Products for USB Sensing and Control
Products for USB Sensing and Control

PhidgetSpatial Precision 3/3/3 High Resolution

ID: 1044_1B

This spatial board has a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and compass with high resolution readings at low magnitudes.


Replaced by the MOT0109 - PhidgetSpatial Precision 3/3/3.

Note: The 1044_1B uses a different chipset as the 1044_0B, so performance may vary slightly.

The PhidgetSpatial Precision 3/3/3 combines the functionality of a 3-axis compass, a 3-axis gyroscope, and a 3-axis accelerometer all in one convenient package. It has enhanced precision in the accelerometer when measuring less than ±2.5g, and enhanced gyroscope precision in the X and Y axes at speeds less than 100°/s. The transition from high precision to low precision mode and back is completely seamless and automatic.

If precision is not an important factor for your application, consider the 1042 - PhidgetSpatial 3/3/3 instead.

The 1044 could be used to:

  • Provide spatial data for a remote control vehicle
  • Capture motion input data for research purposes
  • Gather motion statistics for moving objects

Use the following program to correct for magnetic errors in your application:

USB Cables

Use a USB cable to connect this Phidget to your computer. We have a number of different lengths available, although the maximum length of a USB cable is 5 meters due to limitations in the timing protocol. For longer distances, we recommend that you use a Single Board Computer to control the Phidget remotely.

Product Physical Properties
Image Part Number Price Connector A Connector B Cable Length
3017_1 $3.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 280 mm
3018_0 $4.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 1.8 m
3020_0 $12.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 4.5 m
3036_0 $3.50 USB Type A USB Mini-B 600 mm
3037_0 $4.00 USB Type A USB Mini-B 1.2 m

Getting Started

Welcome to the 1044 user guide! In order to get started, make sure you have the following hardware on hand:

Next, you will need to connect the pieces:

1056 0 Connecting The Hardware.jpg
  1. Connect your device to your computer using the USB cable.

Now that you have everything together, let's start using the 1044!

Using the 1044

Phidget Control Panel

In order to demonstrate the functionality of the 1044, the Phidget Control Panel running on a Windows machine will be used.

The Phidget Control Panel is available for use on both macOS and Windows machines.


To open the Phidget Control Panel on Windows, find the Ph.jpg icon in the taskbar. If it is not there, open up the start menu and search for Phidget Control Panel

Windows PhidgetTaskbar.PNG


To open the Phidget Control Panel on macOS, open Finder and navigate to the Phidget Control Panel in the Applications list. Double click on the Ph.jpg icon to bring up the Phidget Control Panel.

For more information, take a look at the getting started guide for your operating system:

Linux users can follow the getting started with Linux guide and continue reading here for more information about the 1044.

First Look

After plugging the 1044 into your computer and opening the Phidget Control Panel, you will see something like this:

1044 Panel.jpg

The Phidget Control Panel will list all connected Phidgets and associated objects, as well as the following information:

  • Serial number: allows you to differentiate between similar Phidgets.
  • Channel: allows you to differentiate between similar objects on a Phidget.
  • Version number: corresponds to the firmware version your Phidget is running. If your Phidget is listed in red, your firmware is out of date. Update the firmware by double-clicking the entry.

The Phidget Control Panel can also be used to test your device. Double-clicking on an object will open an example.


Double-click on the Accelerometer object in order to run the example:

1044 Accelerometer Example.jpg

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Modify the change trigger and/or data interval value by dragging the sliders. For more information on these settings, see the data interval/change trigger page.
  • The measured values reported in g-force can be seen via labels as well as graphical dials. Try tilting the 1044 in different directions to see the labels and graphics change.
  • An extremely accurate timestamp is also reported with the g-force values.


Double-click on the Gyroscope object in order to run the example:

1044 Gyroscope Example.jpg

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Modify the change trigger and/or data interval value by dragging the sliders. For more information on these settings, see the data interval/change trigger page.
  • The Zero Gyro button is used to compensate for the drift that is inherent to all gyroscopes. The gyroscope primer has more information about this subject.
  • The measured values reported in degrees per second can be seen via labels as well as graphical dials. Try rotating the 1044 in different directions to see the labels and graphics change.
  • An extremely accurate timestamp is also reported with the g-force values.


