Evaluation Kit for Freescale Xtrinsic Sensors - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Evaluation Kit for Freescale Xtrinsic Sensors

Author: kevjose

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Various sensors like MPU-6050

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Lack of community support while coding using CodeWarrior On mbed the experience was better

Detailed Review:

I was very excited about doing my first RoadTest and I would like to apologize for the delay in uploading the review ( I was tied up with my semester exams)

I would be able to provide a review from the point of view a newcomer to ARM boards. I have some experience with AVR/Arduino but had never worked with an ARM based board before.


Kit Contents:

FRDM-KL25Z board

Xtrinsic Sensor Board

Quick Start Guide


(Freescale does not provide required (mini)USB cable or the J1 and J10 headers for the FRDM board)





I must confess that I was unable to run anything but the preloaded demo (which is pretty straight-forward and easy-to-use) for the first few days.


On CodeWarrior: CodeWarrior was a little overwhelming and the lack of specific internet resources made it worse. I was not able to make much headway on CodeWarrior.


On mbed: mbed which turned out to be easier to use (maybe owing to the larger community support available). There are many of example codes for the FRDM-KL25Z on mbed which serve as great learning tools for newcomers (atleast it did for me). I was able to successfully poll for data from the sensor board on mbed. A library for the the sensor board is now available on mbed.


On Arduino: The sensor boards in an Arduino compatible pin layout. This feature is extremely useful to hobbyist like me who are in the early stages of adopting ARM boards. The Arduino layout meant that I could always use my trusted Arduino board with the sensor board while I was still learning to work with ARM boards.

Arduino libraries for : MAG3110 and MPL3115


Regarding the sensors:


Accelerometer, MMA8491Q: The noise in the output considerably less that that of accelerators I have used before (MPU-6050) and thus the data output can be put to use with little or no smoothing on the μC.

Magnetometer, MAG3110: I have not had a chance to put this sensor to test or compare it to similar sensors. Hence, I would refrain from commenting on it.

Temp and Pressure sensor, MPL3115A2: This sensor was slightly disappointing as both temperature and the pressure values seemed to take a very long time to stabilize.


Physical characteristics:


As I have mentioned earlier, I really like the Arduino pin layout for the reasons mentioned above.

Apart from that, the fact that the board is mounted on the dev board like a shield may be a hindrance in applications where the placement of each sensor is specific and in that case I do not see any advantage in using the sensor board instead of breakout boards of individual sensors apart from the price factor.


Additional Comments:


The Evaluation Kit for Xtrinsic Sensors is a surprisingly inexpensive, easy-to-use and flexible board.


At $26.99 the pricing is great but if you are interested in using just the MMA8491Q and MAG3110 with a Kinetis-L processor you might want to consider FRDM-KL46Z which has both these senors on the dev board itself and cost about $15.


This is my first road test review, please leave feedback if you have time. Thanks.



Pictures the kit (Note: The board ships without the J1 and J10 headers, the ones you see in the pictures were soldered on by me. You can use the sensor board without J1 and J10 headers.)