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Re: [RoboMower] Re: Thunder and lightning, no power

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  • Ben
    Mine was hit by lightning about 6 weeks ago. The perimeter wire was hit. It doesn t need to be a direct hit, lightning can travel underground for quite some
    Message 1 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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      Mine was hit by lightning about 6 weeks ago. The perimeter wire was hit. It
      doesn't need to be a direct hit, lightning can travel underground for quite
      some time and the perimeter wire is a great target. The base charger blew
      apart and that took out the power supply fuse.

      I found a new controller board for around $90. I was able to replace the
      fuse in the power supply (I'm using the indoor charger that came with the
      mower in the garage... my outdoor power supply fried within a year.)

      I thought about adding some sort of lighting protection on the perimeter but
      I'm not sure what that would be and how it would effect the signal. Anyone
      have any ideas??

      -Ben




      On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Visti Juncher <vistijuncher345@...>wrote:

      > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com <RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "bluenosr" <bluenosr@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com <RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "tinapropes" <tinapropes@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the responses! I'll
      > have
      > > to pick up a voltmeter to check out the power supply, but after
      > work
      > > today I took the circuit board out of the dock and BINGO, you were
      > > right on the money, some of the parts on the board had exploded! I
      > > see no signs the mower was struck, or anything was struck. What the
      > > H*LL happened? Did the wire get hit and ran to the board, or was it
      > > the house and went through the power supply? Was anything hit at
      > all
      > > and it was simply the power coming back on? If it's the latter,
      > this
      > > is completely unacceptable. This thing is meant to be outside,
      > surely
      > > I don't need to disconnect the perimiter wire and the plug every
      > time
      > > it rains or threatens lightning, or is this a fluke? Maybe I'm
      > being
      > > naive, but I really didn't expect something like this.
      > >
      > > Thanks again,
      > >
      > > Wayne
      >
      > It is not possible to cover everything in a circuit. How much extra
      > would you pay to cover an additional 0.1% stability?
      > You wrote "We had a rather large thunder and lightning storm last
      > night and the power did go out."
      > The power returned. By magic? I don't think so. Damaged parts were
      > replaced.
      > I wouldn't expect the Robomow to be more robust than the mains supply.
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • bluenosr
      ... wrote: Why isn t it possible to cover everything in a circuit? Wouldnt a fuse setup in the power supply, or before it hits any
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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        --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "Visti Juncher"
        <vistijuncher345@...> wrote:

        Why isn't it possible to cover everything in a circuit? Wouldnt a
        fuse setup in the power supply, or before it hits any sensitive
        electronics do the trick? I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree
        with you. We're not dealing with the incredible amount of
        electricity the power company's must deal with, we're talking about
        household current. I don't think a couple of fuses is too much to
        ask for a $2000.00, top of the line mower. Beween the plug in the
        wall and the circuit board, there's not a fuse in sight. Just
        doesn't seem right that a device that is built to be out in the
        weather is trashed by the weather. Just seems completely forseeable
        to me.

        >
        > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@> wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "tinapropes" <tinapropes@>
        wrote:
        > >
        > > Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the responses! I'll
        > have
        > > to pick up a voltmeter to check out the power supply, but after
        > work
        > > today I took the circuit board out of the dock and BINGO, you
        were
        > > right on the money, some of the parts on the board had exploded!
        I
        > > see no signs the mower was struck, or anything was struck. What
        the
        > > H*LL happened? Did the wire get hit and ran to the board, or was
        it
        > > the house and went through the power supply? Was anything hit at
        > all
        > > and it was simply the power coming back on? If it's the latter,
        > this
        > > is completely unacceptable. This thing is meant to be outside,
        > surely
        > > I don't need to disconnect the perimiter wire and the plug every
        > time
        > > it rains or threatens lightning, or is this a fluke? Maybe I'm
        > being
        > > naive, but I really didn't expect something like this.
        > >
        > > Thanks again,
        > >
        > > Wayne
        >
        > It is not possible to cover everything in a circuit. How much
        extra
        > would you pay to cover an additional 0.1% stability?
        > You wrote "We had a rather large thunder and lightning storm last
        > night and the power did go out."
        > The power returned. By magic? I don't think so. Damaged parts were
        > replaced.
        > I wouldn't expect the Robomow to be more robust than the mains
        supply.
        >
      • Visti Juncher
        I can only say that I disagree. A voltage of several thousand volts may have been induced and you can forget about fuses at that voltages. A fuse needs to melt
        Message 3 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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          I can only say that I disagree.
          A voltage of several thousand volts may have been induced and you can
          forget about fuses at that voltages.
          A fuse needs to melt to break a circut. That takes time and more time
          than it takes to ruin you circuit.
          Apart from that fuses that handle more than about 35V DC don't come
          cheap.

