Directional heading while navigating with GPS

7 Feb 2020

Most GNSS (GPS) receivers (or a connected antenna) must be in motion to give you an accurate indication of direction. When the receiver is not in motion, it can give you an indication of your location, but most often is unable to determine if it is turned in any particular direction, and thus is also unable to determine any specific heading when navigating.

When using GPS to provide location information in an app on a smartphone, tablet, rugged handheld computer, or other device, the app may be able to supplement that location with directional information provided by an integrated 3D compass (magnetometer), accelerometer, gyroscope, and/or other sensor(s). Though sometimes such sensors must be initially calibrated before use, such as spinning the device in figure-eight rotations a few times.

One example is that our Geode Connect or JSNav app on the Archer 2 and Allegro 2 can use GPS along with 3D compass while navigating to provide location along with a directional heading even when standing still.

The Mesa 3 and Mesa 2 also provide sensors such as an integrated 3D Compass that could be used by apps for such a purpose. If you are using the 3D Compass in an app on the Mesa 3 and are needing help with it, please contact for assistance. Units with a serial number between 261421 to 266234 may need modification at a certified repair center if compass is needed.