Build Your Own Solid State Compass for $60

You could buy an Airmar h2183 heading sensor for $600 to $1000 or build your own for $60. This entire project took 2 hours to complete. Here is what you need.

1.) An arduino electronics board. I bought mine at Liquidware for $28.95

2.) A solid state compass chip module. This is available also at Liquidware for $32.63.

Note: The pretty software reading from the compass is PolarCom from PolarNavy.

Step 1: Solder together the header.

Step 2: Push the sensor into the analog connector as shown.

Step 3: Download and install the arduino development IDE software Linux, Mac or Windows: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

Unzip the Arduino file and browse to a directory names "libraries". Create a folder named "LibCompass". Drop these two files into the LibCompass directory: LibCompass.h and LibCompass.cpp

Step 4: Lauch the Arduino sofware and past the following code in: nmeaCompass

Step 5: Hit the upload button in Arduino IDE. And, that is it you have a NMEA compass. You can connect it to a computer with using the USB port or to a NMEA0183 device using the TX and RS232 ground pins on the board. Congratulations, you now have a solid state, NMEA0183 compass.!