SPARK™ Compact Lightning eXplorer™ is a Java™ MIDlet for MIDP 2.0/CLDC 1.1 cell phones. SPARK.CLX is free software which enables you to track near real-time lightning activity using free data obtained from web sites running our NexStorm lightning display and analysis software for Boltek lightning detectors.


SPARK.CLX™ - A pocket size lightning tracker

Web site owners running the latest version of our NexStorm software can configure their system to upload a special, compact lightning data file which SPARK.CLX will download and transform into an interactive lightning map display - right on your cell phone screen!
Disclaimer and License terms

SPARK.CLX is provided "as is" with limited support and no warranty. This software may not be used for operational purposes or the protection of life and property.

By installing this software the user agrees to assume all risk of harm, damage, liability, injury or loss that may be the direct or indirect consequence of using the software, and release Astrogenic Systems from the same.
Table of contents

1. System requirements
2. SPARK.CLX Features
3. Download and installation
4. Operating instructions
5. Key function mappings
6. Frequently asked questions

Pop-up:   Web sites offering SPARK.CLX™ data
Pop-up:   SPARK.CLX™ compatible cell phones
System requirements

• To use SPARK.CLX™ you must have a Java MIDP 2.0/CLDC 1.1 capable cell phone with at least 128x128 pixels color or grayscale display.

• If you are uncertain about your phone's Java capabilites, please check the manufacturers website or the JBenchmark web page where many different phone models and their Java sprecifications are listed.

• Before installing, check this list of known compatible cell phones. Even if your model is not listed it may work providing it is Java MIDP 2.0/CLDC 1.1 compatible. (¹)

• Access to a 3G high speed network is not a requirement but will considerably improve user experience.


(¹) If SPARK.CLX works on your phone and the model is not listed in the compatible cell phones list we would like to hear from you!

Either sign up on our support forum and add your phone model in the "Phone compatibility list" thread in the SPARK.CLX forum, or drop us an email via the contact form.

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SPARK.CLX™ Features
  • 2 hour animation loop
  • Manual forward and backward stepping
  • 3 zoom levels
  • On-display, micro-strike rate graph
  • On-display strike rate counter
  • Configurable, on-display zoom range indicator
  • On-display 12/24 hr format time indicator
  • Separate lightning statistics screen
  • Data only reload (²)
  • Links bookmark storage
(²) Reduces air time by not downloading site specific maps if the same site is visited twice or more times in succession

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Download and Installation

[Current SPARK.CLX release: V1.0]

The SPARK.CLX MIDlet can be installed in two different ways:

Over The Air provisioning (OTA):

If your network operator supports OTA, use your phone's web browser and point it to the following WAP page:

http://www.astrogenic.com/spark.wml

Click on the appropriate link on this page and SPARK.CLX will be automatically downloaded and installed on your phone (you must allow this action if prompted).


Manual installation using link cable:

To install using a PC and link cable, download the following files to your PC:

http://www.astrogenic.com/midp/Spark.jad
http://www.astrogenic.com/midp/Spark.jar

For additional installation instructions consult your cell phone user manual.


Upgrade Note: Stored bookmarks will be deleted whenever you upgrade SPARK.CLX to a newer version. For this reason it is recommended that you write down your bookmarks before downloading and installing any upgrades.

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Operating instructions

Once you have installed and launched SPARK.CLX you need to load some lightning data. SPARK.CLX works similarly to a normal web browser and is very intuitive once you get the hang of it.

1. To load some data, Select MENU option then LINKS

2. Select MENU and then ADD

3. In the textbox that opens, type in an URL to a web site which provides SPARK.CLX data (see list of links or use our test URL as shown in the screenshot below). Note that you should not enter "http://" as this is already pre-entered for you.
4. Press OK when you have finished typing in the URL

5. SPARK.CLX will now switch to displaying the bookmark storage page. If the site that you entered (or want to connect to) is not marked as selected then scroll to highlight and select it by using the appropriate keys on your cell phone.

6. Select MENU and CONNECT. If the phone asks for permission to use air time you must allow it. Failing to do so will require that you exit and re-launch SPARK.CLX before you can use it again.

7. SPARK.CLX will now initiate the data download routine and show the progress on screen. Once completed you will see a map on the screen and some lightning if there is any lightning activity.
8. See below for details on the phone key function mappings.

9. If after a while you want to download more recent lightning data from the same site, press MENU and then RELOAD.

Note: By default, data is automatically refreshed at the source (web site) every 5 minutes. This may however not apply to all sources because the web site owner may have opted to configure his system to upload data less frequently. For details on data refresh intervals please see the respective web sites where you are downloading SPARK.CLX data from.

10. If you want to select another site which you previously added to the bookmark storage, or to add a new site, press MENU and then LINKS. In case of adding a new site, repeat the above procedure starting with step 2.


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Key function mappings

Phone keyFunction
Pad CenterLoop (Nokia phones: Num 5 key)
Pad RightSingle step forward
Pad LeftSingle step backward
Pad UpZoom in
Pad DownZoom out
Num 1 keyDecrease loop speed
Num 3 keyIncrease loop speed
# (pound)Cycle distance units: km/sm/nm
* (star)Toggle 12/24hr time format

Select Menu for additional options

Note: During the animation loop pause at the end of a loop sequence, the phone may be slow in responding to keypresses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have a MIDP 1.0/CLDC 1.0 cell phone, will SPARK.CLX work on it?

A: No, SPARK.CLX requires floating point support which is only availabe in CLDC 1.1 devices.


Q: I have a (supposedly) MIDP 2.0/CLDC 1.1 compliant cell phone but SPARK.CLX does not work correctly/at all?

A: There can be two reasons for this:

a) The manufacturer of your cell phone has not implemented the MIDP 2.0/CLDC 1.1 standard fully or correctly. There is unfortunately very little that we can do about this.

b) You operator is locking certain network or data storage functions which SPARK.CLX™ needs to function. Contact your operator and submit a complaint or change to an operator who does not inhibit built-in phone functions for the purpose of increasing sales of proprietary services.


Q: Why is the downloading of data slow?

A: Accessing data may be slow if you are not on a 3G high speed network.


Q: Why is the display non-responsive and/or animation of lightning data slow?

A: Your phone is probably of an older type with insufficient processing power and memory.


Q: I have problems downloading data from site X, other sites work fine?

A: Contact the web site owner and report the problem. It is most likely caused by an incorrect configuration.


Q: The web site that I want to download SPARK.CLX data from does not seem to offer it?

A: Contact the web site owner and ask politely if they could include SPARK.CLX data on their web site.

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If your question was not answered in the above FAQ please try submitting a question via our support forum. Please observe that support questions concerning this product will not be answered by email!
©2007 Astrogenic Systems