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Weather Station Hardware => Blitzortung => Topic started by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 11, 2015, 11:39:01 AM

Title: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 11, 2015, 11:39:01 AM
After just about a year I am now on my last stage of this setup (I hope) I got the system going and also got it talking to the server that is online....but it seems to have a few problems.....

1 is the GPS.....it can't find itself. not sure if the build in GPS was not put in right or what.....I might just buy the external gps.
2 is its firmware the little display on it is saying that there is a new firmware out there......not sure if I want to do that.....make a brick out of it on its first day.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: 92merc on April 11, 2015, 12:18:32 PM
If it's show internal GPS, that means the external antenna isn't being recognized.  And you will need an external antenna.

You will want to do the firmware update.  I can't recall anyone actually bricking their units.  So you're better off with the new version.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 11, 2015, 12:39:31 PM
If it's show internal GPS, that means the external antenna isn't being recognized.  And you will need an external antenna.

You will want to do the firmware update.  I can't recall anyone actually bricking their units.  So you're better off with the new version.

darn.....thought I could use it without that........time for shopping again.....

going to have to fig out what system I have again looks like there are two firmwares out

would this GPS antenna work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/28dB-LNA-Gain-1575-42MHz-RP-SMA-Male-GPS-Active-Antenna-Aerial-Connector-Cable-/311271494652?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48793a13fc
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 11, 2015, 01:10:27 PM
This one works VERY well, and very cheap. I've used it on the five stations I have built. I get GPS lock in my sub-basement!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/28dB-LNA-Gain-1575-42MHz-RP-SMA-Male-GPS-Active-Antenna-Aerial-Connector-Cable-/311271494652?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48793a13fc

EDIT: Heh....same antenna as the one you posted. Yes, works well! Good supplier, fast delivery. Excellent quality.

Best,

Don
WD9DMP
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 11, 2015, 01:17:08 PM
Thanks for the reply. I just ordered it. my lighting system just made a long beep noise and when I looked at the screen it said something about a hardware error. I am hopeing its not happy because of no gps antenna. so in the time being I unplugged the system.

(Fox Unpluged)
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 11, 2015, 01:19:19 PM
Check (re-heat, add solder as needed) your soldering on ALL of the pins on the two connectors for the STM board.

Lack of GPS lock would not cause that error.

Don
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 11, 2015, 01:52:04 PM
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

Greg H.




Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 12, 2015, 11:33:14 AM
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

Greg H.

It has not given a hardware error since that one time. If it was a bad connection would it keep doing it? or would it depend on heat factor?

anyway on a happy note it got GPS lock and now its showing on the map.....But I do know its not getting a good signal I watched the live map for a bit and this system don't seem to be helping on the full network at all.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: jmcmurry on April 12, 2015, 01:00:52 PM
Anthony,

You may want to put some more information on your Blitzortung Services page when you get a chance.  Most have put their antenna type in the comments so others can see what is being used. 

- Jim
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 12, 2015, 01:32:30 PM
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

Greg H.

It has not given a hardware error since that one time. If it was a bad connection would it keep doing it? or would it depend on heat factor?

anyway on a happy note it got GPS lock and now its showing on the map.....But I do know its not getting a good signal I watched the live map for a bit and this system don't seem to be helping on the full network at all.

Solder issues can be thermally intermittent indeed. I had problems with random disconnects of my "eBay Special" VP2 console until I re-soldered the header connector where the logger plugs into. It would go for several days without a problem.

When I was still working (retired now), we had a thermal intermittent in a PCB through-hole that would come and go with thermal cycling.

Greg H.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 12, 2015, 01:45:39 PM
I seem to recall that some of the older firmware versions had bugs which could manifest as "hard faults". If you have not, be sure you are running v7.4 of the firmware.

Don
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 12, 2015, 05:00:54 PM
You've got some real junk coming from somewhere!  but you are sending the rare distant signal mixed in...
1328 De soto     6968 0 - 0% |0 - 0% |6 - 0% 
Watch for an invite to Region 3 Operators...
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 12, 2015, 05:58:24 PM
Anthony,

You may want to put some more information on your Blitzortung Services page when you get a chance.  Most have put their antenna type in the comments so others can see what is being used. 

- Jim

ok will do.


You've got some real junk coming from somewhere!  but you are sending the rare distant signal mixed in...
1328 De soto     6968 0 - 0% |0 - 0% |6 - 0% 
Watch for an invite to Region 3 Operators...

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

I seem to recall that some of the older firmware versions had bugs which could manifest as "hard faults". If you have not, be sure you are running v7.4 of the firmware.

