As the summer thunderstorm season is getting started, we've heard from a few Konnected users who's systems were likely damaged by a nearby lightning strike. While it's only happened a few times so far, I recognize that this is a real problem and fortunately I've found a good solution.
Lightning is a sudden source of high voltage and high current electromagnetic energy in the natural environment. The copper wires running through your home's walls can act as antennae and pick up some of this energy from a nearby lightning strike. If enough energy is absorbed and concentrated into the zone terminals on the Konnected board, the excess voltage can permanently damage the processor chip on the WiFi module and sometimes cause it to overheat.
I didn't account for the lightning issue in the original design of the Konnected board, so if you live in an area where lightning strikes are common, your devices may be at risk in the next thunderstorm.
We can protect Konnected from most lightning damage by introducing a small diode between the Konnected zone and the copper wiring.
Diodes work by limiting current to flow one way only. This prevents any stray voltage from flowing the wrong way in to the WiFi module.
The diodes are small, inexpensive, and easy to install. I'm putting together a Lightning protection kit complete with a set of six diodes and white crimp connectors. The kit is available for sale now for only $4.50 each and will begin shipping in a couple weeks.
I will be posting installation instructions and a video soon.
Lightning photo credit: Kelly DeLay