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General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics => Lightning => Topic started by: hankster on October 03, 2016, 06:30:53 PM

Title: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on October 03, 2016, 06:30:53 PM
Has anyone ever had TOA Systems contact them with a request to place a USPLN sensor at their location?
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: sacreyweather on October 03, 2016, 08:24:10 PM
I have not, but if they were to ask, I would say Yes with the condition of me getting free data access. Especially if you are using my internet connection.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on October 04, 2016, 11:56:05 PM
I talked with Tim Bent, the President TOA Systems, today and I'll be hosting a sensor station for them. They are contacting some people to help fill in some holes that they presently have in the US. In my case they are having issues with stations in the Keys and the Bahamas so my location will be filling in for those stations. I should be getting the hardware within a couple weeks.... as long as Hurricane Matthew doesn't put a delay in the schedule.

For hosting the sensor station I will get full access to their data throughout the world. Basically he said any info they have I will be able to access. I will not be able to use that live data on my web site. They do have some publically available information and we will look into being able to display some of that information on my site.

They are also working on some new 3D systems and I may also be able to work with them as they develop them. Should be interesting and exciting. Love playing with new toys!
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: CNYWeather on October 05, 2016, 06:39:53 AM
Sounds like a good deal you got there. I sure wouldnt mind doing that too.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 04, 2016, 07:40:44 PM
I got all of the equipment today. Hope to get it installed this weekend. Problem is, not much lightning this time of year :(

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 20, 2016, 09:09:51 PM
Here are a couple pics. One of the Strike and GPS antenna mounted and the other of the sensor mounted inside a cabinet in my shed. The sensor is hooked to my network using an ethernet cable hooked to a WiFi extender.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on November 21, 2016, 08:24:22 AM
It appears to be an E-Field antenna, is that true? Any noise issues in that location? Can you monitor anything yourself, or is all the data sent to the "mother ship"?

Looks interesting, if you can post the data to your website, please let us know the URL.

Thanks,

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 21, 2016, 05:02:39 PM
I haven't really dug into any details since I finally got it setup and running. I did have to move the antenna as I had it too close to the weather station ISS and the pole was shielding the strike antenna. I'm going to see what other details I can get since things are pretty quiet this time of year.

I only have two different viewing options. One is a public gif that everyone can see and the other is a secure site that uses Google Earth to display the lightning. I can not use the Google Earth view on a public web site, only the public gif. The Google Earth is real time (updated every 15 seconds) and I can rotate, zoom in/out and view any place on earth for lightning using the normal GE controls. I'll post a couple screen shots.

1st is the public gif. Pretty simple and easy to understand.

2nd is Google Earth that is zoomed out. The larger icons makes it easy to find where lightning is happening as you look for it. The top left graph is total strikes in the system overall. The lower left graph is lightning within 12 miles of my location.

3rd is zoomed in some. Here it shows positive CG as a + , negative CG as a dot and CC is an X. Color coded for time intervals.

Note that at any time there is info in a sidebar that gives the number of each kind of strike that is in the active Google Earth window.

Here is the public gif that is available to anyone. 2nd and 3rd are attached.
(http://www.uspln.com/images/SER_animated.gif)

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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on November 21, 2016, 05:37:13 PM
How does one access that public gif? Are they by area like the one you show?
I have only ever been able to access this one, which covers the entire North American continent:
(http://www.uspln.com/images/napln_animated.gif)

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 21, 2016, 06:50:34 PM
http://www.uspln.com/images/SER_animated.gif

http://www.uspln.com/images/NER_animated.gif

http://www.uspln.com/images/SWR_animated.gif

http://www.uspln.com/images/NWR_animated.gif

http://www.uspln.com/images/NCR_animated.gif

http://www.uspln.com/images/SCR_animated.gif
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on November 21, 2016, 07:28:15 PM
Thanks for the links!!

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 28, 2016, 09:13:13 PM
After playing with the display for a while I have found that if I zoom in close enough blue ellipticals appear around each strike. What they tell is that there is a 95% chance the lightning was within that area. Attached are a couple of examples. In these the smaller circles/ellipticals are 250m around, the more oblong ones are up to 1750m long. When looking at the detail data you can see the exact size of each one. Kind of cool that you get an idea of how accurate it is for each strike.

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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: CNYWeather on November 29, 2016, 06:30:38 AM
Thats pretty cool!

Is that a horse racing track in the lower right corner of that map?
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on November 29, 2016, 07:52:58 AM
Don't know what that track is. Took that screenshot a couple days ago.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on February 23, 2017, 09:25:43 AM
TOA Systems contacted me and I signed up for a sensor system. I am looking forward to installing it.

Although they contacted me (via my website contact), I see that they now have a "Host a Sensor" contact form at http://toasystems.com/contact-us/host-a-sensor/ (http://toasystems.com/contact-us/host-a-sensor/).

I assume that it all depends on their coverage density and if they need a sensor in your location. They said that one was needed in my area.

I plan on retiring my old H-B one-wire detector and mounting it in the same location on the garage mast. I'll assess that location for noise.

hankster, for this comment:

Quote
I did have to move the antenna as I had it too close to the weather station ISS and the pole was shielding the strike antenna.

Do you think that it was just the pole, or was there interference from the ISS. I have a Davis long-range repeater that the output antenna will be fairly close to the TOA antenna. I discussed it with TOA and it should be far enough out of band that it won't be a problem, I hope. Was there a "blind spot" in plotted data in the pole direction that led you to this finding?

Greg H.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: CNYWeather on February 23, 2017, 02:12:43 PM
Well gee. I signed up with the link in here today and got this already:

Quote
I have attached more information about our program as well as information about our sensor and antenna.
If you wish to participate in our sensor host program after reviewing this information, please access our online
site survey using the link below.  After we review your survey, we will send you a hosting agreement via HelloSign.
This agreement basically states that TOA owns the sensor and antenna and you agree to host it.
Once the agreement is signed, we can proceed with shipping.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: sacreyweather on February 23, 2017, 04:04:31 PM
I signed up as well. Waiting to see what transpires.

John
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on February 23, 2017, 04:11:57 PM
I'm in!  They replied in less than half an hour.  My station is on a flight path to a major regional airport so that may be why.  Looking forward to understanding how I can get the data for my purposes as well as the GLN.  We get some serious storms in the Monsashees!
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: PaulMy on February 23, 2017, 05:44:46 PM
The request form doesn't seem to accept anything I type so maybe I am not in a needed area.

Paul
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on February 23, 2017, 06:33:06 PM
Do you think that it was just the pole, or was there interference from the ISS. I have a Davis long-range repeater that the output antenna will be fairly close to the TOA antenna. I discussed it with TOA and it should be far enough out of band that it won't be a problem, I hope. Was there a "blind spot" in plotted data in the pole direction that led you to this finding?

Yes, the pole would "shade" pulses coming from that direction that the pole was. They have a formula for how far away from tall objects the antenna has to be to eliminate any shading problems. They saw the issue when I sent them photos of the installation (a requirement when you agree to host a station). Here is what they said:

It just needs to be outside a 60 degree electrical shadow from the weather station.  For example, if the top of the weather station pole is 10 feet from the roof line, multiply 10 by 1.73. 17.3 feet is the distance from the weather station pole you need to place the stroke antenna when the stroke antenna base is at the roofline.  If you want to place the stroke antenna higher, you can place it closure to the weather station, just move the baseline up the weather station pole and multiply this new height by 1.73.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on February 23, 2017, 06:41:50 PM
I'm in!  They replied in less than half an hour.  My station is on a flight path to a major regional airport so that may be why.  Looking forward to understanding how I can get the data for my purposes as well as the GLN.  We get some serious storms in the Monsashees!

You will get access to their data using a web site that displays the data on Google Earth. It will show where the strikes are, the kind of strike and an elliptic around the strike that shows the possible area the strike actually was (see my previous attachments). You don't have access to any real "raw" data that is downloadable and can not display any info on your own web site other than what they have publically available.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on February 23, 2017, 07:16:19 PM
I'm in!  They replied in less than half an hour.  My station is on a flight path to a major regional airport so that may be why.  Looking forward to understanding how I can get the data for my purposes as well as the GLN.  We get some serious storms in the Monsashees!

You will get access to their data using a web site that displays the data on Google Earth. It will show where the strikes are, the kind of strike and an elliptic around the strike that shows the possible area the strike actually was (see my previous attachments). You don't have access to any real "raw" data that is downloadable and can not display any info on your own web site other than what they have publically available.

I see that now, HOWEVER I also get e-mail alerts which I will post-process with a little Python program I am whipping up and post wherever I want.  :)  But seriously. I am more in it for me and my neighbours rather than trying to outdo EC.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on February 23, 2017, 07:19:31 PM
I'm in!  They replied in less than half an hour.  My station is on a flight path to a major regional airport so that may be why.  Looking forward to understanding how I can get the data for my purposes as well as the GLN.  We get some serious storms in the Monsashees!

You will get access to their data using a web site that displays the data on Google Earth. It will show where the strikes are, the kind of strike and an elliptic around the strike that shows the possible area the strike actually was (see my previous attachments). You don't have access to any real "raw" data that is downloadable and can not display any info on your own web site other than what they have publically available.

I see that now, HOWEVER I also get e-mail alerts which I will post-process with a little Python program I am whipping up and post wherever I want.  :)  But seriously. I am more in it for me and my neighbours rather than trying to outdo EC.

They will set up so you can get an email alert when a strike is within 10 miles (I believe) of your location.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 10, 2017, 08:35:03 AM
My sensor kit came the other day. I opened it up and everything seems to be in good shape, no damage. They included some good low-loss coax RG6 quad rated to 3.0GHz.
If the temperatures come up and the winds die down (:!:), I'll install it. I have to juggle things around out on the j-mast mounted on the garage. I am going to replace the Omni used for the transmit side of the Davis repeater with a small Yagi. I am also going to eliminate the old Hobby-Boards detector. This will clear up space on the mast to hold clamps for the TOASystems Stroke/GPS antennae.

Since they want photos of the installation, including the "view" from the antenna perspective in eight directions (compass points), I sent them photos of my current setup and outlined my plans. They said that my plan is OK.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: CNYWeather on March 10, 2017, 12:27:31 PM
Mine shipped yesterday. Hoping for some more of this currently snowless March
so I can get it up on the mast next weekend.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 10, 2017, 07:28:30 PM
Why do they ask about power and internet?  If you select 'internet only', do they offer a solar powered unit?  Is there a wireless option for the LAN access?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on March 10, 2017, 07:51:17 PM
No wireless option unfortuantely.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 10, 2017, 07:57:49 PM
That would probably be a killer.  I even unplug my IP camera during storms.

And I'm not sure I have a place outside the shadow of my house that I could get wiring to easily.  I'm not sure they'd like it above my metal roof.

