Releew

Stormscope

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Looking for some opinions.....

My Stormscope has failed.  Its had a very slow power up since I got the plane but seemed to be very accurate once operational.  With summer on the horizon in the deep south this instrument along with the ADSB weather has made dodging thunderstorms, tolerable....  Tried turning it on today and it did not power up.  Breaker was fine.  

Any suggestions other than the Avionics shop?

Just curious.....  Whats your opinion on having this instrument in the aircraft?  As mentioned, I do find it helpful but I do not know if I would consider it a necessity.

Thanks,

Rick

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Rick, we've had a few threads on StormScopes here. Try the search function.

I am a big fan of Stormscopes, the first one I bought was made by Ryan who I believe was the original inventor. I have a WX900 now. The display went dark not long after I bought the plane 6 years ago and it cost me $1200 to have send it back to the factory for a complete overhaul. That was 9/12 pricing. I have never had on board radar but I don't believe the other tools we have, ADS-B NEXRAD, XM, etc., can provide the info to fly through a line of CBs and stay away from heavy weather that a Stormscope can. 

If it were mine and if you fly cross country out of New Orleans I would get it repaired for summer trips.

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Stormscope is in my primary scan when I'm flying in IMC. One of my favourite things in the aircraft.

 

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Valentine aviation stormscopes.com can lead you in the right direction. 

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As@Bob_Belville suggested, after you verity it's the unit, send it to L3 for servicing. But if you have a compatible MFD or GPS consider putting the repair cost towards a WX-500 integrated solution instead. That will allow displaying it's output in combination with XM or FIS-B nexrad etc


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Looking for some opinions.....

My Stormscope has failed.  Its had a very slow power up since I got the plane but seemed to be very accurate once operational.  With summer on the horizon in the deep south this instrument along with the ADSB weather has made dodging thunderstorms, tolerable....  Tried turning it on today and it did not power up.  Breaker was fine.  

Any suggestions other than the Avionics shop?

Just curious.....  Whats your opinion on having this instrument in the aircraft?  As mentioned, I do find it helpful but I do not know if I would consider it a necessity.

Thanks,

Rick

 

Rick - like Bob, I’m a believer in the value of a StormScope. Without live radar, this technology is the next best thing. Even if you have a relatively fresh FIS-B or

live radar, there is no guarantee what you are seeing isn’t starting to develop into a CB. Overlaying FIS-B with StormScope data gives you the most information short of seeing it visually.

 

Here is a picture of a dissipating storm. There is no lightning present in this storm but you couldn’t tell that from the FIS-B radar image. The regional FIS-B data is about as fresh as it can be (the time stamp of the upload is 0 minutes old, so the actual weather is probably not much older than 15 minutes) and the look out the window shows the weather in roughly the right location.

 

The StormScope data is overlaid on the display and you can see from the rate indicator in the lower left, there is no lightning activity.

 

9f0c28279da5503b879bdf4d058a9792.jpg

 

467db296c7a53e7ec5cc3631dcf99ccb.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Releew said:

Looking for some opinions.....

My Stormscope has failed.  Its had a very slow power up since I got the plane but seemed to be very accurate once operational.  With summer on the horizon in the deep south this instrument along with the ADSB weather has made dodging thunderstorms, tolerable....  Tried turning it on today and it did not power up.  Breaker was fine.  

Any suggestions other than the Avionics shop?

Just curious.....  Whats your opinion on having this instrument in the aircraft?  As mentioned, I do find it helpful but I do not know if I would consider it a necessity.

Thanks,

Rick

Which stormscope do you have? 

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Looking for some opinions.....
My Stormscope has failed. 
Just curious.....  Whats your opinion on having this instrument in the aircraft?  As mentioned, I do find it helpful but I do not know if I would consider it a necessity.
Thanks,
Rick

If it’s the WX10, they are reaching their end of service life. I’m going to pull mine and get back 10lbs of useful load.
I don’t fly IMC and dodge thunderstorms as a rule. I don’t even like building cumulus clouds for which the SS is useless.

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Actually building cumulus is when the stormscope is most valuable. A developing TS will show strikes long before it paints a radar image. 

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Actually building cumulus is when the stormscope is most valuable. A developing TS will show strikes long before it paints a radar image. 

How’s that possible, the SS detects lightning, no lightning in early stage of development?

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4 minutes ago, teejayevans said:


How’s that possible, the SS detects lightning, no lightning in early stage of development?

It measures electrical discharges. These electrical discharges are occuring during the development stage way before precipitation is presented in the FIS-B radar image.

