Can a compass be ruined storing it with metal?

Can a compass be ruined storing it with metal?

This is a discussion on Can a compass be ruined storing it with metal? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Don't recall where I heard this one, but I can't find the answer I seek online. I carry a compass when I venture off the ...

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Thread: Can a compass be ruined storing it with metal?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Can a compass be ruined storing it with metal?

    Don't recall where I heard this one, but I can't find the answer I seek online. I carry a compass when I venture off the pavement, and it'd be handy if I could just keep it (and everything else that goes into my pockets when out gun-walking) in my soft sided guncase with my .22/.410 that I usually carry. (gun-walking: AKA hunting, but if I called it that it would falsely indicate that I ever got to kill something) Anyway, it would seem that one might mess one up storing it with a magnet, but how about a gun?
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  2. #2
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    Storing your compass in your gun case won't harm it.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Now, trying to use it when it's next to your gun might cause some problems... :)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Using it near your gun or even a large metal beltbuckle will screw with the readings. Leaning against a car will mess with it.
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    I don't think you can ruin the compass just placing it near metal objects. I wouldn't recommend doing it for a long period of time though, and I always store mine away from any influences, on a flat surface (wood shelf), and oriented north. More info on the web----------

    Taking Care Of A Compass

    When storing a compass, you must take care not to expose it to a magnetic field such as from speakers, computers, and other electrical or electronic devices. For example, storing a compass in the glove box, or on the dash of a car would not be recommended. There are usually speakers, and electrical wiring located near these areas. If you put a compass in your pocket make sure that it is not near to a cell phone, scanner, or pocket radio. The speaker in these units can wrongly re-magnetize the needle. Storing a compass in a hot car can also damage it because the liquid inside may expand, thus rupturing the seal and start leaking. There may be some air bubbles formed inside thus impeding the performance of the compass.

    If you want a compass to store in a car, you should get one that is designed to take very warm storage temperatures, or not use a damping liquid inside.
    http://www.zoom-one.com/navigati.htm

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    Gee, how do all those compasses I've used on steel boats surrounded by wiring and out in the weather, extreme hot and cold, 24/7 kept working? Actually the quality of the compass makes a big difference, as does twisted wiring!

    A good compass can take all sorts of extremes in temperature and shouldn't care if it's stored with metal. My favorite was an old clipper ship compass that we installed on a steel schooner. That thing could be corrected to work installed in a junk yard!
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    I keep a old silva compass stored in my rollaway toollbox....seems to be ok...
    Last edited by simon; December 30th, 2007 at 09:23 AM. Reason: sp chk

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    I too have an old Silva compass, think I bought it 'round 1971.

    It's spent most of it's life stored in glove compartments around lots of metal.

    I use it frequently and feel it's still 100%

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    by metal definitely no.
    by a magnetic field. yes

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    +1 on that!

    Quote Originally Posted by simon View Post
    I keep a old silva compass stored in my rollaway toollbox....seems to be ok...
    Imagine how many soldiers would be wandering around on the battlefield LOST if that were true? But say.... Hmmmmm... that'd be a GREAT EXCUSE for all the Second Lieutenants who are constantly lost (and I was among them)!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Now, trying to use it when it's next to your gun might cause some problems... :)
    DOH! Please excuse me while I try to un-glue it from the stock...

    JK. Thanks for the re-assurance, guys.
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  12. #12
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    Wink Still....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    DOH! Please excuse me while I try to un-glue it from the stock...

    JK. Thanks for the re-assurance, guys.
    Actually, there should be NO affect from holding the compass right next to any metal object unless that object is magnetized. I don't recall dismounting the tank to take an azimuth. It's possible that's what we were taught in IOBC (Infantry Officer Basic Course) but that's Infantry not armor. I later got a branch transfer to armor. Tankers only dismount to dig a latrine or guide a vehicle thru sleeping grunts on the ground. There's a reason we called them (infantry) "Squishies!"
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Actually, there should be NO affect from holding the compass right next to any metal object unless that object is magnetized. I don't recall dismounting the tank to take an azimuth. It's possible that's what we were taught in IOBC (Infantry Officer Basic Course) but that's Infantry not armor. I later got a branch transfer to armor. Tankers only dismount to dig a latrine or guide a vehicle thru sleeping grunts on the ground. There's a reason we called them (infantry) "Squishies!"
    Well, there is a set distance a compass is supposed to be from a tank, as well as most other metal objects. Don't know how much it would throw the compass off though. Although battleships had compasses in them too, so they must have figured something out to get around the issue.

    However keeping a compass next to metal shouldnt affect it at all.
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  14. #14
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    IIRC

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyePFC View Post
    Well, there is a set distance a compass is supposed to be from a tank, as well as most other metal objects. Don't know how much it would throw the compass off though. Although battleships had compasses in them too, so they must have figured something out to get around the issue.

    However keeping a compass next to metal shouldnt affect it at all.
    When I transferred to armor and went thru the M1 transition course there were on board compasses that were visible right in the gunsight or thru the commanders station alternate sight. I THINK. But it's been a long time and the memory is clouding....
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    On aircraft there is means for adjustment or calibration, once the compass is mounted. Probably true for tanks as well...I never thought about tanks. It seems lik they would have a TON (or 60 TONS!) of interference. I figured if a little ol' 2 seater plane can mess with a compass, then a tank should really screw it up (the readings, that is). The things I learn here...
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