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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality System
I've just bought a new APC UPS for my PowerMac G4. It ships with PowerChute software, but versiontracker.com comments suggest it is not yet Panther compatible. It seems, however that Apple has included UPS software in Mac OS X, they just forgot to mention it.

By opening Battery.menu in the folder System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Menu Extras, you will get a new menu indicating battery level and remaining time if you are running off your battery. I haven't had the nerve yet to see if my Mac will automatically shutdown if the battery level goes too low yet, but I don't see why it shouldn't (anyone want to try?).

This will only work if your Mac is running 10.3 and is plugged in to a compatible USB UPS. Jaguar seems to have some support for UPSes, but not in the Battery menu extra.

[robg adds: I don't have a UPS with which to test this one ... can anyone else confirm this behavior?]
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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality | 41 comments | Create New Account
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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Big Daddy Cool on Feb 10, '04 11:12:01AM

Isn't that menu item for laptops?
Why would you think it was for a UPS?



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Seems to work with Belkin UPS
Authored by: conceptDawg on Feb 10, '04 11:23:51AM

I have a Belkin UPS and this seems to work just fine. When you open the Energy Saver System Pref the "Settings for:" drop-down lists a UPS there. You can, via these controls, control when the system safely shuts down in times of power-failure.

I hit the test button on my UPS and the battery level indicator in the menu bar dropped down and it then allowed me to see how long my desktop would run with the UPS. Nice. Simple. Seamless.



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Seems to work with Belkin UPS
Authored by: godfatherK on Feb 10, '04 06:08:48PM

Which Belkin UPS model do you use?



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Seems to work with Belkin UPS
Authored by: dmlounsbury on Jun 13, '04 03:01:17PM

I just bought a Belkin F6C800 800VA UPS, which was on sale at CompUSA for $50 after rebate. I plugged in the USB cable, and the Energy Saver preferences (10.3.4) panel grew a UPS settings popup. In addition to the usual Sleep settings, there were new options for auto-shutdown on the UPS.

This is without installing any additional software.



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Seems to work with Belkin UPS
Authored by: derekhed on Jun 13, '04 07:56:14PM

That button on the front of mine wasn't the 'test' button. :-(

LOL!



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: ducasi on Feb 11, '04 03:56:44AM

Why would I think it was for a UPS?

Because, I noticed UPS graphics inside it. Because I noticed drivers for USB UPSes, and put two and two together.

Because it works?



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: lepape on Feb 10, '04 11:33:37AM

You wrote:
"-I've just bought a new APC UPS for my PowerMac G4. It ships with PowerChute software, but versiontracker.com comments suggest it is not yet Panther compatible"

My APC Back-UPS 500 and its PowerChute software work just fine in Panther. No problems whatsoever.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: apc on Feb 11, '04 06:34:35AM
PowerChute v1.3.1 is indeed not fully compatible with Panther. We are working on a 1.3.2 release at present which addresses these compatibility issues.

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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: sben on Feb 10, '04 11:40:40AM

Does anyone happen to know if one can connect a UPS to an unused USB port on an Apple keyboard? I need a USB hub, I know, but don't have one yet, and would like to be able to use the UPS in the meantime.



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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: the1truestripes on Feb 10, '04 02:57:32PM

Yes, the Apple keyboard is a USB hub, it just doesn't have many ports. If you are looking for a USB hub you might try looking at Free After Rebate they have them from time to time. It'll cost you shipping though (unless you manage to find enough free items all in one place to qualify for free shipping!). Good luck.

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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: sben on Feb 10, '04 07:21:09PM

Thanks for the rebate link; I'll check that out.

Slightly defensively, yes, the Apple keyboard is a USB hub, but I was wondering if there are any issues the way (Apple claims) there are with running Apple speakers through -- the keyboard doesn't support whatever the audio-over-USB spec is.

So: Is there some kind of funky UPS-over-USB functionality that most Apple keyboards don't provide? Or am I just worrying about nothing?



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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: ducasi on Feb 11, '04 03:53:20AM

APC say you should plug their UPSes directly into a USB port on the computer, rather than though a hub.

I'm not sure why... Perhaps it's to ensure you're not plugging it in through an unprotected mains-powered USB hub. Or maybe there's another reason... Try it and see what happens.



