Author Topic: Higher interference mode thresholds available!  (Read 6126 times)

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Offline scarecrow93

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #75 on: July 01, 2014, 09:51:59 PM »
Has anyone noticed their loss of the higher gain settings the last couple of evenings?

Just logged into my controller which was running at 32 sig/min...which was fine under the new 80 burst/70 continuous settings.

It's been happening roughly the same time each evening and clears itself at the same time each night.  I  noticed a bunch of reds in interference yesterday as well.

I think the server is yanking the rug out from under me.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Lance
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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #76 on: July 01, 2014, 10:53:54 PM »
In addition to my observations earlier in this thread, I believe the server reduces the interference thresholds if too high a percentage of signals are from noise, even if the limits have not been reached. No one on the development team has explained exactly how it works, however.

Don
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2014, 06:56:37 AM »
hmmm... I can't help but wonder if it's a hint to "go for network quality" not "station quantity" ...
especially with E's coming on line with 3 channels added...

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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2014, 07:28:18 AM »
hmmm... I can't help but wonder if it's a hint to "go for network quality" not "station quantity" ...
especially with E's coming on line with 3 channels added...

I think the Sailor has just set his sail in the prevailing wind.....
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2014, 12:31:20 PM »
hmmm... I can't help but wonder if it's a hint to "go for network quality" not "station quantity" ...
especially with E's coming on line with 3 channels added...

I think the Sailor has just set his sail in the prevailing wind.....

Yep, shouldn't we always be thinking of "network quality" and not our own "station quantity"? Seems as though that old human instinct of being first in everything comes into play and we forget that this is a "community first endeavor"...

The problem is, how do we get to that ideal state of "network quality"? Me thinks we still have  a lot to learn.
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Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2014, 12:48:23 PM »
I figure if the station is giving 90% efficiency and 10% of the strikes are minimum stations, then the "station quantity" is the "network quality". This is until the network has better coverage or until the servers cry uncle as I posted in this thread that got a bit off topic. If the current top 3 stations went off line, over 10% of the entire networks strikes would not be recorded.

Offline scarecrow93

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2014, 01:27:08 PM »
Yep, shouldn't we always be thinking of "network quality" and not our own "station quantity"? Seems as though that old human instinct of being first in everything comes into play and we forget that this is a "community first endeavor"...

The problem is, how do we get to that ideal state of "network quality"? Me thinks we still have  a lot to learn.

You're exactly right!!!

I got caught in a "Ooh shiny!" moment and jacked my gains up from my tried and true settings.  Just trying to stretch the range a bit and learned I sacrificed station resiliency in the process.    ](*,)

Backed the gains back down to the tried and true today and have been watching it pretty close with all the activity in PA and srn NY.  9000 strikes inside 500km and the detector still has some overhead before I have to worry about interference mode.  My locating ratio has taken a dive from all the static though.

Like you said.  It's all about network quality.  Need more stations.
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Offline JonathanW

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2014, 01:45:05 PM »
I figure if the station is giving 90% efficiency and 10% of the strikes are minimum stations, then the "station quantity" is the "network quality". This is until the network has better coverage or until the servers cry uncle as I posted in this thread that got a bit off topic. If the current top 3 stations went off line, over 10% of the entire networks strikes would not be recorded.

That makes sense to me.

Offline JonathanW

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #83 on: July 02, 2014, 01:47:48 PM »
Yep, shouldn't we always be thinking of "network quality" and not our own "station quantity"? Seems as though that old human instinct of being first in everything comes into play and we forget that this is a "community first endeavor"...

The problem is, how do we get to that ideal state of "network quality"? Me thinks we still have  a lot to learn.

You're exactly right!!!

I got caught in a "Ooh shiny!" moment and jacked my gains up from my tried and true settings.  Just trying to stretch the range a bit and learned I sacrificed station resiliency in the process.    ](*,)

Backed the gains back down to the tried and true today and have been watching it pretty close with all the activity in PA and srn NY.  9000 strikes inside 500km and the detector still has some overhead before I have to worry about interference mode.  My locating ratio has taken a dive from all the static though.

Like you said.  It's all about network quality.  Need more stations.

I have an engineer interested in installing a station in Charlottesville, VA, but it will be after the break when Egon resumes sending kits.

