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Lightning Detector

It is often in the pursuit of one project that leads one to build others. For example, let us say that the work of Victor Frankenstein was being prepared for duplication at the premier Louisville, KY hackerspace; LVL1. Instead of pursuing special wiring and fuse boxes from the landlord and LG&E, this LVL1 were to go old school and rely on the weapons of Zeus. Detecting the approaching wrath of the pagan abomination would be necessary to time the re-expression of Dr. Frankenstein’s genius. With the readily available Lightning Detection Modules with multiple built in functions, commencing Victor’s opus would be easy, if not too easy. And so, with an eye on sanctity and purity of the ultimate goal, they have decided to build a simple circuit attributed to Charles Wenzel and condemn the modern modules. The basic working principle is a 300kHz tank circuit with antenna. Lightning strikes induce a oscillation which is detected and amplified into a pulse. An arduino then measures the analog voltage of the generated pulse, displays a simple magnitude indicator and increments a counter. The device uses a loop of Neopixel LEDs to display the count. Added to the circuit is a Real Time Clock module which also displays the time on the loop.”

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