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  #1  
Old 08-16-2009, 07:50 PM
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Lightning Strike

No idea how close it was, but it didn't hit our house or garage.

House is fine, although the internet disconnected and one computer spontaneously rebooted.

There were three GFCI devices in the garage, and no longer. The supply breakers to these three devices were also tripped. There's a TV and window AC unit out there, and without any working receptacles, I don't know if any of that stuff still works. The garage door operator seems to be dead too (the receptacle on the ceiling is not protected and still has power).
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2009, 11:15 PM
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An update.

I had a GFCI outlet, so I replaced one of the blown units in the garage. The TV is fine, but the stereo/CD player is toasted.

Also I looked at my car and noticed that the backlight on the odometer was running. Opening the door did not cause it to display anything, but the backlight remained on. I started the engine, and the tach and fuel gauge were also inop. I'm thinking that my cluster got blown out somehow, but I tried the first trick of disconnecting the battery for a bit, and it seems to be back to normal. I haven't driven it to confirm speedometer function, but it will probably work.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:15 AM
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Wow, thankfully it didn't hit your house or a tree or cause injury. That's crazy it affected your benz! Goes to show how powerful that stuff is!

Let us know if your speedo is back up and running!
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:38 PM
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What area of the country are you in?

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  #5  
Old 08-17-2009, 06:39 PM
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Ouch that sucks.

Their is usualy one or two boats in the harbor that get nailed every year. One of the guys I sail with just had his boat struck again, and it fried $30k worth of electronics. Thank God for insurance!

The flip side is his electroncs are never that old!
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:49 PM
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I'm in the St. Louis metro area, but lightning gets you anywhere.

Replaced the door operator tonight, $250 plus some time. On the plus side, the replacement operator has a battery backup. Also a nifty-looking back-lit digital display. I got the same brand, and connected it to my existing belt drive system, making installation much easier than the first time. It's not quite perfectly adjusted though; it opened once after closing. I'll have to fix that.

Two more GFCI's on tap for tonight.

My newish HP laser printer is also fried. I haven't opened it up to see if it can be fixed. If not, that will be another $400. But it is still not enough damage to involve my insurance company. It would be almost all deductible anyway.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2009, 12:16 AM
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You didn't have your laser printer on at least some form of surge strip? I run all my computer equipment through a nice APC UPS unit, it provides high quality surge protection to stuff like my laser printer.....and battery backup/surge protection to the computer/networking/DSL equipment. Best $90 I've ever spent.

$400 for a printer? I use a HP 4050TN that I got for free. Its a beast! $1500 when new....it has networking, twin trays (1000 sheet capacity), front load....17ppm.....
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2009, 09:19 AM
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Happened to my brother a few weeks ago. Fairly new house. The garage door thing wasn't covered by warranty, and he lost a sound system, cable, and TV needed repair. He didn't claim on insurance either because he was on the cusp of having his payment lowered.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
You didn't have your laser printer on at least some form of surge strip? I run all my computer equipment through a nice APC UPS unit, it provides high quality surge protection to stuff like my laser printer.....and battery backup/surge protection to the computer/networking/DSL equipment. Best $90 I've ever spent.

$400 for a printer? I use a HP 4050TN that I got for free. Its a beast! $1500 when new....it has networking, twin trays (1000 sheet capacity), front load....17ppm.....
You can't run a laser printer on a UPS; they take too much power for the fuser. If you use a part-time UPS (one that switches over on power loss), you won't notice any trouble until you try to print when there is no mains power. Then you will fry the UPS.

But no, there was no extra surge protector on it. I may do something about that. The rest of the stuff is on a UPS.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2009, 12:29 PM
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Do not connect a UPS/Surge protector unit to a GFI circuit. They won't work properly. It has to do with the way the GFI and the surge protector both sense the "ground". They will work okay for a while until the UPS gets a little age on it and it begins to "seep" current. The GFI will sense it as a "short" and will either trip or "blink" the circuit, which causes the UPS to sense a power failure, which causes it to go to battery mode until it senses there is power restored by checking the ground which tells the GFI ... Well, you get the picture. It can really wreak havoc with the switching power supply in your computer.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2009, 02:48 PM
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Update: the cluster is working properly in all respects. I had to code the radio, but it now seems to forget which song it was on when playing a CD, and starts from the beginning instead. Oh well, not the biggest concern.

Oddly, yet again, I disconnected my battery and the only action required was entering the radio code. The IR remote functions and the seat memory is retained, contrary to what is stated in the owner's manual.
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2009, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
You can't run a laser printer on a UPS; they take too much power for the fuser. If you use a part-time UPS (one that switches over on power loss), you won't notice any trouble until you try to print when there is no mains power. Then you will fry the UPS.

But no, there was no extra surge protector on it. I may do something about that. The rest of the stuff is on a UPS.
That's not what I said. I said, why don't you have the Laser Printer on a surge strip or the (surge only) portion of a UPS.....I'm well aware of the power usage of a Laser Printer.

The part-time UPS units are junk. APC are best. And my UPS I use is actually big enough to not fry if a laser printer were attached to it, But I don't have it connected that way.
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'17 Metris(VITO!) - 11k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 172k - dad's (OC-171,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 50k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'09 E350 4matic Sedan - 140k - Brothers (OC-141,500)
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2009, 03:46 PM
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My UPS has no non-USP outlets at all. Just six UPS outlets. However, I did get a surge protector for the printer (either this one if I can fix it, or a new one).

I have another computer on a part-time UPS. It reboots when we take a power hit. I'm going to run a cord over to the real UPS instead; I agree with your assessment of the part-time units.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2009, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
I have another computer on a part-time UPS. It reboots when we take a power hit. I'm going to run a cord over to the real UPS instead; I agree with your assessment of the part-time units.
I've got an APC UPS and it also reboots when there is a momentary line voltage loss. What's the deal with "part-time"? I thought these devices have a battery and the computer is powered through the battery? Why should any of them fail to keep the computer running for at least 15 minutes?

Why would you purchase a UPS if it cannot fulfill that basic task........sounds like a ripoff.
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2009, 04:06 PM
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Part-time means that when the mains have power, the outlets are connected straight-through. When the power fails, a relay quickly switches over and the inverter starts up. It starts up fast enough that your equipment can usually handle it easily. But spikes will come through before the unit has time to switch.

A full-time UPS usually uses a three-winding transformer, input on one winding, output on the second, and the UPS circuitry on the third. The UPS winding buffers the signal all of the time, keeping spikes from coming through and correcting for low or high input voltage.
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