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #84 on: July 02, 2014, 01:49:17 PM »
A lot of the 'network quality' relates to work that must be done on the servers to get additional processing, newer algorithms, and features... which became delayed because of the unprecedented demand for kits recently. That's one reason for the hiatus in kit distribution, as well as parts availability.
Another new firmware for current boards should come down with the next week or so.

Now, regarding individual stations and network figures...

Assume 6 working stations, in our network, in a circle of 500 miles, surrounding a supercell to eliminate the question of station density.
The cell actually generates 5000 real strokes. There is no interference noise at any station. One perfect station sends 5000 signals. All 6 stations record 1000 strikes, with the other 5 stations sending less than 4000 signals. The network records 1000 strikes (20% of actual). The network goal is 80%. That's network quality for detection. 

Of the 1000 detected strikes 500 have a 9km deviation. The network goal for deviation is 1km. That's network Quality for location accuracy.

Where are the missing 4000 strikes? Why?  Especially when one station appears to have caught 100%.
Why is the deviation so high?


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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #85 on: July 02, 2014, 01:54:37 PM »
It might be good to review the various basic "quality" metrics available at blitzortung.org and lightningmaps.org. As Egon has said, there is no good metric of station quality at the moment. It's one of his goals to come up with one when he returns from holiday:

lightningmaps.org (Statistics/Network)
============================

- Count(strokes/hour): The total number of calculated lightning strikes to which the station contributed.
- Ratio (strokes/hour): The percentage of total calculated strikes in the last hour to which the station contributed.
- Count (signals/hour): The total number of signals contributed by the station in the last hour, whether or not they contributed to a strike calculation. This includes noise and authentic strikes.
- Ratio(signals/hour): The percentage of signals sent by a station that resulted in a strike calculation.
- Efficiency: The percentage of total calculated system strikes over the last hour to the total number of signals reported by a station over the last hour.


blitzortung.org (Participants)
=====================
- Signals: Same as "Count (signals/hour)" above
- Effectivity S (first column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 50 km.
- Effectivity M (second column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 500 km.
- Effectivity L (third column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 5000 km.

Note that the numbers on each site do not align, likely because of differences in how the "last hour" is calculated.

Most people concentrate on the lightningmaps.org "Ratio (strokes/hour)" figure as the best estimate of station performance, since it gives an overall figure for the percentage of detected strikes to which the station contributed. This can be misleading, though, as high numbers may have to do with the geometry of current lightning activity in relation to station location, the number of surrounding stations that receive the same strike, and the intensity of lightning within the centers of lightning activity. A station can have very good RF sensitivity and gains correctly set for maximum detection, but still see lower than expected percentages.

The lightningmaps.org "Efficiency" percentage can be misleading, as the figure does not distinguish between reported noise signals and real detected strikes that an insufficient number of other stations have not detected. A station can be efficiently detecting strikes with very little noise, yet the "Efficiency" percentage will be low because stations are far apart. This number becomes more meaningful as station density increases.

It's important to specify which of these metrics one is referencing when tossing around numbers.

Regards,

Don
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« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 01:58:41 PM by dfroula »

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #86 on: July 02, 2014, 01:57:12 PM »
A lot of the 'network quality' relates to work that must be done on the servers to get additional processing, newer algorithms, and features... which became delayed because of the unprecedented demand for kits recently. That's one reason for the hiatus in kit distribution, as well as parts availability.
Another new firmware for current boards should come down with the next week or so.

Now, regarding individual stations and network figures...

Assume 6 working stations, in our network, in a circle of 500 miles, surrounding a supercell to eliminate the question of station density.
The cell actually generates 5000 real strokes. There is no interference noise at any station. One perfect station sends 5000 signals. All 6 stations record 1000 strikes, with the other 5 stations sending less than 4000 signals. The network records 1000 strikes (20% of actual). The network goal is 80%. That's network quality for detection. 

Of the 1000 detected strikes 500 have a 9km deviation. The network goal for deviation is 1km. That's network Quality for location accuracy.

Where are the missing 4000 strikes? Why?  Especially when one station appears to have caught 100%.
Why is the deviation so high?


Hint... first quality indication will be signal to noise ....

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Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #87 on: July 02, 2014, 02:10:00 PM »
Quote
The lightningmaps.org "Efficiency" percentage can be misleading, as the figure does not distinguish between reported noise signals and real detected strikes that an insufficient number of other stations have not detected. A station can be efficiently detecting strikes with very little noise, yet the "Efficiency" percentage will be low because stations are far apart. This number becomes more meaningful as station density increases.
Our friend in Hawaii is a perfect (and extreme) example of this - currently he has reported 11,574 signals in the last hour, and yet 0% are verified strikes.

Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #88 on: July 02, 2014, 02:51:39 PM »
It might be good to review the various basic "quality" metrics available at blitzortung.org and lightningmaps.org. As Egon has said, there is no good metric of station quality at the moment. It's one of his goals to come up with one when he returns from holiday:

lightningmaps.org (Statistics/Network)
============================

- Count(strokes/hour): The total number of calculated lightning strikes to which the station contributed.
- Ratio (strokes/hour): The percentage of total calculated strikes in the last hour to which the station contributed.
- Count (signals/hour): The total number of signals contributed by the station in the last hour, whether or not they contributed to a strike calculation. This includes noise and authentic strikes.
- Ratio(signals/hour): The percentage of signals sent by a station that resulted in a strike calculation.
- Efficiency: The percentage of total calculated system strikes over the last hour to the total number of signals reported by a station over the last hour.


blitzortung.org (Participants)
=====================
- Signals: Same as "Count (signals/hour)" above
- Effectivity S (first column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 50 km.
- Effectivity M (second column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 500 km.
- Effectivity L (third column): Same as Count(strokes/hour) and "Ratio (strokes/hour)" above, but limited to distances from the station from 0 to 5000 km.

Note that the numbers on each site do not align, likely because of differences in how the "last hour" is calculated.

Most people concentrate on the lightningmaps.org "Ratio (strokes/hour)" figure as the best estimate of station performance, since it gives an overall figure for the percentage of detected strikes to which the station contributed. This can be misleading, though, as high numbers may have to do with the geometry of current lightning activity in relation to station location, the number of surrounding stations that receive the same strike, and the intensity of lightning within the centers of lightning activity. A station can have very good RF sensitivity and gains correctly set for maximum detection, but still see lower than expected percentages.

The lightningmaps.org "Efficiency" percentage can be misleading, as the figure does not distinguish between reported noise signals and real detected strikes that an insufficient number of other stations have not detected. A station can be efficiently detecting strikes with very little noise, yet the "Efficiency" percentage will be low because stations are far apart. This number becomes more meaningful as station density increases.

It's important to specify which of these metrics one is referencing when tossing around numbers.

Regards,

Don
WD9DMP

Excellent information Don.  =D>

I'm sure this will how many obtain a better understanding.

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #89 on: July 02, 2014, 03:40:19 PM »
It seems that one key component to coming up with a good quality metric would be the ability to distinguish between noise-triggered signals and real lightning.

The serve must certainly be able to do this. I would guess there is some kind of waveform qualification that takes place before attempting to correlate the timestamp of the signal with other stations. Otherwise, the server could not determine which signal from the various channels is "best" when a signal is sent. The server needs to compensate for the various filter delays and adjust the reported GPS timestamp.

Don
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Offline JonathanW

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #90 on: July 02, 2014, 03:47:59 PM »
It seems that one key component to coming up with a good quality metric would be the ability to distinguish between noise-triggered signals and real lightning.

The serve must certainly be able to do this. I would guess there is some kind of waveform qualification that takes place before attempting to correlate the timestamp of the signal with other stations. Otherwise, the server could not determine which signal from the various channels is "best" when a signal is sent. The server needs to compensate for the various filter delays and adjust the reported GPS timestamp.

Don
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Though signals processing wasn't my emphasis, I would imagine correlation techniques can be used to determine whether signals from more than one station are likely from the same source.  Signals that don't have a match can be discarded.  Perhaps it's also possible to derive from Fourier analysis which signals have energy distribution typical of lightning, and which don't (e.g. http://vlf.stanford.edu/research/global-lightning-geo-location).

Most of my efforts have been toward getting my station set up in a permanent, low-noise manner.  Once that's finished, I plan on doing a little reading.  (e.g. http://wwlln.net/publications/dowden.toga.article.pdf, others).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:58:30 PM by n0ym »

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #91 on: July 02, 2014, 03:55:21 PM »
Nothing can happen with other stoke parameters until it's accurately located, first. So do expect, as Don says, a quality analysis to be implemented. Bad signals come from lots of things.. too much gain, (too many distorted skywaves), bad board, noise interfering , monkeying with board design and messing up delays... E field too much CAT5 and short coax... too long leads on H field... all kinds of things.

