New Hub with firmware v171 Lightning Count Low From Storms

Installed a replacement hub after the original hub that was only 3 weeks old no longer booted. I noticed the replacement hub came with firmware v171 installed already. Others around me have v170 still.
A round of severe storms came through the area 8/20/2021 afternoon and then again in the late evening. My hub only reports 1463 lightning strikes ( Another station 1.2 miles away reported 3856 (

There were several instances of strikes where I saw the flash and instantly heard the thunder so it was overhead with hail included but the app/web page did not show they occurred. Then others it would count.

Is there any reason to believe the new firmware v171 is limiting the lightning detection?

My station for 8/20/2021
Screenshot 2021-08-21 124043

Station 1.2 miles away for 8/20/2021

A lightning detector has limits. Basically a too close storm will send it in disturber mode. The energy is too high and it has to protect itself by turning down it sensitivity and there is a point it goes ‘deaf’.

We see this also with more sophisticated detectors like the ones from Blitzortung (another detector further away will take over and it is the network as a whole that manages) The one in the Tempest is meant as an early warning and not a perfect measuring system. Maybe the closest one you looked at was far enough as to avoid the ‘deaf’ situation.

Also the surrounding has influence. If you have a heavy spammer (airco, induction cooking plate … bad old relais etc) your detector is already in a disturber mode by ‘default’ and hears less. And the spammer can be your neighbourhood and not especially something you have.

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is that really a thing that it goes into disturber mode with a close storm? That is a first I hear that is happening.

Blitzortung ONLY reports thunder far a way, very far away. I assume that is because it wants to do triangulation with other far away detectors to calculate the position.

The number of strikes isn’t near the true number of strikes. The unit only detects a percentage of all strikes. I wouldn’t care too much as long as it gives you an impression of the intensity of the storm.

Of course they might have changed something in the firmware. If they did, it is probably to better suppress false lightning reports.

As a start BO systems do not work alone but only in network compared to the Franklin detector inside the Tempest.
Secondly it detects even if if happens 2 meters away but the signal is so distorted (amps just can’t handle it, even if auto tuning is set and it goes in minimal amplification)) and it will be rejected by the servers from BO as not suitable for triangulation.
And my BO detector is on average used till lightning is closer than 7 to 10 kilometers from it. Below that range other stations are priority for triangulation.

And to set it clear for newcomers, BO systems are used (experiment wise) to get strokes accurate to 200 meters if possible via triangulation of 4 or more stations in network. The Franklin detector in the Tempest is just meant as an early warning system for incoming lightning strikes (and it can’t say from which direction, just a best guess on distance which it does pretty well honestly).

to confuse things a bit more the Blitzortung system needs indeed that network. The Franklin detector inside the tempest does not. It reports what it calls the front of the storm (basically the nearest strike). However the tempest IS connected to a network and about a year ago Weatherflow decided the augment the measured lightning data with data sourced from other systems (so not only your tempest). So the data one currently sees in the app is a vague mixture of local measured data and remote data. The source of that remote data is still an internal Weatherflow secret, it might even be blitzortung, who knows ;-).
A T-storm is heading my way (still 300km away) but I’m not sure if it reaches my position. It might have died out by then. If it does I’ll check if my sensor goes into disturber mode.

I can say with 100% confidence : NOPE


I did check the status page during the storm and the status did change from OK to disturber mode quite a lot. A lot of great insight provided in the responses on how it works. I was just struck (not by lightning) at how a close station had over 2.5 times the number of strikes.


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Blitzortung is a PRIVATE network, and does not license their data to anyone for commercial use. New members of their network have to take a test before being allowed in, and this very topic is one of the test questions…

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and how is this without a storm, no disturber mode?

Yes, without a storm status is OK.

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interesting for sure.