Lightning struck our LAN; please help us solve it

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
Hi and thank you for your advice.

We run everything at our church on LAN cable, ie printers, PC's, laptops and broadcasting camera. This runs though a 16 port switch. Our internet incoming line is fibre.

Last Thursday we were hit by lightning. Many ports on our switch were hit and is now out of service. We still need to check tomorrow or our printers were also hit or do they only not print because of bad ports on our switch.

This is the second time in about 2 years this has happened to us.

Is there a wi-fi solution for everything? We run about 40m of LAN between our office where the router and switch are and the place in our church with another small 4-port switch.

Is there a way to protect our LAN cables or is there a way to go wifi?
We stream our services live on Sundays.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
 

itareanlnotani

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Sep 14, 2008
Messages
5,080
Hopefully just the switch that needs replacing, but you won't know until you start replacing equipment.

You can put a p2p (point to point) wifi solution between a->b assuming you have line of sight.
Ubiquiti has a decent range that aren't too expensive. I use 2 to share internet between houses on the same plot as an example.

How did the lightning come into the building though?
Maybe a lightning spike to earth might be better longer term.
 

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
Hopefully just the switch that needs replacing, but you won't know until you start replacing equipment.

You can put a p2p (point to point) wifi solution between a->b assuming you have line of sight.
Ubiquiti has a decent range that aren't too expensive. I use 2 to share internet between houses on the same plot as an example.

How did the lightning come into the building though?
Maybe a lightning spike to earth might be better longer term.
Thanks for the reply. Hopefully just the switch. The plugs of the sockets of the switch that got hit, are all burned black. I really don't have any idea where it entered. Will definitely investigate. Will also definitely consider the P2P.
 

itareanlnotani

Executive Member
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Sep 14, 2008
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Thanks for the reply. Hopefully just the switch. The plugs of the sockets of the switch that got hit, are all burned black. I really don't have any idea where it entered. Will definitely investigate. Will also definitely consider the P2P.
Probably through the electricity lines I guess, given you have fibre.

Are the modem and router ok?
 

name_less

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
22
If your LAN cables are running outside between offices, get a 'fibre to LAN media coverter' and run fibre between offices. This should remove the risk of LAN cables struck by lighting outside.

TL-MC210CS-600x600.jpg

https://shop.dbg.co.za/tl-mc210cs.html
 

itareanlnotani

Executive Member
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Sep 14, 2008
Messages
5,080
Fibre wouter OK. Lost 2 ports on the WiFi router.
I'd suggest get an electrician in, and tell them you've had 2 lightning strikes over the last year, and want more routes to ground and another lightning spike installed, or a bonded earth (if your electrical systems are not connected).

Might be the cctv got zapped, and that led the power back to the network. I assume CCTV is POE and not coax?

Forget about things like surge protectors (i.e. MOV devices), you don't know if they are still working or not, so aren't reliable after a while.

I like @name_less 's suggestion to use a media converter vs wifi for networking the 2 offices. Thats a better solution, although if you don't have wifi at all, not a bad idea to get some for the building.
 

Geoff.D

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
25,459
If you keep treating the symptoms only the issue will repeat itself regardless of you going WiFi.
Start with the power feeds.
Is there any surge protection on your incoming power?
Have made use of surge protection on all the electronics?
Has the earthing system been installed according to regulations?
Do you use surge protection on the LAN cables?
Is the LAN inter connecting two different power feeds, say between two different buildings?
What is burnt black? The power sockets or just the LAN cable ports?
Is there a church steeple? And how has it been equipped with a lightning rod?
 

PsyWulf

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Nov 22, 2006
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There are Network surge arrestors you can add to the mix along with more earthing points to try divert any large jolts away from network equipment
 

OCP

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As already suggested - put decent surge protection in place and prayer over ethernet is clearly not working....
 

netcruiser

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Sep 21, 2012
Messages
432
Use fibre.

Otherwise if you want to run copper LAN cable you'll need to earth the cable at both ends, and also where the cables enter the buildings, i.e. you have to earth four places.
 

RudderVator

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
2,042
Hopefully just the switch that needs replacing, but you won't know until you start replacing equipment.

You can put a p2p (point to point) wifi solution between a->b assuming you have line of sight.
Ubiquiti has a decent range that aren't too expensive. I use 2 to share internet between houses on the same plot as an example.

How did the lightning come into the building though?
Maybe a lightning spike to earth might be better longer term.
I have seen just induced current from lightning destroy a landline cable on each joint in the house pop a component off the board of an ADSL modem. It also popped a DSTv LNB on the roof and damaged the decoder tuner.

However nothing else connected to electricity in the house was damaged.

The lightning simply struck the neighbouring home lightning rod 300m away from us.
 

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
Use fibre.

Otherwise if you want to run copper LAN cable you'll need to earth the cable at both ends, and also where the cables enter the buildings, i.e. you have to earth four places.
Thanks very much. I will learn how the earthing is done.
You all have helped a lot and I'll have to study all the tips and wording, especially on how to earth the ends ... if this is the route we're going.
My only concern about going the complete wifi route is loss of speed ... or is wifi a lot faster these days?
 

PsyWulf

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Nov 22, 2006
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Thanks very much. I will learn how the earthing is done.
My only concern about going the complete wifi route is loss of speed ... or is wifi a lot faster these days?
Depends on your budget,and then physics
 

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
If you keep treating the symptoms only the issue will repeat itself regardless of you going WiFi.
Start with the power feeds.
Is there any surge protection on your incoming power?
Does a online UPS count as a surge protector? Everything that was struck, gets power from two online UPS's at both points.
Have made use of surge protection on all the electronics?
No surge protectors, only online UPS's
Has the earthing system been installed according to regulations?
Are you talking about AC Power earthing? Yes, these are all good.
Do you use surge protection on the LAN cables?
No surge protection on LAN cable? Will this do the job? https://www.senetic.co.za/product-eth-sp-g2/
Is the LAN inter connecting two different power feeds, say between two different buildings?
What is burnt black? The power sockets or just the LAN cable ports?
The plugs of the LAN cables where it go into the ports.
Is there a church steeple? And how has it been equipped with a lightning rod?
No, fortunately not.

Thanks for your time so far. Much appreciated.
 

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
Depends on your budget,and then physics
At the end we need to do what is best as best will eventually be the most cost effective. Doesn't help we have to replace equipment every year or so. Fortunately everything is covered by our insurance.
 

Geoff.D

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
25,459
Thanks very much. I will learn how the earthing is done.
You all have helped a lot and I'll have to study all the tips and wording, especially on how to earth the ends ... if this is the route we're going.
My only concern about going the complete wifi route is loss of speed ... or is wifi a lot faster these days?
If the data rate is what you want then forget radio and definitely wi-fi.
Then the solution would be to go fibre. Costly initially ( depending on the distance and technology selection) but after that, pretty reliable (provided the cable is well protected in a duct of some sort if underground, or if overhead, a proper overhead cable is used.

That would be the cost comparison (fibre versus any radio solution).
 

DeonH

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
607
If the data rate is what you want then forget radio and definitely wi-fi.
Then the solution would be to go fibre. Costly initially ( depending on the distance and technology selection) but after that, pretty reliable (provided the cable is well protected in a duct of some sort if underground, or if overhead, a proper overhead cable is used.

That would be the cost comparison (fibre versus any radio solution).
Ok, thanks. We will get quotes to go fibre. Fortunately distance is about 40m in total.
 
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