Tindie Blog | Lightning Detection at Low Cost

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Lightning can be dangerous, and being able to detect incoming storms early can be valuable. In remote areas or areas outside of cell coverage, weather forecasting can be difficult to get. Also, often active lightning storms develop very quickly, giving little time for you to make any preparations needed. Additionally, researchers interested in lightning need a reliable way to detect and quantify lightning strikes. This inexpensive Lightning Detector sensor is a great way to get into storm science and/or protect yourself and your property.

This sensor works by detecting the disturbances caused in the atmosphere by lightning. If you’ve ever listened to AM radio when there is lightning nearby, you know you can hear a large crackle each time lightning strikes. By detecting this electromagnetic burst and measuring how strong it is, you can get an estimate of distance. With multiple sensors, you can use time-of-arrival to calculate accurate coordinates for the lightning strike.

This version of the sensor omits a piezo buzzer that was making it impossible to ship via regular mail; now the board can be sent in an envelope, reducing shipping costs and making it more widely available. Of course, you can still request it be sent in a package, but the cost difference for a single board might make it prohibitive for some. We applaud the seller for considering this and trying to come up with viable alternatives!

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