Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi Hookup Guide

Contributors: Englandsaurus
Favorited Favorite 3


This Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi is the quickest and easiest way to utilize SparkFun's Qwiic ecosystem while still using that Raspberry Pi that you've come to know and love. This Qwiic HAT connects the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA, and SCL) on your Raspberry Pi to an array of Qwiic connectors. It also has a few important pins on the Raspberry Pi broken out for easy access. Since the Qwiic system allows for daisy chaining (as long as your devices are on different addresses), you can stack as many sensors as you'd like to create a tower of sensing power!

SparkFun Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi


Required Materials

To follow along with this hookup guide, you will need any Raspberry Pi with 2x20 male headers.

Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Raspberry Pi 3 B+


A Pi Zero W will also work but you will need to make sure to solder some male headers to it.

Raspberry Pi GPIO Male Header - 2x20

Raspberry Pi GPIO Male Header - 2x20

Raspberry Pi Zero W

Raspberry Pi Zero W


Now you probably didn't buy the Qwiic HAT if you didn't have any Qwiic products to use with it, right? If you don't have any Qwiic products, the following might not be a bad place to start.

SparkFun GPS Breakout - XA1110 (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS Breakout - XA1110 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

SparkFun Spectral Sensor Breakout - AS7262 Visible (Qwiic)

SparkFun Spectral Sensor Breakout - AS7262 Visible (Qwiic)


SparkFun Environmental Combo Breakout - CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic)

20 Retired

Finally, you'll need our handy Qwiic cables to easily connect sensors to your Qwiic HAT. Below are a few options.

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm


Qwiic Cable - 500mm

1 Retired

Qwiic Cable - 200mm


Required Setup Tools

As a desktop, these devices are required:

Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the Qwiic system, we recommend reading here for an overview.

Qwiic Connect System
Qwiic Connect System

We would also recommend taking a look at the following tutorials if you aren't familiar with them.


An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Serial Terminal Basics

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

Hardware Overview

The Qwiic HAT has 4 Qwiic connect ports, all on the same I2C bus. In addition to this, some of the pins on the Raspberry Pi are broken out for the user.

Top View of Qwiic Hat

Hardware Assembly

To get started with your Qwiic HAT, simply plug it into the headers on the Raspberry Pi, make sure that the "USB" arrow on the HAT is pointing towards the USB on the Raspberry Pi.

Stacking the Qwiic HAT

Once the HAT is plugged in, you can start plugging in any Qwiic enabled sensors you might have.

Qwiic Board Connected to Stacked Qwiic HAT on Pi

Getting an OS

We recommend checking out the Raspberry Pi 3 Hookup Guide to install the operating system to flash the image to your microSD card for detailed instructions.

Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide

April 11, 2016

Guide for getting going with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ starter kit.

If you're starting from scratch with a blank microSD card, you'll want to install Raspbian. If you've already got a working Raspbian system, skip ahead to the next section. Be patient — each of these steps can take a while depending on the speed of your microSD card.

  1. Download an Image — Download your favorite Linux distribution. For beginners, we recommend getting NOOBS image.
  2. Flashing the Image — Follow the instructions from the Raspberry Pi 3 Kit Hookup Guide to flash your microSD card. You can also follow the official Raspberry Pi installation instructions.

Configuring the Pi

The peripherals are not turned on by default. For those using Qwiic-enabled devices, you will want to enable I2C port. There are two methods to adjust the settings. This is outlined in our Raspberry Pi I2C tutorial.

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

October 29, 2015

Learn how to use serial I2C and SPI buses on your Raspberry Pi using the wiringPi I/O library for C/C++ and spidev/smbus for Python.

We've included the following instructions from the tutorial. To enable it, follow the steps below.

Raspberry Pi Configuration via Desktop GUI

You can use the Desktop GUI by heading to the Pi Start Menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration.

Raspberry Pi Configuration via GUI

Click on image for a closer view.

A window will pop up with different tabs to adjust settings. What we are interested is the Interfaces tab. Click on the tab and select Enable for I2C. At this point, you can enable additional interfaces depending on your project needs. Click on the OK button to same.

Adjusting Interfaces via Interface Tab

Click on image for a closer view.

We recommend restarting your Pi to ensure that the changes to take effect. Click on the Pi Start Menu > Preferences > Shutdown. Since we just need to restart, click on the Restart button.

Shutdown Turn Off, Restart, Log Off

Click on images for a closer view.

raspi-config Tool via Terminal

Again, we can use raspi-config to enable it.

  1. Run sudo raspi-config.
  2. Use the down arrow to select 5 Interfacing Options
  3. Arrow down to P5 I2C.
  4. Select yes when it asks you to enable I2C
  5. Also select yes if it asks about automatically loading the kernel module.
  6. Use the right arrow to select the <Finish> button.
  7. Select yes when it asks to reboot.

Enabling I2C on the Raspberry Pi

Raspi-config for I2C

The system will reboot. When it comes back up, log in and enter the following command

ls /dev/*i2c*

The Pi should respond with


Which represents the user-mode I2C interface.

Scanning for I2C Devices

If you are using the Raspberry Pi to quickly connect to I2C devices, the best place to start would be to scan for an I2C device on the bus.


There is a set of command-line utility programs that can help get an I2C interface working. You can get them with the apt package manager. Enter the following command.

sudo apt-get install -y i2c-tools

In particular, the i2cdetect program will probe all the addresses on a bus, and report whether any devices are present. Enter the following command in the command line. The -y flag will disable interactive mode so that you do not have to wait for confirmation. The 1 indicates that we are scanning for I2C devices on I2C bus 1 (e.g. i2c-1).

i2cdetect -y 1

You will get an output from your Raspberry Pi similar to the output below.

pi@raspberrypi:~/$ i2cdetect -y 1
     0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f
00:          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
10: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
20: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
30: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
40: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
50: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
60: 60 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
70: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

This map indicates that there is a peripheral at address 0x60. Your address may vary depending on what is connected to the I2C bus. For advanced users, you can try to read and write its registers using the i2cget, i2cset and i2cdump commands.

Qwiic Py Drivers

Now that you have I2C set up on your Pi, you can start programming your Qwiic devices on your Pi or if you'd like to start with some examples, we have a host of Python drivers for Qwiic breakouts available in the GitHub repository linked below. You can read more about Python for the SparkFun Qwiic system in this blog post.

Resources and Going Further

For more information, check out the resources below:

Now that you have your Qwiic HAT ready to go, it's time to hook it up to some Qwiic enabled products.

SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

SparkFun Power Delivery Board - USB-C (Qwiic)

SparkFun Power Delivery Board - USB-C (Qwiic)

GNSS Antenna Splitter (Power Divider) with DC Pass

GNSS Antenna Splitter (Power Divider) with DC Pass

SparkFun Arduino UNO R4 WiFi Qwiic Kit

SparkFun Arduino UNO R4 WiFi Qwiic Kit


But I Already Have Sensors!

If you already have a handful of SparkFun sensors and parts? SparkFun has been putting our standard GND/VCC/SDA/SCL pinout on all our I2C boards for many years. This makes it possible to attach a Qwiic Adapter that will get your SparkFun I2C sensor or actuator onto the Qwiic system.

Here is the list of the boards that have the standard I2C pinout and will work with the Qwiic adapter board:

Check out this related tutorial:

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

October 29, 2015

Learn how to use serial I2C and SPI buses on your Raspberry Pi using the wiringPi I/O library for C/C++ and spidev/smbus for Python.