Listen to/feel lightning

I recently watch moon ribas seismic implant LINK and was thinking about what else this concept could apply to. 

Then I remeber back to when i was messing with tesla coil to this weird little build that would let you listen to lightning strikes miles away. LINK

I feel like this could be done easily enough as a wearable to start. Build one of the detectors, connect it to your computer and rather than having it produce sound, send the signal through bluetooth or something similair to the wearable and make it vibrate. You could even build 3 detectors and put them in a big triangle. Then have 3 vibrating motors in the wearable. May let you triangluate where the signal came from. plus 10 points if the thing adjusted for your rotation relative to the detector. 



  • I think that's actually quite interesting. I'm even more interested in moons wearables/implants. When I get to the iPad I'm actually gonna look more into it.
  • So there are a few phenomena that we can listen to. I think the easiest by far is called a whistler LINK. It's indicative the one indicative of lightning. The other, though I'm not sure you can detect it with this setup is called a dawn chorus LINK which sounds like birds and is from stuff interacting with the radiation belts. They tend to happen near dawn or during an aurora. So maybe we do like a bracelet sorta like north paw but the vibrations would correspond to the sort of signal. Play a different pattern for different types of whistlers or a dawn chorus. 

    If we wanted to take it further we could set up a network of these that could work together so you can feel storms even farther away. Maybe the further it is from you, the weaker the vibrations. Set it so you only get signals from detectors within a certain radius so there isn't so much noise and you get relevant data. 
  • I think the network would be great. That could very easily be a new means for weather forecasting(maybe even more accurate).

    I think the most useful would definitely be a whistler but I also think the chorus would be awesome to simply have. For my area we don't really see aurora down here but it would be great to know if we might.

    I could see it as bracelet I'm not sure how large that would actually have to be to function. Maybe having it link up to a phone to save size?
  • that's what I was thinking. Communicate via bluetooth and then your phone would be connected and interact with the network. I ordered a kit to make one of the detectors to mess around with. If it's easy to pick up stuff then this really could be a great. What would be super cool is if the bracelet knew its orientation so if you point it in a direction you can feel stuff coming from that direction but if it's pointing down or up you would get from the surrounding area. Would make it really easy to feel where the storm is. 

    Hand down, feel a vibration on the top. Raise hand to horizontal, vibrations get stronger if you're pointing in the right direction. Add in specific patterns for specific sounds and you've got yourself a long rand electromagnetic sense. Would need a few things to work. Would probably want to make the detectors into a simple arduino based kit or something similar so they're easy to put together and set up and add to the network. The bracelets would be simple enough, 8 vibrators, battery, bluetooth, accelerometer, compass. Could almost make it into a sleek gauntlet design so it's stealthier. If you wanted to get fancy you could add LEDS or just use LEDS if you want it to be visual based. 
  • edited May 2016
    I think an IMU would would do the trick and they are pretty cheap depending on the number of axis you want. That would eliminate the accelerometer and compass and give a little more input.

    Scroll down to IMU.

    I was looking at this for a separate project using BLE

    With just those it's barely at $100 depend on the IMU and the rest of the parts.

    I think a simple led for power would really be all that's needed and some piezos should cover both size and vibration. Next we got your batteries ;)

    EDIT: after looking at them I think this would be the best after reading some reviews/specs but I could be wrong. This is also just me using sparkfun I'm sure other places would have some other choices.
    (I know it's retired)
    For vibrating
  • I was digging around for software to make all this work. Gonna use an audio program to clean up the sound then feed it into an audio analyzer for visualization of the signals.Ought to be good. Got the ship notification so my kit is on it's way. I'm hoping it's here by next week.

    I agree, we can def do this for under 100 bucks. And I'm sure if this were to become a thing we could get the price down. I like the IMU rather than the gyro. Would work way better.
  • I made a parts wish list to see about price on sparkfun. It's only got hardware (no wire and such) and it is just over $100 I'm sure if I shop around I can get that amount lower.
  • For a cost price of less than $100 I'd think you'd have no trouble selling a wearable for $150 (if you planned to commercialise it).

    Maybe integrating a coil into the wearable could utilise implanted magnets as well for the grinders - I don't know how big/powerful such a coil would have to be, so forgive me if that would be implausible.
  • edited May 2016
    the radio parts arrived today. Will need to run out and get some solid core wire for antennas but it's otherwise put together. Had a bit of a listen and I could swear I could hear some rhythmic beeping. Sounded like a mix between an old modem and morse code. Could be nothing, could be army communication. I'll see what it's like once I have proper antenna. 

