lightning detector

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dacflyer
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lightning detector

Post by dacflyer » Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:23 pm

seen somehting in a book many years ago...
it had a led bargraph...and held the reading for a certain ammount of time...before resetting...
this lightning detector was a handheld device,,,
are they very hard to make.. couldn't find much of anyhting on the net...and ideas or schematics?

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jollyrgr
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Re: lightning detector

Post by jollyrgr » Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:33 pm

While on the subject, how about an aviation style strike finder? Anyone have a schematic for one of these? I believe Joseph Carr had a schematic of a device that went on the H and V axes of a scope. Some sort of loop antenna device that showed stike direction and intensity on an O'scope. Anyone recall this?
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dacflyer
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Re: lightning detector

Post by dacflyer » Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:33 am

the strike finder is used on many planes,,its a complicated device...and it uses radar...its called a storm scope.....they are not cheap either.. :(

zotdoc
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Re: lightning detector

Post by zotdoc » Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:05 am

I remember a lightning detector, handheld,inexpensive to make etc., in one of the back issues ofNuts/volts or electronics now. It is probably in the archives of this magazine. Good luck, sounds like a fun project.

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jollyrgr
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Re: lightning detector

Post by jollyrgr » Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:29 am

I know the true aviation strike finders are expensive and complex. This would not be a simple project But I was referring to an "aviation style" device that used two orthogonal loop antennas, a preamp, and an oscilloscope. I want to say Joseph Carr presented such a circuit in Nut and Volts and it was a modification from an old tube type circuit from years ago. If I recall correctly the original circuit was presented in an amateur radio magazine was based on tube differental amps. Carr, or whom ever, redesigned it using solid state components. <p>Here is a circuit that comes close to what you were asking for:<p>http://users.erols.com/r.smith/lightning-detector.pdf<p>I suppose you could add a LM390x bar graph meter instead of a lightbulb. The radio or lightning part of this circuit is easy enough to build on perf board as it is not that critical.<p>Here is a link to a web site that shows "real time" lightning strike data:
http://www.lightningstorm.com/tux/jsp/g ... y_free.jsp<p>Not a project site but a neat information URL in any case.
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Re: lightning detector

Post by rshayes » Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:54 am

One of the ancestors of the circuit that Jolly Roger is referring to was probably published in a column in Scientific American. The May 1963 issue of Scientific American, pages 167 to 174, described such a device in a column called "The Amateur Scientist", written by C. L. Stong. This used crossed loop antennas, vacuum tube differential amplifiers, and an oscilloscope type of display. The display indicated both magnitude and direction.<p>An earlier column, in Scientific American for March 1959, pages 155 to 164, described a circuit for detecting and counting lightning strikes, but did not indicate direction. This also used vacuum tubes.<p>A large public library may have these issues on microfilm. I believe that this column (The Amateur Scientist) has also been reproduced in CD form.<p>There are probably later versions of both these circuits using semiconductors. Adapting them to semiconductors wouldn't be very difficult.

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Re: lightning detector

Post by viveguy » Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:34 am

Minor correction to dacflyer's statement. Stormscopes are not radar. I used to build, test and, troubleshoot them for the company that makes them.
The antenna consists of a pair of x-y current loops, used for direction finding and a Marconi stub for the E field. When an electrical discharge is detected, the pulse waveform is sent to a DSP. The DSP measures the curve and compares it to models in a look-up table. If the pulse matches one of the models,it is plotted on the display. Distance and direction are the job of the x-y loops.
AM radios are pretty good at picking up lighning discharges.I believe they were the the starting point for Joe Carr's system. The article appeared in N&V 4 or 5 years back. Check the archive here.
If you would like more detailed info on stormscopes, feel fre to get in touch.

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sofaspud
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Re: lightning detector

Post by sofaspud » Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:05 pm

There is some sort of lightning detector circuit here: http://www.techlib.com/electronics/lightning.html This might not be new, but I ran across it just now through a Google search for something else.

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jollyrgr
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Re: lightning detector

Post by jollyrgr » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:59 am

It appears that Joseph Carr DID write an article about a storm scope circuit at one point. It was in the Feb 1999 issue of N&V. <p>http://www.nutsvolts.com/toc_Pages/feb99toc.htm
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