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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: theocrates on Feb 11, '04 09:19:28AM

I've never been certain why APC says one should plug the UPS directly into the computer instead of a USB hub. I suspect there is some obscure technical reason; but hypothetically there is no reason why you couldn't plug in the UPS via a hub, as long as the hub is itself plugged into the Battery Backup side of the UPS.

I ran tests just last night, pulling the plug on the UPS unit: battery power kicked in instantly and the PowerChute software displayed an alert box a few seconds after that. The software also "gracefully" shut down my computer when the battery reached the limit I had set in the software preferences. I successfully repeated this test several times.

So, it appears that the UPS unit does indeed function just fine through a (powered) USB hub when power is cut; and the PowerChute software also kicks in just fine if you're running it, even though APC says it is not fully compatible (what in particular is not fully compatible about the software, I don't know).

Incidentally, I have a Backups Pro 500, which has my 533 MHz G4, a 19" CRT monitor, an Aiport Extreme Base Station, and a 4-port USB hub plugged in to the Battery Backup side. The UPS's USB cable is plugged into that hub.



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UPS USB chaining?
Authored by: AIVAS on Feb 10, '04 08:20:49PM

The USB hub in the keyboard is a passive device. It is powered by the computer. It has no power supply of it's own. Therefore the keyboard (and usually the mouse since people usually plug it in to the keyboard) derive their power from this hub. There is little power left. I would recommend not plugging anything into the keyboard hub unless it is a self-powered (active) USB hub.

When selecting a USB hub, chose one that comes with a power adapter.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: dansroka on Feb 10, '04 12:13:13PM

I checked this out here: I have a Cube connected to an APC BackUPS, and a Powerbook (which is not connected to a UPS, of course). It looks like the EnergySaver pref panel does not show any "Settings for" menu for a desktop computer, just for the Powerbook. Therefore, my Cube doesn't have access to any UPS options in my EnergySaver pref panel. Bummer.

Regarding software for UPSs, I switched to PowerGuardian, a 3rd party solution. Gives more robust control than the PowerChute software that comes with the APC units.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: ducasi on Feb 11, '04 03:58:53AM

Did you try the Menu extra?

I don't have any additional options in my Energy Saver preferences, but the menu works anyway.



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Getting laptop Energy Saver features on desktops; Re: 10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS...
Authored by: mech_filter on Jun 21, '04 03:10:07AM

It's VAGUELY possible you can actually gain that functionality from your PowerBook. I know for a fact that if you (incautiously) clone your boot drive from a desktop to a laptop that it will clobber the special laptop-only features of Energy Saver. Henceforth (until you fix it) your laptop Energy Saver panel will only have the features of the desktop version. For this reason CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) excludes the Energy Saver prefs file by default.

What this tells me is that these battery-related features are probably simply something in the XML prefs file for Energy Saver, present when installed on laptops and left off when installed to desktop Macs, and not a special function of the binary itself.

Ergo, in theory you should be able to copy your E.S. prefs file from the laptop to the desktop and get those features. If that fails, copying ALL of E.S. from the laptop to the desktop might do the trick.

If someone has a laptop and is reading this, please post your E.S. prefs file (don't forget the [CODE] markup!), and I'll be happy to test it. I have a desktop and a UPS I just acquired, but no laptop. I don't check here every single day, so if you do post the file here, please let me know at mech|the "at sign" goes here|well.com



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: chadh on Feb 10, '04 03:29:47PM

The APC software works fine in Panter. Just remember, if you use a USB hub, make sure its also plugged into the UPS. If the hub looses power your Mac will loose connection to the UPS and not shutdown.



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language police
Authored by: thinkyhead on Feb 10, '04 08:39:42PM

It's L-O-S-E! Lose! I know it's funny-looking, but that's the way it is. Language police over and out. Please return to your regularly scheduled program.

---
|
| slur was here
|



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: ottuh818 on Feb 10, '04 04:33:55PM

This feature works perfectly for me on my iMac. The menu item shows me the percent charged, and when I unplugged the UPS from the wall menu item also showed me the percent remaining on the battery. For me, this is much easier than using the Powerchute software. I wonder if my iMac will automatically go to sleep when the battery gets too low..... I'd rather not have to test that myself.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: varase on Feb 10, '04 06:22:46PM

I have an APC UPS, and all I get is the second Charged in the menu. (Actually, was wondering where that second "Charged" came from :-)

Nowhere can I see it affecting anything else (like in the Energy Saver control panel).

