Using your Lightning Detector kit

Batteries

The lightning detector kit uses 3 AAA cells, If good quality cells are used, the kit will last for over 6 months with intermittent detections.

On powering the kit the two LEDs should flash, and the buzzer will buzz (if its switched on)

Testing

Obviously its is difficult to get lightning to occur for you to test your device. But as the lightning detector is sensitive to any electrical discharge, a piezo gas lighter makes an ideal test if used within 50cm of the device.

The detector may also pick up sparks from static electricity when combing your hair, or from removing nylon or man made fibre clothes near the detector.

Don’t touch the aerial to any charged or live electrical item as you may damage the lightning detector and it may not be safe to do so.

What it will detect

The lightning detector will detect any form of lightning. This includes sparks that are close to the device as well as Cloud to ground lightning from as far away a 5 miles. It is less sensitive to cloud to cloud lightning, but will give an indication if the lightning is close enough.

What the LED’s mean

There is two LEDs on the device, one will flash with detected lightning (lightning flash) in real time, the other will stay on for 5-10 minutes after a lightning event has happened (cloud). With the cloud LED, is a sounder that can be turned on and off so you can have an audible notification of detected lightning.

Buzzer, external devices

There are two pads on the PCB that will give 4.5V when the cloud LED is lit, these can be used to connect your lightning detector to other devices.

Safety

This kits is not for use in any situation that requires reliable lightning detection. It is only an educational device.

Do Not connect this device to any high voltage source directly

Do not use this device outside in a lightning storm, or connect any antenna other than the one supplied.

Do not use this device near live electrical cables or power lines.

Lightning: What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and taps.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

(from https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-tips)