Author Topic: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!  (Read 5077 times)

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« on: July 26, 2013, 06:49:50 PM »
Got my First Flashes about 5:30 on Blitzortung my newborn Red!
And she's clicking up a storm (  #-o  :roll: ) or two...
Using ferrites so they're west and north of us...

Blitzortung Region 3, #689, Frankfort KY, USA

Gotta come up with permanent location, get used to small ferrites, while I build the big loops...
so we'll be a bit intermittent for a while...

Mike

 


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 07:06:05 PM »
Coolness.  :cool:
I can hardly wait. I am acquiring parts while I wait for the kit to arrive.
Are you running it in remote gain mode, or set by the pot?
Does the AGC (auto gain control) seem to work?

Greg H.


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

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 07:11:55 PM »
Coolness.  :cool:
I can hardly wait. I am acquiring parts while I wait for the kit to arrive.
Are you running it in remote gain mode, or set by the pot?
Does the AGC (auto gain control) seem to work?

Greg H.

Letting the controller do all the work... it seems to default to that, and stay that way,..,
The ACG seems perfect...
I had to connect it to a 50' cat 5 and move the amp across the house away from all the stuff here in the Cave, and
she's working up a storm.
Check this out: 93% efficiency at 7:10 pm EDT today. Only online for less than 2 hrs...
http://www.blitzortung.org/Webpages/index.php?lang=en&page=4&region=3&subpage_0=30&login_string=E6LN09NMAN9HE7TXHT8OOQMTZ11R6ALWO1VW9V4G12YJ2AIRTX5KSQ65HA8H6MUO
 


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 07:17:35 PM »
Mike,

Could you take and post some pics of it in operation?

How did you mount the antennas/amp and controller?

Greg H.



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

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 08:09:38 PM »
Mike,

Could you take and post some pics of it in operation?
I'll do better'n that. Watch this space.

Quote
How did you mount the antennas/amp and controller?
Greg H.
Right now they're just floating around in what was an Amazon Kindle shipping box.
 


Offline pvw

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 09:04:25 PM »
Wahoo!  Congrats!

Got my wire for the antennas today, and the discovery board arrived.  Can't wait for my kit to get here so I can join in on the fun!

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 09:43:15 PM »
Mike,

Could you take and post some pics of it in operation?

Greg H.
Here's a video...controller in operation... Nothing to see on the amp board.
http://www.ourspecialnet.com/Weather/TwinHollies/30312224_5r5QZ6#!i=2659120494&k=fjmwsqx
 


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 10:11:30 PM »
Wow, great video. Really gives an idea on how it all works.
I am amazed at the info in the display. They really outdid themselves on this.

Greg H.


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

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 08:33:26 AM »
As a lightning buff this is way too enticing.

Despite reading (maybe when I was too tired) I haven't picked up on the antenna variations available.

Cutty implies that the ferrites can only see north and west? 

Is there something in the docs I missed about choosing the antennas if one wishes to build this?  Does one type give better coverage and maybe is just harder to build or locate and therefore there are several types offered?

Dale
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 09:11:11 AM »
As a lightning buff this is way too enticing.

Despite reading (maybe when I was too tired) I haven't picked up on the antenna variations available.

Cutty implies that the ferrites can only see north and west? 

Is there something in the docs I missed about choosing the antennas if one wishes to build this?  Does one type give better coverage and maybe is just harder to build or locate and therefore there are several types offered?

Dale

Sorry, Dale... I didn't mean to imply that. They're at right angles, and pretty much cover 360. I reported those directions only because it was just powered up, national radar showed those storms within a roughly 600km direction, and that seemed reasonable because of the sensitivity of the small ferrites...
Location only depends on interference. Get the amp a distance away from the controller, and for sure don't have it within range of any computers that are operating! (As I discovered).
The Guys build 2'x2' and larger loop antennas with greater range... I just haven't started mine yet....
 


Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2013, 09:16:46 AM »
You can order the ferrites when you order the kit parts... you're able to choose 'how much' kit you want...
however, there might be a delay, as demand seems to be exceeding some parts availability right now...
One of the developers commented in a post that he was kinda glad a few parts were in short supply, with all the Reds requests, that any delay would (paraphrasing) "allow to get caught up on all the server and program changes that have to be made" and it took so much time to assemble and ship kits.
 


Offline DaleReid

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2013, 04:08:37 PM »
Mr. Sailor:

Thanks for the clarification, I was beginning to wonder if the Higgs Field was playing tricks again with Maxwell.

I see that getting the kit without the ferrites deducts quite a bit.  But building the 'globe' with slippery teflon coated wire might take a bit of time and some cost in parts.  I built a crossed dipole to receive the polar wx satellites but balked at the quadrifiler helix and bought that.  So if it is simple it is sort of fun.

I got a note back from them saying that parts are out of stock and I'd have to wait to order, so I'm on that list you're speaking about.