Double-click on the Magnetometer object in order to run the example:

1044 Magnetometer Example.jpg

General information about the selected object will be displayed at the top of the window. You can also experiment with the following functionality:

  • Modify the change trigger and/or data interval value by dragging the sliders. For more information on these settings, see the data interval/change trigger page.
  • Use the Set Params... button to set the calibration parameters. For more information about calibration, see the technical section.
  • The measured values reported in Gauss can be seen via labels as well as a graphical diagram. The diagram can help you visualize the magnetic field vector.
  • An extremely accurate timestamp is also reported with the Gauss values.


Double-click on the Spatial object in order to run the example:

1044 Spatial Example.jpg

The Spatial example demonstrates that you can receive data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer all at once by using the Spatial object rather than the other three objects individually.

Finding The Addressing Information

Before you can access the device in your own code, and from our examples, you'll need to take note of the addressing parameters for your Phidget. These will indicate how the Phidget is physically connected to your application. For simplicity, these parameters can be found by clicking the button at the top of the Control Panel example for that Phidget.

The locate Phidget button is found in the device information box

In the Addressing Information window, the section above the line displays information you will need to connect to your Phidget from any application. In particular, note the Channel Class field as this will be the API you will need to use with your Phidget, and the type of example you should use to get started with it. The section below the line provides information about the network the Phidget is connected on if it is attached remotely. Keep track of these parameters moving forward, as you will need them once you start running our examples or your own code.

All the information you need to address your Phidget

Using Your Own Program

You are now ready to start writing your own code for the device. The best way to do that is to start from our Code Samples.

Select your programming language of choice from the drop-down list to get an example for your device. You can use the options provided to further customize the example to best suit your needs.

Code Sample Choose Language.png

Once you have your example, you will need to follow the instructions on the page for your programming language to get it running. To find these instructions, select your programming language from the Programming Languages page.

Technical Details

Using Quarternion Algorithms

What is Quarternion?

For the 1044_1, we have added support for quarternions which can be used instead of raw acceleration, gyroscope and magnetometer data.


Quarternions use three variables (X, Y and Z) to specify the tilt of an axis, and one additional variable (W) to specify the rotation around that axis. The main advantage of using quarternions with Phidgets is that you don't need to manually calculate heading using data from all three sensors. It also avoids problems like gimbal lock that can occur in situations where you are adding rotation angles (pitch, roll and yaw) together in real-time. Quarternions are also the preferred rotation system for programs that deal with 3D objects, like Unity. Quarternions are not meant to be modified directly, instead the program or library that uses them will often have functions that perform calculations using them.

How to Get Quarternions from the 1044_1

In order to use quarternions, you need to use the Spatial object instead of the individual Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Magnetometer objects. Normally you'd use the SpatialData event to have your program respond to the Phidget's motion but to get updates in quarternions, use the AlgorithmData event.

For specific function and variable names, see the Phidget22 API for the 1044 Spatial object in the language of your choice. Here is a quick overview of the new properties and methods available:

Algorithm - This property allows you to choose between the AHRS and IMU algorithm (it is AHRS by default). The main difference is that IMU does not use magnetometer data, so it may perform better in applications with heavy electromagnetic noise.

AlgorithmMagnetometerGain - If using AHRS, you can lower the value of this property to reduce sensor noise at the cost of slowing down response time. Default value is 0.005.

zeroAlgorithm - This method will zero the AHRS heading to match the current reading from the compass.

Converting from Quarternions into Pitch, Roll and Yaw

If you're not using a library that explicitly supports quarternions, you may want to convert this data into pitch, roll and yaw (also called Euler angles). The code sample below shows how you would use the x,y,z and w quarternion values to calculate pitch, roll and yaw in C#.

private void convert(Quarternion q) {

double roll = (float)Math.Atan2(2f * (q.X * q.W + q.Y * q.Z), 1 - 2f * (q.X * q.X + q.Y * q.Y));
double pitch = (float)Math.Asin(2f * (q.W * q.Y - q.Z * q.X));
double yaw = (float)Math.Atan2(2f * (q.W * q.Z + q.X * q.Y), 1 - 2f * (q.Y * q.Y + q.Z * q.Z));

// Convert radians to degrees
yaw = yaw * 180 / Math.PI;
pitch = pitch * 180 / Math.PI;
roll = roll * 180 / Math.PI;


You'll need a math library to perform the atan2 and arcsin functions.

