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Compass compassion 1490

No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Compass compassion
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:53:18 AM »
My 35 year old, Sweden made Silva Ranger Type 15 has developed a Lawrence Welk favorite-a Tiny Bubble. It still works and appears accurate and the bubble goes away when it is warm. But I thought it was time for me to have a backup, which will take over at the appropriate time.

The market is not very rich for these right now, and may never be again, I dont know.

My choices were:
**Silva - who just bought back the distribution rights in North America but are now made solely in China
**Brunton -US made in Wyoming but owned by Fenix Outdoors, previously of Sweden now of Switzerland
**Suunto - Finnish through and through

I selected the Suunto MC-2 USGS baseplate/sighting mirror model at about $55 USD. The MC-2 Global was $95 and there was definitely a quality difference in terms of sharpness of needle and the global readability thereof. But the USGS edition is really a great compass for the money. Very similar to the old Silva Ranger Type 15 in look and functionality.

Reviews were sketchy on all of these manufacturers, until I realized that many of the reviewers had never even used a compass or were professionals who needed more specialized equipment.  One reviewer complained of the mirror being hazy until another pointed out that they forgot to remove the protective plastic wrap. Another complained of a sluggish inclinometer until it was pointed out that the compass needed to be on its side. So you see what we are up against with the reviewers.

Anyway, the Suunto MC-2 USGS is a great compass so far, accurate if not always pretty, very similar to the old Silva ranger Type 15 with the additional features of a sight hole at the bottom of the mirror and a magnifying lense molded as part of the base plate.

So far, no complaints. Gave my niece and nephew a brief lesson in declination and pointing an azimuth (bearing) the other day.

Who else still uses a compass out there and what have you got? I would post pics but I keep getting an error. Probably pic size
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,737 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 08:40:50 PM »
As a Geography teacher, I do have a thing for compasses. Here is the majority of my compasses, but I do have a few others not in this photo. Most notably, my fathers 1960s Silva Huntsman Compass. I also have a simple Victorinox compass as well...but that one is with the SAK collection currently.

20210120_142006A by Chako, on Flickr

From top - left to right:

Suunto MCB compass in yellow, Engineering lensatic compass, Generic compass with glow dots, a pair of Silva Type 7 NL, Sylva Ranger Type 15.

From bottom - left to right:

Schrade Tough Navi-Tool, Coghlan's pin on hunter ball compass.

The Ranger 15 is an awesome compass. The Suunto MCB suffers from a plastic hinge. The engineer lensatic compass is a good design. The Schrade Navi Tool tends to go out with me on hikes attached to a backpack. The ball type hunter compass is a good backup that doesn't take any room at all. The others are of the type I tend to use to teach students on how to use compasses and map reading (these are my personal copies).  :salute:
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 08:55:48 PM by Chako »

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,630
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 09:13:07 PM »
I have a few.  The 2 close at hand Suunto and Silva. 

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,558 Bon Journee!!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2021, 12:28:03 AM »
I love compasses!  I have a small collection of Silva's, older ones.  Like I like to say, you never have to worry about the batteries dying on a compass. 

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 1,122
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2021, 12:46:40 AM »
My 35 year old, Sweden made Silva Ranger Type 15 has developed a Lawrence Welk favorite-a Tiny Bubble. It still works and appears accurate and the bubble goes away when it is warm. But I thought it was time for me to have a backup, which will take over at the appropriate time.

The market is not very rich for these right now, and may never be again, I dont know.

My choices were:
**Silva - who just bought back the distribution rights in North America but are now made solely in China
**Brunton -US made in Wyoming but owned by Fenix Outdoors, previously of Sweden now of Switzerland
**Suunto - Finnish through and through

I selected the Suunto MC-2 USGS baseplate/sighting mirror model at about $55 USD. The MC-2 Global was $95 and there was definitely a quality difference in terms of sharpness of needle and the global readability thereof. But the USGS edition is really a great compass for the money. Very similar to the old Silva Ranger Type 15 in look and functionality.

Reviews were sketchy on all of these manufacturers, until I realized that many of the reviewers had never even used a compass or were professionals who needed more specialized equipment.  One reviewer complained of the mirror being hazy until another pointed out that they forgot to remove the protective plastic wrap. Another complained of a sluggish inclinometer until it was pointed out that the compass needed to be on its side. So you see what we are up against with the reviewers.

Anyway, the Suunto MC-2 USGS is a great compass so far, accurate if not always pretty, very similar to the old Silva ranger Type 15 with the additional features of a sight hole at the bottom of the mirror and a magnifying lense molded as part of the base plate.

So far, no complaints. Gave my niece and nephew a brief lesson in declination and pointing an azimuth (bearing) the other day.

Who else still uses a compass out there and what have you got? I would post pics but I keep getting an error. Probably pic size
Oh man, I’ve just recently bought my own real compass and also went with Suunto MC-2 Global, though I managed to find it new for like 50$

GPS and so on is awesome and helps a lot, but there’s just something I truly live about those real analogue things

By the way do you guys have some nice case/sheath ideas for this Suunto compass?

Dream. Wish. Leave nothing undone. Repeat.
No Life Club Posts: 2,090 I have a small selection of disparate tools
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 11:09:06 AM »
I have some Silva type 4 I use hiking simple reliable and easy to use.
My partner bought me Sun sea turtl kayak compass for chrostmas but i haven't had a chance to do a decent sea paddle yet this year.

It is never too late to be what you might have been - George Eliot
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,073 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 12:40:29 PM »
As a Geography teacher, I do have a thing for compasses. Here is the majority of my compasses, but I do have a few others not in this photo. Most notably, my fathers 1960s Silva Huntsman Compass. I also have a simple Victorinox compass as well...but that one is with the SAK collection currently.

