Triple axis accelerometer


The ADXL345 is a small, low power, triple axis acceleration sensor capable of measuring up to +/-16g with a resolution of 13-bits.


Sparkfun ADXL345 on Breadboard

This diagram shows how to connect the ADXL345 to the Netduino when interrupts are not required.

The SDA and SCL lines both require pull-up resistors (4k7) when they are not present on the breakout board.


The ADXL345 is available on a small breakout board:


The ADXL345 can operating in interrupt and polling mode. Polling applications are responsible for determining when a sensor is read. Interrupt applications will be notified when the sensor reading changes by + / - a threshold value.

Interrupt Example

The application below demonstrates how to connect an interrupt handler to the ADXL345 sensor and display changes only when the acceleration changes in the x, y or z axis by more than the acceleration threshold (default is 5 units):

using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Netduino.Foundation.Sensors.Motion;

namespace ADXL345InterruptSample
    public class Program
        public static void Main()
            Debug.Print("ADXL345 Interrupt Example.");
            var adxl345 = new ADXL345();
            Debug.Print("Device ID: " + adxl345.DeviceID);
            //  Attach an interrupt handler.
            adxl345.AccelerationChanged += (s, e) =>
                Debug.Print("X: " + e.CurrentValue.X.ToString() +
                            ", Y: " + e.CurrentValue.Y.ToString() +
                            ", Z: " + e.CurrentValue.Z.ToString());
            //  Interrupts are attached so power on the sensor.
            adxl345.SetPowerState(false, false, true, false, ADXL345.Frequency.EightHz);
            //  Put the Netduino to sleep as the interrupt handler will deal 
            //  with changes in acceleration.

Polling Example

The sensor is put into polling mode by setting the updateInterval in the constructor to 0 milliseconds. The following application will read the sensor and output to the debug console every 500 milliseconds:

using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Netduino.Foundation.Sensors.Motion;
using System.Threading;

namespace ADXL345RegisterTests
    public class Program
        public static void Main()
            Debug.Print("ADXL345 Polling Example.");
            ADXL345 adxl345 = new ADXL345(updateInterval: 0);
            Debug.Print("Device ID: " + adxl345.DeviceID);
            adxl345.SetPowerState(false, false, true, false, ADXL345.Frequency.EightHz);
            while (true)
                Debug.Print("X: " + adxl345.X.ToString() + ", Y: " + adxl345.Y.ToString() + ", Z: " + adxl345.Z.ToString());


The ADXL345 API supports a polling mode of operation. The general principle is to initialize the sensor and then Read values before extracting the measurements from the X, Y and Z properties.


const ushort MinimumPollingPeriod = 100

Minimum number of milliseconds that can be used for the updatePeriod.


enum Range { TwoG = 0x00, FourG = 0x01, EightG = 0x02, SixteenG = 0x03 }

Used when changing the resolution of the sensor.

enum Frequency { EightHz = 0x00, FourHz = 0x01, TwoHz = 0x02, OneHz = 0x03 }

Used to control the frequency of sensor readings.


ADXL345(byte address = 0x53, ushort speed = 100, ushort updateInterval = 100, double accelerationChangeNotificationThreshold = 5.0F)

Create a new ADXL345 object on the default address. The sensor will operate in interrupt mode with a refresh period of 100ms and a acceleration change threshold of 5.0.


double AccelerationChangeNotificationThreshold

When operating in interrupt mode, this property defines the acceleration change threshold. This is the size of the change in acceleration that must occur before an interrupt is generated.

byte DeviceID

Built in device ID, this should return 0xe5 for the ADXL345.

X, Y and Z

Last measurements for the x, y and z axis. This data is only valid after a call to Read.

OffsetX, OffsetY and OffsetZ

The offset registers are used to compensate the values read by the sensor. These values are automatically added to the measured values before they are written to the X, Y and Z registers.


void Update()

Read the current sensor values and store the values in the X, Y and Z properties.

void SetPowerState(bool linkActivityAndInactivity, bool autoASleep, bool measuring, bool sleep, Frequency frequency)

Set the power state for the ADXL345. Note that this method must be called to turn on measuring before any measurements are taken.

linkActivityAndInactivity - Links the inactivity and activity events when true. When true and activity event must be followed by an inactivity event in order to trigger and event.

autoSleep - Automatically enter sleep mode if inactivity is detected.

measuring - Turn the sensor on when true. If the sensor is turned off then the X, Y and Z properties will return 0.

sleep - Put the sensor to sleep when true.

frequency - Set the frequency of the readings. See the Frequency enum.

void SetDataFormat(bool selfTest, bool spiMode, bool fullResolution, bool justification, ADXL345.Range range)

The data format register determines the way the data is presented to the X, Y and Z registers.

selfTest - Setting this value to true applies a test for to the sensor.

spiMode - When true this forces the SPI interface to operate in 3-wire mode.

fullResolution - Enter full resolution mode when true otherwise use the range setting to determine the range of the sensor.

justification - Set the justification to be left justified (true) or right justified with sign extension (false).

range - Set the sensor range to be one of +/- 2g, +/- 4g, +/-8g or +/-16g.

void SetDataRate(byte dataRate, bool lowPower)

Sets the data rate and low power mode for the sensor. The data rate should be in the range 0-15 inclusive and the following table gives the meaning of these values:

Data Rate Output Data Rate Bandwidth
0 0.10 Hz 0.05 Hz
1 0.20 Hz 0.10 Hz
2 0.39 Hz 0.20 Hz
3 0.78 Hz 0.39 Hz
4 1.56 Hz 0.78 Hz
5 3.13 Hz 1.56 Hz
6 6.25 Hz 3.13 Hz
7 12.5 Hz 6.25 Hz
8 25 Hz 12.5 Hz
9 50 Hz 25 Hz
10 100 Hz 50 Hz
11 200 Hz 100 Hz
12 400 Hz 200 Hz
13 800 Hz 400 Hz
14 1600 Hz 800 Hz
15 3200 Hz 1600 Hz

lowPower puts the sensor in to low power mode when true. In this mode the sensor is more sensitive to noise.


event SensorVectorEventHandler AccelerationChanged

This event (interrupt) is generated when the acceleration in any of the x, y or z directions exceeds the AccelerationChangeNotificationThreshold value. The event will send a SensorVectorEventArgs object containing the current and last acceleration values in Vector objects.