Author Topic: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home  (Read 1128 times)

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Offline parkernathan

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Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« on: May 25, 2017, 11:45:21 PM »
I typically rely on ENTLN as my primary source for accessing lightning data. I have access to ENTLN through StreamerRT and Sferic Maps, plus I use AllisonHouse, Baron Threat Net, and the Baron Critical Weather, Sferic Mobile, and WDT Weather Radio apps for lightning alerts. I'm also considering re-downloading the Blitzortung app on my phone (had it on my phone but had to factory wipe due to a major Bluetooth bug).

While I love ENTLN, the work the teams have done with it, and all of the vendors who rely on the data, unfortunately, there are numerous times at my home where ENTLN isn't issuing any lightning alerts for my county, yet looking out the window, I see lightning flashing across the night sky, sometimes intense lightning as well. If I need to hop in the bath or shower, I don't want to get fried. Ultimately while I will always heavily look out the window before doing so, I need a better way to personally detect lightning at my house.

Our nearest ENTLN sensor is across town at the high school, and while the sensor should function for miles, as well as I know the sensor is operating within spec after talking with one of the field reps, there has been enough times where lightning flashes here, and I'm not seeing it on the map or through alerts.

I need to do something to improve lightning detection at my home so I can better monitor when lightning is moving into my area. I have emailed the teams at Earth Networks to see if there's a possibility of my hosting one of the ENTLN sensors at my home to better strengthen the lightning detection network in my area. I already host one of the HD Cams, and I have the backend capable of hosting one of our sensors should the teams go for it.

If that is not an option, then here are some thoughts on the matter:

1. If there is another lightning network that would be interested in allowing me to host a lightning sensor, I would be happy to do it. I have unlimited bandwidth on a pretty reliable connection with a business grade router at my home, so I can easily host a lightning sensor for any network interested in allowing me to.

2. I'd like to be able to access the lightning data from my home in real time and see on a map the real time lightning around my home. Additionally, an indoor unit that sounds an alarm when lightning is near me would be a nice plus.

3. The connection for the device can be USB or Ethernet. I have a Surface Book I can plug in the device into over USB and run software on it, or I can use Ethernet for a 24/7 connection to the Internet.

4. If the device needs to be mounted outside, I can either mount it on my weather station pole or possibly on my house somewhere. If the device needs to be placed in the attic, I already have a plug in my wall with a hole in it that a cable run to the attic can go through (my weather station cable and HD Cam Ethernet cable are already through there). I would need a third party installer to likely assist with this (I'm in the Hot Springs, Arkansas, area). My ISP has experience with running cables inside walls, so I may be able to hire one of their techs off the clock to perform the installation.

5. Whatever device I end up using for lightning detection, I am willing to submit the data to any lightning network it can publish data to, as I am perfectly pleased with sharing my data with anyone. If I am able to take the raw data from it and get it into a GR placefile, I'd be willing to work with Derek or someone to get the data into a GR placefile as well if possible.

6. Hopefully the device can detect both IC and CG lightning.

Any suggestions concerning this would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:40:13 AM by mallardnathan »
Nathan Parker

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Offline n2qew

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 01:30:27 AM »
Sounds like Blitzortung might be an answer. You can't rely on it for safety, etc, but you can use it's output for anything reasonable.
If you host for one of the commercial networks - USPLN for example - you cannot use the output of their system for anything other than private - non redistributed - use.

Offline parkernathan

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 01:42:00 AM »
Sounds like Blitzortung might be an answer. You can't rely on it for safety, etc, but you can use it's output for anything reasonable.
If you host for one of the commercial networks - USPLN for example - you cannot use the output of their system for anything other than private - non redistributed - use.

Sounds good. I'll fill out the Blitzortung form. I filled out the USPLN form in case they want me to host one. I'd be willing to host one for private, non commercial on my end, use if I can simply get live lightning data at my house. Then I could look at adding a Blitzortung for more public stuff.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 09:03:23 PM »
Hi Nathan,

On Blitzortung, there is a substantial waiting list for those boards. This TOA/TOGA system is not "plug and play". There is some soldering of parts to be done, although there aren't nearly as many as my current "Red" system. In addition, the placement of the antennas are a matter of trial and error.

I am about 20 miles east of you on US 70, just east of Lonsdale with a "Red" system.

John
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Offline parkernathan

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 09:20:01 PM »
Hi Nathan,

On Blitzortung, there is a substantial waiting list for those boards. This TOA/TOGA system is not "plug and play". There is some soldering of parts to be done, although there aren't nearly as many as my current "Red" system. In addition, the placement of the antennas are a matter of trial and error.

I am about 20 miles east of you on US 70, just east of Lonsdale with a "Red" system.

John

Sounds good. If I know I'll be headed in that direction sometime, I may check out your Red system and let you give me a rundown of it. The waiting list on them does look long. I'm more of a software than hardware guy, so if I ever got a system, I may need to hire out the soldering.

In the meantime, I'll see if NAPLN or ENTLN will let me host a sensor. If not, I may have to invest in something. I basically just need something that'll give me live lightning near me, and audible alerts would be nice too.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 01:08:38 AM »

1. If there is another lightning network that would be interested in allowing me to host a lightning sensor, I would be happy to do it. I have unlimited bandwidth on a pretty reliable connection with a business grade router at my home, so I can easily host a lightning sensor for any network interested in allowing me to.



http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=30474.0


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Offline parkernathan

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Re: Improving Lightning Detection At My Home
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2017, 01:23:56 AM »

1. If there is another lightning network that would be interested in allowing me to host a lightning sensor, I would be happy to do it. I have unlimited bandwidth on a pretty reliable connection with a business grade router at my home, so I can easily host a lightning sensor for any network interested in allowing me to.



http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=30474.0

Thanks! I filled out the form. We'll see how it goes.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net