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SparkFun 9DoF Sensor Stick
project on project

Virtual Arduino Tennis
by Arduino “having11” Guy

Description: The SparkFun 9DoF Sensor Stick is an easy-to-use 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU. The Sensor Stick deftly utilizes the LSM9DS1 motion-sensing system-in-a-chip, the same IC used in the SparkFun 9DoF IMU Breakout. It houses a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer – nine degrees of freedom (9DoF) in a single IC!

The onboard LSM9DS1 is equipped with a digital interface, but even that is flexible. The biggest difference between the two boards, besides the slimmed down 0.9"x0.4" footprint, is the number of broken-out pins, with the Sensor Stick featuring only four for quick setup and ease of use.

The LSM9DS1 is one of only a handful of ICs that can measure three key properties of movement – angular velocity, acceleration and heading – in a single IC. By measuring these three properties, you can gain a great deal of knowledge about an object’s movement and orientation. The LSM9DS1 measures each of these movement properties in three dimensions. That means it produces nine pieces of data: acceleration in x/y/z, angular rotation in x/y/z, and magnetic force in x/y/z.

Each sensor in the LSM9DS1 supports a wide spectrum of ranges: the accelerometer’s scale can be set to ± 2, 4, 8, or 16g, the gyroscope supports ± 245, 500, and 2000°/s, and the magnetometer has full-scale ranges of ± 4, 8, 12, or 16 gauss.

Get Started with the 9DoF Sensor Stick Guide


  • 3 acceleration channels, 3 angular rate channels, 3 magnetic field channels
  • ±2/±4/±8/±16g linear acceleration full scale
  • ±4/±8/±12/±16 gauss magnetic full scale
  • ±245/±500/±2000dps angular rate full scale
  • I2C serial interface
  • Operating Voltage: 3.3V


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Customer Comments

  • Could you explain how you set up the FreeIMU software ( for the calibration demo you showed on the video in this page? I am currently trying to set this software up for this sensor stick but I am running with some problems with the GUI.

  • Given the on board processing, what is the time delay between actual change in motion/position and when it shows in the signals?

  • Is it possible to configure it to use interrupts over I2C?

  • Does it need a logic level converter to work with an arduino uno R3? Also, which are the VOL, VOH, VIL and VIH from this board?

    • No, it doesn’t need a logic converter. I’ve tested it on a 5V Redboard and because I2C uses open drains on the I2C lines, you won’t damage the controller using 5V logic. Just be sure to use 3.3V as the power source.

  • 23Arts / last year / 1

    Can you please post the actual dimensions of the board? A photo of the board next to a quarter on its side gives a general idea, though not as good as your usual method of depicting devices next to a ruler. Neither, however, is quite so accurate (nor so easy to list) as the actual dimensions. If one has these, the photos are superfluous.

    • M-Short / last year / 1

      Sorry about that. Alex’s dimensions should be correct, although you can always check the Eagle files as well. While this is a pretty simple board the Eagle files work much better for things like finding the distance between the edge and a mounting hole, or a connector, etc. So if you ever need dimensions that is another option.

    • Sorry about that 23Arts. The board dimensions are 0.400" wide by 0.900" in legnth.

  • Alex V / last year / 1

    Is the silkscreen reference frame correct? It’s not a right hand reference frame, which is quite irregular…

    • Yes the silk reference is correct with the exception of the X-Axis on the magnetometer. For some reason the X-Axis is reversed, but both the Y and Z are axes as well as the other 6 degrees match the silk.

  • Larsi / last year / 1

    How does this compare to the MPU-9250 (looks like it is the same price)?

    • Both boards are very similar. The main difference comes from the magnetometer. In short, the MPU-9250 can measure stronger magnetic fields than the Sensor Stick. The MPU-2950 has a sensitivity of ±48 Gauss, while the LSM9DS1 (used on the Sensor Stick) has a configurable sensitivity of ±4/±8/±12/±16 Gauss. I believe both return a 16-bit value, so while the MPU-2950 can sense a higher magnetic field, the sensor stick is more sensitive.

  • So where is this free IMU firmware? I have one of these on you larger board but have not been able to get my software to a point where the data is accurate enough for my application. Gyro drift is my main problem. I have tried implementing some filters but have not been successful yet.

    • RTIMULib should also work with this board connected to a Linux box (Pi, Edison, etc.). Mr. Google will tell you where it is.

    • Gil D. / last year / 1

      The code is here, I think:

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5

Based on 5 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

An excellent product!!

I have been working with it and its amaizing the easy-to-use sensor.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

well designed, easy to use, very compact. I also like the design of the solder/cut pads for i2c pull-ups and address

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Very nice version of the larger board for better price

The IMU has been working just fine. I do wish their was protection against over voltage and even reverse voltage as that seemed to be the only weakness experienced with my students. But that statement can apply to many other parts too. All around a good device for a very nice price.

0 of 1 found this helpful:

Horrible design

I get its cheap, but this stick broke within a couple minutes of use. The fiberglass is no more than 0.030" thick, and I would not be surprised if a little bending load broke the joints on the chip.

Overall disappointed.

For sorry the first device i buy from spark fun and let me down

Only its accelerometer and gyroscope is very accurate in getting rotating around X and Y but the heading of compass is really bad.

It makes me very crazy because of false readings of manometer as it can be effected by any close magnetic filed and give you completely wrong values.

But the good thing is its small size, but i won’t buy it again if i want to make application depending on compass.

Sorry to hear about the issue with the 9 DoF sensor stick! Have you contacted our technical support @ They’re usually very good at helping figure out if a board is behaving out of scope and troubleshooting problems that may be going on within a setup.

Related Tutorials

9DoF Sensor Stick Hookup Guide

August 25, 2016

How to connect and use the SparkFun 9 Degrees of Freedom Sensor Stick with an Arduino