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    Re: Newbie - Variation Question
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2002 Feb 22, 16:36 +0000

    This is to tie up the ends of this recent thread, at least as far as UK
    users are concerned. I apologise for discussing matters that are outside
    the agreed limits for this list, but wider issues of the meaning of compass
    variation were involved.
    This is to report what I hope will be a satisfactory conclusion to the
    reported problem with the GPS receiver type SP24 made by the French firm
    MLR, part of Thales, which requires compass variation to be entered with
    the opposite sign to what would be expected.
    I have contacted the UK's MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) who inform
    me that there is no official action they can take, as no type-approval is
    required for such equipment.
    However, the MCA have expressed concern and discussed the matter with Peter
    Holmes of Mantsbrite, the UK importers.
    Mr Holmes has now informed me-
    "With effect from today, all SP24 GPS's despatched by us will include an
    addendum to the user manual advising users to enter a compass CORRECTION
    and not the local magnetic variation."
    The MCA have also informed me that Mr Holmes intends to alert the UK
    yachting press.
    Once users have been made aware of the problem, nearly all of the danger
    will vanish.
    I am happy to say that throughout the correspondence, Mr Holmes of
    Mantsbrite has taken a helpful and responsible stance. I hope that
    list-members in other countries can persuade their local importer to follow
    his excellent example.
    I wish I could say the same about the French makers MLR, who have not
    replied to the many messages that have been set to them about the matter,
    and appear to apply their telescope firmly to their blind eye.
    Thanks to the many list-members who participated in this discussion, and
    particularly to Andrew Denman, who was the first to notice the anomaly and
    ask questions about it.
    George Huxtable.
    George Huxtable, 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    Tel. 01865 820222 or (int.) +44 1865 820222.

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