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The 3DM® Orientation Sensor is designed to provide 3-axis static and quasi-dynamic orientation measurements. It incorporates 3 accelerometers and 3 magnetometers together with an on-board microprocessor, embedded software algorithm, non-volatile memory for configuration, and serial communication interface. Its form-factor, rated temperature range and power supply requirements are optimized for a broad array of applications. The 3DM® outputs acceleration vectors, magnetic field vectors, Euler angles (pitch, roll, yaw) and orientation matrix.

Datasheet Manual

Best in Class

  •     high-speed sample rate & flexible data outputs
  •     extended use, low-power data logging

Easiest to Use

  •     out-of-the-box pitch, roll, and yaw

Cost Effective

  •     reduced cost and rapid time to market for customer’s applications
  •     aggressive volume discount schedule


static/quasi-dynamic measurements

Sensor suite

accelerometers, magnetometers

Orientation range

360° about all axes

Accelerometer range


Accelerometer bias stability


Accelerometer nonlinearity


Magnetometer range

+/-6 Gauss

Magnetometer bias stability

0.4 Gauss

Magnetometer nonlinearity


A/D resolution

12 bits

Orientation accuracy

pitch +/-0.7° typical, roll +/-0.7° typical, yaw +/-1.5° typical

Orientation resolution

<0.1° at most aggressive setting


pitch and roll 0.7° typical, yaw 0.26° typical

Output modes

acceleration, magnetic fields, Euler angles (pitch, roll, yaw), orientation matrix

Communication interface


Communication/power connector

RJ11 type

Data rate

angle mode up to 45 Hz; sensor mode up to 70 Hz


infinite impulse response (IIR); user programmable weighted moving average

Baud rate

1200, 9600, 19200

Power supply voltage

+5.2 to +12.0 VDC

Power consumption

50 mA

Operating temperature

-25°C to +70°C


64mm x 89mm x 25mm


62 grams

Shock limit




The 3DM is operated by a combination RS-232 communication and power cable, part number 6202-0020.

A technical drawing can be found at: http://files.microstrain.com/3010-0008.pdf

From time to time the inertial sensor may need recalibration.

Example: If the inertial sensor contains magnetometers, coming in contact with magnetic influences (magnets, motors, etc.) may cause residual magnetism to be picked up by the on-board components which alter the calibration.  In these cases, the inertial sensor should be returned to the factory for recalibration.

Example: The inertial sensor receives a severe shock, slightly altering the position of the circuit boards in relation to the enclosure, again altering the calibration.  In these cases, the unit should be returned to the factory for recalibration.

Yes.  The unit is factory calibrated and ready for use with power-up.

The sensor can output:

  • acceleration
  • magnetic fields
  • Euler angles (pitch, roll, yaw)
  • orientation matrix

Yes.  A Windows XP/Vista/7 compatible software is shipped the product.  The software allows the user to configure, operate, display and save data from the sensor.

Yes.  A complete data communications protocol manual and sample code is shipped with the sensor.


The 3DM can measure static and quasi-dynamic rotations with an accuracy of:

  • pitch +/-0.7 degrees (typical)
  • roll +/-0.7 degrees (typical)
  • yaw +/-1.5 degrees (typical)

The 3DM is a 3-axis orientation sensor capable of measuring:

  • -180˚ to + 180˚ of yaw (heading)
  • -180˚ to +180˚ of roll
  • -90˚ to +90˚ of pitch (see note following)

Note: The 3DM has a pitch range of +/-90˚.  It will measure pitch accurately within this range.  However, due to a mathematical singularity in the Euler theorem, as pitch exceeds either -70˚ or +70˚, the yaw and roll measurements of the 3DM will become numerically unstable.  So to put it another way, if you are just measuring pitch with the device, all measurement between -90˚ and +90˚ will be accurate.  If you are measuring pitch and roll at the same time (for example), pitch measurements beyond -70˚ or + 70˚ will effect the accuracy of the roll.

Yes.  We have had good success with several types of off-the-shelf USB to serial port adaptors, such as those from IOGear and Keyspan, which may be purchased through any of the electronics products distributors.


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