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Electronics => Repair => Topic started by: mlapaglia on December 19, 2015, 09:29:46 AM

Title: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: mlapaglia on December 19, 2015, 09:29:46 AM
I've had a Rigol DS1054Z, (my very first scope  :) ) for a few months. During the fall we had a large lightning strike near my house which hit my router and fried most of the NICs attached. I had my scope plugged in to the network as well. It wasn't until this past week I tried to turn it on and realized what may have happened.

When I turn it on some of the lights come up and the fan turns on and then I hear rapid clicking from the back side.

I've emailed Rigol about it, I fear it will be considered out of warranty.

I assume since scopes are very precise and complicated machines there probably isn't a blown capacitor or scorched trace that can be simply repaired. Does anyone have advice?

Here's a quick video of the problem: (
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: TheSteve on December 19, 2015, 10:19:08 AM
Ouch, that is really unfortunate. I'd normally suggest popping it open but that would void the warranty. Of course a lightning strike isn't covered under warranty anyway unless they are feeling very generous. It is possible it is something simple, but I sure wouldn't bet money on it.

I am paranoid of something similar happening near where I live so all of my networked test equipment is connected to an old wireless router that is programmed to act as bridge. This keeps all of it physically isolated from the phone line/router/wired network. If the surge comes in the power line then all bets are off of course.
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: electrongeek on December 19, 2015, 12:22:06 PM
You can improve your odds with powerline hits with a serial surge protector like those made by Surgex or Brickwall. All my bench and ham station power passes through one of these - in addition to the MOV and TVS protected power strips downstream of it.

It is important to have a single point power feed and ground for your interconnected equipment too so that your gear doesnt form an alternate return path for an impulse.

The serial surge protectors are a bit pricier than a typical surge protector but a small fraction of what they are protecting.
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: mlapaglia on December 19, 2015, 04:01:24 PM
Thanks guys. Everything runs through an APC UPS, it's just odd that the only things affected are network ports. My main machine only runs at 100mbps now, another computer's NIC is completely blown but the CPU runs fine. I think it might have come in through the cable actually, as both the router and modem were fried.

Anyways, we'll see what Rigol says. If the repair is too much I'll take it apart and report back.

Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: electrongeek on December 19, 2015, 04:51:00 PM
A UPS is not usually a great surge suppressor, btw.

You really should take the tack used by TheSteve and employ a wireless bridge to connect your computer and equipment to your network. A hardwire network cable that runs some distance acts like an antenna and will pick up impulse current from a nearby strike, and that current may well find its way to ground through your equipment to the mains ground wreaking havoc along the way just  like you experienced. A series surge protector will help with this, but the very best approach is to eliminate the path. At the same time, all interconnected equipment should be taking power from the same wall outlet, once again to prevent impulse current from flowing through your gear from one outlet to another outlet with a lower impedance connection to ground.
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: nidlaX on December 19, 2015, 05:13:58 PM
If they confirm that it is out of warranty or quote you a ridiculous price for repair, then crack it open, post some pictures, and let the games begin! :popcorn:
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: TheSteve on December 19, 2015, 05:18:19 PM
My own personal experience is having a tree get hit by lightning down the street from where I was working. There were surges on the phone line and cable line. The phone line running down the wall near where I was actually flashed and melted just feet from me, destroying the phone and the line. It also damaged a computer, tv dvr and a tv all from the cable line surge. And this location has all wiring underground - its amazing the surge was able to travel like it did.

I also see many people have their ham radio equipment damaged when there is any kind of surge/static and they have the radio interfaced to a computer via USB. And the computer is once again connected to a router which goes to the phone line or cable line.

Hence why I am quite paranoid and want no physical connection to the phone line(I have no cable).

Good luck with the scope.
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: GreyWoolfe on December 20, 2015, 12:07:30 AM
TheSteve, we had a similar thing happen at the house about 6 years ago.  We have all utilities underground.  There was a lightning strike in the street right in front of the house.  We lost the DVR, the cable modem, 2 ports on the router/switch were damaged and the 2 old crappy free computers attached to those ports were taken out.  The phones weren't damaged at all.
Title: Re: Lightning + DS1054Z
Post by: madires on December 20, 2015, 12:26:20 AM
Do you got a household insurance? Over here they typically include over voltage damages caused by lightning strikes.