Air Lightning Optimised and impressive result

currently in the middle of a storm but have to say the Air lightning sensor once optimised for Lightning it really is
a very useful and reliable lightning sensor . it may not be sophisticated as the higher end hardware but I can only
say if i just bought the Air unit or a second one I would be a very happy man.

screen shot below shows the difference in 1 hour .if your interested in lightning and prepared to spend days or months on the optimum position here is the result … kudos @WFmarketing

and still counting :slight_smile:


it does simply not getting any better than this and still counting .everyone should buy an optional AIr and optimize it for lightning . when you find the quiet noise free spot it will do its business extremely well and i can say it does well exceed the 40km specification when you hit that quiet spot




That seems to be a serious storm!

@Weather34, please search for a save spot, we don’t want to lose you in that storm! :roll_eyes:

we are used to it i think its the 11th consecutive day of storms some more intense than others .i live in a bit of a hotspot for storms they often slowly build up over the sea and move swiftly across the city . but thanks for the concern … i love thunderstorms makes great photography also .

captured this one when i lived the otherside of the city dont do much these days has i broke my remote shutter trigger now its a pain to keep,firing the shutter and stand out in a storm … but having this Air unit certainly makes a good tool for awareness of incoming storm…



We have been experiencing our pre Easter thunderstorms and I am really impressed with the AIR lightning sensitivity. I have mine positioned with the humidity sensor facing due east and the reports correspond very well with Blitzortung as shown by the screenshots from last nights flashbang episode.2019-03-24%20(1) 2019-03-24


here we are now into our stormy season of daily lightning storms so I thought having found an optimised position for detecting storms approaching from the south of my location with a AIR from 2017, i thought i would put another Air 2019 secondary optimised for east west .After a few days of testing and trying different positions and looking for that beyond the 40km specified distance I was once again able to find the sweet spot albeit it takes a lot of trial and error .

Both of these Air sensors are mounted horizontally with a 5 degrees angled vertical elevation ,the downside as I was fully aware is the sensors can not be used reliably for anything else i.e temperature,humdity etc.

Both sensors record instantaneously into a meteobridge TP-Link hub software device and dumps the data to mysql , i dont use the weatherflow API .

so here is my result from this morning as the storm albeit not intense moved from the east and another moved in from the south. both sensors can see and detect lightning events beyond the 40km range with ease ive seen storms detected beyond 100km across the sea to a regular hot spot near some islands .

anyway i thought i share the experience and why not buy an extra Air and optimize for lightning but be prepared to find the sweet spot in your location its not just a case fit it where it looks nice it might end up in a less friendlier place …screenshot from this morning the east west sensor detected some 10 minutes earlier first time Ive had seen that from the east as it always was dead spot for me.

this screenshot shows storm to east-west and sensor kicking off nicely as where the north-south remains quiet


That’s very interesting. My Air is located on the hill top with unobstructed view but does record strikes within e.g. 20 km. The sensor is located in a wooden screen with a plastic roof (on top of the wood).
OTH, I have the AS3935 placed 20 km away in the lowlands and starts logging strikes 60+ km away, but I think it is less sensitive in other directions. Maybe I was lucky with installation :blush:
I will rotate the Air and see if it makes any difference. Thanks for your hint.

1 Like

Hello Brian my friend, and thank you again for your input and experimentation, - the lil Franklin lightning sensor is amazingly sensitive if you take the time to orient the AIR for your unique location. I usually get a minimum sensitivity of 35km and have seen up to 120km when atmospheric conditions are conducive
Apparently lightning exhibits behavior similar to AM skip. As a new amateur radio convert, I wish the ionsphere would take a hit for the team :slight_smile: Rock on mate !

1 Like

Are you on the years-long Blitzortung waiting list yet? Their receiver can allegedly detect strikes from thousands of miles away, thanks to VLF and sky propagation…

Not yet , the waiting list is huge, so I thought it better to let the people that had been waiting for longer to get the goodies.