But I know there's nothing else around me.  How do I know?  Because there is NOTHING else around me.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 10, 2017, 07:58:49 PM
Mine is above a metal roof.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 10, 2017, 08:01:42 PM
What about trees?  I've got a 60'+ Oak tree in front of the house.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 10, 2017, 08:05:57 PM
Mine is shipping Monday. I'm excited
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 11, 2017, 08:33:12 AM
Why do they ask about power and internet?  If you select 'internet only', do they offer a solar powered unit?  Is there a wireless option for the LAN access?

Some routers have AP and "client" options. You could run an ethernet cable to the "router as client" and effectively have "wireless". My Blitzortung (and some other Raspberry Pi based gizmos) communicate from my garage to the house AP that way. I also use a small ZyXEL router this way for a Roku box and my old Gateway MP3 player that I didn't route Ethernet cables to.

As far as power goes, I don't know what is behind the question. They seem to advocate a UPS, but I am not going to add one out in the garage.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 11, 2017, 08:37:38 AM
Some routers have AP and "client" options. You could run an ethernet cable to the "router as client" and effectively have "wireless".

Since mine is located on my shed and I don't have a hard wire run out there I'm using a wireless extender that has an ethernet port.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 11, 2017, 08:53:09 AM
As a lightning enthusiast, I'm wondering if they have:

-siting requirements listed

-need for more sensors or are they full up

-any cost associated with contributing, that is do they furnish the equipment or is it like the FlightRadar where you set up the system and get access in return for your hobby investiment?

Thanks. Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 11, 2017, 08:59:16 AM
I didn't see any siting requirements on their site. Contact them by filling out the form and they will contact you with that info if they can use your location.

It appears that they are currently covering most of the world. I would guess they are filling in some areas to get better and more accurate data.

They are no costs other than your internet and electric. Just be aware that you can not publicly share the data, it is for your own personal use.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 11, 2017, 09:00:42 AM
I should have been a bit more specific as to their needs for a site.

With Blitz, you can literally be in the woods.  Do they (and the physics of why if they do require this elude me) a clear line of sight to the horizon or are trees (non-metalic) acceptable?

My Blitz works just fine in the woods. 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 11, 2017, 09:04:33 AM
I have no idea if trees are a problem. I know the metal pole that supports my Davis ISS was and I had to locate it away from that. See the photo of my install earlier in this thread. Best bet, fill out the form and include a note about the trees, I'm sure they will answer that.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 11, 2017, 09:06:21 AM
Got the initial reply 'we believe an additional sensor in your area participating in the USPLN will help improve detection efficiency in the region' and responded to it.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 11, 2017, 09:08:10 AM
Some routers have AP and "client" options. You could run an ethernet cable to the "router as client" and effectively have "wireless".

Since mine is located on my shed and I don't have a hard wire run out there I'm using a wireless extender that has an ethernet port.


That's what I'm considering since I've taken to unplugging the hardwire connection to the modem during storms.  Four or five computers, plus cameras, LAN switches, etc. lost to hits is more than enough.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 11, 2017, 09:13:23 AM
As a lightning enthusiast, I'm wondering if they have:

-siting requirements listed

-need for more sensors or are they full up

-any cost associated with contributing, that is do they furnish the equipment or is it like the FlightRadar where you set up the system and get access in return for your hobby investiment?

Thanks. Dale


In the initial reply I got, they included a PDF brochure with some siting basics, but they're not too detailed ... above roofline, unobstructed, clear 360 view, no electrical noise producers like welders, radio transmitters, etc.

Was is FlightRadar?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 11, 2017, 10:46:01 AM
Off Topic, replying to a comment:

https://www.flightradar24.com

You can set up a little Rasp Pi with a small antenna to listen to the planes' transponders and feed that to the flight folks who then plot plane locations.  Sort of fun, but they need a good tree-free view at that frequency.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: tstorm on March 11, 2017, 02:40:18 PM
  Once everything is setup and you let TOA Systems know it took 2 weeks before my lightning data became part of the network.  TOA Systems needs to monitor the data your sending is of good quality.  They are working on being able to provide host sites how well their sensor is performing.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 11, 2017, 07:54:20 PM
Hankster,
You mentioned your metal pole supporting the WxStation as a factor.  Was it close (I cant tell from the photos easily) or a house length away and they told you to move it or was causing detectable interfernce?  Just curious. Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 11, 2017, 10:21:52 PM
I had it mounted on the same pole as the ISS. I moved to the other side of the house to get away from the shading of the metal pole.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 12, 2017, 08:40:48 AM
I guess I won't hear any more from them until Monday.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 13, 2017, 05:10:51 PM
Looks like those that signed up 2/23 or so got their stuff by 3/10, so a 3 week or less turn around time?

I sent my form in Friday and haven't heard back yet past the initial reply with brochures.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 13, 2017, 05:14:00 PM
The request form doesn't seem to accept anything I type so maybe I am not in a needed area.

Paul

For some reason everything appeared to stay blank for me until I got to the comments field.  I went ahead and typed it all out and submitted what appeared to be a blank form, but it seems to have worked since I got the reply.

Try typing your replies out in Notepad, then pasting them into the fields.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 14, 2017, 08:37:11 AM
Although it is still too cold and there is snow on the roof, I wanted to see if the module works with a bench test. I got the LEDs to light up and the box pulled an IP address OK and responds to pings.

I tried the USB connection, but it doesn't seem to be responding. I tried a "?" but I am not getting anything in the PuTTY session. I triple checked drivers, bit rate, 8N1, etc.

Anyone else tried the USB interface? Pointing a browser at the IP address resulted in nothing.

I don't know if not having the antennae connected would cause anything like this behavior, but I sort of doubt it.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 14, 2017, 09:37:16 AM
Last line in one of the brochures says "Notify TOA Systems Technical Support that LPS-200 has been successfully installed."

I wonder if they have to activate it before you can see anything?



I got a duplicate initial reply, almost as if they didn't get my response for some reason.  Responded again this morning, so we'll see what happens. 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 14, 2017, 11:25:13 AM
Last line in one of the brochures says "Notify TOA Systems Technical Support that LPS-200 has been successfully installed."

I wonder if they have to activate it before you can see anything?



I got a duplicate initial reply, almost as if they didn't get my response for some reason.  Responded again this morning, so we'll see what happens.

I am guessing that the activation is so that their server starts accepting strike data. Since the USB interface is primarily for setting the DHCP or fixed IP setting, I would think that it would not require activation for that function, but you never know.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 14, 2017, 03:04:47 PM
When I got to the form which I was sent, it uses Google Forms (not known for excellence in programming) and encountered the inability to mouse to the next section to continue entering about the same place others got hung up.  I just went back to the ddress and used the TAB key to move to the next field and all went fine. 

Haven't heard back yet, but hoping.

What is the USB that folks are referring to?  I thought the sensor electronics box plugged into a router via CAT 5 cable?

But I won't cross that planning bridge until I hear if I get the stuff or not.  I don't want to be too eager and not get this installation granted.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 14, 2017, 04:10:35 PM
Dale,

There is a USB "B" jack on the front. It can be used with a serial port and a terminal program to set DHCP or Fixed IP address. There is also a "help" or "?" command. This is outlined in the instructions that came in the box, which are somewhat different than the ones that were emailed. I sent a query to the engineer about it.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 14, 2017, 04:25:04 PM
OK, I tried the Tera Term program instead of PuTTY since they used it in the manual. Everything works and there are boot messages. TOA got back with me and said with PuTTY, to use CTL-J instead of "return". I'll stick to Tera Term if I need to access the TOA box.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 14, 2017, 04:29:19 PM
OK, I tried the Tera Term program instead of PuTTY since they used it in the manual. Everything works and there are boot messages. TOA got back with me and said with PuTTY, to use CTRL-J instead of "return". I'll stick to Tera Term if I need to access the TOA box.

EDIT: it looks like CTRL-J is needed with Tera Term too....

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 14, 2017, 04:36:44 PM
I've had a couple of messages from 'Sandy' today who is apparently traveling and will send the UA later tonight.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 14, 2017, 06:18:51 PM
As far as I know the USB is only used for local configuration. No data is passed from that port. All data is via ethernet sent to TOA
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 15, 2017, 08:28:46 AM
As far as I know the USB is only used for local configuration. No data is passed from that port. All data is via ethernet sent to TOA

You can view a lot of data regarding such things as gain, status, noise, etc. It is more than just DHCP configuration. Type a ? then <CTRL-J> at the prompt.
Not as much info as the Blitzortung controller, but it gives you an idea about what is going on.
The strike data is sent to the server via TCP/IP, so you are correct about that.
I was just curious about what kind of goodies might be available via the USB port.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 18, 2017, 06:30:53 PM
I guess mine will be coming soon.  What is the white pipe diameter?  An inch or so?  Trying to anticipate what I may need.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on March 18, 2017, 07:56:40 PM
Waiting for mine.  Looking forward tot he real time local data!  :)
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 19, 2017, 08:21:16 AM
I guess mine will be coming soon.  What is the white pipe diameter?  An inch or so?  Trying to anticipate what I may need.

The main bottom section is 1" PVC. (Sched. 40) The GPS tee section uses 1". I assume that you are needing the diameter for the main part. The GPS tee section is already cemented together anyways.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: CNYWeather on March 19, 2017, 09:31:29 AM
Mine came Thursday. Told them I have to wait a bit for the 2 feet of snow to melt off the garage roof.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 19, 2017, 09:47:09 AM
The main bottom section is 1" PVC. (Sched. 40) The GPS tee section uses 1". I assume that you are needing the diameter for the main part.

Yeah, so I think I already have the fittings, clamps and brackets for the most part.  Might need one or two pieces.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 19, 2017, 09:55:26 AM
A mounting bracket comes with it.

(https://www.crum.com/ASSETS/IMAGES/CATEGORIES/LIST_DISPLAY//Channel%20&%20Conduit%20Clamps.png)
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 19, 2017, 11:38:22 AM
Hankster (sorry if that isn't the moniker you would want me to use, I've not found a casual name) which I feel I need to use to make sure this thread indicates whom the main question is focused towards, although there is a ton of informaiton in here!

A couple questions, since Sandy says I've been approved, too, for an install.

The antenna and mount are PVC type material by your notes. 

Are there separate coax feeds from the GPS and the sense antenna, or some sort of combiner in the last leg of the PVC?

Is the cable terminated with SMA for the GPS and I'm guessing PL-259 or N type for the sense antenna?  I'm just trying to think how to get the coax inside my shed where the internet terminates and the UPS will sit to power it all.  Will a 1" hole that I can silicone seal shut afterwards do it?

Does the antenna itself need a heavy copper wire ground?  Or the electronics box in side, or is the ground plug on the 120v wall plug sufficient?

How tall is the whole assembly, from top to the bottom of the pvc that gets clamped to a mast?  Less than 10'? 4 feet?



