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True North Technologies Introduces Revolution™ Electronic Compass

(Maynard, MA), June 15, 2002 – True North Technologies has announced the introduction of the Revolution™, a strap-down electronic compass designed specifically for users requiring high accuracy, low power consumption, and user-friendly calibration and compensation.  Based on True North’s field-proven technology, this evolutionary device advances the state-of-the-art in magnetic compassing.  It combines a precision 3-axis solid-state magnetometer and a rugged 2-axis electrolytic tilt sensor to provide accurate heading and tilt measurements over a wide range of environmental conditions.  The firmware and signal processing algorithms have been refined and improved over three prior generations of electronic compasses to deliver the ultimate in performance from the available sensor data.

An additional key advantage of the Revolution electronic compass is its quick-connect, external serial interface.  While the electronic compass is in-place, and without disconnecting system wiring, a companion PDA can be temporarily connected via the RJ12-style modular receptacle.  This allows easy access during installation for calibration and tuning.  It also provides a valuable diagnostic port and can be used for an auxiliary read-out when needed.  In situations where a fixed installation is not desirable, the RJ12 connection can be used exclusively.

Among the host of user definable operating parameters is the selection of NMEA output data and update rate; operating mode as continuous or query-only; and angle data in degrees, mils, radians, or 16-bit integer (65536 counts per revolution).  Compensation for both hard and soft iron influences is built in, and the companion PDA can be used to perform specific calibration procedures.

True North offers a development kit that includes both the electronic compass and companion PDA.  Both devices are covered by a full one-year replacement warranty.  Typical applications include antenna positioning, automobile recovery, dead reckoning, directional drilling and mining, farming, GPS systems requiring azimuth, marine electronics, navigation and attitude reference, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), robotics and material handling, surveying equipment, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

Features Include:

  • Accurate heading information
  • Pitch and roll
  • ESP™ port for PDA connection even after compass is installed
  • PDA applications for service, calibration, and data collection
  • Software for PDA data <<–>> PC database
  • Fast response time
  • Low magnetic signature
  • Low power consumption
  • Single supply operation (6 – 30 Vdc)
  • Small, low profile footprint
  • Heading damping using adjustable time-constant filters
  • Noise reduction for environments with excessive vibration
  • External declination angle to correct for true North vs. magnetic North
  • Hard and soft iron distortion calibration and compensation
  • Magnetic and tilt alarm indicators
  • Electronic deviation table
  • Windows™-based PC evaluation and demonstration software
  • RS-232 and RS-485 serial interfaces
  • NMEA data format
  • Angles output in degrees, mils, radians, or 16 bit integer

True North Technologies develops and manufactures products for marine, air, and land-based applications with a concentration in electronic compassing. True North is also a Microchip® Consultant specializing in designs utilizing Microchip Technologies’ PIC 16/17/18 micro-controllers. The company was founded in 1993 and is located in historic Clock Tower Place in Maynard, MA, the original home of Digital Equipment Corporation.

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