That’s the whole idea of getting onto the list now…everyone else will be served by the time that your name reaches the front of the queue…


I do understand that actually …
However as previously mentioned I am a new amateur radio officionado and my antenna farm is sadly lacking, and a direct sampling SDR will definitely take precedence over that.
As well there is a blitzortung station pretty close to my location so the priority is lower in my opinion. Tell my bees otherwise in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter and I will be happy to comply :grinning:

hello hope you are well and in good health…

VLF the bottom of end of the spectrum there used to be some interesting weather facsimile stations within a regular range of the uk particularly coastal marine synoptic stuff also a lot AP press transmissions i remember decoding a facsimile the night the berlin wall came down same image appeared all over the newspaper’s next day used to be fun…
for lightning a well made loop resonant or close as you can get it can work wonders , closer the resonance the lower the noise floor… i used sell them to SWL and radio ham enthusiasts,built a few out of copper wire and a few capicitors , small wire wound transformers , ham radio I use to love it really did …

anyway some good news there is a new lightning product on the horizon its a single pole type antenna with a box of tricks , its made in your part of the world australia…expected price in the region of $500 , the guy william who now maintains the template i use to do is testing one with some really good results 3rd top module …as much i know at present might be worth get in touch with him… brian


There is literally no product that has a multi-year queue that to me is worth lining up for. That’s just beyond ridiculous. I just can’t believe that company (?) still exists and that there isn’t an alternative that actually has a product that’s comparable or better.

Blitzortung isn’t a company. It is community driven and basically it was launched by 2 Germans, Egon and Tobi that are still the 2 central persons. And they have a day time job so it is in their spare time.

The goal is not to set out maximum stations in already over crowded regions. New stations are priority to remote areas like South America, Africa etc. Knowing that the boards are produced in small batches and some parts need assembling by Egon.

Last winter it was rather low volume production as a major server outage basically broke down the whole network. It took them weeks to get all back on track (and there are still bugs).

So it is slow growing but for good reasons. It isn’t just getting a station, it is also about educating people how to find a sweet spot for it as many, but really many sources can produce literally thousands of signals and hour spamming the servers.


Blitzortung is not a company, but rather a self-funded group of hobbyists creating an impressive lightning strike database free for the use of data contributors, apparently with no plans to monetize the collected data.

The “kit” that they offer when your name finally reaches the top of the queue is a pick list of parts that you want from them, and you are free (and encouraged!) to source any of them (like the 4 x $12.00 RF filter chips) locally if you can get them cheaper. Even if you buy everything they offer (~$350 USD after shipping), you still need to source a power supply, GPS antenna/LNA, interconnect cables, and construct the required antennas. I’ll be in over $400 USD by the time mine is online.

It appears that they are running small batches of hardware from available funds, and possibly losing out on bulk discounts from larger board runs. I was wondering why they did not just publish the board at one of the open-source hardware (OSH) PCB manufacturers and let everyone obtain their own. Seeing how they have gone out of their way to hide the Blitzortung web site account signup link in the board’s firmware (and apparently pre-tied to the board’s ID), their decision not to do that may be an effort to prevent their lightning data from getting junked-up like WU’s PWS bad data.

As Groucho Marx said, I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.

Speaking of lightning, my watch is going crazy with lightning alerts from my two currently-running Airs at home right now…


ok that helps a lot - thanks. I think I’ll pass on worrying that one, as we get so little lightning in the local area here anyway. If it’s 5 times a year we hear thunder, it’s a lot.

I was just watching the Blitzortung live vector map, and the station on Reunion Island (western Indian Ocean) is detecting multiple hits for storms in Alabama (USA) and the northern Gulf of Mexico…

1 Like

those remote stations are assigned multiple regions as they are pretty alone in their corner.
This is also to allow them to help for ex with strikes in Africa