Author Topic: USPLN Sensor Request  (Read 13871 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #75 on: March 19, 2017, 07:41:52 PM »
Weatherhost:  Oh yes, if it is in the air and a transponder is working it can be heard.  There are Cessna 172s and Piper Archers, along with all sorts of private jets and commercial.  The military is filtered out, as is Air Force One, which came in one day and nothing showed up.

I imagine that is all for the good.

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2017, 05:18:53 PM »
Well ...  THAT one would have lit a few bumpers and score some replays.  Lots of close stuff that would have been a good test.

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2017, 07:54:24 PM »
I've been trying to read some of the information on the USPLN website to understand a bit more about the program. I found one PDF document that is a bit technical, but not much else.  I can't tell if there are any other sensors near me or if the NWS sites have them.

Or if NWS even uses the data.

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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2017, 08:30:25 AM »
I've been trying to read some of the information on the USPLN website to understand a bit more about the program. I found one PDF document that is a bit technical, but not much else.  I can't tell if there are any other sensors near me or if the NWS sites have them.

Or if NWS even uses the data.

I attended the NWS KAPX open house last year in September. Inside the main area with all the computers and radar displays, they had NLDN strike data on one of the displays. I think that it was some kind of overlay on the radar, if I remember correctly. NLDN is a Vaisala-based network.

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=30360.msg299895#msg299895

Quote
I didn't get pictures of the indoor tour, but I noticed that they use NLDN for lightning detection. It was depicting + and - strikes. They had the usual array of satellite, radar images, etc. and were showing how they generate forecasts. It is more automated than I would have guessed.

Since the "Weather Company" who owns Wunderground and the Weather Channel also owns USPLN, I would assume that they are using the strike data. WU was using the Boltek network, but maybe they switched to USPLN. Don't know for sure, but it seems reasonable.

Greg H.




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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2017, 09:09:34 AM »
Making progress on the prep for the installation. I had to free up space on the J-mast extension for the TOA Systems sensor antennas.

Monday was nice enough to get the L-Com Omni antenna for the repeater output side removed and replaced with a small 6dBi Yagi pointed at the house. I also removed the H-B lightning detector and I now have room to mount the TOA Systems sensor antennas. Unfortunately we had high winds yesterday and it has since turned cold. I'll try again Thursday.

I must have disturbed the big 17dBi Yagi for the repeater, because it turned into a giant wind vane of sorts and was pointing about 120 off axis. I got back up there with the big wrench and tightened the clamping screw. Seems OK now and it stayed put despite the wind after the fix.

I bought some 1 inch PVC and a slip coupler to extend the antenna up a couple of feet. I am going to use back-to-back conduit clamps held with nuts and bolts for an offset mount to the freed-up space on the J-mast extension. Maybe I can do some PVC/Clamp assembly and get the module placed in the garage cabinet.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2017, 10:24:29 AM »
Greg,
I know you are no newcomer when it comes to stuff on the roof, but an old trick that is helpful in saving masts and all during those downdrafts gusts and rough weather that is coming (I had one brief 90 mph gust last year) is to put as big of an outside diameter pipe that will fit inside the mounting pipe.  Even if it isn't a tight fit, the outer one will flex against it and then gain quite a bit of strength over what just the outer pipe alone would offer.

Sounds like your yagi did what my 2 meter vertical yagi did up at almost 100' a few years ago.  I went out the next morning after a pretty good storm overnight and looked up.  HF beam and the OTA TV stuff was still oriented where the rotor left it, but the yagi was now 60 degrees anti clockwise with the rest.  I don't use it much and don't have the gumption at this time of my life to even try to get it straightened out or look for an Elmer with nads enough to climb up there to re-orient it, so there it stays.  I just tell my wife it evens out the wind load!

You said that the Weather Company owns WU and the Wx Channel, but they also say they are an IBM company.  I hope a loosely held one, since I have no respect for the Wx Channel (sorry, its just me) and the WU has gotten plenty of bad ink from folks I respect lately, so I try not to hold that against IBM.

