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Boltek Storm Tracker Lightning Detector


Storm Tracker uses a direction-finding antenna to receive and locate the radio signals produced by lightning. The output from the antenna is fed into a PCI card receiver and depending on the strength of the received signal a calculation is then made by the software to determine approximately how far the strike is away.


The combination of direction and distance allows the strike to be plotted onto a radar-like screen. The receiver location being at the center of the screen with distance increasing outwards from the center.


Depending upon the height of the antenna it is possible to detect lightning strikes up to 300 miles away. Exceptionally fierce storms could push this distance up to 350 miles.


Software from Astrogenic provides the screen data and enables the viewer to see additional information such as the path and intensity of the storm.


Basically there are 4 different types of lightning strikes these are :-
1. Cloud to ground (-ve)
2. Cloud to ground (+ve)
3. Inter cloud (-ve)
4. Inter cloud (+ve)


Note. The most dangerous type of lightning is No.2 Cloud to ground (+ve)


My own antenna is in the loft and is mounted approximately 10 inches below the ridge tiles at a height of 25feet. Care has been taken to ensure that the front of the antenna corresponds to the top of the computer screen. If the antenna does not face North the top of the screen will not be North.


The green + seen on the map at the center of the rings is the location of my station, this has been determined by adding my latitude and longitude to the map. The exact coordinates of which are:-
Lat 51.34.11N and Lon 000.16.11E


The equipment was obtained from www.meteorologica.co.uk who provided me with an excellent service. My thanks also go out to Relko at www.astrogenic.com for his software support.

 

 

Copyright 2005, Alan Paul, All rights reserved

Website designed by: James Paul