Many years ago we got hit by one. We lost several things I wish we still had, including our Litton-Aire Generation II microwave oven, Zenith System 3 Space Command 27" console TV, a smaller 13" Sony Trinitron that originally came off our boat, a brand new at the time Hitachi VCR, and my green Soundesign shelf stereo (I was about 14 at the time). Had it happened now, I probably would have been able to repair most of it!
Lightning struck right across the street from my house a few years back. The surge from that strike took out my TV, PS2, AVR, Satellite Box, pretty much my entire entertainment center setup. That’s why I always unplug everything whenever I hear the slightest whisper of a thuder bolt.
@Rueki Years ago (pre-web) I read the account of a lightning storm hitting a college campus in Hawaii. The amount of damage was impressive, as was the damage to all of their protection measures, including lightning rods & spark gaps.
The bottom line conclusion was the only effective countermeasure was 3 feet of air gap between the plug and the wall.
Lost a power supply (but not the rest of the system) to the spike from a lightning strike nearby, had a router get very weirdly damaged by a lightning hit on an oak tree outside, and lost a VCR ro a power brownout that had the line voltage down around 40V (and varying up and down about 15 to 20V) for a couple of hours.
It was an older consumer-grade router, current for the period around 2005-2006, and about six months old. It didn’t support wifi because I didn’t provide wifi in-house at that point; everything was wired, and I was still using a Nokia phone. The lightning zapped the tree outside, we lost Net access, but the router acted live - except the WAN port was displaying an indicator light for 10M speed, which the Comcast cable interface refused to use. So I swapped to a backup, put in a trouble ticket with Netgear, and after way more time on the phone with level 1 and level 2 support than I wanted, they hooked me up with level 3 via email. A short exchange later, he wanted to see the failed unit, and tossed me an RMA as well as shipping a replacement. I later heard back that yes, it really did get stuck at the fallback speed, which it shouldn’t have been able to do. One chip was weirdly borken.
During Super Storm Sandy, we had a power surge that fried my desktop computer, in spite of it being plugged into an APC UPS. I wasn’t very diligent about doing full backups at the time, so I lost a bunch of stuff.
@beerandhotwings@blaineg@dlofink@lisaviolet I was thinking in terms of a litter box.
It’s been maybe 45 years since I had an indoor cat, and she wasn’t allowed to go out and socialize, so I’ve never experienced newborns. So, haven’t smelled them, but they sure do look cute!
Yeah, in our 35 plus years of having cats, this was the first cat we took in who was pregnant enough that we knew she was pregnant. Shoot, we brought her in a month ago tomorrow. She was too far along to spay. July 24th and she had the kittens on August 10th. Two weeks old tomorrow.
There are a couple of threads here about them, one with x-rays of them in utero (her first vet visit). A few photos, as well.
Our backyard fence has been modified since January 1994 and it’s done a great job of keeping our cats on our property and I can count on two hands the times cats have gotten INTO our yard. All rescues have been spayed or neutered within two weeks of joining us or as soon as they’re old enough (we have gotten feral kittens in before they became too wild).
I had a brand new (well, one month old) ac/heater unit that is long and installed permanently in the wall - a mitsubishi or some other similar sounding company unit… (the ones that you see in pizzaria(s)… I think they are called “splits” and cost between 5K and 8K+…
For me, it wasn’t lightning, but a surge that fried everything. The electrician had not put in a surge protector on the unit, so it cost me 5K due to a power surge. It fried all the electronics on the unit and the head. These surges are real (as well as the lightning) so whether I’m in the northeast or in Florida, especially Florida, I pay the extra 8.00 per month for them to cover all of my electronics… it’s no joke. The strikes and surges that come into your lines are something that must be taken care of by a professional. The equipment isn’t something you can get at the hardware store.
Check out this factoid:
• Lightning detection systems in the United States monitor an average of 25 million strokes of lightning from clouds to ground during some 100,000 thunderstorms every year. It is estimated that Earth as a whole is struck by an average of more than a hundred lightning bolts every second.
I’ve only lost my modem to a surge. Probably came in through the phone line. Happened a few times, actually. I now use a surge protector on the phone line for my modem so that I don’t keep having to buy a new one every few months.
