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Q:
I have a Silva compass that I use to get a bearing on a gobbling turkey, and it has twice reversed polarity, then corrected itself after a couple of days. I'm not using it near a power source or any magnetic object and am puzzled. I like the little compass because it's the right size to use when plotting the bearing on a topo map. It hasn't caused me any real problems because I'm hunting familiar territory and have a pretty good idea which way the sun comes up most days. Any ideas about what is causing this?

from pineywoods on 03.29.11

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from JHP 12/30/2012 at 12:27pm

It is true in the Adirondaks in New York, there are deposits of iron that will affect your compass.
I had an experience with a small combination compass, whistle, dry storage and match striker. The print on the dial was reversed. South pointed north. Needless to say i destroyed the compass part. Another i had was like a silva and the needle was not marked N. Got rid of that one to.
Take a minute to check out your gear before you need it.

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from Josh Giannino 7/11/2012 at 01:36pm

i have heard that in the annorondeck mountains in new york, you'll stand on top of a rock structure and it has a magnetic force or something that messes up the compass till you move away from the spot. is this possible in your situations?

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from pineywoods 3/31/2011 at 05:34pm

Thanks, guys. Glad to know you are as puzzled as I am. I've checked that there's nothing metal around the compass and there are not any speakers or other magnets (that I know of) anywhere near. Both times it happened, it stayed reversed for about a week and went back. T-Mac, you are right about a new compass, and if this little guy didn't fit the map I use so perfectly, it would have been gone a long time ago. I 'd certainly never depend on it in unfamiliar territory. I had an adventure with a compass back in the '70s when I was running a charter boat in the Gulf---a mechanic worked on the boat one evening and left a small screwdriver by my big compass where I couldn't see it and I was trying to run a course to one of my favorite snapper spots the next day and just couldn't reconcile my course with the reading on the old Loran A and it took me most of the morning before I found the trouble---had me nearly twenty degrees off course. I called that mechanic some good saltwater names.

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from mesarich 3/31/2011 at 12:10pm

Pineywoods, it may be possible that it is coming into contact with magnets. Your truck or car speakers have magnets in them, if the compass got to close to one this could happen. If not that then I have no idea.

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from T-Mac 3/31/2011 at 12:04pm

Hey Pineywoods,
I did some checking and can't find any reasons for your compass needle's behavoir. Gun barrels, steel watches, standing by the engine of your vehicle, and any other proximity to ferrous metal usually makes magnetism innacurate. I'd get a new compass, just to be on the safe side - and make sure there is nothing metal near it when you are using it. Good luck.

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from T-Mac 3/31/2011 at 12:04pm

Hey Pineywoods,
I did some checking and can't find any reasons for your compass needle's behavoir. Gun barrels, steel watches, standing by the engine of your vehicle, and any other proximity to ferrous metal usually makes magnetism innacurate. I'd get a new compass, just to be on the safe side - and make sure there is nothing metal near it when you are using it. Good luck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mesarich 3/31/2011 at 12:10pm

Pineywoods, it may be possible that it is coming into contact with magnets. Your truck or car speakers have magnets in them, if the compass got to close to one this could happen. If not that then I have no idea.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods 3/31/2011 at 05:34pm

Thanks, guys. Glad to know you are as puzzled as I am. I've checked that there's nothing metal around the compass and there are not any speakers or other magnets (that I know of) anywhere near. Both times it happened, it stayed reversed for about a week and went back. T-Mac, you are right about a new compass, and if this little guy didn't fit the map I use so perfectly, it would have been gone a long time ago. I 'd certainly never depend on it in unfamiliar territory. I had an adventure with a compass back in the '70s when I was running a charter boat in the Gulf---a mechanic worked on the boat one evening and left a small screwdriver by my big compass where I couldn't see it and I was trying to run a course to one of my favorite snapper spots the next day and just couldn't reconcile my course with the reading on the old Loran A and it took me most of the morning before I found the trouble---had me nearly twenty degrees off course. I called that mechanic some good saltwater names.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino 7/11/2012 at 01:36pm

i have heard that in the annorondeck mountains in new york, you'll stand on top of a rock structure and it has a magnetic force or something that messes up the compass till you move away from the spot. is this possible in your situations?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JHP 12/30/2012 at 12:27pm

It is true in the Adirondaks in New York, there are deposits of iron that will affect your compass.
I had an experience with a small combination compass, whistle, dry storage and match striker. The print on the dial was reversed. South pointed north. Needless to say i destroyed the compass part. Another i had was like a silva and the needle was not marked N. Got rid of that one to.
Take a minute to check out your gear before you need it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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