Author Topic: lighting detector i think has a flaw  (Read 1307 times)

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Offline okieman98

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lighting detector i think has a flaw
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:46:04 PM »
here in Oklahoma we new storms where coming so i got ready to watch the lighting detector i added on to my system. had it about two weeks before we have any lighting, as i watched the storm move in i got my first reading said 25 miles away, next 15 then 5 miles, then 1 mile as the storm rolled over head and lighting over head still read 1 instead of 0, it counted 187 , as it detected a flash it then blink off said interference not detecting, after a second it would then show listening, it would count a flash then go blink off showing interference  and so on. anyone seen this happening before is this the norm. but the other thing i think is a flaw is when the storm moved off and out of area it still said 1 mile detection, miles never went back up moving away , at this point it still showing 1 mile as last detecting and listening as it should,   
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 02:27:46 AM by okieman98 »


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Offline waiukuweather

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 04:14:09 AM »
very close lightning strikes will over power it , I would suggest (re the interference message)

Offline tbrasel

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 06:30:02 AM »
I purchased one last fall, for the very little cost, I am pleased with it. I have a couple of other lightning detection subscriptions to other services, but the Acurite lightning detector by far gives me the "heads-up" locally much faster. I have profiled a couple of parameters I am curious about & posted them here.

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=30139.msg303836#msg303836
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Offline okieman98

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 04:46:05 PM »
i agree, that the interference is just the nature of the best at this point for this device, i was happy with the early warning tho, it did log 186 strikes, it gave me about 15 mint warning  before the main storm arrived  it was moving on, for the cost i also agree it was not much, i also think it one directional more then more 360 , overall i am ok with it until something comes along that is better.
the only complaint i guess, i wish the mile counter would show 0 when over head and as the strikes move away the distance would move back up as it moved off and u could upload the info. as this one is my first one, i am hooked for sure, thanks

the other thing i would like to be able to do is record earthquakes since we have a surge of them here now just local in and around my place
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:50:40 PM by okieman98 »


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Offline vreihen

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 07:09:38 PM »
A mile is only a tad more than 5,000 feet straight up, so I can see how a nearby strike could be picked up as a mile away.....
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Offline okieman98

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 07:48:29 PM »
never looked at it that way but u have a very good point, i was thinking more of a line of sight distance not as a vertical sense of distance so it could be correct in cloud to cloud, as the flash is a mile overhead. thanks


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Offline worachj

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 09:37:19 AM »
I’ve had my AcuRite 06045 lightning detector for a month now with somewhat mixed results.

The GOOD, it’s picking up strikes 20-23 miles away. The BAD, I get the interference not detecting message a couple times during each storm, and lightning counts seem very low when comparing to http://en.blitzortung.org/live_lightning_maps.php?map=34 . On my last storm the sensor counted only 3 strikes when it should have been over 30. Sometimes I hear the thunder rumble but get no count.

I currently have my sensor mounted in AcuRite’s solar shield on the north side of my shed 8 ft. off the ground and facing north (under the electrical wires). Most of my storms come from the west. So I’m going to start moving my sensor around trying different heights and different sensor directions. So it sounds like for my situation I should have the sensor facing west, 4-8 ft. off the ground?

Any other suggestion on how to improve the sensor performance?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 10:48:34 AM by worachj »


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Offline tbrasel

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 11:22:15 AM »
My best results were observed after placing the lightning detector in AcuRite’s solar shield, then placing it on the roof, away from any electrical sources. I can verify my lightning detector stops at the 1000 strike mark. I reached that mark in less than 2 hours back in April.

The worst results were observed when the lightning detector was place inside my home.
Best Regards
tbrasel

Bentonville Arkansas, USA
Hardware: Davis 6153 - Wireless Vantage Pro2 with FARS
Software: VWS V15.00
CWOP: EW2939 - WU: KARBENTO2
Website: https://www.nwarwx.com
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Offline worachj

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 03:28:37 PM »
My best results were observed after placing the lightning detector in AcuRite’s solar shield, then placing it on the roof, away from any electrical sources. I can verify my lightning detector stops at the 1000 strike mark. I reached that mark in less than 2 hours back in April.

The worst results were observed when the lightning detector was place inside my home.

Thanks, I'm going to try and move the sensor away from the electrical and phone wires for the next storm.

My first storm was intense and the sensor count was 359 strikes, but the last two only 6 & 3 on moderate storms but I know the counts should have been higher. That has me wondering why the low strike count and why I'm getting the interference message during storms. I have the sensor in the backyard 100 feet away from everything but the electrical and phone wires do run 20 feet above it. So that's the only thing I can think of that would effect the sensor.

Do you ever get the interference error message on your display during Storms. The only time I see it is during storms and it only last for 5 seconds before returning to Listening. I'll get the interference message maybe 5 times during a 20 minute storm. I'm wondering how common the interference message is. I've gotten them on every storm.


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Offline tbrasel

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 03:36:56 PM »
My best results were observed after placing the lightning detector in AcuRite’s solar shield, then placing it on the roof, away from any electrical sources. I can verify my lightning detector stops at the 1000 strike mark. I reached that mark in less than 2 hours back in April.

The worst results were observed when the lightning detector was place inside my home.

