I need to attach several capacitive sensors MPR121 with each of them using all of its 12 electrodes to an Arduino Uno.

Could you please tell me, how many will work with the voltage and current Arduino Uno supplies?


The answer is 4 regardless of the current consumption.

You can have 4 MPR121 devices on an I2C bus (by connecting the ADDR pin to the right place to select 1 of 4 addresses), and the Uno has one I2C bus - so that means 4 devices.

You could use software I2C to add more devices on other pins, but that's slow and clunky.

But that aside, if you used something to increase the number of I2C buses available, according to the datasheet the peak current consumption is 1mA during sampling, and assuming 300mA maximum for the Arduino's 3.3V regulator, that would mean a maximum of 300 MPR121 connected to the Arduino. Note that, if you could actually get to the Arduino amongst that tangle of wires, you'd find it getting rather hot...

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  • Thanks very much. So I can use four sensors and in fact 48 electrodes with my Arduino Uno? – fooness Oct 26 '15 at 15:41
  • Yep. As long as the software you use supports selecting the right bus address. – Majenko Oct 26 '15 at 16:32
  • Uh, I hope so. I wanted to use Sparkfun’s Music Instrument Shield and four of their capacitive sensors. – fooness Oct 26 '15 at 17:51

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