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 A good digital or GPS compass?

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Tembo
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PostSubject: A good digital or GPS compass?   Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:14 pm

I have been looking around for a decent digital or GPS compass that I can use when off road on desert trips. It seems such a thing doesn't really exist in a reliable format without spending over a £1000 pounds. What I am looking for is:

- something I can secure on Tembo's dash
- is well built enough to endure heat, dust and vibration
- can be hard wired in, or at least not run solely on batteries
- Allows me to input a lat/long and show me direction and distance to the navpoint
- Has a screen bigger than a hand held hiking GPS, which is too small to look at safely while driving
- Is not affected by the magnetic/electrical fields produced by a running vehicle.
- Is not a street map system because the locations I prefer going have no roads.
- Is not a smartphone app because I have found that in remote areas the typical GPS function in a smartphone either doesn't work or can take 20-30 minutes to update.

There are really cheap (£10-£20) stick on units that I wouldn't bother with, and very expensive maritime nav systems, but not much in between.

Any suggestions?

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: A good digital or GPS compass?   Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:17 am

I've always found Silva to be top notch, although price-wise it really depends what your're after and willing to pay.

BTW, just found this place in Derbyshire, didn't know it existed - https://silvanavigationschool.com Wish this was around years ago, I would have been there like a shot ... if I could have found it that is!

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Tembo
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PostSubject: Re: A good digital or GPS compass?   Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:33 pm

Looks like an interesting program...may have to send my navigator/spouse to upgrade her skills. I have been using a big Silva taken from a military BV206 for my desert travels but it has lately developed a big bubble....never a good sign. It used to get one in the winter as the cold condensed the fluid, but this one is sticking around. It still works but the reliability is going down. So pondering if I should upgrade to something digital. I have a satnav for finding routes in the UK, but really just want something that I can plug in a lat/long destination into and get a compass arrow and distance to nav point (reliably...which leaves out smart phone apps).

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: A good digital or GPS compass?   Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:52 pm

I may have mentioned this before, on a sponsorship deal (unfortunately had to hand them back afterwards) Silva UK provided me with a couple of electronic compasses when taking part in a two Range Rover charity drive to Morocco in 1992, so pre-internet. It was wonderful. Showing a red glowing compass complete with needle, plus a heading in degrees, as soon as you deviated from the set heading - to go around a dune for instance - obviously it all changed bearing until you could finally get back on the required heading ... idiot proof!

At the dead of night we found the mouth of the Todra Gorge with this piece of kit, so just had to drive it. This was when it was unpaved and full of boulders, so we were only just able to make it though as the gaps got pretty narrow I can tell you. ADVENTURE!!!  yesss

Really don't know what the modern equivalent would be, all I know is they served us well at the time. Silva are after all marine specialists, and the desert is a sea, so they and other marine navigation have to be worth checking out. As you say though, quality comes at a price.

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PostSubject: Re: A good digital or GPS compass?   Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:46 pm

My Garmin sat nav allows you to navigate to a programmed Lat long we did use it in Morocco on the second trip a couple of times. After inputting the co-ordinates it shows a straight green line to the target and a pointer to show your position. The only downside is there are not topographical maps available only street maps. So after navigating around an obstacle you have to find your way back on the green line which if the detour is over a pretty vast distance some scrolling and enlarging is necessary.
You can however use the centre your position option but the drawback with that is north is always at the top of the device instead of sticking to true or magnetic north which can get confusing.

That said it was only about £200 so I think you either pay out loads of money or you have to compromise on ability

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