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 Post subject: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:00 pm 
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The Bobby Blackwolf Show
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Georgia
Hey guys,

I wanted to thank you all so much for your outpouring of support. It really means a lot to me. I figured I'd give you guys an insight into what's happened, in bursts that are longer than 140 characters on Twitter, and I'll keep this thread updated. I don't want to spend too much time on my show talking about it, because people don't tune into my podcast to hear about my personal life.

So, Sunday at about 11:10PM ET, during a normal thunderstorm that we get in Georgia this time of year, a very loud clap was over my house. My lights flickered, but otherwise nothing else seemed out of the ordinary. However, the stream stopped and I lost my connection to the internet. I look over, and notice that my new Netgear router was not on, and the cablemodem was trying to get a signal. I looked to my right and noticed the Netgear switch was also off. Neither came on when I pulled the plug out and then back in. I went upstairs and noticed that switch, too, was out. (I had just installed them about three weeks ago to upgrade my house from 100Mbit to Gigabit.)

I then noticed several of my consoles didn't have red lights on them showing that they were in standby. I then tried to turn on the TV (which also turns on the receiver) and, while the TV came on, the receiver wouldn't.

My 52" LCD HDTV is still under Geek Squad warranty, but just barely...It's a 4 year warranty and expires in a few months. The guy came out today and diagnosed it as the mainboard, and the parts should be here Saturday for him to replace it. However, he pretty much told me that it really sounds like the power surge came through my cable, and traveled through my HDMI ports. He said that while my HDMI devices might still power on and work, there's a good chance that the HDMI output is fried. (And it also explains why my receiver fried, because it has 3-in 1-out on HDMI.) That doesn't make me feel any better for my other stuff.

So, since I'm sure some of you want to know, here's the rundown of the damage:

LAN Equipment: Netgear N750 router, two Netgear 8-port Gigabit switches, no power
52" HDTV: Mainboard fried
Pioneer A/V Receiver: No power. Subwoofer is still on, though, so I expect the speaker system still works.
Xbox 360 S: Took this into an Evil G (I felt so dirty) and was able to turn it on using their power supply. HDMI port status unknown.
Xbox 360: My backup 360 (that I had in my home office/studio) RROD'd. This is the "special" one Rob hinted to on OLR, it's just the Halo 3 special edition that was a moneyhats gift from Microsoft. (It was also the one that RROD'd right before FNG a few years ago.)
Wii U: I have not had the chance to plug it in to another power supply (as nobody near me has a Wii U) but it was also plugged in through HDMI. The gamepad is unresponsive, however, since it was sitting on the charger at the time of the lightning strike. I believe it's supposed to still come on and try to find a signal even if it's out of range of the console, and it's not doing that.
32" Sony WEGA Trinitron: Mainboard is most likely out, the menu and display no longer come up, but I can still see stuff on it and it's still sending full audio to my speaker system.
Launch Day Phat PS2: No power. This had the front plate off so I could use Slide Card with my Bemani imports, and I also had the HDD in the back for HDLoader.
GameCube: This works and turns on, but the picture is bad. Not sure if this is the cables or the TV. (It currently has F-Zero GX in it.)

All my other vintage game consoles are hooked up to the busted TV. All of them have indicators that they powered on except for the Neo Geo, but I've learned that doesn't mean anything. (I have an Atari 2600 cartridge that lights up when you get hit, and it lit up.) I will have to wait for the TV to be fixed before testing all of those. The PS3 still turns on and off as expected, but, I can't check the HDMI output on it yet.

My cable is out, and I had called early Monday morning to schedule an appointment. I called back at 4PM on Monday and got their automated system telling me today (Tuesday) between 1 and 3. I hit 1 to accept that time. I called today at about 2 to make sure, and they told me that I cancelled the appointment using their automated system, and there was nobody that could come out until Thursday. She also really, really wanted to know what message was on my TV's, and didn't take "My TV doesn't work" for an answer. "I understand your TV doesn't work, but I really need to know what message you're seeing so I can tell them." I'm now rescheduled for Thursday, and I hope they don't have their automated system call me to give me the opportunity to cancel it. They can't expedite the process because there is a ton of storm damage in the area.

