The HiTechnic Compass held a lot more internal chips and doodads than I had originally expected, to be very honest. When one of my readers, Noah, suggested I take it apart and show the World its guts, I had my reservations. I was pleasantly surprised, as I hope you will be.
Without further ado, I present to you, the HiTechnic Magnetic Compass in all her (or his, whatever you prefer) naked glory:
As you can see, I used a piece of Technic LEGO to prop it up so I could get a better angle. There are no electronic parts on the other side of the board, just a few vias and solder-through holes for what appear to be large electrolytic capacitors, but they were never mounted. Maybe the filtering they provided was not deemed necessary when they went into production. My guess is the chip with the small eye-shape is the actual compass sensor, the rest is there for signal processing and that sort of thing. Either that or they’re part of some sort of mind control device.