Superguide: CyberPower PFCLCD UPS Mini Towers protect your home's computers and entertainment

My-CyberPower-PFCLCD-UPS-Order-History-on-Newegg-and-Amazon

This is not a sponsored blog post. My extended family has purchased 7 of the various PFCLCD models since 2012, and it's gone well, with just one battery replacement needed so far. I've found them to be very easy to install and configure at friends and family homes. Without a PC, and without a manual. They work great for protecting home virtualization labs, explained in my graceful VMware ESXi shutdown article, with over 6,000 page views, and growing. See also even more popular unboxing and testing video, featured below. Affordability and enterprise-like home computer lab shutdown capabilities are apparently appealing attributes. And now, Microsoft Hyper-V is apparently supported as well.

These UPSs are designed for use in North America, here's the CyberPower General UPS FAQ. The roughly equivalent European series is called EPFCLCD as described here and on Amazon UK here.

All the PFCLCD series UPSs are particularly well-suited for:

  • entertainment centers, to help things like DVRs and TV's ride out little thunderstorm-related power blips
  • routers & cablemodems & VOIP devices, especially if you're a home office worker, and don't want calls or downloads to drop from brief outages
  • computers, with enough battery capacity to shutdown gracefully, especially if the power supply was built since 2010 (prone to Active PFC power supply hum on battery power, read more in my August 2011 article)
LCD-display-of-PFCLCD

You can mute any of these 4 models by merely pressing and holding the "Silence Alarm" button for 3 seconds. It then confirms, on the LCD display, that it's disabled. Even an extended power outage that depletes the batteries entirely won't re-arm that alarm. That means you won't be awoken in the night to shrill alarms telling you the power has an issue. This makes these models well suited for household use. They even ship with the battery in place, so no special steps to connect the battery/batteries after unboxing. Also helpful is the nice display: with a simple brief touch of any button, the LCD will wake up and tell you your watt burn. Nice!

All 4 of these models have 10 outlets on the back, with 5 of them for battery+surge, and a simple solution below if you have a lot of power bricks to protect. Here's a summary of the more interesting features that they all have in common, from the PFC Sinewave UPS Series table listing here:

Large-image-of-1500PFCLCD
  • Pure sine wave output
  • Line-interactive topology
  • Automatic voltage regulation (AVR)
  • GreenPower UPSTM technology
  • Multi-function LCD panel
  • HID Compliant USB port
  • Phone/Fax/Modem (RJ11) and Ethernet (RJ45) line protection
  • PowerPanel® Personal Edition UPS Management software
  • Connected Equipment Guarantee
  • Three-Year Warranty

As is the case with all UPSs, you'll want to never put a laser printer or air conditioner through these units, particularly through the battery protected outlets, as explained in the manuals below.

How about some real world testing, and lessons learned, based on years of living with these set-and-forget devices? Note that you'll catch most of these tips if you view the detailed unboxing and feature walk-through video below. Here we go:

  • a 60 watt bulb actually burns 55 watts, whether it's plugged straight into a Watts Up EZ, or into these UPSs
  • the LCD display illuminates when a significant load change happens, and when the UPS kicks in during outages
  • the LCD display illumination uses 1 watt, and the illumination goes off after about a minute of no button presses
  • the draw from the wall outlet of a PFCLCD1000 when first plugged in is about 11 watts, charging the UPS battery, even when the UPS is still turned off (as-shipped, with battery in place)
  • the draw from the wall outlet becomes zero, once the battery is fully charged, and the UPS is powered off
    Rear-view-of-1000PFCLCD-resized-to-230-wide
  • when the CP1000PFCLCD's internal battery is fully charged, there's still about 7-12 watts extra used to operate a device through the UPS, versus plugging it straight into wall power
  • CyberPower technical support recommends:
    • factory defaults of medium sensitivity
    • lowering the sensitivity setting you've chosen if you find the UPS is kicking in more than one or two dozen times per day
      (due to power sags, AC compressor cycling, etc.)
    • if you have a decent multimeter, you can verify battery health by touching the probes to the terminals of the battery
      (accessed through the panel in the bottom of the PFCLCD), with the following expected readings:
      • 13.6 volts for fresh/new unit
      • 12.5 volts after roughly 2 years
      • 12.0 volts or lower, likely dead

When the battery no longer functions after a few years, you can replace just the battery affordably, with all the battery models and shopping links included below.

If you are interested in using the monitoring software to help monitor battery runtime and more, CyberPower does a good job with the free Windows/Mac/Linux PowerPanel software, intended to be installed on the system that the included USB cable gets attached to.