          --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "Visti Juncher"
          > <vistijuncher345@> wrote:
          >
          > Why isn't it possible to cover everything in a circuit? Wouldnt a
          > fuse setup in the power supply, or before it hits any sensitive
          > electronics do the trick? I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree
          > with you. We're not dealing with the incredible amount of
          > electricity the power company's must deal with, we're talking about
          > household current. I don't think a couple of fuses is too much to
          > ask for a $2000.00, top of the line mower. Beween the plug in the
          > wall and the circuit board, there's not a fuse in sight. Just
          > doesn't seem right that a device that is built to be out in the
          > weather is trashed by the weather. Just seems completely forseeable
          > to me.
          >
          > >
          > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "tinapropes" <tinapropes@>
          > wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the responses! I'll
          > > have
          > > > to pick up a voltmeter to check out the power supply, but after
          > > work
          > > > today I took the circuit board out of the dock and BINGO, you
          > were
          > > > right on the money, some of the parts on the board had
          exploded!
          > I
          > > > see no signs the mower was struck, or anything was struck. What
          > the
          > > > H*LL happened? Did the wire get hit and ran to the board, or
          was
          > it
          > > > the house and went through the power supply? Was anything hit
          at
          > > all
          > > > and it was simply the power coming back on? If it's the latter,
          > > this
          > > > is completely unacceptable. This thing is meant to be outside,
          > > surely
          > > > I don't need to disconnect the perimiter wire and the plug
          every
          > > time
          > > > it rains or threatens lightning, or is this a fluke? Maybe I'm
          > > being
          > > > naive, but I really didn't expect something like this.
          > > >
          > > > Thanks again,
          > > >
          > > > Wayne
          > >
          > > It is not possible to cover everything in a circuit. How much
          > extra
          > > would you pay to cover an additional 0.1% stability?
          > > You wrote "We had a rather large thunder and lightning storm last
          > > night and the power did go out."
          > > The power returned. By magic? I don't think so. Damaged parts
          were
          > > replaced.
          > > I wouldn't expect the Robomow to be more robust than the mains
          > supply.
          > >
          >
        • jonkirkbride
          I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new mower. The docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor completely blown apart. You should be
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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            I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new mower. The
            docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor completely blown
            apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for about $80.
            If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may be the
            way to go.

            --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "tinapropes" <tinapropes@> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the responses! I'll
            have
            > to pick up a voltmeter to check out the power supply, but after
            work
            > today I took the circuit board out of the dock and BINGO, you were
            > right on the money, some of the parts on the board had exploded! I
            > see no signs the mower was struck, or anything was struck. What the
            > H*LL happened? Did the wire get hit and ran to the board, or was it
            > the house and went through the power supply? Was anything hit at
            all
            > and it was simply the power coming back on? If it's the latter,
            this
            > is completely unacceptable. This thing is meant to be outside,
            surely
            > I don't need to disconnect the perimiter wire and the plug every
            time
            > it rains or threatens lightning, or is this a fluke? Maybe I'm
            being
            > naive, but I really didn't expect something like this.
            >
            > Thanks again,
            >
            > Wayne
            >
            > >
            > > If you have a volt meter you can check the white and black wires
            and
            > > see if you have any voltage present. You should show about 32
            volts
            > > DC. Unfortunately I have had the same thing happen to me and it
            is
            > > not a cheap fix. Hopefully it is just the power supply. There
            is
            > not
            > > a fuse and it can not be repaired or even opened. A new one will
            > cost
            > > you about $50 to $60 dollars. (I am looking for a cost effective
            > > replacement)
            > > When mine get struck, it took out the power supply and the docking
            > > board. Several capacitors exploded and blew right off the board.
            > > That was about $150 to replace. Luckily it did not seem to damage
            > the
            > > mower.
            > >
            > > Good luck and let us know if you have anymore questions.
            > >
            > > William Propes
            > >
            > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Robert <robertwarnke@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Yes, I checked, we have power at the socket.
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Have you checked your GFI circuit?
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > ----- Original Message ----
            > > > > From: bluenosr <bluenosr@>
            > > > > To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
            > > > > Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:11:33 AM
            > > > > Subject: [RoboMower] Thunder and lightning, no power
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Hello all,
            > > > >
            > > > > We had a rather large thunder and lightning storm last night
            > and
            > > > the
            > > > > power did go out. I got up this morning only to find that my
            > > > RL1000
            > > > > had backed out of the dock. That's fine because I understand
            > they
            > > > will
            > > > > do that with a power failure, but when I dock it, I get a
            > message
            > > > that
            > > > > there is a problem with the front wheel, and also there seems
            > to
            > > > be no
            > > > > power at the docking station. It doesn't "beep" when I turn
            it
            > on,
            > > > no
            > > > > lights, and when I try to get robo to "find the dock" of
            course
            > I
            > > > get
            > > > > the, "no perimiter wire" message. This thing is a month old,
            > > > > HHEELLPP!!!
            > > > >
            > > > > Bluenosr
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Christopher Zach
            ... I don t think it s the utility outlet. I think the problem is you have a 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and attached to some
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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              jonkirkbride wrote:
              > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new mower. The
              > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor completely blown
              > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for about $80.
              > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may be the
              > way to go.

              I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is you have a
              1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and attached to
              some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground it acts
              as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.

              Possible solutions:

              1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the docking station

              2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6 foot
              copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to it, that
              would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a pulse.

              Chris
            • Ben
              Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It comes in through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the resulting short circuit
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 14, 2008
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                Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It comes in
                through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the resulting
                short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any good as the
                previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop lightning. A fuse
                on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting itself out.
                The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.

                Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it would
                effect the signal.

                A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot will still jump
                little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual solution. You'd
                have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be much better to
                have an automatic solution that did not require manually turning off the
                perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a 4 hour timer
                on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.

