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Car Compass


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LuckyStrike's Avatar
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01-Jan-2007, 02:44 AM #1
Car Compass
When my wife and I go out of town, I sometimes pull off of highways and attempt to find a scenic return route on country roads. I generally always know my directions from instinct. However tonight when traveling back from Indiana via winding unfamiliar country roads in hilly country, I lost my bearings due to solid overcast and heavy rains. I could not see the moon or stars, and the poor visibility in wooded terrain prevented me from even seeing the glow of cities on the horizon. So when I returned home I decided that I would buy my wife a good car compass. I decided to avoid digital compasses because the reviews of those in my price range were generally not good. Many customers reported that they are complicated to calibrate, and that they must be recalibrated far too frequently and are often unreliable.

So I decided that I would opt for a good quality magnetic compass. From my research a couple of the best are Brunton and Silva, however when shopping I noticed something very interesting. Which one would you buy?
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Last edited by LuckyStrike; 01-Jan-2007 at 02:52 AM..
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01-Jan-2007, 04:49 AM #2
aviation on the roof
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01-Jan-2007, 04:49 AM #3
the dash gets hot
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01-Jan-2007, 05:00 AM #4
i put one on my 4x4 a while ago and wired it to the lights so it glowed at night i was lukey enough to get it for free and pay 10 bucks (6 pac beer) for the electrition but one of my mates said it was the best he had seen and more reliable as aviation components are safer
below is link showing the style i put in if you look around online you might get one cheap

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s_compass2.php
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01-Jan-2007, 05:12 AM #5
but if you will spend money your beter off with gps they will get cheaper in january they also display true speed 10% more accurate then the one in car they allso tell you about accident blackspots speed cameras and closed roads all the rage in austrailia at the moment and you can esaly move it from wifes car to yours use pc usb to plan routes before you leave and save them to portable gps it sticks on to your
dash \ windscreen and tels you take next left turne 50 meters\yards and if you put it in wifes car first you will get some brownie points
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01-Jan-2007, 12:48 PM #6
get a $1 one at the Dollar store. And remember true north/ magnetic north are somewhat different (22 degrees around here.)
Get the type that suctions cups to the dash.
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01-Jan-2007, 01:25 PM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotbored
get a $1 one at the Dollar store. And remember true north/ magnetic north are somewhat different (22 degrees around here.)
Get the type that suctions cups to the dash.
That price is right, but I read reports of those leaking mineral oil due to high temperatures. Deviation is about 7 degrees around here as I recall.
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01-Jan-2007, 01:26 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar21
i put one on my 4x4 a while ago and wired it to the lights so it glowed at night i was lukey enough to get it for free and pay 10 bucks (6 pac beer) for the electrition but one of my mates said it was the best he had seen and more reliable as aviation components are safer
below is link showing the style i put in if you look around online you might get one cheap

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s_compass2.php
I like he idea of the roof mount aviation compass, however it is out of my price range as are the GPS units. The model 58 silva was built primarily for marine applications with a fairly wide storage temperature range,(-22F to 178F) so I expect that it will stand up to conditions in a car. It has compensation for up to 40 degree of deviation and built to take the shock and vibration of small watercraft, and can be mounted in any position. I prefer the simplicity of a magnetic compass.

I have confirmed that the Brunton model 58ce is built by Silva and is identical to the Silva model 58 except for the name printed on the body, so the $34.77 price with free shipping from Amazon is a good deal.

I do like the idea of the aviation compass, and if money were not a problem that is the way I would go.
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17-May-2008, 11:15 PM #9
Brunton bought out Silva
Brunton has bought out silva. Several years ago I visited their factory. I was interested in making dials for some special measuring instruments, but they very closely guard their production areas and visitors are not allowed. They are off the beaten path in Wyoming, and if you go there, be sure to take a fishing pole and get a Wyoming fishing license!

Silva used to make the best pocket compass ever. It could take bearings to 1/2 degree. It was too good; they discontinued it. (My brother-in-law lived in Sweden at the time and could not find one there.) The best they have now is less accurate, and more expensive. You can't buy it in a store; you must go to Wyoming or buy it on line.

As for car compass, I need one that is illuminated for night travel and has compensation for the magnetic deviation, and the car's magnetic field. I'm still looking.

Oh, yeah, traveling a steel bridge in New York City threw my car compass off by about 60 degrees. You need a compass there because New Yorkers compulsively give wrong directions to strangers.
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