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Old 01-04-2021, 01:31 PM
1001001's Avatar
1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,128
Default Storm Scopes / Strike Finders - What New Options Are There?

I have been doing some searching around this site as well as on the internet generally, peeking into various vendors' web sites, etc. and haven't found a good answer to this:

What new options are there in the strike finder / storm scope market? The Insight Strike Finder is the only one that seems to still be in production, and it doesn't seem to offer any sort of option to provide data to a MFD. Most of the information I can find relates to very old designs such as the WX-500 (out of production, available on the used market at relatively high prices). It can interface with the GNS and GTN navigators (and probably the Avidyne navs as well).

Is anyone making a stormscope/strike finder that interfaces with modern MFDs such as the G3X or Dynon/Advanced systems?

I'm interested in this because it seems a good idea to have some sort of real time lightning detection as opposed to the delayed products offered by FIS-B and SiriusXM weather.
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Old 01-04-2021, 02:03 PM
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Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sherman, CT
Posts: 926

I have used a variety of lightning detection devices such as the Stormscope and Strikefinder, and have never had much luck with them. The next best thing to airborne WX radar is the Nexrad display despite being a time delay.
RV6 #20477 completed 1991 sold.
RV7 #72018 N767T first flight 11/21/2017
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Old 01-04-2021, 02:54 PM
Handclutch Handclutch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Bendigo, Australia
Posts: 125

I had Strike Finders in a couple of aircraft and found them to be excellent.

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Old 01-04-2021, 03:30 PM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 566
Default Big Jets

Talking to people who fly the big jets, the data-link weather products prove to be surprisingly useful. XM or similar. The advantages being the essentially unlimited range and no blind spots.

Lightening detectors are great at determining relative bearing of the strike, but range is quite inaccurate based on varying strengths of lightening bolts. Fancy weather RADAR systems have blind spots behind other cells, limited range (50-100 miles practically speaking).

With delayed data-link weather RADAR, deviations and re-routes around weather can be set up and programmed 100, 200, 300+ miles ahead of time to avoid the whole area of thunderstorms entirely. Can't do that with a lightning detector or weather RADAR.

I suppose my point is don't discount the data-link weather, and use it in conjunction with a lightning detector. I'm sure we'd all love weather radar, but maybe not the price tag or weight.
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Old 01-04-2021, 03:38 PM
1001001's Avatar
1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,128

My intent is not to discount the FIS-B weather; I find it very useful. However, I am interested in having a true real-time source of lightning data. I don't intend to use it for tactical weather avoidance, but I would like something a little better than what's available with data link weather. The data can be 15 minutes or more old before it gets displayed on the MFD/tablet/whatever display, even with the regional NEXRAD products, which "update" every 5 minutes--but still display data collected potentially as long as 15 minutes before the broadcast.

Also, FIS-B is not really a help in the Caribbean, and even SiriusXM doesn't extend there very far, from what I have read.

Last edited by 1001001 : 01-04-2021 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 03:44 PM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 929
Default Storm Scopes / Strike Finders - What New Options Are There?

I'm installing a (used) WX-500 in my RV-9A (not flying yet). Didn't realize they were no longer in production. I wanted something that was not geographically limited. I found this link to XM weather, looks OK for CONUS and southern Canada, but you don't have to fly too far north to lose coverage.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2020/2021 VAF Contribution Sent
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:54 PM
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rocketbob rocketbob is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: 8I3
Posts: 3,671

I removed a WX-10A system from my Comanche and I'll bet the system with antenna and cables weighed every bit of 20lbs, maybe more.

Please don't PM me! Email only!

Bob Japundza CFI A&PIA
N9187P PA-24-260B Comanche, flying
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N244BJ RV-6 "victim of SNF tornado" 1200+ hrs, rebuilding
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Last edited by rocketbob : 01-04-2021 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:20 PM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 696

I flew with a stormscope in a Cherokee for about 30 years - never had a bad steer with it. Really worked quite well.

I don't have one in my RV7A because of the panel space I had to work with just doesn't allow for it. And, at my stage of flying, I don't seem to need to stare down thunderstorms quite as much as in past years.
RV7A (N7101) - Flying 10/2008
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Old 01-05-2021, 09:08 AM
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Thermos Thermos is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KASH
Posts: 543

I had a Insight Strikefinder in the Archer I co-owned for several years, it had been installed by the previous owner. We were never able to get rid of nuisance strikes on the display that I assume were triggered by noise generated on the airplane. My A&P and I tried everything - extra grounds, shielded P-leads, new ignition harness, new antenna and other stuff - nothing helped. After awhile we gave up because we realized that if we needed realtime on-board lightning detection, we were probably someplace we shouldn't have been in the first place.

If you install a lightning detector in your RV, follow the instructions to the letter and make sure your spark-generating/radiating devices are well shielded.

Dave Setser
EAA Technical Counselor
Nashua, NH (KASH)

Last edited by Thermos : 01-05-2021 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 01-05-2021, 10:56 AM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 696

It helps to have static wicks
RV7A (N7101) - Flying 10/2008
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