Serious hardware issues with GY-521 modules



  • I have an automotive development using MPU-6050 mounted on GY521 modules

    I am driving the MPU-6050 using a PIC24EP512GU806 Picmicro at 3.3v,

    For this reason I am bridging in the GY521 modules, the 5v to 3.3v regulator, since I have my own 3.3v regulator that powers my processor & MPU6050

    They were very useful for this project the Jeff Rowberg libraries and examples, so I want to thank Jeff for this great work

    I am using the MPU6050 DMP, with a sampling rate of 100 ms, which interrupts my processor every 100 ms to update Accel, Gyro, Quaternions, Euler angles, etc.

    Now I tell you my problem, I have very serious hardware problems with the GY-521 modules

    I bought 1500 units of gy-521 modules from two different Chinese suppliers, The price of gy-521 was very good, less than one dollar each per 1000 units

    The appearance of these modules are identical to all I've seen in forum photos, each one in its bag, with the two connectors one straight and the other at 90 degrees.

    They all seem to be from the same manufacturer, then sold by different vendors, they are even identical to the ones I bought locally during development

    I have built a test tool, which connects to the gy-521 board with a clamp, does a calibration, and test with controlled movements in all axes, accel, gyros and DMP output from MPU6050

    When I receive the modules, the first thing I do, is to remove the 5 to 3.3v LDO regulator, and make a bridge between pins 1 and 5 since my power supply is 3.3v.

    The second thing I do is test them with my tool, during this test I am getting a rejection of 10% of the modules (they are new modules taken out from their bag)

    The main reasons for rejection are: the DMP does not start, or any of the axes is fixed at a 2G value, no matter how the module moves.

    then with the 90% approved modules, I assemble my equipment, test them and encapsulate them in epoxi resin

    These equipments are then installed and calibrated in trucks, where they work 24 hours a day, measuring certain acceleration and incline parameters continuously, in an unattended eviroment

    It is good to clarify that I have experience in both design of automotive equipment and unattended equipment, with adequate power supplies and intelligence and watchdog in the processor to recover from any software failure, with the capacity of a total ot partial power off, and automatic restart

    The problem I am having is that after approximately 2 months of continuous good operation, the MPU6050 suddenly dies and stops working.

    I cannot access to measure electrically since they are encapsulated in epoxy, but I see with the monitor leds , my processor trying to power off and restart continuously the MPU6050, I see also with a led that shows the status of the interrupt pin of the MPU 6050 that the DMP is not starting.

    You know someone who has had similar problems, it will be counterfeit modules or mounted with scrap invensense chips?

    Do you know any reliable vendor for these modules?

    Thanks in advance for your help



  • @Sergio1234 I can't tell for sure that this is same case as mine, but I had problems with this modules too.
    They couldn't initialize and the problem was bad soldering of MPU6050 chip. So I tried to resolder it and it worked, but then it stopped, and I had to redo it again.
    I've ended up buying sole chips without pcb, because it seems for some reason they can't properly solder them...
    Or maybe it's just bad quality of counterfeit chips that are just working for their price.
    I would suggest you to buy original chips from known source, if you're building serious products for critical applications.



  • I've looked for prices for you. Mouser - 3.67€ from 1000 pieces, Digikey - 4.08$ from 1000 pieces, LCSC - 1.43$ for same 1000 pieces. So I guess needless to say that GY-521 can't use original TDK chips for a retail price less than 1$ for a complete module.
    If you interested: https://lcsc.com/product-detail/Attitude-Sensors_TDK-InvenSense_MPU-6050_TDK-InvenSense-MPU-6050_C24112.html



  • Thanks a lot for sharing your experience

    I had reached a similar conclusion

    I tried to put in the oven the modules that failed, but only a few were "fixed"

    I have already successfully used another type of modules mounted in China at a lower price than the individual components, and I assumed that they could reach that price because they manufactured millions of modules

    But in the case of the GY-521 it seems to be of very poor quality, it struck me that I did not find any comments on forums about these bad modules

    I am evaluating redoing my PCB to directly mount the original MPU6050

    Thanks again for your help


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