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Advice Regarding Lightning

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by nickff, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Jun 9, 2011 #1 of 51

    nickff Legend

    Dec 8, 2007
    This past Saturday lightning either hit my house, hit my dish, or hit near my house because my DirecTV service was knocked out, my A/V receiver popped and smelled and quit working, and the HDMI input I was using on my display quit accepting a signal.

    It seems that the lightning travelled through the coax from the dish to the power inserter, to the DVR in the basement, to the A/V receiver via the HDMI cable, to the display via HDMI.

    None of these connections are run through a surge protector.

    My question is this: can anyone recommend an in-line coax surge protector for this situation. My search turned up a few dead links and a few devices but I am not sure which ones work with DirecTV.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Jun 9, 2011 #2 of 51

    Cyber36 Legend

    Mar 20, 2008
    Byron NY
    Google is your best friend............
  3. Jun 9, 2011 #3 of 51
    Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

    Nov 18, 2008
  4. Jun 9, 2011 #4 of 51

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    I would agree with this modification.
  5. Jun 9, 2011 #5 of 51

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Lightning does pretty much what it wants to do. Almost unimaginable power.

  6. Jun 9, 2011 #6 of 51

    dcowboy7 Hall Of Fame

    May 22, 2008
    Pequannock, NJ
    Dont fly a kite.
  7. Jun 9, 2011 #7 of 51

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    +1......Last year my neighbor's barn was struck by lightening. Neighborhood was without power for nearly 20 hours. Power company was repairing damage to their equipment for days.
  8. Jun 9, 2011 #8 of 51

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    Your best defense from surges on the coax is to make sure the dish is grounded well. A properly grounded dish can bleed off the energy from a nearby strike, but a direct hit is going to cause damage regardless. The best defense there is a good home owners plan!
    Most of the coax surge protectors are only rated for frequenices below 1 GHz so these will not work in a DBS system as the frequencies are much higher than that.
  9. Jun 9, 2011 #9 of 51

    boba Hall Of Fame

    May 23, 2003
    an insurance policy is your best protection.
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    There is a way to "control" lightning strikes, but it's very expensive and complicated. In a chemical plant environment or any environment where a lightning strike on equipment might be catastrophic (buildings blowing up, for example) the strikes are pretty well controlled. We'd occasionally lose a big transformer, but that was about the worst thing that I can remember. Then it was just a matter of switching to a different transformer and replacing the damaged one. No small task, but better than an explosion of volatile chemicals.

  11. Joe C

    Joe C Godfather

    Mar 2, 2005

    We surround our buildings that process explosives with tall metal poles to "catch" the lightning.
  12. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    Just look what happened here, the strike traveled through that much equipment and even across circuits/boards inside the devices. Even though surge protectors and gas injected ground blocks are designed to try to prevent this kind of damage they just dont act fast enough to stop it in worse case scenarios like this. Not saying dont use them, in fact do use them more for issues that would not be lightning, at least when connecting an expensive TV or A/V equipment.

    Sadly like others have said spending the money on the insurance policy might be best option. Sounds like the damage you have should well exceed even a high deductible.

    Did the LNB and Power inserter survive?
  13. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    If you have a homeowners policy, it may cover you for lightning. Some do, some don't.

    Even with a $500 deductible, a TV with a bad input, DVR, AV Receiver etc will cost more than $500 to fix or replace.
  14. nickff

    nickff Legend

    Dec 8, 2007
    No, the LNB and PI had to be replaced. DirecTV took care of that no charge.

    Insurance is all well and good, but in my case I have would have to pay for everything up front and provide irrefutable proof that lightning caused the damage before insurance would pay for anything.

    Luckily, my A/V receiver was covered under a 4-year warranty and I will just use a different HDMI input on my display. This time around, I am spending no where near my deductible to fix the damaged items.

    I was just hoping there would be a way to prevent a surge reaching my A/V receiver and display via the satellite dish. I live a newly developed neighborhood with no mature trees and my dish tends to stand out. I am not looking forward to having to deal with this again.
  15. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    Obviously you have irrefutable proof, look at the sum of all the pieces. Now the part about some of the equipment being under warranty isnt a fair example. If everything had to be diagnossed/repaired/replaced you would have to be well over a $500 deductible. You would also not just let the TV go unfixed. The replacement mainboard in your TV with labor could be close to $500 depending on TV make/model. It is possible the TV may still fail on you or the other HDMI ports to fail.

    As for protection, lighting went from the dish all the way to to the mainboard on your TV you weren't going to prevent that kind of hit. This is a pretty extreme case, we have done a lot of affidavits for lightning repairs and it is rare to see lightning go through a chain of equipment like that. Would be interesting to see the scorches on the circuit boards of the receivers. Then again sometimes you dont see anything, but you mentioned a burn smell.
  16. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Actually, the 4-year warranty on your AV receiver shouldnt be covering lightning damage either, unless you didnt tell them it was damaged by lightning, which of course is fraudulent if you didnt.
  17. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    Surge Protectors work if it is not a Direct Hit by Lightning or extremely close by lightning strike.

    I had a lightning strike nearby and damaged equipment in several homes around me several years ago and nothing was damaged in my house because everything is on APC Battery Backup/Surge Protection/Automatic Voltage Regulation/Line Conditioning Units such as my 3 APC S15s and 1 J15 UPS Devices along with 2 APC ES750s.

    Nothing can protect you from a direct hit but normally the strikes can be hundreds of yards away and still travel into houses and damage electronics in which case Surge Protection can help and they come with Insurance Coverage in case they fail. It is very rare to have a direct hit but it does happen but normally it hits the ground and scatters a long way.

    I have Never had a problem and my house had several hiccups during a storm a couple of weeks ago and my DVRs never even Rebooted which is another reason why I like having the APC UPSs on all of my Home Entertainment Systems.
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Well, you can prevent such damages only if you'll build four 30' tall metal towers in each corner of your lot. Don't forget to erect 10' long steel rod 1" diameter to top of each tower and make good grounding all of them.
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    At the arsenal? Was wondering if that place was still open.

  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    And you'd have to ground the towers and bond them together. Like I said, it's expensive.

    I don't think the TS got hit with a direct lightning strike, that produces equipment reduced to puddles. My father had a TV antenna get hit with a direct strike and all that was left of the TV was a puddle of melted metal parts.


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