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Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2013, 05:20:32 PM »
As a lightning buff this is way too enticing.

Despite reading (maybe when I was too tired) I haven't picked up on the antenna variations available.

Cutty implies that the ferrites can only see north and west?  

Is there something in the docs I missed about choosing the antennas if one wishes to build this?  Does one type give better coverage and maybe is just harder to build or locate and therefore there are several types offered?

Dale


Gerry at USA TOA has all kinds of different loop, coax and his new flat panel antenna. He has a comparison between small and large ferrites. Since my original Blitzortung setup has the ferrites, I decided that I would try loops on System RED.

http://www.lrsatx.com/toa_info.htm

Greg H.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 05:25:42 PM by miraculon »


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

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 08:33:18 PM »
 :-s Wow! Those loop antennas have some gain!... Built 'em, checked 'em, configured 'em, and they pull in more than Red likes to handle...  running gain at 2*2 and a trigger of 130... to keep it from locking in interference mode... detecting flashes left and right and up and down, and a full display of below threshold flashes. No it did not appear to be interference... they were walking all over each other. I had noticed something similar yesterday with only one loop connected, had to turn the amp down to minimum... whew...  These would probably be fantastic out on an island somewhere, but certainly not in the active environment with all those flashes within 500 miles of my location...  52 turns #26, grounded shields, 15 ohm resistance... wow.
Gone back to ferrites...
 


Offline pvw

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 09:29:33 PM »
Would cutting back on the loops decrease the gain?
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 09:36:13 PM »
Maybe. Unsealing and unwrapping is kinda low on my priority list right now... ferrites seem to be reaching 700-1000 miles... other folks can worry about the Azores, Utah, etc... for now.
 


Offline DaleReid

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2013, 09:49:20 PM »
Not having a system up yet to feed the central computer, I can't test this myself, so maybe someone with a live feed can tell me:

When your station is feeding data, can you see, through some option, which strikes the central computer has plotted, or is currently plotting, that it used your data to confirm the location?  Is there something that says your station is actually doing  some good for the overall effort.

I know this doesn't indicate like a Boltek does, in any way shape or manner.

But if it were somehow possible to have a way of knowing when your station was online and pumping data, that strike locations were being helped by your efforts.  Just a thought and a question.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 10:24:14 PM »
Not having a system up yet to feed the central computer, I can't test this myself, so maybe someone with a live feed can tell me:

When your station is feeding data, can you see, through some option, which strikes the central computer has plotted, or is currently plotting, that it used your data to confirm the location?  Is there something that says your station is actually doing  some good for the overall effort.

I know this doesn't indicate like a Boltek does, in any way shape or manner.

But if it were somehow possible to have a way of knowing when your station was online and pumping data, that strike locations were being helped by your efforts.  Just a thought and a question.


The Red Systems are not yet integrated in the world wide system. We know they are working because we can see on the local controller, and through waveforms, and in the Blitzortung participants' site. We also know what percentage of lightning pulses we are recording, matched with those detected by other stations. And some other 'hints'...  For example, watching NWS National Radar... One of the members has accessed two system images which appear to show the online V6's in the USA and another which shows the three operating Reds added. Knowing the location of the stations, it's possible, with a degree of error, to determine how we're performing. It takes 4 stations to get a valid pulse. If I'm in 'interference' mode because of nearby strikes, a station in Ohio, eg, would 'cover' for me becoming the 4th station as I dropped out. I can still see the lighting in my area because of the other 4 who detected it.  Knowing it takes 4 stations, their location, and a bit of mental gymnastics, I can determine to some degree what "group' of flashes are likely to be included in the ones I'm detecting. I can also tell if I take my station offline for period of time, and then resume operation, and watch those two images I mentioned above. I can see almost immediately flashes that must have been detected by my system, and three others.

None of that will work as well as more stations come on line, it'll be hard to interpolate. But by then, we should be integrated in the system... and it should be un-necessary to do that guesswork. Actually this gives us 'early' Reds a chance to get a handle on what 'area' we can expect to fill in. For example, I'm reasonably confident that when conditions are right, when I'm running a certain gain, at a certain trigger level, that my little ferrites are reaching as far as 1000 miles possibly a bit further. More typically, I'm more confident of a 600-800 mile range. The system info speaks of the little ferrites having a 600km comfortable range, but that appears conservative, at least at my location and environment.

And, no, it's not in my province to give out the link to that member's experimental system images. Sorry. Gotta stick by agreements as a member, and friend.  :sad:
 


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 10:41:33 PM »
:-s Wow! Those loop antennas have some gain!... Built 'em, checked 'em, configured 'em, and they pull in more than Red likes to handle...  running gain at 2*2 and a trigger of 130... to keep it from locking in interference mode... detecting flashes left and right and up and down, and a full display of below threshold flashes. No it did not appear to be interference... they were walking all over each other. I had noticed something similar yesterday with only one loop connected, had to turn the amp down to minimum... whew...  These would probably be fantastic out on an island somewhere, but certainly not in the active environment with all those flashes within 500 miles of my location...  52 turns #26, grounded shields, 15 ohm resistance... wow.
Gone back to ferrites...

