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So, my car was hit by lightning at the Grove City, OH supercharger...

I wonder if the engineers can figure out how many "jiggawatts" were received.

Also, I'm waiting for some online news outlet to say something like, "Tesla Motors Testing New Lightning Charging Systems!"

I could see it now: A thunderstorm is incoming; Tesla owners have taken to the streets in hopes of harvesting a lightning strike
 
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Reactions: EVie'sDad
Absolutely!

Thank you for sharing the story. I imagine it was terrifying; glad you're OK!

Also: *awesome* new signature. :)

Not as much terrifying. The lightning struck so quickly that there wasn't much time to be terrified. More like, startled, then I got this sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw all the errors popped up. I was like "...hopefully it's something simple and I can just restart..." NOPE I went to unplug to see if it something like that but the charging port wasn't lit and the plug wouldn't come out. Then it was just a matter of super frustration waiting to be on the phone with Tesla for a whole hour. They were getting a ridiculous amount of calls it seems. Apparently I should have called roadside assistance first. I tried tech support, then the supercharger line. The supercharger line hung up on me after twenty minutes... Luckily it was just 5 minutes with roadside assistance. So much time, though. The tow truck took like an hour to get there. Then it was all this time trying to get the cord disconnected, then another long time trying to get the sunroof closed since I had vented it while sitting there waiting for 3 hours. All in all it was about a 4 hour event.

Thanks on the signature, I rather like it as well :p
 

Pollux

Active Member
Supporting Member
Huh. Thank you for breaking out the time allocation. I might've gone through the exact same sequence you did (tech support, then SC line, and only then roadside), as I hate to tie up what I view as the most critical resource (roadside) on an issue that I would figure belongs in someone else's bailiwick. But perhaps when some of these hotlines are understaffed and/or over-subscribed, it's best to start with roadside and then be re-directed as appropriate. Kinda like calling 911. It used to be the case that it was silly to call 911 for anything other than a true emergency. But over time, due to abuse by so many people, 911 hotlines became staffed to handle a large load with a relatively small percentage of true emergencies. And the 911 staff then handoff to whoever is appropriate. (At least, that's my impression of how 911 operates in the modern day.)

Alan

Not as much terrifying. The lightning struck so quickly that there wasn't much time to be terrified. More like, startled, then I got this sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw all the errors popped up. I was like "...hopefully it's something simple and I can just restart..." NOPE I went to unplug to see if it something like that but the charging port wasn't lit and the plug wouldn't come out. Then it was just a matter of super frustration waiting to be on the phone with Tesla for a whole hour. They were getting a ridiculous amount of calls it seems. Apparently I should have called roadside assistance first. I tried tech support, then the supercharger line. The supercharger line hung up on me after twenty minutes... Luckily it was just 5 minutes with roadside assistance. So much time, though. The tow truck took like an hour to get there. Then it was all this time trying to get the cord disconnected, then another long time trying to get the sunroof closed since I had vented it while sitting there waiting for 3 hours. All in all it was about a 4 hour event.

Thanks on the signature, I rather like it as well :p
 
... Kinda like calling 911. It used to be the case that it was silly to call 911 for anything other than a true emergency. But over time, due to abuse by so many people, 911 hotlines became staffed to handle a large load with a relatively small percentage of true emergencies. And the 911 staff then handoff to whoever is appropriate. (At least, that's my impression of how 911 operates in the modern day.)

Alan
It's still important to reserve calling 911 for emergencies. Despite perceived improvements, 911 gets overloaded sometimes, and even a tiny delay can mean the difference between life and death. Some places use 311 as a non-emergency help line. All major police depts have a 24hr non-emergency line. If you're unsure if it's an emergency (like a break-in where you don't know if the perp might still be around), you are better off calling 911 than wasting what may turn out to be crucial time.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,131
1,233
Charlotte, NC
It's still important to reserve calling 911 for emergencies. Despite perceived improvements, 911 gets overloaded sometimes, and even a tiny delay can mean the difference between life and death. Some places use 311 as a non-emergency help line. All major police depts have a 24hr non-emergency line. If you're unsure if it's an emergency (like a break-in where you don't know if the perp might still be around), you are better off calling 911 than wasting what may turn out to be crucial time.

Hopefully without going too far off topic... This is always how I lived my life and I agree with it. Sadly, where I live now, I called the general police department to report an accident (a minor fender bender) and they told me to hang up and dial 911. Similarly, I called once because of road debris (some left Lowes to quick and some pavers spilled over their truck onto the roadway) and again was told I need to call 911. That just doesn't jive with me as it wasn't life-threatening., but its what I have to do here. Now imagine people who grew up around here moving to another place. They will think dialing 911 is normal for non-emergencies!
 
Dang! We live a mere 10 miles south of the Grove City, OH supercharger in the summer and only two miles west of the Port Orange, FL supercharger in the winter. Just two reasons why we ordered our car TODAY at the Easton showroom! The guys there are great and helped make it the most pleasant buying experience we've ever had. Hope everything works out for you.
 