You certainly have some winds in your neck of the woods once in awhile.  Any guess on how much of a wind load the whole shebang has?  Could one hold it up in a stiff wind by hand, for example, or would you need a couple men and a boy to keep from being blown away?  I'm planning on a 3' tripod with a ten foot commercial TV type antenna mast sticking up to get it up and over anything they'd be worried about as a path blocker.  If I can get it say 8' over the roof then I've not got anything metal for a long ways, and they should be happy.  I know they say no guy wires and I don't want to have this thing at a 45 degree angle after our first big blow.  My stuff on the roof of that shed has been through some pretty hard winds over the lasat 5 years and everything is intact.


I hope this isn't pestering you with too many questions but you're on the bleeding edge of installs and the resident expert.  With spring tomorrow I expect a thunderstorm by tomorrow afternoon!  Actually yesterday was barely above freezing but warm stiff southerly flow is making it no-jacket work weather outside today.  The dogs are thrilled and I saw about 15 white swans (I don't think they were snow geese) fly over a few minutes ago before coffee break.  But as with any new thing, I'm excited to do the prep work so when the box does arrive, all will be ready to get going, so I hope you understand my eagerness.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 19, 2017, 12:22:19 PM
Hankster (sorry if that isn't the moniker you would want me to use, I've not found a casual name) which I feel I need to use to make sure this thread indicates whom the main question is focused towards, although there is a ton of informaiton in here!

Hankster works. Real name is Hank but picked up that nick years ago on the internet :)

The whole assembly is PVC

There are two coax that will need to be run. You should have told them the length of coax you need as they have to compensate for that. I would have to go look at the terminals.... ok, attaching a pic. Not sure of the exact "names" for the connectors, one is a BNC the other I can best explain as screw on that I have seen on being used for CB antennas (does that date me? LOL)

The antenna does not need to be grounded. The receiver box will need a small ground wire run. I just used the screw on the electrical outlet to ground it.

The whole assembly is about 7' tall including the mount. The antenna itself is about 5.5'. These are not exact but close enough to give you an idea.

You would have to consider wind. Just think you have 7'+ 1.5" dia pipe sticking up in the air. So could you hold on to the bottom 1' of that pipe in strong wind and keep it stable?

If they have not already emailed you the manuals and spec sheets you should request them. You can than be more prepared when you get the hardware.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 19, 2017, 12:27:31 PM
Hankster,
Cool, I'll use that if it isn't inappropriate.  You'd be surprised what I've been called....

Anyway, The one connector looks like a BNC and the other not much bigger so I can plan on hole size.
The ground to the outlet being sufficient I won't go buy a 15' roll of the stuff the phone company used to use to ground the entrance, I think it wa about   #6 or #8 and copper is expensive nowadays, plus a ground rod but willing to do if it makes the install better.

The length info is very helpful.  A similar tripod with a 3' metal pole holds up an entire RainWise Mark III RTI and has for years so this has to have far less wind load.

I did not get install manual yet so I'll email to see if they can send that off to me.

Thanks for all the hand holding;
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 19, 2017, 12:40:22 PM
Here is a photo of my install. I used a length of 1" thick wall conduit pounded into the ground about 2' and than bolted to my eve. Then mounted the antenna assembly to that conduit with u-bolts.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 19, 2017, 03:17:05 PM
Hankster and Greg,

Do you get any info from them as to where the nearby stations are?  Is there a map that shows on-line stations and all?  It would be interesting to see where they are placing their services.

From a business model, they have a large group of intereted 'volunteers' who have to do the install, furnish internet and power (albeit they already have it) and if things funtion well, the data just flows in.  Of course they own the equipment, have to do site evaluation and so on, but at some point, they'll have the network plus backup in case one of us dies, house burns down, etc.  Otherwise they'd be looking for local talent to hire to  install on a very unique setting (no towers or anything metal higher than the antenna for 60' or so, no noise making motors or welders, etc.)  I know how much the Blitzortung stuff costs, so even tripling that makes each station a pretty substantial investment for them.

So in order to have reliable coverage which their customers want they'd need to have sites plus backups vs. having a tech team standing by to service any outage. 

Just curious as to what density they have or plan on.  I know that most of the US is well covered with about 130 installs, some being much closer than others to existing stations, with sort of big gaps appearing across some of the wild west.

I'm guessing though that they hold that info pretty close to their vests and don't divulge a lot.

Does this data flow to the same place as the Vaisala network that is part of the national lightning group that the Weather Bureau uses (look that term up).

Just curious how things happen.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 19, 2017, 03:54:47 PM
Other than TOA, I looked up stuff on the NSPLN site and see they have a pretty good distribution of what they say are 160 sensor stations across the US.

I think that from the discussion here there must be at least 5 or 6 more people who are interested or say they've been told they'll get an installation.  Very encouraging. 

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 19, 2017, 04:18:29 PM
Just curious as to what density they have or plan on.  I know that most of the US is well covered with about 130 installs, some being much closer than others to existing stations, with sort of big gaps appearing across some of the wild west.

Looking at the live data they pretty much have coverage all over the world. This is not a new company, they have been in business for 25 years. Started in 1980s in 16 countries. They supply lightning data to governments, meteorological bureaus, power companies, airlines, news broadcasters, mining operations, among many others.

In my case they contacted me about doing an install because they had a system in the Bahama's that went off line and they needed a site in my area to increase accuracy.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 19, 2017, 04:35:00 PM
I lashed up the stroke and GPS antennas this afternoon. GPS is pointing out the basement window.

The diagnostics are reporting GPS fix and counted some BBQ sparks. (since I haven't installed it and contacted TOA that I am ready, I am hoping that this doesn't harm anything.)

I am a big believer in testing things before I climb up on the roof and install it. No snow on the roof, but there is some still on the ground. The "boss" says that I can't go up there with wet feet from the snow and I have to wait.

I also repurposed the Raspberry Pi that I was running the Hobby-Boards detector on (via OWW) for a remote way to access the USB port diagnostics. After a false start (and some bogus info), I got it working using the ancient minicom. (but it works)

Chompin' at the bit....

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 19, 2017, 04:40:47 PM
Here is a photo of my install. I used a length of 1" thick wall conduit pounded into the ground about 2' and than bolted to my eve. Then mounted the antenna assembly to that conduit with u-bolts.

That's kind of what I'm thinking of doing, but with Schedule 80 PVC which would be anchored at the bottom.  My plan is to be able to swing the whole thing down to work on if necessary.  There will be a few feet above the garage peak, but not much.  I'm not sure if I'll have to guy it or not; I'll have to watch it in the wind for a while.

I've got a UPS coming to power this, the network repeater/AP and the FR24 receiver if I ever hear from them.

 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 19, 2017, 04:53:28 PM
Greg,
You realize you opened a can of worms when you said you stuck a Rasp Pi on the USB port to monitor the box...

I assume it is running some sort of monitor program and you can then go to the Rasp Pi to see it, or that the Rasp Pi publishes the info that you can read from within your LAN?

Do tell.

WeatherHost, Even though I'm directly below a major feeder arrival path for traffic into Mpls, St Paul International, about 90 miles out, I ended up getting a small Rasp 2, loading the program on from the FlightRadar 24 site, and powering it up with a little blue USB port plug in programmable receiver, which hams and lots of others have developed software for.  It makes a great FM radio receiver, too by the way.  Anyway, $60 later and a sacrificed disposable pie pan with a 6" piece of wire sticking out of a F type barrel connector, I was hearing planes about 60 miles out.  I built a colinear but for reasons that escape me, and lots of looking for shorts, it didn't work any better.  My wife demanded the dining room table back again and I never got an outside install done, so maybe with fresh weather and a spot with internet secured in an out building, I'll be ready to rock again.  When you do it that way you can be on the air in minutes, literally, but it took nearly a hundred bucks in parts (all of which can be repurposed) to do so.  I'd rather have had them give me the box, but that didn't happen even despite my enviable position near the airport.
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 19, 2017, 05:14:17 PM
Quote
I assume it is running some sort of monitor program and you can then go to the Rasp Pi to see it, or that the Rasp Pi publishes the info that you can read from within your LAN?

Affirmative. I can SSH to the RaspPi, then open minicom to the USB port attached to the TOA. Minicom, in days of yore, was used for modem comms on BBS, etc. It's an oldie, but I know how to "make it go".

The TOA will live out in the garage, and like the Blitzortung, I like to know what the detector is doing out there.

Too bad it doesn't have all the cool waveforms and GUI stuff that the Blitz guys came up with, but I can live with some VT100 text display info.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 19, 2017, 07:04:15 PM
I don't even know what all that means, but if they give me a box, I'll mount it.  I'm so far between major ports, I may be in a spot they feel is under covered if they want to track things between hubs.  One problem might be altitude.  I'm sure everything commercial is 30,000 or better.  Corporate, medical and military is lower but do they track any of that?



.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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 (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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 22, 2017, 11:10:26 AM
Thank you, that's nice to know. Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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 (http://www.futurescopes.com/haruspication/8703/haruspication-predicting-future-inspecting-entrails-animal)" 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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.

(http://rogerscityweather.com/TOA_Systems_on_mast.jpg)

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

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew 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?



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: tstorm 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
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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.  :-)



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost 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?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon 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:

(http://miraculon.net/TOA/TOA_Mast_Lower.jpg)

(http://miraculon.net/TOA/TOA_Mast_Upper.jpg)

(http://miraculon.net/TOA/TOA_Module_1.jpg)

(http://miraculon.net/TOA/TOA_Module_2.jpg)

You can get the directory listing here (http://miraculon.net/TOA/) 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 23, 2017, 04:53:58 PM
Quote
Mike
:?:

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid 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!
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather 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.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 24, 2017, 05:28:46 PM
Looking forward to the pictures and narrative of any hints for the rest of us still waiting.

How long did it take from the time you got approved til the box came?
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 24, 2017, 06:28:17 PM
Mine will ship next week I hope.  If early in the week, I should have it by the weekend.  That sort of matches with the two week window noted above.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 24, 2017, 08:56:19 PM
Looking forward to the pictures and narrative of any hints for the rest of us still waiting.

How long did it take from the time you got approved til the box came?
Dale

Sandy was out of town for a week, it took 3 weeks.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 25, 2017, 08:44:17 AM
Greg, 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

The heater is that rectangular "Hoffman" device with the grey cable just to the left of where the cables route. It is self-limiting PTC so there is no need for a controller. It helps somewhat, but it only raises the cabinet temperature a few degrees.

As far as blinky lights go, the GPS, Comm, Power LEDs are all lit. I haven't seen any activity on the "threshold" LED yet, but we haven't had much close-in lightning.

The mast has a little sway when the wind picks up, but doesn't seem any worse than the vertical Ham antenna or my 2 meter mast. I ordered some J-mast struts from Amazon for additional stabilization. There are six lag screws holding in the base of the J-mast (a re-purposed DirecTV one).

