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Gbru316

DIY Lightning detector with direction finding

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Anyone know if anyone has implemented frank kooiman's detector and system in the US?

http://members.home.nl/fkooiman/lightning/index.htm#0

http://members.home.nl/fkooiman/lightning/Manuals/Lightning%20Radar%20John%20Silver/Lightning%20Radar%20Hardware%20John%20Silver.pdf

I'm really interested in implementing this, but I haven't seen much in the way of US participation.

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Anyone know if anyone has implemented frank kooiman's detector and system in the US?

http://members.home....ing/index.htm#0

http://members.home....hn%20Silver.pdf

I'm really interested in implementing this, but I haven't seen much in the way of US participation.

Not sure on the cost of building one, but Boltek sells lightning detector cards you can pop into a PCI slot in your computer for ~$500, I think. Given the cost of materials and time, $500 might not be much more expensive than trying to rig one up yourself. Granted it's not a very big market, but I haven't seen many other cheap consumer level lightning detection systems. The main thing about these types of systems is that to be very accurate requires a network for position triangulation, and good software for post-processing. It's not as simple as just having the detector. One needs good software algorithms to make sense of the data which is often very noisy (think any time you turn on an electrical appliance what that might do to a near-field RFI-based sensor built to amplify very weak signals) and prone to gross intensity and/or directional distortions. The real lightning sensors used at airports cost upwards of $20,000+ and use a combination of acoustical, optical, and RFI properties for accurately binning lightning into direction and distance, so it's not a cheap problem to solve. Check out strikestarus.com. It's a network for people with lightning detectors that attempts to create a national lightning detection network useful for triangulation between individual home lightning detectors, and has some nice real-time maps and strike statistics.

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Not sure on the cost of building one, but Boltek sells lightning detector cards you can pop into a PCI slot in your computer for ~$500, I think. Given the cost of materials and time, $500 might not be much more expensive than trying to rig one up yourself. Granted it's not a very big market, but I haven't seen many other cheap consumer level lightning detection systems. The main thing about these types of systems is that to be very accurate requires a network for position triangulation, and good software for post-processing. It's not as simple as just having the detector. One needs good software algorithms to make sense of the data which is often very noisy (think any time you turn on an electrical appliance what that might do to a near-field RFI-based sensor built to amplify very weak signals) and prone to gross intensity and/or directional distortions. The real lightning sensors used at airports cost upwards of $20,000+ and use a combination of acoustical, optical, and RFI properties for accurately binning lightning into direction and distance, so it's not a cheap problem to solve. Check out strikestarus.com. It's a network for people with lightning detectors that attempts to create a national lightning detection network useful for triangulation between individual home lightning detectors, and has some nice real-time maps and strike statistics.

Check out the links, software including algorithms is freeware, hardware is well under $100, range is 2000-3000 km. Software also has noise filtering. This homemade detector has been implemented with success in Europe.

Basically, it takes the 10kHz sign from a strike ( detected with 2 8 turn coil antennas, 1 NS, the other EW), amplifies it through 2 op amps, and then sent into the line in of a PC sound card.

Software handles strength, filtering, and direction finding. A partner station is used to error check and cancel out the 180 degrees out of phase signal, resulting in a rough location which is then plotted.

The system is accurate to within 1 degree.

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I've become interested in doing a TDOA network using inexpensive software-defined radios, and GPS for timing and position. The European network has good info on how they're doing this but restrict all central processing to their servers to keep the data tight. I'd like to see these datasets freed up for easy access.

Assuming a CG receiver in the 100khz or so range (or 10-1000 khz spectrum?) and another concentrating in the 10Mhz range for IC pulses. Assuming a decent antenna, perhaps something in E and H planes that's aligned for magnetic field detection, one might be able to get 3D detection.

What about a reporting mechanism similar to CWOP? Any thoughts?

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The Schematic is actually pretty basic to make. It looks like the software may be more trickier to get going then building this circuit. I'm going to have to check this out sometime. I have the operational amplifiers, basic caps & resistors in the collection, even the stereo adapter. Only thing I would need is to get stuff to build the transformer/Power Supply/rectifier unit... Thanks for posting..

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