We’ve recovered from the lightning strike/EMP, and it’s not as bad as it could have been.
All the computers came through unscathed. I sure wouldn’t have predicted that, even though they all had surge protection.
A $17 replacement Powerline adapter from eBay restored internet/home network access to the media room, after getting by one little hitch:
When I first plugged in the replacement, I confirmed that it was functioning from the router side, but it didn’t register on the media room’s gigabit switch. I plugged it into a different port on the switch, and the port lit up! Evidently just one port was blown without killing the rest of the switch. So I now have a 4-port rather than a 5-port switch.
Re the Wii and the DVD recorder, I thought they might both be dead, since I saw no video output from them. (They both had surge protection.) But they had in common that they were plugged into the COMPONENT1 and COMPONENT2 video jacks on the plasma TV. Component is high quality video like HDMI, but obsolete as a standard for new AV equipment.
Both devices are also capable of outputting the lesser quality composite video (yellow video plug, red & white audio plugs), and they worked perfectly that way. So it appeared that the TV’s component inputs might be blown. To test my theory, I plugged a working DVD/VCR combo with component video output into each of the TV’s component inputs. Blackness. So now I have a plasma TV with HDMI, composite and S-video, but no component video inputs. (A year or two ago, I added HDMI inputs with an HDMI switch.)
(I looked at the TV’s service manual online. The likely point of failure is the Sanyo IC3001 chip. It is the main audio/video switching processor, with 100 pins, too sensitive to try to replace. Numerous brands of TV have this chip, and it has a history of damage from static discharge. Since the lightning strike was the mother of all discharges, we got off pretty light.)
The DVD recorder doesn’t have much to record these days, though I could record Netflix streaming with it if desired. I do all my broadcast TV recording with Windows Media Center, and my wife does hers with the TiVo Roamio OTA. But the DVD recorder has digital optical audio output, so it can serve as a high quality CD player as well as an alternate DVD player.
I’ll miss playing the Wii in 480p resolution on the big TV, but c’est la wii. Maybe someday I’ll acquire the Wii U, which is backward compatible, but no rush.
My aforementioned friend Tim previously gave me one of his estate sale finds, a video switch that selects one of four composite/component/S-video inputs, either manually or automatically. I will now be able to put it to work. I have an S-video output from the DVD recorder. (S-video is higher quality than composite.) Composite inputs: a VCR, a karaoke box, and a Wii. The DVD recorder will plug directly into VIDEO1 on the TV to take advantage of its S-video input, and the rest will be attached to this switch and routed to VIDEO2. Perfect. Thanks, Tim.
The duplicate of my blown Denon 2802 AV receiver (which also had been surge protected) arrived yesterday via eBay, and in mint condition as advertised.
I’m sure glad I labelled all the cords with our Brother P-touch label maker. When working on wiring behind the TV, I sweat like Barney, the “Mission: Impossible” electronics expert, strike poses like a Tai Chi adherent, and squint like a miner in the inadequate light.
I hope this was a once in a lifetime experience.
(PS: Tim is reducing his stock of wireless estate sale phones, so we are again the beneficiaries. He gave us a couple of Uniden phones and a Radio Shack standalone answering machine for the kitchen. Thanks again, Tim!)
(PPS: I later discovered one more expensive casualty: the Sony SA-WM40 powered subwoofer. The speaker itself was OK, but the amplifier board was dead. Video Revolution wanted almost as much to fix it as the original cost in 2002 ($250 at Ultimate Electronics), so I let them keep it and bought a BIC America F-12 for $199 online. It is definitely a big improvement.)