Posts: 70
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 1:48 pm

lightening destroyed my Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:53 am

Hi All,

I had a 5V 2.5 A power supply feeding my RasPi running as a VPN server, few days ago thunder caused it not to work, I am not at home and I cannot connect to my VPN Server.

If the RasPi fuse is gone, is there any way to change that at all, I know it is a silly question since I have not seen anything resembling to a fuse on my RasPi 3.

Is there a flawless Power supply out there that I can buy? The price is not that important since the VPN Server must be working 24/7 and reliable please.



Posts: 10711
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Reliable Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:03 pm

Siamak wrote:Hi All,
Impressive necro! Not a record breaking one though.
You should have created a new topic instead of resurrecting an old one.
Last edited by DirkS on Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 1851
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Reliable Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:08 pm

I'd use the official 5.1V 2.5A psu with a decent UPS containing surge protection. However if lightning has struck power cables nearby - not much electrical equipment will survive that.

I had a lightning strike that took out my TV set-top box, a modem and one serial port on my PC.

Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:17 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Reliable Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:18 pm

Thunder is always poison to electrical stuff.

Posts: 12559
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Reliable Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:27 pm

runboy93 wrote:Thunder is always poison to electrical stuff.
No, thunder does not damage electrical stuff. Lightning is a different story!
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posts: 679
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:27 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Reliable Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:35 pm

As one poster noted it is possible to boot a Raspberry Pi with a power supply with less power than is recommended but this can under certain circumstances cause the RP to fail or have very low performance issues. Adding more removable media or processing complex data like videos and databases can put a much larger power demand than the power supply can provide and this could cause a reboot. Some of this can be avoided or reduced by using a powered USB hub that will power the add-on device from a different power supply than the one powering the Raspberry Pi. Power supplies are cheap enough where it should not be a big issue purchasing the properly sized power supply.
f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.

User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14279
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: lightening destroyed my Power Supply

Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:56 pm

split off from resurrected thread, and gave new subject name...
Please do not raise the dead!

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 15554
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: lightening destroyed my Power Supply

Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:08 am

First, to address a point no one else has (so far)...the Pi has a "polyfuse" as part of the input power regulation. It "trips" when presented with too high an input voltage, but there are limits to what it can handle. Too much voltage and the board will fry. Depending on exactly how your PSU reacted to the spike caused by the lightning strike, and exactly where and how it hit, the polyfuse may or may not have tripped. If too much got through the dying PSU, the board may be toast as well.

If everything went as well as could be expected, the only thing that was destroyed was the PSU. As has been said, replace that with any decent one, such as the official RPF unit. However, no matter how good a PSU you get, it isn't going to survive a lightning strike. Any UPS will include surge protection (it will also include voltage regulation for overvoltage or brownouts...and a modern one will give you an audible alarm in those conditions). The main use of a UPS, however, is not surge protection. It's to keep the system running until the power comes back or an orderly shutdown can be done. You can (and I think, should) protect the UPS with a surge protector as having the UPS die protecting the equipment behind it is good, but having the UPS survive is better.

Since you are using your Pi as a VPN, you should also put your network equipment behind a UPS and surge protector as well. Otherwise, you may have a healthy Pi with no way to get to it. The protected network gear should include the cable or DSL modem, router (if separate), and any switches. Surge protection should also be applied to the incoming data line, phone line for DSL or coax for cable. Basically, anything that has an electrical connection outside your house that could take a lightning strike.

The best practice is to shut down and disconnect all electronics and as much electrical equipment as feasible if you are imminently expecting an electrical storm. I realize that's not practical when you're not home. So second best, if you live where there are such storms are a fairly regular basis, is to use surge protectors pretty much everywhere and UPSes for anything that needs to stay up or must be shut down in an orderly fashion.

I don't live where we get very many electrical storms, and ground strikes are pretty rare, but because computers and related equipement lasts longer when not subject to power surges from any cause, there are 4 UPSes in the room I'm in right now. One for my wife's PC, the Pi that acts as our alarm clock and it's speakers, 2 covering my PCs (yes, that's a plural), Pis, modem/router, switch and KVM switches. And 1 for the Pi my grandson uses. Each of them is behind a surge protector.

Posts: 70
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 1:48 pm

Re: lightening destroyed my Power Supply

Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:50 am

Good morning all and particularly W. H. Heydt ,

I have done all that and all my equipment are connected to a multi socket power-surge and all in turn are connected to the UPS, unfortunately I am not at home and won't be before October so it will have to wait until I get there and sort it, until then no VPN Server.

Many thanks for you inputs.



Return to “Beginners”