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During the calibration process, the KVH GyroTrac, Azimuth, or Sailcomp compass will isolate the magnetic field of the host platform (the vessel) from the earth's magnetic field. As the vessel is turned in a large slow circle (less that 3 degrees per second), the interaction between the vessel's magnetic field and the earth's magnetic field is carefully measured. The characteristics of the vessel are determined, and a deviation table is created within the software. The compass will now account for the vessel's magnetic field when measuring the earth's magnetic field, ensuring more accurate heading information.
A fluxgate compass sensor uses electronic means to measure angular position relative to lines of force of the earth's magnetic field. The fluxgate sensor consists of five main parts:

1. A permalloy core made of iron and nickel.

2. A liquid that keeps the permalloy afloat and also keeps the core material horizontal when the moving platform tilts.

3. At right angles to the core material, donut-shaped coils registering different voltages with respect to changing magnetic fields.

4. The Lexan housing enclosing the core material, liquid, and coils; and

5. A microprocessor calculating and converting the voltages into heading data.
Six to nine months, depending on usage.

KVH is pleased to offer world-class support and warranty coverage for all of its products. Complete details regarding all KVH product warranties are available on global support pages.


Thanks for your interest. Unfortunately, KVH discontinued production of the Sailcomp 103AC in August 2018 and is no longer accepting new orders for it.

There are several options for receiving warranty service:

1. If practical, you should contact the dealer/distributor that originally installed your KVH product. This dealer/distributor will provide any and all service and repairs covered by your product warranty.

2. If you can't contact the original dealer/distributor or are in a different geographic region, you can contact the nearest KVH-authorized dealer/distributor. A listing of these dealers/distributors is available on These dealers/distributors will provide any and all service and repairs covered by your product warranty.

3. If you are having trouble locating a dealer/distributor, visit for details on how to contact one of KVH's Technical Support offices.

Complete details regarding all KVH product warranties are available on our Warranty pages.
It's critical to remember that a fluxgate compass IS a magnetic compass. However, a fluxgate compass will generally react more quickly and can be corrected for deviation more effectively than a liquid magnetic compass.

In almost every case, yes. The compass sensor cannot be mounted on steel, and should be mounted so that it is no closer than about 18" to any steel. Other than that, a KVH fluxgate compass will generally have no problem on a steel boat.

The standard output for a KVH compass is NMEA 0183. Most manufacturers of marine navigation equipment will accept NMEA 0183 serial data as a compass input. If this is the case with your equipment, a KVH compass will work with your equipment out of the box.

There are some manufacturers whose equipment will either not accept NMEA 0183 data, or will work better using a different type of input. KVH offers interfaces that will allow a KVH compass to supply almost any of these inputs.
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