3 Airport Extremes dead?

Feb 16, 2016
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I've been using an Airport Extreme router. Over the years I bought 2 more to put in different spots around the house, extending the range. Worked great. Then, a couple of nights ago lightning struck a tree in the neighborhood and everyone's internet and landline phones went dead. As best as I can figure out, the hit killed:
  • Two of my hardwired landline phones (but not my other landline)
  • a USB hub near my computer (but not the other 2 hubs OR the computer)
  • "maybe" a CAT-6 cable
  • "something" associated with Wi-Fi (more about that later).
I was watching TV at the time of the LOUD hit, and neither the TV nor the cable box were affected.
Optimum :)mad:grrrr!) had me do the usual plug/unplug stuff and assured me my modem was good because they could ping it. But I had no internet so they finally sent someone.
The child they sent first told me my modem was fine so "must be outside". I explained that neighbors had replaced their modems and routers and were up and running. Then he decided my Airport Extreme was the problem (although he had never seen one before). I had swapped the other 2 units in place of the main router and none of them worked--just got a flashing yellow light. Could they all have gotten fried?
Finally the kid installed a Ubee UBC 1322 combination modem/router and after a lot of fiddling with network name and password, it's now up and running (although it did go out earlier today).
Sorry for the long tale of woe but my questions are:
  1. Is it reasonable to assume the lightning strike killed all 3 Airport Extremes?
  2. Is there a way to check each unit? I tried connecting with a CAT-6 cable from the Ubee to the Airport but still just get a flashing yellow light. Tried resetting the Airport with a pin but still no luck. Hate to toss them in the trash.
  3. Tangentially, what happened? I'm guessing the lightning caused some sort of electromagnetic field that fried some things but I can't understand how a USB hub got fried but not my computer, TV, stereo etc. And not even other USB hubs. A router, maybe a modem and a telephone got fried. I "think" some cables are toast. All in all I dodged a bullet--the TV is less than a month old and I use the computer a lot. None of the many other electronics in the house, from stereos to dishwasher were affected. Weird.
Any thoughts?


Mar 22, 2022
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modern circuits are used to nice plain voltage and spikes and above and blue voltage levels can damage many. just last month I was inundated in the local Australian floods. and while I many to get the computer and hard disks to safety, I did not have time to save the power adapters (where were plugged in and ON), though the waters never wet them, the fluctuations in voltage from the power sub stations, and spikes etc and houses went under water, (mine was wait deep) I found later that after the flood was gone, many of the hard drive power adaptors are now giving problem, shutting drives down and tuning back on etc......

my 27" iMac that I had taken to saftey before the flood for some reason, shorted out second time I turned it back on after the flood, and these are only small fluctuations. lightening ant is elector magnetic inductions can exceed thousands of times normal voltage and circuits safety levels.

on the others side (this was my second flood, the first in 2011. my apple AirPort Extreme went under in that one. and yet found that it still worked perfect for years after, till being obsoleted... I offered it to the local apple people for exhibit, but they declined.

regards, Sandy


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