Most helpful critical review
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Initial Thoughts On SkyScan
on June 17, 2010
This is an initial report on the SkyScan instrument. Dimensions are about 16.5 cm x 8cm x 3.5 cm. Weight is probably 1-2 pounds with the batteries. Size is convenient if you have a small backpack, a fanny pack, or a large pocket in your coat. The advertised life when fully operational is 40-50 hours, but you can lengthen this to 70 hours if you use Battery Save mode. You can set the Range Select so that the unit will warn you (audible) about lightning within the following ranges: 0-3 miles, 3-8 miles, 8-20 miles, 20-40 miles. However, the scanner will also give you ranges to all lightning bolts, regardless of where you set the audible alarm signal (ranges again broken down into the preceding 4 categories).
See my revised comments. This detector was not nearly as helpful as I had hoped. The problem appears to be that it picks up a lot of cloud-to-cloud lightning, even when there seems to be "nothing going on". Hence from the point of view of a ground observer, it over-predicts the risk of lightning, which is frustrating. It might be of some assitance to storm watchers who work in desert areas and are viewing isolated thunderstorms. In that case the range feature might give you soem idea of the proximity of the thunderhead. But it's hard to say. eanwhile - back to counting seconds while you wait to hear thunder. Hahahaha!