Note: Unfortunately, the AS3935 IC doesn't play nicely with I2C, but it still works great in SPI mode. This means that this board does not work with the Qwiic I2C ecosystem, eventhough it says "Qwiic" on the silk & has Qwiic connectors. Since this version of the - AS3935 Lightning Detector belongs to our “Ding & Dent” category, once we are out of stock, we will not carry it again. Get them while you can! We also cannot accept requests/returns/exchanges, provide documentation, or provide support on any aspect of these items.
The SparkFun Qwiic Lightning Detector adds lightning detection to your next weather station to make sure you are aware of any potential hazardous weather heading your way. The AS3935 is capable of detecting lightning up to 40km away with an accuracy of 1km to the storm front with a sensitive antenna tuned to pick up lightning events in the 500kHz band. Utilizing our handy Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.
There are a number of sources that can cause false positives but the lightning detector itself can reliably filter these out by default. If not, we've made sure to include settings you can configure using the lightning detector library to increase the chip's robustness to noise and false positives. The lightning detector library also gives you access to settings such as storm sensing sensitivity when detecting indoors vs outdoors, or the number of lightning strikes needed to trigger an interrupt.
The SparkFun Qwiic connect system is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
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Despite the warning about I2C not being reliable, I figured I'd give it a try on an ESP32 (app developed with ESP-IDF), and have been quite happy with it. Note that the INT line is important and not part of the Qwiic cable, so this isn't a peripheral that can be connected with a Qwiic cable alone. I've also had success using it attached to an ATmega8 via I2C (app developed with Atmel Studio 7, polling interface to the I2C controller). I was lucky to have a storms blow through for testing!
This red version is way sensitive and needs no tuning as promised. Had purchased the SparkX version a year earlier and learned much from it. As the write up explains SPI is how you want to go, so add the extra solder jumper blob for SPI and you are good to go. The example code worked right away though did end up speeding the loop time so to not miss anything. Here in CO you don't have to wait long for lightning and it has been well tested.