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Dangers Of Electrical Storms

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Old 11-15-02, 05:32 PM   #41
wildone
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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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Old 11-15-02, 07:17 PM   #42
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First let me state that you should not use a cordless or cell phone in a lightning storm the radio transmissions actually attract the lightning. I learned this from my forrest fire fighting days, the forrest service safety manual says something like not using the radio if lightning is near. Its also in italic wich means they made the rule because someone died doing it. I have seen lightning strike a outside propane tank, travel into the house along the tubing fly off at the elbow before the stove and hit the ceramic tile floor leaving a palm sized burn mark that never came off. While at work one day we saw lightning strike the house next door twice within a minute. It blew the chimney clean off the house and fried every appliance inside. Also lightning killed a friend of mine when it was'nt even raining. So I unplug everything of value at the first sign of lightning. Call me paranoid but at least I know my rig won't get fried. Lightning can and will go werever it wants.
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Old 11-25-02, 09:02 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maxvla
mine stays plugged in 24/7 even during storms. i'm safe.

if my computer takes a hit... APC will be paying me $10,000. and i doubt that will ever happen.. getting hit that is. my backups cs350 is sweet.
Word up to that, man. I've got one of those small APC surge/UPS combos. Insured for up to 5k, so mine stays on all the time.
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Old 11-29-02, 12:15 PM   #44
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think of all that power going to waste, imagine how cool your machine would be with a lightning powered fan...
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Old 11-29-02, 04:20 PM   #45
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Quote:
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think of all that power going to waste, imagine how cool your machine would be with a lightning powered fan...


That'd level a skyscraper!

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Old 11-30-02, 03:00 PM   #46
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oh not really. I Have a network of 1 million Kodak Camra Capacitors hooked up in parrallel to a 60 foot rod on the roof of my house. I told the zoning board it was a radio antanae Anyways my capacitors are capable of hodling 1.47 KF (KiloFarads) or 14.7 million Joules. That is hooked to a series of car batteries I use as a buffer and some more capacitors and transistors to create a 110 V 60HZ AC current. Then those are hooked into a kmart brand surge protector just incase. I once got struck by lightning and powered my computer for days. Lightning wants to help your computer, you just have to let it.
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Old 12-03-02, 03:00 PM   #47
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I work on computers at my house for people around the community and i am AMAZED by how many people just don't bother unplugging there computer or phone line from there computer.. Over the summer i will replace a minimum of 10 modems due to people not unplugging them during a lightning storm
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Old 12-16-02, 12:57 PM   #48
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I've never worried about lightning strikes and and my comp says plugged in all the time. I found a great surge protecter at Sams once, I don't remember the specs exactly, but the basic just of it was that if there is a huge surge it disscounnects the circut before it can reach the comp. it also runs my DSL line through it for a surge protection as well as a cable line, but I'm not using that feature right now. It also has a 10,000$ policy with it, but I'venever planned on actually being able to redeem it. My computer has actually stayed on through brief power blips with it, even when all the rest of the clocks in the house reset. and if there's a huge storm I just click the switch and discounnect the circuit.
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Old 01-03-03, 12:13 AM   #49
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I don't have a surge protector.

But I always pull the pc's plug when a storm hits just to be safe.

Surges can do some really weird things. Sometimes only particular components in the system get zapped and killed.

A long time ago, I had an external 14 400 boca modem (external) zapped but everything else on the phone line was okay.

I changed out a nic for somebody due to a storm. All of the components in the system were fine, the only damage one was the nic, and it was really zaped.

One of the chips on the card was melted. LOL!
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Old 01-13-03, 02:07 PM   #50
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I have seen some odd stuff out in the field.

Most have come through the phone lines. Most of those times only the modem gets fried and I have seen some that were literally melted.

I had to replace a router that looked like someone shot a rifle round through the top of it and the hole traveled down the rack through 2 switches. I have no clue what exactly happened other than lightning had struck the building. It also fried 6 workstations on the network. Seems as if the surge traveled through the CAT5.

I have also seen a couple that got fried while on a surge protector. Usually because they are cheap and not built to handle a big spike. It still happens to those with high-quality ones, though it is rare. This is why they are able to offer reimbursement guarantees. The same goes with UPSs.
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Old 01-13-03, 03:23 PM   #51
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Hrm, i'm curious, what brand UPS are you people using that have cable protection in addition to power?
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Old 01-18-03, 01:28 PM   #52
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A little surge protector cannot stop a massive bolt of lightning, even if the surge comes in from the power only, and not the phone, DSL, cable... etc...

