Very, very frightening indeed: Lightning detector uses a sensor and a Raspberry Pi

France-based Hexalyse has hooked up an AS3935 Franklin Lightning Sensor to his Raspberry Pi. This sensor is able to detect the approach of a storm by detecting lightning up to 40km away and it comes on a little breakout board that can interact with the Pi over the I2C bus. He used a library that someone else had written and Python to detect the lightning flashes and, if certain circumstances are satisfied (such as number of strikes within a time frame), the system Tweets via the Tweepy library. He’s uploaded the code to GitHub and written up the project on his blog. You can get hold of the sensor from Embedded Adventures (although I’m sure it can be found elsewhere too).

6 comments for “Very, very frightening indeed: Lightning detector uses a sensor and a Raspberry Pi

  1. Bonzadog
    10 July 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I had a look in PiHut and Pirimoni they do not have the MID-1016 sensor- anyone have an idea where I can buy this in the EU?

    • eliobou
      11 July 2017 at 10:16 am


    • Michael Horne
      12 July 2017 at 9:42 am

      Seems like the only place to get it is that one place at the moment. But keep an eye on AliExpress for when the Chinese clone it 🙂

  2. 11 July 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I’d thought of doing something like this using a pair of long-wavelength radio coils oriented at 90 degrees with a 2-channel analogue digitiser, which would give some directional X-Y information albeit not resolved at 180 degrees to the storm. I have some ideas on doing that. At greater distances, E-M from storms propagates as radio-whistlers which could be picked up by a simple long-wave radio circuit such as the ZN414 one-chip AM radio fed into another digitiser channel.
    As I recall, Scientific American’s Amateur Scientist had some articles on lightning and electromagnetic field detection which I need to find and read.

  3. 11 July 2017 at 4:12 pm

    … and on the same subject, this web page may be of interest:

  4. Sally Langham
    20 August 2017 at 5:52 pm

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