Arduino Tutorial: Get Traveled Distance using ADNS-9800 Laser Mouse Sensor

Picture of Arduino Tutorial: Get Traveled Distance using ADNS-9800 Laser Mouse Sensor

The ADNS-9800 Laser gaming sensor comprises of sensor and VCSEL in a single chip-on-board (COB) package. ADNS-9800 provides enhanced features like programmable frame rate, programmable resolution, configurable sleep and wake up time to suit various PC gamers’ preferences. The advanced class of VCSEL was engineered by PixArt Imaging to provide a laser diode with a single longitudinal and a single transverse mode. This Laser gaming sensor is in 16-pin integrated chip-on-board (COB) package. It is designed to be used with ADNS-6190-002 small form factor (SFF) gaming laser lens to achieve the optimum performance featured in this document. These parts provide a complete and compact navigation system without moving part and laser calibration process is NOT required in the complete mouse form, thus facilitating high volume assembly. The sensor is based on Laser technology, which measures changes in position by optically acquiring sequential surface images (frames) and mathematically determining the direction and magnitude of movement. It contains an Image Acquisition System (IAS), a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a four wire serial port. The IAS acquires microscopic surface images via the lens and illumination system. These images are processed by the DSP to determine the direction and distance of motion. The DSP calculates the Δx and Δy relative displacement values. An external microcontroller reads the Δx and Δy information from the sensor serial port. The microcontroller then translates the data into PS2, USB, or RF signals before sending them to the host PC or game console.

In this tutorial You will learn how to connect ADNS-9800 Laser Mouse Sensor to Arduino and Display Traveled Distance (Δx) on 20x4 LCD

You can buy one from there: https://www.tindie.com/products/jkicklighter/adns-9800-optical-laser-sensor/

Step 1: Building Circuit

Picture of Building Circuit
First You Need to Build Circuit
You have to Connect Your Arduino to ADNS-9800 and LCD Screen
You can download Circuit from there: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/vcu90sescnt10l2/Laser%20Mouse%20Control.fzz
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nancy01164 months ago

Hi Gigi, sorry to disturb you again. Now i can read Product_ID and many other registers. but new problem emerges: i can't write to some registers(Configuration_I, Configuration_V), but i can write to Configuration_II.. and i can't figure out why...

nancy01164 months ago

hi Gigi, thx for your post. i have read ProductID successfully, which is 0x33. but the InverseProductID is incorrect(should be 0xcc but i got 0xff)..what problem could it be?

Gigi Butbaia (author)  nancy01164 months ago

Hello nancy0116, thank you commenting :),

Is there a problem with only InverseProductID? Does it print data when you move the sensor?

Thx for your reply:-D. Among all the registers i can only read ProductID right. others are either 0xff or 0xfe. I.haven't programmed that further to read deltaXY, considering only when i load the firmware successfully can i read the result right..now i have problem reading registers. This is really bugging me.
Gigi Butbaia (author)  nancy01164 months ago

Ok, there's are few things that may be causing such result, it's either a problem with the circuit (check wiring) or you haven't activated +5V mode (for instructions for activating +5V mode see the end of the last step)

Yeah i guess so.. thanks so much:-D
JasonC1110 months ago

Hi Gigi - I'm trying to use this to monitor the speed of movement. At first blush everything seems to be working, but xydat[0] seems to always be -1, 0 or 1 instead of a byte showing the distance moved since the last reading so it's really inaccurate unless you're moving really slowly. Any idea what could be causing this?

Hi Jason,

In your code, the x, y values comes negative most of the time. Is it related to the direction? If so then which direction - up/down, clockwise/anti-clockwise. Values are not consistent so I can't seem to find the direction implication.

I need to find the rotation angel.

Hi nahidalam,

The values should not be coming out negative most of the time: they are dependent on the direction but I couldn't tell you which direction without knowing the orientation of your sensor. The first thing I would try is to remove the sensor from what you're measuring and try it on a table.

~ Jason

wgdal JasonC119 months ago

Hi GIgi, I am having a similar issue. The counter counts up and down, but is very inaccurate at any speed, say 5'/min. Is there a way to change the resolution of the ADNS-9800?


JasonC11 wgdal9 months ago

You can change the resolution using REG_Configuration_I (http://datasheet.octopart.com/ADNS-9800-Avago-datasheet-10666463.pdf page 29). However, this doesn't appear to solve this issue.

wgdal JasonC119 months ago

Hi Jason, any luck making an accurate measurement?

JasonC11 wgdal9 months ago

Hi wgdal - I got it working using Gigi's fix. Where xydat is defined, change it to:

volatile byte xydat[4];

int16_t * x = (int16_t *) &xydat[0];

int16_t * y = (int16_t *) &xydat[2];

And where xydat is read in UpdatePointers(), change to:

xydat[0] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_X_L);

xydat[1] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_X_H);

xydat[2] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_Y_L);

xydat[3] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_Y_H);

Then (*x) and (*y) will contain accurate counts. Make sure you normalize by the CPI to get the distance.

wgdal JasonC119 months ago

JasonC11, can you please post your code? I applied Gigi's fix, but still no luck. It appeared to change nothing.

