Astraphobe Lightning Protection System

So I bought one of these, as I was tired of unplugging the phone line whenever it gets a bit stormy.

Very cool idea… BUT, you can’t put it near where there is strong EMI interference. And since my phone line is in my office where all my computers are… I can’t put it in there. Hmm.

I powered up the device, and left it standing on the floor right near where my phone line is. Constant beeps with “Random EMI pulse”. This is expected occasionally, but apparently shouldn’t happen all the time. My computer tower sits on my desk above where my phone line socket is, so stands to reason. I moved the device around the corner to the entrance of my office. Not a peep, it’s not detecting storms, it seems to be OK as far as interference goes. I left it for a good while. I then stuck it against the wall, connected all the cables, and powered it up again. Then it apparently detected a storm 20km away, and constant strikes, as well as random EMI pulses. So I suppress the EMI pulse message, set the sensitivity to ‘low’ (which you should only do if mounted outdoors, but then where it is mounted is VERY close to outdoors), and suppressed the strike beeping. So now it will only beep on connect/disconnect. As of now, it’s picking up a storm 31km away, with strikes every few seconds. It has been running for about 15 minutes now, and has detected 130 strikes. This number is only what it has actually analyzed, they reckon you should multiply the number by 5 for more accurate number of actual strikes.

So anyway, right now I’m a bit dubious as to whether it is actually picking up a storm, or if it’s picking up some random EMI interference from some appliance in my house. The fact that the storm was at 20km, and then a few mins later at 30km away is a positive note, but I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

The default setting on the device is to unplug at 6km. Closest distance you can set is 5km, and I think the furthest is around 20km, possibly further.

I’ll keep tabs on the thing. Not sure yet if this is going to be more of a pain in the backside than manually unplugging the line.

For what it’s worth, the system has been showing ‘Clear’ for 58 minutes now, so maybe it was picking up a storm somewhere.