enter image description hereI am using the Arduino Starter Kit and I am on project 8. The picture of the sketch in the book is not clear because it shows the tilt sensor seemingly resting sideways, which is not the way that it connects. If you insert the pins into the board the sensor will always be standing and there will be no way to turn it. I was thinking you might have to solder wires to the pins. Does anyone know? -Thanks Edit: Perhaps this picture will help:

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    Pretend for a moment that we don't have a clue what it is your describing. Show us some pretty pictures and point out what you mean.
    – Majenko
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 23:15
  • My question is: How do you use a tilt sensor, because I can't seem to figure it out, and my book does not explain it. Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 23:47
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    Well I for one can't see your book or your tilt sensor. PICTURES!
    – Majenko
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 23:51
  • The picture of the sketch in the book is not clear - the picture in your question is even less clear. Non-existent would be my way of describing it. which is not the way that it connects - you've lost me there. I usually tilt things in all sorts of directions when I connect them.
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 1:32
  • Perhaps this picture will help - see amended answer.
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


I don't have the starter kit but I have a tilt ball sensor:

Tilt ball sensor

My guess is that there is a ball inside it, and it connects the wires, like this:

Tilt ball sensor design

This is confirmed by measurement.

I suggest you either solder wires to it, or push the wires into your breadboard. As you can imagine from the diagram, the contacts will be closed if the ball (or mercury or whatever it is) is downwards. In other words, if the leads are facing down. As you tilt it, the ball will move away from the two wires, breaking the connection. You may have to tilt it quite a lot for this to happen.

(Edited to add)

I see from the Arduino Starter Kit page that the tilt sensor works like this:

Arduino Starter Kit tilt sensor

This shows that my guess was pretty accurate. :)

There are four pins, so I imagine that the ball would connect four of them if held upright, and various combinations if tilted forwards or sideways.

If you insert the pins into the board the sensor will always be standing and there will be no way to turn it.

Well, you could tilt the breadboard, yes?

However I agree that if you want to tilt just the sensor, then soldering wires to it would seem quite sensible.

I think the starter kit is there to show you the concepts. There is nothing stopping you tilting the entire breadboard to see how it works. In practice you would mount the sensor in such a way that it activated when moved from position A to position B, whatever that is.

  • I remember when the glass beads with mercury in them were still legal :) At least with those you could see exactly how they worked.
    – Majenko
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 10:17
  • Yes I think that tilting the sensor when it is on the breadboard might work. It would make sense to tilt the breadboard, but the pins do not fit smugly into the board so it would just fall out; but I think that is why the pins don't fit: so you can turn it. Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 14:43
  • A breadboard (even a smaller daughter one) will not permit independent connection to all four pins; also the pins are likely too short for reliable connection. Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 18:43
  • I would say @ChrisStratton is right. Those pins look close together, and it would be hard, or impossible, to get them into a breadboard with independent connections (because of the way breadboards work).
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 21:26

I have the starter kit with the exact same tilt sensor. In my experience it does sorta work. In that you can plug it in the breadboard and it will sit snugly and have a stable connection, but two and two of the connectors will be shorted so you can't use all four independently. And it will respond to tilting the board, at least in one specific direction. So it does work without soldering, at least for learning/demonstration purposes.

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