They gave me the login for the Google Earth based map. It shows CG, GC and CC strokes. There is a chart that shows on the Google Earth and on the web page that you login on, if you select it.

My "remote USB" trick is also working well. I can see the stroke counts increasing, so it is working. A couple of receive errors cropped up overnight, not sure what that means.

So far, so good. I think that it was worth the effort.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 25, 2017, 08:55:54 AM
Greg,
Thanks for the detailed update.  I was referring to the BO board for blinky lights as part of the reason to have LEDs on the board.  Just me, I like bright flashy stuff.  Gotta watch me carefully at a hamfest flea market or take my wallet from me when I wander off.

I'm excited and would never have thought of many of the things talked about here, so the interchange is wonderful.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 26, 2017, 01:02:30 PM
So I got outside and got everything setup. Took me a few hours and a small cut on my finger :grin:.

Here are a few pics of the install:
View from ground looking up at the antenna. The antennas seen on the tower are recieve only and should not cause any RF interference.
(http://i.imgur.com/FcCmJjP.jpg)
View from roof looking at the antenna
(http://i.imgur.com/kGZY46r.jpg)

Was nice to be able to get outside and get something done on the first nice weekend here in months. 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 26, 2017, 03:06:08 PM

Very nice.  Hope you had a climbing belt!

Is the apparatus very heavy or one handed grip do it setting it onto the top pipe?

The efforts are great.  I see a lot of similar thoughts and interests with Blitz, FlighRadar24 and TOA as well as weather recording and reporting in general. 

The services we do for our hobby and country is outstanding, if not downright fun.
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 26, 2017, 03:26:00 PM

Very nice.  Hope you had a climbing belt!

Is the apparatus very heavy or one handed grip do it setting it onto the top pipe?

The efforts are great.  I see a lot of similar thoughts and interests with Blitz, FlighRadar24 and TOA as well as weather recording and reporting in general. 

The services we do for our hobby and country is outstanding, if not downright fun.
Dale

No climbing belt... I did lock my leg in like I was on a ladder though.

It weighs maybe 10 pounds as it is mostly PVC pipe.

It is fun for sure.  Hoping since it just started to rain here that it may pick up some strikes. I sent the photos that they required to them but seeing as it is Sunday I figure they won't respond until tomorrow. I won't know if it registering strikes or not.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 26, 2017, 03:28:44 PM
I'm going to have to modify the mount.  I have things that nibble wires, so I want everything inside conduit before it enters the garage.  Got a plan laid out, but I can't pre-assemble anything until I get the kit.

Already have a new UPS in place along with a router acting as a wireless bridge to the LAN.  I've been testing that for a few days with a LAN cable connected to this notebook.  So far, it's been fine.




Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 26, 2017, 03:39:53 PM
44805
The old leg inside and toes hooked under the rung technique.  I did that when I was younger and less arthritic. Sometimes the cramps interfered with the project, though.  10# and no wind isn't bad, though.

I also never did it more than 40' up, but my wife reminded me a 10' drop would hurt, 20' kill so I tried to take the belt along and be able to use both hands, too.

I thnk Greg had a way of plugging in a USB on the front of the gizmo and watching with a monitor program to see strikes and all. 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 26, 2017, 04:17:05 PM
44805
The old leg inside and toes hooked under the rung technique.  I did that when I was younger and less arthritic. Sometimes the cramps interfered with the project, though.  10# and no wind isn't bad, though.

I also never did it more than 40' up, but my wife reminded me a 10' drop would hurt, 20' kill so I tried to take the belt along and be able to use both hands, too.

Being a firefighter I'm used to locking in to a ladder. This was one of the easier things I've had to do that far off the ground.  It helped that my better half stayed in the house while I was up there. She would have probably made me rig something up so I didn't fall, but it's too late for her to be mad now.

There was only a light wind around 2 mph while I was up there so that was good as well.

The hardest part of the install for me was getting the cables into my computer room from the basement without destroying the hardwood flooring. Since I just drilled into the trim and silicone it. The Mrs. wasn't too mad about that.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 07:41:01 AM
So, what am I looking at?  Are you saying the second is more accurate and detailed?

Is that from their website that we get access to after we're installed and accepted?  Or is that a local program on your PC?


There was a post with an image or two there.  Now there isn't.  ::scratches head::


Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 27, 2017, 07:55:56 AM
Even though the data was old I decided that maybe that was more information than what I should share. The screen shot was from the the TOA Google earth view that you, as a contributor, are allowed to see.

I'm not saying one is more accurate that the other, that they were just different. I don't have enough personal experience with close storm to draw any opinion. I have found out is that Blitzortung estimates they are only showing about 25% of the possible strikes as they need 6 stations to confirm a strike and rule out interference. TOA shows many more strikes. My estimate of what Blitzortung is showing is closer to 10%. They also do not show CC activity.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 08:02:39 AM
I have GE Pro installed.  Is this a KMZ file then that we add on?  Or is it only viewable on the web version?

Or should I just wait to get it installed and get their instructions?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 27, 2017, 08:03:55 AM
It uses a KMZ file.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 08:20:55 AM
OK, that one was TOO close.  Big flash,, power glitch, then the BaBOOM!! and the ground shook.  Then the web went out.  Took a few minutes for something to reboot upstream from me.

Not sure what got hit, but it was close.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on March 27, 2017, 08:57:08 AM
I have GE Pro installed.  Is this a KMZ file then that we add on?  Or is it only viewable on the web version?

Or should I just wait to get it installed and get their instructions?

Look at the "Other Documentation" at http://www.uspln.com/documentation.html (http://www.uspln.com/documentation.html) for the Google Earth instructions. The actual representation has changed a little from this documentation, but it gives you the basics.

Once you get your login info, the KML file will download and you will get the "open with" dialog box. Once you open with GE, it will zoom into your local area with a 10km ring and a strikes chart and an alarm strikes chart (within the 10km). You can then zoom out and look at the entire US and beyond a bit. You can zoom back into the lightning areas and click to see details and the time stamp info.

I unchecked a lot of the default Google Earth photos, landmarks, etc. since the map got too "busy".

Greg H.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on March 27, 2017, 12:32:44 PM
 There sending me my equipment.  Reading through the manual it says to install it in a quite place.  Id like to mount it in my shop,  the loudest thing in there would be a impact gun.  You think that would be alright?
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 27, 2017, 12:59:57 PM
I believe the "quiet" is meaning from RF interference, machinery and such. You could clarify with them on that.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on March 27, 2017, 01:26:00 PM
I was thinking more of the rf noise too, but they really don't specify. Ill ask them.  Thanks
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 01:45:48 PM
The PDF brochure they sent me about siting mentions:

"For the absolute best performance, it is imperative that the antennas, specifically the stroke antenna, be located away from any RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) and other noise sources. The following are examples of noise sources that might interfere or produce false lightning detection: Power Lines (High Tension Lines), Motors (elevator, HVAC, exhaust/ventilation fans, motorized satellite tracking antennas, etc.), Power Sub Stations, AM Radio Towers, Spark Producing Equipment (welding shops, electrical fences, etc.), Guy wires, High Wattage Power Inverters"

An electric impact tool might be an issue, but not a pneumatic one.  The compressor however might be.

They're also talking about the antennas, not the gadget box.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on March 27, 2017, 02:12:34 PM
Thanks for the info.  It is pneumatic. The compressor it self will be about 50 feet away from the antennas.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 27, 2017, 03:38:30 PM
I doubt the compressor will be a problem. My air conditioner is only about 30 foot away isn't causing any problems.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: PaulMy on March 27, 2017, 06:05:02 PM
I did get a reply that "and we believe an additional sensor in your area participating in the USPLN will help improve detection efficiency in the region" [/font]and I have the questionnaire to complete and looking at that I have some questions:

The most logical location to mount is using the existing mounting brackets on an unused chimney where I have my sunrecorder sensor pole attached.  This pole is a 1.3/8" metal pole and the sunrecorder sensor unit is at the top about 18 ft above the chimney.  There are mature trees within 20 feet of that pole.

Question 1: will the trees impact the install location and signal reception?
Question 2: would the existing metal pole have any adverse impact (the TOA antenna would be within a foot of the pole)?

The questionnaire also asks about any potential obstructions for the sensor.  I do have an A/C unit, electrical motors for water pump and furnace but these are about 30 feet to the other end of the house.  Would this be any potential obstruction?

Thanks,
Paul
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 27, 2017, 06:17:23 PM
Yes, the metal pole will shield the strike antenna. I had to move mine as I first had it mounted to the same pole as my ISS. I am not sure about the trees as I have none around mine.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 06:36:37 PM
My guess would be that the motors will be OK given that they're below the stroke sensor antenna.  The trees?  Might depend on the type (leaf density), distance from the antenna and height -- are they close enough and tall enough to create an electrical shadow?

I have two large Oak trees, but they're 50-60' feet from where the antenna will be and not tall enough to 'shadow' it.

 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on March 27, 2017, 06:42:45 PM
Here is the explanation I got for how far away from objects it needs to be.... just sub trees for weather station pole :)

For example, if the top of the weather station pole is 10 feet from the roof line, multiply 10 by 1.73. 17.3 feet is the distance from the weather station pole you need to place the stroke antenna when the stroke antenna base is at the roofline.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: PaulMy on March 27, 2017, 07:18:19 PM
Thanks Hankster, I had read that "multiply 10 by 1.73" in an earlier post of yours but didn't quite understand then.  Looks like I am back at the drawing board...

Paul
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: PaulMy on March 28, 2017, 11:30:30 AM
I think I am going to decline the invitation to participate as I don't have a suitable location without going really high, and my next door neighbour has taken down his old 40+ foot TV tower.

Sad,
Paul
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 29, 2017, 10:36:08 AM
Sure wish I had this thing so I could get it in place for the coming storms.  I've already bugged them enough though, so I won't do more than sit back and wait now.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on March 29, 2017, 11:40:46 AM
Patience, Grasshopper.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on March 29, 2017, 09:06:23 PM
How long does it take to receive the login information for the lightning data once we get the sensor installed and online? I'm excited to get the Google Earth file to track the lightning.


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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: 44085weather on March 29, 2017, 09:13:45 PM
The day  after the verified that my sensor was sending data.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 31, 2017, 10:00:21 AM
Haven't heard a peep in over a week.  Not sure what's up.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on March 31, 2017, 10:27:05 AM
Sandy had been out again some this week. I talked to him yesterday and my sensor is shipping next week.


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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on March 31, 2017, 03:15:35 PM
Sandy had been out again some this week. I talked to him yesterday and my sensor is shipping next week.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Same here
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on March 31, 2017, 03:45:42 PM
Last time I had contact was last week and the ship date was 'next week' which would have been this week, but I haven't heard any further.  Maybe the storms this week had them too busy with other projects and paying customers.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 03, 2017, 01:36:34 PM
No contact since 3/23.  Not sure what's up.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 08, 2017, 09:09:11 AM
I guess it's time to give up.  I was promised it would ship yesterday.  I have not received notice that it did.