When I was 16 (when I was dumb and stupid)… I had a “muscle car” that the engine was skipping. Not knowing any better, I pulled out one of the 8 spark plugs while the car was running. No problem pulling it out, but when I plugged it back in, I felt a jolt like nothing I have ever experienced to this day. It was like a Road Runner or Tom & Jerry cartoon where one of the characters has a lighting bolt go through them and then you see their skeleton. I think I saw my skeleton flash before me.
@mcemanuel When I was a teenager, I used to work for a local garage, and occasionally a friend would hang out there. Once I was working on a lawnmower for a customer. I told my friend we needed to check for spark; he asked how we do that. Told him: we kneel on the lawnmower, hold the spark plug electrode, and give it a pull. Didn’t think he’d do it, but damn, he did.
yeah, I can definitely remember the feeling I got when I noticed the lead was not connected firmly to the spark plug on a running mower. Reached down to put it back on and landed on my keister halfway across the yard. Guess that’s another reason they now come with a ‘dead man’s switch’.
Lightning strike across the street took out the coax/cable input/output (and only that) on my combo vhs/dvd player. Thankfully it did not screw up the TiVo or the TV which was attached to same outlet. Those across the street where it hit lost major appliances, TVs.
A few years ago, a lightning strike took out our modem.
Back in the late 70’s, my coveted RCA XL-100 19" Color Television was fried by lightning hitting very near my house. Luckily my fairly expensive stereo system was OK. That’s about all the electronics I owned back then…
Back in February while we were having Snowmageddon, my microwave fried itself instead of my fishsticks. Probably just gave up after all the rolling blackouts every half hour or so for two days. I know they stressed me out, so why not the nuker also?
@PooltoyWolf “poor oven”? No, poor me. The mW oven didn’t have to pay for its replacement. (Except maybe to donate its vital organs for me to play around with, when I get time. I hear there might be some fun magnets inside, in addition to a power supply.)
I hadn’t budgeted for a new oven. Figured utility bill was going to bankrupt me, but it turned out to be barely higher than what I had been used to.
Hope y’all will be OK. I see some more TS/TDs are headed your way. Is there an IRK in your future? (Is that what comes after Fred, Grace, and Henri? I’m too lazy too look it up.)
@chienfou@PooltoyWolf That’s a lesson I’ve already learned!
Included in that lesson was the fact that the outside of the can was the ground, though it was a very handy place to grab while I was removing the lead with the other hand.
@chienfou@PooltoyWolf Yeah, I might have looked something like that. I was the only one in the room at the time, so wasn’t told. The capacitor was in a code generator which was still getting 120V. I suddenly had a burning sensation from one arm to the other, couldn’t really think, couldn’t let go, but did realize I needed to get away. I jerked back and pulled the positive connection loose. I suffer AFib nowadays, and wonder…
The power in our neighborhood used to really suck and outages or flickers happened a few times a month. Once our neighbor’s computer got hit. Oddly just the RAM failed. I fixed it for them but the power company denied there had been any power interruptions that day and refused to cover the repair.
20 years ago I had the expensive variable-speed blower motor go out on an old Trane heat/AC system in a storm with power outage. Would have been $1500 to replace the motor, and instead I switched to a new system since gas was now available in the neighborhood for about $9000.( including gas plumbing and a water heater)
Last winter during a storm, the expensive variable-speed blower motor on the ´new’ Trane system (now 20 yrs old) went out again. I wasn’t here at the time so can’t be sure it was a power issue but there were outages at the time. and when I got back I debugged it to the blower motor. This time since I still consider it my ‘new’ (20 yr old) system I decided to pay $2000 to just replace the motor unit. I figured after 20 years that’s not bad but now that I think about it I should probably put some extra power protection on that sucker.
EDIT if anyone is wondering why this isn’t just a $150 Harbor Freight electric motor, it’s a pretty fancy electronic unit with a bunch of power control variable speed stuff in addition to the actual motor (a DC motor I think). I watched he service tech disassemble it. I would have tried myself but I looked at the system and said that looks like I’d take it apart and never get it back together. And the guy was efficient and knew what he was doing. He better at $195/hr!
There was a surge during a storm (lightning, I assume) that affected about a four block area of our neighborhood. Some people lost everything: TVs, VCRs, stereos, computers, even electric stoves and dryers. Others one or two items.
In my house it tripped three breakers which probably saved my electronics. I did start having weird PC problems after that which turned out to be a bad stick of RAM which I believe was from the surge.
