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LD-250 Portable Lightning Detector
Perfect for Laptops and Mobile Field Operations- includes GPS support!


The Boltek LD-250 Lightning Detector puts a live lightning map on your laptop or desktop computer. Within milliseconds of a lightning strike the detector beeps and your computer displays the strike location. The LD-250's direction-finding antenna measures lightning strike direction while the LD-250's receiver estimates distance from received signal strength. Advanced signal processing in software improves distance accuracy, reducing the effects of strike-to-strike variations in strike energy.


The LD-250 can warn of both close and severe thunderstorms. If a storm is detected closer than a preset distance or the strike rate exceeds a preset limit, the LD-250 sounds its internal alarm and activates the computers alarm tone or WAV file notification. Both the Close Storm and Severe Storm alarm statuses are indicated on the LD-250's front panel. 


Strike rates, both Close Strikes / Minute and Total Strikes / Minute are shown for the previous hour on the Strike Rate Trend Graph letting you easily see if storms are increasing in severity or dying off. 


Three display ranges, 100, 200 and 300 miles (160, 320 and 480 km) allow you to zoom into the region of interest. Zoom out to the maximum range of 300 miles (600 miles across) or zoom in to 100 miles to see only the nearby storms. 


LD-250 lightning data is live! Your computer beeps and displays the strike within milliseconds of the strike happening!  With the LD-250 Lightning Detector you are actually detecting the lightning strikes themselves. There are no on-line or recurring charges of any kind. 


Do you need to put this unit on video or Television? We have solutions! Call our tech line at 530-899-8434 or email us with your special needs. We provide support for Cable TV and broadcast television use of these products.





The LD-250 connects to your computer's RS232 port making it suitable for use with both laptop and desktop computers. The LD-250 will even detect lightning when your computer is turned off. When the LD-250 starts beeping or the Strike light starts flashing you can turn on your computer to see where the storms are located.


You can also connect a GPS receiver to have an instant indication of your location and direction on the map.




LD-250 Lightning Detector has two built-in alarms: a Close Storm Alarm and a Severe Storm Alarm. The Close Storm Alarm will activate if a thunderstorm is detected closer than a preset distance. The Severe Thunderstorm Alarm activates if the number of lightning strikes per minute exceeds a preset limit.


The LD-250 will sound an alarm tone when either alarm activates. Front panel pushbuttons allow both the Strike tone and Alarm tones to be disabled.


The computer can also be configured to sound an alarm tone and/or pop up a notification window when an alarm activates. Alarm status is indicated by the color of the Close Storm distance circle and Severe Storm status indicator in the top left corner of the map window.



Use the LD-250 with a Global Positioning System:


Connect your GPS or marine compass to your LD-250 and track lightning from your car, truck or boat.  Your GPS receiver must have a GPS/Compass Port adhereing to the NMEA standard, 4800 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity. Check with your GPS manufacturer if you aren't sure.


Also, for portable laptop use, you'll need TWO RS232 Com ports, one for the lightning detector, another for the GPS receiver. We have USB enabled serial ports available to add to your laptop if you only have one serial port. $39.95 Call us at 530-899-8434 to special order.

Turn on the LD-250's heading indicator when running mobile. The blue triangle in the center of the screen rotates as your vehicle turns to show the LD-250 is using your GPS or marine compass to correct for changes in your vehicle's direction.


Small antenna unit mounts anywhere:


The LD-250 uses a small active antenna to receive the radio signals from lightning strikes. These signals are the crackling you hear on an AM radio during a thunderstorm. The direction-finding antenna is able to tell which direction the signal is coming from. The software measures the strength of the received signals to estimate distance.  Special signal processing in software reduces the effects of strike-to-strike energy variations providing more accurate distance information.


The antenna may be mounted indoors (in a wood framed house for example) or outdoors.  For mobile installations it is mounted outside on the roof of the vehicle using a small vertical mast (such as a PVC pipe).


You can use standard CAT5 10 base T computer networking cable to connect the antenna to the LD-250 receiver. 50 feet is included, but you can extend up to 200 feet if needed.

#WXBK-LD-250   Boltek Long Range Lightning Detection Kit:   $849.00 (List Price $1199.00)   Qty:

Includes LD-250 Receiver, Antenna, 50 feet of Antenna Cable, RS232 Cable, GPS Cable, Windows Software, and Manual

#WXBK-ANT-1   Extra Antenna For Boltek Products:   $139.00 (List Price $149.00)   Qty:

Buy an extra antenna if you will be moving the LD-250 between two locations.

#WXBK-ENC-1   Boltek Outdoor Antenna Enclosure:   $104.72 (List Price $119.00)   Qty:

Protect your Boltek lightning antenna from the elements for extended life.



LD-250 Hardware Specifications

Power Supply Voltage: 11.8-18 VDC,  0.8 Amp  

AC Adapter: 120 VAC, 60Hz (220VAC 50 HZ in Europe)

RS232 Port:  9600 baud, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no parity.

USB Adapter Cable

Antenna: Standard Boltek Lightning Detector Antenna (StormTracker compatible)

Antenna Cable: Standard CAT5 Network Cable. 50 feet included. Custom lengths available on request.

GPS/Compass Port: NMEA standard 4800 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity

GPS Sentence: $GPRMC

Compass Sentence: $HCHDM

RS232 Data Format: ASCII, NMEA style data sentences, GPS/Compass data passed through

LD-250 Dimensions: 4.9" x 7.0" x 1.1" (123 x 178 x 29 mm)

Antenna Dimensions: 1.5" x 2.0" 3.7" (38 x 51 x 94 mm)

LD-250 Weight: 0.8 lbs (375 gm)

Antenna Weight: 0.45 lbs (200 gm)

Shipping Weight: 5.6 lbs (2.6kg)

Shipping Dimensions: 9.0" x 11.5" x 6.5" (229 x 292 x 165 mm)


Software Specifications

Operating Systems: Windows 2000, XP, 98, 95, NT 4.0 and 3.1

COM Ports Supported: COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4

Display Ranges: 100, 200 and 300 miles (160, 320 and 480 km)

Severe Storm Alarm Setpoint: 0-999 Strikes / Minute

Close Alarm Setpoint: 0-300 miles


Instruction Manual (.PDF - requires Adobe Reader)
    LD-250 Manual


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