Excessive lightning reports

My new air installation is generating 100s of false positive lightning strikes. I’ve tried all of the suggestions in the community (rotating 90 degrees, using an AM radio to look for interference etc.). No matter the location or what I try I still get literally hundreds of lightning reports a day. The location of the Air appears to have no source of interference that I can detect. Do I have a faulty unit perhaps?

Screenshot_20180910-200051_Smart%20Weather

Move the Air inside to an area you feel is electrically quiet and see the it stops.

1 Like

I just installed my system yesterday and got few false strikes over the night. I’d say it’s about 2 strikes per hour that didn’t happen in reality. I have 2 lightning sensor that are placed in the radius of 10 meters from the Air and did not report false events.
A question to WF ( @dsj ): does Air have a function to raise the noise floor of the Franklin lightning detector? The detector itself supports it. In one of my detectors I constantly use the noise floor setting (it is linked to interrupt that reports a disturber).

Thanks Gary. I tried that already and it didn’t help.

Hi @rocket289k Glad you finally received your new Smart Weather Station. Thanks for letting us all know about your over-active lightning detector. It’s interesting what we all learn about our “invisible” environment when we deploy detection equipment. Electrical interference is everywhere. The Franklin Lightning Detector chip in your AIR is factory-tuned (we worked for months with the sensor chip engineering team) and has some ability to squelch background electrical activity – these disqualified signals are noted as ‘lightning distrubers’ in your station status data. There are, however, environments with lots of electrical activity that closely matches the pulse of distant lightning strikes.

While it’s certainly possible for a Franklin chip to be “defective”, it’s more commonly atrributed to your immediate environment. To test device vs. location, try temporarily installing your HUB + AIR at a completely different location – your office, your friend’s house, your ski chalet in Vail. If you see identical lightning data in a completely new location, then you have data to support a faulty sensor theory. If not, then it’s likely electrical interference in your location. Let us know what happens.

1 Like

Will do. Are there additional steps I can take to monitor for any potential electrical interference in my present location? I’d like to determine if current location is “electromagnetically noisy” and would be causing the massive number of false positives. In addition, the “lightning strikes” indicate the disruption must be very weak as the app indicates the lightning is > 12 miles (20 km) away.

You have a little old portable am radio ? This is a very nice tool to find noise sources nearby.

Just tune to an empty channel and listen to the clicks and zzzzzz … walk around and pass near electric/electronic stuff like your telly, a computer screen, a transfo etc etc and yes even your light bulbs, especially low energy bulbs (most leds are ok)
You’ll be surprised by the noise all those devices make. Now if you go back like 50 cm and it is near nothing, that won’t affect the air module. But if you have some electric pump or your oil heater … each time these kick in, you often have like a nice ‘spark’ … those kind of ‘sparks’ can trigger false positives.

A continuous ‘noise’ is mostly filtered out but those occasional random sparks are really hard to filter (no way to predict)

Have fun discovering your noisy surroundings (and walk to your neighbours … yep they might have stuff ‘sparking’ around

2 Likes

I appreciate the suggestion. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my initial post I already tried the AM radio method tuned to as close to 500 khz as possible. In the location that the Air is currently residing, I could find no evidence of "electromagnetic noise (e.g. pops, loud statics etc.) using the AM radio. I did discover noisy places in the house (near WiFi routers, TVs, Monitors, Motion Detectors). The Air is at least 50 ft from any known noisy location in the house and the AM radio method indicates that area doesn’t appear to have any detectable interference.

4 Likes

UPDATE

I purchased two Weatherflow systems. I finally had an opportunity to setup the second system (Air, Sky and Hub) and I have absolutely zero issues with the Lightning detection system in the 2nd unit. I first placed the Air in the house and then installed it in the exact same location as the unit that is producing hundreds of false positives. It’s been running for several hours and I have not received a single lightning indicator.

I’m wondering if the Air contains some internal shielding for the Franklin chip (which is missing my 1st unit) given the frequency at which the false positives are occurring (100’s of weak lightning indicators per day). If so, perhaps the unit is in fact creating it’s own issues with due the pulses from its internal electronics.

Regardless it appears I have an issue with my 1st Air module vs. environmental electromagnetic noise. Please advise next steps to obtain a replacement Air module.

You might have to contact WeatherFlow support via E-Mail : support@weatherflow.com
Please mention your station IDs and the Serial#s of the Airs within the mail.
The WFsupport will contact you maybe beginning of next week.

That is certainly possible - sounds like you’ve done some good troubleshooting. Please send an email to support@weatherflow.com or fill out the form at http://got.wf/contact, reference this forum thread, and they’ll take care of you ASAP.

Will do - thanks very much

One more test to do is to check if the second unit is detecting lightning at all.

1 Like

I’ve recently installed the weather station at my cottage in Montana. I have very tall trees all around so finding a spot for the sky will be challenging but the roof of the house seems the best. I’m currently leaving it on a playground for winter. I keep getting lightening strike notices. Any idea why? I get a notice every few minutes but there is no lightening that I can see. Have I done something wrong?

read this topic from the beginning for some tips and also use the search with ‘lightning’

there are several other threads regarding this. Most probably you have a nearby device triggering it

1 Like

Thanks. I moved it to the outside of the deck. Must be getting triggered off the electrical panel below it.

Regards,

Serge Bisson

1 Like

On 2nd replacement Air unit. First unit worked perfectly for lightning detections. 2nd unit in exactly same location etc. Nothing else has changed but I’m getting tons of incorrect lightning detections. I can’t get at it for the moment because of snow but just wondering why there might be such a difference between first and second unit. …

Still having false lightning readings almost a month later. When the snow melts, I’ll rotate the unit inside the solar protector unit to see if that makes a difference. (Or did my neighbour install a nuclear reactor in her back shed … hmmm)

Getting notifications of lightning strikes and there are no storms anywhere in within fifty +/- miles of my site.

guess I’ll repeat me once more

read this topic from the beginning for some tips and also use the search with ‘lightning’

there are several other threads regarding this. Most probably you have a nearby device triggering it

4 Likes