Mine is a APC Back-UPS ES 725 hooked up through a USB Ultra Hub 4 to a Powerbook G3 (2000). Eliminating the hub has no effect.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Iowa Boy on Feb 10, '04 07:02:56PM

Just a guess here, but your Powerbook battery is one battery and your UPS is the second one maybe.????



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: viscaria on Feb 11, '04 12:35:34AM

Yep, that's exactly it. In fact I noticed this a while ago when I plugged my UPS into my iBook. I even submitted the hint, but it wasn't posted.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Marcot1 on Feb 11, '04 10:25:57AM

I first noticed this behavior after upgrading my TiBook (667 DVI) to 10.3. Energy saver actually allows me to configure the UPS's settings and gives me an estimated run time of 30 min off an APC 500.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 10, '04 08:45:30PM

Now if i could find software for my Energizer UPS...



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Great Hint!
Authored by: iRideSnow on Feb 10, '04 11:01:11PM

Thanks. Works just as described with my ~2.5 year old Belkin UPS. Sorry, I can't remember the model number, 650 maybe?

Fwiw, with 97% charge as reported by the battery menu item, I get about 3 minutes of uptime if I unplug the UPC. That's while running a DP G5 with a 20" Cinema display, DSL modem, firewall/router and airport base station. Yikes! That's not much, but enough for my purposes. My power outages are usually either seconds long or days. haha.

Rob



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Thom on Feb 16, '04 05:57:42PM

This reminds me of MacHack in Dearborn a few years back, like 1998 or so.

One of the 'hacks' displayed was a series of big batteries -- car or motorcycle batteries -- on a rolling luggage cart from the hotel.

Wired to this was a tower G3 with a hacked around driver so the battery status (meant for powerbooks) would display the remaining charge. Everyone loved it.

Makes you wonder...



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: Mr. Spleen on Mar 04, '04 03:13:26AM

I have a Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio). I also have a Back-UPS ES 725BB, and I never connected the USB cable or installed PowerChute. I tried this hint, and it works as advertised. The battery icon in the menu bar is a vertical rectangle (instead of the horizontally-oriented cylindrical battery icon that portables have). It has a little lightning bolt through it. For time, it says "unknown until full" even though the percent says "100%". I would go ahead and unplug it from the wall, but I can't reach the plug since it's inaccessible behind my desk.

Mr. Spleen



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TimeLeft
Authored by: sjk on Mar 04, '04 04:36:35PM
The TimeLeft utility can be used for UPS monitoring. My UPS has a serial port so I can't test it.

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It's not even this hard...
Authored by: thornrag on May 17, '04 02:45:20PM

I don't know what all this nonsense is about. I plugged in my APC LS500 and the battery menu simply appeared, along with new settings in Energy Saver for "Power adapter" and "UPS" (where "Battery" would be if this were my Powerbook). I didn't have to do anything special, it just worked.

It may have something to do with the model of UPS. But there doesn't seem to be anything even remotely hackish about it. There are options for reducing energy consumption while on battery, in addition for specifying the point at which to shutdown the machine when just a few minutes of battery power remain.

The only problem I have is that the battery menu insists that the charge level is "Unknown until full." That's what I'm out to troubleshoot...



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unknown charge level?
Authored by: sjk on Jun 14, '04 12:57:13PM

Did you figure out the "Unknown until full" charge level issue? I see the same on my eMac with an APC Back-UPS ES 725. Otherwise everything works fine and I don't have any reason to install PowerChute. I modified the /usr/libexec/upsshutdown script, commenting-out the server stuff and adding "killall" commands.



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Power Adaptor and UPS modes in Energy Saver
Authored by: G5from128k on Jul 29, '04 08:40:52PM

Running System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Menu Extras was all it took to add the menu bar item and activate the UPS features in the Energy Saver panel. Unlocking the panel and selecting the "Settings for" pulldown let me configure separate energy saver settings for "Power Adaptor" and "UPS" modes. A help popup around the "Shutdown when only X minutes..." checkbox even tells me that I can add a special UPS-related shutdown script in /usr/libexec/ups-shutdown.

Thank you for the very nice Hint!



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UPS shutdown script
Authored by: sjk on Jul 30, '04 09:26:25PM

The /usr/libexec/upsshutdown script is really intended for OS X Server. And there's a typo on the logger line; ".ermerg" should be ".emerg".