Don

you know what? since I did do the firmware update to 7.4 it has not said anything about a hard fault. I hope that was it
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 12, 2015, 07:41:31 PM

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

Anthony, if that approx. 62.5 kHz disturber is in something's power supply, it won't necessarily go away just because it's shutdown... try unplugging devices from power.  It could be anywhere, even in a power strip.
Where are your antennas located in relation to such other devices?

Mike
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: sacreyweather on April 12, 2015, 07:46:27 PM
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 12, 2015, 09:15:38 PM

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

Anthony, if that approx. 62.5 kHz disturber is in something's power supply, it won't necessarily go away just because it's shutdown... try unplugging devices from power.  It could be anywhere, even in a power strip.
Where are your antennas located in relation to such other devices?

Mike

I just got done shutting down everything AND unplugging it.....that room sure was dark and quiet....anyway the system was still showing that problem. the only thing I can think that might be doing it is the breaker box's. The AM radio that I was using made a lot of noise around them.....BUT it did not around were the antennas are located.....

My other thought is the wire that are coming out of the antennas are so so small that they might not be making good contact in the amp board and that might be making get a mad signal? I don't like the way the wires go into the little holders on the amp board they can come out so easy....I might try to put some more copper wiring script in them to make a better contact. One more thought would be to move the full system to a shed that I have in the yard. only problem I could think of for that would be the temp. I do know it gets into the 100F in that shed in the summer. and I SURE don't want to fry the system.

For now I unplugged the lighting system. I did not think anyone would want it to send bad data to the servers.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 12, 2015, 11:10:35 PM
Temp isn't an issue if solder ok... those devices have very high temp specs... That 62.5 kHz could be anything from an RFID to some weird power supply...  My favorite is the ACER premium pc I bought on sale last year.. great features, lotsa power... top of the line.  It radiated so badly my system was non functional... I could not cure it... gave it to my son, who took it to Colorado, and I think it might be the source of a couple of issues with stations up in Oregon and Washington and Alberta.  Knew I should have stayed with HP...  #-o  Sometimes bargains aint...

Anyway, finding interference is part of the 'fun'... we've many threads and many hours with it...  Leave the system running... it won't hurt anything... you do send a signal once in awhile...

What kid of antennas???? I may have missed that...
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 13, 2015, 03:02:02 AM
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
John's right, also ... Have you grounded the system at the controller only, unshielded cat to router, ?
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: jmcmurry on April 13, 2015, 06:26:32 AM
My other thought is the wire that are coming out of the antennas are so so small that they might not be making good contact in the amp board and that might be making get a mad signal? I don't like the way the wires go into the little holders on the amp board they can come out so easy....I might try to put some more copper wiring script in them to make a better contact.

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 (http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426) that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

- Jim
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 13, 2015, 08:21:10 AM

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 (http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426) that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

- Jim

Yes, I use two-wire shielded microphone cable I solder the "ground" end of the ferrite antenna to the black wire and shield drain wire and the other antenna wire to the red wire. On the amp side, I twist the black and drain wires together and tin with solder to make a larger, solid terminal so the screw connector makes better connection. I also tin the red wire with solder for the same reason.

If you are using shielded ferrite antennas, be SURE the shields are grounded as above. Also be sure you have not reversed the ground and signal connections at the amp. If you have and end up with the shield connected to the signal terminal of the amp instead of the ground terminal, you will have all sorts of wacky noise problems until it is fixed and properly grounded.

Also, don't try to use the DB9 connectors like I did in the picture Jim referenced. They don't work well. Keep the wire connections between the amp and antennas as short as possible.

Don
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 13, 2015, 07:30:02 PM

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 (http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426) that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

- Jim

Yes, I use two-wire shielded microphone cable I solder the "ground" end of the ferrite antenna to the black wire and shield drain wire and the other antenna wire to the red wire. On the amp side, I twist the black and drain wires together and tin with solder to make a larger, solid terminal so the screw connector makes better connection. I also tin the red wire with solder for the same reason.

If you are using shielded ferrite antennas, be SURE the shields are grounded as above. Also be sure you have not reversed the ground and signal connections at the amp. If you have and end up with the shield connected to the signal terminal of the amp instead of the ground terminal, you will have all sorts of wacky noise problems until it is fixed and properly grounded.

Also, don't try to use the DB9 connectors like I did in the picture Jim referenced. They don't work well. Keep the wire connections between the amp and antennas as short as possible.

Don

I believe the antennas don't have shields.
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
John's right, also ... Have you grounded the system at the controller only, unshielded cat to router, ?
I am using unshielded cat5 from the controller to my switch. Should it be shielded?

