Author Topic: USPLN Sensor Request  (Read 20030 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #50 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.
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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #51 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.


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CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #52 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #53 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #54 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.

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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #55 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

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #56 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #57 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.



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Offline Bushman

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2017, 07:56:40 PM »
Waiting for mine.  Looking forward tot he real time local data!  :)

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #59 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline CNYWeather

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #60 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.
Tony




Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #61 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.

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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2017, 09:55:26 AM »
A mounting bracket comes with it.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 09:57:29 AM by hankster »

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #63 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.

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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #64 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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 12:26:02 PM by hankster »

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #65 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
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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #66 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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 12:42:59 PM by hankster »

Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #67 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.
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #68 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. 

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Offline hankster

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #69 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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 04:25:00 PM by hankster »

Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #70 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #71 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.

 
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #72 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
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Offline miraculon

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #73 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.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: USPLN Sensor Request
« Reply #74 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?



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