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Thread: DCDC-USB Mini Box PSU - UPS mode success?

  1. #1
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    DCDC-USB Mini Box PSU - UPS mode success?

    Anyone used the DCDC-USB Mini-Box PSU in "UPS" mode?

    The manual's pretty vague on what it's supposed to do, I'd expected UPS mode to simply pay attention to the Vin level and shutdown (soft via the power switch, then hard) as the battery becomes fully discharged. Going by the descriptions of the configuration software's half-dozen "UPS Mode: *" settings, it seems the intent is to both monitor the Ignition signal level and Vin battery level, and shutdown if Vin drops below a defined minimum voltage (Vin_good), or Vignition goes low. For my purpose, I just want the PSU to keep on truckin' until the battery goes flat then cut power, and only power back up when the battery goes on charge.

    Problem is the device I have (software reports version 2.0) doesn't shutdown when Vin drops below the Vin_good threshold - only Vignition has an effect.

    Anyone using this device in UPS mode?

    (I pinged customer-support@mini-box.com but no response...)

    Ben

  2. #2
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    Good info - you included the "v2.0".

    It could be software (now v2.1) - see DCDC-USB Mini Box PSU problem

    I assume you have the UPS handshaking required (ie, DCDC says battery low please shut down - PC starts shutdown - Then it is shutdown so DCDC shuts down - Or DCDC may do a drop-dead shutdown; ie, "sorry dude, battery too low - I'm config'd to drop now" ["But I'm not ready you AC-DC wanabe!"... "Stiff! Complain to Admin!"])

  3. #3
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    I've asked Vveljk for the updated firmware, the change log doesn't mention anything pertinent to UPS mode though I'm willing to take a punt.

    I assume you have the UPS handshaking required ...
    Handshaking? Ain't no such thing on the DCDC-USB PSU - other than the PSW output, which I'm not using. This setup is connected to a sheevaplug that has been modified to run on 6.5-30 V DC (using a switching 5V regulator), plus some other 12V stuff (router, switch, NAS). I plan to look into monitoring the PSU from the computer via the USB interface and shutting down cleanly, but that requires that I figure out how to talk to the PSU via the USB port (minibox link to what they call Linux drivers but that appears to be a third-party SVN repository devoid of actual code...). In the meantime I plan on just running as long as the battery's good and hope the power comes back, finally forcibly powering off if the battery tanks out.

  4. #4
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    Bah - automotive mode doesn't work for me either.

    I've just done a test with the PSU set to Automotive mode (mode 1), timing mode 2 (OFFDelay 5s, HardOff Never), powered by a simulated battery (another variable power supply, starting out at 13.5 V). Ignition is connected to a switched +12V.

    The timing scheme seems to work properly: when the Ignition drops, the PSU waits 5s then flashes it's STATE LED, and stays that way (doesn't power off, as HardOff is never). However, lowering the "battery" input voltage to under 11.2 V, which the manual notes should cause the PSU to cut off, does nothing. Even dropping down to under 9V doesn't shut it off.

    Sooo, it really looks like none of the Automotive and UPS mode low-voltage battery protection stuff works.

  5. #5
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    I've asked Vveljk for the updated firmware, the change log doesn't mention anything pertinent to UPS mode though I'm willing to take a punt.

    I assume you have the UPS handshaking required ...
    Handshaking? Ain't no such thing on the DCDC-USB PSU - other than the PSW output, which I'm not using. This setup is connected to a sheevaplug that has been modified to run on 6.5-30 V DC (using a switching 5V regulator), plus some other 12V stuff (router, switch, NAS). I plan to look into monitoring the PSU from the computer via the USB interface and shutting down cleanly, but that requires that I figure out how to talk to the PSU via the USB port (minibox link to what they call Linux drivers but that appears to be a third-party SVN repository devoid of actual code...). In the meantime I plan on just running as long as the battery's good and hope the power comes back, finally forcibly powering off if the battery tanks out.

  6. #6
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    And that's with v2.1 loaded?

    Rule: Update firmware to avoid wild goose chasing. (For MS - try reboot, then search patches, then search linux or mac.) (LOL)

  7. #7
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    Interesting - my 9:18 reply was posted well before yours....
    The Zulus must be confused - we just went to summertime.

    If there is no handshaking, then it isn't "UPS" IMO.

    For UPS mode, the PSU must at least send a "power-loss imminent" at some configurable (pre-) delay else pre-shutdown voltage.
    I wonder how they define it?

    But, until you have V2.1 or later....

  8. #8
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    No, still 2.0. I've asked Vveljk if he/she could kindly forward the 2.1 firmware. Changelog doesn't look encouraging though - no mention of anything related.

    I'm not too bummed about these features-that-aren't, I originally purchased the PSU as just a plain dumb PSU, and was expecting to have to roll-my-own monitoring either via the sheevaplug or a separate microcontroller. I was excited to see the alleged UPS and Automotive low-voltage cutout, but clearly that doesn't work as at v2.0. When/if I get to try 2.1 I'll see if that fixes things, otherwise it's back to plan A...

  9. #9
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    Ok, tried the 2.1 firmware (thanks Vveljk!) - no change.

    I repeated the test with the PSU set to Automotive mode (mode 1), timing mode 2 (OFFDelay 5s, HardOff Never), powered by a simulated battery (another variable power supply, starting out at 13.5 V). Ignition is connected to a switched +12V. Disconnecting Ignition causes the STATE LED to begin flashing (3 flashes every ~5 seconds) after a delay (of ~60s, not the 5s OFFDelay), but the PSU doesn't shutoff even if I drop the input voltage to below 9V.

    UPS mode (mode 3) behaves the same though with different delays for OFFDelay and HardOff, and 2 flashes per ~5s in between the two states.


    No matter what mode I have the PSU in, nor what settings, the "Deep-discharge shutdown" feature just doesn't work.

  10. #10
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    Hello Ben,


    those ~60 seconds is because BOOT cancel time (this means when DCDC starts and send turn ON signal to board it waits 60 seconds before it goes to next step - you can define this time also to 0 seconds - in this case you will wait only those 5 seconds).

    Regarding Voltages, the is truth that I didn't check it, since I thought that it will work for sure.
    Now I have everything allready mounted in my car and have no more energy to put it out again (I allready put it ou in back in like 50 or more times ).

    Can you please write me all the parameters that can be configured and maybe we can solve this with some common sense logic

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