The StationStack Digital Compass can tell your antenna is REALLY pointing within 2 degrees. It does this using a highly accurate 2 axis digital magnetometer. The compass box is mounted to the boom of your yagi or other directional antenna and sends the actual direction back to your radio shack using a wireless RF data transmitter or through a hard-wired network connection. The antenna direction is displayed on your PC using our digital compass display program. The data is also available through a RS232, RS485 or USB connection if you want to easily integrate the digital compass into your custom station.
The heart of the digital compass is the HamStack compass backpack board with the Honeywell 2-axis magnetometer module. You can plug this backpack board on top of a Hamstack CPU board and create your own custom compass installation.
The compass is also available as a complete turn-key system including everything you need to install and operate your system in just a few minutes.
The complete compass includes.
Boom mount compass box
This is a rugged, weather proof aluminum chassis box that mounts to your antenna boom using a U-bolt. Inside the compass box are the compass backpack, mounted to a HamStack CPU board pre-programmed to send the compass heading every second to your station. The CPU and compass boards are mounted on a motherboard that includes a power supply, RS485 network interface, and 2.4 Ghz, 63 mW, StationStack mesh data network radio module and 5 dbi vertical antenna. 6-14 VDC power must be supplied to the compass box through the weather tight ethernet connector on the box.
The compass motherboard also includes 3 relays, 2 analog voltage inputs and 2 digital logic inputs that are available to the user to customize their installation.
Power is supplied to the compass box using commonly available ethernet cable. 4 of the ethernet cable wires are used to supply +13.8 VDC to the compass box and 2 of the wires are optionally used to provide long distance RS485 data connection. The power injector box takes 13.8 VDC on a 2.1mm power jack and inserts the power on the proper 4 wires in the ethernet cable.
Compass to Shack Communications
The digital compass can communicate to the shack using a cable or RF connection.
The advantage of the RS485 cable connection is slightly less expensive and since power must be routed to the compass, a single piece of ethernet cable can be used for both power and data. The advantage of using the RF mesh data network is you only need power at the compass and you can have multiple base stations reading the compass direction.
Direction Display Software
The digital compass includes a PC program that will read the compass direction from the RS485 network cable or RF mesh network base station and display the antenna direction on the PC’s display. You can also build a custom LCD display using a HamStack CPU board, xBee mesh network backpack board and an LCD.
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Complete Digital Compass system: Mounted on an antenna boom, the rugged chassis box is cast aluminum and comes with a weather tight rubber gasket to seal out water.
Compass Display Software: Direction is indicated with a pointer on the map. Heading is also displayed in text. Magnetic north points along the boom. The software must be calibrated to take into account the surrounding metal objects and latitude offset.
Compass motherboard: The motherboard in the rugged case not only supports the digital compass module but also provides general purpose IO including 3 SPDT relays, 2 analog voltage inputs and 2 pins directly connected to the CPU.
USB Wireless Base Station: The USB base station communicates with the digital compass on 2.4 Ghz using mesh network technology. The range of the wireless link is over ? mile with no obstructions. In field tests, the compass transmitter mounted on the boom of the yagi can easily reach the base station located inside the home. Every station is different so range can not be guaranteed.
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