# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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From: Byron Franklin
Date: 2012 Nov 14, 14:27 -0800

Byron: I am interested in the land small magnetic compass and how to best get a fix on land. I have not experience the "how to on land" but will try a few things to improve its use, let me tell about my thinking.
Most streets and intersections are 90 degrees and the directions are known. Test the compass.
My street, runs the same as variation for this area.15 degrees W. If you stand on the curve and sight up the street than down the street, reading should be 180&000& across 090&270. If not, it would be compass in error by the difference. EXAMPLE : sight up 000 down 180 for zero error or if 000 and 190, the error would be 10 degrees, 5 up & 5down. Also will the compass return to the same reading or indicate a hang up when resighting directions. Because of the radiant rule of sixth, the two nearest LOP’S intersection should be the fix. A far navaid should give the correction to the compass error. If the far is 6 miles the 12000 yds would cover a right angle to the line of sight of 200 yds on each side. This allows large position error so a sight back to the far target should give improved correction of the systematic error of the two shorter LOP intersection, leaving the random and uncontrollable error associated with small hand held compass. I have stood at the corner of my local street, set to variation 15W, and read ooo and 182 with a repeat of the same. I am using a very cheap compass. Holding it to my cheek and aligning with my right eye. Try this street test for practice and information on your magnetic compass. You need not know your street variation as long as you have a long reciprocal line on each side of you and street curve or objects to take bearing on.
This is part of an old trick to correct magnetic compass on a boat. Head to a buoy, read the compass, add 180 degrees, put buoy on your stern and head away, read the compass, it should be the added 180 this difference gives the amount of compass error. Move magnets or adjust the compass to ½ the found error. See what your compass reads!
Let me know what you think.
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