Add lots of touch sensors to your next microcontroller project with this easy-to-use 12-channel capacitive touch sensor breakout board, starring the MPR121. This chip can handle up to 12 individual touch pads.
The MPR121 has support for only I2C, which can be implemented with nearly any microcontroller. You can select one of 4 addresses with the ADDR pin, for a total of 48 capacitive touch pads on one I2C 2-wire bus. Using this chip is a lot easier than doing the capacitive sensing with analog inputs: it handles all the filtering for you and can be configured for more/less sensitivity.
This sensor comes as a tiny hard-to-solder chip so we put it onto a breakout board for you. Since it's a 3V-only chip, we added a 3V regulator and I2C level shifting so its safe to use with any 3V or 5V microcontroller/processor like Arduino. We even added an LED onto the IRQ line so it will blink when touches are detected, making debugging by sight a bit easier on you. Comes with a fully assembled board, and a stick of 0.1" header so you can plug it into a breadboard. For contacts, we suggest using copper foil or pyralux, then solder a wire that connects from the foil pad to the breakout.

As if that weren't enough, we've now also added SparkFun qwiic compatible STEMMA QT connectors for the I2C bus so you don't even need to solder the I2C and power lines. Just wire up to your favorite micro using a STEMMA QT adapter cable. The Stemma QT connectors also mean the MPR121 can be used with our various associated accessories. QT Cable is not included, but we have a variety in the shop.

There are two versions of this board - the STEMMA QT version shown above, and the original header-only version shown below. Code works the same on both!

This guide was first published on Jul 25, 2014. It was last updated on Jul 25, 2014.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Oct 23, 2021.

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