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Shutting things down during bad weather....
Old 17th May 2006
Lives for gear

Shutting things down during bad weather....

How many of you guys stop working and shut your recording gear down when there's a lot of lightning outside? It'd be cool for anyone knowledgeable about surge protectors and all that jazz to chime in with gear safety tips when dealing with storms and such. Just something I've been wondering about lately....

Old 17th May 2006
Lives for gear
joaquin's Avatar

I do. Actually, physically unplug the Power chords from the walls during lightning activity. stike stike stike
Old 17th May 2006
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by joaquin
I do. Actually, physically unplug the Power chords from the walls during lightning activity. stike stike stike
Old 17th May 2006
Gear Addict
AdAudioInc's Avatar

I turn off switches on surge protectors - and turn off things that have a big power draw - like powered monitors and Manley tube gear, because if power goes out and everything was left on - power will come back on with a big surge - that can't be good for anything. So I like to fire things up one at a time after an outage.
Old 17th May 2006
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

I've been learning about this. Thunderstorms are kinda rare in LA. Mostly LA has that kind of coastal rain, but here in Texas, we have big, bad thunderstorms.

I recently learned that no surge protector can protect against lightning. There are surge protectors that have $100000 guarantees and stuff, and the fact is that it's gonna be really hard to prove anything and get them to pay. I don't remember the exact rating and speed that a surge protector would have to be rated for to protect against lightning but it's a lot.

Also, it seems that one of the bigger problems is that if lightning strikes the cable internet system, it will seek ground through your computer.

Sometimes if I'm writing and I don't want to stop working I unplug the expensive stuff like converters and preamps and I leave the DIGI002 and the G5 running.

Since I've been here in Austin, I've met a couple of people who have lost electronic gear to lightning, but it's been on the order of stereos and TV's.
Old 17th May 2006
Lives for gear
feyshay's Avatar

I remember the storms in Texas. Riders on the Storm. Big ones.
We have some nice ones in Maryland. When I get home, I'm going to make some switches so that I can easily unplug everything from the wall.
As far as cable internet. That can be rectifiable by using wireless (although that won't protect your TV). I was told by my Comcast cable guy that you cannot get a surge from the cable. (I can't remember the explanation, but he seemed to know his ****.)
Old 17th May 2006
500 series nutjob
pan60's Avatar

i shut things off.
i know i should unplug all gear but i generally just get the major gear unplugged.
i think when i get around to getting my new room done, ( hopefully maybe soon ) i will have a main disconnect.
Old 17th May 2006
Lives for gear

Yes, I shut down everything. Even though I have all of the critical components on battery backup (UPS).

I'm in North Texas, and I can tell you we get some pretty exciting storms here.

Max is right, no surge protector/UPS/regulator thing can protect your gear against a direct hit from lightning (including if it hits the transformer you get service from). The plasma that is the bolt, maybe two to four inches in diameter, is as hot as the interior of the Sun. That is a lot of electrical energy. No circuit breaker can have time to trip, before everything in the electrical path is fried, speed of light being what it is and all...

What's always amazed me is that humans get hit by lightning every day, and survive. stike
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