View Full Version : A huge bummer.....

08-20-2005, 05:47 PM
Not having a very good day....

Lightning hit both my shop and house.(almost a direct hit...hit a tree 5 foot from the house.)

It blew about a half a dozen breakers, smoked 4 phones and the worst of all, cooked all 5 of my computers... My main developement computer smells like burnt toast... It took out every computer, three hub/switches, dsl modem, all surge power strips, and some of the network wiring. Needless to say, I am dead in the water.

I ran down to Best Buy and bought a cheap eMachine just to test some of the hard drives and monitors.

Unbelievably, all of the hard drives survived. When looking in the cases, there are all kinds of exploded chips and capacitors. The surge suppressors didnt do much.

When the storm hit, I ran out to the shop and pulled the disconnects on the ShopBot before the lighting hit. I am hoping it survived. The computer that runs it didnt make it.

My problem is with this eMachine, I cant get the IOGear USB-Serial driver to load. Does anyone have any suggestions as how to get it loaded. I got onto the IOGear web site and not much usefull info there.

Is anyone using just a serial cable instead of the USB to serial adapter? Seems like a better solution at this time. I sure would like to test the ShopBot and see if it was hurt.


08-20-2005, 06:47 PM

Sorry to hear about your lightning problems.

I am using an eMachine PC connected to shopbot using direct Serial (no USB converter).
One reason that I bought the eMachine was because was the only PC that I could find that still offers a Serial Port.


08-20-2005, 08:13 PM

Thanks... I'll head out to the shop tomorrow and see if I can get it to connect.

Anything special about the cable? I think I have some straight through cables somewhere.


Brady Watson
08-20-2005, 08:33 PM
Are you saying that the driver installation disk gives you an error? I ran into this problem and found that it needed Flash installed in order to run some cheesy Japanimation nonsense WHILE the driver was loading...Like I need to be entertained while a driver is installing....Anyway, that might be worth a look.


08-20-2005, 08:41 PM

Nothing Special about the cable, just a regular
9 pin (DB9) serial cable.


08-21-2005, 08:23 AM

I was going to use my daughters laptop and ran into the Flash garbage problem. I installed Flash and it still wouldn't run. Pretty stupid on their part to make an install that required flash just to load software. I didnt feel like trying to troubleshoot her laptop, as with many kids, its looks like a garbage can full of software.

I bought the eMachine just to have a nice clean OS to work with (plus it was only $299) and ran the install. It states that is was successful, but it never shows up in the device manager. I bypassed the "flashy" install and did an install by running the INF file and still no response.

I am going to try the serial cable route and see if I can connect.

Is there any advantage to running through a USB port over a serial port? I would think that a serial port would still outpace the bot with data flow.


Brady Watson
08-21-2005, 05:50 PM
Got it...

No, in the case of the SB control box, there is no real advantage. It could be argued that the USB is less prone to noise than a comparable serial cable, but that is debatable.


08-22-2005, 09:20 AM
Sorry about the problems

I feel your pain.

lesson to all
UPS protect your computers

we didn't before the power spike wrecked our computers... Now we do.

Best of luck and a speedy recovery.

08-22-2005, 11:51 AM
I had all of the computers on good surge power strips. After investigating all of the smoked parts, it appears that the surge got into the system through a easily overlooked power transformer that was powering one of the hub/switches. It wasn't on a surge suppressor. Once it got into the hub, it went out to all of the networked computers via the network cables. Every network card had serious arcing. The ones that had internal built in network cards, it exploded several chips on the motherboard.

Good argument for a wireless network....

08-22-2005, 02:45 PM
USBs and surge protectors are good ideas. But, from experience with several well protected commercial systems, nothing will fully protect against lightning nearby.

With a documentable direct strike, your insurance may help.


08-23-2005, 08:50 AM

I already have the insurance company onboard. They said they are swamped with claims from the electrical storm. Some as bad as the whole house burning down from a direct hit. I feel lucky <g>

The Bot didn't survive the hit. Here is the inside of the USB to serial converter...... ventilated a few chips and then continued into the control box.


The little vertical mounted serial control board took the next hit and exploded a glass diode. I wont know what else is fried until the new board arrives from ShopBot