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Which USB Cabel to choose when signalling from 1 APC to multiple devices - using the 1 APC USB port

Discussion in General Questions & Suggestions started by Goetz , 2/1/2018 9:41 AM
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  • GoetzPhil
    Novice Novice
    Goetz 2/1/2018 9:41 AM

    I ask this myself for longer time already - as I have ONE APC UPS - but also a Mac, a PC and 2 QNAP NAS now.

    Ok - my QNAP NAS can be used as a MASTER - then I config the other NAS as Slave and it gets a shitdown command too.
    And I can enter the IPs of Mac and PC to send them a signal - but then the problems start.
    Using WinNUT on the PC is a solution - but for me as a non programmer its a bit tricky.
    But even that leaves my Mac alone - seems theres no solution for my Mac.

    Now I ask myself - APC uses a regular USB B connector - WHY cant I just multiply this ? 
    Send the signal from the APC USB port to all other machines ?

    I also wonder why nowhere on the internet someone tells about this and if it works ?
    Have all the people that tried it been sucked into a black hole ? 

  • wpasquil
    =S= Representative
    Bill 2/1/2018 6:04 PM (in response to Goetz)


    On 2/1/2018 4:41 AM, Goetz said:

    Now I ask myself - APC uses a regular USB B connector - WHY cant I just multiply this ? 
    Send the signal from the APC USB port to all other machines ?

    APC by Schneider Electric along with our competition follow strict USB protocol. These standards are used by vendors of other products as well. If you want to share a UPS connected to a PC over USB you will need software to act as an agent allowing the UPS comm to be shared. 

    We offer Smart-UPS that have the ability to communicate serially to multiple system. Smart-UPS also have the ability to be connected to a network to communicate to many systems over IP.  

  • GoetzPhil
    Novice Novice
    Goetz 2/2/2018 1:07 AM (in response to Bill)

    I have 2 NAS from QNAP, 1 PC running Win7 and 1 iMac running OSX.

    They ALL have the software build in to understand that USB signalling - so if I would buy just 1 USB B cable that splits into 4 USB A Male outputs it SHOULD work.

    I know that contradicts APCs selling policy of "buy our products with Network card" ... But thats not my pont.

    I just dont need a UPS for each of my equipment as the 800VA is strong enough to power them for the shutdown.
    And the UPS WITH USB port are a little more expensive too. 

    It wouldnt be a problem to buy 1 UPS for any component when this would have the necessary USB port BUT was also CHEAP !
    A 100VA unit would be all I need as it just needs to do a shutdown which usually dont last longer than 5 minutes.

    BUT as such units arnt available - and I already HAVE a UPS - Im not going to buy a more expensive one only for the ethernet card.

    All I like to know is - WHAT HAPPENS if I share the USB Signal to 4 units ?

    I fear that the 4 units signal something back to the UPS then - if the UPS senses only 1 receiver its all good - BUT when the UPS senses more than 1 receiver it knows SHARING and invokes a call to BHB (Black Hole Build) - leading to the user and all his equipment gets sucked into that Blackhole leaving no evidence what has happened.... and thus you find NOTHING about anyone trying this sucessfully anywhere on the known and unknown internet ...

  • voidstar
    Expert Expert
    voidstar 2/2/2018 2:39 AM (in response to Goetz)

    USB doesn't do what you want. A USB connection is point-to-point and cannot be split without a hub. A hub allows a computer to talk to multiple USB accessories. It does not allow a USB accessory to talk to multiple computers. The distinction between "computer" and "accessory" is fundamental to how USB works. In simple terms, the computer is the master, accessories only speak when spoken to, and there can only be one master. If you split the USB signal to multiple PCs, you'd have multiple masters trying to control the same signals and it would not end well.

    Bill suggested either:

    1) Use a SmartUPS with a network management card. Probably the easiest solution.

    2) Use a software agent on the device attached to the UPS to shut down your other devices. Your QNAP runs NUT which might be able to do this. APC doesn't support it but I did a little googling and found an example here (link).

  • GoetzPhil
    Novice Novice
    Goetz 2/2/2018 3:33 AM (in response to voidstar)

    1) If I do it that way its still cheaper just to buy an additional smart UPS with USB signalling then investing into the EXPENSIVE Networking card !

    2) Thats what I trying to tell - WHERE IS THE SOFTWARE AGENT FOR OSX ?
    Your link only tells the same problems I have - everybody finds NUT for Windows - but then the Mac guys come up ...

    So it seems MAC user dont use APC at all .....

  • voidstar
    Expert Expert
    voidstar 2/2/2018 11:56 PM (in response to Goetz)

    1) Fair enough. I like the network management card but it is expensive. The ebay discount is nice.

    2) I suspect mac users who use an APC UPS and need multi-device shutdown use the network managment card.

    NUT works on all platforms. From googling, it looks like the easiest way to install on the mac is via homebrew. APCUPSd also runs on OS X and provides downloadable binaries, but I don't know if there's a build for QNAP.

  • GoetzPhil
    Novice Novice
    Goetz 2/3/2018 1:59 AM (in response to voidstar)

    Instead of researching for more hours I now just bought a Prolink 851SFCU 850va to connect my iMac.
    It has a USB output for signalling and is just about 75$.

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