Car compass

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 05:33
ThreadID: 65956 Views:2755 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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Hi all,

maybe a silly question: I have a NIKEN car compass and I´m very happy with it, on the northern hemisphere. Could I be also happy with this compass on the southern hemisphere?
http://www.allproducts.com/traffic/niken/43-compass-l.jpg

Cheers
Helga
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 06:42

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 06:42
Fraid not. You need one calibrated to work upside down.

No, seriously, it won't be accurate.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dennis P (Scotland) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 08:36

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 08:36
Crap!!
How many compasses does a ship have.


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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky, the "Mexican"- Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:08

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:08
helga
Me thinks that some of the crew "Down Under", will have a go at you, for that one. ( hehehehe )
Just can't help it !
But it's all in fun

LOL
Bucky
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 06:47

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 06:47
Hi Helga,

You will not see any difference in the way it works and you will NOT have any problems at all with your car compass.
AnswerID: 348963

Reply By: 3.0turbob - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 07:57

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 07:57
Helga,
A compass doesn't discriminate between northern & southern hemisphere, all it wants to do is point North. It will work as normal.

Rob
AnswerID: 348966

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:00

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:00
Why do they sell this then? ....

SUUNTO Tandem 360PC/360R (Zone 1 Northern Hemisphere) Compass


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Follow Up By: 3.0turbob - Monday, Feb 16, 2009 at 08:27

Monday, Feb 16, 2009 at 08:27
Interesting Shaker,
I looked it up and it's listed under "clineometers" and gives details about it's use in mines, surveyers, engineers,architects, etc for measuring gradients, verical angles & compass bearings There is also a seperate listing for compasses, but I couldn't find any referance for their use in the northern hemisphere only.
The compass I have is a US made BRUNTON that I bought at the camping store in my area about 7 years ago.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 07:58

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 07:58
The only thing you'll need to do is repeat the calibration process to ensure it is accurate..

The magnetic variation in Australia could well be different that Europe.

The calibration process sorts that out.
AnswerID: 348967

Reply By: curious - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 08:01

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 08:01
Your compass should work ok as I have one I bought when living in the USA and it works here. It's fluid filled though. There are differences between northern & southern hemisphere compasses. Here's an excerpt from a web page I found:

"An interesting detail is that there are northern- and southern-hemisphere compasses. This has to do with the fact that the magnetic field lines, to which a compass needle aligns, point into the earth at the north and south magnetic poles. In the northern hemisphere the north end of the needle is pulled downwards, and the south end is counterweighted to balance the needle. When you use a northern hemisphere compass in, say, Australia, the south end of the magnet is pulled downwards by the magnetic field, and is also heavier than the north end - resulting in a needle that catches and drags on the bottom of the compass housing when the compass is held horizontal."

rgds, Peter
AnswerID: 348968

Follow Up By: garrycol - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:29

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:29
This is called "dip" is negligible at mid latitudes and only really applies at extremely high latitudes and to aircraft.

Likewise it is only the most sensitive instruments that will take this into account - generally aircraft compasses and scientific compasses.

Not an issue in Australia.

The corrections to calculate true north from a compass are variation (earth's lines of magnetism) and deviation (local magnetic anomalies such as the car itself and a major consideration when passing geographic areas with high iron content.)

Garry

Garry
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Reply By: robertbruce - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:28

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:28
my compass only seems to work reversed. I know that is not going to surpirse some of you but it's had my wondering too...

It is mounted up high next to the rearvision mirror. I can only see one side of it. I've tried thinking of that one side to be the "back" however it's all t confusing....

if I am pointed East and when I look East I see the the E on the "back" of the compass, but I'm sure I should be seeing the W. If i was to go East as per reading a compss looking down on it I would be heading West.

Maybe it;s some sort of special reversed one for mounting high in cabins. Placed that close to screen one cant twist thier head around to see the front of it.

the trickiest bit is travelling sou-sou-west, i really cant have a beer untill my direction right



i have a airasian-win compass
AnswerID: 348986

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:36

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 09:36
Mine is the same, but its correct. It is displaying the direction it is pointing. Its not set up like a hiking compass to tell you which way to walk, but it tells you which way you are going.

So its a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 22:20

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 22:20
So... if you hang a bar magnet on a piece of cotton. The "N" points towards the Magnetic North Pole.

North poles on magnets push each other away. South attracts North.

So...... What does the "N" on a bar magnet mean?
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:34

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:34
the N on a bar magnet means the North end. It points towards the North pole because it ALIGNS with the longitude lines of magnetic force around the earth, the N end of a magnet will always point North unless you bring another magnet close in which case it will align with the stronger magnetic field around that magnet or if you bring it near a metal which distorts the longitudinal lines of magnetism as, being lazy, magnetism prefers to run in metal rather than in the air.

QED?
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 18:46

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 18:46
"North seeking pole" actually the south pole of the magnet.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:32

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:32
What dya mean Royce? the north end of a magnet will only seek the south end of another magnet, not the south pole, where penguins live?
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:39

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:39
Yep.... so either the Earth's North pole which the N points to is actually a south pole OR.. the bar magnet has its south pole marked N and north pole marke S.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:41

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 19:41
No Royce you got it wrong mate, a magnet doesn't attract to the poles like it does to another magnet, it aligns to the poles.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 20:40

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 20:40
Hmmmm I've just done a bit of research.... I might open it up to a wider audience!
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Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 23:53

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 23:53
A compass used in the opposite hemisphere to which it was calibrated will most likely want to tilt the card causing it to stick.
AnswerID: 349097

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:05

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:05
Inclination
Inclination is the angle of pull down toward the earth that the magnetic field exerts on a compass needle. At the north magnetic pole, the north end of the needle is pulled straight down toward earth. The opposite applies at the South Pole.
Actually, for hundreds of miles around the magnetic poles, compasses are worthless. For even more hundreds of miles around that, compasses can be erratic.
So, if you are planning an arctic or antarctic expedition, don't count on your Silva or Brunton for getting you there and back.

Not only that, but there are southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere compasses.

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Reply By: heldus - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 03:55

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 03:55
Hi mates,

you all are really good. I´ve got many responses and now, typically female, I´m wise as before. LOL I´ll test this modern stuff on our next trip to Down Under. For our own safety I take my old Recta DP65 with me. It´s an inconvenient handling and useless in a car, but it works all over the world, even in Australia. LOL
Thank you very much to all of you.

Cheers
Helga
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