Electron affected by lightning

I’ve got three weather stations based on the Electron running at different locations. They’ve been running for a few months now without any problems. I didn’t even go to check on them.

Within 24 hours all three of them stopped sending data.

Only one of them is close to me so I went and did a reset on that one. It functioned perfectly. Two days later the exact same thing happened to that station. Luckily I happened to notice lightning in the area around the same time.

It turns out that there was also some lightning when all three of them died.

My only conclusion is that the static buildup caused by the lightning is putting the MCU in some sort of infinite loop.

The software watchdog timer is implemented on all three of them already so the next step is to implement an external watchdog timer.

Hope this helps someone having some strange issues. The problem should be rare as you don’t normally mount an Electron outside on a tall pole.

2 Likes

Delphius,

I had similar issues with two Photons.

The Photon is located on my dock and controls two LED spotlights and a valve (all relay isolated) that periodically sprays water to scare seagulls off my pier. (As a note to PETA, no seagulls are harmed by the water)

I am powering the Photons with 5 volts driven into pin 12, VIN.

After distant thunder storms, I blamed the failures on a cheap Chinese switch mode power supply and a power line spike.

I didn’t look deep into the issue, but on both Photons, the RT8008 buck regular was uncomfortably worm, never to function again.

To remedy my problem, I upgraded my power supply, added a 5.6 volt Zener and 1000uF capacitor, in parallel, (in addition to the 0.1uF capacitor that was already there) from Vin to Gnd, pin 11. I also added a surge protector in the 120 vac powering the power supply.

Probably an overkill, but seems to solve my issue, so far.

Good luck with your issues.