Temp isn't an issue if solder ok... those devices have very high temp specs... That 62.5 kHz could be anything from an RFID to some weird power supply...  My favorite is the ACER premium pc I bought on sale last year.. great features, lotsa power... top of the line.  It radiated so badly my system was non functional... I could not cure it... gave it to my son, who took it to Colorado, and I think it might be the source of a couple of issues with stations up in Oregon and Washington and Alberta.  Knew I should have stayed with HP...  #-o  Sometimes bargains aint...

Anyway, finding interference is part of the 'fun'... we've many threads and many hours with it...  Leave the system running... it won't hurt anything... you do send a signal once in awhile...

What kid of antennas???? I may have missed that...

ferrite rods 300mm. and I also will leave the system on now. (hope it don't mess up)


Oh. How could I go by grounding the system? I see ther are two screw connection on the top left of the board that says ground. Could I just put a wire on that and tape the other end to a water pipe? Or would that be a big no no??

Thank you all for the help.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: sacreyweather on April 13, 2015, 08:07:21 PM
Anthony,

If you are able, try mounting the system in your shed, if that is going to be its permanent spot. Mine is mounted in a 12x24 storage building about 50 yards from my house. It has electricity.  I am using an Apple Express as the wireless connection to my WiFi, and have not had any problems with this setup. As for temps, it reached 111 in the shed last summer. I have a fan on a timer to cool the Express. The max temp I saw on the CPU was 52C. The thermal tolerance on the parts is 70C, I believe.

On the ground, I pounded a 6 ft. rod into the ground next to the shed, drilled a hole just large enough to get a piece of 12 gauge wire through to the rod. Once I was satisfied with the connection, I sealed the hole with caulk.  To connect the ground wire to the controller, I got a short piece (like 6") of 18 or 20 gauge wire for that and connected it to the 12 gauge using a wire nut.  My signals went from looking like yours nearly to what you see on mine now.  Check the signals at sferic.us, through the forum. I need to buy a decent power supply for the system, but finding one that will take the heat and not cost a fortune is a trick, so the iPhone power supply has stayed.

John
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 13, 2015, 08:23:54 PM
Anthony,

If you are able, try mounting the system in your shed, if that is going to be its permanent spot. Mine is mounted in a 12x24 storage building about 50 yards from my house. It has electricity.  I am using an Apple Express as the wireless connection to my WiFi, and have not had any problems with this setup. As for temps, it reached 111 in the shed last summer. I have a fan on a timer to cool the Express. The max temp I saw on the CPU was 52C. The thermal tolerance on the parts is 70C, I believe.

On the ground, I pounded a 6 ft. rod into the ground next to the shed, drilled a hole just large enough to get a piece of 12 gauge wire through to the rod. Once I was satisfied with the connection, I sealed the hole with caulk.  To connect the ground wire to the controller, I got a short piece (like 6") of 18 or 20 gauge wire for that and connected it to the 12 gauge using a wire nut.  My signals went from looking like yours nearly to what you see on mine now.  Check the signals at sferic.us, through the forum. I need to buy a decent power supply for the system, but finding one that will take the heat and not cost a fortune is a trick, so the iPhone power supply has stayed.

John

Thank you for this info. I have just did a temp ground on mine just to see what it would do. I used a old phone wire and wired the other end into a ground at a local outlet. it don't seem to be doing all the beeping so much now. So I might have something here......I think.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: sacreyweather on April 13, 2015, 08:36:46 PM
You may want to remove that temp ground that you have.  That may screw up the controller or create a ground loop. The ground on the outlet may not work for that.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 13, 2015, 09:09:22 PM
You may want to remove that temp ground that you have.  That may screw up the controller or create a ground loop. The ground on the outlet may not work for that.

its removed. thanks for the info....you would hear my cry for miles if I would have killed it.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: jmcmurry on April 14, 2015, 06:42:01 AM
You may want to remove that temp ground that you have.  That may screw up the controller or create a ground loop. The ground on the outlet may not work for that.

its removed. thanks for the info....you would hear my cry for miles if I would have killed it.

Both Don F and I are grounding to an outlet with great results.  I tried going to my water main and got terrible results.

- Jim
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: corwyyn on April 14, 2015, 06:49:46 AM

Both Don F and I are grounding to an outlet with great results.  I tried going to my water main and got terrible results.

- Jim
I also have my system grounded to the center screw on an AC outlet with no problems noted.  I probably overbuilt the connector for the ground - I used a crimp connector on a piece of 12ga stranded wire then after crimping I soldered the connector to ensure it made good contact; I also soldered the end that goes into the ground block on the controller board.  I may have other noise issues with my system but as far as I know grounding ain't one of 'em...
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 14, 2015, 08:46:16 AM

Both Don F and I are grounding to an outlet with great results.  I tried going to my water main and got terrible results.