One of the guys who used to be a meteorologist for WCCO, Channel 4 out of the Twin Cities (which we watch for our weather since that is where most of it comes from and they have big bucks to buy the toys and services and pay for good on the air talking heads which also seem to think, especially all of their chiefs over the years) and Dr. Walt Lyons who was a respected researcher in lightning for many years went on to work with the Vaisala network, if I recall.  We met him by accident down in AZ at the same motel we were staying at.  Very personable.  A real gentleman and would have loved to discuss even an evening's worth of lightning topics with him if it would have been possible.  I think I've been blessed to have as professors or know incidentally so many people who've done some original research. 

Keep us posted on your antenna mounting travails until you are set  up.

I'm going out in bright (but cold) sunshine to get one of the tripod mounts on my shed converted over so when the package does arrive I'll be able to proceed with getting it  mounted and on the air.  Storm season is coming.

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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2017, 10:30:53 AM »
Hankster:

You posted a couple pix of probability ellipses that you had from strike probabilities.

I know the agreement say you cannot share data on your web site and so on, but can you say if those examples you showed will be what we can, privately, view?  Do you get regional access, say for the surrounding 50 miles or so?  Or continental US?  I'm must curious as to what carrot we get offered to be hosting this and of course if we want to continue to enjoy the data will be following the contract to the letter.

A few years ago, well maybe more than that, there was an amateur subscription for a much more modest price to the Vaisala network (named something different then) that allowed pretty fine resolution with little colored plus signs on a map.  I think that it was enormously expensive at the time to buy the data, our local electric company had one guy in the transmission department who could look at strikes to see if one of the lines got nailed and where.  He said that it was pretty precise, down to a pole or two  usually when they sent crews out to fix a transformer or insulator.  Maybe time has inflated the cost in my memory but for Western Wisconsin and Minnesota I think that he said the license was like $10,000 / month.

Something only those of us who've not won the lottery can dream about. 

Dale
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2017, 10:33:56 AM »
Yeah, I have no idea what I'll be able to view, but I figure I'll wait until I get it set up as I'm sure I'll have lots more questions.

I'd really like to know if there are any other active sensors nearby for one thing.
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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2017, 10:47:52 AM »
Hankster:

You posted a couple pix of probability ellipses that you had from strike probabilities.

..... Stuff snipped .....

Dale

Yes, as a contributing member that is what you will see. You will have access to their lighting data world wide. They will also set up email alerts so if there is a stroke within 20 miles (I think that is the distance) of you, you will get an email. You will then get another email if there have been no strikes in your area in the past 30 minutes.

I don't believe this is releasing to much info. They seem to be mainly concerned about distributing live data outside your private usage.

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2017, 11:10:26 AM »
Thank you, that's nice to know. Dale
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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2017, 12:21:43 PM »
Dale,

Quote
..an old trick that is helpful in saving masts and all during those downdrafts gusts and rough weather that is coming (I had one brief 90 mph gust last year) is to put as big of an outside diameter pipe that will fit inside the mounting pipe.  Even if it isn't a tight fit, the outer one will flex against it and then gain quite a bit of strength over what just the outer pipe alone would offer.

I sort of have this with my Rohn anemometer mast. I bought the 3-section 30ft one, but only used the top two sections. (mostly due to the rooftop battle to get the big diameter into the tripod "socket"). I have the upper section extended only about a foot, foot and so it is basically double-walled. Rohn is much better grade than that bankrupt store's offerings.

For this project, the mast is  pretty loaded with Davis boxes (one for the long range repeater and the other as a shelter for the preamp and BPF), so I am not sure how I would implement your suggestion in this case. I'll keep that in mind for future considerations...

I just cemented the coupler and the GPS tee section together. Effectively, it is a longer-tailed version of what they sent. I already tried passing the stroke cable through it and it is OK. I even drilled a hole for the tie-wrap at the bottom of my new section mimicking TOA's. I am going to hold off with the PVC cement until I have passed the cable up on the roof. If the "press fit" seems solid enough I might leave it at that. It will have the benefit of gravity working in its favor, so I may not need to glue it.

This afternoon I'll place the TOA module in the garage cabinet, ground it and connect the RaspPi to the USB for remote access.

The winds have died down, so now it is simply a matter of whether I want to be cold out there or wait until tomorrow. The "readers of goat entrails" also known as weather forecasters, are predicting a warm-up tomorrow, followed by rain on Friday. So Thursday appears to be my window of opportunity.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2017, 12:31:52 PM »
We're supposed to get rain here tomorrow and into the weekend.  We have some Rohn 25 G and maybe a 140' 45G to get down, but looks like the climber is a bit challenged by the rain and wind and cold.