                -Ben


                On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@...> wrote:
                >
                > jonkirkbride wrote:
                > > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new mower. The
                > > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor completely blown
                > > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for about $80.
                > > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may be the
                > > way to go.
                >
                > I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is you have a
                > 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and attached to
                > some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground it acts
                > as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                >
                > Possible solutions:
                >
                > 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the docking station
                >
                > 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6 foot
                > copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to it, that
                > would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a pulse.
                >
                > Chris
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ben
                OK.. now I m very motivated to add some sort of lightning protection. I just lost my second base station board in a month. There must be SOMETHING that can be
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 17, 2008
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                  OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning protection. I just
                  lost my second base station board in a month.

                  There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help prevent this.

                  I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When I got my
                  first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not identifiable
                  after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest of the board
                  is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.

                  Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a relay??
                  Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the power is
                  unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be available to
                  pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at the time.

                  I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set the timer
                  on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to finish.
                  However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side of the loop
                  still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by the timer.

                  I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off will not be
                  large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.

                  -Ben



                  On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@...> wrote:

                  > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It comes in
                  > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the resulting
                  > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any good as the
                  > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop lightning. A fuse
                  > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting itself out.
                  > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                  >
                  > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it would
                  > effect the signal.
                  >
                  > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot will still
                  > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual solution.
                  > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be much better
                  > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually turning off the
                  > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a 4 hour timer
                  > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                  >
                  > -Ben
                  >
                  >
                  > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                  >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new mower. The
                  >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor completely blown
                  >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for about $80.
                  >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may be the
                  >> > way to go.
                  >>
                  >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is you have a
                  >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and attached to
                  >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground it acts
                  >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                  >>
                  >> Possible solutions:
                  >>
                  >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the docking
                  >> station
                  >>
                  >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6 foot
                  >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to it, that
                  >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a pulse.
                  >>
                  >> Chris
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • bluenosr
                  Well, I m certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a lot of us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I m talking about the mower! :-)) I
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
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                    Well, I'm certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a lot of
                    us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I'm talking about
                    the mower! :-)) I couldn't find one mention of this in any group I
                    had visited, and beleive me, I was looking. Yes, it seems a GLARING
                    oversight that the company has not at the very least included some
                    instructions on what can be done (IE ground, relays, etc.) if the
                    product won't take care of it on its own, which it SHOULD be doing.
                    Mayne I was naive, or just stupid, but the thought of my yard
                    turning into a really big antenna just didn't occurr to me. Even if
                    it did, I would have though for 2 Grand, top of the line, surely
                    there is some protection for that. Someone asked earlier on if I
                    would pay extra to have something included in the system to protect
                    it from these kinds of things. Considering the alternative is
                    loosing a $2000 investment, I'd have to say yes. Pleas to have this
                    covered under warranty of course fell on deaf ears, so I have
                    ordered a circuit board ($86.00 plus ship). I did get hold of a
                    multimeter and the power supply is putting out 40 volts, so that
                    appears to be good. I'm going to investigate things like grounding
                    the perimiter wire and such, I will post if I have anything
                    concrete. I must say, my experience with this mower has been
                    absolutely stellar until this. I have about 11500 square feet, 2
                    zones and quite a hilly, odd shaped yard. I knew it was gong to be a
                    test, but it works like a charm. People that gave me the "your
                    nuts!" look (you know the look) when I told them I was ordering
                    this, now want to know where they can get one. Kinda feel like the
                    wind has been taken out of the sails. I don't know if I can be as
                    enthusiastic about this product now that I know this little detail.
                    And 2 circuit boards! (previous poster). This is unacceptable. I
                    don't know a lot about electricity i situations like this, but
                    surely there is something that can be done.

                    ...End Rant

                    Thanks for listening! (or reading)

                    Wayne

                    --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Ben <benj@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning
                    protection. I just
                    > lost my second base station board in a month.
                    >
                    > There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help prevent
                    this.
                    >
                    > I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When I
                    got my
                    > first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not
                    identifiable
                    > after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest of
                    the board
                    > is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.
                    >
                    > Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a
                    relay??
                    > Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the power
                    is
                    > unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be
                    available to
                    > pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at the
                    time.
                    >
                    > I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set
                    the timer
                    > on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to
                    finish.
                    > However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side of
                    the loop
                    > still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by
                    the timer.
                    >
                    > I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off
                    will not be
                    > large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.
                    >
                    > -Ben
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                    comes in
                    > > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                    resulting
                    > > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any
                    good as the
                    > > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                    lightning. A fuse
                    > > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                    itself out.
                    > > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                    > >
                    > > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                    would
                    > > effect the signal.
                    > >
                    > > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot
                    will still
                    > > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                    solution.
                    > > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be
                    much better
                    > > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually
                    turning off the
                    > > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a
                    4 hour timer
                    > > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                    > >
                    > > -Ben
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@...> wrote:
                    > >>
                    > >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                    > >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new
                    mower. The
                    > >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor
                    completely blown
                    > >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for
                    about $80.
                    > >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may
                    be the
                    > >> > way to go.
                    > >>
                    > >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is
                    you have a
                    > >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and
                    attached to
                    > >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground
                    it acts
                    > >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                    > >>
                    > >> Possible solutions:
                    > >>
                    > >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the
                    docking
                    > >> station
                    > >>
                    > >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6
                    foot
                    > >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to
                    it, that
                    > >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a
                    pulse.
                    > >>
                    > >> Chris
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >>
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Ben
                    I thought about pounding a metal rod into the ground at the oposite end of the yard as the charger stand and attaching it to the perimeter. However, I m
                    Message 9 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
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                      I thought about pounding a metal rod into the ground at the oposite end of
                      the yard as the charger stand and attaching it to the perimeter. However,
                      I'm concerned that it would effect the signal, it might actually attract the
                      lightning from greater distances AND it could still travel through the loop
                      (and through the charger stand) to get to the grounding pole. I'm good with
                      electronics but not experienced with lightning protection.

                      In both of my instances this year the lightning came into the house through
                      the power connector presumably to reach an easier ground through the house
                      wiring. I'm sure just unplugging the power in a storm would do some good but
                      it's not a complete solution or an automatic one. I don't believe surge
                      protection on the power supply would make a bit of difference... (even
                      really good surge protection)

                      I'm leaning toward a timer that controls a relay on the perimeter wire but
                      I'm not entirely sure how picky the wire signal is (if a relay will effect
                      it in any way)

                      Does the mower back out of the charger stand if it does not see a perimeter
                      signal? For some reason I thought it might. Anyone know for sure?

                      -Ben


                      On 8/19/08, bluenosr <bluenosr@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Well, I'm certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a lot of
                      > us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I'm talking about
                      > the mower! :-)) I couldn't find one mention of this in any group I
                      > had visited, and beleive me, I was looking. Yes, it seems a GLARING
                      > oversight that the company has not at the very least included some
                      > instructions on what can be done (IE ground, relays, etc.) if the
                      > product won't take care of it on its own, which it SHOULD be doing.
                      > Mayne I was naive, or just stupid, but the thought of my yard
                      > turning into a really big antenna just didn't occurr to me. Even if
                      > it did, I would have though for 2 Grand, top of the line, surely
                      > there is some protection for that. Someone asked earlier on if I
                      > would pay extra to have something included in the system to protect
                      > it from these kinds of things. Considering the alternative is
                      > loosing a $2000 investment, I'd have to say yes. Pleas to have this
                      > covered under warranty of course fell on deaf ears, so I have
                      > ordered a circuit board ($86.00 plus ship). I did get hold of a
                      > multimeter and the power supply is putting out 40 volts, so that
                      > appears to be good. I'm going to investigate things like grounding
                      > the perimiter wire and such, I will post if I have anything
                      > concrete. I must say, my experience with this mower has been
                      > absolutely stellar until this. I have about 11500 square feet, 2
                      > zones and quite a hilly, odd shaped yard. I knew it was gong to be a
                      > test, but it works like a charm. People that gave me the "your
                      > nuts!" look (you know the look) when I told them I was ordering
                      > this, now want to know where they can get one. Kinda feel like the
                      > wind has been taken out of the sails. I don't know if I can be as
                      > enthusiastic about this product now that I know this little detail.
                      > And 2 circuit boards! (previous poster). This is unacceptable. I
                      > don't know a lot about electricity i situations like this, but
                      > surely there is something that can be done.
                      >
                      > ...End Rant
                      >
                      > Thanks for listening! (or reading)
                      >
                      > Wayne
                      >
                      > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com <RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com>, Ben <benj@...>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning
                      > protection. I just
                      > > lost my second base station board in a month.
                      > >
                      > > There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help prevent
                      > this.
                      > >
                      > > I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When I
                      > got my
                      > > first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not
                      > identifiable
                      > > after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest of
                      > the board
                      > > is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.
                      > >
                      > > Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a
                      > relay??
                      > > Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the power
                      > is
                      > > unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be
                      > available to
                      > > pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at the
                      > time.
                      > >
                      > > I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set
                      > the timer
                      > > on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to
                      > finish.
                      > > However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side of
                      > the loop
                      > > still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by
                      > the timer.
                      > >
                      > > I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off
                      > will not be
                      > > large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.
                      > >
                      > > -Ben
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                      > comes in
                      > > > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                      > resulting
                      > > > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any
                      > good as the
                      > > > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                      > lightning. A fuse
                      > > > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                      > itself out.
                      > > > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                      > > >
                      > > > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                      > would
                      > > > effect the signal.
                      > > >
                      > > > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot
                      > will still
                      > > > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                      > solution.
                      > > > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be
                      > much better
                      > > > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually
                      > turning off the
                      > > > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a
                      > 4 hour timer
                      > > > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                      > > >
                      > > > -Ben
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@...> wrote:
                      > > >>
                      > > >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                      > > >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new
                      > mower. The
                      > > >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor
                      > completely blown
                      > > >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for
                      > about $80.
                      > > >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may
                      > be the
                      > > >> > way to go.
                      > > >>
                      > > >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is
                      > you have a
                      > > >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and
                      > attached to
                      > > >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground
                      > it acts
                      > > >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                      > > >>
                      > > >> Possible solutions:
                      > > >>
                      > > >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the
                      > docking
                      > > >> station
                      > > >>
                      > > >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6
                      > foot
                      > > >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to
                      > it, that
                      > > >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a
                      > pulse.
                      > > >>
                      > > >> Chris
                      > > >>
                      > > >>
                      > > >>
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Tstewartjr
                      The docking board in my RL1000 has been compromised as well. Provides the perimeter wire signal, but does not charge the battery. How many members have had
                      Message 10 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
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                      • 0 Attachment
                        The docking board in my RL1000 has been compromised as well. Provides
                        the perimeter wire signal, but does not charge the battery. How many
                        members have had this problem? Sounds like a great survey question.

