Author Topic: My order arrived.  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline dupreezd

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My order arrived.
« on: December 09, 2017, 06:53:55 PM »
Happy day!!
Received my kit today, but has been designated as Christmas gift by my wife. lol At least I got to open and look at it.
Now I need to order the GPS unit. Any specific one, or will one ordered from Amazon work with the right connector?

I will post once it is complete and working, hopefully with no problems.

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Offline PaulMy

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 10:41:12 PM »
Lucky you =D> and isn't St Nicholas day December 6th, so go play with it.

Lots of work ahead, but you'll enjoy.
Paul

Online DaleReid

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 10:47:30 PM »
By GPS unit, I assume you mean the external antenna.

I think that any patch antenna with the correct connector will work.  Are you near a window or close enough that a longer cord will be able to reach outside and see the majority of the sky for satellites?

I bought a TRAC marine GPS antenna that looks nice, had a longer cable and functions well.  but as long as there is solid lock and you can have the controller near enough a window or way out of the house for locating the gps antenna, you should be fine.

I think they are relatively inexpensive.
Good luck, let the fun begin...

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 11:19:57 PM »
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 11:21:42 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Online DaleReid

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 08:00:51 AM »
My marine GPS antenna is a TRAM  not a 'trac', fat fingers, sorry.

And the one Cutty (Mike) pointed out is a good one.

Despite numerous warnings about extending the coaxial leads, I have put a 10 and 15' extention onto my two antennas to get the controllers sort of near where I wanted them and also the antennas where they have a good view of the sky and my wife continues to have a good 'view' of me.  Not a problem whatsoever, with a couple before and after signal strength and quality measures showing little or no degradation.  That  being said, I did choose some good but not overly pricey cable and have never looked back.

Just a suggestion since many folks need to so some trial and error for antenna placement.
Dale
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Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 12:39:31 PM »
Thanks for the input. I ordered this one

Quote
This one works great
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005RUPU6W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Offline UrbanStation

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 11:48:46 PM »
 =D> Excellent news! Best of luck & Merry Christmas!

Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 04:00:07 PM »
It is alive !!!  \:D/.

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Egon emailed that some boards were flashed with RED and provided instructions how to re-flash with blue and then install the latest firmware. All good.
I am registered (station 2100) and currently in monitor mode while I get the Antennas and GPS mounted.

Let the fun begin figuring out the settings.
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Offline UrbanStation

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 07:13:40 PM »
 =D> Excellent - Looks lovely. 2100, what a nice number too 👍
Have fun! ⚡

Online DaleReid

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 07:55:50 PM »
I think my board is a *.1, and looks a heck of a lot different than this current shipping version.  Wow.

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Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2017, 06:55:57 AM »
@DaleReid, my PCB is 19.4 running 8.3 FW. Everything is now mounted where it should.

Picture shows what the settings are in Manual. I did pickup strokes in Kentucky yesterday with these.
Any gain recommendations?

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« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 06:58:19 AM by dupreezd »
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Online DaleReid

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2017, 08:34:30 AM »
I'm running manual also, and have 1A at 5*2, 1B at 8*2 and 2A at 8*2

I'm far from any sort of expert on gain settings.  I know it is a delicate dance to hear some signals and get your dot to turn purple (or pink?) and some participation lines to show up at this time of the year, but is it nice to know you are working, so I think we'll all twiddle a bit, especially when things are so new for you.

I remember right after I got the RED unit that there were so few stations in Region 3 that we all were using the old mentality of cranking the gain and letting the servers sort the chaff out of the wheat, but with so many more stations (except out in the midwest especially towards Wyoming, western Nebrask, Oklahoma and that area, which seems strange with so much electrical weather out there during the summer).

But I think watching the noise signals on the digital display and the number of signals sent vs. how much activity there is would be a good idea.  Change something then watch it for a few days (unless of course you cranked gain up and you immediately see all sorts of crap, then back down right away) but it wasn't like chasing a single sideband HF signal by constantly tuning for shifts in ham radio.  Change, watch, think, change if necessary.

I am not trying to insult anyone by omission, but Mike, Greg and a host of others here are old hats at this, and can probably be heard mumbling gain settings and noise suggestions in their deep sleep, so after you run a bit, and have a chance to perhaps be around to catch the few storms that might be active this winter, give them a request.  Do it here publically so others can see the answers and discussion and learn from that, too.  Private is OK but the group looses the information communicated if it is public.

