The LSM303D combines a digital 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer into a single package that is ideal for making a tilt-compensated compass. The six independent readings, whose sensitivities can be set in the ranges of ±2 to ±16 g and ±2 to ±12 gauss, are available through I²C and SPI interfaces. This LSM303 carrier board includes a 3.3 V voltage regulator and integrated level shifters that allows operation from 2.5 to 5.5 V, and the 0.1″ pin spacing makes it easy to use with standard solderless breadboards and 0.1″ perfboards.
This board is a compact (0.4″ × 0.9″) breakout board for ST’s LSM303D e-compass module, a single IC featuring a 3-axis digital linear acceleration sensor and 3-axis digital magnetic sensor; we therefore recommend careful reading of the LSM303D datasheet (1MB pdf) before using this product. The LSM303D is a great IC, but its small package makes it difficult for the typical student or hobbyist to use. It also operates at voltages below 3.6 V, which can make interfacing difficult for microcontrollers operating at 5 V. This carrier board addresses these issues by incorporating additional electronics, including a 3.3 V voltage regulator and level-shifting circuits, while keeping the overall size as compact as possible. The board ships fully populated with its SMD components, including the LSM303D, as shown in the product picture.
Compared to its predecessors, including the LSM303DLM and LSM303DLHC used on our earlier LSM303 compass and accelerometer carrier boards, the LSM303D features a number of improvements, such as a wider maximum magnetic sensing range (up to ±12 gauss). Instead of appearing as two separate devices with distinct addresses like previous sensors, the LSM303D appears as a single unified I²C device, and it also offers an SPI interface for additional flexibility.
This LSM303D carrier is not pin-compatible with our earlier LSM303 compass and accelerometer carriers (the pinout and the orientation of the sensor axes are different). It should still be usable as a replacement with the appropriate wiring changes, but changes in I²C addresses and configuration registers mean that code written to interface with a different chip will need to be modified to work with an LSM303D.
The carrier board includes a low-dropout linear voltage regulator that provides the 3.3 V required by the LSM303D, which allows the sensor to be powered from a 2.5–5.5 V supply. The regulator output is available on the VDD pin and can supply almost 150 mA to external devices. The breakout board also includes a circuit that shifts the I²C clock and data lines to the same logic voltage level as the supplied VIN, making it simple to interface the board with 5 V systems, and the board’s 0.1″ pin spacing makes it easy to use with standard solderless breadboards and 0.1″ perfboards.
For sensor fusion applications, our MinIMU-9 v3 and AltIMU-10 v4 inertial measurement units combine this LSM303D with an L3GD20H 3-axis gyro on a single board, providing nine independent readings that can be used to calculate an absolute orientation. The AltIMU-10 v4 also includes an LPS25H pressure sensor that can be used to calculate altitude.
- Dimensions: 0.4″ × 0.9″ × 0.1″ (10 × 23 × 3 mm)
- Weight without header pins: 0.6 g (0.02 oz)
- Operating voltage: 2.5 V to 5.5 V
- Supply current: 5 mA
- Output format (I²C/SPI):
- Accelerometer: one 16-bit reading per axis
- Magnetometer: one 16-bit reading per axis
- Sensitivity range (configurable):
- Accelerometer: ±2, ±4, ±6, ±8, or ±16 g
- Magnetometer: ±2, ±4, ±8, or ±12 gauss