Lightning + Cable Modem + AirPort Extreme = :(

Fahrvergnuugen

I am the law!
I have a my AirPort Extreme hooked directly to my cable modem. I also have a Vonage phone router plugged into the LAN port on the AirPort. All of the computers in the house are wireless.

Last night we had a sudden surprise lightning storm. I unplugged my G5 and the laptops were running on batteries. A bolt of lightning hit close by and then the Internet stopped working.

I went and looked at my cable modem. The "PC" light was out (I'm assuming this is just a link light?). The power and cable lights were still on.

I reset the cable modem and the AirPort. I even tried using a different network cable. The PC light would - at best - flash a few times and then stay off. I get the same exact result if I plug the vonage phone router directly into the cable modem.

I connected to the AirPort with the admin utility and found that it didn't have an IP address after being reset. Everything else functions normally (three lights work on front, signal is good, etc).

I plugged a third router (this router was in storage, not hooked up during the storm) and it works fine. I can also plug my laptop directly into the cable modem and its fine - PC light comes on, can get access to the internet (though it seemed kind of slow).

I talked to my neighbor and she said she was watching TV when the lightning struck. The TV went crazy for a second, but the lights didn't flicker. So at this point I was thinking that lightning came through the cable and CAT5 and toasted both of my routers (but somehow spared the cable modem?).

Now here is where it gets confusing. I brought the AirPort into work today and plugged it into a switch. Link light on the switch came on and the AirPort picked up an IP address. I can connect to it with my laptop and ping other IPs on our network.

So what's broken? The AirPort AND the Vonage router or the Cable modem? I'm at a loss...
 

MisterMe

Registered
Fahrvergnuugen said:
I have a my AirPort Extreme hooked directly to my cable modem. I also have a Vonage phone router plugged into the LAN port on the AirPort. All of the computers in the house are wireless.

Last night we had a sudden surprise lightning storm. I unplugged my G5 and the laptops were running on batteries. A bolt of lightning hit close by and then the Internet stopped working.

I went and looked at my cable modem. The "PC" light was out (I'm assuming this is just a link light?). The power and cable lights were still on.

I reset the cable modem and the AirPort. I even tried using a different network cable. The PC light would - at best - flash a few times and then stay off. I get the same exact result if I plug the vonage phone router directly into the cable modem.

I connected to the AirPort with the admin utility and found that it didn't have an IP address after being reset. Everything else functions normally (three lights work on front, signal is good, etc).

I plugged a third router (this router was in storage, not hooked up during the storm) and it works fine. I can also plug my laptop directly into the cable modem and its fine - PC light comes on, can get access to the internet (though it seemed kind of slow).

I talked to my neighbor and she said she was watching TV when the lightning struck. The TV went crazy for a second, but the lights didn't flicker. So at this point I was thinking that lightning came through the cable and CAT5 and toasted both of my routers (but somehow spared the cable modem?).

Now here is where it gets confusing. I brought the AirPort into work today and plugged it into a switch. Link light on the switch came on and the AirPort picked up an IP address. I can connect to it with my laptop and ping other IPs on our network.

So what's broken? The AirPort AND the Vonage router or the Cable modem? I'm at a loss...
You little novel includes a lot of useless information. Could you please tell us what is not working. The things that work when plugged into something or somewhere else are working. So once again, what is it that is not working.
 

Fahrvergnuugen

I am the law!
MisterMe said:
You little novel includes a lot of useless information. Could you please tell us what is not working. The things that work when plugged into something or somewhere else are working. So once again, what is it that is not working.

There, I highlighted the problem in bold for those of you who can't read :rolleyes:

And before you make a sarcastic reply about how that's a pretty vague description of them problem, try reading the rest of the post so you know what I've tried already to diagnose the problem.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
While you do give information, I had to read it several times to get exactly what is working and what is not.

Since the Airport base does indeed work since you tested it at a different location, I would say it is either the cable modem that may have got toasted or your router or your Vonage.

First, turn off the cable modem and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Then, using the spare router and new Cat5's connect the cable modem to your set up minus the Vonage and give it a test run.

If that works, connect the Vonage and give it a test run.

Modems are very sensitive to lightening. In a severe storm, it is best to unplug the modems from the source - phone jack and /or cable connection. Your computer and devices should be on a surge protector.

Even if the computer is off the modems can get damaged. I know as I experienced a lightening caused dead modem.
 

Cat

Registered
This may sound strange, but I experienced a similar problem awhile ago and it appeared strangely to be resolved by changing the cable by which the cable modem is connected to the Airport base station. At first I had a normal UTP cable between the modem and the base station, after the storm it wouldn't connect no matter what, but all the components did work separately. Amazingly, plugging in a cross-over UTP cable between the cable modem and the base station resolved the problem. I am guessing that the lightning somehow broke the autoconfiguring of the ethernet port on the base station. But this guess is on the level of "reverse the particle flow in the main reactor to power the shields" ... anyhow, trying won't hurt.
 
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