Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#170480 - 04/02/09 12:01 AM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2154
Loc: NE Wisconsin
The original post didn't mention anything about an EDC, but rather the were asking about bubbles and the possibility of buying a 2nd or backup compass.

I've never thought of weight as being a criteria for selecting a compass.

The primary features I look for are adjustable declination and a straight edge on at least one side.

For EDC, my preferred compass is the Suunto Gem since it has a straight edge and a rotatable bezel.

Top
#170482 - 04/02/09 01:24 AM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: KenK]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Watch out carefully for the Eclipse Brunton's. A bubble in a compass card type compass like these can stop the card from rotating completly.

I have had 3 compass capsules replaced by Brunton when a bubble locked up the card.

The design of these high end Brunton's is in my view completely unreliable in the field.

I have yet to have one of these Eclipse compasses make it to high elevation without completely siezing up.

A small to moderate sized bubble in a needle type compass is generally nothing to worry about...the same size bubble in an eclipse can push the compass card right off the pivot making it expensive junk.

Top
#170486 - 04/02/09 02:51 AM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2985
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh

The phenomenon of lost hikers deciding their compass was somehow faulty and relying on some 'mental template' of the terrain is not uncommon.


There is a great deal of truth in this. I have been "turned around" once. I would have sworn an oath, and bet any money, the compass was wrong. But I sat down, had a snack and a good drink of water, and talked myself through it. I had checked the compass before I left, and it swung true every time. It was in all likelihood swinging true now. So I followed it back to the road, and my car was right where I left it.

Then, and now, as I'm packing for a trip, I have a ritual: I take my compass to a place I know (a true north/south road). I shake it, swirl it around, several times. If it comes back true every time, I know I can trust it.

Believe me, it's a powerful thing to know "for a fact" that your gear is accurate when your perception deceives you.

Top
#170488 - 04/02/09 04:38 AM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
yelp Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 172
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh
I mapped a archaeologic site previous to excavation using my Silva( present Suunto in the USA) Ranger. A visitng archaeologist decided I was seriously in error and proceeded to remap everything with his tripod mounted, solid brass surveyor's BRUNTON compass with assistance from a comely coed.


This past summer another geo and I were tasked with some mapping...our maps didn't agree with El Jefe's Tripod-Mounted Brunton, so we were obviously wrong...even though we KNEW we were, if not 'right,' at least 'more correct.'

//by the by, no Bruntons were EVER made from brass; they've always been aluminum.

So, halfway through the project, El Jefe had all of his employees CHANGE THEIR DECLINATION FROM NOAA'S REPORTED so that their results more closely resembled El Jefe's plots...accuracy aside, this confounded everybody's interpretation - except for El Jefe's, since 'corrected' declination or not (he wasn't too clear between the two even when he wasn't drunk), El Jefe was the boss.

By the by, El Jefe is under charges. Spend a few million bucks over a season and the client expects results. Who coulda guessed?

So yeah, trust your equipment. And knowledge. And be ready to suggest work gets audited. And know your declination.
_________________________
(posting this as someone that has unintentionally done a bunch of stupid stuff in the past and will again...)

Top
#170504 - 04/02/09 05:39 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: Schwert]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
The Silva Eclipse is a P.O.S.

Avoid it. If you need a decent sighting compass buy something like this:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Silva_Sighting_Compass.jpg

Or if weight is not an issue buy a Cammenga.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Silva_Sighting_Compass.jpg.

This version, not the tritium. Your children will inherit it and tritium is only good for 10 years.

From personal experience they are both bomb proof.
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

Top
#170518 - 04/02/09 09:55 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2154
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Just to be clear, compasses sold with the Silva label in Europe are sold in the U.S. under the Brunton label (or sometimes the Nexus label).

Compasses sold in the U.S. with the Silva label are NOT made by Silva of Sweden.

Yeah, I've heard all the folks who say they don't like Brunton's Eclipse 8099 (sold in Europe under the Silva label), but I've had both the Brunton 15TDCL (the original Silva Ranger) and the Brunton Eclipse 8099 for quite a while, and I really REALLY like the 8099. I find it much easier to do sighting with, though I find it hard to explain exactly why. I also like the magnified area for reading bearings.

I keep trying to like the 15TDCL better - I really do. I've even been carrying it with me a bunch for the last two years. It is simpler and doesnt' have cards that get in the way, but I just like the 8099 better.

The 8099's mirror clicks into just the right spot. The magnetic decliantion is fool-proof - not screwdriver to deal with. The dial is easy enough to turn I can do it one-handed. The mirror, though smaller, provides a much better view of the needle area (don't know why - I wonder if the mirror is higher quality?). The eclipse circles feel good to me - better than trying to make the 15TDCL's needle & box edges parallel. I've read someone say that the 45 degree angle of the sighting mirror the eclipsing doesn't work right - that's not the case on my compasses. The rubber boot means I don't have to worry about scratching the bottom of the compass.

I actually have two 8099's. The first one was purchased a long time ago - maybe 10+ years ago??, and as others have said, it developed a bubble. I was about to head out on a trip, so in a bit of a panic I bought a second one. I got the first one repaired, and since then neither have developed bubbles. I had talked with a Brunton service person when I had the repair done, and she told me that they did have a bubble problem early on, but that they had done design changes to minimize those problems.