High Resolution Mode

When the 1044 measures an acceleration value with magnitude less than 2g, it will acquire its data from a higher precision accelerometer chip. For these measurements, the average white noise on each axis will be reduced by approximately a factor of ten, and the resolution will increase from 976 μg to 76 μg. Likewise, when the gyroscope measures a rotation value with magnitude less than 300 °/s on the Z-axis or 400 °/s on the X or Y-axis, the noise per axis will be approximately six times lower, and the resolution will increase from 0.07 °/s to 0.02 °/s. The transition from normal to high precision or vice-versa is seamless, with no additional code or equations needed.

3-Axis Accelerometer

The 1044 has a 3-Axis accelerometer that can measure ±8 g's (±78 m/s2) per axis. It will measure both dynamic acceleration (change in velocity) and static acceleration (gravity vector).


1041 0 Axis Diagram.jpg

When working with an accelerometer it is important to know which is the positive and negative direction on each of the axes. This can be determined by orienting the accelerometer along each axis and checking the output. The above image shows what the axis readings should be for each orientation of the 1044.

For more information on how to use the accelerometer, check the Accelerometer Primer.

3-Axis Gyroscope

For more information on the gyroscope, see the Gyroscope Primer.

3-Axis Magnetometer (Compass)

The magnetometer reports the sum of all magnetic fields acting on the 1044. The earth's magnetic field is only one source that affects this measurement. In order to get accurate bearing data from the magnetometer - (i.e. to find magnetic north as a compass) any interfering magnetic effects need to be calibrated out. For more information about calibration, see the section below, or the Compass Primer.

Any magnetic field that is stationary with respect to the 1044, and less than ± 3 Gauss, can be calibrated out of the magnetic field measurement. This includes both hard and soft iron effects caused by nearby ferrous and magnetic materials. Interfering magnetic fields that vary in strength and orientation with respect to the 1044 cannot be easily calibrated out.

Magnetic field data will become unavailable during every other sample as the compass performs internal calibrations. When this happens, the magneticField array in the SpatialData structure will either have a length of zero, or each element will equal PUNK_DBL, depending on the API being used. This needs to be handled explicitly in the event handling code to avoid erroneous program behavior. The maximum sampling rate of the compass is 125 Hz.

Calibrating the Magnetometer

Magnetometer Calibration

Magnetometer Calibration Guide

In order to get accurate results from your spatial's compass you will need to provide calibration parameters.

Follow this guide to complete the calibration process.

1. Open the Phidget Control Panel and right click on your Spatial Phidget. Select Calibrate Magnetometer.

2. Go to the webpage listed in the window that opens (or click this link):

3. Enter your full address including postal code and click Get & Add Lat / Lon.

This will cause numbers to appear in the left section. Click Calculate.

4. Grab the Total Field value from the window that pops up and convert it from nT to G by dividing by 10000. Put the new gauss value into the Local Field Strength field in the Magnetometer Calibrator.

5. Make sure your Phidget Spatial is firmly in the position you intend to calibrate it for, and begin by clicking the Start button.

6. Rotate the Phidget around so that the graph on screen begins to draw a complete sphere. This will take a few minutes. Don't worry if the result doesn't look like a perfect sphere, just try to rotate the Phidget in a way that fills in as much of the empty regions as possible. If the Phidget is mounted in a vehicle, drive it around and the calibrator will fill out a flat circle instead of a sphere.

When you're finished, click Stop.

7. The calibration is now complete. Calibration values have been saved to the on-board flash memory, so it'll remember this calibration even if the device is unplugged.

You can find the calibration parameters in the text box in case you want to quickly recalibrate this Phidget or calibrate a replacement that will sit in the same installation. You can use these values in the setMagnetometerCorrectionParameters method. See our API Documentation for more details.


For more information on magnetometers (compasses), see the Compass Primer.

What to do Next

  • Programming Languages - Find your preferred programming language here and learn how to write your own code with Phidgets!
  • Phidget Programming Basics - Once you have set up Phidgets to work with your programming environment, we recommend you read our page on to learn the fundamentals of programming with Phidgets.

