Lightning Detector Model: 06045M Interference Detected

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  • Updated 1 year ago

I just purchased a weather station bundle that included a lightning detector.  Last night I had the first thunderstorm since I installed the unit.  I noticed that when I would see a flash of lighting sometimes the interference light would come on and the display unit would flash unable to detect.    Prior to this storm the interference light never came on.   I have the lightning detector hanging out in the open far away from any sources of interference.   The display indicates that 547 strikes occurred.   The interference light continued for the length of the storm.   Is this normal operation?

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Gene20354

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Posted 2 years ago

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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Gene20354,

The lightening detector's interference light will flash if there is interference detected by nearby equipment.  Some things that can cause interference would be electric motors, CRT monitors (PC monitors, TV's), Fluorescent light fixtures when on or off, Microwaves, Computers and mobile phones.  When using the lightning detector, please make sure you are not around any of these items.  The light should not go on during a storm.  We would recommend relocating the sensor to an area where it is at least 3 feet away from electronics that may cause interference.  Please let us know if the issue continues. Thank you and have a great day!
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Gene20354

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The sensor is not near any electronics. The only time the light comes on is during a storm. Had another storm about a week ago. The same occurred. The light was coming on when ever lightening occurred. Do you think that the unit is defective?
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Gene,

When you say the interference light comes on you are referring to the very bottom light correct?   This is what the lightning detector should look like when there has been a detection.





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Gene20354

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Yes the very bottom light on the detector and the display in the house will flash unable to detect. The red lightening detected flashes and at the same time the interference light will illuminate.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Gene,

We have emailed you at the address on file to start a warranty claim. Please check your inbox. Thank you.
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Gene20354

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Got it. Thanks for you assistance!
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Ken Fortenberry

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Had first storm today ,after each lightning strike ,displays message cannot detect lightning,unit is far away from any electronics
(Edited)
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Ken,

Are you getting an interference light on the detector, or is it just saying cannot detect after every strike?

The sensor features enhanced interference rejection capabilities to prevent false lightning detection. When the detector cannot detect lightning due to

interference from nearby equipment, the sensor's interference indicator will flash.

• Electric motors (windshield wiper motor or fan motors in cars, hard drive and optical drive motors on your PC and AV equipment, well pumps, sump pumps)

• CRT monitors (PC monitors, TV's)

• Fluorescent light fixtures (turned off or on)

• Microwave ovens (while in use)

• PC's and mobile phones



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Ken Fortenberry

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Says on inside console after each strike
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AcuRite Jennifer, Employee

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Hello Ken,

Please try to relocate the lightning detector and when the next storm comes see if you get the same message. Follow the guidelines posted above for the detector. Thank you.
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Tony Cellini

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I have one of these and it is completely unreliable.  I'm sitting here in a thunderstorm and it's not doing anything.  And when it does work, the base unit is constantly flashing "unable to detect".  I stood outside with the detector and base unit right next to each other and still only got "unable to detect".
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Tony Cellini

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That's great.  But why the constant "Unable to detect" message on the base unit?  That tells me that something isn't working as it should.

The detection light lights up, but then the orange error light lights up and the base unit reports the error.  Doesn't matter where the detector is or how close it is to the base unit.
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John Z

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"Unable to detect" is the message presented when an electrical disturbance occurs, or when a lightning strike occurs but with a signal that fails to "make the grade". They are treated the same.

The chart attached, taken from the Franklin datasheet and showing detection efficiency versus distance for different sensitivity settings, says that failure to detect
 

can happen quite often. At the far end of its range, and with a mid-level sensitivity programmed in, 90% of strikes might be classified as disturbances, and not accepted for storm-front estimation.

If you are getting that message even while no storm is in range, electrical interference is a strong candidate for cause.
(Edited)
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Tony Cellini

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I only receive it when there's a storm nearby.  If it's a rejection message, then it's a very stupid message.
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John Z

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I agree that the message could be better, as could the user manual description of how the device operates. My 02020CA is very useful to me regardless. I interpret the heightened "unable to detect" messaging as a "head's-up" alert for a storm, and then watch for valid detects and storm front estimates. 
(Edited)
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John Z

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update

The graph posted earlier represents response in detection efficiency as the watchdog threshold (trigger level for evaluation of a signal) varies. What I should have posted was the detection efficiency in response to the spike rejection parameter, a key determinant in whether a signal is classified as a disturber or a lightning strike. 

If you mentally combine these two charts, you will conclude that it is possible for product developers to program the AS3935 to be somewhat permissive, or very restrictive, or somewhere in between in terms of what gets through as a qualified lightning strike. 

Of course we don't know exactly where AcuRite has set these parameters, but as I said earlier, I am very pleased with the performance of my portable detector.
(Edited)