Interested in setting up a station - Questions
#1
Hey, so I came upon http://www.lightningmaps.org while browsing reddit today and I'm interested in setting up a station in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

I just moved to a new apartment (still moving in) that would make an excellent location (west Winnipeg, west facing balacony) for a station. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWP6zkXF4KC/...by=ristake
I'm on the top floor and the building is wood, new construction. The only nearby metal would be the balcony railing which would be the ideal mounting point for it due to the small space. 

This location often sees the heaviest rain in the city. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/w...-1.1329480
If I remember correctly, that neighbourhood got hit with 80mm of rain in an hour or two. Sadly I was still living with my parents in the south-east. I had set up in the garage with some chairs and a beer I was anticipating a good storm to watch and got a light drizzle! 

I wasn't able to find a tutorial laying out what is required to volunteer to operate a station so I have few questions before I pull the trigger.

Questions:

1. Time commitment: set up and continued operation
2. Initial and upkeep costs for a station 
3. Other equipment required?  


I haven't done any soldering or programming since high school so it's been nearly a decade however I am fascinated by thunderstorms and severe weather in general and learning new things is always fun. If this hobby pans out I'd eventually want to set up an HD camera to record/stream thunderstorms rolling in

Kevin
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#2
Hello Kevin,

1. The assembly and set up is quite quick. If you have all the hardware by the hand, it should take about 2 hours (depending on your skill) to have a detector up and running.
After that, depending on your environement, it can takes several days of optimization (gains and thresholds).

2. See attachment. The price depends on what you choose.

3. You'll need some CAT and Coaxial cables. A GPS antenna and a usb power supply (5V-1A).

On the "Cover Your Area" page, you'll find links to assembly instruction and also a form where you can leave your email to be contacted by Egon.


Attached Files
.pdf   order-list.pdf (Size: 30.72 KB / Downloads: 39)
Clément
Stations: 252, 680, 733, 1440
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#3
2 hours "up and running" well yes as bare board on the bench top or in the custom case if you bought one. Construction of H-field antennas mounting them and protection of the preamp (depending on its location indoors/outdoors). Ferrites are quicker and easier than loops. Weather protection and mounting of the E-field preamp/antenna. Finding a place for the controller possibly casing and mounting it, running the cables etc. Cumulative time is a few days IMHO but of course that can be broken down into shorter tasks spread out over a much longer period.

The system is not "plug 'n play" and there can be a fair amount of design (even if just adapting what others have done) and construction work required. It's all this stuff that makes the projecct fun. Where's the fun in just buying a box, fitting and connecting a few pre-built units with all the cables and mounting bits supplied and switching on?
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#4
(2017-07-25, 20:27)allsorts Wrote: 2 hours "up and running" well yes as  bare board on the bench top or in the custom case if you bought one. Construction of H-field antennas mounting them and protection of the preamp (depending on its location indoors/outdoors). Ferrites are quicker and easier than loops. Weather protection and mounting of the E-field preamp/antenna. Finding a place for the controller possibly casing and mounting it, running the cables etc. Cumulative time is a few days IMHO but of course that can be broken down into shorter tasks spread out over a much longer period.

The system is not "plug 'n play" and there can be a fair amount of design (even if just adapting what others have done) and construction work required. It's all this stuff that makes the projecct fun. Where's the fun in just buying a box, fitting and connecting a few pre-built units with all the cables and mounting bits supplied and switching on?
 Oh I definitely understand that Smile

I'm just trying to figure out if could fit this into my schedule immediately or wait until next year when I have more free time. Thunderstorm season is nearly over here.
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#5
A completly indoor system with ferrites mounted on a bit of cardboard with sticky tape and no E-field and just plonked ona shelf won't take much time and would get you "up and running". A lot of the problems that need solving don't become apparent until you have a working receiver, mainly related to the local VLF enviroment. You could the spend the quiet months planning and slow progressing a proper install in readiness for the next season.

