ModularSensors > Modules > Supported Sensors > Analog Sensors via TI ADS1x15 > TI ADS1x15 External Voltage Sensor

TI ADS1x15 External Voltage Sensor module

Classes for simple external analog voltage measurements.


Analog data output is supported in ModularSensors by way of the Texas Instruments ADS1115.

The External Voltage module is used for any case where the voltage itself is the desired value (as for an external battery). It can also be used in combination with a calculated variable to support any other analog sensor not explicity supported by ModularSensors. To increase the range available for voltage measurements, this module supports the use of a voltage divider.

If you are working with an EnviroDIY Mayfly, the easiest voltage divider to connect is the Grove voltage divider sold by seeed studio. The grove voltage divider is a simple voltage divider designed to measure high external voltages on a low voltage ADC. This module employs a variable gain via two pairs of voltage dividers, and a unity gain amplification to reduce output impedance of the module.

Sensor Datasheet

Technical specifications for the Grove Voltage Divider can be found at:

Build flags

  • -D MS_USE_ADS1015
    • switches from the 16-bit ADS1115 to the 12 bit ADS1015

Sensor Constructor

ExternalVoltage(int8_t powerPin, uint8_t adsChannel, float gain = 1, uint8_t i2cAddress = ADS1115_ADDRESS, uint8_t measurementsToAverage = 1)

Construct a new External Voltage object - need the power pin and the data channel on the ADS1x15.

powerPin The pin on the mcu controlling power to the sensor Use -1 if it is continuously powered.
adsChannel The ADS channel of interest (0-3).
gain The gain multiplier, if a voltage divider is used.
i2cAddress The I2C address of the ADS 1x15, default is 0x48 (ADDR = GND)
measurementsToAverage The number of measurements to take and average before giving a "final" result from the sensor; optional with a default value of 1.

The gain value, I2C address, and number of measurements to average are optional. If nothing is given a 1x gain is used.

Example Code

The TI ADS1X15 external voltage sensor is used in the menu a la carte example.

#include <sensors/ExternalVoltage.h>

const int8_t  ADSPower       = sensorPowerPin;  // Power pin (-1 if unconnected)
const int8_t  ADSChannel     = 2;               // The ADS channel of interest
const float   dividerGain    = 10;  //  Gain setting if using a voltage divider
const uint8_t evADSi2c_addr  = 0x48;  // The I2C address of the ADS1115 ADC
const uint8_t VoltReadsToAvg = 1;     // Only read one sample

// Create an External Voltage sensor object
ExternalVoltage extvolt(ADSPower, ADSChannel, dividerGain, evADSi2c_addr,

// Create a voltage variable pointer
Variable* extvoltV =
    new ExternalVoltage_Volt(&extvolt, "12345678-abcd-1234-ef00-1234567890ab");


class ExternalVoltage
The Sensor sub-class for the external votlage as measured by TI ADS1115 or ADS1015.
class ExternalVoltage_Volt
The Variable sub-class used for the voltage output from a TI ADS1115 or ADS1015.


Sensor::_numReturnedValues; the ADS1115 can report 1 value.
#define ADS1115_ADDRESS = 0x48
The assumed address of the ADS1115, 1001 000 (ADDR = GND)

Sensor Timing

The sensor timing for a TI ADS1x15 analog-to-digital converter (ADC) The timing used for simple external voltage measurements is that of the ADS1x15.

Sensor::_warmUpTime_ms; the ADS1115 warms up in 2ms.
Sensor::_stabilizationTime_ms; the ADS1115 is stable 0ms after warm-up.

We assume a voltage is instantly ready.

Sensor::_measurementTime_ms; the ADS1115 completes 860 conversions per second, but the wait for the conversion to complete is built into the underlying library, so we do not need to wait further here.


The volt variable from a TI ADS1x15 analog-to-digital converter (ADC)

  • Range:
    • without voltage divider: 0 - 3.6V [when ADC is powered at 3.3V]
    • 1/gain = 3x: 0.3 ~ 12.9V
    • 1/gain = 10x: 1 ~ 43V
  • Accuracy:
    • 16-bit ADC (ADS1115): < 0.25% (gain error), <0.25 LSB (offset errror)
    • 12-bit ADC (ADS1015, using build flag MS_USE_ADS1015): < 0.15% (gain error), <3 LSB (offset errror)
  • Resolution:
    • 16-bit ADC (ADS1115):
    • 12-bit ADC (ADS1015, using build flag MS_USE_ADS1015):

ExternalVoltage_Volt(ExternalVoltage* parentSense, const char* uuid = "", const char* varCode = EXT_VOLTAGE_DEFAULT_CODE) explicit

Construct a new ExternalVoltage_Volt object.

parentSense The parent ExternalVoltage providing the result values.
uuid A universally unique identifier (UUID or GUID) for the variable; optional with the default value of an empty string.
varCode A short code to help identify the variable in files; optional with a default value of "extVoltage".

Variable number; voltage is stored in sensorValues[0].
#define EXT_VOLTAGE_VAR_NAME = "voltage"
Variable name in ODM2 controlled vocabulary; "voltage".
#define EXT_VOLTAGE_UNIT_NAME = "volt"
Variable unit name in ODM2 controlled vocabulary; "volt".
#define EXT_VOLTAGE_DEFAULT_CODE = "extVoltage"
Default variable short code; "extVoltage".
Decimals places in string representation; voltage should have 4.