Help! I live in the "lightning capital of the world!"

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jason F., Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Jason F.

    Jason F. Stunt Coordinator

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    In a month I am moving into my new house about 15 minutes south of the St. Pete/Tampa area. I need protection from all the electrical storms. What do recommend for my brand new system? I have:
    Denon 3803
    Denon DVD-1803
    Either a Tosh57H83 or a Hitachi S500
    6.1 Axiom set-up
    SVS 25-31PC+

    I really have gone WAY overbudget with my system:b Thank God I have an understanding wife! So I really don't have a ton to spend. I have done some searches on this subject, what do the experts recommend?

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason, I would recommend that you approach this with what is called a cascade system. You would install a whole house surge protector at the main service entrance to your home, followed by another one at the sub-panel(where all your branch circuit breakers are), and finally add protectors at the point(s) of use. There's a lot stuff out there. Don't cheap out. You get what you pay for.Here's what I have at my house.Innovative Technology
     
  3. Eric R C

    Eric R C Agent

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    If you use TECO for an electric company you could take advantage of their ZAPCAP system.
     
  4. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    The Panamax Powermax 8 series offers good surge protection at reasonable prices. The only differences between the models is the number of phone, antenna, and satellite lines protected. I use 2 of the Powermax 8 DBS+3 models to protect various equipment, LNBs, and phone lines. The next step up is the Max 8 series which are expandable. I also use a Max 8 DBS+5 unit for some of my more expensive gear (Mits. 55" HDTV, Onkyo 898 rcvr, DTC100 stb, etc). BTW, I also live in Central Florida. Good luck.

    Jay
     
  5. Jason F.

    Jason F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the responses guys, I won't have TECO it will be FPL. Whatever I go with I will definitely make sure that my homeowners covers my system
     
  6. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's what FP&L has, although I can't speak for it's effectiveness. I also live in the lightning capital and have seen even the "good" stuff get destroyed. It's still a bit of a crapshoot.FP&L protection
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. SteveOak

    SteveOak Auditioning

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    Keep in mind that in the case of a lightning strike, "Ground" is no longer ground, that is, it is no longer 0 potential. At the instant of the strike (it doesn't matter if it is air to ground or ground to air strike) what used to be "ground" or 0 electrical potential is now many thousands of volts and hundreds or even thousands of amps. If it were not, the strike would not occur. The path of invasion of the lightning will then be up through your "ground" connections (or down through, let's not get sidetracked on the polarity of the strike).

    Lightning is as much electricity as any other form. Electricity (current) will always flow when the potential exceeds the resistance. If that means the many thousands of volts and hundreds or thousands of amps through the dirt and up your system to the relatively low 115 v in you house then hang on.

    We have the same problem on aircraft. There is no 'ground" in an AC electrical system. Everything is referenced to the AC frame. When there is a nearby electrical strike "ground" suddenly has a potential of several thousand volts and hundreds of amps. The polarity, waveshape and decay may vary but the effects are very real. Significant effort goes into design and testing of the avionics to protect from indirect effect of lightning strikes.

    I used to work for a company that designed and manufacturered RF/Microwave electronic equipment in the St Pete Fl area. Because of the high frequency of lightning strikes and the large investment we had in equipment we studied the problem. Aside from conventional surge arrest on the hot side and line conditioning (the power there, like most places is subject to significant voltage variation, brown power being more common than you might think)we determined that ground surge protection was essential. We also determined that such protection for the whole plant was prohibitively expensive. Management decided to cross our collective fingers and make sure we had good insurance.

    We have known for a long time that telephone lines are a common source of lightning damage. We must also be careful of any cable and any path of conduction that connects to the system in question, including ground.

    Sorry if I'm a bit long here, it's one of my favorite topics. I do emcLightning certification testing of avionics for commercialcivilian jets planes. RFIEMI and Lightning.
     
  9. Brendan_Lewis

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    I have read in various places that tying several (3-5) overhand knots in the phone cord forms an inductor that will short out a lightning strike.

    It's mentioned here:
    (hit ctrl-f and search for knots)
    www3.macintouch.com/lightning.html

    Steve, Care to comment? You obviously know more than me about this.
     

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