It's easy to use the LIS3MDL + LSM6DSOX and LSM6DS33 sensor combos with Python and CircuitPython, and the Adafruit CircuitPython LIS3MDL and Adafruit CircuitPython LSM6DS libraries. These libraries allow you to easily write Python code that read measurements from the accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer.

You can use this sensor with any CircuitPython microcontroller board or with a computer that has GPIO and Python thanks to Adafruit_Blinka, our CircuitPython-for-Python compatibility library.

CircuitPython Microcontroller Wiring

First, wire up the board to a microcontroller using I2C. The following shows wiring each board to a Feather M4 Express.

Breakout Board

  • Board 3V to sensor VIN (red wire)
  • Board GND to sensor GND (black wire)
  • Board SCL to sensor SCL (yellow wire)
  • Board SDA to sensor SDA (blue wire)

FeatherWing

  • Plug the FeatherWing into the Feather.

Python Computer Wiring

Since there's dozens of Linux computers/boards you can use we will show wiring for Raspberry Pi. For other platforms, please visit the guide for CircuitPython on Linux to see whether your platform is supported

Here's the Raspberry Pi wired with I2C:

  • Pi 3V to sensor VCC (red wire)
  • Pi GND to sensor GND (black wire)
  • Pi SCL to sensor SCL (yellow wire)
  • Pi SDA to sensor SDA (blue wire)

CircuitPython Installation of LIS3MDL and LSM6DS Libraries

You'll need to install the Adafruit CircuitPython LIS3MDL and the Adafruit CircuitPython LSM6DS libraries on your CircuitPython board. The LSM6DS library works with the LSM6DSOX and LSM6DS33.

First make sure you are running the latest version of Adafruit CircuitPython for your board.

Next you'll need to install the necessary libraries to use the hardware--carefully follow the steps to find and install these libraries from Adafruit's CircuitPython library bundle.  Our CircuitPython starter guide has a great page on how to install the library bundle.

Copy the following files from the bundle to the lib folder on your CIRCUITPY drive:

  • adafruit_lismdl.mpy
  • adafruit_lsm6ds.mpy
  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_register

Before continuing make sure your board's lib folder or root filesystem has the adafruit_lis3mdl.mpy, adafruit_lsm6ds.mpy, adafruit_bus_device, and adafruit_register files and folders copied over.

Next connect to the board's serial REPL so you are at the CircuitPython >>> prompt.

CircuitPython & Python Usage

To demonstrate the usage of the sensor we'll initialize it and read the acceleration, rotation and magnetic measurements from the board's Python REPL.

Run the following code to import the necessary modules and initialize the I2C connection with the sensor:

Download: file
import time
import board
from adafruit_lsm6ds import LSM6DSOX as LSM6DS
# To use LSM6DS33, comment out the LSM6DSOX import line
# and uncomment the next line
# from adafruit_lsm6ds import LSM6DS33 as LSM6DS
# To use ISM330DHCX, comment out the LSM6DSOX import line
# and uncomment the next line
# from adafruit_lsm6ds import ISM330DHCX as LSM6DS
from adafruit_lis3mdl import LIS3MDL

accel_gyro = LSM6DS(board.I2C())
mag = LIS3MDL(board.I2C())

Now you're ready to read values from the sensor using these properties:

  • acceleration - The acceleration forces in the X, Y, and Z axes in m/s2
  • gyro - The rotation measurement on the X, Y, and Z axes in degrees/sec
  • magnetic - The magnetic forces on the X, Y, and Z axes in micro-Teslas (uT)

For example, to print out the acceleration, gyro and magnetic measurements use this code:

Download: file
acceleration = accel_gyro.acceleration
    gyro = accel_gyro.gyro
    magnetic = mag.magnetic
    print("Acceleration: X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} m/s^2".format(*acceleration))
    print("Gyro          X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} rad/s".format(*gyro))
    print("Magnetic      X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} uT".format(*magnetic))

Full Example Code

import time
import board
from adafruit_lsm6ds import LSM6DSOX as LSM6DS

# To use LSM6DS33, comment out the LSM6DSOX import line
# and uncomment the next line
# from adafruit_lsm6ds import LSM6DS33 as LSM6DS

# To use ISM330DHCX, comment out the LSM6DSOX import line
# and uncomment the next line
# from adafruit_lsm6ds import ISM330DHCX as LSM6DS

from adafruit_lis3mdl import LIS3MDL

accel_gyro = LSM6DS(board.I2C())
mag = LIS3MDL(board.I2C())

while True:
    acceleration = accel_gyro.acceleration
    gyro = accel_gyro.gyro
    magnetic = mag.magnetic
    print(
        "Acceleration: X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} m/s^2".format(*acceleration)
    )
    print("Gyro          X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} rad/s".format(*gyro))
    print("Magnetic      X:{0:7.2f}, Y:{1:7.2f}, Z:{2:7.2f} uT".format(*magnetic))
    print("")
    time.sleep(0.5)
This guide was first published on Jun 17, 2020. It was last updated on Jun 17, 2020.
This page (Python & CircuitPython) was last updated on Oct 24, 2020.