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Does lighning/thunder storm outside really damage

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July 13, 2003 1:38:02 AM

components like pc, xbox, vcr etc...? Do any of you guys had/have damaged components caused by thunder/lighning?
July 13, 2003 1:40:40 AM

I had a super nintendo go crazy because of lightning. I was playing, then the screen got kind of green and jarbled then I heard thunder. It was repaired by a local shop for like 45 though, so not that big.

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July 13, 2003 2:00:46 AM

Do you know why lighning/thunder can damage components?
July 13, 2003 3:04:53 AM

Lightning damages equipment when it travels through phone, electrical, or other lines. That's what surge protectors are for. A number of people I know have had equipment damaged that wasn't surge protected. Don't imagine you're going to see much damage from thunder.

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July 13, 2003 4:09:02 AM

I have a surge master II but I'm not sure how it works. There's a green light called "Protected" and then there's a red light called "Grounded". When the surge master II is on both of those lights come on. So does that mean I'm protected from lighning? Or do I have to but my surge master II to off to cut off electricity that goes to my components?
July 13, 2003 5:15:56 AM

Surge protectors can work in a bunch of different ways, depending on what quality you have. The most basic simply have a fuse that'll blow when overloaded. Others use circuitry to limit all voltage, thus eliminating any major spikes. The more advanced units contain AC line filters that stabilize your power all around, and prevent spikes in the process.

Keep in mind though, power cords arent the only way for electrical surges to travel. It's suggested that you have ALL of your external wiring (power, cable, phone, etc.) go through a surge suppressor of some sort.

About "Grounding": Electricity will travel the path of least resistance. The idea behind "grounding" is to intentionally provide that path, leading away from your sensitive components and into the ground where the charge is safely disappated.
July 13, 2003 7:24:20 AM

I lost the box so I can't go read the info on the box.

I still don't understand. Do I have to leave the lights on to be protected? Or do I switch off my surge master II?
July 13, 2003 6:37:11 PM

Leave it on. Those lights are there to let you know that the unit is doing it's job.
July 14, 2003 1:57:37 AM

I've seen more than a few systems damaged by nearby lightning strikes and power surges. In the worst case, the surge caused each component in the system to fail, one at a time, over a period of weeks. In the least damaged case, only the dial-up modem was fried.

I've also seen monitors, televisions, answering machines, printers, and scanners be affected.

In the last ten years, I've only seen one computer suffer damage that was connected to an UPS, and that device did not have line conditioning. All the other systems were either connected to an old, outdated surge protector, or were plugged directly into a wall socket. The same goes for modems, which are the component I've replaced the most often. Even if the user makes arrangements to protect the CPU and monitor, they often forget to run the telephone line or networking cable into the UPS before connecting to the computer.

I've read that each year, buildings in the USA are struck by lightning 21 million times. A strike within 500 to 1000 feet can cause damage or fire. Lightning <i>kills</i> approximately 100 Americans annually.

Records for the decades since the 1960's show that the danger from lightning increases sharply in May, hits its peak in June and July, and lasts until September. It is estimated at any given moment that nearly 2,000 thunderstorms are in progress over the earth's surface and lightning strikes the earth 100 times each second. It is a myth that lightning never strikes the same place twice. In fact, lightning will strike several times in the same place in the course of one discharge. The electrical potential of a lightning strike can be as much as 100 million volts and the temperature can reach 30,000 degrees Celsius.

Your house and electrical equipment could be next!

Toey

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July 14, 2003 3:31:33 AM

Is that ominous music that I hear?
July 15, 2003 8:44:39 AM

I've actually seen lightening that hit a telephone line burn a hole through a modem chip. I also saw a computer blow EVERY capacitor on the motherboard due to a lightening strike. I've heard of televisions exploding from it, but I think that was just the capacitors in the back exploding, some of the older TV's have HUGE capacitors that can really smoke!

Every time we have a large storm locally, my local dealer gets around 8 systems in due to lightening damage.

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