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: wederfort on Jan 09, '05 03:23:20PM

How do I remove the battery icon from the menu bar? I tried this hint, but my UPS has a serial connector, now I want to delete the battery icon.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: zane on Feb 13, '05 07:24:33PM
Command-Click and drag the Battery Icon off the Menu Bar, then let go. It should disappear in a small puff of cloud.

Alternatively, go to System Preferences/Energy Saver, then un-tick the "Show battery status in the menu bar" option.

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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: kq7b on Feb 13, '05 03:00:48PM

Is working on 10.3.8 with APC XS 1000 on my dual 2.0 PowerMac. The energy saver menu opens and the "Settings for" selection includes an option to configure computer/display sleep times for "UPS". I never even inserted the CD from the APC folks. The "Energy Saver" dialog also includes a checkbox for "Show UPS Status in the menu bar".

I'll quiesce the system and try-out the UPS after the batteries have a chance to charge (before dumping the dual 2.0 on them :-).

Thanks for a really great tip!

JimC



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: kq7b on Feb 13, '05 06:20:20PM

Yes, it passes my simple "pull the plug" test using OS/X 10.3.8 on my dual 2.0 gHz Powermac with an APC XS 1000 UPS. Here's what happened:

1. I had previously configured the UPS status display on the menu bar to show "percentage" and "Shutdown when only" 10 "minutes of UPS power are remaining."

2. I quiesced the system (quitting all my aps, waiting and manually syncing my mirrored disks).

3. After about 4 hours of charging, I pulled the UPS plug.

4. The UPS alarm sounded and OS/X displayed a dialog that warned me that the system was operating from battery power. The lighening bolt in the UPS battery icon was replaced by a solid bar.

5. The UPS icon's "percentage" indicator began to drop rapidly from 100%, getting down to 92% in a matter of a few minutes (given only 4 hours of charging). The dual G5 sucks the life out of a 1000VA UPS.

6. I plugged the UPS back in. The noisy UPS alarm quit sounding and the OS/X dialog disappeared from my screen. The UPS battery indicator began to climb back towards 100%.

Pretty cool. We owe someone at Apple a fine, "Job well-done." It works mostly like a Powerbook loosing its AC power except that various alarms go off to warn us that we're on battery power. But you aint seen bad battery life until you've seen a dual 2.0 G5 (two 160 mb mirrored drives and 2 gb of RAM) run on batteries! I haven't seen anything go down quite so fast since 1000HP quit in the front of a floatplane in the arctic (there is, BTW, no better sound in the world than your airplane engine starting back-up again).

Thanks again for the great tip.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: abug1 on Jun 06, '05 02:28:19PM

Hi Folks:
My Mac G4 just failed the "pull the plug" test! I have a single-processor G4 (two G4's actually, one with an LCD and one a conventional 17" display). Each G4 is on its own ES 500 APC UPS power supply.

What else can I tell you? I'm running Panther 10.3.9. I installed PowerChute. It seemed to install just fine, and is controlled from the energy saver item in the System Preferences. But when I pull the plug on the APC ... well the APC stays on (how lovely for it), but the CPU and monitor immediately go dead. Help! My UPS battery registers 100% - surely that model has enough juice to last long enough to shut down a little old
G4.

Help!?

ABug



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: derekhed on Jun 06, '05 02:50:25PM

Many UPSs have a row of outlets that are not actually connected to the battery, but only provide electrical spike protection, surge protection if you will. Take a close look at the instructions that came with your UPS and if you still have problems, open up a new topic in the forums and someone can help you there.



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: abug1 on Jun 06, '05 04:38:24PM

Ah, you are a genius. That was it. The unit is not clearly marked (unless you know you are looking for one battery backup, and 5 surge
protection ports). The one I was plugged into looked a lot like the former, but was the latter. Thanks!!!!!



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10.3: Take advantage of built-in UPS functionality
Authored by: cubester on Sep 09, '06 08:36:32AM

This is such a great hint! The "Bulldog Plus" software that comes with my Belkin UPS is great - but only if you NEVER allow the computer to sleep. Once a sleep/wake cycle occurs, Bulldog Plus can never recognize the UPS via the provided USB connection, and sends false warning messages to the front window every minute. Very irritating.

Thanks for making my UPS much more useful to me! OR does the same problem occur if my Mac is asleep? ugh.



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