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Old 07-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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How can this happen

I was camping in Myakka State Park near Sarasota, Fl and we had a storm and lightening struck near by. I have a Progressive power protector on the motor home. It blew out the control board on one of the AC, it blew out the computer on the Saturn Vue and it blew out the control for the US Gear brake systerm. I saw no where that showed lightening had hit the motor home or the car. Now there was a lot of water around the motor home for it had been raining every day we were there. But I thought it would have had to hit the car or motor home to have caused this damage. Any ideas.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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If you were plugged in to shorepower, could that have served as a lightning rod?
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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I thought that a Progressive was suppose to blow the circuit board and shut down the system.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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Which Progressive product do you have ?
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Jacks down? The power surge may have come through them rather that through the shore power connection. One reason to have wood, plastic or anything non-conductive under them .
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Since you report damage to your toad and your RV, I don't think the surge came through your shore cord, so no EMS could have prevented it. I believe you survived a very close actual strike of lightning that created an electromagnetic pulse strong enough to fry the unshielded electronics in both vehicles. Sorry for your loses, but you will have a good campfire story!

Since the lightning passed through thousands of feet of air, an inch or two of wood or plastic wouldn't have created much more of an obstacle.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:06 PM   #7
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Lighting can also travel underground a fair distance on the tree roots it has struck. A few years ago lighting hit a tree and went through the roots and killed a little girl standing 20-30 feet away.

Any Live Oaks near your campsite? Most other other types of trees in Myakka have short root systems.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
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I'm sure you are upset, but be thankful that it wasn't worse and no one was injured or killed. We had a strike at our home several years ago and somehow it came through the wiring and caused a lint fire in our clothes dryer. JMO but I don't believe any surge protector/ lightning protection can prevent a direct strong hit of lightning from causing damage.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD4Mark View Post
Jacks down? The power surge may have come through them rather that through the shore power connection. One reason to have wood, plastic or anything non-conductive under them .
I would not rely on a piece of wet dirty wood or plastic to stop any power surge.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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A few weeks ago we had a big storm up by the lake. Lightning was striking for hours, very close to us I might ad. My cable box, wireless router and printer went dead. My laptop was fine, even though they were all plugged into the surge protector that never tripped.

I'm sure lightning a struck the Cable lines somewhere close to us, since the cable truck was at my neighbors the next day also. My printer, router and cable box were all fried. Surge protectors can't protect everything.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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Your car was sitting on rubber tires but the rims were probably under water. No amount of insulation will stop voltages of that amount. We're talking thousands and thousands or hundreds of thousands of volts. If the lightening can jump to ground from miles up it will go over surfaces and as you know do a lot of damage.

Count your blessings.

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Old 07-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
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Considsider a falling donut.

For those who do not know how electricity is generated it is simple, move a wire through a magnetic field and a voltage is created.

Current flowing creates magnetic field.

Why the donut?

When there is a strike there is about a million volts at a lot of amps.

That creates a huge magnetic field with many frequencies generated due to the fast rise and fall, thus the noise you hear on the radio.

As this magnetic field is created and colapse it makes for a moving magnetic field, this is how transformers work.

Any conductor in that field will get a charge.

In radio we build a halo system to allow the generated charges to flow to ground.

We imagine a donut falling, any ground wires it passes need to stay in same general direction, sharp bends or loops create inductors that make it worse.

So the USB cord between your unplugged laptop on the wood counter neatly coiled connected to your phone could blow both.of them out if close enough to a strike to absorb the energy
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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^^ and the falling doughnut always lands on the frosting.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I would not rely on a piece of wet dirty wood or plastic to stop any power surge.
I agree. Lightning can jump a good distance. Better than just metal to the ground though.
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