Build a Lightning Detector

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

An audio amplifier connected to the output will emit loud click sound for each lightning strike detected. When severe storms are approaching, this receiver will go crazy - producing hundreds of clicks per minute. This is a direct detection amplified `crystal` radio receiver. It does not generate RFI or use regeneration. It has no AGC circuit or no

Build a Lightning Detector
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ise-blanker, making it excellent for research applications. Power the detector with a 9 volt battery. It draws little power so it will run for a long time. The Radio Shack audio amplifier will also run a long time (about 2 months) on a 6-volt rechargeable lantern battery. The parts and values are shown on the diagram above on this page. Standard values used. General parts available at any electronics store. Antenna and tuning capacitor available here at RX1 is 1 K ohms. If detection range is too great then use a 10 K-ohm resistor. A variable resistor ( 0 to 50 K-ohms ) can be used to adjust the detection range if desired here. IMPORTANT NOTE: If using antenna D6T-3KC-BC then C1X is 0. 047 uF. This capacitor tunes the antenna to approximately 3 KHz, the lightning detection band center. Check frequency of lightning detector, it should not be lower than 2. 5 KHz or higher than 3. 5 KHz. Adjust capacitor value accordingly if the frequency is out of range. The parts values in circuit design shown were selected for the specific frequency range. IMPORTANT NOTE: If using antenna AF4T-0. 1H-2K-BC-EB then C1X = 100 pF to tune to @ 2. 2 KHz. Do NOT tune below 1. 6 KHz, as this is the ionospheric cut off. Range will be very limited below 1. 6 KHz. R2X is a resistor of 10 meg ohms down to 2 meg ohms. This value controls the sensitivity. Detector will work fine without it, but with an adjustable resistor you can set the range from local...

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