PowerPanel-Personal-Edition

See also the accompanying FAQ to have a good look at the UI, and consider reading the manual.

For those with home computer labs, there's even a VMware compatible pre-configured appliance available for download, explained here:
How to use a CyberPower UPS solution for proper automated shutdown of your VMware ESXi lab during power outages, including all VMs

ESXi-connection-to-PFCLCD

As of Jan 07 2014, the latest version for my vZilla home lab was PowerPanel Business Edition Agent Virtual Appliance 2.3.3 (ESXi, ESX), tested to work nicely and easily with VMware ESXi 5.5, explained here.

_As of Sep 09 2014, PowerPanel Business Edition Agent Virtual Appliance 2.6 (ESXi, ESX) is available, but I haven't tested that version._

AMAZON

Pick a size based on CyberPower's sizing guide, then choose the appropriate model below.

CP1500PFCLCD

1500PFCLCD

Order from Amazon:
amzn.to/1dLVfBk

1500 VA / 8.5 AH (Amp Hours) x 2 = 17.0 AH, dimensions 3.9" x 10.4" x 14.2".
CyberPowerSystems.com's complete specifications, function and setup guide, and manual.

CyberPower brand replacement battery RB1280X2B (pair) from Amazon:
amzn.to/KudjoI

CP1350PFCLCD

1350PFCLCD

Order from Amazon:
amzn.to/1di4qsW

1350 / 7.0 AH (Amp Hours) x 2 = 14.0 AH, dimensions 3.9" x 10.4" x 14.2".
CyberPowerSystems.com's complete specificationsfunction and setup guide, and manual.

CyberPower brand replacement battery RB1270X2A (pair) from Amazon:
amzn.to/1hrYwsT

CP1000PFCLCD

1000PFCLCD

Order from Amazon:
amzn.to/1d0SNTQ

1000 / 9.0 AH (Amp Hours), dimensions 3.9" x 9.1" x 10.4".
CyberPowerSystems.com's complete specificationsfunction and setup guide, and manual.

CyberPower brand replacement battery RB1290 from Amazon
amzn.to/1eDxgTp
_
it is eligible for Prime, but it'll ship from MegaRetailStore quickly, versus the Amazon store that says usually ships in 1-2 months, strangely_

CP850PFCLCD

850PFCLCD

Order from Amazon:
amzn.to/18N5owe

850 VA / 8.5 AH (Amp Hours), dimensions 3.9" x 9.1" x 10.4".
CyberPowerSystems.com's complete specificationsfunction and setup guide, and manual.

CyberPower brand replacement battery RB1280A from Amazon:
amzn.to/1cUPEIW

Browse all 4 PFCLCD models

4-CyberPower-PFCLCD-UPS-in-a-row

Here's they are, on Amazon:
amzn.to/17odl9d

To save on shipping cost for such heavy items, consider the Amazon Prime Affiliate link:
amazon.com/dp/B00DBYBNEE?_encoding=UTF8&tag=tinkertry-20
and review the full disclosure seen in the bottom-right of every TinkerTry.com page.

Ziotek ZT1212518 Power Strip Liberator Plus with Pass Through, 5-Pack

Ziotek-ZT1212518

If you're using a lot of power bricks for the stuff you'll be plugging in to the 5 battery protected outlets around back, consider adding these 5 adapters to your cart. They fit just right, and are especially helpful for the smaller units, where all 5 outlets are right next to each other, so any bricks will block nearby outlets. Just be sure to not use these "liberators" as an excuse to overload the outlets. Available from Amazon here:
amzn.to/1cV1WRm

Note, using these for multiple devices on each outlet is not recommended. Doing so is at your own risk. As far as extension cables and/or surge strips, CyberPower's explains:
cyberpowersystems.com/support/faqs/general-ups-faqs.html

"Can I hookup a surge strip to the UPS unit?

Surge strips cannot be installed before OR after the UPS unit.  Doing so will void the UPS’s warranty.  If you require additional units, please upgrade your UPS to a unit that has more outlets.  If you need a longer input cord, you can purchase a UL certified extension cord that is rated for the respective current of the unit.  This cord MUST be a single-outlet extension cord."

NEWEGG

Is Newegg more your thing? Then consider using this newegg.com affiliate link to view the 4 CyberPower PFCLCD models, with plenty of user reviews to peruse as well:
fave.co/1bPb wRi

See also:

My unboxing and testing:

Victor Del Prete measuring sine waves with a Fluke: