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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]
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
                    • 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 10 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 of 23 , Aug 20, 2008
                        • 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 12 of 23 , Aug 21, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 23 , Aug 22, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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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