Lightning Strikes in south UK Tonite

Looks like a lively night coming for the south & especially south west corner of UK.   The pic is showing lightning strikes; just arriving at IoW & SE London.  The weather/storm track line is from SE.   Maybe an idea to think about pulling plugs at bedtime.   

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Canterbury looks like it might be OK George,  you have stuff just south of you,  but it looks like you ducked the bullet.  Nothing that I can see coming in your direction on the radar.     A line of strikes passed south of you about an hour ago,  its now over Central/NW London & heading my way.

Surely if you’re concerned just unplug the sky box

lightning cant just magic itself into your system, it needs a path, I can’t believe it could strike underground and get to your incoming mains cables 

jump the incoming 100A fuse and then through the CU and across the RCCBs 

lyndon

 

Hi Lyndon,  not all of us have Sky boxes, TV & Radio antenna are the most likely targets in whatever circumstances, roof mounted especially but in roof/attic is not completely safe.  Overhead power & phone cables are another way, & don't think because you don't have an obvious path that you are safe,  >50m volts & the EM field around a lightening strike will vaporise a micro chip (believe me I've had a direct strike)

lyndon posted:

Surely if you’re concerned just unplug the sky box

lightning cant just magic itself into your system, it needs a path, I can’t believe it could strike underground and get to your incoming mains cables 

jump the incoming 100A fuse and then through the CU and across the RCCBs 

lyndon

 

False sense of security. Aside from if it strikes part of your house and finds the wiring, it can strike elsewhere in the distribution system that it as above ground and put a ‘spike’ through the msins, fast enough to get through breakers and fuses, and enough to fry delicate chips

Connections to a wired phone system for internet Are also vulnerable for the same reason, though I don’t know if it would get past the modem/router. (Because above-ground phone lines are common it certainly used to be the case that phones had surge arrestors built in that would stop at least some though I don’t know about modems.)

 

We have had a few cracks of thunder & lightening down here on the south coast followed by heavy down pours. I too have unplugged all my equipment just for piece of mind. I have to say that we needed it, the air feels a bit thresher this morning and all the plants & trees will no doubt feel all the better for it too.

Theoretically, we should now have a better earthing conductivity, which may mean the system could sound a little sweeter after the switch on and warm up process is resumed. 

Plenty of lightning here last night and some very heavy downpours from about 11pm onwards.  A couple of cars were parked outside and their alarms went off, the rain was so heavy.  The lurchers didn't like it at all! I'd unplugged as much as possible.  I learned the hard ay last year at how vulnerable some kit can be, even when a strike is a long way away, when all the DECT phones, modems and anything else connected to phone lines got zapped.  Be aware that for anyone in the SE of England, tomorrow night we will supposedly have more lightning, so be careful...

nickpeacock posted:

Keeping my fingers crossed - I’m at g/f’s this weekend and left everything plugged in at mine...😕

Nick, luckily it seems to be mostly cloud to cloud sheet lightning, so although plenty of it, I couldn't see any forks coming down anywhere close by.  Fingers crossed for you...

We've had some pretty heavy showers near Bath and I've just heard distant rumblings of thunder, but if there was anything closer then I must have slept through it. According to the Met Office website the showers should have passed by midday.

Curiously, we had an unexplained power cut on Friday. I came home to find all the lights on on the 552, but everything still worked. Under normal circumstances, when I switch the equipment on I have a fairly strict sequence, e.g. modem, server, preamp, NDS etc. with the power amp going on last. However, it appears that switching it all on instantaneously when the power is restored  still works.

I had a bunch of e-mails this morning from my UPS telling me it had gone to battery & back to mains;  all were timed before 02:00 when we went to bed but in that time we did not lose power,  it was just the UPS had gone outside its 195-265 volt limit.  

lyndon posted:

Surely if you’re concerned just unplug the sky box

lightning cant just magic itself into your system, it needs a path, I can’t believe it could strike underground and get to your incoming mains cables 

jump the incoming 100A fuse and then through the CU and across the RCCBs 

lyndon

 

A friend had a lot of kit destroyed by a strike a few year s ago.

The lightening hit a tree and jumped off onto a concrete fence post and then jumped off that onto the wall of his re-enforced concrete garage. It blew a hole in the wall and then found a metal wall socket which allowed it to enter the mains. It missed a camping gas cylinder by a whisker.

He lost a lot of stuff, most of his network gear and many appliances were lost.  Fortunately his NAP160 was spared.

