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29 May 2017

Magnetometer Compass (micro:bit MicroPython)

This time we'll take advantage of the micro:bit's magnetometer sensor (which detects magnetic fields) to build a North-finding compass app.

from microbit import *

# draw a circle calibration
compass.calibrate()

while True:
   sleep(100)
   val = compass.heading()
   if (val < 10 or val > 350):
      # the micro:bit is pointing North
      display.show('N')
   else:
      display.show(Image.NO)

Note that the magnetometer needs to be calibrated before we use it. This is done by tipping the micro:bit around to draw a circle on the LEDs. Be aware that sometimes the magnetometer calibration can be affected by the magnetic fields emanating from an electronic device, such as a computer.

As a coding challenge you could try to add compass directions for South, East and West.

Return to the micro:bit MicroPython Coding Tutorials page.

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