Did you check into this?

Quote
Amplifier 12 Version 3 should be used for all magnetic loop antennas and all ferrite rod
antennas. It uses four single supply 5 Volt rail-to-rail op-amp ICs for each channel. The
inputs of the amplifier are terminated by damping resistors of 2.2k.
This leads to a more realistic current measurement for loop antennas and will reduce self resonances. For larger
loop antennas, the damping resistor can be lowered to 100-300 ohms in parallel to the antenna.

Also, 52 turns! Wow, I put 9 turns in my loop antennas. The write-ups I have seen call out 8 turns for a 1m diameter antenna.

Maybe it might be worthwhile to try reducing the input terminating resistors R1 and R16. I just built up the kit tonight, but I used the parts as-supplied. I might need to try lowering the damping resistors a bit, from the sound of things...

Greg H.


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

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2013, 10:55:31 PM »
Did you check into this?

Quote
Amplifier 12 Version 3 should be used for all magnetic loop antennas and all ferrite rod
antennas. It uses four single supply 5 Volt rail-to-rail op-amp ICs for each channel. The
inputs of the amplifier are terminated by damping resistors of 2.2k.
This leads to a more realistic current measurement for loop antennas and will reduce self resonances. For larger
loop antennas, the damping resistor can be lowered to 100-300 ohms in parallel to the antenna.

Also, 52 turns! Wow, I put 9 turns in my loop antennas. The write-ups I have seen call out 8 turns for a 1m diameter antenna.

Maybe it might be worthwhile to try reducing the input terminating resistors R1 and R16. I just built up the kit tonight, but I used the parts as-supplied. I might need to try lowering the damping resistors a bit, from the sound of things...

Greg H.
Yeah, I'm a red 12.3.
I just used 52 turns 'cause that's what was talked about in several flat panel discussions. Don F warned me they'd have a high gain... Might try the 9 or ten turn thingy... but I'm getting a fair handle on these ferrites, and when more stations, like you, come on line, distance will be less of a network issue.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 11:08:37 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 07:44:30 AM »
Quote
I just used 52 turns 'cause that's what was talked about in several flat panel discussions. Don F warned me they'd have a high gain... Might try the 9 or ten turn thingy... but I'm getting a fair handle on these ferrites, and when more stations, like you, come on line, distance will be less of a network issue.

Maybe you could try peeling off a few turns at a time and see what happens. Did you make a big loop or the smaller flat panel?

Greg H.



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

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 09:08:12 AM »
The original flat panels... Gerry's cut his turns back to 35 on his new design... however, he and most of the others are running greens. I suspect with the reds, your 9 turns are the answer, or at least close.  IF I get one o' them 'round tuits, I've got a couple of spare panels that I can build on... it's not worth the labor, to me, to unseal, unwind etc these... too old and lazy.
I'm fixing another post, shortly, with a projected range for the two reds that were online at 730EDT this morning. Lakeland came back on about 8:30, don't know if he's still diddling, or on for good... I've still got permanent antenna/controller placement to do myself.
 


Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 08:44:39 PM »
I've had no issues with the 52 turn panels here in Chicago. I have the gain set 4x2, which gives great range, nice waveforms, and restricts interference mode to significant activity <=200 mile or so. I typically get a nice steady .8 - 1.2 counts/sec with moderate distant activity.

Oh, and we are one step closer to data integration! The strike data and station data is now available on the site. You have to construct a URL to pull 10-minute strike data.

Here is one strike's worth of data:

2013-08-01 15:00:21.055525196 pos;28.617910;-87.120447;0 fst;1375369220057281749 str;21.15 typ;0 dev;25293 sta;11;12;677,654,689,652,681,668,657,671,656,660,670,670

There is the date and time stamp, position, time epoch, estimated strike energy, and stations involved in the position estimate.

The indication of stations involved is this portion:

sta;11;12;677,654,689,652,681,668,657,671,656,660,670,670

It means 12 stations reported the same signal and 11 of them were used to calculate the position. That is followed by a list of station ID, in ascending order of time stamp. The last station in the list heard the strike, but was not used to calculate position, likely because of geometry issues.

Don

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2013, 10:25:14 AM »
It means 12 stations reported the same signal and 11 of them were used to calculate the position. That is followed by a list of station ID, in ascending order of time stamp. The last station in the list heard the strike, but was not used to calculate position, likely because of geometry issues.

Don
I'm not sure... maybe I've read it wrong, since I'm only on my second cuppa coffee, but I think it said the first 4 were the calculating stations, and the latter ones detected, but weren't used in calculation????
 


Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzi Baby Red Screamin!
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2013, 10:36:52 AM »
Oops... sorry Don...
You're exactly right... 11/12 ... my bad.
Mike
 


 

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