Product Specifications

Acceleration Measurement Max ± 2.5 g
Acceleration Measurement Resolution 76 μg
Acceleration Bandwidth 497 Hz
Backup Accelerometer
Acceleration Measurement Max ± 8 g
Acceleration Measurement Resolution 244 μg
Gyroscope Speed Max (X-Axis, Y-Axis) ± 100°/s
Gyroscope Resolution (X-Axis, Y-Axis) 0.0031°/s
Backup Gyroscope
Gyroscope Speed Max ± 2000°/s
Gyroscope Resolution 0.07°/s
Magnetic Field Max ± 49.2 G
Magnetometer Resolution 1.5 mG
Magnetometer Noise 16 mG
Controlled By USB (Mini-USB)
API Object Name Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
Current Consumption Max 45 mA
Sampling Speed Min 1 s/sample
Sampling Speed Max 4 ms/sample
Sampling Speed Min (Webservice) 1 s/sample
Sampling Speed Max (Webservice) 12 ms/sample
Analog to Digital Converter Resolution 16 bit
USB Voltage Min 4.4 V DC
USB Voltage Max 5.3 V DC
USB Speed Full Speed
Operating Temperature Min -40 °C
Operating Temperature Max 85 °C
Customs Information
Canadian HS Export Code 8471.80.00
American HTS Import Code 8471.80.40.00
Country of Origin CN (China)
* Clarification: This device has a high-precision, low-range chipset and a low-precision, high-range chipset for both the accelerometer and the gyroscope, and will automatically use the value from the precision chipset when the reading is within range. The precision gyroscope chipset only operates in the X and Y axes, so Z-axis measurements on the gyroscope will always use the less precise chipset. You may want to mount the 1044 in such a way that the gyroscope axes that are most important to your application fall on the X and Y planes.


Product History

Date Board Revision Device Version Packaging Revision Comment
September 2012 0 400 Product Release
September 2012 0 401 Fixed USB bug
October 2015 0 402 OS X El Capitan USB Fix
February 2016 0 403 Fixed issue that prevented gyroscope from working
January 2018 0 403 BAdded plastic shell enclosure, removed USB cable
May 2019 1 500 BChanged chipset, added API support for quarternions
August 2019 1 502 BVarious USB bug fixes

Software Objects

Channel NameAPIChannel
3-Axis Accelerometer Accelerometer 0
3-Axis Gyroscope Gyroscope 0
3-Axis Magnetometer Magnetometer 0
Spatial Spatial 0


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Code Samples

Example Options


				Make your selections to display sample code.

Code Samples


Accelerometer Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
Accelerometer Java Android Download
Accelerometer JavaScript Browser Download
Accelerometer Objective-C macOS Download
Accelerometer Swift macOS Download
Accelerometer Swift iOS Download
Accelerometer Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
Accelerometer Max/MSP Multiple Download
Gyroscope Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
Gyroscope Java Android Download
Gyroscope JavaScript Browser Download
Gyroscope Objective-C macOS Download
Gyroscope Swift macOS Download
Gyroscope Swift iOS Download
Gyroscope Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
Gyroscope Max/MSP Multiple Download
Magnetometer Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
Magnetometer Java Android Download
Magnetometer JavaScript Browser Download
Magnetometer Objective-C macOS Download
Magnetometer Swift macOS Download
Magnetometer Swift iOS Download
Magnetometer Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
Magnetometer Max/MSP Multiple Download
Spatial Compass Calibrator C Multiple Download
Spatial Visual Studio GUI C# Windows Download
Spatial Compass Calibrator C# Windows Download
Spatial Spatial AHRS/IMU C# Windows Download
Spatial Java Android Download
Spatial JavaScript Browser Download
Spatial Objective-C macOS Download
Spatial Swift macOS Download
Spatial Swift iOS Download
Spatial Visual Basic .NET Windows Download
Spatial Max/MSP Multiple Download

Have a look at our spatial boards:

Product Accelerometer Gyroscope Magnetometer
Image Part Number Price Acceleration Measurement Max Acceleration Measurement Resolution Gyroscope Speed Max Gyroscope Resolution Magnetometer Resolution Magnetic Field Max
1041_0B $40.00 ± 8 g 976.7 μg
1042_0B $60.00 ± 8 g 976.7 μg ± 2000°/s 0.07°/s 3 mG 5.5 G
1043_1B $80.00 ± 2 g 76.3 μg
MOT0109_0 $100.00 ± 2.5 g 10 μg 1.5 mG ± 49.2 G
MOT1100_0 $20.00 ± 8 g 1 mg
MOT1102_0 $30.00 ± 8 g 200 μg ± 2250°/s 1E-05°/s 200 μG ± 8 G