Lightning detection

1. Lightning radar MDF (= magnetic-direction-finding system)

Frank Kooiman (who passed away 2012) developed my first "Lightning Radar" that was used as single lightning station or in combination with a remote station. "Lightning Radar" was an easy and very cheap (40 Euro) homemade system which consists of a power supply, an amplifier circuit, a double frame antenna and a free software. I used this system until 2009.

2. TOA (= time-of-arrival system) "system green"

Egon Wanke ( has designed an advanced lightning detection circuit in 2009. With the use of a GPS device we can determine the time of lightning stroke within 1 µsec. 4 stations have to detect same strike and with time-of-arrival calculations it is possible to determine lightning stroke position with an accuracy <1000m. This system uses same technology as ALDIS or BLIDS.
Costs are 140 Euro (preamplifier & evaluation board, GPS, box, power supply) with free software. See construction manual by Egon Wanke.

I also tried the Navilock EM-406A (with PPS output) with a SIRF3 chip for higher sensitivity (size of 30 x 30 x 10 mm). Now it is possible to receive the GPS signal inside a room (near the window).

Either you use the double frame antenna seen above under "lightning radar" or 2 small ferrite antennas by Wolfgang Friese mounted in the preamplifier board housing.

3. "System Blue" TOA lightning

In 2016 it was time to upgrade from "green" to "blue system".
Main improvements:
   - Smart system
   - Onboard GPS with GPS antenna
   - Circuit board with premounted SMDs
   - Digital filter after antenna input (optinonal)
   - No need of additional mputer software, direct connection from µ-controller to server
   - Suitable aluminium case
   - 5V USB power supply

Assembly (soldering) takes only 30 minutes due to presoldered SMDs.