                        --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "bluenosr" <bluenosr@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Well, I'm certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a lot of
                        > us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I'm talking about
                        > the mower! :-)) I couldn't find one mention of this in any group I
                        > had visited, and beleive me, I was looking. Yes, it seems a GLARING
                        > oversight that the company has not at the very least included some
                        > instructions on what can be done (IE ground, relays, etc.) if the
                        > product won't take care of it on its own, which it SHOULD be doing.
                        > Mayne I was naive, or just stupid, but the thought of my yard
                        > turning into a really big antenna just didn't occurr to me. Even if
                        > it did, I would have though for 2 Grand, top of the line, surely
                        > there is some protection for that. Someone asked earlier on if I
                        > would pay extra to have something included in the system to protect
                        > it from these kinds of things. Considering the alternative is
                        > loosing a $2000 investment, I'd have to say yes. Pleas to have this
                        > covered under warranty of course fell on deaf ears, so I have
                        > ordered a circuit board ($86.00 plus ship). I did get hold of a
                        > multimeter and the power supply is putting out 40 volts, so that
                        > appears to be good. I'm going to investigate things like grounding
                        > the perimiter wire and such, I will post if I have anything
                        > concrete. I must say, my experience with this mower has been
                        > absolutely stellar until this. I have about 11500 square feet, 2
                        > zones and quite a hilly, odd shaped yard. I knew it was gong to be a
                        > test, but it works like a charm. People that gave me the "your
                        > nuts!" look (you know the look) when I told them I was ordering
                        > this, now want to know where they can get one. Kinda feel like the
                        > wind has been taken out of the sails. I don't know if I can be as
                        > enthusiastic about this product now that I know this little detail.
                        > And 2 circuit boards! (previous poster). This is unacceptable. I
                        > don't know a lot about electricity i situations like this, but
                        > surely there is something that can be done.
                        >
                        > ...End Rant
                        >
                        > Thanks for listening! (or reading)
                        >
                        > Wayne
                        >
                        > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Ben <benj@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning
                        > protection. I just
                        > > lost my second base station board in a month.
                        > >
                        > > There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help prevent
                        > this.
                        > >
                        > > I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When I
                        > got my
                        > > first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not
                        > identifiable
                        > > after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest of
                        > the board
                        > > is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.
                        > >
                        > > Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a
                        > relay??
                        > > Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the power
                        > is
                        > > unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be
                        > available to
                        > > pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at the
                        > time.
                        > >
                        > > I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set
                        > the timer
                        > > on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to
                        > finish.
                        > > However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side of
                        > the loop
                        > > still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by
                        > the timer.
                        > >
                        > > I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off
                        > will not be
                        > > large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.
                        > >
                        > > -Ben
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                        > comes in
                        > > > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                        > resulting
                        > > > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any
                        > good as the
                        > > > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                        > lightning. A fuse
                        > > > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                        > itself out.
                        > > > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                        > > >
                        > > > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                        > would
                        > > > effect the signal.
                        > > >
                        > > > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot
                        > will still
                        > > > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                        > solution.
                        > > > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be
                        > much better
                        > > > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually
                        > turning off the
                        > > > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a
                        > 4 hour timer
                        > > > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                        > > >
                        > > > -Ben
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@> wrote:
                        > > >>
                        > > >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                        > > >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new
                        > mower. The
                        > > >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor
                        > completely blown
                        > > >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for
                        > about $80.
                        > > >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may
                        > be the
                        > > >> > way to go.
                        > > >>
                        > > >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is
                        > you have a
                        > > >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and
                        > attached to
                        > > >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground
                        > it acts
                        > > >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                        > > >>
                        > > >> Possible solutions:
                        > > >>
                        > > >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the
                        > docking
                        > > >> station
                        > > >>
                        > > >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6
                        > foot
                        > > >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to
                        > it, that
                        > > >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a
                        > pulse.
                        > > >>
                        > > >> Chris
                        > > >>
                        > > >>
                        > > >>
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        >
                      • Dan Barclay
                        Lightning is a lot more complicated than you d think. It s a lot more than the strike from the air that you see. It travels from the point of the strike as a
                        Message 11 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
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                          Lightning is a lot more complicated than you'd think. It's a lot more than
                          the strike from the air that you see.



                          It travels from the point of the strike as a wave, through the ground as
                          well as through electrical (usually power) wires. In the mower situation
                          you're dealing with a large antenna (the perimeter wire) that will pick up
                          the wave. If that wave passes through the yard in the right direction it
                          will be very hard to protect electronic equipment where the ends of the
                          wires come together at the dock. Do not underestimate the difficulty of
                          that.



                          Unplugging the power will do some good since it's another source of
                          potential (it keeps the dock from floating with the perimeter wire and it
                          can inject the lightning voltage wave).



                          Dan







                          _____

                          From: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RoboMower@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                          Of Ben
                          Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:57 AM
                          To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [RoboMower] Re: Thunder and lightning, no power



                          I thought about pounding a metal rod into the ground at the oposite end of
                          the yard as the charger stand and attaching it to the perimeter. However,
                          I'm concerned that it would effect the signal, it might actually attract the
                          lightning from greater distances AND it could still travel through the loop
                          (and through the charger stand) to get to the grounding pole. I'm good with
                          electronics but not experienced with lightning protection.

