Author Topic: Microsferics TOA network now open to all  (Read 784 times)

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Offline relko

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Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« on: April 12, 2020, 05:53:12 AM »
This is a followup on my previous post here: https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=36925.0

The testing and evaluation program for the Microsferics standalone TOA antenna is now completed and we are very happy with the results. To get things moving we have made 10 sensors available at a first come, first serve introduction price, 30% off regular price ($382 USD/349 EUR ex. shipping).

The package includes a fully assembled TOA compute unit with enclosure, external GPS antenna, cables, active E-field antenna with weather proof PVC housing, Power Filtering Unit and 5m/15ft coax cable (can be extended if needed). You will need to source locally a 12V DC power plug, mast or other outdoors mounting arrangement, grounding wire (f.ex. 10 AWG stranded) and 1m/3 ft earth rod (alternatively a water pipe also works).

Additionally the setup requires a network client platform which can be a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian), Beaglebone Black (Debian), a Linux Ubuntu/Debian PC or Windows 7/8/10 PC. Client software is included for all these platforms. Hardware comes with 1 year warranty.

Here's a screen cap of southern US from this morning Euro time. Our custom antenna system is running at BAX1 site (Baxley, GA - lower right corner) and the TOA counter in the site data label shows how much more lightning is detected compared to nearby sites ZAC1 and VLP1, both of which are Boltek setups.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

We need more people to participate to improve coverage in both North America and Europe so if you are interested in TOA lightning locating and don't feel like waiting 3 years in queue, consider the Microsferics TOA network instead. Your location is not critical, sensor detection range can exceed 4000 km/2500 mi under optimal conditions so every station counts and will contribute to the overall improvement of the network detection efficiency.

Promo PDF flyer with some background, more info and link to ordering page:
https://microsferics.com/flyer2020/microsferics2020.pdf

For any questions please feel free to shoot me a PM or ask below.

I hope everyone is doing well in these exceptional circumstances.

Relko
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 05:55:44 AM by relko »

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 10:41:11 AM »
Reiko,
Thanks for the follow up.  This is exciting.

Can you tell me an estimate for shipping to Eau Claire, WI 54701, USA for the stand alone kit that  you just announced?

How about payment options?  USA Credit Card?  PayPal?  Our banks are hard to get to so a certified check might be difficult.

And you mentioned that the first kits are offered with a discount.  Is that reflected in the price you mentioned in your email ($382 USD) ,  does that figure include the discount?

I'm very interested.  Dale

Dale Reid
W2790 Rim Rock Road
Eau Claire, WI  54701 USA
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Offline relko

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 02:24:27 PM »
Dale, shipping to US is ~$70 USD. The hardware is sent directly from the manufacturing facility in Australia.

PayPal is fine and the price is with the discount included. Below is the link to the ordering page, let me know if you have any additional questions:

https://astrogenic.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=67

Hope to see you on the network soon!

Relko

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 09:01:55 PM »
Relko,
I got my setup ordered, thank you so much for the alert.

I know with the shipping internationally there are likely to be delays.

I'm a bit obsessive and would like to get the area in my out shed ready so when it does arrive I don't miss out on too much of the season.

I don't have need for software or setup links yet and all that, obviously, but wonder if there is a part of the manual that deals with mounting details, size of cables that will need to be routed, and all that.  I need to get an outlet run to that end of the little storage shed and a shelf to hold the equipment and the internet extended over there and all, which is something to putter around with while waiting.

Do you have a .pdf or something of the basic first part of the setup so I can get a ground rod in the ground and wire run, holds drilled, and a mounting pipe arranged and all?

If not, it is what it is, but I try to do stuff right and make it look less like a rat's nest of wiring and all.

Thanks. Dale
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Offline relko

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2020, 06:49:28 AM »
Thanks Dale, your TOA sensor should be shipping out tomorrow or the day after. Last shipment to US (incidentally, also to Eau Claire) took about a week so let's hope for a repeat.

We have manuals for everything *except* -- of course -- mounting the sensor (excuse is, this is all so new :grin:). I've been promised by my hardware engineer partner that this particular documentation will be updated tomorrow. I will send you TOA server connection details, account credentials and links to software and manuals as soon as I get confirmation that this has been done.

Later, if needed, you can also email directly to info@microsferics.com for any questions relating to TOA sensor hardware or software. We also have an active support forum that you will get access to.

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2020, 09:14:19 AM »
OK, wow, that is much faster than I anticipated.

yes, the other destination you shipped to is a very active observer, too, and I recall he had a much better location to get a Boltek to work.

