3-Axis Compass Module

Pinpoint-accurate pitch, roll and compass heading in real-world conditions, performing reliably and repeatably in the field, not just in the factory. Ideal for far-target locators, ranger finders and seismic monitoring.

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Where GPS is compromised or unavailable — whether underwater or underground, beneath a bridge or inside a building — PNI's TCM tilt-compensated 3-axis compass module provides reliable, pinpoint-accurate pitch, roll and compass heading. The TCM uses advanced algorithms to counter the effects of hard and soft iron distortiions in the host system, providing highly accurate heading information in most any environment and any orientation. PNI's patented geomagnetic sensors and pioneering measurement technology combine to provide all this performance under a low-power budget that extends mission duration. The TCM's unmatched performance in real-world conditions makes it ideal for applications that require consistency and accuracy in the field — dead-reckoning navigation, far-target location, AUV and ROV navigation, object tracking, range finding, seismic monitoring and more.

3-axis   3-axis measurement   High-resolution/accuracy   High Resolution / Accuracy
Hard and Soft Iron Correction   Hard- and soft- iron correction   Low Power   Low power consumption
Module   Module  

Sub 1° accuracy...

The TCM is a high-performance, low power consumption, tilt-compensated compass module that provides industry-leading heading accuracy. The TCM combines PNI's patented geomagnetic sensors and 3-axis MEMS accelerometer with PNI's proprietary factory calibration algorithms to ensure absolute accuracy.  

TCM5LT, enlarged to show detail real world conditions.

PNI recognizes there's a difference between performing well in the factory and perfoming well in the field. The TCM's advanced field calibration algorithms account for these differences by correcting for local magnetic distortions. And since applications may have physical constraints for doing calibration, the TCM provides four user-selectable calibration modes, as well as the ability to recalibrate the accelerometers to ensure long-term accuracy. The TCM's measurement technology inherently ensures the module is free from offset drift and provides high measurement resolution, which is critically important at high and low lattitudes where the dip angle (inclination) limits the usefulness of other compasses. So the TCM performs well in the field, not just in the factory.


Backward-Compatible Footprint
Digital Interface
  TCMXB fits TCM2.6, TCM3 or TCM5 RS232 UART (TCM XB) or CMOS-level UART (TCM MB)
Flexible Mounting Options
Full Tilt Compensation
  16 Orientation Options ± 90° pitch; ± 180° roll
Advanced Field Calibration
High Accuracy
  Soft and Hard Iron calibration and accelerometer calibration 0.3° rms
RoHS Compliant


Heading Specifications
  Heading Accuracy 0.3° rms


  Repeatability 0.05° rms
  Resolution 0.1°
Magnetometer Specifications
  Calibrated Field Measurement Range ±125 µT
  Maximum Dip Angle (functional)
Tilt Specifications
  Accuracy 0.2° rms
  Range ±90° pitch, ±180°roll
  Repeatability 0.05° rms
  Resolution 0.01°
Mechanical Characteristics
  TCM XB Dimensions (l × w × h) 3.5 × 4.3 × 1.3 cm
  TCM MB Dimensions (l x w x h)
3.3 x 3.1 x 1.3 cm
Communication Interface
I/O Characteristics
  Maximum Sample Rate ≈30 samples/sec
Power Requirements
  TCM XB Current Draw @ 8 Hz
16 mA
  TCM MB Avg Current Draw @ 8 Hz
13 mA
  TCM XB Current Draw, sleep mode
0.3 mA
  TCM MB Current Draw, sleep mode
 0.1 mA
  TCM XB Supply Voltage 3.6 - 5 VDC
  TCM MB Supply Voltage 3.3 - 5 VDC
Environmental Characteristics
  Operating Temperature Range −40C to +85C
  Storage Temperature Range −40C to +85C