Open Roads Radio forum for Ham, Amateur Radio and RV camping


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-30-2016, 11:05 PM   #1
electricflyer
Senior Member
 
electricflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 417
Default Lightning Detector

I bought a lightning detector from Amazon a couple days ago. I have Prime so I got it in 2 days. Delivered today, a holiday. Anyway it is a handheld/pocket detector primarily designed for hikers to use when out in the open. It is an Acurite model 02020 and uses 2 AAA batteries. It will easily fit in your pocket or clip to a belt. The literature says it will detect lightning as far away as 25 miles (depending on terrain). I've had it on tonight and it has alerted 3 times. The strikes were far enough away it couldn't measure the distance. There was a strong storm that went through 2 counties north of Atlanta which would have put the storms about 20-25 miles from my location so I guess I works. The cost was about $30 including tax. Of course delivery was included with Prime membership. I also get lightning alerts from the weather service on my smartphone.






Product Details
electricflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 08:40 AM   #2
N3LYT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 709
Default

Here is any other lighting test it's part of a huge world wide detection system very accurate with nice maps lightingmaps.org/realtime.
N3LYT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 05:03 PM   #3
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Me, I can generally detect lightning. See, there's this big bright flash, and a loud noise that even I can hear ...
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 05:33 PM   #4
Radio
Administrator
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
Posts: 3,017
Default

Does being inside the trailer affect the distance measurement? Thinking faraday shielding effect.
__________________

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 10:48 PM   #5
electricflyer
Senior Member
 
electricflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 417
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
Does being inside the trailer affect the distance measurement? Thinking faraday shielding effect.
Haven't had it on the road yet. There is an indoor setting which it says makes it less sensitive to interference like microwaves, cell phones, electric motors, PC's, and hard drive motors. I don't think there is any shielding effect since I don't believe it is sensing RF. I do have aluminum walls for my TT so we will see. I think I have seen lightning sensing modules for Ardunio micro controllers, so you could make your own detector with a little "C" programming experience for around $10.
electricflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 07:20 AM   #6
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

It is certainly sensing RF. Lightning detectors have been around for a long time.

They detect RF and distinguish (or attempt to distinguish) lightning-generated RF by its risetime and its frequency distribution (which are not, by the way, independent variables). They estimate distance mostly by amplitude, so one would expect anything that reduces the signal strength (such as the metal body of a trailer or motor home) to cause them to estimate the distance as greater than it is. Other effects (such as the difference in polarization of the RF depending on whether it's cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to-ground) may cause the detector to think the lightning is closer than it is.

In order to indicate the direction of the lightning from the detector, the detector must use some configuration of multiple antennas. With only one antenna, it can estimate distance but not direction.

The first lightning detector (invented, if I remember correctly, late in the 19th century) was also the first radio receiver.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
N3LYT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 709
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
Does being inside the trailer affect the distance measurement? Thinking faraday shielding effect.
The camp ground I work for part time last year took a hit between two trees danced across one campers roof took out just about all of the electronics in both campers over $4,000 for each camper. One camper was occupied they were unhurt that's the one with the scorched roof! not sure if they will ever camp again there was no doubt about how close the lighting was with out a detector!
N3LYT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 08:27 AM   #8
N3LYT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 709
Default

Google Franklin bells. Old Ben made one a long time ago.
N3LYT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N3LYT View Post
Google Franklin bells. Old Ben made one a long time ago.
Cool. I had never heard of Franklin bells. An interesting read.

It's certainly a lightning detector, too, although I guess it will detect only hits -- no distant lightning.

It will also detect an atmospheric potential gradient, even in the absence of lightning. Such a gradient nearly always exists, but it's stronger when clouds are present -- especially clouds that grow vertically, like cumulonimbus.

I didn't know any of this (except the part about clouds and electric gradients) until you set me reading, LYT. Thanks!
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 07:22 PM   #10
N3LYT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 709
Default

Actually the bells are pretty good I have no data but they will ring when a storm is a fair ways off I got a fair jolt once disconnecting antennas when the storms were a good 6-8 miles away! I don't do that any more.
N3LYT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 09:40 PM   #11
NN5I
Carl, nn5i
 
NN5I's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N3LYT View Post
Actually the bells are pretty good I have no data but they will ring when a storm is a fair ways off I got a fair jolt once disconnecting antennas when the storms were a good 6-8 miles away! I don't do that any more.
Yah, in that case they're not detecting lightning -- they're detecting the gradient.
__________________
-- Carl
NN5I is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×