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Old 04-10-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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Hi,

Im interested in peoples experiences with compasses in binoculars, their ability to take bearings with them, and about deviation issues when cruising long distance.

A number of questions here:

1)Any recommendations for a good set of 7x50's with a built in compass?

2)Is the compass display suitable for taking back bearings so you can triangulate positions?

3)Has anyone any experience with digital compasses either in binoculars or hand heald to take back bearings for nav? Comments / recommendations vs old fasioned magnetic compasses?

4)Im also interested in adjusting for deviation on longer trips or visits to another hemisphere (Im in Australia looking to cruise globally) .

-Do digital compasses need adjusting for deviation?

-Are there any issues with digital compasses in southern vs northern hemisphere?

-Does anyone find any advantage adjusting the compass for deviation as they travel or do you just use a deviation chart? (Im talking magnetic compasses in his question as well)

A lot here I realise but Id appreciate any and all feedback and experiences. (For the record I will be using GPS, but I need a reliable backup for when my electricals are out of comission or the GPS constellation is offline.)

Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:36 AM   #2
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My vote for 7x50 Binoculars with compass would be the Steiner CLICK Not only because they are rugged and water proof, but also the Company had a facility which provided a complete refurbishment service including resetting prisms.

------

My best hand held digital compass was a Autohelm Personal Compass (about the size of a TV remote) very easy to use. Provided bearing and back bearing. Remembers previous readings. I found it absolutely ideal for an anchor watch and obviously perfect for establishing if that ship was on a collision course with yours truly.

Istioploos another of our moderators also has an Autohelm Personal Compass - he might advise if Raymarine having taken over Autohelm are continuing to make this digital compass.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:23 AM   #3
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We, too, like Steiner binocs., though ours do not have the compass. Steiner has a wonderful refurbishing policy as well as a great product. We wore out our first pair of binocs, and when we sent them to the local Steiner dealer to clean the lenses, realign them, and replace the rubber coating, which we had worn off much of the binocs, we were offered a new pair for (I think) $150.00, well, it was $50 more than it would have cost for the work on our old ones. Another ten years later and we did it again, and again we have new binocs.

Other than the digital compass on our autopilot, we don't have a digital compass and neither of us feel comfortable using one. A bit of an "old dog, new tricks" perhaps.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP' date='11 April 2010 - 10:23 AM View Post

Other than the digital compass on our autopilot, we don't have a digital compass and neither of us feel comfortable using one. A bit of an "old dog, new tricks" perhaps.
The Autohelm Digital Personal Compass I bought in Hong Kong in 1983 (27 years ago) I guess it now falls into the category of "Old Dog's Old Obsolete Gizmos" In rough conditions in the northern South China Sea where there are thousands of fishing boats, one could get a bearing in an instant,(point and press button) and once taken, it retained it in memory to recall if necessary - it also had a timing function, which you could use to make sure that you gave the fishing boat lots of sea room.

If this Autohelm is no longer made, there must be others with comparable functions.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
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We have the "West Marine" brand 7x50's with compass and mil scale. They're nice but not nearly as nice as Steiners if you have the money to spend on the nicer brand. We use the compass and mil scale for bearing and distance all the time. No, we don't have a digital compass.

You might be interested in downloading the .pdf Handbook of Magnetic Compass Adjustment as a reference. LINK
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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Had a look at Raymarine's website to see if they still had the Autohelm Personal Compass,

Interesting the product listing did not have this product. HOWEVER :- the Operating manual in pdf format available. Here it is :-

Autohelm personal_compass.pdf
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:56 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of this great information. The Steiners do look the business but a little rich for my blood . West Marine does not operate in Australia so Ill have to look for a local equivalent.

Thanks also for the documentation on compass adjusting and the Autohelm manual.

Apologies also - I said "deviation" when of course I meant "variation"... has anyone any notes regarding sailing south of the equator and the performance of their binocular compass? I know the older hand held magnetic compassess are weighted for northern hemispere use and so are unuseable in the southern hemisphere.....are modern compasses in binoculars similarly effected?

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper' date='12 April 2010 - 02:56 PM View Post

Thanks for all of this great information. The Steiners do look the business but a little rich for my blood . West Marine does not operate in Australia so Ill have to look for a local equivalent.

Thanks also for the documentation on compass adjusting and the Autohelm manual.

Apologies also - I said "deviation" when of course I meant "variation"... has anyone any notes regarding sailing south of the equator and the performance of their binocular compass? I know the older hand held magnetic compassess are weighted for northern hemispere use and so are unuseable in the southern hemisphere.....are modern compasses in binoculars similarly effected?

Thanks!
Hi, here is a picture of my Tasco 7x50 with compass, It is available in Aussie for around AUD $380 - Hard too say why the Steiner is better - but it is ! (besides the refurb contract) I've used the Tasco above and below the equator = no prob!

I never used it to navigate with - only to take bearings to check anchor drag and collision course, where the varition/deviation did not matter. If I got a reading ab5 and the next one aa2 this would be enough to tell me that I had dragged.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='12 April 2010 - 06:56 AM View Post

Hi, here is a picture of my Tasco 7x50 with compass, It is available in Aussie for around AUD $380 - Hard too say why the Steiner is better - but it is ! (besides the refurb contract) I've used the Tasco above and below the equator = no prob!

I never used it to navigate with - only to take bearings to check anchor drag and collision course, where the varition/deviation did not matter. If I got a reading ab5 and the next one aa2 this would be enough to tell me that I had dragged.
I use the same Tasco Binocs, and am very happy with them.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gslabbert5119' date='13 April 2010 - 05:58 AM View Post

I use the same Tasco Binocs, and am very happy with them.
Thanks for the tip guys, Ill have a look at them.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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I have been using the Autohelm Personal Compass for many years now and it is very useful for taking bearings. I do not see it listed any more in the latest West Marine catalog so I guess it is gone like many good old things.
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