I'm not impressed.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 08, 2017, 09:33:51 AM
I never received a shipment notification this week either.


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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 08, 2017, 09:34:25 AM
Maybe busy as  can be?  I have been told I'm on the list, taken my info for cable length and all.

I assume they don't have a huge staff just stuffing boxes full of systems, so to get this, I'll be patient.

Good luck.  Go fix an anemometer or calibrate a rain gauge.  I've learned that can take up hours if not days!

Let us know when it does ship.

I'll let you know when I get mine.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on April 08, 2017, 10:18:54 PM
I got this email on Friday...

Quote
Hi Mark,
I just made it into the office as I have been at the doctor's office with my son.  Your sensor will be shipped out next week.  You will get a FedEx email with tracking numbers once it is shipped.  Sorry again for the delay.  I appreciate your patience and understanding🙃😉
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 09, 2017, 12:24:56 PM
Seems kind of 'off' somehow.  We're not paying for them, so we really don't have a major gripe.  We're doing a favor for them so they can build a more complete picture for their paying clients.  You'd think they'd be better at follow through.  I'm a believer in doing what you say you're going to do if at all possible.


If it shows up, I'll install it and fulfill my part.  If it doesn't, oh well.  I'm done chasing them.  It's been a full month now since my initial application submission.

If y'all want to follow up, so be it.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 09, 2017, 01:37:42 PM
Maybe the flood of WxForum user requests have overwhelmed their normal sensor addition rate. I would imagine that their network is fairly mature and they are just filling in gaps at this point.

Maybe there is a WxForum effect similar to the Slashdot effect....  :-)

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 09, 2017, 01:59:55 PM
WeatherHost:
Yes, please do let us know what happens.

They likely have only a few per month usually and then like a dam busting, all sorts of stuff flowed in.

And as Greg says, we are an eager bunch!

I know some folks who were participataing in the Blitzortung have waiting a long long time for kits they actually paid for.

Let's think positive.
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 11, 2017, 12:07:39 PM
I received a FedEx shipping notification this morning of the package going out. Expecting a delivery date of Friday.


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Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: saratogaWX on April 11, 2017, 01:31:06 PM
Alas,
They've decided that my site is unsuitable due to proximity of 12KV lines through the back of the lot, and the proximity of another sensor in my town.  :(

It was worth a try.. I still have my Blitzortung RED system and a Astrogenic TOA system both online.  Would have been nice to have a trifecta :)
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 11, 2017, 02:34:22 PM
I received a FedEx shipping notification this morning of the package going out. Expecting a delivery date of Friday.

Ditto.  Just got the same.

No Morse Code tappytalky thingy though.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 11, 2017, 02:35:54 PM
Alas,
They've decided that my site is unsuitable due to proximity of 12KV lines through the back of the lot, and the proximity of another sensor in my town. 

Figured you'd have tried one of your more remote locations.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 11, 2017, 02:39:38 PM
Alas,
They've decided that my site is unsuitable due to proximity of 12KV lines through the back of the lot, and the proximity of another sensor in my town.  :(

It was worth a try.. I still have my Blitzortung RED system and a Astrogenic TOA system both online.  Would have been nice to have a trifecta :)

Sorry that they couldn't use your site. I was concerned enough about the 220V drop to the house, but they said that it was no problem. They wanted me to elevate the antenna above the droop of the line, which I did. I wonder if it is more of a corona discharge issue with the 12kV. Can you hear crackling if you go near the lines?

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on April 11, 2017, 02:49:59 PM
I received a FedEx shipping notification this morning of the package going out. Expecting a delivery date of Friday.

Ditto.  Just got the same.

No Morse Code tappytalky thingy though.



Nothing here yet.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 13, 2017, 05:19:56 PM
Well, I got it.  One small piece missing but it was something I had on hand.  It's in place, not sure if it's working or not though.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 13, 2017, 05:23:46 PM
Well, I got it.  One small piece missing but it was something I had on hand.  It's in place, not sure if it's working or not though.
I received mine today as well. I have not had a chance to go through the contents yet.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 13, 2017, 07:40:37 PM
I am NOT happy at all.

At first it lit up, but I couldn't tell if it was normal, abnormal, or just because they hadn't activated it yet.  The Threshold light stayed on for a long while, several minutes, then finally turned off.  The Comm light was off also when it should have been on according to the papers.  There was a mention that this could be a port problem, so I looked into setting open ports using the IP addresses in the papers.  One of the steps in the modem/router information was to reboot both the modem and the device.

Modem came back up OK, but when I plugged the sensor back in, only the power light was on and it started making a weird whining noise.  Tried it again, same thing.  Now, it doesn't do anything.  No lights, no noise, no nothing.

What is bugging me is that the LAN switch/AP/Repeater I have out there that has been working fine for weeks, now won't connect to the LAN and is doing other strange things.  I don't know if the sensor died and took the switch with it, or what's going on.  I called TOA, got a recording.

Somewhere during the whole process outside installing the PVC and adapting it to what I needed for this install, I dropped a can of that purple PVC cement primer.  It was open and it splashed.  Everywhere.  Including the light tan vinyl siding on the garage.  I have no idea if it will ever come off.

I am NOT happy.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 14, 2017, 08:01:07 AM
I am NOT happy at all.

At first it lit up, but I couldn't tell if it was normal, abnormal, or just because they hadn't activated it yet.  The Threshold light stayed on for a long while, several minutes, then finally turned off.  The Comm light was off also when it should have been on according to the papers.  There was a mention that this could be a port problem, so I looked into setting open ports using the IP addresses in the papers.  One of the steps in the modem/router information was to reboot both the modem and the device.

Modem came back up OK, but when I plugged the sensor back in, only the power light was on and it started making a weird whining noise.  Tried it again, same thing.  Now, it doesn't do anything.  No lights, no noise, no nothing.

What is bugging me is that the LAN switch/AP/Repeater I have out there that has been working fine for weeks, now won't connect to the LAN and is doing other strange things.  I don't know if the sensor died and took the switch with it, or what's going on.  I called TOA, got a recording.

Somewhere during the whole process outside installing the PVC and adapting it to what I needed for this install, I dropped a can of that purple PVC cement primer.  It was open and it splashed.  Everywhere.  Including the light tan vinyl siding on the garage.  I have no idea if it will ever come off.

I am NOT happy.

Do you have a multimeter? I would first check the power supply that came with the unit. I am not sure where the noise was coming from, but if it was the power supply it might have been defective and failed.

Also, since you already know how to reboot and change the IP/DHCP stuff, you can put in a "?" followed by <CTL-J> (they use control-j as an 'enter' for some reason). There is a list of commands. I find the 'status', 'strokes', 'server' and 'gps' to be the most useful. My TOA module is out in the garage, so I have a Raspberry Pi connect to the USB port and use minicom to check things remotely. Of course, this assumes that the system is working, and it sounds like something died.

One final thing, the power connector is a turn twist lock type and maybe it isn't seated and locked properly?

Greg H.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 14, 2017, 10:44:47 AM
I am NOT happy at all.

At first it lit up, but I couldn't tell if it was normal, abnormal, or just because they hadn't activated it yet.  The Threshold light stayed on for a long while, several minutes, then finally turned off.  The Comm light was off also when it should have been on according to the papers.  There was a mention that this could be a port problem, so I looked into setting open ports using the IP addresses in the papers.  One of the steps in the modem/router information was to reboot both the modem and the device.

Modem came back up OK, but when I plugged the sensor back in, only the power light was on and it started making a weird whining noise.  Tried it again, same thing.  Now, it doesn't do anything.  No lights, no noise, no nothing.

What is bugging me is that the LAN switch/AP/Repeater I have out there that has been working fine for weeks, now won't connect to the LAN and is doing other strange things.  I don't know if the sensor died and took the switch with it, or what's going on.  I called TOA, got a recording.

Somewhere during the whole process outside installing the PVC and adapting it to what I needed for this install, I dropped a can of that purple PVC cement primer.  It was open and it splashed.  Everywhere.  Including the light tan vinyl siding on the garage.  I have no idea if it will ever come off.

I am NOT happy.

Do you have a multimeter? I would first check the power supply that came with the unit. I am not sure where the noise was coming from, but if it was the power supply it might have been defective and failed.

Also, since you already know how to reboot and change the IP/DHCP stuff, you can put in a "?" followed by <CTL-J> (they use control-j as an 'enter' for some reason). There is a list of commands. I find the 'status', 'strokes', 'server' and 'gps' to be the most useful.


Noise was coming from the sensor box.  I'm not USBing/TelNetting into anything.  All I did was open ports in the ISP provided modem/router.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on April 14, 2017, 11:38:46 AM
No ports should need to be opened on the router.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 14, 2017, 02:17:42 PM
Talk about a tease!

FedEx just came... all excited. Dogs barking.  And he comes around the back of his van with a long skinny, solitary, package. 

So I have the Efield probe and nothing else!  I can't even put up the antenna and GPS this nice weekend.  How the boxes got separated in shipment, I  don't know.

Bummer.  But I'll be patient.  Dreaming about and wishing doesn't make it so.

Hope everyone else's stuff arrived OK and their installations are proceeding.

Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 14, 2017, 02:36:45 PM
It's a cute thing.  Not NASA quality, but should do for the life of the unit.

I've held it, put my finger on the SMA connector, put it to my ear and hear nothing so far.  I guess I'll have to wait for the cable and receiver and power supply.  Alas

Come on guys, just trying to be funny.  Have a good weekend.

Didn't AM radio start out with cat's whisker detectors of some sort?  Maybe I should let my beard grow out?
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 14, 2017, 10:42:26 PM
I finally got around to unpacking everything. It seems I am missing the pvc connector that screws onto the GPS antenna.

I'll have to make a trip to the hardware store to see what I can find.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170415/6ed1582cbfd4fd99841b376269853947.jpg)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 15, 2017, 03:20:14 AM
Yeah, that's the piece.  At least I had one in a goody box.  I think it's 1" PVC to 3/4" NPT.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 08:21:22 AM
Greg,
I got a sticker on my door saying the rest of my system is at the local FedEx shop, needing a signature rather than leave it when I was gone.  I hope to pick it up this morning.

I don't like putting stuff up in a hard to get to situation (roofs, towers, etc) without doing a dry run on the ground.

You mentioned you have a rasp pi interface so you can see what is going on with the USB interface, and mentioned some stuff like Ctrl-J etc, which is reminiscent of an old hyperterminal communication with a modem.

I don't have the stuff you do, but wonder if in your experimentation you used a Windows based product like a laptop or something to see what was on that usb port?

In other words, can you tell those of us who are in anticipation what we might do to peer into the output stream of that port to see if all is well?  Obviously plug a cable into the laptop/computer, but what program can one use (hyperterminal isn't on Windows any more) to tickle the box with some commands to make sure all is well before getting stuff up on the roof?

