Lightning damage

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SatCure
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Location: Apokoronas

Lightning damage

Postby SatCure » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:33 pm

Sat, Oct 28, 2017

The lightning season is here again.

A friend unplugged his phone line during the recent storm. When the storm had passed (so he thought) he plugged the modem/router back in, briefly, to send an email. Ten seconds later there was a flash and a bang and his phone and broadband router went up in smoke. He was lucky that he wasn't holding the phone cable at the time.

Lightning can strike from a storm cloud up to FIFTEEN MILES away! In addition, if it strikes the phone line up to ten miles away (25 miles in total) it can still send a surge to your house. So play safe and unplug the phone if storm clouds might be less than 30 miles away. TV aerial cables should also be unplugged.

If there's any possibility that you won't be around (or awake) to unplug the phone line, connect it through a surge protector.

See http://www.glodark.com/lightn.htm

(Note regarding this linked page. I can replace damaged VDRs in surge protectors. So can you if you can use a screwdriver and a soldering iron, although some surge-protection strips are assembled with non-removable screws and are tricky to take apart.)

Martin

TweetTweet
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Lightning damage

Postby TweetTweet » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:18 am

Thanks for the reminder - my router got blown up during that huge storm 30 May - I was standing at one window that looks towards Psiloritis - the shutters on the window were ajar - I watched in shock/horror as one bit of lightening seemed to make a Bee-line to me and then POOF and that horrible smell of burnout electronics! I hadn't realised lightening could pass through glass!! I'm glad it was only the router that got fried :)

Kilkis
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Re: Lightning damage

Postby Kilkis » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:28 am

I doubt very much if the lightning came through the glass. If you were stood directly behind the glass and it came through you probably wouldn't still be typing posts on LiC.

You don't need a direct strike on the equipment, your house or even on a power/telephone line to blow up your equipment. A lightning strike carries a current typically between 5,000 and 50,000 amps, although strikes over 200,000 amps have been detected. It is very short in duration, around 10 to 50 microseconds. When lightning strikes close to a power/telephone line it induces a very high current in the line. Effectively the strike acts as the primary of a transformer and the power/telephone line acts as the secondary. The line has both resistance and self inductance so the current flowing through it builds up a high voltage of several kV. The voltage/current surge flows into the equipment through the power/telephone line and blows it up.

Warwick

PS There is of course the alternative "magic smoke theory". In that theory all electrical and electronic equipment is powered by "magic smoke" that can pass through the cables. Equipment stops working if the "magic smoke" escapes as there is nothing left to power the equipment. The more powerful the equipment the more "magic smoke" is needed to operate it so the more magic smoke that escapes. Virtually everybody has witnessed "magic smoke" escaping from equipment at some time in their lives and found the equipment not to work afterwards so this theory has very wide acceptance.

Jeffstclair
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Re: Lightning damage

Postby Jeffstclair » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:51 pm

It's still available on a special order from Lucas ....

Image

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Lightning damage

Postby Kilkis » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:49 pm

Ah! The Prince of Darkness. Most appropriate for Halloween.

Warwick

PS The image in Jeff's post above is not what he originally posted. His original was more like this. I'm not sure why the original disappeared.
Last edited by Kilkis on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

john4d
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Location: Near Vamos

Re: Lightning damage

Postby john4d » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:25 pm

When I worked for the power industry in the UK Midlands we had in our central control room access to a very powerful 'radar' system. This showed in real time every lightening strike in the UK, out over the North Sea and even into Holland. The colour screen was coded so every new strike was shown in one colour (red I think) which changed colour with the passing of time. It was possible to interrogate each strike to show it's coordinates and the exact time of the strike. What was the purpose of this?. Two reasons, the first safety, so we could stop our staff from working on the overhead line system if it was in danger of being affected by lightening strikes. As has already been mentioned these strikes could be many miles from the work location. The direction and speed of the lightening storm could be judged from the screen. The second reason was financial. If a customer made a claim for damaged equipment due to a voltage surge, we could tie up the claim with lightening strikes and say "sorry this was due to a lightening strike which is of course an 'act of god' so we are unable to help you in this instance"
There's no such thing as a bad taste joke

BST
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Lightning damage

Postby BST » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:21 pm

Sounds similar to BlitzOrtung. I find this useful using it on 4g to decide when to plug appliances back in. About the only time I use 4g as opposed to plugged in WiFi.

SatCure
Posts: 1910
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Re: Lightning damage

Postby SatCure » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:00 pm

Kilkis wrote:PS The image in Jeff's post above is not what he originally posted. I'm not sure why the original disappeared.

Because Photobucket now charges a subscription. It's a pain because thousands of images across the Interweb have disappeared. The only way to make them reappear is for the original posters to pay the "ransom". Interesting business model! Financially sound, possibly, but morally reprehensible.

P.s. Those who can't copy "lightning" can see it in LARGE TYPE the thread title. "Lightening", on the other hand, is what happens to cakes when you add baking soda to the mix. (Just lightening the mood.) <grin>

filippos
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Re: Lightning damage

Postby filippos » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:41 pm

SatCure wrote:
Kilkis wrote:PS The image in Jeff's post above is not what he originally posted. I'm not sure why the original disappeared.

Because Photobucket now charges a subscription. It's a pain because......

Sign up with Flickr instead. There's an 'entry' level account that's free, uploading photos is easy and so is linking to them.

SatCure
Posts: 1910
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Re: Lightning damage

Postby SatCure » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:02 am

Just a heads-up: more lightning is forecast for Monday Nov 13th and Thursday. It might not happen but I recommend unplugging phone line, aerial, satellite dish and sensitive equipment before you leave home, just in case.

filippos
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Re: Lightning damage

Postby filippos » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:12 am

SatCure wrote:Just a heads-up: more lightning is forecast for Monday Nov 13th and Thursday. It might not happen but I recommend unplugging phone line, aerial, satellite dish and sensitive equipment before you leave home, just in case.

Is it OK to leave it plugged in while still at home?


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