 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Don’t know where this storm is supposed to be, here in EA we could really do with one to clear the air... very humid.

It got as far as Colchester, Simon, lots of lightening for hours, no thunder, and some heavy rain.

joerand posted:

Maybe there's a market here like those that do dog-walking services. Audiophile gear unplugging?

Peace of mind when you're away and fear shit may happen.

Maybe just turn off and unplug as a matter of habit before going away...  Or at least in Summer when thunderstorms are most common. Of course that doesn’t help with uncommon Spring events like now. Nor winter ones...

Those not in the large parts Britain that don’t normally get the temperatures dominating the national weather forecast headlines at least have the benefit of fewer thunderstorms to worry about.

Lots of thunder & lightning here in Bucks but mostly cloud to cloud. Didn't see any ground strikes. The main problem I have is that the UnitiServe does not like being switched off incorrectly. So if we get power outages, even for a second, it bu**ers up the US, let alone lightening strikes nearby and power surges.

I turned everything off and unplugged as much as possible. Just restarted everything and thankfully all looks fine.

As always thanks to Mike B for the heads up.

I'd fallen asleep listening to something and was vaguely aware of thunderclaps sounding absolutely superb through the stereo but not making sense in the context of what I was listening, which may have been Wonderful Life by Black. 

If there was any damage it's a pretty good upgrade, being in the middle of a thunder & lightning storm.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Don’t know where this storm is supposed to be, here in EA we could really do with one to clear the air... very humid.

Not much air cleared around these parts,   its very humid & not helped by a very fine single malt & yes it was the first malt that caused the damage.    There are more storms brewing over the low countries at the mo & heading west,  so you might get some later.  

None on the local weather until tomorrow for a short spot around 1am - but I'll keep a look out. Quite breezy now with hazy blue sky - the humidity has dropped with the wind and it is rather pleasant - just as well as there is a beer festival to sample this afternoon 

But just looked at the BBC news and it looks like some parts of the country have been having quite a display..... we often say the weather in these parts is different from the rest of the country..... however  the mains is fluctuating slightly as the UPS protectors are kicking in sporadically - so there is something happening somewhere 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

None on the local weather until tomorrow for a short spot around 1am - but I'll keep a look out. Quite breezy now with hazy blue sky - the humidity has dropped with the wind and it is rather pleasant - just as well as there is a beer festival to sample this afternoon 

But just looked at the BBC news and it looks like some parts of the country have been having quite a display..... we often say the weather in these parts is different from the rest of the country..... however  the mains is fluctuating slightly as the UPS protectors are kicking in sporadically - so there is something happening somewhere 

What is a mains ups protector, thought

anything that filters is a bad addition. Go easy on me Simon😎

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

The up-side is that my equipment all got a nice service and sounded better than ever.

Geko posted:

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

My phone line has been hit twice - the first time it killed my Unitiserve amongst other things. I now use optical cables instead of copper Ethernet to give isolation. 

Mike1951 posted:

So we can confidently ignore the bit in the manuals that recommends switching off during a thunderstorm.

I wonder how much else in the instructions for our black boxes is completely irrelevant? 

🤔

Wrong conclusion! Actually, switching off does provide protection from spikes on the mains, other than when sufficiently large to jump the conductor gap in the switch, as in a direct strike to mains wiring somewhere in the vicinity like the hit to a garage someone mentioned above. Latter will be far less common, so switching off is good advice. But better advice is unplugging, especially as from the insurance angle a loss adjuster is likely to be able to be able to see other damage proving the event, but not necessarily with a less severe spike. 

ChrisSU posted:
Geko posted:

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

My phone line has been hit twice - the first time it killed my Unitiserve amongst other things. I now use optical cables instead of copper Ethernet to give isolation. 

That’s interesting given the UnitiServe (along with all current Naim products)  only supports twisted pair and RJ45 sockets... so there is no optical isolation.......

Also compliant Ethernet is specified (IEEE802.3) to 1.5kV impulse spikes or 1.5kV Vrms for a period of time, and 2.25kVdc for a period of time... if there was a surge greater than this entering your house then all wiring including mains as well as metal fitting and pipes  would almost certainly be affected.

Gazza posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Don’t know where this storm is supposed to be, here in EA we could really do with one to clear the air... very humid.

It got as far as Colchester, Simon, lots of lightening for hours, no thunder, and some heavy rain.