Thanks for any hints, Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 15, 2017, 08:48:06 AM
You mentioned you have a rasp pi interface so you can see what is going on with the USB interface, and mentioned some stuff like Ctrl-J etc, which is reminiscent of an old hyperterminal communication with a modem.

I don't have the stuff you do, but wonder if in your experimentation you used a Windows based product like a laptop or something to see what was on that usb port?

In other words, can you tell those of us who are in anticipation what we might do to peer into the output stream of that port to see if all is well?  Obviously plug a cable into the laptop/computer, but what program can one use (hyperterminal isn't on Windows any more) to tickle the box with some commands to make sure all is well before getting stuff up on the roof?


In the leaflet packed with the sensor, there is a page talking about that.  I personally don't plan on trying it, but there might be enough there for others to do it.



They feel the power supply with mine failed and smoked the sensor, so they sent a replacement set.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 15, 2017, 11:02:57 AM
Dale,

I found that Tera Term worked well for the initial test connection using the PC. I used one of those USB-Serial cables. You'll need the drivers for it, etc.
The port settings are 115200, 8, N, 1 per the instructions.
The undocumented thing is the <CTRL> j is used as an "enter" function.
The commands are found by going "?", <CTRL> j. You should be rewarded with the list of commands available.

Although a lot of these are interesting, I find that the "strokes", "status", "server" and "gps" are the most useful. I am using the Pi because the controller (as with the Blitzortung) is out in the garage and the Pi allows me to check on it at random remotely without lugging the laptop out to the garage. I access it from the Pi using the old "minicom" program. I wrote a small shell script to load the settings into minicom for me, so it is ready to go when it launches.

I have seen some noise events and other errors reported. Errors are sent without issuing a command, so if there have been errors you should see them when you log in.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 01:17:07 PM
Greg,
Thanks for the update.  You've already plowed those fields so thanks for sharing what you've found.

I've not heard of Terra Term, but PuTTY and I see that there is a way of moving HyperTerm over to a newer machine if you still have one (I do but it's not portable) where you can grab the program and a .dll and it still works.

Oh, as the other's who just received their packages, I too, am missing the little connector piece that screws the Trimble GPS antenna onto the mounting set.  I'm off to Menard's to see if I can find a suitable replacement.

Thanks for the support.
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 15, 2017, 02:52:01 PM
You can get Tera Term here (https://ttssh2.osdn.jp/index.html.en).

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: waysta on April 15, 2017, 03:04:14 PM
The undocumented thing is the <CTRL> j is used as an "enter" function.

See page 23, step 3, set "New line" Receive "AUTO", Transmit "CR+LF"

Also, was the FTDI driver installed?, see page 23 step 1.

Regular return works on Win 10 machine.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 15, 2017, 04:08:09 PM
The undocumented thing is the <CTRL> j is used as an "enter" function.

See page 23, step 3, set "New line" Receive "AUTO", Transmit "CR+LF"

Also, was the FTDI driver installed?, see page 23 step 1.

Regular return works on Win 10 machine.

That does work and is more convenient. Thanks.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 04:17:14 PM
After a trip to the hardware store to get the 3/4" NPT thread to 1" pvc coupler, I began to assemble. 

the GPS antenna has a threaded SMA connector, no problem.

the Stroke antenna cable has two BNC twist type connectors.  One attached easily to the electronics box, but the antenna that they shipped me has a TNC on the base of the assembly, not a BNC like is on the end of the Stroke cable.  I don't see any adapter.  The manual says BOTH antennas use TNC, but the stuff shipped clearly is different from the manual, and the connectors on the electronics box are obviously keyed to keep someone from intermixing the cable terminations to the box.

When those of you who got your recent shipments, did you have BNC to BNC on the Stroke?  And the proper BNC on the base of the antenna?

Was the GPS a screw thread type of TNC ?

Very weird.  Like I said not quite NASA quality but maybe they were rushing and got some contractor who didn't read things, or maybe I'm not reading stuff right either.

Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 15, 2017, 04:35:42 PM
After a trip to the hardware store to get the 3/4" NPT thread to 1" pvc coupler, I began to assemble. 

the GPS antenna has a threaded SMA connector, no problem.

the Stroke antenna cable has two BNC twist type connectors.  One attached easily to the electronics box, but the antenna that they shipped me has a TNC on the base of the assembly, not a BNC like is on the end of the Stroke cable.  I don't see any adapter.  The manual says BOTH antennas use TNC, but the stuff shipped clearly is different from the manual, and the connectors on the electronics box are obviously keyed to keep someone from intermixing the cable terminations to the box.

When those of you who got your recent shipments, did you have BNC to BNC on the Stroke?  And the proper BNC on the base of the antenna?

Was the GPS a screw thread type of TNC ?

Very weird.  Like I said not quite NASA quality but maybe they were rushing and got some contractor who didn't read things, or maybe I'm not reading stuff right either.

Dale
I hadn't even noticed that. I also have a BNC on the receiver, BNC cabling and a TNC on the stroke antenna.

My GPS module is TNC from antenna to receiver, so I'm good there.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 15, 2017, 04:50:45 PM
Mine had the right connectors.  Both TNC for the antennae and 1 BNC, 1 TNC for the box end.  I also have a spare one of each in case the cable had to be cut, etc.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 15, 2017, 04:54:26 PM
Now, considering the similar discrepancies (and not to jinx anyone), I'll be curious to see if your boxes work.  :-(




Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 07:55:31 PM
Drew,
Just a thought.  I had requested a non-standard cable length, and wonder if you did too?  If they were just tossing pre-made or contractor made sets of cable into a box, then no big deal.  If those of us requesting a custom length required them to make that specifically in house before shipment, then I can see how in a rush they could be confused and just BNC both ends.

Did you as for a non-100 foot length of coax?

Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 07:59:30 PM
Weatherhost, did you get a standard 100' cable or have them make a custom length for you?

Always doing root cause analysis to see what went wrong.
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 15, 2017, 08:08:04 PM
I didn't request anything special, but I think they're 50' each.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: waysta on April 15, 2017, 08:12:09 PM
When those of you who got your recent shipments, did you have BNC to BNC on the Stroke?  And the proper BNC on the base of the antenna?
Was the GPS a screw thread type of TNC ?

I asked for only connectors at the antennas, and none on the sensor/receiver side so I could drill smaller holes in the house wall and wood floor in my lab.

Both of the stroke antenna and the Trimble "bullet" GPS antenna are TNC.  I did not get the spare BNC and TNC for the RG6, fortunately between two crimpers found the right dies, and did not screw up.

The RG6 is really interesting, a quad, but with a modern foam core, very light weight and easy to work with compare to several other RG6 I've used for past projects.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on April 15, 2017, 08:12:56 PM
Drew,
Just a thought.  I had requested a non-standard cable length, and wonder if you did too?  If they were just tossing pre-made or contractor made sets of cable into a box, then no big deal.  If those of us requesting a custom length required them to make that specifically in house before shipment, then I can see how in a rush they could be confused and just BNC both ends.

Did you as for a non-100 foot length of coax?

Dale
Mine are 150'. I jumped the gun earlier. Upon assembly I discovered that my stroke antenna cable is correct. I have BNC on the receiver end, and TNC to screw into the antenna on the other.

I picked up the missing PVC connector for the GPS antenna at Lowes today. I'm going to get everything assembled tonight and installed in a temporary location tomorrow. I will contact TOA Monday to verify they are receiving data before installing the stroke antenna on my 35' TV tower.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 15, 2017, 08:57:58 PM
Alas, I have no special crimper to do either the BNC or the TNC correctly and would be a cobble job at the most.  I know I'd used them very few times in my life but wish I had them now (with less life left than 40 years ago.  Its like a Bird wattmeter, don't use it often but one handy thing when you need it.

I'm hope a buddy with the TNC to BNC adapter that I'll get tomorrow will solve the problem.

Yes, that is a strange coax, but it says rated to 3 Gig on the side of it.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 16, 2017, 04:17:01 PM
While waiting for either a new cable or an adapter to show up, I borrowed an adapter and got the antenna hooked up.
the Terra Term works well after I got the parameters set correctly 

I peeked around a bit with the queries and now like the man with two watches wonder which GPS is correct?
I got xx.748065 lat by xx.553955 with elevation of 303 meters from the TOA and
           .748080         by.553984 from my RED Blitz and
           .748082         by.553985  at 305 meters from the RED station.


Admittedly the GPS antennas for the Blitz stations are within a foot of each other and the TOA lash up for testing is approx 33' away, so that might account for the variation to some degree.  I'll have to see how much each digit at 6 decimal places is worth at my latitude about 1/2 way from the equator to poles.

I see there is a channel C and D .  Enabled is 0 for C and 1 for D.  and some threshold numbers and counts.  Of course I got on the air this afternoon after all the action blew through right over me last night.

Does the box begin to work, as it says it is connected to the CAP, right away or are channels only enabled after you make the call to the control center to let them know?  I dont want to do that until I have the antennas permanently erected on the shed where they will listen, which is a couple hundred feet away from where thy are now.

Just curious.

Oh, I was fiddling with my stoke probe and the upper cap came off (really, I thought it was glued on, so I didn't poke around) and there is a small gauge, perhaps 20 or 22 copper wire silicon sealed to the top, and the end is filled so I can't see if it is a simple straight wire or some sort of coaxial stack, but at these frequencies I would assume a straight piece of wire for sensing.

Dale

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 17, 2017, 07:05:13 PM
Replacement is mounted and is doing things more in line with the booklet than the first one did.  No idea what happened.


Anybody know if you can officially ban FedEx from your property?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on April 18, 2017, 07:53:11 AM


Anybody know if you can officially ban FedEx from your property?



If you order something that is delivered by fed ex, you are automatically giving them permission to come onto your property.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 18, 2017, 12:50:52 PM
^^  Well, no, not really if I don't select that carrier.  Most times, I don't know who the carrier is until after the order is placed.


-----------------

So, I'm logged in, seeing strikes and trying to figure out how to use it all.  Should be fun learning, eh?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 18, 2017, 01:03:38 PM
I like conduit, what can I say?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 18, 2017, 07:08:34 PM
Their GE Pro is a bit of a resource hog.  My CPU cranks when I have it open.

Is it possible to down-tweak the area of coverage to just our region instead of worldwide?  (yeah, I just made that phrase up)

Has anybody asked about a GRLX placefile for hosts?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on April 19, 2017, 04:31:55 PM
I'm anxious to see if the unit works.  I had a screw up on the cable, so the TOA is sending me an adapter to remedy that.

In the meantime, while I cannot mount the antenna at the permanent site (I'm not going up on that roof any more than I have to) I did plug everything in and is running inside my home near a window with a  loaner adapter.  All seems happy.  I did message and get a reply from support that my station is connected and reporting time from GPS ok. 

