lightning / surge protectors

lightning / surge protectors

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The storm last night was cool.

Made me rethink my surge protection. I have a bunch of electronic toys that are all hooked up together, and if there's one hole in the perimiter they could all go in one lightning strike. I guess. I suspect one of the most common holes that people just don't think about is surge protecting the cable / phone line coming into their cable / dsl modem. Yes, you can get those kinds of surge protectors.

My coax runs through an APC surge protector that I picked up at Home Depot. It's marketed for home theater use.

This surge protector does both coax and phone lines for $25: APC Home/Office SurgeArrest 8 Outlet with Tel2/Splitter and Coax Protection

If you go to their main site, http://www.apcc.com/ and start clicking, country, home, computers, NEMA 5-15R, 6 outlets, home electronics, coax... it's a nice way to find a surge protector that'll do everything you need. And American Power Conversion makes good stuff, with nice warrenties. Both of the large beige lead blocks in my diningroom are APC UPSes. It's been.. many years since the last time I wasn't actively using some APC surge protection device.

Here's a 7 outlet APC power strip with coax surge protection for $22: http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=311368
  • Lightning arrestors and surge suppressors are different things. What you have is a surge suppressor and it will protect against smallish surges. Lightning will go right through it through the skin effect. It takes some major equipment to protect against lightning. A small neon bulb is what is normally used to handle a few thousand volts. Lighning would take one look at that and just laugh.
    • Hmm.. my father always said lightning wouldn't be able to get far enough to effect anything plugged in... he always said since sockets are grounded it'd essentially reroute the lightning. *shrugs*

      I dunno for sure, though.
      • Lightning will get to ground where ever it can. At these voltages the lighting can ride on the outside of the romex via the skin effect. It will jump to anything at a lower potential. As it's doing this it's creating a super heated plasma that can set things on fire. It will eventually make it to ground but unless you live in a perfect Farraday cage you will have it going though things to get there.
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