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Elias The Sparkiest

Member Since: January 28, 2014

Country: United States

SparkFun Qwiic AS3935 Lightning Detector Hookup Guide

April 18, 2019

Are you worried about the looming clouds in the distance, how far away is that storm exactly? Add lightning detection with the Qwiic AS3935 to your next weather station or your next bike ride!

SparkFun GPS Breakout (ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q) Hookup Guide

April 4, 2019

The SparkFun ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q are two similarly powerful GPS units but with different project applications. We'll compare both chips before getting each up and running.

SparkFun Qwiic RFID-IDXXLA Hookup Guide

March 14, 2019

The Qwiic RFID ID-XXLA is an I2C solution that pairs with the ID-LA modules: ID-3LA, the ID-12LA, or the ID-20LA, and utilizes 125kHz RFID chips. Let's take a look at the hardware used for this tutorial.

LumiDrive Hookup Guide

January 17, 2019

The LumiDrive LED Driver is SparkFun’s foray into all things Python on micro-controllers. With the SparkFun LumiDrive you will be able to control and personalize a whole strand of APA102s directly from the board itself.

Qwiic Quad Relay Hookup Guide

January 3, 2019

SparkFun’s Qwiic Quad Relay is a product designed for switching not one but four high powered devices from your Arduino or other low powered microcontroller using I2C.

SparkFun Serial Basic CH340C Hookup Guide

December 13, 2018

SparkFun Serial Basic Breakout takes advantage of USB-C and is an easy-to-use USB-to-Serial adapter based on the CH340C IC from WCH. With USB-C you can get up to three times the power delivery over the previous USB generation and has the convenient feature of being reversable.

SparkFun SAMD21 Pro RF Hookup Guide

October 4, 2018

Using the super blazing, nay blinding, fast SAMD21 whipping clock cycles at 48MHz and the RFM96 module to connect to the Things Network (and other Radio woodles).

AT42QT101X Capacitive Touch Breakout Hookup Guide

January 25, 2018

Learn how to use the simple SparkFun AT42QT1010 and AT42QT1011 capacitive touch breakout boards.
  • The text above each function explains what it does, the possible values that can be taken, as well as the default values that the lightning detector is set with. I would encourage you to read about spike rejection in the data sheet; download the .pdf from the documents tab above and search for Spike Rejection, it's kind of vague but perhaps you could pull more from it.

    To use readRegister(), give the function the register (e.g. 0x01 for noise level), followed by the amount of bytes which in 99 percent of cases is one: readRegister(0x01, 1). This will return the value within the register which you can then print out and compare to the default values of the register found in the datasheet.

    These types of questions are made for the forums so I'll push you there for any future questions. https://forum.sparkfun.com/index.php

  • I'm going to give an extended answer in case there are others with this question, so bear with me. To begin there is a way to test the resonance frequency of the on board antenna, which of course is vital to the function of the product because it "resonates" with lightning (or environmental noise - more on that later). In testing this design before release, I found the accuracy of the antenna to be ~2 percent from an ideal 500kHz resonance frequency. The datasheet specifies that it should be within 3.5 percent for accurate lightning detection. With that said, last week I extended the example code included with the library (Version 1.1.1) to include a sketch that walks you through how to take advantage the internal capacitors in the AS3935 to tune that frequency. This will require that you have some method of reading square wave up to 30kHz (check the comments in the example code why this isn't 500), something like a logic analyzer or oscilloscope.

    Now a note on noise. These things are really sensitive, things like your phone screen, monitor, a refrigerator turning on, soldering iron, to name a few, can trigger false positives.The basic example sketch shows you how increase the robustness of the antenna with a function to increase the noise threshold (value 1-7, default is 1). The example code also defaults to an "indoor" setting, if you're indoors, make sure that is still the case. There is also another function to help increase the robustness against "disturbers" a.k.a. false events (watchdogThreshold() which takes a value from 1-10, default is 1). Hope that pushes you in the right direction. Check the library for more functions that may help you, though if you need more than the two I just listed, you may have to remove noisy items in your environment.

  • One of the best animated robots ever.

  • Yes, unfortunately it does require an additional pin to be connected. I have used these IC hooks for just this purpose: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9741.

    If you look at the hookup guide under "Hardware Assembly" you can see a picture of how I used the IC hook to avoid having to solder anything.

  • Indeed it does. The RCI circuit is specified by the manufacturer of the AS3935 IC and we've had very good reliability with the setup.

  • Thanks for the info!

  • That's correct. SparkX products will occasionally migrate to the SparkFun catalog and if the SparkX version isn't already retired, it will retire shortly.

  • Unfortunately it does not tell you the direction of the storm, only the distance.

  • That's a great question! As I mentioned in the post, infrared is literally everywhere. Not only does it rain down from the sky but if you've seen any FLIR camera images or Predator movies, than you've seen how infrared is given off by all objects (to some degree). Since infrared is everywhere, you simply can't turn on an infrared LED and hope that your receiver will pick it up among all the infrared in the environment. As a result, infrared receivers are tuned to pick up certain frequencies of infrared; specifically 38kHz for the receiver I used in my project. There are other receivers that use 36kHz or 40kHz but the one we sell is tuned to 38kHz. Hope that helps, come on back if you have any other questions!

  • Yeah, you're making some great points! I especially like the idea of some kind of cue before the lights turn out. I had considered keeping count on one of our mini-OLED screens or better yet the transparent OLED.... https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15173 ....but I would have to be on the wrong side of the tripwires to check that the count went to zero. The audible cue on the other hand is smart AND fun. A Mario coin sound every time someone enters the room and the Mario tunnel sound when the last person leaves, neat! I also like how you expanded on the PIR sensor that the other user suggested. Thanks for the thoughtful post =).