About the article

Lightning Intensity Detector

An indicator for extremely high voltages

Lightning Intensity Detector
It is generally known that the forces of nature can be destructive, as proved time and again by storms, tsunamis, tornados, tidal waves and earthquakes to mention but a few. Fortunately, the occurrence of these awe-inspiring natural forces is rare. The thunderstorm, a more frequently occurring phenomenon with less impact than any of the above (but by no means less dangerous), is caused by electricity (at an enormous scale), which makes it suitable for detection by electronic means.The author got the idea to design this circuit during an outdoor sports event. Many among the audience were quick to deploy their umbrellas when it started to rain. This happened while a distant sound of thunder could be heard. All of a sudden, a large group of people appeared to throw their umbrella to the ground.
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor GREEN and GOLD members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.

Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

Component list
R1 = 10k?
R2,R4 = 10M?
R3 = 22k?
R5 = 2k?2
R6,R 7= 1k?
C1-C4 = 100nF
D1,D2 = LED, red, low-current
IC1,IC2 = 4093
IC3 = 78L05 (see text)
ANT = antenna, telescopic whip or 1 metre wire
K1 = 9V battery with clip-on leads
S1 = pushbutton, 1 make contact
PCB, available from The PCBShop
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