Note that as more western stations come online, weaker signals will be detected by those, that count as 'network' calculated, and the wonderful 'high' effitivities will become harder to obtain for stations in east... further stations will not sense the weaker strokes. Also look for signal quality analysis to be implemented,... experimentally and conditionally, on the server. Many of the distorted 'sky waves' from longer distances could be 'rejected' as unusable for refined analysis, and again the 'effectivity' we've grown fond of becomes more irrelevant. As you may have already noted, those who are running Dual E and H.. how many times the server will opt for a cleaner signal of E field. Also note how many more signals you may be getting running both.

Suggestion: and this is a bit trickier since the new 'auto thresholds' are being tested... and impossible with "Automatic mode"
H field - if you're running dual, turn off E field. (1x1 will work)  "don't send" is NOT the solution... leave it alone...
On a 'quiet day' with cells > 800 miles away, with your gains at your 'determined normal' set the thresholds about twice  your noise level. Watch it for some time, as storms move and stoke counts change. You may have to adjust it. Now, with numerous storms about 600-800 miles, set your gains (H field) so it goes into interference. Then raise threshold in 10mv jumps until you sense it will go out of interference. Leave it there for a bit. And watch it.

After some norm established for H field, turn H off, (1x1), turn on E.... do something similar, assuming most storms still 600 mi.

Now bring H field back to the gains settings you'd determined before... if go interference, either raise H field thresholds, or lower H field gains till clears interference...

What I think this will do is begin establish a baseline for 'Normal" for you, at a sacrifice of signals >1500km, but use the E field more efficiently, with it's cleaner signals and three channels. When full server automatic is implemented, the server will likely not go beyond your overall settings normally, but will be able to 'down gain' etc as needed. As...
When storms get closer than 600Mi, just reduce H field gains.... 1x1
Then closer than 400-500 bring E fields down if need be... depending on your probe, you may have to go 1x1 or 1x2 when cells <50-100mi...
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:57:11 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline cbh3

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #92 on: March 31, 2017, 11:25:36 PM »
On a 'quiet day' with cells > 800 miles away, with your gains at your 'determined normal' set the thresholds about twice  your noise level. Watch it for some time, as storms move and stoke counts change. You may have to adjust it. Now, with numerous storms about 600-800 miles, set your gains (H field) so it goes into interference. Then raise threshold in 10mv jumps until you sense it will go out of interference. Leave it there for a bit. And watch it.

After some norm established for H field, turn H off, (1x1), turn on E.... do something similar, assuming most storms still 600 mi.

Now bring H field back to the gains settings you'd determined before... if go interference, either raise H field thresholds, or lower H field gains till clears interference...

What I think this will do is begin establish a baseline for 'Normal" for you, at a sacrifice of signals >1500km, but use the E field more efficiently, with it's cleaner signals and three channels. When full server automatic is implemented, the server will likely not go beyond your overall settings normally, but will be able to 'down gain' etc as needed. As...
When storms get closer than 600Mi, just reduce H field gains.... 1x1
Then closer than 400-500 bring E fields down if need be... depending on your probe, you may have to go 1x1 or 1x2 when cells <50-100mi...

Mike,

As a new blue system owner and knowing things change over time with hardware and software, do you still subscribe to using this method/process of adjusting the antennae systems on the unit today?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 11:50:09 PM by cbh3 »
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #93 on: April 01, 2017, 12:31:45 AM »
Absolutely.  If you have noise, intermittent or consistent, running any Autos will cause great consternation and irritation. Learn your environment, and adjust to it.  There is such inconsistency across the network in station settings and operations that the 'auto thresholds' are likely never to function properly, in my opinion... and I'm not sure they're even pursuing further exploration along those lines at the moment. I'm a believer in manual for my location, for sure... and it's become worse as new noisemakers have appeared. Autos would flat cycle me in and out to the point I'd be useless.  On both my Red and Blue systems... Few of us should be operating >800dat miles at this stage of network growth, anyway... data beyond the 2nd  skywave reflection is pretty much useless for accuracy and quality.