By the way, just for info, how long did you say it was from request for hardware until you got notification of available kit for you?  I know many folks are waiting, with a huge explosion in interest and some hiccoughs in the supply chain, with the developers working a real job, having family, and having the usual things that pop up, and while most folks are understanding this is a passion and hobby for them, they are very professional in the delivery of solid hardware and design that works.  I don't think I've touched my BLUE or RED (other than firmware) for a year or so.  And the control panel interface to the boards and the reporting pages and software still is amazing to me.

Anyway I had a friend nearly ready to take on my RED board for install out in Wyoming when I had a 'flood' that zapped my H field preamp, so my RED is an E Field only.  If the developers get caught up on kits, I'm hoping to get a BLUE station assembled and have him set it up out there near Jackson Hole, but since I have a solid station (perhaps not as tuned as some of the old timers here would have it tweaked) I would feel more than a wee bit guilty getting in line for another station while many still wait for their chance.  But if it is taking a year or more I'd better be getting my name on the list.

Keep tweaking, keep watching.  Before long spring willl be here and static will start jumping again.

Oh, by the way, I assume you also are looking at the LightningMaps.org page for volumes of info?

Dale
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Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2017, 09:25:52 AM »
Quote
By the way, just for info, how long did you say it was from request for hardware until you got notification of available kit for you?

I got on the list in May 2017 at position 1525. I think it was just before it was "discovered" as a month or so later the list was well over 2000. Two months ago it was over 3000.
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Online DaleReid

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2017, 09:28:42 AM »
Oh, my heavens!

Well, I'm glad there is interest.  I wonder if the developers will ever have time to develop rather than ship systems.  Good luck to them, and us.

thanks. Dale
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2017, 09:51:20 AM »
IF you're a registered operator,
and IF you've registered at Sferics.US,
you can view REGION 3 (Americas) Station parameters at
Region 3 Stations - Gain settings and Status
Courtesy of  UU Jim McMurry, Blitzortung 934

And observe Server Received Signals (2 second sample) at
Region 3 Station Signals
...NOTE: Many of the newer stations aren't yet available on the
Received Signals Pages... I simply haven't had time to stay updated,
but bear with me...  :-({|=

Mike

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Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2017, 10:15:02 AM »
Quote
IF you're a registered operator,
and IF you've registered at Sferics.US,
you can view REGION 3 (Americas) Station parameters at

Ok, thanks I registered.

Merry Christmas to all.
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Offline dupreezd

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 08:09:46 PM »
First, thanks for everyone's input and advice.
Mike, that GPS antenna is awesome, no need to mount it outside. It is sitting right next to the unit.

Update:
During the past weeks I mounted the ferrites on 1/2" Plexiglas as well as making a cover that fits over it. THEN, I found out how noisy the house was. MY ideal place was the worse for the H field. Directly above the kitchen and laundry room. Variable speed drive of the washer and gas stove igniters drove me crazy until I found the cause. Plasma TV's is also a big problem. I mounted the H-field base to a camera tripod so I can move it around the house as well as set the height. I eventually found the sweet spot in the attic above an unused room where I mounted it.
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For the E-field, I installed a 1.5" vent pipe through the roof about 6" above the roof line.
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Mounted the PCB on a shortened 3/4" cap which then slips onto a 3/4" pipe. None of the caps are glued.
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Connecting it up in the attic
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and pushed it into the vent pipe. The pipe has a small V cut at the bottom and sits on a screw.
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Noise floor for both antennas varies between 11 and 23mV.
I am running manual with gains set to only detect up to +- 600 miles. Thinking of taking it down to 400 miles to cover only Texas, the Gulf and nearby states. During the recent storms I was able to detect to within 20 miles before going interference.

This is so much fun  \:D/





« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 08:13:57 PM by dupreezd »
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: My order arrived.
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2018, 10:26:35 PM »
heh... that H 'sweet spot'... it does exist, doesn't it? 
Just have to hunt a bit in some screwy locations, environments, like mine.

... which wound up in a 'cube' beginning right at the Garage door,
at the door Center, about 2M wide x 2M high x 2M deep about 1 M above the Garage Floor,...

anywhere outside that 'cube' the noise floor starts increasing... crazy.

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