I wonder, as a possible storm approaches this afternoon and tonight, what one can see from their station? 

I realize that until the control center activates my station that I won't have access to their site to see lightning, and also the LPS-200 box might not be fully active until it gets enabled by the control center.

Nonetheless, the manual indicated that one might possibly see the Threshold light blink.  I assume that is when the box determines a stroke has occurred and reports it.

So my first question is, when a storm is relatively nearby and in progress, can one look at their box and see blinking frequently, or is is pretty infrequent?  How far away does this thing pick up strokes and blink?  100 miles max?  1500?

Second is what one sees coming from the USB port monitored with TerraTerm or some other display package?  In addition to the commands, when it is just idling I get an occassional line of:
[appGps.c:309] GPS LOCK: 4/19/2017


and also this with the status:

[appLog.c:1659] CHAN C ENABLED 0: COUNT 0, OFFSET -1758, LP 1
[appLog.c:1664] CHAN C THRESH: POS 32767, NEG -32767
[appLog.c:1666] CHAN D ENABLED 1: COUNT 964078, OFFSET -1758, LP 1
[appLog.c:1671] CHAN D THRESH: POS 4915, NEG -3276

I assume that the count for channel D (brings back memories of The Man From U.N.C.L.E with 'open channel C') which does go up occasionally  indicates that it has heard a qualifying stroke, but wonder if anyone knows for sure.

Thanks.  Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on April 19, 2017, 05:01:59 PM
Here is the info I got on sensor sensitivity.

It takes 3 lightning sensors to locate one lightning stroke and a fourth sensor for verification.  A network may have baseline distances (sensor to sensor) of 30 to 600 kilometers (~20 to 400 miles). The accuracy of the system is typically 80 to 250 meters for strokes as far as 480 kilometers (300 miles) distant from the center of the network.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on April 19, 2017, 05:56:15 PM
Mine arrived today - FedEX!  Yay!  And true to their word, not customs/shipping or duties.  :)  Looking forward to getting it installed next week if all goes well.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 19, 2017, 05:56:50 PM
I don't want a strike TOO close, but I want one in the region to see if this registers it.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on April 19, 2017, 07:53:39 PM
It's been almost 2 weeks since last contact with Sandy. I emailed her last week and got no response. The last response was that it is shipping and I would be getting the tracking number. AT this point, if it comes... cool... .If not, I guess I don't have to get on the roof to install it. Was kinda looking forward to it.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 19, 2017, 07:56:32 PM
^^  I can't figure out how big this company is (or isn't) or how much staff they have, or how busy they are.  All of the tech support contacts have been with one person.  The replacement was shipped out the same day I reported the failure.

So far, I've only seen three names total.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 20, 2017, 09:49:55 AM
More storms in the area today, so maybe we'll see if it works.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 20, 2017, 04:02:42 PM
Can any of you that have these see the other sensor locations?  User guide makes mention of an icon, but I don't know if that's a piece we get or not.

Also, how do you know if the strikes on GE were detected by your sensor?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on April 20, 2017, 04:14:02 PM
You can not see other sensor locations.

You don't know but I understand they are looking into providing that information.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: n2qew on April 20, 2017, 05:00:54 PM

For some reason everything appeared to stay blank for me until I got to the comments field.  I went ahead and typed it all out and submitted what appeared to be a blank form, but it seems to have worked since I got the reply.

Try typing your replies out in Notepad, then pasting them into the fields.

Form fixed. I mentioned the problem in an email I sent offering my location. They replied that my site would improve detection efficiency in the region.

Got a reply today that they found and fixed the form issue. Also, signed agreement.

So, if you look at the map of sensor locations here:
http://www.uspln.com/documentation/USPLN_NAPLN_Data_Sheet_Feb2016.pdf
and see nothing close to you, they might want you. Map is a year old, but probably is still good enough. 

http://toasystems.com/contact-us/host-a-sensor/
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on April 20, 2017, 05:04:49 PM
Not sure why they would not divulge a map of sensors.  It appears there are very few in Canada from the snippet on the PDF
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 20, 2017, 05:24:26 PM
I hear thunder and I see strikes displayed 20-25 miles out, but no triggers on mine yet.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 20, 2017, 05:27:06 PM
Since some of this may be proprietary/NDA, should we have a closed area for discussion and idea sharing?

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: n2qew on April 20, 2017, 11:05:45 PM
^^  I can't figure out how big this company is (or isn't) or how much staff they have, or how busy they are.  All of the tech support contacts have been with one person.  The replacement was shipped out the same day I reported the failure.

So far, I've only seen three names total.
Tried to send you a PM with an answer to your question. PM blocked. Send me an email to bob at (my user name) dot net and I'll reply back with what I have learned.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on April 25, 2017, 12:21:47 PM
I finally got my tracking number today.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 25, 2017, 01:03:58 PM
Support is a lot quicker though if/when you need help.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: waysta on April 25, 2017, 01:38:00 PM

Admittedly the GPS antennas for the Blitz stations are within a foot of each other and the TOA lash up for testing is approx 33' away, so that might account for the variation to some degree. 

I'll have to see how much each digit at 6 decimal places is worth at my latitude about 1/2 way from the equator to poles.

Found this Excel sheet with a Google: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0ahUKEwiL1IHFj8DTAhWC5YMKHaLRBVcQFghFMAY&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.osmre.gov%2Fresources%2Fblasting%2Fdocs%2FExcel%2F12LatLongDistanceCalculator.xls&usg=AFQjCNGrIHBxge6hAsimEDM7IXe4jNMsvA

Google txt: [XLS]Longitude Distance Calculator ww.osmre.gov/resources/blasting/.../Excel/12LatLongDistanceCalculator.xls

Can't speak to accuracy (apparently this one was posted for blasting applications).  Replaced the batteries in my UPS and fired up my two hp Z3801A frequency references for a re-visit.  According to the Excel sheet, on initial survey, my two units are four feet apart (same antenna via an active GPS distribution block).  Looking to see if I can improve the match by new init values and a re-survey, but just for fun.  They seem plenty happy already (frequency 1pps both stable, in spec).

So, no idea if TOA averages at central, however the gps? query shows routine GPS module shot to shot variations (possibly not continuously averaged) in both position and altitude.  Probably insignificant for the application ...
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 27, 2017, 10:31:45 AM
Has anybody tried muting the ding-a-ling when you get a local alarm?  Is it a .wav file that can be killed by AdBlock or something?

I know I could ask them, but it seems like a minor thing to bug them about.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on April 27, 2017, 11:31:52 AM
The "Help and FAQ" link on your has this:

Quote
Each alarm region can have a custom alarm tone. To setup the custom alarm tones for alarm regions you are required to send an .mp3 formatted file to GPATS and we will configure the custom alert tone for you. Please contact GPATS to request an alarm region alert tone change.

You might be able to send them a quiet(er) mp3 file, or a blank one altogether.

The "help" has an annoying tendency to close itself while I am trying to read it. I guess that I need to go to Evelyn Wood or something...  ](*,)

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on April 27, 2017, 12:05:48 PM
I read that (quickly).  :twisted:  I was quick enough to copy/paste it to Notepad.

But I'm not sure why that company name is there; maybe a default for the utility?  I was trying to avoid contacting them though for a minor thing.  Maybe I'll put a few other questions together and send one message.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on April 27, 2017, 12:37:17 PM
http://www.gpats.com.au/our-company
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on May 01, 2017, 08:53:53 AM
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.

Do you need to be logged-in on the site with Google Earth running in order to get these alerts? This (Not Triggered since login) has me thinking that you do.

I haven't received one yet, but I wasn't running GE or logged in at all when lightning was close (I could hear thunder, but didn't get an email).

I kind of wonder, "what is the point?" if you have to be logged in to get alerts....

Greg H.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on May 01, 2017, 08:56:57 AM
Pretty sure Sandy said you get email alerts if wanted. 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 01, 2017, 09:11:01 AM
I kind of wonder, "what is the point?" if you have to be logged in to get alerts....

I've had a few that set off the bell, but have not received email alerts.  That's OK because I really don't want them.  I keep a browser tab open and logged in, but I do not keep GE open.


I believe the point is to help fill in areas lacking sufficient data and that access to the screens is secondary.


Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 01, 2017, 09:12:40 AM
I tried a GMaps page in a browser tab, but they don't seem to accept the KMZ file.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on May 01, 2017, 09:28:33 AM
I tried a GMaps page in a browser tab, but they don't seem to accept the KMZ file.

In the legend on the left, click the layer where you want to add data. Click Import. You can import CSV, TSV, KML, KMZ, GPX, or XLSX files, or spreadsheets from Google Drive. Drag a file from your computer, select a Google Drive file or open a previous My Maps map.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 01, 2017, 09:29:59 AM
^^  Didn't work.  Must be some kind of special file.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on May 01, 2017, 09:42:03 AM
KMZ are KML zipped.  Verify the file after unzipping it (outside of GE)
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on May 01, 2017, 09:42:52 AM
http://www.kmlvalidator.org/home.htm
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on May 01, 2017, 01:33:26 PM
You have to put in a request to get the emails. You do not have to be logged in to get the emails. If you are not actively looking at or for lightning there is no need or advantage to bring logged in.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on May 05, 2017, 02:56:33 PM
I'm looking for some help from those with TOA accounts already up and running.

Today Sandy emailed me access to TOA web site and I entered using the supplied login and password.

I went to the web site, and when I had the .k* file, it went to Google Earth, and asked for my sign in.  I entered the same login as TOA has given me, and asked to look up my password found nothing.  I tried to do a search for my key using that info, but it is the other way around, it will help you find your login IF you know your google maps key, sort of bass ackwards, but nothing I can do.  In the TOA FAQ it implies that the linking to G. E. will be automatic.  I even tried accessing for a free trial of G. E., but gets a 404 error back.

QUESTION:   Do I have to sign up for a GE license key independently?  Does TOA link to G. E. as it implies, or is there more intervention I need to do?

Just curious. Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 05, 2017, 03:02:00 PM
I've never had to sign in there.  As long as I'm signed in the the web page, the .kmz file opens in GE Pro.

Now, that said, did you ever get a license key for GE Pro?  Were you able to open it before trying to use this file?  The keys are free now for all users.  You can do a web search for how to activate one.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on May 05, 2017, 03:20:53 PM
I followed your advice, hoping to get the G.E. Pro key.
I went to 'how to get the free license key" on CNET, which came up in the search, downloaded the installer, and after that just tried the TOA link again.  This time it did link.  Maybe the secret is to have G.E. Pro installed, even if you've not activated a key yet.

Nonetheless, I'm going to see if I can get a key for it. 

Now that I can use the data from TOA, there isn't a lightning strike anywhere in the continental US of A.  Grrr.
Maybe tonight when a front kicks up.