- Jim

I had the same experience. Grounding to the grounding pin of the wall outlet works well, while a direct cold water pipe connection does not. Odd, because the electrical service panel neutral/ground is connected to the cold water pipe as well, via a dedicated heavy-gauge cable, right where it comes into the house.

I noticed the same thing with a zero-bias MOSFET crystal radio I built. It works better grounded to the wall outlet ground.

Now I'm wondering if the bypass cable around the water meter where the copper pipe enters the basement may have some corrosion. The service panel has a separate ground clamp to the City side of the meter, which may explain the better ground.

Don F.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: dfroula on April 14, 2015, 08:53:24 AM
Right now, I am seeing continuous 60 KHz noise on both your A and B antennas. Both channels are in perfect phase alignment, which suggests that the noise is being coupled in via the power supply or ground. 60 KHz seems to suggest a noisy power supply somewhere, or a noisy 5 volt power supply for the system.

Don F.
WD9DMP
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 14, 2015, 11:13:16 AM

Both Don F and I are grounding to an outlet with great results.  I tried going to my water main and got terrible results.

- Jim
I also have my system grounded to the center screw on an AC outlet with no problems noted.  I probably overbuilt the connector for the ground - I used a crimp connector on a piece of 12ga stranded wire then after crimping I soldered the connector to ensure it made good contact; I also soldered the end that goes into the ground block on the controller board.  I may have other noise issues with my system but as far as I know grounding ain't one of 'em...

I will ground it again with the center screw at the local outlet when I get home from work.


ok system is grounded. going to let it be now and see what it will do.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 14, 2015, 09:12:32 PM
Right now, I am seeing continuous 60 KHz noise on both your A and B antennas. Both channels are in perfect phase alignment, which suggests that the noise is being coupled in via the power supply or ground. 60 KHz seems to suggest a noisy power supply somewhere, or a noisy 5 volt power supply for the system.

Don F.
WD9DMP

the 5 volt PS is a old one from a blackberry phone. I might look at trying a extra one I have around here. I might also try a full shutdown and unplug of my computers and TV's and what not. to see if that helps for a test this weekend. being that I now have my system grounded.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: DaleReid on April 14, 2015, 10:00:59 PM
Do you have any other USB socketed power supply you could try?

I had some noise from an un-used Apple (yes Apple!) wall plug that I plugged my USB to micro end for a power supply into.

I finally got another commercial one.  There were several testimonials about a very quiet supply, but again if you have a quiet one and it is usable you might be able to keep from spending your fun acount to zero.

I'd try anything that you had around.  You will soon know.

Oh, isn't there a function you can use the controller board itself to look at the 5 volt line and see any ripple there?

Dale
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 14, 2015, 10:03:14 PM
Do you have any other USB socketed power supply you could try?

I had some noise from an un-used Apple (yes Apple!) wall plug that I plugged my USB to micro end for a power supply into.

I finally got another commercial one.  There were several testimonials about a very quiet supply, but again if you have a quiet one and it is usable you might be able to keep from spending your fun acount to zero.

I'd try anything that you had around.  You will soon know.

Oh, isn't there a function you can use the controller board itself to look at the 5 volt line and see any ripple there?

Dale

Problem is, the controller filters the input... radiation iand ground loops etc getting in the antenna etc isn't checked by that mode.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 15, 2015, 04:41:23 PM
Do you have any other USB socketed power supply you could try?

I had some noise from an un-used Apple (yes Apple!) wall plug that I plugged my USB to micro end for a power supply into.

I finally got another commercial one.  There were several testimonials about a very quiet supply, but again if you have a quiet one and it is usable you might be able to keep from spending your fun acount to zero.

I'd try anything that you had around.  You will soon know.

Oh, isn't there a function you can use the controller board itself to look at the 5 volt line and see any ripple there?

Dale

changed it twice.......no luck....kind of thinking I got myself into something that I should have stayed away from  :?
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: jmcmurry on April 16, 2015, 06:17:25 AM
Anthony,

Don't get too discouraged, the answer is out there somewhere.  Have you tried that different location out in the shed?  Also, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up on the Spherics forum because there may be someone there with ideas who doesn't happen to check this forum.

- Jim
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 16, 2015, 04:36:50 PM
Anthony,

Don't get too discouraged, the answer is out there somewhere.  Have you tried that different location out in the shed?  Also, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up on the Spherics forum because there may be someone there with ideas who doesn't happen to check this forum.

- Jim

I'm not trying to. I have left it alone a few days this week.....don't want to poke at it to much and break it....The shed (our old chicken coop) is still in the back of my mind....but it gets so hot in there during the summer.......you could say I am chicken to put it in the chicken coop LOL!!!!.....anyway. I could put it there for a test to see if it works better there. if it does I will haveto just watch its temp.