Whether the bubble problem is truly a thing of the past is true or not, well, I only have a sample size of 2, but so far so good.

I also have a Cammenga compass. I bought it to learn what the fuss over lensatic compasses was about. It is one really tough compass and does everything its built to do. I really like the fluid-less dampening system - cool!. Still, I simply don't buy that it is any more accurate than the 8099. Heck, the degree scale on the Cammenga is in 5 degree units. The scale in the 8099 is in 1 degree units. I would guess that the 8099 is probably more accurate since I can better aim it since both the compass and the target are in focus.

One of the big advantages of the Cammenga is supposedly that you can read a bearing without having to bring the compass down. That might be important in the military, but I'm just fine reading the dial on the plastic baseplate compasses.

Also, while sighting with the Cammenga I struggle to figure out what the thin sighting wire/thread is for. That sight slot is so close to my eye that it is completely blurred to me. Maybe its my old near-sighted eyes, but I asked my 13 year old son w/ no vision issues if he can see the thread and he says its blurry too.

My other beef with the Cammenga is that it has no declination adjustment. For some that's no big deal, but that's one of my major preferences for a compass. I simply dont' want to do math everytime I read/set the bearing.

Top
#170521 - 04/02/09 10:26 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: KenK]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I have older compasses I guess. The Suunto ones are by Suunto Oy, the Silva ones are from Finland too.

If they are not leaking oil and the card swings free they are all fine.
If the bubble is from a leak instead of just a vacuum formed by the oil shrinking in the cold they will likely rust inside.

I really like the Suunto KB that I have, but the Silva Ranger works well too.
I usually have the Silva Guide compass, model 426,(the same as the Suunto MCB) with me even though it is made like a disposable item.

I think I might still have an old aluminum Recta matchbox (I think the modern version is Suunto MB-6) compass around somewhere, but maybe it is lost.
It leaked on me and I think the needle rusted until you couldn't read it through the rusty oil.

I like the look of the Eclipse and the Cammenga but I really couldn't justify the cost when I have three compasses that work well for me.

Edit:
With the A-10 and similar pieces from Brunton you have a good reliable compass which works well on a map and the price is still reasonable.
You might not have quite as much accuracy taking bearings as with a sighting compass, but you are very likely to be close enough for any sport uses. The protractor card compasses were designed for orienteering instead of surveying.
It also makes a handy scraper to get the ice off your windshield after you have followed the compass back to your car.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

Top
#170523 - 04/02/09 10:29 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: KenK]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Everything you list to love about the Eclipse I agree with. It really ought to be a great compass....but I am on my 4th capsule (last one replaced about 2 years ago) and will NEVER trust this compass as my only compass. A bubble can render it completely useless. Brunton assured me that they had fixed the bubble issue every time I got a new capsule....

I have just stopped taking it along anymore to save myself the trouble of returing it for a capsule. I go to Montana and find myself at 10,000' outside of Yellowstone....not once has the Eclipse worked at that altitude. I had earlier trouble at 4,000'. So nice as the compass is....just beware that I don't think it is suitable as an all around compass. For low elevation gains/losses I expect it will be fine...but I would always carry a decent needle type compass as backup.

The lensatic type is an OK compass in my view too, but lack of declination limits it to a novelety compass for me.

Top
#170524 - 04/02/09 10:31 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: scafool]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Finland Silva's are Suunto compasses (sometimes Recta), marketed by Johnson Camping....the US owner of the "Silva" trademark.


Top
#170525 - 04/02/09 10:57 PM Re: Do I need to replace my compass? [Re: KenK]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Originally Posted By: KenK
Also, while sighting with the Cammenga I struggle to figure out what the thin sighting wire/thread is for. That sight slot is so close to my eye that it is completely blurred to me. Maybe its my old near-sighted eyes, but I asked my 13 year old son w/ no vision issues if he can see the thread and he says its blurry too.



The thin wire is to line your target up correctly through the sight window. Depending on the compass, say a Lensatic, you cock the cover plate with the sight window so its locked into place roughy 45* over the dial. You bring the compass to your eye, use the wire to sight your target and then look down to determine azimuth.

Think of it as a front blade sight on a pistol.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

Top
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
Who's Online
1 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle), 280 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
GaryF, PaulHarney, ghost, Delvis, NiceOldGuy
5335 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Far sighted or Foolish??
by brandtb
Yesterday at 03:27 PM
Tornado season, Tornado preps
by pforeman
Yesterday at 01:22 PM
Why building your own 72 hour bag is better...
by Herman30
Yesterday at 05:05 AM
Comfort items in your kit
by haertig
04/17/21 11:10 PM
Mine vs. theirs - the Get Home Bag
by TeacherRO
04/17/21 10:43 PM
Youtube review of Seventy2 Pro
by M_a_x
04/15/21 11:31 AM
CB Radio. No, really.
by chaosmagnet
04/15/21 12:48 AM
Disposal Issues
by Tin
04/14/21 10:47 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.