Freescale’s sensors breakout boards

A few more PCBs, this time for Freescale’s sensors.


The MMA8451Q is a  low-power, three-axis accelerometer with 14 bits of resolution. It communicates over I2C,  has built in tilt/orientation detection and also tap detection.

To make the PCB I downloaded the Eagle files from Sparkfun breakout board and modified it to make it single sided. I had to add a couple of 0 ohm resistors as jumpers.

Freescale sensors

To test it I used Adafruit Library for Arduino



The FXOS8700CQ combines a 14-bit accelerometer and a 16-bit magnetometer. It also has some programmable acceleration event functions, like tap and orientation detection, and includes programmable magnetic event functions: Threshold detection, Vector-magnitude change detection, etc.

Freescale sensors

It  can communicate using i2c or SPI. I used this library to test it.



The MPL3115A2 is a pressure sensor that provides altitude data to within 30cm. It has a I2C interface and the outputs are digitized by a high resolution 24-bit ADC. The MPL3115A2  can measure:

  • Pressure: 20-bit measurement (Pascals)
  • Altitude: 20-bit measurement (meters)
  • Temperature: 12-bit measurement (degrees Celsius)

Freescale sensors

I also used Sparkfun’s Eagle files to make the board and I tested using Adafruit Library.


According to Google Maps the height where I live is 64.13 m. I was testing the device on a first floor, I would say it’s pretty accurate.

Logic Level Converter

All this sensors are 3V devices. I tried first to connect them to a MSP430 Launchpad using Energia but I couldn’t make them work.

The I2C protocol defines a so-called repeated start condition. After having sent the address byte (address and read/write bit) the master may send any number of bytes followed by a stop condition. Instead of sending the stop condition it is also allowed to send another start condition again followed by an address (and of course including a read/write bit) and more data1.

Freescales’s sensors use this Repeated Start command and as I found out, Energia doesn’t support it. As I don’t have any 3.3V Arduino I needed a logic level converter.

I downloaded Sparkfun files for their  Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter and modified it to make it single sided. I used some 2N7002 transistors I had around.

Freescale sensors

EDIT 19/01:

As requested, here is the file for the MPL3115A2 breakout board. It is based on Sparkfun board but I changed the connector pinout in order to make it easier to design a single sided PCB.


1. Repeated Start Condition

INA219 Current Sensor DIY Breakout board

Another small board, this time for a INA219. The INA219 is a high-side current shunt and power monitor with an I2C interface.


For testing I used Rei VILO library with a MSP430G2553 and Energia, and I measured the power consumption for this simple circuit:

2 001-001

Nothing fancy, just a led and a resitor. The INA219 should measure around 9.6 mA and got this:


The current measurement is slightly off. I need to play a litlle more with the calibration routines.


SHT21S DIY Breakout board

I made a little board for a SHT21 humidity and temperature sensor from Sensirion.  There are several versions with I2C interface, PWM output and SMD/analog interface.

I’ve got the one with Sigma Delta Modulation (SMD) output,  is a bit-stream of pulses; the more high pulses the higher the value in the full measurement range. A low-pass filter convert the pulse stream to an analog voltage signal.

It has a control pin (SCL) to select between humidity or temperature output. SCL high yields humidity output, SCL low yields temperature output.


I made a simple sketch in Energia to test it out using an MSP430G2553. P1.6 selects between humidity or temperature and P1.0 is used as the ADC input.


…and logged both temperature an humidity.

Sin título

That’s it, a simple and nice sensor…

My first professionally made PCB

I used Iteadstudio PCB service. I’m quite happy with the result. I received the boards a while ago but I haven’t had enough time to play around with these. The boards are designed to be used whit any of the MSP430 in DIP package. Using jumper pins I can configure the board in several different ways and use them for different proyects.

msp430 PCB

It has a 2×4 header for a nRF24L01+ module.

msp430 PCB

It can be directly connected to the Launchpad for programming, I just need an extra wire for ground

msp430 PCB