Still nothing... oh well you guys have had the fun 

Yes I heard there were fun and games down in Essex and something about lightning affecting the fuelling processes at Stansted airport... a friend was supposed to be travelling via there to Poland and her flight got cancelled.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Still nothing... oh well you guys have had the fun 

Don't feel left out Simon,  its so patchy;   I had nothing other than heavy cloud & a few flashes last evening,  but a road 5 miles away had to be closed because of floods blocked with idiot drivers trying their luck.     An hour later I was looking at an almost full moon & close by Jupiter in a clear but hazy sky 

I watched it develop on the 'pooter (sad life) from MK up to Birmingham;   BBC news this morning reports Edgbaston had 58mm in 1hour & 81mm over 12 hours.   10 miles away Coleshill had 3mm in 12 hours

Mike1951 posted:

 

Mike1951 posted:

So we can confidently ignore the bit in the manuals that recommends switching off during a thunderstorm.

I wonder how much else in the instructions for our black boxes is completely irrelevant? 

🤔

Wrong conclusion! "

 

Yes. I know... 

Sorry, dense first thing in the morning...      

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Geko posted:

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

My phone line has been hit twice - the first time it killed my Unitiserve amongst other things. I now use optical cables instead of copper Ethernet to give isolation. 

That’s interesting given the UnitiServe (along with all current Naim products)  only supports twisted pair and RJ45 sockets... so there is no optical isolation.......

Also compliant Ethernet is specified (IEEE802.3) to 1.5kV impulse spikes or 1.5kV Vrms for a period of time, and 2.25kVdc for a period of time... if there was a surge greater than this entering your house then all wiring including mains as well as metal fitting and pipes  would almost certainly be affected.

Yes, interesting about lack of optical isolation in Unitiserve. Does the Core (or other Naim black boxes) have optical isolation, I wonder?

Keith 

Having switched off and unplugged all audio and network gear for most of yesterday and switched back on around 6pm, I'm now thinking it's all sounding pretty good and the network seems to be running more quickly (copying 24 bit album from Mac to Readynas Duo was quicker than usual). Is this imagination or plausible?

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Geko posted:

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

My phone line has been hit twice - the first time it killed my Unitiserve amongst other things. I now use optical cables instead of copper Ethernet to give isolation. 

That’s interesting given the UnitiServe (along with all current Naim products)  only supports twisted pair and RJ45 sockets... so there is no optical isolation.......

Also compliant Ethernet is specified (IEEE802.3) to 1.5kV impulse spikes or 1.5kV Vrms for a period of time, and 2.25kVdc for a period of time... if there was a surge greater than this entering your house then all wiring including mains as well as metal fitting and pipes  would almost certainly be affected.

Simon, the lightning strike entered via the phone line, blew the BT socket to pieces, and wiped out an ISP router, an Airport Extreme and the Unitiserve, which were the only things wired at the time. Nothing else electrical was damaged.  I wanted to run network cables around the house, but thought that in a house in an exposed position, it might be worth having some isolation from the phone line, which runs above roof level before entering the house. 

Initially I used media converters and POF cables, which worked fine, but cluttered the house up with converters and wall warts. I have recently replaced these with three Catalyst switches and SFPs, which is neater. If Naim were to put SFP ports on their streamers and servers, that might be neater again, but what are the chances of that?

KRM posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Geko posted:

In June a few years ago our telephone line was hit by a lightning strike. Unfortunately, this was hard wired to the sky box, which was connected to my pre-amp input. The result was pretty catastrophic to anything that contained a processing chip. The final bill was about £6k! I must say that my insurance company (Hiscox) was very understanding and paid up Immediately.

My phone line has been hit twice - the first time it killed my Unitiserve amongst other things. I now use optical cables instead of copper Ethernet to give isolation. 

That’s interesting given the UnitiServe (along with all current Naim products)  only supports twisted pair and RJ45 sockets... so there is no optical isolation.......

Also compliant Ethernet is specified (IEEE802.3) to 1.5kV impulse spikes or 1.5kV Vrms for a period of time, and 2.25kVdc for a period of time... if there was a surge greater than this entering your house then all wiring including mains as well as metal fitting and pipes  would almost certainly be affected.

Yes, interesting about lack of optical isolation in Unitiserve. Does the Core (or other Naim black boxes) have optical isolation, I wonder?

Keith 

The NDX (and presumably other streamers) use optical isolation, I assume as a way of isolating interference, but that isn’t going to help in a lightning strike. 

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