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    Compass Adjustment - A Cautionary tale
    From: Kieran Kelly
    Date: 2005 Jan 31, 20:06 +1100

     Greg Travillian wrote:
    Suunto is making several handheld compasses with a "global" needle.
    Evidently, they've come up with a design where the magnet and the needle
    are separate, so that the magnet can tilt while the needle lies flat. If
    you put "suunto" and "global" in Google, you can read all about them. Here
    is one of them:
    I checked this site and this appears to be an amazing development - a hand
    held compass that can be used anywhere in the world! Doesn't this spell the
    end of the "zoned compass" such as the classic Silva TD series of which I
    own one and which sparked this particular discussion? Why would anyone ever
    buy one like this again? Surely Silva will have to introduce a similar model
    or it will be out of business.
    Similarly, in one of the earlier posts it was mentioned that most of the
    cheaper hand held compasses produced by Silva and Suunto are zoned models
    incapable of adjustment. However, I also own an English Francis Barker,
    brass, military-style, prismatic compass, which is supposedly the best hand
    held compass in the world. With this type of oil filled compass the card
    swings against a stationary direction pin rather then a needle swinging
    against a stationary bezel. But it presumably has the same problem as the
    Suunto and Silva models i.e. it will only work in the southern hemisphere
    (or wherever the wholesaler is located). I tilted it slightly as a test and
    it becomes out of plumb and the card won't swing. There are no markings to
    indicate it is a southern hemisphere compass but when placed on a table the
    card is perfectly horizontal.
    So the days of this traditional and very reliable and accurate prismatic
    compass are also presumably numbered.
    Kieran Kelly

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