Thanks in advance

JasonC11 wgdal9 months ago


neaton14 JasonC118 months ago

Hey JasonC11, can you explain the math you're doing on the xydat[0] and xydat[2] in this line? I see the 2.54 so I assume you're going from inches to cm, but I'm not sure where the 200 is coming from along with the FS*1e-6, or 0.1 (1e5*1e-6).

distancex = float(*x)/200*2.54/(FS*1e-6);

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

JasonC11 neaton148 months ago

He neaton14,

The 200 comes from the CPI, which is set at line 177. Thus you get the distance count (*x) divided by the CPI to get inches, multiplied by 2.54 to get cm, and divided by (FS*1e-6) to get cm/second.

Check out p29 of the datasheet (http://datasheet.octopart.com/ADNS-9800-Avago-data... for more information on how to set the CPI.

I'm not really sure why I set it to 200, but you should be able to tweak it for your application.

neaton14 JasonC118 months ago

Thanks for the explanation! Yeah I tweaked the values through trial and error and now I get solid inch & centimeter readings.

gametack neaton145 months ago

Can you share your code. I want to know how you got the good readings.

wgdal JasonC119 months ago

Thanks,, but I can't get your code to work either. It doesn't appear to initialize the ADNS. It only returns 0s on the monitor. Thanks

neaton14 wgdal9 months ago

Make sure the "ncs" pin number matches with your arduino/sensor setup.

Pardon my ignorance, but does this mean that the code needs to be adjusted to ensure that it's reading from the correct NCS Pin # based upon where you connected the device physically?


That's exactly right. I think the "ncs pin" is the SS pin on the ADNS-9800. In this example he connects it to pin 10 on the arduino. If you connected it to, say, pin 6 on the arduino, make sure to change the number in code to 6.

Cool beans, thanks for the very useful/valuable information. Will be sure to double check that when I get my setup re-connected.

wgdal neaton148 months ago

Thanks, That was it. Actually all I need is two output pulses derived from the laser mouse forward and reverse movement, that emulates a rotary encoder. I have a scalable totalizing counter that accepts square wave pulses. I do not need the "y" output. Sounds easy, but I haven't figured it out yet. I am completely new to Arduino and C. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

wgdal, I'm curious if you've come across something like this


Around post #6/#7 they have code examples.

wgdal JasonC119 months ago

Is this correct?

byte initComplete=0;
byte testctr=0;
unsigned long currTime;
unsigned long timer;
volatile byte xydat[4];
int16_t * x = (int16_t *) &xydat[0];
int16_t * y = (int16_t *) &xydat[2];
volatile byte movementflag=0;
const int ncs = 10;

void UpdatePointer(void){

xydat[0] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_X_L);
xydat[1] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_X_H);
xydat[2] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_Y_L);
xydat[3] = (byte)adns_read_reg(REG_Delta_Y_H);



JasonC11 wgdal9 months ago

Hey wgdal,

I'm out of town until Monday but I'll post it then! If I had to guess, the problem lies in that if you're tracking speed you should change the trigger based on the movement flag to a frame based sampling. I did write this already and will post it on Monday.

~ Jason

Gigi Butbaia (author)  wgdal9 months ago

xydat[0] (the x part of movement) and xydat[1] (the y part of movement) will always show -1 0 or 1. so in order to measure traveled distance using arduino, in loop() I have added variable which value increases by register output, while the register shows non-zero value. Also in my code I only use DELTA_X_LOW and DELTA_Y_LOW registers, to get upper 8 bits of movement you can read DELTA_X_HIGH and DELTA_Y_HIGH. after LOW registers, more info is shown on datasheet pages 24-25.

Is this the loop you are referring to?

int tdistance = 0;
void loop() {
tdistance = tdistance + convTwosComp(xydat[0]);
Serial.println("Distance = " + String(tdistance));

xu jinqi5 months ago

HI,Gigi ! I am a foreigner.due to the Internet limited of my country ,I cannot download code by the link.so could you put your ADNS9800 code to my Email ---xujinqi1989@qq.com.I urgently need the code to help me finish my job. thanks.

nvntkmr7 months ago

Hi there,

Can any one please explain how to change the mode from 3.3v to 5v.

i mean which three traces i have to cut and solder to 5 v.


I drew it on your picture.

thank you for your response. i am using this one in 3.3v mode.
the code is not working.
please refer the link below.

i got this output. please check attached image.

Are you using a 3.3v arduino? or a 5v? From my understanding if you're using a 5v Arduino you need to make the appropriate traces.

I'm not sure if you are able to tell what mode it is operating in from the output.

i used 3.3v of arduino.

anasuino7 months ago

Hi Gigi,

sorry if I sound stupid, but how did you get the firmware data file. because i am trying to interface with another sensor and I checked the datasheet for it (ADNS-6010) and it has the same required setting during the boot-up. I cant find the this mysterious data firmware file anywhere.

please help me.

the firmware can be found in the code download for this instructable.

it is a slightly modified version of the original which can be found by Mr John Kicklighter (I'm assuming you bough the whole lense component the ADNS 9800)


ChristopheB26 months ago


I'm still testing the adns but I got a very weird problem and I haven't figured out what causes it. Only when I put the adns-9800 without the lens on a surface it starts properly. If I add the lens and reset the arduino, I no longer get data from the adns. Also, after reset the Inverse_Product_ID and SROM_Version and Motion field show different information if I start the arduino with or without the lens attached. The strange thing is that if I start the arduino without the lens and after a correct boot add the lens, it still works. Anyone experienced similar problems?

hengl11 months ago

Hi Gigi,

I have acquired one of this sensor and currently playing around with it.

I was wondering if there is any method to use this sensor to determine the distance traveled in cm or meters?



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