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Offline ke9lz

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #94 on: April 01, 2017, 02:13:40 AM »
I totally agree with cutty on this.  You kind of missed the best time to adjust your system during the winter because it gives you a period of very little lightning so that you can find the that point of man made noise and lightning when adjusting in manual mode but there will still be more time for you to find that point yet.  Many make the mistake to try to make it to the top of the list looking for counting every strike even if it is 2000 miles away but in reality your looking for that strike a lot closer in because it is a team effort with all stations.  I have 2 stations, a blue and a red spaced 70 miles apart and they both stay real close together when viewing the station stats and both were set in manual mode using winter (very few lightning strikes) conditions to set my gains and thresholds. When the lightning is within 1000 miles from my stations you will see both of them right there at the top of the list and to me that is where you should be shooting for.

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Offline cbh3

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #95 on: April 01, 2017, 09:36:21 AM »
Absolutely.  If you have noise, intermittent or consistent, running any Autos will cause great consternation and irritation. Learn your environment, and adjust to it.  There is such inconsistency across the network in station settings and operations that the 'auto thresholds' are likely never to function properly, in my opinion... and I'm not sure they're even pursuing further exploration along those lines at the moment. I'm a believer in manual for my location, for sure... and it's become worse as new noisemakers have appeared. Autos would flat cycle me in and out to the point I'd be useless.  On both my Red and Blue systems... Few of us should be operating >800dat miles at this stage of network growth, anyway... data beyond the 2nd  skywave reflection is pretty much useless for accuracy and quality.

Great, thanks for confirming that. If the weather cooperates I'll try that in the coming days.

One of the first things I learned was taking the system out of full Auto, and putting it into Manual. I found a good YouTube video that gave me a crash course on recommended setting after not finding much elsewhere. Then I discovered I had intermittent interference, and nothing to sniff it out with since I was still learning. And of course it couldn't possibly be coming from my house... but it was. I connected the unit up to battery (wifi and network too) and killed power to the house. Yep, interference gone! I ended up finding 6 dimmer switches in the house that were the cause (all swapped out now with normal switches). So far so good, but I expect I might have one more source somewhere (neighbor).

Like you mentioned I'm learning what my noise environment is like, and will be for the next few months to a year. I'm currently enjoying a somewhat low noise floor (15-25mVpp) with the loops mounted above the garage. I expect things will come and go; just hoping I'll have some control over them when they do. I may play with the 'Auto Adapt to Noise' setting to let me know what's capable, but you make a good point about not overreaching with the station.

I really wish the unit had was some sort of timestamped log file or a way to let you know when it goes into interference outside of seeing your stats fall on the websites. I understand that without a local disk that is not possible, and would be an exponential increase in server load and bandwidth for a once in awhile review of that data. Just something that would be nice.

Thanks for your time.

Chuck
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Offline cbh3

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #96 on: April 01, 2017, 09:50:41 AM »
I totally agree with cutty on this.  You kind of missed the best time to adjust your system during the winter because it gives you a period of very little lightning so that you can find the that point of man made noise and lightning when adjusting in manual mode but there will still be more time for you to find that point yet.  Many make the mistake to try to make it to the top of the list looking for counting every strike even if it is 2000 miles away but in reality your looking for that strike a lot closer in because it is a team effort with all stations.  I have 2 stations, a blue and a red spaced 70 miles apart and they both stay real close together when viewing the station stats and both were set in manual mode using winter (very few lightning strikes) conditions to set my gains and thresholds. When the lightning is within 1000 miles from my stations you will see both of them right there at the top of the list and to me that is where you should be shooting for.

Yeah, I agree that I might have missed my chance for awhile, being in West Michigan and in a kind of centralized area. Maybe I'll catch a break. I would have done it over winter, but I didn't get my golden ticket email until the top of March.  :grin:

I admit is was pretty awesome to hear those first clicks last Saturday after the build of the unit and my loops. When I wasn't swamped by unknown (at the time) interference my station was locating strikes 3-4k away once in awhile. Yesterday I was even at the top of the Blitzortung Effectivity L list for some time.

Now that I'm mostly interference free, I plan to begin the process of reading and tweaking for more accurate reporting, so I'm not flooding the servers with signals all of the time. I'll be looking to increase my Effectivity M list percentage perhaps, or improve other stats shown on LM.org. I also noticed yesterday that my station was "seeing" strikes off the East Coast at the same time as other stations, but wasn't being given credit for the detection by the servers. Yep, I'm still learning the whys and why nots, but I'm a quick study.

Chuck
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Offline cbh3

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #97 on: April 08, 2017, 08:46:31 AM »
It's a nice and quiet morning for most of the USA to tweak unit settings in relation to noise floors, or to collect information about the surrounding environment without strikes being detected.  \:D/
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