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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2010
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I would think the chances of a handheld that is not connected to the boats wiring being hit by lightning are pretty low. It is true that a faraday cage is the only way to garantee that it will not be hit. How bad is your luck for that to happen? How often will lightning deviate from the path of least resistance and seek out a handheld?
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:16 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2010
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We have been using a raymarine chart plotter (C) for over 10 years and have 2 E80s, a raydome radar unit, DSM depth, ST 60s and SR 100 Serius weather that we've been using for about 4 years with no problems at all. And it's idiot proof to install and operate once you get the hang of it. Their R&D use to be second to none but I do not like the fact that simple extension caples and etc.. are way too $$$. We looked at the Garman touch screens before selecting the E80s and in hind-sight, after everything is installed, Garmen would have been more reasonable. Like I noted, it was the little things like networking the Seatalk cabling, extension cables yadda that added up fast. Their list prices are crazy on their units (even with boat show prices or rebates) so we never paid full retail and purchsed on line. In summary, we've been very pleased with the product and their customer support that spends time on the phone with you..vs email.
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Old 03-25-2010
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The handheld wouldn't have to actually be hit. The large voltage differences created by the lightning bolt passing nearby is often enough to fry the electronics.... Very few electronics on a boat are damaged by the lightning actually hitting them or passing through them. Most modern ICs are easily damaged by transient voltages only a few volts higher than what they are designed to use....and a lightning bolt creates differentials of hundreds of thousands of volts.

By putting the handheld into a faraday cage (oven, pressure cooker), it is effectively shielded from the EMF created by the lightning bolt and the ICs don't get fried by the induced voltages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
I would think the chances of a handheld that is not connected to the boats wiring being hit by lightning are pretty low. It is true that a faraday cage is the only way to garantee that it will not be hit. How bad is your luck for that to happen? How often will lightning deviate from the path of least resistance and seek out a handheld?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #14  
Old 03-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The handheld wouldn't have to actually be hit. The large voltage differences created by the lightning bolt passing nearby is often enough to fry the electronics.... Very few electronics on a boat are damaged by the lightning actually hitting them or passing through them. Most modern ICs are easily damaged by transient voltages only a few volts higher than what they are designed to use....and a lightning bolt creates differentials of hundreds of thousands of volts.

By putting the handheld into a faraday cage (oven, pressure cooker), it is effectively shielded from the EMF created by the lightning bolt and the ICs don't get fried by the induced voltages.
Since the EMF is basically the volatge delta divided by the square of the distance (without any shielding) you would need to be pretty close to the lightnig bolt for that to happen. In theory, yes this is possible. However, in the real world you would need very bad karma to have concern.

This is like the old joke:

If you have a man and a woman standing face to face and the man took a step towrds the woman that was always half the remaining distance would he ever get to her.

The scientist says no. It would take an infinite amount of steps to reach her. The engineer (or realistic person) says you would get close enough for practical purposes.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:18 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2010
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Yes, but when the voltage potential is 10,000,000-120,000,000 volts, and the distance is less than 4 meters... chances are pretty good that it'll fry the portable electronics, don't you think?? Especially, when most IC chips will fry when the voltage rises from 3.3 volts to just 5-6 volts.

I'd point out that with a radius of 4 meters, that covers pretty much almost all of any boat up to about 36-40' long or so... since you generally won't be in the cockpit during a lightning storm and the most likely point of impact is the mast... On a 40' boat, the mast is about 16-20' from the bow... and the boat is 13-14' wide...

So, if your boat is struck by lightning, there isn't much chance that handheld electronics are going to survive, unless stowed in a faraday cage of some sort.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
Since the EMF is basically the volatge delta divided by the square of the distance (without any shielding) you would need to be pretty close to the lightnig bolt for that to happen. In theory, yes this is possible. However, in the real world you would need very bad karma to have concern.

This is like the old joke:

If you have a man and a woman standing face to face and the man took a step towrds the woman that was always half the remaining distance would he ever get to her.

The scientist says no. It would take an infinite amount of steps to reach her. The engineer (or realistic person) says you would get close enough for practical purposes.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #16  
Old 03-25-2010
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Well to get back on topic......I bought the whole shibang from our lovely hard to reach hosts and will install very soon! I do hope I am not struck by lightning my first run out in the lil ole Catalina 30......

Josh
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Now If I could only stay away from working on the damn things I could sail more!
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2010
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Good luck Degreeoff... have fun and may the weather goddess smile favorably on you.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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