GPS and Compass

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 11:45
ThreadID: 22254 Views:2062 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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I like a compass in the car but haven't been able to replace my old beast, that worked. Compasses I have tried seem to do 360's and only occassionally point in the right direction...many positions tried. Shops all want me to buy a GPS but they give much more info than I want and provide yet another handbook to master. A good car compass or a simple GPs...any ideas.
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Reply By: Chaz - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 12:10

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 12:10
Hi Swaggy,
Unfortunately compasses can easily be influenced by outside forces such as wiper motors and other electrical components under the bonnet, but a GPS will never go wrong as long as it has a clear view of the sky. Try a Garmin Etrex. They are basic and simple to use, and although they do offer many other features, they can just be simply used as a compass. Around $130 on ebay.

Chaz
http://members.bettanet.net.au/~conody/index.htm
AnswerID: 107662

Follow Up By: Swaggy - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:56

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:56
Thank you Chaz. I had no idea a GPS could be had for as little as $130. No matter how basic, it'll suit me.
Thanks again.
Swaggy
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FollowupID: 364665

Reply By: Pluto - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 14:51

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 14:51
Swaggy,

I can't admit to having a dash mount compass. I've also been bitten by the GPS bug.

However I have used a variety of compasses over the years. Here are a couple of units you could have a closer look at:

Silva C58
Suunto Pilot

If you do relent and get a GPS, it won't be just the manual you have to read. The manufacturers owners manual will assume the GPS owner already understands how and why the GPS system works and does not give you any of this background information. This can lead you into a very confusing and frustrating place. An additional guide I would recommend is Exploring GPS.
AnswerID: 107679

Follow Up By: Swaggy - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:59

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 09:59
I'll check out these compasses. Perhaps I can also geta cardboard cut-out of a GPS..just to maintain my image
Thamks Plutp
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FollowupID: 364666

Reply By: MrBitchi - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 15:00

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 15:00
Swaggy,
Whitworth Marine have a range of compasses.
Compass

Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 107683

Reply By: pjchris - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 10:09

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 10:09
A GPS will only give a correct compass reading while moving at medium to fast walking pace. The compass reading is either locked to the last valid reading while stationary or it jumps around all over the place.

Peter
AnswerID: 107788

Reply By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 13:32

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 13:32
I have an Emap GPS and a Silva compass - the compass was/is a bugger of a thing to get adjusted and I only use it as a guide. The GPS is the best - although you do need to be moving to get it to change direction.
AnswerID: 107808

Reply By: Mike Harding - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 15:52

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 15:52
Over the years I spent more money on "4WD' or "Car" compasses than I can remember - they were all crap!

About 4 years ago I went to a good boat equipment shop and bought one of the lower cost boat compass for $120 - bloody brilliant! I adjusted it against my GPS and a map and it's still just as accurate.

Apart from being useful in the bush a compass is also useful in cities - at least you know you're heading the in the correct general direction.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 107832

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