Thanks for the rapid response. Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on May 05, 2017, 04:27:44 PM
Once I log in on the TOA page, it shows "connected", My City and the Strikes and Radius graph option to open.
Then a dialog box asking how to open the .kml file. It defaults to GE and when I go "OK" it launches Google Earth zoomed into my location. I have to zoom way out to see strikes outside of my local area. I have just the normal Google Earth, not Pro or anything. (I don't think so, anyways)

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on May 05, 2017, 11:28:46 PM
They sent me my links today to log in. But the private url wont load, but it loads on my phone no problem. Anyone else have problems with this? Seems very strange.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 06, 2017, 02:36:38 PM
Loaded right up for me, no problem using SeaMonkey.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on May 27, 2017, 06:05:58 PM
Guess it works ...

(http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=30474.0;attach=26591)
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on July 14, 2017, 11:29:19 PM
How hot are your sensor boxes?  Mine is hot to the touch, but not burn your hands hot.  It's mounted on a header over a door, but not obstructed from air flow.  It's in the garage though which isn't exactly cool this time of year.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on July 15, 2017, 08:23:13 AM
How hot are your sensor boxes?  Mine is hot to the touch, but not burn your hands hot.  It's mounted on a header over a door, but not obstructed from air flow.  It's in the garage though which isn't exactly cool this time of year.

Mine reports:
Code: [Select]
[appLog.c:1481] Temperature 41 C, 105 FThe cabinet where it lives is at 67F (19C) right now. So that is a 22C rise over ambient. I don't know if this is a sensor on the PCB, or core temperature in the TOA Systems controller.
My Blitzortung controller core temps are 33C and 35C.
Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on July 15, 2017, 09:26:15 AM
I'm not set up to read it that way.  Using a handheld (Harbor Freight) IR thermometer pointed at the center of the case, it reads 97 and surrounding area reads in the upper 80s.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DW7240 on July 16, 2017, 08:56:11 PM
For what its worth mine reads.....

[appLog.c:1482] Temperature 49 C, 120 F

via the USB front port of terminal using Teraterm software.

Nick. dw7240.com.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on July 17, 2017, 06:31:09 AM
Raises a question of power usage if they're getting that hot.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: n2qew on July 18, 2017, 11:44:13 AM
It burns .6 amps at 12 volts or 7.2 watts. 173 watt-hours a day. -7 days per kWh. 5.2 kWh a month, so roughly US $0.53 a month depending on rates.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on July 18, 2017, 02:53:33 PM
A question for users who are set up with them:

I've been online for a couple months and had quite a few storms move over me or close by during that time.  Not once has the little alert thing ever showed that strikes were nearby on the report thing.  they show up on the Google Earth Maps, but on on the alert.  Does the alert work for anyone?

I've emailed and they corrected an error in my location, supposedly, but it still doesn't work.  I see the correct lattitude, but the longitude is  at -91 and they say the display of the field is truncated but set correctly in their software.

Oh well, I don't depend on it anyway but would just be nice if it did work.

Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on July 18, 2017, 03:10:36 PM
It works for me. I get a rather annoying alarm bell sound when it goes off.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on July 18, 2017, 03:23:11 PM
Then it must be configuration at their place.  I was wondering if as 'mere' equipment site hosts we weren't entitled to that, not that I use it but would be one more fun piece of info to know.  I'll bug them later once again to see if they can advise.

thanks Mike.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on July 18, 2017, 07:24:45 PM
I get the dinger too.  Remember, it's only within that small circle.

 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DW7240 on July 19, 2017, 12:55:05 PM
Hi,

I too get the alarm bell, thought the house was on fire, LOL, then realised it was the TOA/Google Earth software sounding a bell because of strikes within the alarm zone - yes that's the important point, just because you can hear thunder does not mean that the storm is within your zone.  As I recall, the zone size is small, it's like 10km all around, so unless the storm is very close or overhead, the alarm won't sound.  Just as well really, it could get pretty annoying otherwise.

Nick. dw7240.com.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: BeaverMeadow on July 19, 2017, 02:05:41 PM
unless the storm is very close or overhead, the alarm won't sound.  Just as well really, it could get pretty annoying otherwise.
Nick. dw7240.com.

The local tv/radio meteorologists around here are always saying that if you can hear thunder you can get hit by lightning. I have always had a hard time believing that. I guess their philosophy is "better safe than sorry".
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on July 19, 2017, 02:09:06 PM
Sounds like an old telephone, which is the type of ring tone on my cell phone.  So when the TOA alarm sounds, I find myself reaching for my cell phone.



Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on July 21, 2017, 06:29:11 PM
I know a few have said they are having high CPU usage when running GE. Yesterday as I watched a storm develop right overhead I thought about this and checked my CPU usage. I'm using a late-2008 MacBokk Pro with a 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, 8GB memory and an SSD.

This screen grab was taken while GE was updating. I was currently zoomed out a bit to see if there were any other thunderstorms close by. This storm was giving me 120+ strokes in 10 minutes within the alert zone.

The screen grabs shows 14.2% CPU, it normally runs 8-10% if it's not updating. Also including a screen grab of the the fun we had last evening. I'm not sure if GE uses more CPU on a Windows machine or the reason others are seeing high CPU utilization.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on September 02, 2017, 08:49:20 AM
When I looked at my own web page where I have the regional and US map on USPLN, the maps are missing.

If I attempt to look at the map directly, I just get a 404 error with links to

Quote
Please visit The Weather Company/IBM to learn more about their lightning services and offerings.

Please visit TOA Systems to learn more about their lightning networks and offerings.

A quick look did not show the maps on either of these sites. I sent an email to Sandy asking about it. My Google Earth based maps are still OK after logging in.

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: bidouilleur on September 14, 2017, 03:29:22 PM
Also joined the fun but from the other side of the ocean (France). Just one thing striking (no joke  :twisted: ) my antenna is completely different from yours here . it is a long metal one (see picture). GPS module seems identical but the main antenna is a 2 part thing, lower part seems fiber plastic coated and on top just a long metal whip screwed.  ham-tenna according paper for 40 meter band. The box is same as yours .... not to sure if I detect much as the data is pretty rudimentary (compared to BO)  the stats shown are the ones from global network or what my antenna detects ??? Couldn't find a real answer in the help/faq part ...

Any others in Europe ?

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on September 14, 2017, 04:31:43 PM
Mike,
Did you ever hear back from Sandy? 

Is the company still solvent and functioning?  All these reports are a wee bit worrisome.  I have nothing invested except my time and providing electricity and internet, but being able to see these other data is always fun.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on September 18, 2017, 04:45:36 PM
Sandy got back with me the other day and again today with a link to a regional map.

Here is mine: http://toasystems.com/gifs/rogerscity.gif (http://toasystems.com/gifs/rogerscity.gif)

(http://toasystems.com/gifs/rogerscity.gif)

Greg H.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: Bushman on September 18, 2017, 06:08:11 PM
unless the storm is very close or overhead, the alarm won't sound.  Just as well really, it could get pretty annoying otherwise.
Nick. dw7240.com.

The local tv/radio meteorologists around here are always saying that if you can hear thunder you can get hit by lightning. I have always had a hard time believing that. I guess their philosophy is "better safe than sorry".

Up here they say "When thunder roars - go indoors!" 
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on September 20, 2017, 10:31:17 PM
I lost my link that Sandy sent for the public lightning map. Can someone share theirs and maybe i could get mine to work from that.  Thanks
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on October 01, 2017, 06:38:47 PM
The "last updated" time seems a little off. Is it like this for everyone?
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on October 01, 2017, 06:39:59 PM
Looks like a EuroDate.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: ALITTLEweird1 on October 03, 2017, 08:05:29 AM
Looks like a EuroDate.


#-o that never even crossed my mind.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: WeatherHost on February 03, 2018, 05:57:38 PM
Everybody still working?

I forget about the thing most of the time during the off season like this.  That bright blue LED reminds though every time I walk past the box.

Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: hankster on February 03, 2018, 05:59:02 PM
I believe it is. They haven't notified me that it isn't. It's in my shed so I never see it.
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: DaleReid on February 03, 2018, 06:11:11 PM
When I set up last summer, I was talking a few times with the tech guys.  I would ask if my station was on the air and working or sending errors or bad data. About all he'd say was, no your station is OK.  I said it would be of great help for those of use who were volunteers to have some sort of software tool to look at our station, the data and if it was alright.  He said that they were 'talking' about doing something like that but I've heard nothing further.

Anyone know the status of the company?  At one time it was IBM associated, and I think that here or some other forum there was chatter that they had been sold to someone else.

Hope it wasn't WU!
Dale
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: drew on February 03, 2018, 06:24:20 PM
When I set up last summer, I was talking a few times with the tech guys.  I would ask if my station was on the air and working or sending errors or bad data. About all he'd say was, no your station is OK.  I said it would be of great help for those of use who were volunteers to have some sort of software tool to look at our station, the data and if it was alright.  He said that they were 'talking' about doing something like that but I've heard nothing further.

Anyone know the status of the company?  At one time it was IBM associated, and I think that here or some other forum there was chatter that they had been sold to someone else.

Hope it wasn't WU!
Dale

I had a network switch die a few weeks back that took my sensor offline. I got an email from TOA advising me that my sensor went offline. I replaced the switch, and let them know it should be back. After a day, they responded confirming everything was back online.

Other than that, I havent had any way to know how the sensor is performing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: USPLN Sensor Request
Post by: miraculon on February 04, 2018, 11:19:25 AM
Mine is still good. I just logged in to the Raspberry Pi that I have the USB plugged into:

Quote
Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys



[appLog.c:1658] CHAN C ENABLED 0: COUNT 0, OFFSET -1668, LP 1
[appLog.c:1663] CHAN C THRESH: POS 32767, NEG -32767
[appLog.c:1665] CHAN D ENABLED 1: COUNT 1099227, OFFSET -1668, LP 1
[appLog.c:1670] CHAN D THRESH: POS 2291, NEG -2291
status
[appLog.c:1433] CONFIG VALID   Yes - config was valid at startup
[appLog.c:1438] GPS LOCK       Yes
[appLog.c:1443] SERVER CONNECT Yes
[appLog.c:1450] FPGA LOADED    Yes
[appLog.c:1455] STROKES NOISY  No Cnt 55 (MAX STROKES/SEC 25)
[appLog.c:1463] NOISE DETECT: NOISY=DISABLE AFTER 3 SECS; QUIET=ENABLE AFTER 10S
server
[appLog.c:1644] SERVER 1: 52.8.209.139:3215 - WF 0 - CONNECTED
[appLog.c:1644] SERVER 2: 75.112.141.71:3215 - WF 0 - CONNECTED
[appLog.c:1648] SERVER 3: 000.000.000.000:3215 - WF 0 - DISCONNECTED
[appLog.c:1648] SERVER 4: 000.000.000.000:3215 - WF 0 - DISCONNECTED
[appLog.c:1652] OUT BUFFER COUNT 0
[appLog.c:1653]  IN BUFFER COUNT 0


Greg H.