Do you ever get the interference error message on your display during Storms. The only time I see it is during storms and it only last for 5 seconds before returning to Listening. I'll get the interference message maybe 5 times during a 20 minute storm. I'm wondering how common the interference message is. I've gotten them on every storm.

Yes, considerably at first, until I found the "right" spot for it. Such as an outside a/c compressor coming on will mess with it, if ot is to close to it.

Now I only notice it when the lightning just starts coming into range, or around the 23 to 25 mile mark. Once the lightning is measured within about 18 miles, not as much. 
Best Regards
tbrasel

Bentonville Arkansas, USA
Hardware: Davis 6153 - Wireless Vantage Pro2 with FARS
Software: VWS V15.00
CWOP: EW2939 - WU: KARBENTO2
Website: https://www.nwarwx.com
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Offline worachj

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2017, 04:33:37 PM »
Yes, considerably at first, until I found the "right" spot for it. 

Thanks for the input. My AC is between the sensor and display but I don't recall it running at the time of interference. I'll keep looking for the right spot!


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Offline vreihen

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 08:40:11 PM »
IIRC, the manufacturer of the sensor chip rates it for something under 25% detection rate at even the closer ranges.

As I posted in another thread, having the LED's facing east puts the antenna on the west side of the unit.....
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Offline worachj

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2017, 07:56:29 AM »
IIRC, the manufacturer of the sensor chip rates it for something under 25% detection rate at even the closer ranges.

As I posted in another thread, having the LED's facing east puts the antenna on the west side of the unit.....

Thanks, exact insight I was looking for. I'll try facing the LED side facing east to pick up my storms which frequently come from the west.


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Offline n2qew

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 02:12:32 PM »
Since it's likely using the same sensor device as their portable variety, I'd expect that as lightning gets closer, the performance gets worse. There's really no way it can accurately determine distance.
 
I made this video about a year ago showing the gross inaccuracy of the Acurite lightning sensor. Had a storm pop up while I was at a dog park, and had the sensor with me. Strikes were generally within a couple miles. Sensor consistently said really far distances - 10 or more miles when lightning was really close.

Decided to video it. I have an obviously clean cloud to ground strike that was right about a mile away - ~5 secs flash to bang. Sensor said 9 miles. I called Acurite, and explained that the thing was showing info that was just plain wrong. I got an answer from the list
of "what to say when they have no clue about the product" that was along the lines of it must be picking up noise or something. I was outside, in a park, in the open with no buildings or other electronics around. Probably as close to the perfect, intended environment for this as you are going to get.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!Al2OT6PFWa6Ik0XmPrLqx-_cLTwQ


Offline vreihen

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2017, 05:24:38 PM »
From the AMS (chip manufacturer's) reference design manual http://ams.com/eng/content/download/560084/1553365 :

Quote
Note: This product is intended to be used as an early warning indicator for lightning related storms. It does not guarantee accuracy or predict exact strike locations. By using the part, the user shall be aware that he cannot just rely on the indication in order to prevent accidents caused by lightning strikes. ams expressly states that the user must follow the generally known and recommended instructions how to behave in the event of lightning strikes. In no event shall ams or its suppliers be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages (including, but not limited to procurement of substitute goods or services, loss of use, data or profits, or business interruption) arising out of user ́s disregarding of such warnings and instructions.

The chip costs $3.55 in quantity 1,000, not exactly a lab-quality component.  Thunderstorms rise 7+ miles high.  High school geometry, right triangle, hypotenuse length to whatever impulse point along the bolt's path triggered the detector.  I'm just happy when the thing alerts...period!

From playing with a module on a breadboard, I did observe that the sensitivity varies greatly depending on horizontal/vertical antenna orientation.  I also have theories that antenna orientation may impact near-versus-far or C2C-versus-C2G sensitivity, but have not had a long enough t-storm to test with yet.....
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Offline worachj

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2017, 06:51:56 PM »
Looks like I need to lower my expectations and use it only as an early warning device, which it seems to work quite well at. The interference message during storms is somewhat common and something everyone gets when storms overwhelm the device.

It seems to be designed to identify up coming storm fronts, which is really what I want anyway.

AS3935 Datasheet:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjO6_WZ9sXUAhWB3oMKHfLKAlsQFggtMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.switchdoc.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F01%2FAS3935_Datasheet_EN_v2.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEZSb7kTu3ogAs8XZHhAkrmkeT8hQ


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Offline vreihen

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Re: lighting detector i think has a flaw
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 08:35:07 PM »
AS3935 Datasheet:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjO6_WZ9sXUAhWB3oMKHfLKAlsQFggtMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.switchdoc.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F01%2FAS3935_Datasheet_EN_v2.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEZSb7kTu3ogAs8XZHhAkrmkeT8hQ

Page 8-27 has this, plus a neat graph:

Quote
8 Detailed Description
The AS3935 can detect the presence of an approaching storm with lightning activities and provide an estimation of the distance to the leading edge of the storm, where the leading edge of the storm is defined as the minimum distance from the sensor to the closest edge of the storm. The embedded hardwired distance estimation algorithm of the AS3935 issues an interrupt on the IRQ pin (see Interrupt Management on page 22) every time a lightning is detected. The estimated distance which is displayed in the distance estimation register does not represent the distance to the single lightning but the estimated distance to the leading edge of the storm. A graphical representation is shown in the Figure 9.
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