                          In both of my instances this year the lightning came into the house through
                          the power connector presumably to reach an easier ground through the house
                          wiring. I'm sure just unplugging the power in a storm would do some good but
                          it's not a complete solution or an automatic one. I don't believe surge
                          protection on the power supply would make a bit of difference... (even
                          really good surge protection)

                          I'm leaning toward a timer that controls a relay on the perimeter wire but
                          I'm not entirely sure how picky the wire signal is (if a relay will effect
                          it in any way)

                          Does the mower back out of the charger stand if it does not see a perimeter
                          signal? For some reason I thought it might. Anyone know for sure?

                          -Ben

                          On 8/19/08, bluenosr <bluenosr@yahoo. <mailto:bluenosr%40yahoo.ca> ca>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Well, I'm certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a lot of
                          > us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I'm talking about
                          > the mower! :-)) I couldn't find one mention of this in any group I
                          > had visited, and beleive me, I was looking. Yes, it seems a GLARING
                          > oversight that the company has not at the very least included some
                          > instructions on what can be done (IE ground, relays, etc.) if the
                          > product won't take care of it on its own, which it SHOULD be doing.
                          > Mayne I was naive, or just stupid, but the thought of my yard
                          > turning into a really big antenna just didn't occurr to me. Even if
                          > it did, I would have though for 2 Grand, top of the line, surely
                          > there is some protection for that. Someone asked earlier on if I
                          > would pay extra to have something included in the system to protect
                          > it from these kinds of things. Considering the alternative is
                          > loosing a $2000 investment, I'd have to say yes. Pleas to have this
                          > covered under warranty of course fell on deaf ears, so I have
                          > ordered a circuit board ($86.00 plus ship). I did get hold of a
                          > multimeter and the power supply is putting out 40 volts, so that
                          > appears to be good. I'm going to investigate things like grounding
                          > the perimiter wire and such, I will post if I have anything
                          > concrete. I must say, my experience with this mower has been
                          > absolutely stellar until this. I have about 11500 square feet, 2
                          > zones and quite a hilly, odd shaped yard. I knew it was gong to be a
                          > test, but it works like a charm. People that gave me the "your
                          > nuts!" look (you know the look) when I told them I was ordering
                          > this, now want to know where they can get one. Kinda feel like the
                          > wind has been taken out of the sails. I don't know if I can be as
                          > enthusiastic about this product now that I know this little detail.
                          > And 2 circuit boards! (previous poster). This is unacceptable. I
                          > don't know a lot about electricity i situations like this, but
                          > surely there is something that can be done.
                          >
                          > ...End Rant
                          >
                          > Thanks for listening! (or reading)
                          >
                          > Wayne
                          >
                          > --- In RoboMower@yahoogrou <mailto:RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com
                          <RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com>, Ben <benj@...>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > > OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning
                          > protection. I just
                          > > lost my second base station board in a month.
                          > >
                          > > There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help prevent
                          > this.
                          > >
                          > > I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When I
                          > got my
                          > > first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not
                          > identifiable
                          > > after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest of
                          > the board
                          > > is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.
                          > >
                          > > Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a
                          > relay??
                          > > Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the power
                          > is
                          > > unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be
                          > available to
                          > > pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at the
                          > time.
                          > >
                          > > I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set
                          > the timer
                          > > on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to
                          > finish.
                          > > However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side of
                          > the loop
                          > > still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by
                          > the timer.
                          > >
                          > > I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off
                          > will not be
                          > > large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.
                          > >
                          > > -Ben
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                          > comes in
                          > > > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                          > resulting
                          > > > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any
                          > good as the
                          > > > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                          > lightning. A fuse
                          > > > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                          > itself out.
                          > > > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                          > > >
                          > > > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                          > would
                          > > > effect the signal.
                          > > >
                          > > > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot
                          > will still
                          > > > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                          > solution.
                          > > > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be
                          > much better
                          > > > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually
                          > turning off the
                          > > > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a
                          > 4 hour timer
                          > > > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                          > > >
                          > > > -Ben
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@...> wrote:
                          > > >>
                          > > >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                          > > >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new
                          > mower. The
                          > > >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor
                          > completely blown
                          > > >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for
                          > about $80.
                          > > >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may
                          > be the
                          > > >> > way to go.
                          > > >>
                          > > >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is
                          > you have a
                          > > >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and
                          > attached to
                          > > >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the ground
                          > it acts
                          > > >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                          > > >>
                          > > >> Possible solutions:
                          > > >>
                          > > >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the
                          > docking
                          > > >> station
                          > > >>
                          > > >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove a 6
                          > foot
                          > > >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to
                          > it, that
                          > > >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a
                          > pulse.
                          > > >>
                          > > >> Chris
                          > > >>
                          > > >>
                          > > >>
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • bkelley9401
                          Try one of these surge protectors. http://www.2mcctv.com/index-SurgeProtectors.html?ad=ML ... end of ... However, ... attract the ... the loop ... good with
                          Message 12 of 23 , Aug 20, 2008
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Try one of these surge protectors.
                            http://www.2mcctv.com/index-SurgeProtectors.html?ad=ML
                            --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Ben <benj@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I thought about pounding a metal rod into the ground at the oposite
                            end of
                            > the yard as the charger stand and attaching it to the perimeter.
                            However,
                            > I'm concerned that it would effect the signal, it might actually
                            attract the
                            > lightning from greater distances AND it could still travel through
                            the loop
                            > (and through the charger stand) to get to the grounding pole. I'm
                            good with
                            > electronics but not experienced with lightning protection.
                            >
                            > In both of my instances this year the lightning came into the house
                            through
                            > the power connector presumably to reach an easier ground through
                            the house
                            > wiring. I'm sure just unplugging the power in a storm would do some
                            good but
