Weather Station Hardware > Blitzortung

Can you even get hardware?

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Has anyone actually obtained a system blue lightning detector from these folks in the last year?  I put my email on their wait list and it shows about 9000 reservations for hardware dating back to 2016.  Is this group still around?  Seems insanely hard to get a kit to build. 

Lightning mapping is cool if you could actually get the hardware to build the receiver. 


It took me 2-3 years to reach the top of the waiting list before COVID in 2019.  At the time, they were prioritizing global regions with weak coverage, which unfortunately does NOT describe much of North America.

My station is in upstate NY, and detected strikes in El Salvador and the eastern Pacific off of Mexico in the last hour.  The Blitzortung network is not built like a short-range (32 miles max) AS3935 consumer-grade lightning detector chip, and thus does not need a large mesh of detectors to function adequately.  I suspect that adding more sensors to the grid will require even more processing power on the back-end servers, which may be the reason why they are not shipping out huge numbers of kits.....

Cutty Sark Sailor:
Nope, CURRENTLY, there are NO systems available for order. But, 'stay tuned'.

I'd also suggest the current 'request' method, and outrageous waiting list is obsolete and irrelevant at least for now.

--- Quote ---@ Vreihen also:  Not a server issue at all... and they were upgraded within the last few weeks... There are 2 main 'receiving' servers, one is standby/reserve, if needed, and is rarely called on.  There are numerous 'computing' servers (real and virtual) in Germany and Finland, represented by the Regional assignments for each signal....
--- End quote ---'s why 'no kits':

Please keep in mind that BLITZORTUNG is NOT a commercial enterprise! It is 'volunteer', self-supported, (with a few small behind-the-scenes donations from some educational organizations, some station owners, etc). For European Union and international legalities, Blitzortung systems are classified as 'hobbyist'. Kit production depends on cash-flow.... what comes in, goes out.... Production requires components and fabrication facilities to be available and economical.
Each receiver and controller assembly MUST be affordable and maintainable by operators. And the logistics are atrocious.

System Blue is basically an enhanced, updated, 'more featured', 'fancy' system RED, as to operation and data. No Longer in production due to reasons below. Many components for the reliable System RED became non-available years ago, but the Reds remain absolutely viable (see below). The original Green systems are simply obsolete --few Greens remain in operation today, but they continue to provide very good data, within their original limitations.

In Short: 

     1. The development and production costs for assembled, or partially assembled, systems such as system BLUE, have become outrageous, as has shipping expense  and other logistical issues such as initializing  each individual controller before distributing.

     2. IN FACT, most dependable/reliable assemblers, will no longer accept  the 'smaller' production batch runs Blitzortung requests. Ditto for Circuit board production.  Those that will make smaller runs have priced themselves out of consideration, currently.

     3. As you're aware, microchips, and other electronic components have had supply issues for the past few years. Some have become unavailable.

 As such, a new system has to be developed.

At present, a 'revised' System Red concept is being considered, using discrete (NON-surface-mount ) components and off the shelf modules, similar to the original RED versions.  This will require a complete manual assembly of components into circuit boards, exactly as in RED. In fact, it will be an updated, simplified system RED... and definitely NOT plug-n-play... operators will have to build them, as we did with the REDs.

Blitzortung is  not a 'stand-alone' black box, or 'gadget', or lightning detector and warning system.  This is not an AS3935 type module stuck into somebody's Weather Station hardware.. if the receiving stations are properly configured and located Blitzortung is an accurate (<1km ... I've seen ground points located within feet...) LOCATING system using TOA, TOGA, and some proprietary software on the collecting and computing servers in Germany and Finland. A single station outside the 'cloud' is but a nice display of blinking lights and irrating sound effects, if buzzers enabled.. :D

(Note... Original RED systems allow adding in an AS3935 module for local experimentation, absolutely useless for locating within the Network Paradigms, but most of us operators quickly discovered it isn't worth the effort, and contributes nothing to the Blitzortung network.)

Isn't there a simple VLF receiver that could be plugged into a Raspberry Pi?  I have built numerous Raspberry Pi projects over the years.


Cutty Sark Sailor:

--- Quote from: weatherman172 on May 18, 2023, 10:14:23 AM ---Isn't there a simple VLF receiver that could be plugged into a Raspberry Pi?  I have built numerous Raspberry Pi projects over the years.


--- End quote ---
:D   ... with all due respect... if it were 'that simple', ...  :twisted: present it in relation to the exact geolocation and timing of the receiver,s actual gain, relative gain, antenna family, filters, etc... 


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