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Thread: Compass trouble

  1. #1

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    Compass trouble

    Hello to everyone , Iím new to the site and have been enjoying the conversations. I live in western CO and purchased a wag aero supercub a while back.I purchased the craft as a complete project less engine prop and wheels/brakes. Itís a reinforced fuselage with toe brakes and a few other mods that make it a real nice craft. Iíve installed a Lycoming 0340 (vintage not new) 170 hp engine. Everything works great except I cannot get the magnetic compass to work. ( follows the aircraft nose not mn )Iíve owned and operated rag and tube ac before and never had this trouble. Moving the compass within the cockpit to any of the usual locations doesnít change the problem. Other than a remote compass any suggestions ?
    thanks, Rick
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  2. #2

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    Sirs compass, move it around windscreen until you find best spot. I have one but really a gps does a better job.
    DENNY
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  3. #3

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    Most whiskey compasses are there for the FAA and most aren't worth the space they consume. My experimental doesn't have a compass.

  4. #4
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    oogle search "compass site: supercub.org" and you will find lots of discussion. Bottom line, most don't work.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  5. #5

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    My SuperCub has the Jack Sparrow compass, it works great ! The following is an instructional video on how to use such compass along with a map.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk1z83D-Euk
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  6. #6
    n40ff's Avatar
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    Most likely magnetized. Might be able to degauss it?

    https://www.supercub.org/forum/archi...p/t-46644.html
    Last edited by n40ff; 01-06-2020 at 01:26 PM.

  7. #7
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Degaussing can work, for a while. But every time you fly, you’ll be re magnetizing.

    I too have had good luck with the SIRS compass in two “problem” planes: a C 170 and a PA 11. It’s worth a try, and for those who believe GPS is a better alternative, wait till someone jams it for you. It’s happening frequently now. That SIRS compass might seem cheap then.

    MTV
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  8. #8

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    If my GPS is failed, jammed, etc., I can probably get around by looking out the window with a chart on my lap for the type of flying I do these days. Good news is at 90 mph, I went get too lost too soon.......

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mam90 View Post
    If my GPS is failed, jammed, etc., I can probably get around by looking out the window with a chart on my lap for the type of flying I do these days. Good news is at 90 mph, I went get too lost too soon.......
    Good for you. Lots of pilots these days don’t carry charts.

    MTV
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  10. #10

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    Old habit for old pilot.. Having a reliable compass without a chart might be a little iffy too. What’s that joke - bad news is we’re lost, good news is we’re making really good time....

  11. #11
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mam90 View Post
    Old habit for old pilot.. Having a reliable compass without a chart might be a little iffy too. What’s that joke - bad news is we’re lost, good news is we’re making really good time....
    Yes, and then there's the additional conundrum these days: How many pilots flying around actually can USE a chart without GPS placing a little magenta line on the screen?

    MTV
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  12. #12

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    Rick, a suggestion,
    Pull the compass out and walk around the plane with it and let it tell you what it is looking at.
    It might be the crankshaft in the engine that became magnetized during an inspection.
    Or the fuselage it still magnetized from when it was welded together.

    But you want to hand carry the compass away from the plane and just see if it works. Then carry it back and let it tell you what it looks at.
    Then go from there.
    There are a few options for why it does not work.
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  13. #13
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_0VL4Gp4_U

    Here's an example of a bluetooth magnetometer-compass linked to your device. Place in a low interference zone.

    Gary

  14. #14
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    No body cares that the compass doesnít work. Itís outdated mandate that it needs to be installed. Find the lightest one, put it out of way.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

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    Magnetometer-fed ADHRS... amazing. Whiskey compass... junk. Times change.

    My charts are on my iPhone. That begs the question, if GPS is jammed does my iPhone know where it is? I presume yes if within tower range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Magnetometer-fed ADHRS... amazing. Whiskey compass... junk. Times change.

    My charts are on my iPhone. That begs the question, if GPS is jammed does my iPhone know where it is? I presume yes if within tower range.
    Just make sure you can receive Glasnoss
    My curiosity lays with the major change in about 4 years time when our government turns on all our new navigation satellites. How soon are they shutting down what we trust now.
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  17. #17

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    Nothing to do with a magnetometer and an ADHRS unless Simon Barr-Sinister controls magnetism. Compass schmompass!

  18. #18
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    FWIW, not much probly, my mag compass is very close and I maintain a paper chart subscription for my area.

    My primary is GPS, but iike backups for when the electrons rebel. Or go AWOL
    Gordon

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    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)
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  19. #19
    n40ff's Avatar
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    I like my whiskey compass and chart. It's worked for 0ver 100 years and will work tomorrow. I use Marcia's $100 car GPS for back-up sometimes just in case the chart goes overboard(open cockpit) Years ago i landed in a field to retrieve my chart........

    Jack

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Good for you. Lots of pilots these days donít carry charts.

    MTV
    Anyone that carries a digital flight bag has the ability to carry charts.

    The chart function still works even if the tablet doesnít know where it is. I learned that when my last iPad stopped receiving GPS in the eastern WA mountains.

    I agree that pilotage and dead reckoning is still an important tool. Should be taught and practiced occasionally.
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  21. #21
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Pilotage. Is there another choice that's dependable and reflects the pilot's skills?

    Gary

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    I grew up learning to read a map and had some time in the military to refine my skills. I flew my first 150 hours without a GPS and the usual compass not working in the dash. It’s pretty easy to use terrain association if you have a map/chart. I always carry back up paper charts for where I am flying. A map just works for me I understand some people just are not good at using one.
    DENNY
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  23. #23
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Try using it on the Yukon Flats, or for that matter, middle of North Dakota.

