Qwiic Distance Sensor (VL53L1X) Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Englandsaurus
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Introduction

The VL53L1X is the latest Time Of Flight (ToF) sensor to be released. It uses a VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) to emit a class 1 IR laser (940 nm) and time the reflection to the target. (You can’t see the laser but cell phones can) What does all this mean? You can measure the distance to an object up to 4 meters away with millimeter resolution! That’s pretty incredible.

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 Meter, VL53L1X (Qwiic)

SparkFun Distance Sensor Breakout - 4 Meter, VL53L1X (Qwiic)

SEN-14722
$21.95
9

We’ve found the precision of the sensor to be 1mm but the accuracy is around +/-5mm. The minimum read distance of this sensor is 4cm. In this hookup guide we'll go over how to read distance, change ranging modes, and check the status of our range measurement along with the sample rate. We'll also check out how to display distance and speed over an LCD display.

Required Materials

The Qwiic Distance Sensor does need a few additional items for you to get started. The RedBoard Qwiic is for the Arduino examples and the Qwiic pHAT is for the Raspberry Pi example (see note below). You may already have a few of these items, so feel free to modify your cart based on your needs. Additionally, there are also options that are available as well (click button below to toggle options).

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

KIT-15081
$7.95
7
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$19.95
5

SparkFun Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi

DEV-15351
Retired
Qwiic compatible microcontrollers:
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$19.95
5
SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

DEV-14812
$24.95
4
SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

DEV-14713
$19.95
1

SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32 WROOM

WRL-14689
7 Retired
In addition we also offer, Qwiic compatible stackable shields for microcontrollers and pHATs for single board computers (like the Raspberry Pi boards) that don't include a Qwiic connector.
SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino

DEV-14352
$6.95
4
SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

DEV-14495
$1.50
1
SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Photon

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Photon

DEV-14477
$5.95
SparkFun Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Qwiic HAT for Raspberry Pi

DEV-14459
$5.95
4
SparkFun Servo pHAT for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Servo pHAT for Raspberry Pi

DEV-15316
$10.95
2
SparkFun Qwiic SHIM for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Qwiic SHIM for Raspberry Pi

DEV-15794
$0.95
6

SparkFun Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi

DEV-15351
Retired
You will also need a Qwiic cable to connect to your Qwiic Distance Sensor, choose a length that suits your needs.
Qwiic Cable - 500mm

Qwiic Cable - 500mm

PRT-14429
$1.95
1
Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

PRT-14427
$1.50
Qwiic Cable - 200mm

Qwiic Cable - 200mm

PRT-14428
$1.50
Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

PRT-14426
$0.95

Raspberry Pi Example: If you don't already have them, you will need a Raspberry Pi and standard peripherals. An example setup is listed below. (The Qwiic Distance Sensor and Python library have not been tested on the newly released Raspberry Pi 4 because we don't carry it in out catalog yet.)

Suggested Reading

If you're unfamiliar with jumper pads, I2C, Qwiic, or Python be sure to checkout some of these foundational tutorials.

Serial Communication

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.

I2C

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Serial Terminal Basics

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

Learn how to use serial I2C and SPI buses on your Raspberry Pi using the wiringPi I/O library for C/C++ and spidev/smbus for Python.

Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide

Guide for getting going with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ starter kit.

Python Programming Tutorial: Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi

This guide will show you how to write programs on your Raspberry Pi using Python to control hardware.

Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi Hookup Guide

Get started interfacing your Qwiic enabled boards with your Raspberry Pi. The Qwiic pHAT connects the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA, and SCL) on your Raspberry Pi to an array of Qwiic connectors.

Qwiic Shield for Arduino & Photon Hookup Guide

Get started with our Qwiic ecosystem with the Qwiic shield for Arduino or Photon.

RedBoard Qwiic Hookup Guide

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the RedBoard Qwiic. This tutorial also covers how to get started blinking an LED and using the Qwiic system.

Qwiic Connect System

The Qwiic Distance Sensor is intended for the Qwiic connect system. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the Logic Levels and I2C tutorials before using it. Click on the banner above to learn more about our Qwiic products.