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Old 02-20-2024, 12:23 PM   #1
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Question Dash-Mounted Compasses: Recommend?

Hello

Windshield-mounted Compasses: I have had one from the 1970s that was highly navigation reliable; unfortunately, its bubble housing broke. I considered finding another, yet all I have checked out were unreliable. If there are reliable convincing choices for windshield-mounted, I would be open.

Dash-mounted Compasses: For navigation reliability, it appears this falls to marine compasses that require mounting on the dash. Does anyone have recommendations?

I have been considering:




Thank you

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Old 02-20-2024, 12:47 PM   #2
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The compasses you have pictured all have one problem - they are affected by all the metal and the electronic fields of your vehicle. Which compromises accuracy. I far prefer the compass built in to a good GPS unit which uses satellites to precisely calculate direction as you travel. You can have it set to read N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW - or to the exact degree of travel. That's how I have my GPS units set up. Gives me direction of travel (heading) - plus about 50 other types of information that I can choose to have displayed.

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Old 02-20-2024, 12:52 PM   #3
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Right, maybe if you're going out to sea or in an aircraft, but no longer relevant with today's navigation devices. Plus you will chew up the dash on installation - not a good thing.

Any decent GPS will do a better job. Even your phone will be more useful.
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Old 02-20-2024, 06:03 PM   #4
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I think the amount of navigation information available on a modern smartphone is nearly miraculous. It will not only tell you which direction you are going but which lane you should be in, the distance to the next exit with a gas station and exactly what time you will get there. That is amazing especially when you are driving a van with somewhat limited lane changing visibility having to travel through the inevitable big city far from home with a 6 freeway lanes. If you are depending on an old fashion compass, you are really missing out.
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Old 02-20-2024, 07:58 PM   #5
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I carry a hand held compass as a backup incase I have to walk out of a remote area. I once had one near the dash, but it was at least 90 degrees out due to all the metal and the magnets in the speakers. I can use anyone of my mapping aps to determine travel direction, Gaia is my current favorite.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:32 PM   #6
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Question

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Originally Posted by deserteagle56 View Post
Thank you
Which GPS unit of the image you have posted?
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by N147JK View Post
Plus you will chew up the dash on installation - not a good thing.

Any decent GPS will do a better job.
Recommendation for decent GPS?
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:40 PM   #8
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Gaia is my current favorite.
https://www.gaiagps.com/

How does this app handle when not within cell tower range?

Thank you
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Old 02-21-2024, 06:18 AM   #9
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https://www.gaiagps.com/

How does this app handle when not within cell tower range?

Thank you
I use a Garmin GPS. It and some others work by downloading the maps onto the device. They don't need cell coverage.

BTY this is also possible with Google Maps there on your phone. Download the maps onto your phone while you have cell data reception or on a network. It will continue to provide very good mapped navigation after the cell signal is lost.
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Old 02-21-2024, 07:41 AM   #10
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Google Maps is hands down the best for basic road navigation because it's used by everyone so it's updated constantly and has the most accurate traffic conditions. I run it only in North up mode, contrary to lots of people who do not. IMO it's useless to use a GPS if it doesn't tell you which direction you are actually headed.

For hiking/backcountry/off-road I use several others. My go to is IOS only, and is called Pocket Earth. It's simple and reliable and uses very little cache.

Gaia is great but is hightly complex and has perhaps the worst user experience of any app I've ever used, GPS or not. I still use it and like it because of what it does, when I can actually figure out how to get it to do what I want.

OnXOffroad is gaining traction in offroad circles. It's subscription based though for basic usability and I've have yet to drink the Kool-Aid.

And don't forget that any phone has a compass app if that's all you need.
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