Damn, I've forgotten everything I learned about reading goat entrails, too.  That was so long ago.  I did realize it was hard on the goats and they got skittish after awhile.

Good luck on the project.  Little things seem to take time.  I'm getting a UPS and the switch/WAP/used to be router installed so I can keep my remote IP camera going when I piggyback the TOA onto that previously single wire out to the shed. 

Good choice for Rohn, I wish I still could affort the new stuff, but that was in a previous (better paid) life.

Dale
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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2017, 02:27:27 PM »
Well, I got the antennae up. The coils are tie-wrapped with plastic sandwich bags over the connectors. Hopefully, I can just route the cables tomorrow. I plan on enlarging the 1-Wire original hole to pass the wires through, but I will have to enlarge it.

Here is the thing so far. The GPS is partially hidden by the main section of the stroke mast support. The power pole is across the alley and isn't as close as it looks.



The M2 17dBi Yagi is going off to the left aimed at the marina.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2017, 05:20:13 PM »
The power pole is across the alley and isn't as close as it looks.

I was a ....  gonna say.


How long from when they first completed the signed agreement did you receive the package?

I got the completion notice Monday.

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Offline drew

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2017, 07:21:02 PM »

I was a ....  gonna say.


How long from when they first completed the signed agreement did you receive the package?

I got the completion notice Monday.

I also got the completion notice Monday. Did anyone receive notification of when the shipment went out?



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Offline tstorm

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2017, 07:54:11 PM »

I also got the completion notice Monday. Did anyone receive notification of when the shipment went out?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Shipment is through FedEX and I received a notice of shipment.  The stroke antenna is shipped separately in a tube.  I received my package in January and it took slightly over a week from when the agreement was signed.  The Holidays delayed things a little bit.  With the number of people signing up lately it may take a little longer.

John

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2017, 08:18:02 PM »
Considering the cost to me, I certainly can't be  in a rush, but I was hoping to get setup before the next batch of storms rolls through to see how it works.  It's only March though and I'm pretty sure we'll have storms in April and May.  :-)



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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2017, 08:34:45 PM »
Another question is about uptime tracking.  How close to they monitor that?  My DSL can be flaky at times and has been down 8 hours or more a few times.

Then there is my cobbled up LAN.  I've tried to smooth that out recently and ensure devices stay on line, but will I be able to monitor their unit  in-house here to make sure it stays connected?

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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2017, 08:17:47 AM »
The power pole is across the alley and isn't as close as it looks.

I was a ....  gonna say.


How long from when they first completed the signed agreement did you receive the package?

I got the completion notice Monday.

From my email archive, I got the "Thank you for partnering with TOA" email on 2/23, the FedEx notification on 3/3. delivery was 3/8. Snow/Cold prevented installation until this week. I hope to finish it today.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #94 on: March 23, 2017, 04:10:37 PM »
We had a couple strikes today close enough to trigger a warning so I thought I'd attach a screenshot of the email I got so you can see what you'll be getting.

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2017, 04:15:35 PM »
The TOA Systems sensors and module are now installed and working. The module looks right at home along with the Blitzortung controllers. (and has an uncanny resemblance to the audio amplifiers that I used to work on at "Famous Maker Automotive Audio Supplier", but less the fins....)

Here are some pics of the install:









You can get the directory listing here and click each image so you don't have to turn your head to view them. I guess that Simple Machines doesn't have an option for image rotation for inline viewing....

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #96 on: March 23, 2017, 04:22:01 PM »
Mike, how can you possibly relegate the poor Blitz box to a remote location where you cannot be mesmerized by the blinking lights! 

Nice install.  I was going to ask if you had a heater in the enclosure for those sub zero nights

« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 04:24:55 PM by DaleReid »
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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2017, 04:53:58 PM »
Quote
Mike
:?:

Greg H.




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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #98 on: March 23, 2017, 05:24:49 PM »
Greg:

BLUSH!!

You don't know what I called my wife when I got home....


Long day!
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Offline 44085weather

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #99 on: March 24, 2017, 05:24:45 PM »
My sensor arrived today. Hopefully I can get on the roof this weekend and get it installed.

Pictures coming after install.