Qwiic IR Array (MLX90640) Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Englandsaurus
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Introduction

The Melexis MLX90640 (110° and 55° FOV) contains a 32x24 array of thermopile sensors creating, in essence, a low resolution thermal imaging camera. As the images show, you can detect surface temperatures from many feet away with an accuracy of ±1.5°C (best case). We’ve packaged the MLX90640 on an easy to use Qwiic board with mounting holes and a smattering of decoupling caps.

SparkFun IR Array Breakout - 110 Degree FOV, MLX90640 (Qwiic)

SEN-14843
2
SparkFun IR Array Breakout - 55 Degree FOV, MLX90640 (Qwiic)

SparkFun IR Array Breakout - 55 Degree FOV, MLX90640 (Qwiic)

SEN-14844
$69.95
4

In this guide, we'll go over how to connect your Qwiic IR Array with MLX90640 and get it communicating with Processing to produce a nice thermal image.

Required Materials

Not Uno Compatible: The MLX90640 requires complex calculations by the host platform. A regular Uno doesn't have enough RAM or flash to complete the complex computations required to turn the raw pixel data into temperature data. You will need a microcontroller with 20,000 bytes or more of RAM. We recommend a Teensy 3.1 or above. Make sure to grab headers if you get a headerless version of the Teensy.
Teensy 3.2

Teensy 3.2

DEV-13736
$19.80
66
Teensy 3.6 (Headers)

Teensy 3.6 (Headers)

DEV-14058
$33.25
6
Teensy 3.5 (Headers)

Teensy 3.5 (Headers)

DEV-14056
$28.95
1
Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.50
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We don't have any Qwiic shields available for Teensy, so you should snag yourself a breadboard and a breadboard friendly Qwiic cable if you haven't already to get the Teensy connected to the MLX90640.

Breadboard - Self-Adhesive (White)

Breadboard - Self-Adhesive (White)

PRT-12002
$4.95
42
Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

PRT-14425
$1.50
Breadboard - Translucent Self-Adhesive (Clear)

Breadboard - Translucent Self-Adhesive (Clear)

PRT-09567
$4.95
14
Breadboard - Classic

Breadboard - Classic

PRT-00112
$9.95
15

Tools

Depending on your setup, you may need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories if you bought a headerless Teensy.

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$8.95
7
Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

TOL-14228
$44.95
2

Suggested Reading

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

Qwiic Connect System
Qwiic Connect System

Since we'll also be using Processing in one of these demos, we'd recommend looking up the tutorial on hooking your Arduino up to Processing. We would also recommend taking a look at the following tutorials if you aren't familiar with them.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Connecting Arduino to Processing

Send serial data from Arduino to Processing and back - even at the same time!

I2C

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