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Author Topic: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As  (Read 121 times)

solareclipse

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Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« on: July 08, 2018, 12:19:51 AM »

Last week we had lightning strike a telephone pole near our house.  Best I can tell based on what it damaged and an arc burn from an unconnected coax cable, it travelled in to the house over the cable line.  It killed my cable modem, wireless router, a network switch, my VOIP adapter...  and 2 of my 3 WS13As.  They're the only two dead electronic devices that had no network connection.  They also were physically the furthest away from the pole that was hit (although closer to the breaker panel).  No breakers tripped, apparently the power didn't even flicker.  My CM15A is still working fine, all my other X10 devices are responding normally to RF commands.  I'll be able to test my WM100 again tonight when my new router gets delivered.

Any theories on why the WS13As would be the only things affected?
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bkenobi

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 02:35:33 AM »

I'd go with luck.
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Brian H

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 06:27:58 AM »

The WS13A uses both Line and Neutral power connections. If there was a high voltage spike or surge. It may have damaged them.

The X10 modules do have a MOV across the Line to Neutral but they can only absorb so much energy before failing. Many also have a real light gauge fuse wire in them. Maybe they opened up if the WS13A has a fuse wire. The CM15A has a small power transformer in it. It could have been more tolerant of the spikes or surges.

Some times other devices get effected by the surge or spikes. You may find in others slowly failing as more time passes.

Did the incoming cable have a ground block where it entered the house and it was grounded?

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solareclipse

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 06:39:36 AM »

Did the incoming cable have a ground block where it entered the house and it was grounded?

Yes, it was grounded to our water line (well water) although the cable company said they can't do that anymore so they ran a completely new line to the other end of the house where the electric service comes in and grounded to the electric box instead. 

Maybe I'll pull apart one  of the dead switches and see if I can see anything inside.
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Knightrider

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 12:13:54 PM »

Call me crazy, but ground rods are relatively cheap. I'd prefer a separate ground rod for communications. I hate when they the on to the power ground.

I know you purists will poo poo my statement, but I once had a transient come across a phone line and toast my connection to the rod.
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solareclipse

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 12:33:14 PM »

Call me crazy, but ground rods are relatively cheap. I'd prefer a separate ground rod for communications. I hate when they the on to the power ground.

Spectrum told me specifically that they are not allowed to ground directly to the ground like the POTS telcos can.  They have to tie to the electrical ground.  *shrug*
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Brian H

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 10:10:11 PM »

Yes I have seen photos and references to connecting the cable ground block to the electrical system ground. In the DSL Reports forums cable related sections. They even have one that clamps to the meter box to provide it.

When I worked for Motorola. We use to see lightning dance around the insides of Base Stations. Taking out circuits on boards. We even had MOV and Gas Discharge devices on things like remote phone lines.
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Knightrider

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Re: Lightning strike and 2 dead WS13As
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 10:47:19 PM »

I still have a base station with the front panel blown off in 1992. Was an older unit with a real transformer power supply. I'll never forget the smell of that. (Or the fact it fried unconnected phone lines and blew out a main breaker at the station)
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Remote control is cool,

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