But some, and most surge protectors do offer a warranty deal. I know the one that shipped with my dad's Ford PeoplePC actually said that it would guarantee that it would protect all computer components hooked up to it if a surge came in through the power lines. And if something was damaged, they would replace up to $100,000 worth of damage!
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Old 02-07-03, 07:48 PM   #53
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When I see a flash I un-plug the phone and power but thanks to whoever invented laptops I still have 3 hours of fun left and by that time I hope the storm is gone
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Old 02-14-03, 09:49 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveSauce
Hrm, i'm curious, what brand UPS are you people using that have cable protection in addition to power?
I work for APC and we do have some units that offer surge protection for the data lines. We also have a product line called the Protect Net which are add on data line surge protectors. They are avaliable for all types of networking cables. Basically all you need to do is add this inline with your data cable, and attach the ground to either your house groung, UPS ground if availlable, or to your computer case.

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Old 02-14-03, 09:55 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by diggingforgold
A little surge protector cannot stop a massive bolt of lightning, even if the surge comes in from the power only, and not the phone, DSL, cable... etc...

But some, and most surge protectors do offer a warranty deal. I know the one that shipped with my dad's Ford PeoplePC actually said that it would guarantee that it would protect all computer components hooked up to it if a surge came in through the power lines. And if something was damaged, they would replace up to $100,000 worth of damage!
Thats not true. Our APC Network Surge protects offer protection to 26000 AMPS. With a let through voltage of <40v If you get hit that hard you are going to have more problems than your computer. Heck that will melt your wirring in your house and potentially catch it on fire. We also offer an EPP (Equipment Protection Policy) of $100,000 to anything that is damaged that is connected to our product as well as a life time warranty.

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Old 03-15-03, 05:05 PM   #56
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I have never had my hardware go during a power outage except a few weeks ago when my sister was down in the basement and somehow hit the wrong switch... (she though tit said kitchen, but it said kitchen, front, middle, back) turned off everything on the first floor and when she turned it back on the monitor had a messed up screen.. the size was all distorted and small.. I replaced it with a friends old monitor which I got for $30.... Anyway I learned that a power surge would have helped a little bit (Didnt have one here before) and a UPS even more... Hopefully I wont run into anything bad anymore.. If someone plans to fool around with the power Ill unplug everything and if a storm comes I think I may do the same... although it can be a pain when there is no computer, TV, and it's dark out and raining. ahh well.. thanks for the advice..

Im gettign a UPS with my new comp.
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Old 03-30-03, 01:54 PM   #57
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Yeah electrical storms can be pretty bad.

A few years ago there was a really bad electrical storm that killed many things in our house:

alarm system=gone
intercom system=gone
smoke detecters=gone
20yr old stereo=gone
computer=gone
spa motor from a spa from 1984 worlds fair=gone

And all that due to 1 single electrical strike.
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Old 04-11-03, 12:34 AM   #58
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I worked at Best Buy and never have had soooo many people come in on a WEEKLY basis wondering why their modem died, or their monitor is acting all weird.

When I ask them about their power protection, they relied on their $10 surge protector from Wal-Mart. Ridiculous...to put it simply, $10 is not gonna protect $1000+....it pains me to see customers who bought state of the art Sony Vaio P4's along with a 17" LCD with a $9.99 surge protector. Just cos its never happened to you before doesn't mean it won't...

I have, always had, and always will recommend a UPS. You can get cheap ones for around $40. I have a UPS for my computer, for my PS2, for my TV's and one that just lies around for miscellanious items (i.e. cellphones charging, laptops, fridges hehe)

While it is good to read the fine print of the warranty, most big companies and brand names (i.e. APC..maybe Cyberpower or Belkin) will honor their claims, especially from what i've heard from customers. Having house/business insurance is also a GREAT idea...especially one with $0 deductible...if your $80 cable modem goes out, its $80 less out of your pocket.

Also remember there ARE power fluctuations within a household...washing machines and dryers are notorious for "draining" power away from other electrical components like your computer, causine further wear & tear on your power supply. The UPS regulates this.

when a sales rep recommends a UPS over a el-cheapo surge protector..or ANY surge protector for that matter, don't see it as a commissioned-pushed gimmick...it has its benefits. Pick one up when they're on sale..you can never have too many UPS's..hehe.. or maybe I'm just wacko..

Just my 2 cents..

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Old 04-15-03, 08:57 AM   #59
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Apparently another danger of electrical storms is that they take down www.xtremesystems.org .
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Old 06-17-03, 08:27 PM   #60
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Living in Florida there's plenty of lightning here ("lightning capital of the world"). As I was driving home today and saw the lightning crashing down, I thought to myself "better chances of getting hit by lightning than winning the lottery."

I've lost a 14.4k modem to lightning before (long time ago). I had a surge suppressor at the time, but not for the phone line. Sometimes during an electrical storm I will hear noise on my stereo when lightning hits. One time this happened I was typing at my computer I swore I felt static electricity. I never shut anything down, its way too frequent. At work, if I shut down I wouldn't have anything to do. At home, my PCs are on all day, I got a seperate UPS for every computer. I'm suspecting cable (TV) is another source for surges as one of my TV cards no longer displays TV for some unknown reason. All my other electrical equipment has some kind of surge suppression on it.
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