What and were is this Spherics forum?

OH!!! a plus today I was just watching the live lighting map and my system is helping!!!!!! It don't look like its helping much. but its helping!!!!!! Made me feel kind of good. So its working...kind of...
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 16, 2015, 05:08:26 PM
I posted a note at sferics.us about your interest...

Quote
What and were is this Spherics forum?

Greg H.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 16, 2015, 06:31:23 PM


What and were is this Spherics forum?

:-"
You signed up and registered on Monday, 13th  :grin:
http://sferics.us    (that's the Region 3 Operators site)
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: DaleReid on April 16, 2015, 08:00:55 PM
Anthony,
There you ARE!  I saw your dot just turn purple. 

And do you remember a few months ago when you were wondering if you were 'too close' to already established stations?

Nope, this looks like great additional coverage for this coming year.

Congrats.  Dale
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 17, 2015, 04:44:08 PM


What and were is this Spherics forum?

:-"
You signed up and registered on Monday, 13th  :grin:
http://sferics.us    (that's the Region 3 Operators site)

oh.....so it is.....darn. I feel kind of stupid now.  :oops:

Anthony,
There you ARE!  I saw your dot just turn purple. 

And do you remember a few months ago when you were wondering if you were 'too close' to already established stations?

Nope, this looks like great additional coverage for this coming year.

Congrats.  Dale


Thank you! I am still in learning mode.....and getting a lot of bad signals.....hope I can fig this out soon.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 17, 2015, 06:14:06 PM


What and were is this Spherics forum?

:-"
You signed up and registered on Monday, 13th  :grin:
http://sferics.us    (that's the Region 3 Operators site)

oh.....so it is.....darn. I feel kind of stupid now.  :oops:

This hobby has that effect on all of us, I think... sooner or later, at least once... .  Well, maybe twice.

Anthony,
There you ARE!  I saw your dot just turn purple. 

And do you remember a few months ago when you were wondering if you were 'too close' to already established stations?

Nope, this looks like great additional coverage for this coming year.

Congrats.  Dale


Thank you! I am still in learning mode.....and getting a lot of bad signals.....hope I can fig this out soon.

Go far it, and please share it with the rest of us... we're still trying to figgeritout... . ](*,)   
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 17, 2015, 08:26:19 PM
ok....setup is now in the shed. I don't see much change. other then not getting a good GPS signal now. what does everyone else think? (That is still watching this thread)
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: corwyyn on April 17, 2015, 11:09:37 PM
Metal roof on the chicken coop?  Might need to mount the GPS antenna on the outside of the building, preferably somewhere with a good view of the sky.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 18, 2015, 09:14:58 AM
It doesn't even need to be a metal roof. I typically lose Sirius when I pull into the garage with asphalt shingles. My newest Garmin seems to pick up the signal even in the garage, but older generation GPS would lose it.

I have both of my antennas outdoors in Wx-proof housings.

Greg H.

Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 18, 2015, 03:08:32 PM
Metal roof on the chicken coop?  Might need to mount the GPS antenna on the outside of the building, preferably somewhere with a good view of the sky.
I am still waiting for my GPS antenna to be shipped to me.
It doesn't even need to be a metal roof. I typically lose Sirius when I pull into the garage with asphalt shingles. My newest Garmin seems to pick up the signal even in the garage, but older generation GPS would lose it.

I have both of my antennas outdoors in Wx-proof housings.

Greg H.



I got my setup in one more building that I have outside...I think the old coop was to close to the hill, and it would not get a good signal.

I have walked away from it. I will work on it more when I get my antenna..

I been looking on the forum at other peoples setups to see how they did it.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: DaleReid on April 19, 2015, 11:35:41 PM
Anthony,
A watched pot never boils, nor does a RED station.  If you walked away from it for a bit, either your antenna came in the mail, or some gnome tweaked it a bit.
Your station is lighting up big time, with many times your station turning purple (your data used to locate a strike) on the lightningmaps.org realtime map.

With the storms all around down in the mid part of the country, a lot of staitons are doing the same, but good to see you've got such a high participation rate right off the bat.

Dale
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 20, 2015, 08:28:45 AM
Metal roof on the chicken coop?  Might need to mount the GPS antenna on the outside of the building, preferably somewhere with a good view of the sky.
I am still waiting for my GPS antenna to be shipped to me.
It doesn't even need to be a metal roof. I typically lose Sirius when I pull into the garage with asphalt shingles. My newest Garmin seems to pick up the signal even in the garage, but older generation GPS would lose it.

I have both of my antennas outdoors in Wx-proof housings.

Greg H.



