Flash! Bang! Zap! (the ice cubes are melting)

Not Far Enough (Ten Chimpanzees)

Not Far Enough (Ten Chimpanzees)

No normal electronic device was designed to take a lightning strike or even a near miss. But how near is a near miss? How close does lightning have to flash for it to have an effect on a device?

For our refrigeration control it appears it only has to be 1.1723 chimpanzees away.* Twice now in eight years, a nearby lighting flash has smerdlied**— not shut off — our refrigeration controls. [This is not the one that took out half the marina TV cable channels.]

Smerdlied” is important because the LEDs indicating status (mode, power, etc) don’t change, but cooling stops. It has affected the freezer and the reefer, but the freezer uses a coil and the reefer a holding plate, so the change is more quickly noticeable with the freezer.

To get a reset, we have had to turn the power off for a few seconds and then reset the controls as if the unit was back to factory defaults (which is what we expected/hoped for — as opposed to toast).

Of course this is problematic when we leave the boat…

* A quarter statute mile.

**Smerdlied was a term from my days as a thermodynamics lab instructor. “Mr. Smerdly, Sir” was the phantom assistant who reset experimental conditions without consulting me — causing a few of my students to provide very good write ups on the previous semester’s laboratory exercise.

2 responses to “Flash! Bang! Zap! (the ice cubes are melting)

  1. So did it reset or is it toast?

    s/v Honey Ryder
    Caliber 40 LRC

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