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Author Topic: Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector Initial Observations  (Read 8559 times)

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Offline CaptDilli

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  • Little Switzerland NC USA
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Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector Initial Observations
« on: March 07, 2003, 10:34:38 PM »
Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector (Software v2.08) and Lightning/2000 v3.0
Gateway P5-120, AMD-K6 3D 333 processor, 128Mb Ram, Microsoft Windows 98SE, One Disk Drive (60Gig) w/2 Partitions, 27Gig free on each Partition.

I have only observed one event (March 5-6, 2003).  Most of the activity was south (west and east) (unobstructed view) of my location.

The above computer was able to run WD and Lightning/2000 when there was no lightning activity.  When the lightning activity increased (15 strokes/min) the computer bogged down and was unable to run both WD and Lightning/2000.  No problems running either program one at a time.  Due to both programs frequent disk writes, it is possible that two disk drives vs. one drive, with WD and Lightning/2000 installed on separate, phyical drives would have worked satisfactorily.  I think running both programs simultaneously would require two disk drives (not partitions) with WD and Lightning/2000 installed on separate, phyical drives, a 500 or faster processor, 256Mb or more of ram.  

The Boltek software and Lightning/2000 may not be run simultaneously. The Boltek LD-250 may only be installed on com port 1-4.  That was a problem for me (com 5 via USB) but, there is a temporary work around that worked.  I recommend the Boltek's StormTracker PCI card and software if you go with Boltek.  The LD-250 does all the processing internally.  With the PCI card the computer and installed software does the signal processing.  You get a more detailed “picture” of the events and it is faster, processing more strokes.
The Boltek LD-250 may be used as a mobile unit and will accept NMEA Data from a GPS unit.

Software Observations:

Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector (Software v2.08), default install.
The bearing of detected strikes appeared to be acceptable.  The range of detected strikes appeared to be suspect.  Long range, 200 miles plus may be ok, but nearer distance strikes did not agree with other lightning detection systems found on the WWW (reflections?).  The closer strikes also did not appear to agree with NOAA-NWS storm activity.  

Lightning/2000 v3.0 default install.
Lightning/2000 v3.0 has a software adjustment for bearing and ranges.
The bearing of detected strikes appeared to be acceptable (agreed with Boltek). The range of detected strikes appeared to be suspect.  The ranges of  detected strikes were all over, near and far (5 miles (reflections?) to 750 miles) (most did not agree with Boltek) . Lightning/2000 v3.0 has a detailed table for Range Scaling at all ranges so this may be adjusted.  I don’t know how to determine what the true distance to the strikes is, especially if I don’t hear or see anything (near strikes). I did not observe any visible strikes or hear any thunder.  
Could I estimate the distance using other lightning detection systems found on the WWW?  Better than nothing I guess.  

Conclusion:
An expensive toy.  Now that I have it I will try and adjust and use it.  
I believe my money would have been better spent on a one wire lightning detector and investing the balance in upgrading my weather station.
If I required accurate lightning detection I would obtain it from a commercial provider.
http://www.lightningstorm.com/ls2/discover/nldn/index.jsp
http://www.lightningstorm.com/ls2/guide/products/detection/index.jsp?jrunsessionid=101600861764535016

There are a lot of portable/mobile lightning detectors available on the WWW.  Some links are:
http://www.sky-scan.com/
http://www.weathershop.com/Lightning.htm
http://www.vaisala.com/page.asp?Section=5418
http://sln.fi.edu/weather/lightning/detection.html

More than you wanted to know:
http://www.s-t.au.ac.th/~serghei/manuscript.pdf
BC
System Info:
XP Home, SP 3, Firefox 3.5.7, IE-7, Pentium 4 2.26GH, 1024MB RAM, Desktop, ADSL, No screen saver, http://littleswitzerlandweather.info/bfcrealtime.htm
http://littleswitzerlandweather.info/live/index.html

Offline niko

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Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector Initial Observations
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2003, 10:55:54 PM »
I don't know for sure but I suspect you would get better results running multiple programs with an NT type OS like win 2000. A modern CPU would make a big difference too.

Steve

Offline Weather Display

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Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector Initial Observations
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2003, 08:59:11 AM »
great report.. :)
yes, the boltek software , etc, is very cpu intensive, and the NT class of windows (windows 2000 and XP) is much better at handling multitasking programs

Offline CaptDilli

  • Posts: 986
  • Little Switzerland NC USA
    • Little Switzerland Weather - NC - Butterfly Crossing
Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector Initial Observations
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2003, 12:55:44 AM »
Quote from: nikoshepherd
I don't know for sure but I suspect you would get better results running multiple programs with an NT type OS like win 2000. A modern CPU would make a big difference too.

Steve
Good suggestions.   Thank you.

With Win 2000 pro as the operating system and a updated computer, desktop, two 20 gig drives, one partition per drive (FAT 32), Celeron 900 processor, 512MB RAM the Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector and Lightning 2000 along with WD are performing well with no adjustments to any of the programs.  I do have WD on drive C and Lightning 2000 on drive D.  
The above changes have eliminated all of the problems listed in the original post.   :D
BC
System Info:
XP Home, SP 3, Firefox 3.5.7, IE-7, Pentium 4 2.26GH, 1024MB RAM, Desktop, ADSL, No screen saver, http://littleswitzerlandweather.info/bfcrealtime.htm
http://littleswitzerlandweather.info/live/index.html

 

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