The good news is that I'm fine, the house is fine (no structural damage to the roof) my cats weren't home at the time so they're obviously fine. None of my computers were affected, or any of my podcasting equipment. I can get internet in the office with my laptop (which, apparently, got its screen cracked during my flight home from E3) and my 4G service is holding up nicely on my phone. I'm still able to edit Sunday's show, I'll just have to go to a Starbucks or here at the office to upload it to the servers. I also should still have a show on Sunday, but it might be prerecorded if I don't have Internet by then. (I do have my old Linksys WRT54G router and all my old Linksys 100Mbit switches I just replaced last month so my network will be up once my internet is.)

I do have homeowners insurance, but it comes with a $1000 deductible and a lot of hoops to go through. I need to have documentation from a "certified technician" for each individual item, along with proof of ownership, for it to count - even for the consoles. The HDTV, being the most expensive item that was hit, is covered under warranty, so I'm not thinking that I'll be able to get close to $1000 with repairs, even if I flat out replace everything. I have an emergency stash of cash just for things like this, so I'll be fine. It's just a big hassle.

I'm thankful that the damage wasn't worse. After all, it's just "stuff" and "toys" and is repairable/replaceable.

Something to note: Unplugging everything from the power outlets wouldn't have helped, seeing as the surge most likely came through the cable lines, which I wouldn't have thought to unplug. Also, this was not necessarily a "bad storm" - the storm was a normal summer thunderstorm in the area, I just got unlucky and was the one hit. If I unplugged everything in my house every time I heard thunder, I'd never have anything plugged in. I unplug stuff for tornados, but that's about it.

Anyway, I thank you guys for your concern. It means a lot.

_________________
Bobby Blackwolf
Co-Founder, Editor in Chief: Technical
Host - The Bobby Blackwolf Show
LIVE Sundays 8PM ET/5PM PT


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:54 pm
Posts: 2
Good to hear you are ok Blackwolf. Hopefully you can get everything straightened out sooner rather than later and hopefully you won't have any more companies making this harder on you than it already is. Sorry to hear about all of your stuff that got fried but at least it is replaceable as you said. Personally I wouldn't worry about this week's podcast as you have far more important things to attend to but, obviously, that is your call.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:58 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Hialeah, FL
Out of curiosity, The Surge Protectors you been using, Are they the ones with the cable connections on them? There are some that offer surge protection over cable lines, Even phone lines too.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:02 pm 
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The Bobby Blackwolf Show
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Georgia
Nope. Still wouldn't help with a direct strike.

Quick update - HDMI ports are fried on my PS3 and TiVo, just as the technician warned. Really missing CC Gaming right now, cuz I know he'd be able to fix this stuff, at least on the consoles. (I'm assuming the 360 and Wii u HDMI ports are also fried)

_________________
Bobby Blackwolf
Co-Founder, Editor in Chief: Technical
Host - The Bobby Blackwolf Show
LIVE Sundays 8PM ET/5PM PT


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:57 pm
Posts: 183
Location: The middle of the f***ing Mexican desert
Like we've said, if there's anything we can help you with, tell us. We're ready to help.

And we're glad that nothing too serious happened to you or your house. So hang in there Blackwolf, it'll all sort out.

_________________
"I LOVE THAT SONG" - Now on the VOG Network!
Current ILTS article - Working by Evan LE NY from Spacechem


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:02 pm 
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The Bobby Blackwolf Show
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Georgia
Cable and internet service was restored at my house today. The splitter outside my house was fried, and the ethernet port of my modem was fried. Two rooms of my house still have no signal, and they need to rewire the wires in the walls, which will cost me some money. There was an unused splitter that also was fried inside the house.

