Forum Forum (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   Protecting equipment from lightning damage? (

jwillis84 07-08-2019 03:52 PM

Protecting equipment from lightning damage?
More of an fyi..

When your equipment is plugged into the mains, or wall outlets it is vulnerable to voltage surges during Lightning and Thunderstorms.

You should really think about disconnecting things, like VCRs and DVD recorders during thunderstorms since they really are irreplaceable at this point.

Other than a device called an Astrophobe G1 which automatically detects lightning in the area and disconnects DSL lines, I was not aware of any "proactive" device for safe guarding VCR or DVD recorder equipment while your away.

There is not a specific device for this purpose.

However there is the Raspberry Pi.

Its a $5 wifi connected micrcomputer that runs linux or windows and can be outfitted with a phat shield to connect qwiic sensors and a quad 250 volt relay board. Ordinarily I wouldn't mention a specific vendor, but Sparkfun developed the solderless qwiic connect format.. so you can snap these pieces together like leggo blocks. They sell a lightning sensor with the qwiic connect.. so the Pi can "listen for lightning" signals over 500 kHz AM radio and throw the relays.. which can protect equipment.

Its still a bit of a do it yourself project.. but its no longer totally impossible.. and the parts are now available off the shelf.

lordsmurf 07-09-2019 06:44 AM

Disconnecting VCRs/computers/etc can be equally bad, as it causes a surge of power when plugged back in. Of all the things that have harmed my AG-1980 decks over the years, loss of power was the biggest one. Not lightning strikes, power fluctuations, etc, as I use a UPS.

Same for computers. The worst damage has always come during power on, as it creates a surge. That's actually a very credible reason for why to leave on a computer 24/7/365, though heat creation/output need be a concern for that scenario.

Everybody that values electronics should use a UPS. :2cents:

UPS are cheap compared to the TV/computer/etc being protected, about $75 (decent) to $150 (best).

My advice = Only unplug video gear when it will not be used for a month or longer.

VideoTechMan 07-09-2019 07:04 AM

I use a UPS for all of my sensitive items. Since moving out in the country recently, power failures have been frequent during storms and very annoying to say the least (lost a fridge that way due to constant power off/on fluctuations during storms or after the fact). However since most of my video decks are still in my other house 3 hours away I don't have to worry about them as much right now since all of them are plugged into a professional power strip and if power fails there, the strip internally is tripped and won't restore power until I manually reset the switch so that saves my gear from any possible surges. Once I bring my decks to my new place I will have to work on protecting them from power issues.

Recently I installed a whole-house surge protector inside the main breaker panel to help reduce the surges inside the house during storms. But I still maintain a UPS for all of my PC's and server that I have running in the house and in the event of the failure they have been set to automatically shut themselves down cleanly.

Yes, the video decks are hard to replace nowadays so always a good idea to plan their protection accordingly.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:23 PM

Site design, images and content © 2002-2019 The Digital FAQ,
Forum Software by vBulletin · Copyright © 2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.