Light, location, temperature… What’s next? Well, how about Barometric pressure? You know.. that thing that determines so much of our weather. Well the BMP085 Barometric Pressure sensor, available at SparkFun is a great little sensor capable of sensing such small changes in barometric pressure it can be used as a pretty precise altimeter as well. And, because no Barometric pressure sensor would be complete without a temperature reading, the BMP085 has an imbedded thermometer. It also looks cool!

For this example, the way we will be calculating altitude is imprecise and does not compensate for temperature or many other things that can contribute to differences. But, if you use it as a comparison against itself during a hour long period (barometric pressure also fluctuates throughout the day), you can get a pretty accurate difference reading.

The reading differs from my weather report

Im not going to get into why this is, but to make comparisons easier, your weather report uses a sea-level compensated reading, not an actual reading. This is an actual reading.

Hooking it up

Hooking it up to your Arduino is pretty simple, the BMP085 is an I2C device. I2C is a 2-wire serial connection, so you just need to connect the BMP085 to power (3.3v) and ground, then the SDA (Data) and SCL (Clock) lines to your Arduino for communication. On your Arduino (everything but the mega) SDA is on analog pin 4, and SCL is on analog pin 5. On an Arduino Mega, SDA is digital 20, and SCL is digital 21.


The code for this is largely copied and based off of Jim Lindblom’s example from SparkFun (Thanks Jim!). I changed a few things so it is just easier for you to use the readings in calculations, and I added the altitude reading as well. If you know of a better way to calculate altitude, please let us know so we can include it!

The code simply outputs the temperature, pressure, and altitude in the serial terminal.

[code lang=”arduino”]
//Arduino 1.0+ Only
//Arduino 1.0+ Only

/*Based largely on code by Jim Lindblom

Get pressure, altitude, and temperature from the BMP085.
Serial.print it out at 9600 baud to serial monitor.


#define BMP085_ADDRESS 0x77 // I2C address of BMP085

const unsigned char OSS = 0; // Oversampling Setting

// Calibration values
int ac1;
int ac2;
int ac3;
unsigned int ac4;
unsigned int ac5;
unsigned int ac6;
int b1;
int b2;
int mb;
int mc;
int md;

// b5 is calculated in bmp085GetTemperature(…), this variable is also used in bmp085GetPressure(…)
// so …Temperature(…) must be called before …Pressure(…).
long b5;

void setup(){


void loop()
float temperature = bmp085GetTemperature(bmp085ReadUT()); //MUST be called first
float pressure = bmp085GetPressure(bmp085ReadUP());
float atm = pressure / 101325; // “standard atmosphere”
float altitude = calcAltitude(pressure); //Uncompensated caculation – in Meters

Serial.print(“Temperature: “);
Serial.print(temperature, 2); //display 2 decimal places
Serial.println(“deg C”);

Serial.print(“Pressure: “);
Serial.print(pressure, 0); //whole number only.
Serial.println(” Pa”);

Serial.print(“Standard Atmosphere: “);
Serial.println(atm, 4); //display 4 decimal places

Serial.print(“Altitude: “);
Serial.print(altitude, 2); //display 2 decimal places
Serial.println(” M”);

Serial.println();//line break

delay(1000); //wait a second and get values again.

// Stores all of the bmp085’s calibration values into global variables
// Calibration values are required to calculate temp and pressure
// This function should be called at the beginning of the program
void bmp085Calibration()
ac1 = bmp085ReadInt(0xAA);
ac2 = bmp085ReadInt(0xAC);
ac3 = bmp085ReadInt(0xAE);
ac4 = bmp085ReadInt(0xB0);
ac5 = bmp085ReadInt(0xB2);
ac6 = bmp085ReadInt(0xB4);
b1 = bmp085ReadInt(0xB6);
b2 = bmp085ReadInt(0xB8);
mb = bmp085ReadInt(0xBA);
mc = bmp085ReadInt(0xBC);
md = bmp085ReadInt(0xBE);

// Calculate temperature in deg C
float bmp085GetTemperature(unsigned int ut){
long x1, x2;

x1 = (((long)ut – (long)ac6)*(long)ac5) >> 15;
x2 = ((long)mc << 11)/(x1 + md); b5 = x1 + x2; float temp = ((b5 + 8)>>4);
temp = temp /10;

return temp;

// Calculate pressure given up
// calibration values must be known
// b5 is also required so bmp085GetTemperature(…) must be called first.
// Value returned will be pressure in units of Pa.
long bmp085GetPressure(unsigned long up){
long x1, x2, x3, b3, b6, p;
unsigned long b4, b7;

b6 = b5 – 4000;
// Calculate B3
x1 = (b2 * (b6 * b6)>>12)>>11;
x2 = (ac2 * b6)>>11;
x3 = x1 + x2;
b3 = (((((long)ac1)*4 + x3)<>2;

// Calculate B4
x1 = (ac3 * b6)>>13;
x2 = (b1 * ((b6 * b6)>>12))>>16;
x3 = ((x1 + x2) + 2)>>2;
b4 = (ac4 * (unsigned long)(x3 + 32768))>>15;

b7 = ((unsigned long)(up – b3) * (50000>>OSS));
if (b7 < 0x80000000) p = (b7<<1)/b4; else p = (b7/b4)<<1; x1 = (p>>8) * (p>>8);
x1 = (x1 * 3038)>>16;
x2 = (-7357 * p)>>16;
p += (x1 + x2 + 3791)>>4;

long temp = p;
return temp;

// Read 1 byte from the BMP085 at ‘address’
char bmp085Read(unsigned char address)
unsigned char data;


Wire.requestFrom(BMP085_ADDRESS, 1);


// Read 2 bytes from the BMP085
// First byte will be from ‘address’
// Second byte will be from ‘address’+1
int bmp085ReadInt(unsigned char address)
unsigned char msb, lsb;


Wire.requestFrom(BMP085_ADDRESS, 2);
while(Wire.available()<2) ; msb =; lsb =; return (int) msb<<8 | lsb; } // Read the uncompensated temperature value unsigned int bmp085ReadUT(){ unsigned int ut; // Write 0x2E into Register 0xF4 // This requests a temperature reading Wire.beginTransmission(BMP085_ADDRESS); Wire.write(0xF4); Wire.write(0x2E); Wire.endTransmission(); // Wait at least 4.5ms delay(5); // Read two bytes from registers 0xF6 and 0xF7 ut = bmp085ReadInt(0xF6); return ut; } // Read the uncompensated pressure value unsigned long bmp085ReadUP(){ unsigned char msb, lsb, xlsb; unsigned long up = 0; // Write 0x34+(OSS<<6) into register 0xF4 // Request a pressure reading w/ oversampling setting Wire.beginTransmission(BMP085_ADDRESS); Wire.write(0xF4); Wire.write(0x34 + (OSS<<6)); Wire.endTransmission(); // Wait for conversion, delay time dependent on OSS delay(2 + (3<> (8-OSS);

return up;

void writeRegister(int deviceAddress, byte address, byte val) {
Wire.beginTransmission(deviceAddress); // start transmission to device
Wire.write(address); // send register address
Wire.write(val); // send value to write
Wire.endTransmission(); // end transmission

int readRegister(int deviceAddress, byte address){

int v;
Wire.write(address); // register to read

Wire.requestFrom(deviceAddress, 1); // read a byte

while(!Wire.available()) {
// waiting

v =;
return v;

float calcAltitude(float pressure){

float A = pressure/101325;
float B = 1/5.25588;
float C = pow(A,B);
C = 1 – C;
C = C /0.0000225577;

return C;