I got my setup in one more building that I have outside...I think the old coop was to close to the hill, and it would not get a good signal.

I have walked away from it. I will work on it more when I get my antenna..

I been looking on the forum at other peoples setups to see how they did it.

This is what I use, a TRAM Marine GPS antenna. It is mast mounted and works great. I had to buy a BNC to SMA adapter to connect it to the RED board. Of course, I adjusted it so the antenna is at a right angle from the mount.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61DtRt6RvdL._SY355_.jpg)
Greg H.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: DaleReid on April 20, 2015, 08:53:57 AM
Greg,
How long was the connecting cable?  I'm down in my basement, running an 8' extention out a window, and then going along the bottom of my deck, 'almost' making it into the clear with my little patch antenna.

I'm hoping to maybe do better, with something like yours, or just see if I can find another high quality extention and get out a few feet further.
Dale
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: miraculon on April 20, 2015, 10:20:34 AM
It was 25 feet. (7.62m)
Here is where I got it: http://www.amazon.com/Tram-Marine-Gps-Antenna/dp/B001DN2KTC (http://www.amazon.com/Tram-Marine-Gps-Antenna/dp/B001DN2KTC)
This is the BNC-SMA cable. I originally joined them with a BNC wall plate, but I used a common Female-Female BNC coupler in my current installation in the garage.
Amphenol RG174 SMA Male to BNC Male Coaxial Cable (http://www.cablesondemand.com/Library/InfoManage/SearchItems.asp?FolderID=0&SessionID={7CCFA92D-DA36-445B-83C8-72115A8FE1E8}&Action=Search&LookFor=CO-174SMAZBNC-005)
(http://www.cablesondemand.com/images/products/CO-174SMAZBNC.jpg)

Greg H.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 20, 2015, 04:44:50 PM
Anthony,
A watched pot never boils, nor does a RED station.  If you walked away from it for a bit, either your antenna came in the mail, or some gnome tweaked it a bit.
Your station is lighting up big time, with many times your station turning purple (your data used to locate a strike) on the lightningmaps.org realtime map.

With the storms all around down in the mid part of the country, a lot of staitons are doing the same, but good to see you've got such a high participation rate right off the bat.

Dale
I was just watching it now (The realtime map) and WOW it is sure helping and it is not even setup nice. I hope I don't stop a good thing by putting the GPS antenna on it when I get it.

Metal roof on the chicken coop?  Might need to mount the GPS antenna on the outside of the building, preferably somewhere with a good view of the sky.
I am still waiting for my GPS antenna to be shipped to me.
It doesn't even need to be a metal roof. I typically lose Sirius when I pull into the garage with asphalt shingles. My newest Garmin seems to pick up the signal even in the garage, but older generation GPS would lose it.

I have both of my antennas outdoors in Wx-proof housings.

Greg H.



I got my setup in one more building that I have outside...I think the old coop was to close to the hill, and it would not get a good signal.

I have walked away from it. I will work on it more when I get my antenna..

I been looking on the forum at other peoples setups to see how they did it.

This is what I use, a TRAM Marine GPS antenna. It is mast mounted and works great. I had to buy a BNC to SMA adapter to connect it to the RED board. Of course, I adjusted it so the antenna is at a right angle from the mount.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61DtRt6RvdL._SY355_.jpg)
Greg H.


Thank you for that info. I saved that link incase I want to do a upgrade.
Title: Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
Post by: PaulMy on April 20, 2015, 04:55:39 PM
Anthony, I believe you are station 1328, and that is looking pretty good now  =D>
Persistence pays off (especially with the great help)
 
Paul
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 26, 2015, 03:02:13 PM
Thank you all for the help and the encouragement. I got my GPS antenna in yesterday and I even tried to clean up my cables a bit.....well. after all the cleaning I got a lot of bad signals going to the controller. so I put it all back to the way it was. with the cable hanging down right in the middle of the room. (it likes it better that way I guess)

Since I got the GPs antenna it don't look like my system is showing on the map that much anymore. not sure if something got messed up or what. Anyway I am going to order a 25' shielded network cable.

UPDATE:
I found this one http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10232&cs_id=1023216&p_id=5904&seq=1&format=2 anyone know if this would do the job?

I did see that my lighting detector antenna were bent down a bit because the room they are in is warm. so I mounted the top and bottom of them now so they will not bend.....wonder if something is messed up in them now?....

I wish I could just get a factory made antennas


Thanks!
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: miraculon on April 26, 2015, 04:12:49 PM
Quote
Since I got the GPs antenna it don't look like my system is showing on the map that much anymore. not sure if something got messed up or what.

