lightning detector

Hey guys, i guess i'll make my first post here.

i'm Dylan, 18 years old and building a lightning detector and planning to do that using a transistor to amplify signals from wire used as an antenna. The sensitivity will be finetuned by a 10k potentiometer and the transistor is a BC547B. Anybody knows if this will work?? Thanks in advance


I have no clue how to do that... Do you have any idea what frequencies you need to pick-up? Is this some kind of radio? (I hear static on the AM radio when there's lightening in the area, but that's very rare here in Silicon Valley).

If you just need amplification, it's a LOT easier to build an amplifier with an op-amp than with a transistor (or multiple transistors). It just takes an op-amp and two resistors, except a "normal" op-amp circuit usually requires positive & negative power supplies.

And of course, if lightening hits your antenna you won't need an amplifier! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I'm gonna try to have it relying on the "spikes" that lightning generates because of it's huge rf field. So basically turn the output down only the "spikes" come trough. The problem is that i'm quite limited on parts because i get almost all my parts from salvaging them from old electronics. Also here by i include a small schematic of the idea

p.s. i'm quite new to electrics

You know, you can buy lightning detector IC's... Embedded Adventures sells one mounted on a breakout board with all the fiddly antenna stuff done for you. They have an I2C interface, and they'll do all sorts of cool stuff like estimate the distance and filter out noise that doesn't look like lightning. So if you're more interesting in doing something with lightning detection, rather than building the lightning detector, that might be a better route for you, particularly if you're "quite new" to electronics.

I know that circuit as you drew it won't work - how do you expect the voltage on the Arduino pin to be anything other than 5v? You need a connection to ground through a resistor. I suspect though that much more is wrong with that, but I don't know enough about that kind of electronics to say what you need to do to fix it.

A general transistor has a gain of maybe 300.

An op-amp is probably more suited to this sort of amplification?

Related but un-related. This is cool no?

Lightning long range