There was no time between the lightning flash (flicker in the video) and the crash of thunder. Sound travels at 761 MPH, or just under 13 miles per second. I'd guess the strike was within 1/4 mile.

Downloaded full resolution version, played with mplayer (command line), mplayer said it is 28FPS, I used "." command (frame by frame mode) and I counted 12 frames of flash starting 12 frames before the boom, so that's 478 feet all the way down to almost 0 feet +/- lots of error possibilities, but I am guessing a lot of the continuing flash was the light bouncing around and the bolt had already finished by then. Not only the bouncing photons, but it may have also caused something else to start lighting things up on its own too (such as a transformer exploding, causing more light later than the bolt, or a tree exploding, same thing possibly as it singes).

But ~0 to ~478 feet from what? As pointed out by others, probably some electronics was hit, possibly even further than 478 feet away. Often it's a transformer, and those things explode, as do a lot of other things hit by lightning (trees, etc.), so one is often lucky not to get a direct hit. Other posts talk about EM fields. I'm glad she is OK.
 
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Downloaded full resolution version, played with mplayer (command line), mplayer said it is 28FPS, I used "." command (frame by frame mode) and I counted 12 frames of flash starting 12 frames before the boom, so that's 478 feet all the way down to almost 0 feet +/- lots of error possibilities, but I am guessing a lot of the continuing flash was the light bouncing around and the bolt had already finished by then. Not only the bouncing photons, but it may have also caused something else to start lighting things up on its own too (such as a transformer exploding, causing more light later than the bolt, or a tree exploding, same thing possibly as it singes).

But ~0 to ~478 feet from what? As pointed out by others, probably some electronics was hit, possibly even further than 478 feet away. Often it's a transformer, and those things explode, as do a lot of other things hit by lightning (trees, etc.), so one is often lucky not to get a direct hit. Other posts talk about EM fields. I'm glad she is OK.

Pretty sure it was close. I looked up through my pano roof and saw it next to me on my right. I think it hit the building, or it hit the light in the trees. I walked pretty far though to try to find something and didn't see anything. I had a lot of time to just walk around.

- - - Updated - - -

So lagann- what's the latest on your car? I assume Tesla has it now.

I have heard nothing from them.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,618
3,224
@lagann - When they're prepping the vehicle for return to you, you might ask them to have Elon sign it with a lightning bolt on your passenger visor with the date of the strike. He (and Tesla employees generally) is (are) cool enough they might like the idea and get it done for you. If not, bonnie might be able to hook you up; she's done some visor stuff before for TMC folk.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,131
1,233
Charlotte, NC
@lagann - When they're prepping the vehicle for return to you, you might ask them to have Elon sign it with a lightning bolt on your passenger visor with the date of the strike. He (and Tesla employees generally) is (are) cool enough they might like the idea and get it done for you. If not, bonnie might be able to hook you up; she's done some visor stuff before for TMC folk.

That is a GREAT idea!
 
@lagann - When they're prepping the vehicle for return to you, you might ask them to have Elon sign it with a lightning bolt on your passenger visor with the date of the strike. He (and Tesla employees generally) is (are) cool enough they might like the idea and get it done for you. If not, bonnie might be able to hook you up; she's done some visor stuff before for TMC folk.

That would be amazing! Who would I ask to get this done?
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,619
12,081
Connecticut
I'm kinda surprised that nobody in this thread has mentioned yet the two Model Ss used for the cross-country Supercharger trip: Thunder and Lightning.

coasttocoastnycfinish_0.jpg
 

Pollux

Active Member
Supporting Member
One would think as you do! Makes a lot of sense, right, to NOT call 911 for non-emergencies! I think the 311 thing is a great idea, and should be used wherever possible. But sometimes dialing the police directly on a non-emergency number results in advice to "dial 911" (even though it's not an emergency). Sheesh.

One time, I drove myself to the hospital when I realized I needed a tune-up on some internal body part or other. I valet'd the car and walked in to the front desk. Waved good-bye to the nice people in the waiting room, as I got expressed back into triage/ER. There were a few fumbles, though, as they expected people to show up **via the ambulance bay / 911 path** for anything other than the usual cough/cold/stubbed digit problems.

So apparently 911 is so mis-used that now the "right thing" to do is to call it even if you think it's not an emergency!

Drives me nuts. Wish we had a 311-equivalent where I live.

It's still important to reserve calling 911 for emergencies. Despite perceived improvements, 911 gets overloaded sometimes, and even a tiny delay can mean the difference between life and death. Some places use 311 as a non-emergency help line. All major police depts have a 24hr non-emergency line. If you're unsure if it's an emergency (like a break-in where you don't know if the perp might still be around), you are better off calling 911 than wasting what may turn out to be crucial time.
 

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