Does the GPS part of the status page show that it got a fix? Does the blue LED flash once per second? Did the green LED near the GPS quit blinking? (either go out or stay on depending on the vintage of your board)

There should be a constellation map of satellites under the GPS area on the main page of the controller.

Greg H.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: W3DRM on April 26, 2015, 04:51:50 PM
Quote
Since I got the GPs antenna it don't look like my system is showing on the map that much anymore. not sure if something got messed up or what.

Does the GPS part of the status page show that it got a fix? Does the blue LED flash once per second? Did the green LED near the GPS quit blinking? (either go out or stay on depending on the vintage of your board)

There should be a constellation map of satellites under the GPS area on the main page of the controller.

Greg H.

To clarify what is being asked for. Go to your browser and view the Blitzortung Controller webpage (should be 192.168.1.xxx) and log in so you can see your various settings and signal info. The LCD display on the controller board will you tell the correct IP address to use. Once you have that connection made, go to the Status tab and scroll down until you see the GPS section. It should look something like the attached screen capture I made on mine a few minutes ago. That display will tell you if your external antenna is working (or not) and how many satellites it is tracking.

Also, did you ever find a good ground to connect to? One of the best grounds, if you have access to it close by, is the ground for either your cable TV or Satellite dish companies ground connection.

Your signals still contain a significant amount of ripple on them indicating some kind of noise is getting into your amplifier via the power supply. I'm not sure what you are using for a power supply but there are many good, clean 5-v DC supplies available that have been written-up by Cutty. I'm using one of them and it has worked flawlessly for over a year now.

Make sure the leads from your antenna to your amplifier board are a short as possible. That will minimize extraneous noise signal being picked-up at the inputs to the amplifier board.

Good luck - you will get through this issue so don't give up!
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 26, 2015, 07:30:41 PM
Quote
Since I got the GPs antenna it don't look like my system is showing on the map that much anymore. not sure if something got messed up or what.

Does the GPS part of the status page show that it got a fix? Does the blue LED flash once per second? Did the green LED near the GPS quit blinking? (either go out or stay on depending on the vintage of your board)

There should be a constellation map of satellites under the GPS area on the main page of the controller.

Greg H.

To clarify what is being asked for. Go to your browser and view the Blitzortung Controller webpage (should be 192.168.1.xxx) and log in so you can see your various settings and signal info. The LCD display on the controller board will you tell the correct IP address to use. Once you have that connection made, go to the Status tab and scroll down until you see the GPS section. It should look something like the attached screen capture I made on mine a few minutes ago. That display will tell you if your external antenna is working (or not) and how many satellites it is tracking.

Also, did you ever find a good ground to connect to? One of the best grounds, if you have access to it close by, is the ground for either your cable TV or Satellite dish companies ground connection.

Your signals still contain a significant amount of ripple on them indicating some kind of noise is getting into your amplifier via the power supply. I'm not sure what you are using for a power supply but there are many good, clean 5-v DC supplies available that have been written-up by Cutty. I'm using one of them and it has worked flawlessly for over a year now.

Make sure the leads from your antenna to your amplifier board are a short as possible. That will minimize extraneous noise signal being picked-up at the inputs to the amplifier board.

Good luck - you will get through this issue so don't give up!

I thought I had a good ground. but I must be wrong . the building that it is in don't have cable tv or dish. I am going to have to make a ground for it I think.
The PS that I am using is a old one from a blackberry phone. I will have to look to see were that write up is by Cutty to see about getting a new PS. I also made a pic of my GPS setup. hope this helps.

Sorry if this is kind of a run on. I think I am trying to get the flu so I may be gone for a few days...
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: DaleReid on April 26, 2015, 07:46:53 PM
Those GPS signals look fine.  Hope you are better soon.  Spring crud is no fun.

Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 26, 2015, 07:57:54 PM
I found the power supply that everyone likes http://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm looks like I got to hack it to get a connection on it that will work for what I want it to do.
Those GPS signals look fine.  Hope you are better soon.  Spring crud is no fun.



From some of the reading I was doing I am going to set it up to turn off all lights and the LCD. to see if that helps any.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: W3DRM on April 26, 2015, 10:27:12 PM
Anthony,

Yes, your GPS status looks good and, you are using the external antenna.

Doing the same thing with your browser, go to the Signals tab and click on the bottom button "5v Sampling". Then, take a screen shot of it and post it in this thread so we can see what your 5v power looks like. I've attached an image of mine for comparison. My ripple typically runs about 2 to 3 mVolts and is quite clean.

Here is a link to a 5v USB power supply that many of us on the forum are now using. It provides very clean DC output and is relatively inexpensive.
NOTE: You do not need any of the accessory adapters they try to sell you. Actually, I cut the plug off and hard-wired mine to an old mini-USB cord I had laying around the shop. just make sure you get the polarity correct...
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on April 27, 2015, 05:58:29 PM
Anthony,

Yes, your GPS status looks good and, you are using the external antenna.