                            > it's not a complete solution or an automatic one. I don't believe
                            surge
                            > protection on the power supply would make a bit of difference...
                            (even
                            > really good surge protection)
                            >
                            > I'm leaning toward a timer that controls a relay on the perimeter
                            wire but
                            > I'm not entirely sure how picky the wire signal is (if a relay will
                            effect
                            > it in any way)
                            >
                            > Does the mower back out of the charger stand if it does not see a
                            perimeter
                            > signal? For some reason I thought it might. Anyone know for sure?
                            >
                            > -Ben
                            >
                            >
                            > On 8/19/08, bluenosr <bluenosr@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Well, I'm certainly glad now that I started this! It seems a
                            lot of
                            > > us have been dealing with this in silence (yes, I'm talking about
                            > > the mower! :-)) I couldn't find one mention of this in any group I
                            > > had visited, and beleive me, I was looking. Yes, it seems a
                            GLARING
                            > > oversight that the company has not at the very least included some
                            > > instructions on what can be done (IE ground, relays, etc.) if the
                            > > product won't take care of it on its own, which it SHOULD be
                            doing.
                            > > Mayne I was naive, or just stupid, but the thought of my yard
                            > > turning into a really big antenna just didn't occurr to me. Even
                            if
                            > > it did, I would have though for 2 Grand, top of the line, surely
                            > > there is some protection for that. Someone asked earlier on if I
                            > > would pay extra to have something included in the system to
                            protect
                            > > it from these kinds of things. Considering the alternative is
                            > > loosing a $2000 investment, I'd have to say yes. Pleas to have
                            this
                            > > covered under warranty of course fell on deaf ears, so I have
                            > > ordered a circuit board ($86.00 plus ship). I did get hold of a
                            > > multimeter and the power supply is putting out 40 volts, so that
                            > > appears to be good. I'm going to investigate things like grounding
                            > > the perimiter wire and such, I will post if I have anything
                            > > concrete. I must say, my experience with this mower has been
                            > > absolutely stellar until this. I have about 11500 square feet, 2
                            > > zones and quite a hilly, odd shaped yard. I knew it was gong to
                            be a
                            > > test, but it works like a charm. People that gave me the "your
                            > > nuts!" look (you know the look) when I told them I was ordering
                            > > this, now want to know where they can get one. Kinda feel like the
                            > > wind has been taken out of the sails. I don't know if I can be as
                            > > enthusiastic about this product now that I know this little
                            detail.
                            > > And 2 circuit boards! (previous poster). This is unacceptable. I
                            > > don't know a lot about electricity i situations like this, but
                            > > surely there is something that can be done.
                            > >
                            > > ...End Rant
                            > >
                            > > Thanks for listening! (or reading)
                            > >
                            > > Wayne
                            > >
                            > > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com <RoboMower%40yahoogroups.com>,
                            Ben <benj@>
                            > > wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > OK.. now I'm very motivated to add some sort of lightning
                            > > protection. I just
                            > > > lost my second base station board in a month.
                            > > >
                            > > > There must be SOMETHING that can be done to at least help
                            prevent
                            > > this.
                            > > >
                            > > > I'm going to attempt to repair one of my two fried boards. When
                            I
                            > > got my
                            > > > first replacement I marked down all the parts that were not
                            > > identifiable
                            > > > after being blown to tiny bits. There is a good chance the rest
                            of
                            > > the board
                            > > > is toast as well but I'm gonna give it a try anyway.
                            > > >
                            > > > Meanwhile... can anyone come up with a better solution than a
                            > > relay??
                            > > > Basically, set up a relay to shut off the perimeter when the
                            power
                            > > is
                            > > > unplugged to the charger stand. This requires someone to be
                            > > available to
                            > > > pull the power so doesn't do much good if nobody is around at
                            the
                            > > time.
                            > > >
                            > > > I could also just set it up with a timer. When I want to mow set
                            > > the timer
                            > > > on the perimeter for 6 hours giving the mower plenty of time to
                            > > finish.
                            > > > However, most timers control just one circuit leaving one side
                            of
                            > > the loop
                            > > > still connected so I'd probably have to have a relay powered by
                            > > the timer.
                            > > >
                            > > > I'm also concerned that the small gap left by a relay when off
                            > > will not be
                            > > > large enough to prevent lightning from jumping.
                            > > >
                            > > > -Ben
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Ben <ben.jordan@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                            > > comes in
                            > > > > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                            > > resulting
                            > > > > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any
                            > > good as the
                            > > > > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                            > > lightning. A fuse
                            > > > > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from
                            shorting
                            > > itself out.
                            > > > > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if
                            it
                            > > would
                            > > > > effect the signal.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot
                            > > will still
                            > > > > jump little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a
                            manual
                            > > solution.
                            > > > > You'd have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would
                            be
                            > > much better
                            > > > > to have an automatic solution that did not require manually
                            > > turning off the
                            > > > > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put
                            a
                            > > 4 hour timer
                            > > > > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > -Ben
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > On 8/14/08, Christopher Zach <cz@> wrote:
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> jonkirkbride wrote:
                            > > > >> > I had the same thing happen within a week of having my new
                            > > mower. The
                            > > > >> > docking board went with several ICs and a capacitor
                            > > completely blown
                            > > > >> > apart. You should be able to get a replacement board for
                            > > about $80.
                            > > > >> > If you can find an outdoor-rated surge suppressor, that may
                            > > be the
                            > > > >> > way to go.
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> I don't think it's the utility outlet. I think the problem is
                            > > you have a
                            > > > >> 1,000 foot loop of insulated wire buried in the ground and
                            > > attached to
                            > > > >> some sensitive electronics. When lightning hits near the
                            ground
                            > > it acts
                            > > > >> as a massive antenna and blows stuff out.
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> Possible solutions:
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> 1) Some sort of relay to disconnect the loop wires from the
                            > > docking
                            > > > >> station
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> 2) I wonder if grounding that wire could help. If you drove
                            a 6
                            > > foot
                            > > > >> copper grounding rod in next to the wire and tied the wire to
                            > > it, that
                            > > > >> would bring the loop to ground. Then it would not generate a
                            > > pulse.
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >> Chris
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >>
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • velder23
                            I built a timer that switches between two zones(two seperate mini- zones minimum per large zone) on different days of the week. I used a two circuit latching
                            Message 13 of 23 , Aug 21, 2008
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                              I built a timer that switches between two zones(two seperate mini-
                              zones minimum per large zone) on different days of the week. I used a
                              two circuit latching relay, basic stamp, and a real time clock. My
                              perimeter was very large so I decided to make this circuit to cut
                              down on the distance the robomower has to go each time out, and to
                              allow it to get to some smaller areas that I had previously not
                              included in the zoning.

