Technical Sales Coverage for Australia and New Zealand – Announcement

We are happy to announce a brand-new international partner, providing Technical Sales and Support coverage for Australia and New Zealand! ASD Technology, based in Sydney and found here online: http://www.asdtech.com.au/, is an excellent Manufacturers’ Representative and we are excited to be the latest addition to the ASD Line Card!

We look forward to being able to provide unrivaled support and service in Australia and New Zealand with the help of our new partners!


Learn more about ASD on their website HERE
Learn more and click through to a directory of all of NexTek’s International Agents, including ASD Technology now covering Australia and New Zealand.


Now Available – Local Support Covering All Of Canada!

We are extremely excited to announce the formation of a brand new partnership covering Representation and Distribution of NexTek solutions for all of Canada.  We have selected Telepro, Inc to handle all Canadian inquiries, customers, and business directly through their headquarters in Quebec…They have local resources across the Canadian provinces, including offices in the cities of Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary!

As a highly technical sales and distribution organization, Telepro is ideally suited for acting as NexTek’s local agent for any and all opportunities, technical queries, and orders.  We are looking forward to expanding our ability to meet customer needs with local support, and growing our relationship and activity in Canada overall as a result!

Learn More About Telepro by clicking through to their website for more information.  If you are wondering who provides Representation or Distribution for your region of North America or the World, just follow these links to learn more:


Domestic Sales Representatives and Distributors – Map and Contact Information

Contact Us Page – Information for Direct Contact and International Distribution



Announcement – Rankin Components Will Provide Local Sales Representation For Northern California


Once again, we are proud to announce a new Technical Sales partnership!

NexTek and Rankin Components have formed a relationship in order to provide local Technical Sales and Support for customers in the Northern California region.  Rankin is the most recent of a long line of new relationships with highly skilled local manufacturers’ representatives, and we are extremely excited to have them on-board!


Learn More:

Check out the Rankin Components website here: http://www.rankincomponents.com/

See our growing Coverage Map here: NexTek Rep Coverage Map



Summer Lightning Season is Almost Here – Here are 4 Resources for Learning More and Staying Safe!

With Summer just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer Lightning Season is almost here!  In order to learn more about Lightning and Thunderstorms so that you can do your best to stay safe during the season when outdoor activity and thunderstorm activity are both at their peaks…here are 4 Useful Lightning and Thunderstorm related resources!

These tips and information will be useful for any location around the world with a moderate threat of lightning and thunderstorm activity, so don’t hesitate to share them with others!

 

Learn About Staying Safe During a Thunderstorm

 

Thunderstorm Lightning

Have you ever wanted to learn more about how to stay safe during thunderstorm season…?  This NOAA webpage includes proper planning and weather forecast-watching, but also what to do if you are caught in a dangerous situation outdoors.  Follow the link to learn more and jump to the NOAA page!

Summer Lightning Safety – Featured Link (NOAA)

 

Track Lightning and Thunderstorm Activity – Nearby or Across the World!

Lightningmaps.org Screen Shot

Did you know that there are real-time Lightning activity tracking systems available, where you can check for current lightning and thunderstorm activity all around the world?  Primary coverage of the Real Time Lightning Map system is in Europe and North America, but the areas covered are expanding all the time!  Now you can check out activity in your area, or the area you are planning to visit, and make more intelligent decisions with regard to Lightning and Thunderstorm safety!

Real-Time Lightning Map – Featured Link

 

The Science Behind Lightning and Its Awesome Power

https://www.flickr.com/photos/68397968@N07/14600216228

Lightning strikes can be such awe-inspiring natural events, with the power to light up the night sky, travel 10s of miles, and enough energy to start fires and melt metal in their path! Learn more about the science behind Thunderstorms and the Lightning they produce by following the link to our previous post, where you can find the link to wired.com’s original article.

The Science Behind Lightning’s Electric Shows – Featured Link (Wired)

 

Watch Ultra-Slow Motion Video of Lightning Bolts – They Reveal Lightning’s Secrets!

Stepped Leader Lightning GIF

Lightning Strikes form and disappear so quickly, (they are over within 200 microseconds, or <.0002 Seconds!) that it is difficult for the human eye and brain to process as anything other than a rapid single or multiple flash.  However, the formation of a lightning bolt is actually an intricate and multi-step process that is much more complex than we have believed for most of human history.  With the advent of ultra-slow motion video cameras, lightning strikes can be captured during their formation stages all the way through their connection and peak current flow (the brightest flash which results in Thunder.)

Ultra Slow Motion Video of Lightning Strikes! – Featured Link (YouTube)

 

 


Guidelines for Installing Lightning Protection within Hazardous Environments – NexTek White Paper

2000px-EX-logo_svgHave you ever wondered if it was possible to install lightning and surge protection within or nearby to a Hazardous Environment? If so, what sort of factors are important to be aware of during
system design and maintenance?  Are you familiar with NEC, NFPA, or ANSI Explosive Atmosphere Ratings but unsure about how to apply them to surge protection?

The white paper begins with a basic review of Hazardous Environment ratings and classes, as different Hazardous Area ratings could require different technical solutions between them. Beyond explaining the basics of the existing rating system, this article covers how to make a judgment about whether an arrestor can be installed safely in a given location (while maintaining Hazardous Environment requirements compliance.)

Last but not least, there is a checklist of Factors to consider when reviewing a specific application and potential install location within a system. Use these guidelines to carry your own analysis as far as possible, in order to make the proper design and component selection choices.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Lightning Protection in Hazardous Environments then please get in touch with us directly!