Doing the same thing with your browser, go to the Signals tab and click on the bottom button "5v Sampling". Then, take a screen shot of it and post it in this thread so we can see what your 5v power looks like. I've attached an image of mine for comparison. My ripple typically runs about 2 to 3 mVolts and is quite clean.

Here is a link to a 5v USB power supply that many of us on the forum are now using. It provides very clean DC output and is relatively inexpensive.
  • http://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm (http://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm)
NOTE: You do not need any of the accessory adapters they try to sell you. Actually, I cut the plug off and hard-wired mine to an old mini-USB cord I had laying around the shop. just make sure you get the polarity correct...

here is mine.....don't look healthy
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: DaleReid on April 27, 2015, 06:15:41 PM
Yeah, looks like it is time for a different power supply.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: W3DRM on April 27, 2015, 08:28:17 PM
Yeah, looks like it is time for a different power supply.

Yes, I agree with Dale. And, as I said in an earlier post, many of us are using the Powerstream power supply. The only thing you need to be careful with is to make certain you put a piece of tape over the slide-switch handle that is used to change voltage taps. This will prevent an accidental change to the supplied voltage that could potentially have disastrous effects on your components. Set it at 5v and then tape over the handle. Under normal loads you'll find it reads around 4.70 volts DC.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: PaulMy on April 27, 2015, 09:23:20 PM
Anthony, I had the same wide bar signal with the adapter I bought some time ago and DonF suggested to get another.  Went to Best Buy for another and that was the same.  Ended up borrowing (permanently) my wife's I-Pad charger and that was good.

Paul
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: jmcmurry on April 28, 2015, 06:11:28 AM
Anthony,

I got good results with an apple adapter and am now using one that came with my ChromeCast dongle.  If you have others around the house you can try them to see how they perform.

- Jim
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on May 01, 2015, 07:43:55 PM
Anthony,

I got good results with an apple adapter and am now using one that came with my ChromeCast dongle.  If you have others around the house you can try them to see how they perform.

- Jim

I tired all adapters but all seem to run bad. and I got to thinking that I don't want to break any of the connection on the boards being that they don't make them anymore and if they die my system would also die. So I got the power supply that everyone seems to like and a 25foot shielded cat 6 cable.

I kind of think my atennas are broken already they don't seem to be showing the lighting strikes like they were when I first got it going.

Anyway like before I am going to walk away from it for now till I get my parts.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on May 08, 2015, 08:08:43 PM
I have my new power supply but I am unsure how to wire it. I don't want to fry anything. What side of the small usb plug should be what? Thanks for any help
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on May 08, 2015, 08:13:22 PM
http://pinoutsguide.com/SerialPortsCables/usb_cable_pinout.shtml
http://www.leadsdirect.co.uk/technical-library/pinouts-wiring-diagrams/usb-wiring/
http://www.moddiy.com/pages/USB-2.0-%7B47%7D-3.0-Connectors-%26-Pinouts.html
etc...
You only need worry about Red and Black...
try to pass along the shielding, however....  :lol:
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on May 09, 2015, 06:50:17 AM
I am going to try to use a old power plug with the same kind of plug on it. Can I use the same thing to wire it up?
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: miraculon on May 09, 2015, 09:00:34 AM
Since there is no series diode on the controller power input, you will need to be very careful about reverse polarity.
I would verify your wiring on an old "sacrificial" USB doo-dad before connecting it to the Blitzortung controller....
Reusing a cut-off mini-USB cable is a great idea, especially if they have red/black color coded wires for power.

Greg H.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on May 09, 2015, 02:34:59 PM
Since there is no series diode on the controller power input, you will need to be very careful about reverse polarity.
I would verify your wiring on an old "sacrificial" USB doo-dad before connecting it to the Blitzortung controller....
Reusing a cut-off mini-USB cable is a great idea, especially if they have red/black color coded wires for power.

Greg H.




I wanted to use the plugs that came with the power supply so I would not have to cut it and I had a female end of one of the plugs here.... the mini usb connection would be a old power supply that I have laying around here.  I don't have many mini-usb cables around here.

I guess I could do that. use a "sacrificial" doo dad....should have one laying around here some place.
Title: Re: getting my system online(UPDATES)
Post by: Fox_Of_The_Wind on May 30, 2015, 03:25:40 PM
This will be my last update on this subject. I got the new PS that everyone seems to like so much. Well I am still getting the bad power. So it looks like it will just have to be the way it is.....as of right now it is working...just not fully.

Power grid here must be bad or something.....don't know...