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  1. #21
    Member DaddyB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jazztrumpet216


    And cable can't conduct electricity either? Highly unlikely but possible (fiber optics don't conduct very well but it is possible to have a surge in the cable line). ISDN, DSL, Cable, phone line, lightning doesn't discriminate. Like 13oots2 said, if it's a wire into your computer, it's a risk. Personally I just assume not to screw around and tempt fate.
    ]Originally posted by Jackywebdesign


    My tv got fried last yr because the stupid lightning went thru the cable.. o well... got a new one out of it..
    If your cable is properly installed then the first splitter (from where your cable comes into your house) should be grounded to a cold water pipe or another ground. pretty much all cable splitters have a little screw on them so that you can attach a ground wire and once its grounded your computer/tv/vcr and all other components connected will be safe from lightning coming in through the cable, so as long as you've got a surge protector your OK.

    personally i just hate it when lightning knocks the power out, one night I actually had to break out the old Gameboy and try to play it by candle light...my eyes still hurt.

    BTW since ppl have said not to talk on the phone during a lightning storm I thought I'd add that you shouldnt be in the shower either for those that arent aware.
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  2. #22
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    Question

    If you have a UPS, aint it OK to just turn it off and not bother unplugging the computer? Is it OK to talk on a cordless phone during a storm?

  3. #23
    Member SteenkyBastage's Avatar
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    without getting into too much detail...

    Cordless phones wont be a risk to you (altho the receiver may get fried) because there's no connection between where the current would come thru and you.

    UPS, I would recommend unplugging, but it's your call.

    Lightning is just a massive ammount of electricity flowing between ground and clouds. The more conductive something is, the less electricity it takes for the surge to "jump" or pass thru/over it. You can take a low voltage line and hold it up an inch from a ground source, and it wont jump... But electicity (obviously) can jump much much further (thus the reason lightning happens).

    Telephone lines contain copper twisted pair... cable line contains copper wire... these have a high potential to carry current easier. Electricity is always trying to get to ground, or a grounded source. Thus fiber wont have problems, because it's not conductive to electricity.

    On the UPS situation...
    There is probably something that separates direct incomping power from the power given to your system. But realize that lightning is noting at all like standard wall electricity. A UPS that is designed to stop a spike in a 110v line is (probably) not gonna do squat to stop a direct lightning strike. Remember, Lightning is powerful enough to jump thru air (a good insulator) to connect between clouds and ground, it wouldn't have much of a problem jumping the small distance in the UPS (granted, it's not the full bolt coming thru the line, but it's MUCH larger than a standard surge).

    I've been shocked thru my headsets (to computer) during an electrical storm... the comptuer was ok, but my ears felt tingly afterwards... heh, glad the computer and myself were ok after that.

  4. #24
    Registered F117NightHawk's Avatar
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    What if I just turned the UPS off? Then it isn't drawing electricity. Is that OK?

  5. #25
    Member SteenkyBastage's Avatar
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    ok... here's my thinking.

    Lets say that a UPS has a "storage area" (battery) that is separate from the power input.

    I can hear my UPS "click" over when power goes out (sounds like a relay). My guess is what is happening is power flows thru the UPS under normal conditions, the same way a power strip works. But once it loses power, it switches over to battery power.

    I might be wrong... If someone knows better, please fill us in. But I personally wouldn't trust a UPS over a surge strip.

    at home, I never unplug stuff during a lightning storm... as I've never had problems there before with damaged equipment.

    But at work, we have a major problem w/ being struck, so we do attempt to unplug when we can.

    If I had a UPS at work, I would unplug it, and everything connected to it, the same way I would a surge strip. But at home, I dont even unplug stuff directly plugged into the wall.

  6. #26
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    Lightnining can still fry something just by striking nearby and inducing current in nearby conductors like cable, phone lines, house wires, a fence, zipper, etc. It just forms an air core transformer.

    I was talking to some friends once and a very close overhead strike zapped my friend who was touching his jacket zipper and knocked my other friend off his stingray bike as the 3ft of handle bar had enough kick to send him flying to the ground.

    Another time lightning hit the power line 30 ft directly overhead as I was walking home from the pool. The shockwave and instant thunder sounded strange like through a hollow mile long culvert pipe. I also felt a heat flash on the back of my neck and smelled a lot of ozone afterwards. Luckily I wasn't playing with my zipper at the time LOL.
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  7. #27
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    Originally posted by SteenkyBastage
    ok... here's my thinking.

    Lets say that a UPS has a "storage area" (battery) that is separate from the power input.

    I can hear my UPS "click" over when power goes out (sounds like a relay). My guess is what is happening is power flows thru the UPS under normal conditions, the same way a power strip works. But once it loses power, it switches over to battery power.

