Weather Station Hardware => Blitzortung => Topic started by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 13, 2015, 02:40:52 PM

Title: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on April 13, 2015, 02:40:52 PM
Back about 2002, Egon Wanke got frustrated because 'lightning data' was very expensive, he got tired of paying for it, it wasn't very good at best, so he set out to "roll his own".... The original green systems developed over the years, and a couple of folks came on board with him, Richo, Tobi a few years ago, some other great folk 'behind the scenes' who get little recognition for their gifts of time'n'talent...
A Texan named Gerry discovered the European TOA Blitzortung Greens, and induced a dozen or so folks in US to get online with Green systems...

Roll forward to spring/summer 2013.  I think there were 12-18 greens in the US... A few of us RED folks may have stumbled on Gerry's TOA site with the same motivation Egon felt back in 2002... checking it out, we found they were announcing "new" RED system. and by August of 2013, a handful of us in the US were running with the "GREEN pioneers..."  Can't tell you exactly when it was, but I remember distinctly 2 landmarks... Region 3 hit 25 operators total, and then we jumped to 30.  And a few of those were ops that were also running greens! 
Gee Whiz!  Getting a stroke caught up at Great Bear Lake, or West of the Rockies gave you bragging rights for awhile, and it only took 4 stations to peg one.  Of course, that 'peg' was often 20 miles in diameter, depending.... 

Now, I just spent about 10 minutes looking at the WORLD WIDE MAP at BT, and a few more minutes watching Region 3... and was virtually overwhelmed.  Thomas (Knickohr) has fired up the first Africa station, 1305,  in Namibia, Africa.  I understand he's also paired with Region 3 strokes, which is going to help "Solitary Cedric"  913 and 939 down in Rio... our furthest East Operator, George, in the Netherlands Antilles... noticed  Atlantic strikes really flaring, -- strokes flashing in geographical areas I've never seen lit up...  any stroke that's above a few megavolts has slim chance of sneaking by it seems.  Incredible when you consider we're generally only supposed to be able to detect "C-G" bolts. 
But, I have a suspicion that we may find out differently within the next year... I think as lot of our 'strokes' are already other types... RED's a fantastic hardware, and the server is getting smarter by the hour, I believe... but, then, who knows?

Now, Thomas may sit there at Farm Tivoli in Namibia all alone for a bit.... just like "Lonesome Stan" Silversword out in Maui (Paired with Oceania, also), "Solitary Cedric" in Rio, and the ever faithful Carlos in Columbia and other geographical pioneers and steadfast souls... don't mean to leave anyone out, but... gotta' move on...

Here's the grit.. 
Every station strengthens the network... and if you feel like you don't contribute that much, or have 'too many ' signals, and a pesky 62.5kHz, or dog fence next door... optimize and accept the environment.  It exactly because of such things that such amazing server programming has happened over the last few months!  They've been able to take a lot of the junk, for example, and separate it from the prime...

And now those pegs aren't 20 miles thick... they' running much less than 2 .... and I've seen a few deviations that are literally  in 'Meters"...
that blows my mind... after all, we're running pretty much the same hardware we've run for about a year and a half (reds) and the handful of active Greens that remain.
How can this be?
The forum threads are full of folks trying to optimize and perfect their installation, and learn to live with their environment as it is.  UU
There are over a hundred region 3 stations, most of which are actually running.  [-o<
There is a small handful of Very Smart Developers in Europe who actually know what the hell they're doing.

And guess how they know what-the-hell-they're-doing is working?

It's because folks like I mentioned above... and others,  sitting there, wondering if they're contributing,
Hang in there... your time to celebrate will come.... and your contribution is "Not Invisible"... it's incredibly important and valuable!  Even if all you think you're sending is 'junk',... I can guarantee you're doing better than you might think, as far as the network is concerned.

Ya'll ready for "Blue"?   Ain't off the drawing board, yet.... but look out....
by this time next year, old "Thor" and them-who-ever-they-are expensive-commercial-systems ain't gonna be safe playing games anymore.
Heck, even today, most every time Thor tosses one, he's getting jumped on by 35 or more "flash sucking" receivers...  he laughed when he'd only get 6-14... no sweat.
Things have changed, Big Guy. 
Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: miraculon on April 13, 2015, 04:41:09 PM
Thomas (Knickohr) has fired up the first Africa station, 1305,  in Namibia, Africa.

His station has a mention on the "What's New?"

12 April 2015
Blitzortung.org has its first participant from South Africa.

That's great news. Since Africa is one of the world's hot spots for lightning, it is a good start. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

Greg H.
Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: dfroula on April 14, 2015, 09:10:47 AM
I notice some equatorial African lightning on the world overview map this morning. It appears that only European stations are contributing, however. At least on the few strikes I observed. Odd.

Don F.
Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: Jacquesvw on April 14, 2015, 09:36:46 AM
Now that Namibia has it's first station I feel all fired up to complete my station and become the first South African station.
Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: Knickohr on April 22, 2015, 04:28:05 PM
OK, a few quotes from the BO-forum :

Hi !

Some time ago, I had an idea to build an own observatory for astronomy in Namibia. This is 9 years ago. Meanwhile I have an observatory in Namibia at the Astrofarm Tivoli. You can find it in Google Earth or Google Maps. Last year I build up an BO-station here in Germany (Station 1006). It works good, performs very well, so my next idea was to build a same station in Namibia too.

Where will be this new station ?








Station 1305 in now build up and for testing for some days in my observatory at home near the other station (1006). Hope all ist performing well.



Looks good, station is sending some signals, the efficiency is similar to my other station.


Some pictures from installation side.

The observatory in the fresh green grass ;)


e-field antenna :


The ferride rods and the controller box are situated under the floor of the observatory :


The GPS-antenna at the southside :


Some big clouds with lightning in the east :


Station 1305 is now running for a week and performing well. Waiting for the other stations in Southern Africa !

Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: Knickohr on April 26, 2015, 10:00:52 AM
Yeahhh !

Second station in Africa is up and running. Look at #1332

Title: Re: Amazed. Just Amazed.
Post by: Jacquesvw on April 26, 2015, 10:03:13 AM

Yeahhh !

Second station in Africa is up and running. Look at #1332


Thanks Knickohr, your station were my inspiration to finish my own station.