This may all be academic, I don't know how long the waiting list is for a Blue kit. If you have submitted your email on the Cover Your Area page and if you submit it again it'll tell you your current rank. After a while (week or two) you ought to have a vague feel for when you might get an email from Egon.
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#6
I discovered that a PC needs to be on and processing continuously to keep the station running. People considering starting a station should be told this. Perhaps this is in the literature and I just missed it.
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#7
(2017-08-04, 18:22)opadavis Wrote: I discovered that a PC needs to be on and processing continuously to keep the station running. People considering starting a station should be told this. Perhaps this is in the literature and I just missed it.

This is incorrect. The system is completely self-contained with its own webserver. My Red system is plugged directly into my router and does not have a computer connection at all. I access the web server via my computers' browser.
Station: 1387
Stations: 1387
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#8
(2017-08-04, 18:30)John.Sacrey Wrote:
(2017-08-04, 18:22)opadavis Wrote: I discovered that a PC needs to be on and processing continuously to keep the station running. People considering starting a station should be told this. Perhaps this is in the literature and I just missed it.

This is incorrect. The system is completely self-contained with its own webserver. My Red system is plugged directly into my router and does not have a computer connection at all. I access the web server via my computers' browser.
My Blue is connected through ethernet cable to router also. When I connect to the controller through its IP address and adjust some settings, I get lightning signal flashes on the front of controller panel. When I put computer to sleep or turn it off, the flashes stop. So I assumed that communication to Blitzortung servers had also stopped. So far my station has not sent many signals that were used; I need to focus on my antennas and location.

I would be happy if I did not need the computer on, John. Please tell me how.

Peter
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#9
(2017-08-04, 19:56)opadavis Wrote:
(2017-08-04, 18:30)John.Sacrey Wrote:
(2017-08-04, 18:22)opadavis Wrote: I discovered that a PC needs to be on and processing continuously to keep the station running. People considering starting a station should be told this. Perhaps this is in the literature and I just missed it.

This is incorrect. The system is completely self-contained with its own webserver. My Red system is plugged directly into my router and does not have a computer connection at all. I access the web server via my computers' browser.
My Blue is connected through ethernet cable to router also. When I connect to the controller through its IP address and adjust some settings, I get lightning signal flashes on the front of controller panel. When I put computer to sleep or turn it off, the flashes stop. So I assumed that communication to Blitzortung servers had also stopped. So far my station has not sent many signals that were used; I need to focus on my antennas and location.

I would be happy if I did not need the computer on, John. Please tell me how.

Peter

Hi Peter,

Do you by chance have your PC and System Blue plugged into the same battery backup?  If so, is your PC connected to the Master Control outlet (APC in the U.S. is like this) and when you shut down your computer it turns off the entire battery backup? This could be the issue. If this isn't the issue, I'm not sure.

John
Station: 1387
Stations: 1387
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#10
No that is not the case but I appreciate your efforts. I have busy few weeks ahead but I will try to think it through when I turn the station on again.
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#11
(2017-07-26, 04:39)Ristake Wrote:
(2017-07-25, 20:27)allsorts Wrote: 2 hours "up and running" well yes as  bare board on the bench top or in the custom case if you bought one. Construction of H-field antennas mounting them and protection of the preamp (depending on its location indoors/outdoors). Ferrites are quicker and easier than loops. Weather protection and mounting of the E-field preamp/antenna. Finding a place for the controller possibly casing and mounting it, running the cables etc. Cumulative time is a few days IMHO but of course that can be broken down into shorter tasks spread out over a much longer period.

The system is not "plug 'n play" and there can be a fair amount of design (even if just adapting what others have done) and construction work required. It's all this stuff that makes the projecct fun. Where's the fun in just buying a box, fitting and connecting a few pre-built units with all the cables and mounting bits supplied and switching on?
 Oh I definitely understand that Smile

I'm just trying to figure out if could fit this into my schedule immediately or wait until next year when I have more free time. Thunderstorm season is nearly over here.

Kevin,

The waiting queue is long, almost 3000 right now. So don't hesitate to ask for a system blue now Tongue
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