    I might be wrong... If someone knows better, please fill us in. But I personally wouldn't trust a UPS over a surge strip.
    It all depends on just what make and model of UPS you have. I've got a (dead battery having ) "APC Personal Powercell". Its technically not a UPS but an SPS. Standby Power Supply. When the line power is good the computer draws power (through a isolation transformer to stop spikes and surges) from the wall. It goes from the wall, through the 1:1 ratio transformer, into the computer. When the circutry detects a drop in voltage a relay is tripped and then the computer draws power from the battery. When the line voltage is good the SPS constantly "tops up" the battery to keep it full. A true UPS constantly draws power from the wall to charge the battery while simultaneously running the computer from the the charge that the battery already has.

    If anyone has a problem with this decription, take it up with the company that makes the info booklets for APC, not me.
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  8. #28
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    ground everythign you can......

    I havent; got anything blown up yet.....

    I get electrocuted alot by other things.....maybe lightning will come some day, hahaha
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  9. #29
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    wow.... i have my computer on 3 Surge protectors... i wounder if it still will go through em

    Thx, i live in South Dakota on the brink of Tornado Alley, lemme tell ya what, when theres a tornadic storm, thers about 3 to 4 lighting strikes every .3 secounds.... i still play on the computer cuase i didn't care, the storm would have to take the lines out for me to head for the basement (It only took out the trees around me house so it was still ok )
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  10. #30
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    I agree. Unplugging is a very very good idea...I was watching tv a year or so ago during a tstorm and thought I was fine do to a surge protector.....lighting hit my cable line and came and blew out my 36inch tv . Luckily insurance payed for it and we got a new HD-Tv : ). The lesson there....watch tv during tstorms and get a new better TV....err I mean dont watch Tv during a t-storm

  11. #31
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    Originally posted by KiKaL
    ....watch tv during tstorms and get a new better TV....err I mean dont watch Tv during a t-storm [/B]
    Hmmmmm.... my 17" is pretty small
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  12. #32
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    we got a lightning storm here and my psu got fried...luckly thats the only thing

  13. #33
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    we had a storm here a few nights ago, it was with alot of lightning, so i decied to turn off the computers (didn't unplug them). i usually dont bother, but the storm was pretty bad. So after it calmed down i turned them back on, and was doing some work, and boom! a big lightning strike , It must have real close cause the power blinked off for about 10 seconds and came back on. I turned the computer back on and luckly it was alright.
    It was strange that it happened after the storm passed by, it was probably 15-20 minutes after it had stopped raining.

  14. #34
    ups's and surge protectors wont help if lighting strikes close enough to you.

    think about this, even if you flip the switch on your ups/surge protector to "off" the lightning can still come down the line and arc across the switch even though its off, and kill things.

    i have seen floor fans in the off position, turn start spining right before they melted....\


    of course i never unplug my machine or turn it off, nothing could ever hurt my baby.
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  15. #35
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    Originally posted by dragon orb 3
    well if u have broadband then u don't have to worry about somethin goin thru the phone lines and fryin ur comp......
    I have seen cable lines after a surge went through them. They just melted up to the ground block at the side of the house. The ground saved the house,TV's and computer.

  16. #36
    Member e_storm's Avatar
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    Are some of you guys living in metal houses? I've never heard of so many lightning strikes in my life.

    I personally have all my equipment on surge protectors and don't unplug anything unless its REALLY bad outside. Perhaps when I get a stand alone house I'll worry more about it, but this system has worked fine for many years for me.

  17. #37
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    all of the phones in my house were toasted ironically this is the firs storm we have had all year (mon Sept 30th 2002) this is the second time its happened to my phones luckily my comp survived
    good advice though thx for the heads up

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  18. #38
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    Well, I had no warning. A REALLY ******* BRIGHT light and single handely the loudest noise I have ever heard took my Pentium 166 last year, as well as a TV, VCR, and Cordless Phone. Lightning strike @ no more than 175 yards from my house! Which goes to show you, if you don't know jack about computers, a computer can last you a long time! 6 years@166MHz with narey a complaint. I hope you know I hate these forums because mine will never be fast enough,
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  19. #39
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    My 486 still works. It was a cruncher at one time, took two weeks to do a WU. Shot my average WU times to hell, now everone thinks I suck at crunching.

    Lightning once hit the tree about 30 feet from my backdoor. It blew branches and leaves off it, and left a stripe all the way down the tree where the bark was vaporized/burned off, but it didn't kill it.

    Amazing.

  20. #40
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    I repaired a machine for a friend a few months back ,and one thing I do not understand ,is why do people plug there PC's into surge protectors and not use the phone jack pass through?Well to make a long story short,lightning went through the modem and fried the MB literally,I mean it burnt more then 4 inches of traces off the motherboard around the PCI slot,I really had no idea a phoneline could carry that kind of energy.

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