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Created March 3, 2018 23:39
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Reading MCP3008 using C on the Raspberry Pi
// Using C to read the MCP3008 10-bit
// ADC via SPI
#include <stdio.h>
#include <bcm2835.h>
uint8_t start = 0x01;
uint8_t end = 0x00;
uint8_t chan = 0x00;
int readADC(uint8_t chan);
float volts_adc(int adc);
int readADC(uint8_t chan){
char buf[] = {start, (0x08|chan)<<4,end};
char readBuf[3];
return ((int)readBuf[1] & 0x03) << 8 | (int) readBuf[2];
float volts_adc(int adc) {
return (float)adc*3.3f/1023.0f;
int main(int argc, char const *argv[]) {
if (!bcm2835_init())
printf("bcm2835_init failed. Are you running as root??\n");
return 1;
if (!bcm2835_spi_begin())
printf("bcm2835_spi_begin failed. Are you running as root??\n");
return 1;
bcm2835_spi_setBitOrder(BCM2835_SPI_BIT_ORDER_MSBFIRST); // The default
bcm2835_spi_setDataMode(BCM2835_SPI_MODE0); // The default
bcm2835_spi_setClockDivider(BCM2835_SPI_CLOCK_DIVIDER_65536); // The default
bcm2835_spi_chipSelect(BCM2835_SPI_CS0); // The default
bcm2835_spi_setChipSelectPolarity(BCM2835_SPI_CS0, LOW); // the default
for(uint8_t i=0; i<10; i++) {
int adc = readADC(chan);
printf("ADC level on channel %02x is: %04x (%0.2f v)\n",chan,adc,volts_adc(adc));
return 0;
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