General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics > Lightning

Microsferics TOA network 2022

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After several frustrating delays I'm happy to announce that Microsferics TOA network lightning detectors are in stock and ready to ship.

The Microsferics TOA Lightning Detection Network is open without restrictions to participants in North/Central America and Europe.

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If this is all new to you: Microsferics has been operational since 2015 but due to personnel changes in 2019 and more recently, global microchip supply shortages, the lightning detection hardware had to be revised multiple times which caused delays in getting the product finalized.

Each shipped device comes fully assembled and tested. The Microsferics TCU V5 system operates standalone (no PC required for network connection) and connects to a network router via Ethernet cable.

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What you get:
✅ TOA Compute Unit Version 5 (TCU V5)
✅ Outdoor E-field sensor
✅ External GPS antenna (5m/15ft cable)
✅ International 12V power supply

Where you get it:

Note that some items such as RG58 or RG6 Sat TV coax cable, Ethernet cable and sensor enclosure are not included as these things can often be found at home already or sourced locally for a lower cost. Other than this, the Microsferics TCU V5 is entirely plug-and-play.

A Windows and Ubuntu/Debian/Mint PC software is freely available to all operators. This is used for optional wireless LAN monitoring and device configuration, although the device also has built-in onboard configuration options and doesn't really need monitoring at all.

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On our forum there are also official and third party PHP scripts available to participants for displaying localized lightning on a website.

If you have any questions feel free to post them below.

Hi guys!
Iím so happy to see this has made it to prime time! I have enjoyed using this for the past 6 years. Itís plug and play, no soldering parts on to boards, and the support is outstanding. Also, no waiting on a list that spans months and years! Relko is always available to help with any questions or concerns.
Join the network and contribute your lightning data today! :)

I have been involved in this project from the start in I believe 2015. There has been a difficult time due to the change of a technician, but fortunately the setbacks have been overcome. In addition, good technical progress has been made. The support is very good.
Microsferics is a wonderful project and I am still impressed that we detect very well with few stations.
I am still happy to participate in this project and have never regretted it. I hope we can welcome many new participants soon.

Assen, the Netherlands

This is exciting to know another group is offering to help keep highly accurate location services up and running. 

I have been trying to track lightning since the original Boltek stuff became available.   Buying service from say WeatherTap or one of the Vaisala networks was so cost prohibitive.

I was within days of getting one of the original kits from Relko but got caught in the kerfluffle from his engineer.

Now I see another local weather enthusiast (Lorick) has a station up and running.

Two questions:  With is system up, is there any benefit to this group by me putting another online only 4 miles away, other than the unlikely event his will go off line from some electrical power surge or getting a direct strike himself?

Second, as a supplier of data once a station is set up, what additional or better resolution data mapping is available, or are the plotted results available to the general public the same as what the station managers get?  I would applaud the Microsferics group for making these plots available to all weather enthusiasts, but then I would wonder if those willing to put $500 USA towards a station might be hoping for a little something extra to sweeten the deal?

PS, one can NEVER have too many rain gauges, weather stations, or TOA stations. 

Hi Dale.  Have two systems (JUP1 and JUP2) running within 20 miles of each other. The way it was explained to me is that it helps the network pick up strikes away from your area, but it wonít help nearby strikes because the system cancels out close strikes from stations that are too close to each other for the sake of accuracy.
However, if I hadnít have added the second station, we would still be in a dead spot in the southeast, so it has helped. I count on distant stations to pick up strikes that are closer to me as my stations donít count them.

--- Quote from: DaleReid on April 02, 2022, 04:31:46 PM ---Two questions:  With is system up, is there any benefit to this group by me putting another online only 4 miles away, other than the unlikely event his will go off line from some electrical power surge or getting a direct strike himself?

--- End quote ---


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