Yes. Middle-of-the-night lightning strike. Despite light switches being turned off, saw light bulbs in the room light up. Had a bunch of electronics stuff not want to come back on, had that fresh “let the magic smoke out” scent.
Had a buddy call me up to check out his computer after a thunderstorm. He wasn’t home at the time, but he said that the computer wouldn’t turn on & there was a funny smell in his room. I go and check it out - The computer did actually still power on, but nothing but POST beeps. I opened the case, and there was a literal hole through his GPU. No idea how the power supply even powered on at all. Needless to say, I told him it was time to go computer shopping!
Personally, I lost an external modem and internal serial port during a thunderstorm back in 1989. Neighbors also lost things like answering machines, so our conclusion was a lightning strike to the phone lines.
Last year at work, the static bypass switch of our datacenter UPS failed during a Con Ed outage. Because this part is what allows the UPS to be disconnected (bypassed) so as to repair the UPS, we had to schedule a complete shutdown to fix it… only to learn that the switch itself was working and that it was only the control and monitoring circuitry that fried. So we never actually cut power to the datacenter and the whole thing ended up being a exercise of our shutdown plan.
Yeah, but I think it was in the 80s (a power surge fried something in one of my CPM Kaypro computers (billed as the world’s first portables … Even though they weighed 26 lbs… They were very fragile too… Portables that hated being moved.
I grew so irrationally attached to the Kaypr I collected a garage full of broken Kaypro “corpses” to use for organ transplants as needed.
People today say they love their phones but it isn’t the same. I have three phones I use every day and can’t be without them but I’d still trade up .
Those early computers though enabled you to perform tasks that you personally couldn’t perform at all before.
As a writer, something as simple as cutting and pasting during edits – it completely changed how I worked.
I wasn’t forced to organize my thoughts before committing them to paper.
Felt like a huge advantage back then but I am not so sure anymore.
@brasscupcakes That is prodding something in my back brain cells. I think I bought a Kaypro at a university surplus auction decades ago. I don’t recall ever doing anything with it or getting rid of it either. I bet it’s at the bottom of a stack of junk in my old storage. (You still got spare parts? Of course, if I didn’t do anything with it back then, why am I thinking I might do something with it now? Lol.)
In the 90’s I had a small business and a lightning strike came through the phone line that fried the phone, credit card terminal, computer with a modem, it went through the nic to another computer and fried the nic on the other computer but not the other computer. These were very specialized computers and the whole system cost $15,000 in 1990s $$.
This is how I got involved in building computers! I took all the burned parts to a local store to see if I could beat the $5000 replacement cost I was quoted! They told me there was no way it would work with all of the parts plugged in together with com ports and interrupts, but I got it working for less than $1000.
The phone company said there was no way their equipment could get hit by lightning and cause that damage. I disagree.
@Kyser_Soze That’s funny (and I’m sure it’s true) but at least as of the last few years, a lot of the power “surge strips” and UPSs still had “phone line” protection. And sometimes Network port. I can understand the network part, though probably not certified for 1G or 10Gbps ethernet. But the phone lines, I’m thing people these days are going to look at that and think “what are those little square plugs?” LOL copper phone wires in a house. Who knew?
I got very lucky when a lightening ball engulfed the house I lived in (my neighbor said it disappeared - I was inside and couldn’t see out the windows as everything was opaque white, scared the shit out of the cats and the thunder shook the walls). The lightening rod melted, but nothing caught on fire and everything plugged in was fine.
Yes many times from power company. I have good surge protection on all electronics and one on the electric panel box… . Had one this past spring, took out pc board on cook top again, some surge protectors, some GFI outlets, Cyberpower UPS, inner panel box sparked but no damage, powered subwoofer. National Grid paid minus depreciation of course…
Installed a couple of mini-splits in my poolhouse a few years back. (they came pre-charged and all I had to do was hang them, pull a vacuum and make the connections). All was well until we had a storm roll thru that pulled down one leg of my service. Toasted a controller board on one unit but not the other. Contacted the manufacturer to get a new CB, and they asked for a pic of the affected board. You could see the toasted components in the pic, and they asked me how I wanted it expedited. Told them I had company coming in a few days so 2 day air was good. Asked them what the cost was and they said… nothing but the shipping cost. It was under warrantee! I was duly impressed. (alabama power told me it wasn’t their issue)
Have also had a couple of fence chargers literally blow up and scatter pieces across the back corner of the property after close lightening strikes.