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Power surge due to lightning strike.

edited June 2021 in General Chat

Two weeks ago, we had strike on a nearby power line, knocking out a neaby transformer and creating a surge into our house. This blew out a several items: a switching power supply, our Orbii router/wifi hub, and most importantly, both the power supply and the kiwi were hit. the power supply, one of the ebay linear units from China, shows no sign of life, but I haven't had the time to pull it apart. The kiwisdr, which was in the standard metal case, has scorch marks near the 5v input, and near the antenna.

It appears to me to be a total loss, but wondered if anyone had any suggestions. Thanks in advance.


  • If it was passive components the likelihood of survival is not great but flash over marks either end and static sensitive components... not good at all.

    If you have a local college that teaches electronics you could challenge them, I expect the BeagleBone is dead but they are easy enough to replace but the silicon on the Kiwi is likely done to a crisp, a college might just have access to the rework kit and see it as a learning tool to identifiy what has failed and to see if repair by compoent replacement is feasible.

    Good luck


  • Could you send us an image of the marks near the power connector? It's probably the input choke that's gone (it acts as a fuse in some cases it seems). The marks near the antenna connectors are almost certainly blown TVS diodes.

    It depends on how much your time is worth to see if the situation is recoverable. I would first remove the Kiwi board from the Beagle and test the Beagle alone. Replace if necessary.

    The TVS diodes can simply be knocked off the board with a small soldering iron. Later, their function can be replaced by using external diodes or some other means before the Kiwi input. One trick is to place a TVS or back-to-back diodes on the green terminal block which will essentially appear across the SMA input (see schematic).

    The T301 input choke can be removed and the PCB pads bridged. Reattach the Beagle and get the Kiwi 5V input working (might be shorted input caps C302-5 near T301 that need to be removed). None of those parts are critical. Now check Kiwi voltages according to the troubleshooting guide:

    If the Kiwi board still doesn't work then it's probably gone and you can buy Kiwi board separately for less than the cost of the entire kit.

  • Thanks so much for suggestions.. Sorry was traveling for the first time in 15 months, so pitures delayed. Strange going through security, etc.

    Attached is an image of the board, Note damage at J2 as well as the inductor near j5 largely destroyed.

    Suspect it is not worth attempts at saving, but hope the beagle itself is not damaged. Ethernet input looks a little scorched. Is there a way to test separately to see if it boots?

    Strike took out neighbors (multiple) power supplies, televisions, etc. Odd out here in the woods.

  • Incredible. I've never seen anything like that. Look at much solder was removed from the SMA pads and how the associated traces are all vaporized.

    Yes, just separate the Kiwi board from the Beagle and power the Beagle (BBG) via 5V on a USB-micro cable. You should get flashing in the 4 LEDs. It will be the Linux pattern (e.g. double flashing on the outer LED as a heartbeat) since the Kiwi software won't run and show its pattern unless the Kiwi board is installed and working.

  • Thanks John. Sad, I know. Did quite a job on several things in the neighborhood, but I think this may have been the worst.


  • FYI, the beagle was toast as well.

    Appreciate the advice.


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