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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:23 am

Thunder activated

Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:27 am

My dog has anxiety when there is thunder outside. Is there a way to program a raspberry pi to detect thunder and automatically start the smart TV or Google speaker to help ease her mind?

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Location: Denmark

Re: Thunder activated

Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:11 pm

Maybe fetching METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) and TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) for nearby airports, and parsing those can make your RPi capable of detecting bad weather. They are text based so they are "easy" to parse.


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Re: Thunder activated

Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:42 pm

It might be easier to detect lightning than thunder. I think some of these exist for sale and are based on static RF spikes caused by lightening. The size of the spikes (amplitude) relates to the distance. Something really broadband like the old crystal sets tuned away from any broadcast sources might work well and would be easy to build. In any case, lightning can be detected at much longer distances with much greater speed.

Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the approach of jet aircraft (and especially the Osprey) and thunder

I had a 70 lb Husky trying to climb into my lap during electric storms.

"Thunder is good. Thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work." (Samuel Clemens).

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Re: Thunder activated

Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:21 pm

As others have suggested, detecting lightning may be the way to go. You can buy ready made break out boards for this, such as this one: ... -1016.html

I have had one these for about a year and I plan to attach this to my Pi based weather station, I just haven't got around to it yet :oops:

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Re: Thunder activated

Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:32 am

This may be the best option...they have already done a ton of pick and shovel work making the PC boards and circuit, figuring out the best frequency range, distance calibration (rough) and lots of other stuff...seems pricey but that is a lot of your time saved for you and put in a nice package. Much cheaper than a vet visit for some tranquillizers for poochy.

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Re: Thunder activated

Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:06 am

Lightning is easier to detect.

AMS lightning sensor AS3935.
Sparkfun and others had/have breakout PCBs.
Sensors have a long way since the first one from Motorola decades ago?
Now this one can detect distance?
$25 is a bargain.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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