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Topic Title: re "Classic Projects: magnetic compass"
Topic Summary: of no use?
Created On: 15 February 2014 04:26 PM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: Classic Projects: magnetic compass
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 15 February 2014 04:26 PM
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jwatson

Posts: 3
Joined: 18 January 2003

The article claims that with iron ships the magnetic compass is "of virtually no use". Not at all. In fact for ships over 100 / 150 tonnes carriage of a magnetic compass is mandatory under SOLAS regulations. Actually, two because one is required to be in use and the other as a spare. Of course the effects of magnetic fields from equipment and the iron structure have to be compensated for: that's what the magnets and soft-iron correctors in the Binnacle are there to do.
Yes, most ships use gyrocompasses as the primary navigational instrument, but magnetic compasses are there for backup.
 21 February 2014 08:17 AM
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juliancable

Posts: 2
Joined: 14 November 2002

It's a terrible article.

Unit cost: "some smartphone compass apps are free"

Nick Smith doesn't seem to understand the difference between a display and a sensor.

And GPS can't tell you which way is north unless you are moving.

Some mention of flux gate sensors would have been appropriate.
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