While I have very dedicated attitude towards observing and participating, knowing how TOA works, other than one or the other of us being a backup for the other, two stations this close won't help the triangulation right away, but I do NOT NOT NOT want to defer my order so this station would go somewhere else in the US.  I also hope the enthusiasm means you'll have dozens of kits on their way very soon.

I will be patient.  Dale  (PS congratulations on getting this project off the ground.)
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Offline 92merc

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2020, 10:19:02 AM »
What can you say about the Windows version?  I'm curious what kind of connection is made from the compute unit to the "PC".  Just wondering if the compute unit has Ethernet or USB connections.

For my considered location, if the "pc" has to be USB connected, then a PI will work.  But if my Windows PC can access the computer unit via Ethernet, then I'd use my existing weather Windows 10 PC.
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Offline 92merc

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2020, 03:00:55 PM »
I was able to answer my own questions by looking at some other pictures online.  I personally will be waiting a little while though.  I have some other projects I need to complete before taking on a new one.
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Offline wxthomson

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2020, 09:47:08 PM »
I have also ordered.

I am an existing member of the network (MNT1) using a Boltek card.

When the new unit is installed, would it make any sense to run them both?

Offline relko

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 06:56:38 AM »
I have to apologize and retract what I originally posted  :oops:

Due to unforeseen events that played out yesterday we are unable to fulfill TOA sensor orders at this time.

I sincerely apologize to everyone who considered joining us and have sent out emails to the people that already placed orders.

Relko

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 09:25:37 AM »
I would rather receive hardware that can be supported, if necessary, and have this be a fun easy rather than frustrating project for us all.

Please keep working on the project and send up the flag when things are ready to your satisfaction.

Patience!

Dale
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Offline JupiterJoe

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 10:51:42 AM »
As a member and data contributor for years now to the Microsferics project, I find it a shame that such a promising project is over due to internal conflict. It really is quite a shame.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 10:56:53 AM by JupiterJoe »

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2020, 11:23:00 AM »
Joe,
First I'm jealous of your location, you must be front line to every launch that goes up. 

I didn't get the feeling from the email that this closes the project, so you may have been given more information.  If the whole thing were at the point of post assembly and shipping, it implies the hard work had been done.  The math.  The component selection and layout.  The firmware.  So if there were boxes just waiting to have labels slapped on and shipped out, that means it is ready to go.

Unless one of the principal people with power to control the whole effort is involved, then it is just a matter of firing a contractor or employee of the effort and then starting anew.

I agree.  I had used the various products since Boltek came on the scene.  Then was drooling at the GPS time-base boards which basically were the testing ground for the TOA concept.  I'm just hoping that the true owner of all the technology and smarts and network and servers will surface to move this forward with minimal hitches.

Keep your fingers crossed!
Dale
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Offline JupiterJoe

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2020, 11:30:32 AM »
Hi Dale,
Itís not my place to assume anything as maybe emotions are still raw at this point, so Iím hopeful that things cool down and calmer heads prevail. I should have reworded ďis overĒ to ďat riskĒ.
The Microsferics project is really something special and to have it vanish would be nothing short of a travesty, in my opinion.
I hope this isnít the case, I want to remain hopeful. Thank you for changing my perspective.

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2020, 12:27:57 PM »
By the way, I went to your web site and see the outside temperature is now 91 degrees.  It's just noon (11 am here in cloudy Wisconsin)  Please check your thermometer, since it is mid April and it can't possibly be 91 down there. 

Just joshing, but it isn't late July or August yet!

Keep smiling.  Dale
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Offline JupiterJoe

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2020, 12:50:54 PM »
Hahaha weíve been stuck in quite a crappy heat wave and moderate drought. Iím welcoming the rainy season (along with lightning!!). It canít get here soon enough.

Offline krekel

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Re: Microsferics TOA network now open to all
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2020, 04:37:30 PM »
Hi Dale,
Itís not my place to assume anything as maybe emotions are still raw at this point, so Iím hopeful that things cool down and calmer heads prevail. I should have reworded ďis overĒ to ďat riskĒ.
The Microsferics project is really something special and to have it vanish would be nothing short of a travesty, in my opinion.
I hope this isnít the case, I want to remain hopeful. Thank you for changing my perspective.

Hi,

Yes, totally agree with you. It is a shame. I was the first participant and therefore involved from the very beginning. It seemed such a promising project with 2 highly skilled managers. I am very disappointed that it ends that way. Unfortunately, I don't have much hope that it will continue in the same way. I understand that they are looking for someone or an organization who wants to take over, for example BO. But I have serious doubts whether this will work. We need a miracle!

Brgds,
Oebel

 

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