Magnetic compass servo control - RC Groups
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Jul 09, 2011, 05:47 PM
Registered User

Magnetic compass servo control

Hi all

I was given the suggestion to post this here instead of where I did originally.

I have built what we call a kontiki here in New Zealand and I am looking for a bit of gear to autopilot it with a servo controlled rudder that is controlled in turn by a magnetic compass.

In other words I want to power the thing on with it pointed in the direction I want it to head and then the servo to control the rudder to maintain the magnetic compass bearing it was pointed in.

It is not entirely a submerged vessel as it skims the surface of the water so wind isn't really a factor but swells and white water may throw it off.

Have a google at for more info. That is exactly what I want to achieve.

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel could someone point me in the direction of an arduino or similar project that will achieve what I want to do.
I can build the rudder/servo arrangement but wanted to get an off the shelf board and chip for the control.

I believe I can get a honeywell magnetic compass that outputs the bearing as an integer so 2165 would be 216.5 degrees. So I believe I need some gear to take that integer and convert it to a pwm control signal to send to the servo which controls the rudder.

Last edited by No1Daemon; Jul 10, 2011 at 09:26 PM.
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Jul 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
Agressive driver
Hey, Kontikis are neat. I used to live in NZ. And I would say your best bet would be to post this on an electronics/ computer forum. I think how it would work is you have some kind of interface to plug the compass into a small cuircut board (peeps on electronics forum could help with that) and then convert the readout of the compass into a RX like signal for the servo.
Jul 10, 2011, 10:41 PM
Registered User
I will do that. I thought you guys would have it all sorted already. Most of the people on here seem to have been there already.
Thanks for the suggestion.

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