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  Desensitizing Effect of TOA System
Posted by: Kalamara - 2014-03-16, 15:40 - Forum: Hardware, Software, Lightning Physics - No Replies

I have been experimenting with the lightning strikes and the gain factor of antenna and preamp.

When the gain is set a little to high with consideration to the antenna being too high in receive
performance we have desensitizing effect. An auto gain feature would work well . As I discovered
the newest TOA board that has come out version 10 I saw spoke of an auto gain feature. This
I guess addresses the issue I have found.

I have designed my antenna as a 2-foot pvc loop antenna with 25 turns, 22gauge stranded
wire and gain set at preamp of 43x Gain. Channel A,B jumper set on pin 2.

The preamp board is PCB 5 version 7, Data board PCB 6 version 8.

Are there any newer preamp board versions available?? Please let me know.
I will be looking into an auto gain method. Or finding a setting that fits
both distance and local strikes which will give best effciencies at 5000km
and moderate level efficiencies.

The best we can do is use a gain that will fit most instances of nearby high activity
storms as well as distance ones. Or find a way to build an auto gain preamp.


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  Unassembled kit pics
Posted by: Donald.Froula - 2014-03-04, 17:38 - Forum: Hardware, Software, Lightning Physics - Replies (7)

I'm building up a station for a new member.

For those considering ordering and building a kit, here's what it looks like just out of the box!


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  Aircraft induced lightning
Posted by: Gerhard.Wittevee - 2014-02-08, 08:51 - Forum: Hardware, Software, Lightning Physics - Replies (5)

Hi all,

Yesterday, february 7 an aircraft left from Amsterdam-Schiphol airport heading to Finland got struck by lightning. There was no damage reported, and the plane finished its trip.
I read a report of someone living near the airport, reporting lightning. Reactions on the forum (http://www.weerwoord.be) suggested it could be aircraft induced. I decided to get the Blitzortung data, and found the time to be 19:54:51 and the location was 52°20'20.9"N 4°41'05.4"E
Then i looked for flight-data available on the internet, and checked if there was an airplane at that location at that time. There was! The Blitzortung registration of the strike and the aircraft location at the time were less than 1 km apart... Impressive, right?
Gerhard Witteveen

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  "Idle" Indication
Posted by: argus42 - 2014-01-28, 09:54 - Forum: Website, Maps and Applications - Replies (7)

On two recent occasions I have checked participants and found that my system was listed as "Idle". On the first occasion I powered my system down and restarted it and it came up as "Running". When it happened second time I had a close look at Blitzortung.Org and found that my system as making detections and reporting lightning strikes but it was not passing through my server. On the second occasion I recycled my server and again the system began to function normally.

Today I checked all users and there were six "Idle" systems. I would like to get participants experiences with this issue and try to understand why it happened and find out the best approach to eliminating the problem completely.


Errol Walker (875)

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Posted by: Tobi - 2014-01-26, 10:54 - Forum: Website, Maps and Applications - No Replies


Just some interesting notes:

During winter season, the electricity in thunderstorms is often weaker but the cloud level over ground is lower too. Thus, the chance might be higher that lightning hits only very tall structures and not the area around that structure. During the last hours there have been a couple of such thunderstorms over Germany, where stroke coordinates are concentrated on a small area only. Participants can check that on Lightningmaps.org.

Here's an example:

The time, number of participated stations and the number of stations used for calculation is displayed aside each stroke. It was one single lightning flash and all it's strokes occurred within 200 milliseconds. They are all very close to the windmill at the bottom of the picture. The first stroke was the most powerful one, as it has been received from most stations (see attachment below). It's almost 100% sure, that some or all of the strokes hit this windmill. The real deviations to the target are in a range from 300 to 700m. Such an detection accuracy is only possible when there are some stations not too far away and not too close.

No other lightning stroke has been detected several kilometers around that windmill. There is a good chance, that there wouldn't have been any lightning strike at all without the windmill. Per definition, a thunderstorm is only a thunderstorm when there is lightning. Conclusion: More tall structures like windmills, power lines or antenna masts --> more thunderstorms, at least in winter. Sounds good (but don't take that to seriously Wink !)

Have fun!

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