Ok, so here's the idea,
I live in Johannesburg, during the summer months we get quite hectic lightning strikes,
Every day I physically disconnect my equipment, (out the wall socket) and RJ45/RJ11 (adsl) in an attempt to protect my equipment from lightning damage.
Simply disconnecting the wall switch I don't think is good enough as the distance between the contacts is so small that a nearby lightning strike would simply arc across, this would also apply to the contacts within a relay.
Enter the PI, so the "cheap Pi" could be my sacrificial lamb
, and here's what I though...
Firstly I could get the Pi to disconnect a relay that acts as a generic off switch for the equipment,
then I could get the Pi to drive a stepper motor that moves a tray where one side of the connectors are, Power network and phone,
the stepper motor would drive the tray and connectors physically from one another giving a much larger gap than a relay or switch could ever give. In the event of a nearby lightning strike, hopefully this gap would be big enough and allow the lightning to find another path to earth than via my equipment.
If I got hit, the Pi would die, but my equipment would stay safe.. a cheap replacement rather than my equipment.
Next I'd build a lightning detector circuit to detect nearby lightning activity, so that the process can happen automatically, in addition I'd have the Pi run off a battery so that if the power was off I'd still be safe...
What's your thoughts?
My one problem that I have thought of is that when the Pi re-connects the power via the stepper motor and re-connects the relay, if my equipment was previously on there would be a power surge going to the equipment, and I have no idea how to smooth that power. for instance if i insert the plug in the wall socket whilst everything is on I see a blue flash... dont know how I'd protect my equipment from that??