    MTV

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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Try using it on the Yukon Flats, or for that matter, middle of North Dakota.

    MTV
    But in ND you at least can figure out North pretty easily.... No need for a compass if you can see a fence or a road.

    Vic
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  25. #25
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The two times I flew Eastern Montana - Dakotas - Kansas in lower clouds I was amazed at how difficult random flight must be w/o navaids. Sure we can follow railroads or highways and something like a group of buildings or airstrip will show up eventually. Flying terrain and natural landmarks is easier from what little I've done over a prairie.

    Gary

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    Came back from the brooks with nothing due to alt issue with no problem. The key is to know where you are when you leave ground and keep track of your Location as you fly. If something doesn’t look right turn around and tell you fly back to the spot that matches the maps and start over. Not as easy as having a GPS but it works fine. And if you can’t read a map/chart a compass does only so much for you. Flying flat part of USA in the winter time would suck, but just find a water tower and go from there.
    DENNY
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  27. #27
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Give me a good ADF with a low noise floor and I'll find something.

    Gary

  28. #28
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVBottomly View Post
    But in ND you at least can figure out North pretty easily.... No need for a compass if you can see a fence or a road.

    Vic
    problem is roads and section lines run both north/south and east/west. And, Denny, no towers on the Yukon Flats. Out there it’s easy if you can see the mountains on either side. Not so easy if not.

    MTV
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  29. #29
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    problem is roads and section lines run both north/south and east/west. And, Denny, no towers on the Yukon Flats. Out there it’s easy if you can see the mountains on either side. Not so easy if not.

    MTV
    LOL.

    I guess I'm really old school. Just look for where the sun is! (Unless really overcast, I suppose). Of course, one might need a watch if he hasn't been awake for very long.

    I remember during one of my early cross countries in Eastern Montana I descended low enough to read a water tower to figure out where I was.
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  30. #30

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    The bottom line is to find a Compass that works the best it can! Because when all else fails you need to know what direction you want to fly.
    if you ever have to go through a mountain range, with clouds at night with no GPS it is very nice to understand whatyour head in his.

  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Did you know that you can use your wristwatch for a compass as long as you can find the sun? Align the sun half way between the hour hand and 12. 12 will be south, 6 will be north etc.
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Did you know that you can use your wristwatch for a compass as long as you can find the sun? Align the sun half way between the hour hand and 12. 12 will be south, 6 will be north etc.
    I long forgot about that.

  33. #33
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Did you know that you can use your wristwatch for a compass as long as you can find the sun? Align the sun half way between the hour hand and 12. 12 will be south, 6 will be north etc.
    Sure, but you need an analog watch....

    I've been noticing that is another old-timer thing.

    Sent from my SM-J320V using SuperCub.Org mobile app
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  34. #34

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    My Apple watch has a compass!
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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    My Apple watch has a compass!
    There you go!

    I bet it's not like those things you slip over your watchband, either.

    I was thinking this morning that some might be interested in this book: Lo Tech Navigator

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1574091913...l_3vg9p25kmf_e

    More geared toward sailors, but it's neat looking over old ways of navigating.
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  36. #36
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Looking at the sun......assuming you can see it, of course. You guys never fly on cloudy days? Hence the term ďFair weather flyersĒ I guess.

    And in summer at least, in interior AK, the sun is pretty much straight up.

    MTV

  37. #37
    mvivion's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DENNY;763368]if you ever have to go through a mountain range, with clouds at night with no GPS it is very nice to understand whatyour head in his.[/QUOTE

    Seriously, Denny? Kamakaze is so old school....

    MTV

  38. #38
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    My Apple watch has a compass!
    How does it work? Is it just a magnetic compass? GPS? My old iPhone also has a compass (with built in level). Never thought about trying it out in the plane. Going to the next time I fly. Those of you using iPads or tablets, do those have a compass? If so, would be interesting to see how that compares to whiskey compass in panel.

    Jim

  39. #39

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    My phones and LG tab have to the best I can tell are GPS driven compasses. I need to check my Koyacera phone though.
    Two of my older Garmin handheld GPS have magnetometers in them as well as the Mitsubishi Montero I drive also does. I find it interesting that the Montero's compass even works since I would consider it to be a 4K lb magnet.

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    As others have indicated, I believe that magnetism of the steel tube fuselage is probably your issue. You can find and quantify magnetism on a steel tube fuselage.

    I have an iPhone with a 99 cent application called Smart Tools Pro. It has a number of functions like protractor, level, compass, etc. One of the functions says MAG FLUX.

    So, I set the Smart Tools APP on MAG FLUX, and was able to pin point what part of a steel fuselage tube caused the magnetic disturbance. I mean, a normal reading on MAG FLUX is less than 50. When I moved it near the violating tube, it went up to 800. Its so sensitive that I can identify where my phone has its magnetic sensor. If I move the phone near a magnet, it will go double that number. A Boy Scout hand compass will point to an offensive area, but the MAG FLUX iPhone app will find AND quantify the offensive area.

    Then I used an old 115v AC Weller soldier gun to degauss the tube. We'll see if the magnitism returns.

    I wasn't able to get the tube down to 40, but degaussing it helped a lot.

    Lastly, I used the MAG FLUX iPhone app to locate a point for the compass where I have a reading of 45. For my Bearhawk Patrol, I found a windshield mount ideal. It coincidentally places the compass the max distance from fuselage tubing. The top of the dash was also acceptable.

    I'm still building. I went with the SIRS compass because of feedback I got on this forum.
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