Learn More

Technical Note – NexTek Arrestors – Lightning Protection in or near Hazardous Environments (.PDF)

Wikipedia – Electrical Equipment In Hazardous Areas (link)


Technical Support Contact
Mike Kauffman
978-486-0582 x13
support@nextek.com

Ultra Slow Motion Video of Lightning Strikes! – Featured Link

https://www.flickr.com/photos/68397968@N07/14600216228
CC 2.0 BY MattysFlicks

In order to kick off 2016 properly, we have decided to share something quite fascinating and cool for our first post of the year!

Lightning bolts and the thunderstorms that create them are constantly and exhaustively researched all around the world.  Although we have a good general understanding of how a Lightning Strike forms, it’s general characteristics, and when conditions make a storm or strike likely…  Even world-class scientists do not know nearly everything about lightning and how it works!

For example, we generally do not have any concrete evidence regarding what makes a lightning bolt hit a specific spot on the earth, as opposed to any number of other spots nearby.

Because there is still so much unknown about lightning, there some researchers who record thunderstorms and lightning activity with ultra-slow motion video cameras in order to try and learn more about what happens during the actual lightning event.  The hope here is that by slowing down what is generally a “blink-of-the-eye” event, we should be able to pull out much more detail about how lighting bolts form and the sequence of events going on to make each event happen.

Slow Motion Lightning, 12 July 2015 from ZT Research on Vimeo.

One source for this type of video is ZT Research (Vimeo: ZT Research), which has some incredibly detailed and interesting slow-motion video segments which capture multiple lightning strikes.  In fact, in the video example above you will be able to see how each lightning bolt ends up choosing a single path at the last second, from many hundreds of potential paths that show up during formation of the lightning strike.

As the energy within the cloud builds up to a point where it is enough to form a discharge (i.e. a lighting bolt!), multiple small “leaders” begin to descend from the cloud…  As the leaders travel closer and closer to the ground and form multiple potential pathways for the lightning strike, ultimately there is a leader which wins the race and makes a connection between Cloud and Ground….Once this connection is present, the main lightning strike and energy flow occurs as the main lightning bolt flashes (sometimes more than once) as the hundreds of kiloamperes are transferred.  This is the main Lightning Bolt!

Stepped Leader Lightning GIF

After the main Cloud to Ground stroke, there is usually also a return stroke which follows the same path and actually initiates from the Ground and is effectively an energy transfer in the opposite direction of the original lightning bolt, from Ground and Cloud in this case!

Check Out Some Other High Speed Lightning Strike Videos Here:
Learn more about Lighting here:

 

NexTek knows lightning, we have over 25 years of experience in designing world-class lightning and surge protection solutions.  See our Coaxial Lighting Protection Product Page to learn more about protecting your radios, antennas, and systems from lighting-related damage.

 


Featured Link: “The Science Behind Lightning’s Electric Shows”

https://www.flickr.com/photos/68397968@N07/14600216228

Today’s post features a short but interesting article on wired.com, which explains the fundamentals behind how lightning is formed and works!

Also included in this post are some interesting lightning-related photos which include some unique shots of various lightning bolts and their effects!  For example, did you know that the earth itself operates as a massive capacitor…developing and holding an electrical charge between the outer atmosphere and the earth itself?  Lightning strikes are a discharge of this energy, and demonstrate the awesome amount of energy that can be stored within this capacitor (earth!)

Find the link to the original article, and some additional resource links, below:

Wired.com Article Link:  http://www.wired.com/2015/10/the-science-behind-lightnings-electric-shows/

Learn More

In addition, you can learn more about Lightning on Wikipedia here:  Wikipedia Article – Lightning
Finally, to learn more about how NexTek solutions can protect radios, antennae, and other electronics against Lightning & Surge Damage… See our line of Coaxial Arrestors, and learn more about What We Do.

Featured Link: Real-Time Lightning Map

Did you know that Lightning Strikes can be tracked and mapped? Lightning strikes emit significant RF energy in the kHz range, and this radio energy can be tracked and received at extremely long ranges.  Each lightning bolt itself acts as a large antenna, emitting a pulse of radio energy.  In fact, the first lightning detector was built in 1897 and was actually the first radio receiver in the world!

Learn more about Lightning Detection on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_detection

There have been lightning detection networks run by private companies for years (see: Vaisala’s NDLN), but there has been a new open-source detection network created by an organization called Blitzortung.  By creating a low-cost lightning detector design and providing the plans online, Blitzortung has created a real-time Lightning Detection network with impressive results!  Essentially, the system uses multiple lightning detectors combined with precise timestamps (using GPS Receivers) to calculate the location and timing of lightning strikes.

Lightningmaps.org Screen Shot

Each detector sends its data to a central calculation server, which combines the data for all sensors and provides excellent estimates for a lightning strike position and timing. As an open-source network, anyone can sign up to build and maintain a lightning detector!  See a map of existing coverage here; http://www.lightningmaps.org/extra/coverage?lang=en

Real Time Lightning Maps has an excellent map which overlays the Blitzortung Lightning Detection data over Google Maps and includes multiple other map layers and features (Link: http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime.)  The level of detail available and the relatively short delay (we have seen anywhere from 1-10 seconds) in the tracking data combine to form an impressive tool! There are even “thunder” lines that appear on the map at high enough zoom settings, which show the propagation of thunder from each strike!

Here at NexTek we deal with Lightning Strikes and Radio Receivers every day as we share our expertise and provide first-class lightning arrestors for coaxial RF applications… We love to see advances that contribute to a better understanding of Lightning, and this tracking system does just that.   Follow the jump to learn more, play with the map, and possibly bookmark the site for later use!

Note:  NexTek has no affiliation with Blitzortung.org or Lightningmaps.org, and this lightning-tracking information is not to be relied upon for public or personal safety.
Blitzortung: http://blitzortung.org
Lightning Maps:  http://www.lightningmaps.org/