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Some folks miss the point that while the direction from the activity is accurate the distance from the activity is an indirect display dependent upon strength of signal. The stronger the discharge the closer it is displayed. And multiple dots from the same distant cell attenuate toward the aircraft position. Therefore... if the display is active it is best practice to refresh frequently. If there is a cell that must be avoided it will reappear quickly. If it does not you may assume that the old cell is dissipating. When choosing the softest spot to cross a long line of frontal weather I might be clearing the screen every minute or so.  

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You are very right Bob. I found that range accuracy is not that bad if you assume that any dots displayed on a selected range is true. If you want an accurate distance of the weather start with the closest range switching until the dots show. At that range is where the weather is. This helps in assessing if the weather is behind or in front of your destination.

José 

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The unit is a WX-1000.  I spoke to the folks at L3 and they don't even recommend sending it in.  Quoted a min of 3K.  Said the problem could be in the display but more likely in the processor based on the slow starts I was experiencing.

Thanks for the input.

Rick  

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I love my insight strike finder! I don't know how much they are new, mine came with my airplane.
I am going to send mine in to get the old plasma display change to the LED.

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32 minutes ago, Releew said:

The unit is a WX-1000.  I spoke to the folks at L3 and they don't even recommend sending it in.  Quoted a min of 3K.  Said the problem could be in the display but more likely in the processor based on the slow starts I was experiencing.

Thanks for the input.

Rick  

They are still excellent units. There are a lot of people who have removed these for panel upgrades so there are some available on the used market at reasonable prices. You might call Valentine and they can walk you through diagnosing which part needs to be replaced. If you buy the part from them they offer a one year warranty. Sometimes they have been known to send out a processor or display for you to plug in and see if that fixes it. If it does, pay them, if not send it back.

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The unit is a WX-1000.  I spoke to the folks at L3 and they don't even recommend sending it in.  Quoted a min of 3K.  Said the problem could be in the display but more likely in the processor based on the slow starts I was experiencing.
Thanks for the input.
Rick  


I would also check with Aerodon on this site. I purchased a used WX-500 from him for a reasonable price. The challenge with the WX-500 is having something to display it on.


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I know of at least one unit on beechtalk and Alan Fox recently had one as well.  They’re often on eBay.  Might be worth a consideration.  

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18 hours ago, Releew said:

Looking for some opinions.....

My Stormscope has failed.  Its had a very slow power up since I got the plane but seemed to be very accurate once operational.  With summer on the horizon in the deep south this instrument along with the ADSB weather has made dodging thunderstorms, tolerable....  Tried turning it on today and it did not power up.  Breaker was fine.  

Any suggestions other than the Avionics shop?

Just curious.....  Whats your opinion on having this instrument in the aircraft?  As mentioned, I do find it helpful but I do not know if I would consider it a necessity.

Thanks,

Rick

I have a Wx 500 i can sell you

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I have one.  Mixed opinion.  It is reassuring to be able to see strikes so I won't blunder into something but I rely much more on ground based radar received via ADSB or Sirius-XM.  If it's fixable for like $1000 it's worth it but once it gets above that, I would spend the money on something else.  Just my two cents.

 

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1 hour ago, markejackson02 said:

I have one.  Mixed opinion.  It is reassuring to be able to see strikes so I won't blunder into something but I rely much more on ground based radar received via ADSB or Sirius-XM.  If it's fixable for like $1000 it's worth it but once it gets above that, I would spend the money on something else.  Just my two cents.

 

i certainly understand that, but NEXRAD radar through XM or ADS-B FIS-B do not include lighting strikes. XM does include lightning strikes with their higher end packages but keep in mind they only include ground strikes and none of the more common cloud-to-cloud strikes important in developing convection.

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i certainly understand that, but NEXRAD radar through XM or ADS-B FIS-B do not include lighting strikes. XM does include lightning strikes with their higher end packages but keep in mind they only include ground strikes and none of the more common cloud-to-cloud strikes important in developing convection.

From AOPA article: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/june/29/adsb-advances-advantages

In other news from the recent Equip 2020 meeting, more than 20,000 aircraft are now ADS-B equipped. The FAA also announced plans to make more weather data available to ADS-B users within the next year. The proposed products include lightning strikes, turbulence, current and forecast icing, cloud tops, and one-minute AWOS report.”

 

This was back in 2016, so has anyone checked it lately?

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The FAA ADS-B website noted that adding a lightning product to FIS-B is in the works (although it says "coming in 2017").  They don't say what lightning product they are adding, though.

Also, remember most ATC center facilities can show lightning on their screens.  It's not a required service, and they may balk at interpreting lightning data for you, but if you asked them if they have "any H's or pluses" on the screen, and asked to be vectored at least 20 miles from any of those, they should help out.

Approach facilities have much better weather data on their radar, but I don't know if they actually see lightning.  Still, they can help you avoid any yellow or orange areas on their weather scope.

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