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  #1  
Old 07-02-2004, 11:08 AM
vanb777 vanb777 is offline
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Default Hit by Lightning!

We've had about 30 days of terrential rain down here in Atlanta (VERY strange) and in the process my computer was struck down by Zeus. I built this box using advice from this forum and need some help in repairing.

CPU AMD|2500/333 ATHLON XP BARTON R
DDRAM 512MB|64X64 PC-2700 CRUCIAL
80GB|WD 7200RPM 8MB WD800JB
ATI RADEON 9000
ASUS A7V333-X

First of all, the motherboard looks like it's toast. The chip labeled "333MHz FSB Support" has a big brown bubble on it. That is the only visual damage I can see but I haven't been able to look at the CPU yet. What are the chances that this or other components are damaged? Will I be able to see if these components are lightning damaged without buying one piece at a time and seeing what works? (If everything is toast, I might consider using insurance before this process.)

Assuming the motherboard is the only component damaged, the easiest solution for me would be a direct replacement. But briefly looking around online, I can't seem to find this exact motherboard. This was my first time building a computer and I had a compatibility problem with the motherboard and CPU. It may have been the A7V333-X/L that wasn't compatible. Something I didn't think would affect CPU copatibility. So to the point... what would be a good motherboard upgrade that will be fully compatible with my current components?

As for the rest of the studio, everything seems to operate when hooked up to a friends laptop. However, this laptop has some internal noise and what seems strange to me is that when I start the PT software, the same internal noise of the laptop is mirrored in the monitors (Event PS6). Again, this is only when the PT software is started, all else equal. Does this seem normal? I don't know why a data cable like Firewire should carry any computer noise to the monitors.

All the studio equipment was plugged into a Furman AR-1215 Power Conditioner. Did the "Extreme Voltage Shutdown" protect against the lightning? If so, could the equipment still have been vulnerable through the Firewire cable? The computer was plugged into a separate APC Surge Arrest power strip so that I can shut it down separately from the equipment (plus avoid introducing noise into my "conditioned power"). Is there something more that I can do to protect from lightning in the future?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2004, 12:05 PM
neatguys neatguys is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

go with the a7v600
its for sure compatible
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2004, 12:41 PM
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lemix lemix is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Hello vanb777 ,

First...terrible news... Sorry to hear...
Try to see if your Furman unit or the APC surge arrest have damage compensation policies !
Most units do, given the original invoice availability ..
My next step would be the insurance co.
Either way, play it smart and you'll be able to build a super computer out of this situation...
Good luck, and hoping you didn't loose any critical audio data...

cheers,
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2004, 12:44 PM
Gene Backlin Gene Backlin is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Quote:
All the studio equipment was plugged into a Furman AR-1215 Power Conditioner. Did the "Extreme Voltage Shutdown" protect against the lightning? If so, could the equipment still have been vulnerable through the Firewire cable? The computer was plugged into a separate APC Surge Arrest power strip so that I can shut it down separately from the equipment (plus avoid introducing noise into my "conditioned power").
While surge protectors and power conditioners do a very good job on normal power surges and brownouts, lighning is a whole different ballgame. If your equipment is still working, there is a good chance that the equipment that was totally fried, took most of the hit; however, you may notice strange things happening from time to time, this will indicate that a component had been slightly damaged, thus shortening its life.

Electricity will travel on any wire that is connected. It is massively looking to go to ground, and will travel anywhere it can to get there.

Quote:
Is there something more that I can do to protect from lightning in the future?
The only sure method of total protection, is unplugining the device.

When I see any storm coming I disconnect all equipment, and do not talk on the phone. Even underground cable will carry a charge.

Here is a good source of information:
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/researchitems/lightning.shtml

Take Care,
Gene
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:54 PM
Jack Dawson Jack Dawson is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Sorry to here about the loss...

With 30 years in the electronics field, I've seen my share of lightning and surge damage.
Lightning and surges behave in unexpected ways and do strange things to electronics, sometimes obvious and othertimes not. More times than not, the damage is caused from an inductive surge induced into the system rather than by a direct strike.

As mentioned in another post, the lingering effects can hurt you the most.

If the motherboard indeed has visible damage, I would replace the entire computer.

To help reduce the possibility of this happening again, I would suggest the following:

Make sure all interconnected equipment is on the same leg of the incoming AC line.
Have a surge protector installed by a licensed electrician at the AC panel protecting both legs.
Make sure you have additional surge protection on everything.
During a storm, unplug your modem and LAN cables if used.
During a storm, if you unplug one piece of gear from AC power, unplug it all. A disconnect box works great for this. Flip the disconnect and everything is isolated from the AC line.
Finally, don't use ground lift adapters.

Probably not what you want to hear, but I hope this helps...
Jack
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2004, 04:28 PM
K.B. K.B. is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Quote:
Electricity will travel on any wire that is connected. It is massively looking to go to ground, and will travel anywhere it can to get there.
Just a little technical note here of no possible practical use to you (but you do have my sympathies regarding the equipment). Most people don't know that lightning travels upwards. There's a large positive charge up there, and negatively charged elctrons rush up towards it.
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Old 07-02-2004, 06:46 PM
macr0w macr0w is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

A disconnect box works great for this. Flip the disconnect and everything is isolated from the AC line.

I would say that's the way to go.
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2004, 07:38 AM
Gene Backlin Gene Backlin is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Quote:
Most people don't know that lightning travels upwards.
Partly true, the brighter flash is the return stroke.

A quote from National Severe Storms Laboratory:

Quote:

What causes lightning?

Lightning originates around 15,000 to 25,000 feet above sea level when raindrops are carried upward until some of them convert to ice. For reasons that are not widely agreed upon, a cloud-to-ground lightning flash originates in this mixed water and ice region. The charge then moves downward in 50-yard sections called step leaders. It keeps moving toward the ground in these steps and produces a channel along which charge is deposited. Eventually, it encounters something on the ground that is a good connection. The circuit is complete at that time, and the charge is lowered from cloud to ground.

The return stroke is a flow of charge (current) which produces a luminosity much brighter than the part that came down. This entire event usually takes less than half a second.
Entire document can be found:
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/edu/ltg/

Take Care,
Gene
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2004, 09:04 AM
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Voideco Voideco is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

For safety reasons I have a shelve on which a whole lot of power connections are mounted, all of them controlled by one single on/off switch. http://www.xs4all.nl/~walterp5/Power%20units.jpg

Your post reminds me that I should use it some more, I leave it on in order to keep my mobo's battery charged. Very useful & effective to have one main power switch, prevents stuff like this from happening. I sympatize with you in this situation. Like said before, Asus A7V600 is the way to go considering your other pc parts. Hope that in the end you turn out having a new, killer system.
Walther
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2004, 09:27 AM
vanb777 vanb777 is offline
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Default Re: Hit by Lightning!

Ok, now my concern is these "lingering effects." What components are likely to suffer from this and warrant replacing?

002 and Event PS6 monitors plugged into Furman AR-1215 Power Conditioner
Toasted computer plugged into surge protector and connected to 002 via firewire
DigiDrive connected to same surge protector and linked to 002 via firewire (seems to operate fine on laptop)

Should I go through the hassle of making a claim to replace all of this equipment and won't I have to demonstrate the damage. How about some votes (hopefuly with some reasoning) on my course of action.

Whether or not I decide to replace the wole box probably seriously depends on whether the processor is fried or not. Will it be visibly damaged or will I just have to test it on a new mobo to know?

What does everyone think about the laptop noise in the monitors? Does this seem unusual and warrant replacing of the 002?

Thanks everybody!
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