                              Something like this circuit that could cut the wires from the base
                              station or perimeter switch and send them to ground may help. If
                              lightning struck, it would probably blow out the circuit(at least the
                              relay), but it would probably be a lot cheaper than replacing
                              everthing else.


                              --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Ben <benj@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                              comes in
                              > through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                              resulting
                              > short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any good
                              as the
                              > previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                              lightning. A fuse
                              > on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                              itself out.
                              > The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                              >
                              > Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                              would
                              > effect the signal.
                              >
                              > A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot will
                              still jump
                              > little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                              solution. You'd
                              > have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be much
                              better to
                              > have an automatic solution that did not require manually turning
                              off the
                              > perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a 4
                              hour timer
                              > on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                              >
                              > -Ben
                            • Danny Miller
                              Not necessarily, lightning may create more than enough voltage to arc a relay contact. Traditionally surge protectors use something called an MOV (metal oxide
                              Message 14 of 23 , Aug 22, 2008
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                                Not necessarily, lightning may create more than enough voltage to arc a
                                relay contact.

                                Traditionally surge protectors use something called an MOV (metal oxide
                                varistor). They are resistors whose resistance goes down a lot when
                                voltage gets higher than "normal", thus it clamps the line. Transorb
                                zeners are typically even better. But you need to know what the normal
                                voltage there is, and the absolute max voltage the circuitry can take so
                                you know how to protect it. And of course a lightning strike can blow
                                apart an MOV or transorb too, depends on how close it was.

                                Danny

                                velder23 wrote:
                                > I built a timer that switches between two zones(two seperate mini-
                                > zones minimum per large zone) on different days of the week. I used a
                                > two circuit latching relay, basic stamp, and a real time clock. My
                                > perimeter was very large so I decided to make this circuit to cut
                                > down on the distance the robomower has to go each time out, and to
                                > allow it to get to some smaller areas that I had previously not
                                > included in the zoning.
                                >
                                > Something like this circuit that could cut the wires from the base
                                > station or perimeter switch and send them to ground may help. If
                                > lightning struck, it would probably blow out the circuit(at least the
                                > relay), but it would probably be a lot cheaper than replacing
                                > everthing else.
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, Ben <benj@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >> Yes, the lightning is not coming in through the power line. It
                                >>
                                > comes in
                                >
                                >> through the perimeter wire, blows the charger station then the
                                >>
                                > resulting
                                >
                                >> short circuit toasts the power supply. A fuse would not do any good
                                >>
                                > as the
                                >
                                >> previous member said. Even fast fuses are too slow to stop
                                >>
                                > lightning. A fuse
                                >
                                >> on the power supply would prevent the power supply from shorting
                                >>
                                > itself out.
                                >
                                >> The outdoor one does not have a fuse if I remember correctly.
                                >>
                                >> Has anyone tried grounding the perimeter wire? I'm curious if it
                                >>
                                > would
                                >
                                >> effect the signal.
                                >>
                                >> A relay on the perimeter would work (I think... a strong hot will
                                >>
                                > still jump
                                >
                                >> little gaps found in most relays) but it would be a manual
                                >>
                                > solution. You'd
                                >
                                >> have to turn it off when lightning is around. It would be much
                                >>
                                > better to
                                >
                                >> have an automatic solution that did not require manually turning
                                >>
                                > off the
                                >
                                >> perimeter. I do not use the automatic schedule... I could put a 4
                                >>
                                > hour timer
                                >
                                >> on the perimeter relay.... but I'd still prefer a better way.
                                >>
                                >> -Ben
                                >>
                                >
                                >
                                >
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