    Picture of the assembled kit LINK

    Also, checked the weather. Looks like we'll be getting some thunder on sunday so I look forward to giving this a shot
  • You ordered from the link in the instruct a blessing correct? I'm going to be getting one ordered this week hopefully.
  • Success!! Got the thing built and made the antennas and after a bit of fidelling with audio hijack I managed to filter out all the bs and was left with the beautiful chirping of our magnetosphere. Can't put into words how cool this is. Im waiting till sunday since there's supposed to be a thunderstorm and I look forward to listening in. Once I have a nice recording of the audio I'll make a video and show it off. Now i've just gotta feed the recording into a spectrum analyzer to visualize the noise.
  • Did you go pancake or cone for the antenna? I was thinking cone.
  • Sorta both LINK
  • Have you had a chance to hear a storm yet? I was going to have one ready for this week's round of thunderstorms, but I'm still waiting for parts. I still need the variable capacitor and a couple banana plugs. My local Radio Shack doesn't carry bins of components anymore. It's all cell phone and overpriced video cables now.
  • Not yet. There may be one tomorrow and if not there's supposed to be one on sunday. I'm super excited
  • I'm upset I won't have one for the storms that are coming. I have to wait one more day before I can order it.
  • So, you can actually use your soundacrd (maybe) in your computer to recieve the signals. Just connect an antenna into the line in. I'm just using a long male to male headphone cable to start. Honestly works better than the radio itself lol. You need sort of the perfect length cable though. I tried a few and only 1 works well. Also I feed the audio into a spectrum analyzer and you can see 2 very distinct bands. These are local VLF broadcasting stations and are responsible for the modem like noise. I'm more interested in all the background stuff. The weather has picked up here and over the past few hours I've heard it get way more intense, both the chirping and the modem signal. The modem sounding thing wasnt there this afternoon so they must have just started broadcasting recently. I think it'd be cool to isolate just their signal and decode it but that's a project for another time. Eitherway, try that before buying a thing.
  • I'll give that a try. I don't know if I have any true male 2 male auxiliary still. I'll have to look.

    As I type that I realize I do....I use it in my truck for music I could stiff in it up maybe to make it easier.

    I am going to be mixing this receiver with a thought I had been working on for the last couple days. I'm currently working on a beach where white sharks have been seen in the surrounding area and been tagged. I want to test out if I can make a small scale hydrophone that can transmit a ping to this receiver and have it be picked up.

    The people tracking using it to track them need to go get the data from the buoy. I'm hoping this could make it easier by sending it.
  • So, by antenna, I can just plug one end of my 2 sided cable into the mic-in jack, and crank the volume?
  • yes and no. You need a program to filter out all the bs. Anything under 1khz and about 16 seemed to help. What's far better is to use a cable like that, then connect a set of leads to the end and connect an actual antenna. Adjusting the size and location of the antenna will change what you can pick up. I'm gonna test the thing again when there isn't a storm overhead and see if it's quieter. if it is, we know it's working properly. If it doesn't then it could just be weird computer noise. I'll keep you posted. Though, on the spectrum analyzer I'm seeing very distinct patterns so it should be working. Also when I connect the radio it seems to filter a lot of the stuff out and more distinct patterns seem to form, though the noise is basically the same. So I'll keep messing with it.
  • What program are you using for the spectrum analyzer?
  • it's called ispectrum
  • Got it ordered along with some 20ga coming. All I need to do now is pick up some 14ga.
  • I meant to ask you what effect you think a larger container would have?
  • I know that if you touch the conatiner it messes with the signal, so you probably want one that's really well insulated. But I dunno. Only 1 way to find out!
  • That's what I'm thinking. I have a bunch of mason jars that are larger (I may make some adult beverages ;) )

    I'll have to give it a try. Where did you find the wire for the antenna I tried Home Depot but couldn't find that specific type. I was gonna try the mom and pop down the road.
  • at home depot, but you have to ask for it
  • My Home Depot has rolls of solid copper wire in rolls near the electrical department. I had to get an employee to unlock the rack and cut it. 
  • Ok i guess I'm make a trip to it. I tried looking online for it but failed.
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