to buy replacement batteries!

So I decided to do something I've wanted to do for ages, that is to buy a good full-conversion Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) which will:
  • operate on the generator during extended outages so I don't need as much battery capacity
  • provide true "clean" power for all the computers and home theatre equipment
  • cost less to upgrade batteries for, in the future.
So I did lots of web research then went out an bought an EATON 9130 2kVA UPS from Power On Australia
It was promptly delivered and I powered it up.

Now understand that I've handled many UPS models and sizes, but none of that prepared me for the noise that assaulted my ears when I powered this baby up!
It was competing with some of the 10kVA systems I've worked on!

Two little 80mm cheap-as-chips case fans were managing to produce a cool 51DB of noise (at the standard 1m measuring distance)!!

In a quiet office when you're trying to have a hands-free/conference phone conversation .... nah! ... that's just not doable!

After some more Google searching I discovered this was another well-known problem (though why I didn't see it in my pre-purchase research I'm not sure)  ... wasn't expecting noise to be an issue I guess.

Long story short, I obtained permission from the supplier to swap out the fans for two "silent" high-flow equivalents, without voiding my warranty.

I've yet to press it fully into service but at-least its 'ready' now and seems to be more efficient than the  old line-interactive one it will replace  :-)  

The Solar Saga Continues - An Update

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Next Post in this series

Back in early 2014 after the vendor and I got jack of the all the hassles with multiple SAMIL inverters, they managed to convince SAMIL that the unit design was flawed and we wanted it ripped out.

The vendor then kindly replaced the SAMIL with an ABB (aka Power One) AURORA inverter to which I added an RS485-to-IP interface, loaded their Aurora Comunicator v2.10.1 PC software and we've been reaping the benefits ever since, with excellent logging and a good UI
 So all has gone wonderfully well since then ... till recently ... when all of a sudden the inverter started to fail with what transpires to be a well known error code of E031

It transpires that after a few years in the field, a particular component has failed in many of these units and they are replaced under their 5yr warranty with little issue.

The only difficulty for me was that my original vendor has gone out of business!

See this page

After some Googling I found the above page and contacted MC Electrical here in Brisbane and they handled the warranty submission, acquisition and installation of a manufacturer-refurbished unit all very fuss-free and professionally, for nothing more than their standard call out rate. 
Hopefully this one will last longer!
They are manufactured by one of the biggest power and energy equipment suppliers in the world so you'd hope this was just one of those post-manufacture flaws which did not get picked up under stress-testing at the design stage.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Open Systems, CI/CD, Virtualisation and Containers

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Summarising the difference between Docker, Boot2Docker and Vagrant

Short answer: 

Vagrant abstracts the machine where as Docker abstracts the application.

Vagrant is a virtual machine manager, it allows you to script the virtual machine configuration as well as the provisioning

Docker on the other hand uses kernel cgroup and namespacing via lxc. 
It means that you are using the same kernel as the host and the same file system 

The reason you could want to use Vagrant is if you need an operating environment which differs from that of your Virtualisation host.
e.g. You might want BSD, Windows or other non-linux development on your Ubuntu box


This Quora article explains it all quite well:



Docker doesn't provision machines, it wraps your application in a lightweight portable runtime which can be dropped anywhere. 
What runtime you choose for your application has nothing to do with how you provision your machines!
Conversely, you may use Vagrant to provision machines which have nothing to do with developing your application - for example a ready-to-use Windows box or something

From the author of Docker:
From the author of Vagrant:

Running Java inside a Windows container on a Windows server