Tomorrow I'm taking my consoles to a local guy who says he can repair the HDMI port of my PS3. He's also going to look at my 360's and hopefully resurrect my Halo 3 Special Edition console, and verify the issue with my 360S. I'm gonna take my Wii U to him to just verify what's wrong before I call Nintendo and call for a coffin.

Saturday is when I believe the Geek Squad will come out to fix the mainboard in my TV, and then I'm off to do some retail therapy. I'm gonna go get the new TiVo, replace my LAN equipment, and get a new A/V Receiver. Hopefully on a Best Buy credit card because I should have great credit right now. It won't come out to anywhere near my $1000 deductible so insurance won't be any help.

Tonight's the night I'll decide if I'm going to release the episode from Sunday. So many things happened in the industry yesterday that I'm considering just chucking it and just rehashing my non-Xbone E3 thoughts this Sunday for the podcast crowd.

_________________
Bobby Blackwolf
Co-Founder, Editor in Chief: Technical
Host - The Bobby Blackwolf Show
LIVE Sundays 8PM ET/5PM PT


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:41 am 
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The Bobby Blackwolf Show
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Georgia
Purchased replacement home network parts, so now I'm back to the same network I had. (Same model numbers and everything.)

Sadly, I learned that the gigabit portion of my network port on my desktop is busted, as it's only going to 100Mbit. Luckily, I have spare gigabit NIC's sitting around that I can slap into it, so it's no big deal.

TV was repaired yesterday, so I could take a running tally. I lost that VCR, but it's no big deal as I have two others, one which wasn't even plugged in and has a DVD recorder on it.

All of my vintage consoles survived but one - the most expensive one, the Neo Geo AES. It was an unmodded US one but ran perfectly. It was connected via coax which is what the surge came through, so it's no surprise it probably blew out the video board. (The Atari 2600, connected to the AES's RF adapter, survived, though.) If anybody knows of someone who repairs Neo Geo AES's, and bonus if they'll add a video or BIOS mod to it, please send them my way. I have Paypal, and just don't want to do it myself, even though I'm most likely capable of it.

My Halo 3 Xbox got completely fried, especially the ethernet jack. The guy I took it to is going to replace it with a Falcon 360 and put the Halo 3 shell around it. My 360 Slim is also completely dead, but, as luck would have it, Bressler wants to sell his HDD-less 360 Slim, so I'm probably just gonna buy his and slap my HDD into it.

The PS3's HDMI port did get fixed (yay!) but he hasn't checked the ethernet port yet, and I'm afraid. My TiVo's ethernet port was using the same gigabit switch and is fine, so I'm hoping for good news here. If not, I have Wifi.

The Wii U and Gamepad went off to Nintendo on Friday.

I've had someone offer to just send me one of their phat PS2's, which is nice. I haven't tested the GameCube on cables I know are good (now that I know my N64 works, I can just use those cables to test) but those are simple to replace.

Slowly but surely...

_________________
Bobby Blackwolf
Co-Founder, Editor in Chief: Technical
Host - The Bobby Blackwolf Show
LIVE Sundays 8PM ET/5PM PT


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:25 pm
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Glad to hear you're ok! I'd been busy with a mini-vacation visiting gamergirrl77 so I haven't had too much chance to check twitter/fb for updates to what happened last Sunday, although we'd been talking a little bit about it after I got here on Monday of last week so it's good to hear that at least you're okay. Like you said any of that stuff that got damaged could definitely be replaced or repaired if it's still under warranty.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:37 pm 
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The Bobby Blackwolf Show
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Georgia
The only things still under warranty were the TV and the Wii U.

_________________
Bobby Blackwolf
Co-Founder, Editor in Chief: Technical
Host - The Bobby Blackwolf Show
LIVE Sundays 8PM ET/5PM PT


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Damage
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:03 pm
Posts: 151
Location: Buffalo, NY
I'm willing to make a modest financial donation once I get my semi-monthly check later this week (roughly Friday) Just message me as o where to send a money order.

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Protip: Dying in a game is a bad thing. The more you know....


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