• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Lightning sensor / 1 wire help needed

tbradnc

Member
I just got my lightning detector and other components I ordered from you - thanks for getting it out so quickly.

I plan to integrate the lightning detector into my weather station and log the data via Weather Display but I suppose I have to get it working first... ;-)

I have everything hooked up properly, drivers installed and 1 wire viewer seems to work. The device is found and supposedly lightning data can be read on page 15 of the memory.

Where might I locate page 15?

I should also add that for better or worse I formatted the file system with 1 wire viewer in my quest to get results. ;-) Hope that didn't compount my problem.

Thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
Thomas,

I don't think formatting the file system on the chip will cause any problems.

If you are using the OneWireViewer you can see the two counters by choosing the "externally triggered counter" page on the memory tab. I don't have one in front of me right now so I can't tell you the exact names in the OneWireViewer.

If you are using it with Weather Display then it will get the values from the Lightning Detector automatically.

Eric
 

tbradnc

Member
Yep, got it. It's in hex - is that normal and if so how do I read the data?

I've got it setup and am testing it (with a lighter, per the how-to) and none of the hex values are changing.


Thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
Thomas,

Hex is normal. It is the last value to the right that will change but you have click refresh to see any changes.

Do you have the earth ground connected? It usually won't register counts without it.

Eric
 

tbradnc

Member
Hi Eric,

It's grounded per the how-to.

Regarding the Memory with externally triggered counter stuff....

Here's what I've got... I'm not sure that it'll be formatted correctly but hopefully you are familiar enough with it to tell me exactly what's number is supposed to increment when lightning is detected.

This is Page 0, 1C0H:
00 FF EF 10 00 FF FF 00 C2 FF FF 08 00 FF FF 02
00 FF FF 10 02 FF ED 04 00 FF FF 00 00 FF FF 10

This is Page 1, 1EOH:
00 FF F7 00 00 DF DF 40 00 FF 5F 00 00 FF F4 00
00 FF FF 08 08 FF 7F 00 00 BF DD 00 00 FF 5F 40

Interesting toy... be glad to figure it out.

Thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
Thomas,

It will either be the 02 on the end of the top line or the 00 on the end of Page 1 that will change (I don't remember which off the top of my head). If you can't get it to count with the lighter then you can try touching a wire between the ANT connection and the + terminal of the 9v battery. That will at least show you which counter should be incrementing.

Another note. Some people can't ever get it to count with the lighter. I know when I built my first Lightning Detector (a precursor to the ones I offer) I never could get it to count with the lighter but it counted lightning just fine.

Eric
 

tbradnc

Member
I know what you mean. I was sitting here my a lighter flicking away and thinking exactly the same thing...

In any case, I gave up on the 1wireviewer app and just plowed into Weather Display and everything is working nicely. Thanks so much for your quick replies. Fast shipping and great service/support - what more could you want!

Thanks,
Thomas

p.s. the lighter trick does work with Weather Display BTW..
 

tbradnc

Member
What is the best place to put the lightning detector for day-to-day use?

I just finished putting mine outside and connecting it to weather display and I wonder if I have it in an optimium spot.

I've got it in a pvc outlet box which is screwed to a heavy-duty plastic cover I have over my sprinkler system. It's about 2' away from the side of the house and positioned about 2' from the upstairs HVAC unit. I've got the antenna running out of the bottom of the outlet box and bent so that it is parallel to the ground. In other words, it's not out in the great wide open but it is totally exposed to the elements.

Is this good enough? I'm using the 14ga wire antenna you included in the package..

BTW, what's the detection range with that particular antenna?

thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
That doesn't sound like an optimum location but the best thing to do is to see how it works when you get some lightning.

The detector can pick up lightning 50 to 100 miles away with the included antenna it you have it mounted 10' or so off the ground and not near too many metal things.

Eric
 

tbradnc

Member
I really don't want to pick up lightning 50 miles away. What size would you guesstimate I'd need to detect it in the 5-10 mile range?

Thanks
Thomas
 

tbrad

Member
Also... can you tell me anything about the detection error rate? This morning I was showing 4 lightning strikes over a 1 hour period and there really isn't any lightning producing weather around for 100+ miles.

Besides a lighter, what else can trigger a detection?

FWIW, I moved it yesterday so that the detector is 30 feet out in the open yard with the outlet box screwed to the top of an 8' 4x4 (looks better than it sounds <g>). There is nothing made of metal or anything electrical within a 30' circumference.

Thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
Thomas,

Where you have it mounted sounds like a pretty good location.

The detector works by detecting the "static" pulse that lightning generates. Other things can also generate some "static" like large relays on air conditioning units and other large appliances. So a few false stikes can be expected.

Eric
 

tbradnc

Member
Just out of curiosity - how short would you cut the antenna to limit detection to a 5-10 mile radius.

Guess a bit of trial and error is in order and even that's going to have a large margin of error..

Thanks
Thomas
 

ericvic

Active Member
Thomas,

I don't know how short the antenna would need to be. Since lightning is like a spark gap transmitter and has a very broad range of frequencies that it puts out it is not like tuning a normal antenna. Also since lightning can vary in strength dramatically it is very hard to get it down to a specific range.

Like you said trial and error is going to be the best way to find out.

Eric
 
Top