20210120_142006A by Chako, on Flickr

From top - left to right:

Suunto MCB compass in yellow, Engineering lensatic compass, Generic compass with glow dots, a pair of Silva Type 7 NL, Sylva Ranger Type 15.

From bottom - left to right:

Schrade Tough Navi-Tool, Coghlan's pin on hunter ball compass.

The Ranger 15 is an awesome compass. The Suunto MCB suffers from a plastic hinge. The engineer lensatic compass is a good design. The Schrade Navi Tool tends to go out with me on hikes attached to a backpack. The ball type hunter compass is a good backup that doesn't take any room at all. The others are of the type I tend to use to teach students on how to use compasses and map reading (these are my personal copies).  :salute:

They awl point to a different North...

 :facepalm:

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Hero Member Posts: 520
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 12:43:30 PM »
Oh, that topic ticks me, too.

Since I go outdoors whenever and whereever I can, I have collected a bunch of compasses over time...

- Silva Metro: clipped to the shoulderstrap of my usual hiking backpack. Dont need much more when hiking in forests in germany on marked trails (usually just needed to rotate the map).
- Recta DP2: my first "real" compass, used for my first tracks. Missed the option of a transparend baseplate, so I moved on...
- Recta DS-50G: A workhorse, large, can do everything and more, reliable. When out and lots of compass work is needed, thats my tool of choice.
- Silva Ranger (older Version I guess), my usual mountain compass that I toss into my backpack whenever out in the mountains or in terrain without marked trails.. Gets the basic work done and can be used in whiteout (had this only once, luckily).
- Silva Ranger SL: first bought for my girlfriend, this is the least used one. Wanted to replace my usual Ranger with it, but the fact that the lid doesnt fold down to a flat surface for map work is a big NoGo. Still ok for basic map work,
- Recta Clipper: impusive buy for some survival thingy use, no use for it now, dont like to carry that on my watch anymore.


Have to collect them all today when heading home for a group pic.
Is there a compass badge?  :pok:
Hero Member Posts: 520
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 12:49:43 PM »
Oh man, I’ve just recently bought my own real compass and also went with Suunto MC-2 Global, though I managed to find it new for like 50$

GPS and so on is awesome and helps a lot, but there’s just something I truly live about those real analogue things

By the way do you guys have some nice case/sheath ideas for this Suunto compass?

For real outdoorsmen the use of compass and map is basic knowledge. GPS is fine, as long as battery lasts.
Compass and map often saves your butt when everything else fails.

And: for route planing map and compass are far more useable than a GPS, when outdoors. Why? Because you see the whole scenery in one view, with all details. No tiny screen, no missed details because of zoom level.
I can plan and orientate way faster with a map and compass than on GPS when out and about.

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,737 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2021, 02:00:53 PM »
That is correct. That happens when there is a lot of metal around, or when you place them side by side like that.  :tu:

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,623 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2021, 03:53:19 PM »
They awl point to a different North...

 :facepalm:

Are you surprised? I'm guessing all the compasses in the neighborhood are pointing to Chako's house :ahhh
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,073 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 04:03:03 PM »
Are you surprised? I'm guessing all the compasses in the neighborhood are pointing to Chako's house :ahhh

He's got a really magnetic personality, right?

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 05:07:55 PM »
As a Geography teacher, I do have a thing for compasses. Here is the majority of my compasses, but I do have a few others not in this photo. Most notably, my fathers 1960s Silva Huntsman Compass. I also have a simple Victorinox compass as well...but that one is with the SAK collection currently.

20210120_142006A by Chako, on Flickr

From top - left to right:

Suunto MCB compass in yellow, Engineering lensatic compass, Generic compass with glow dots, a pair of Silva Type 7 NL, Sylva Ranger Type 15.

From bottom - left to right:

Schrade Tough Navi-Tool, Coghlan's pin on hunter ball compass.

The Ranger 15 is an awesome compass. The Suunto MCB suffers from a plastic hinge. The engineer lensatic compass is a good design. The Schrade Navi Tool tends to go out with me on hikes attached to a backpack. The ball type hunter compass is a good backup that doesn't take any room at all. The others are of the type I tend to use to teach students on how to use compasses and map reading (these are my personal copies).  :salute:

Nice group of compasses (compii ?) Chako. That yellow Suunto, yeah the hinge is definitely a bad design. And the bubble -rrrrr. But those 2 Silva 7NL's look nice. And of course, that Ranger 15! Just such a quality and versatile compass. It was the first one I bought for myself -around the time I bought my first Victorinox, a Super Tinker. It just does everything but make breakfast.

I am thinking of picking up a Brunton 8010 (based off the old Smoke Jumper) or a TrueArc 3 or 5, just to see what it's all about. They make thier variant of the Ranger 15, back from when they were sort of meshed with Silva I guess. But I have the Ranger 15 and the Suunto MC-2 now, so I dont know that I need another similar one.
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2021, 05:11:26 PM »
I have a few.  The 2 close at hand Suunto and Silva.

Right!

So I have the older version of your Silva - mine is exactly like Chako's.
And I have a slightly newer version of your Suunto. Oddly for the newer Suuntos, they interrupt the black portion of the orienting arrow and insert the SUUNTO logo there. Kind of a pain, because I like to use thatas another set of orienting lines, I'm used to doing that with my old Silva.
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,623 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2021, 06:03:35 PM »
I like the Suuntos, I've been using them for years, underground and in the mountains. Have no complaints what ao ever. I have a A10 and a Tandem for measurements and they simply work. :tu: I've had good experiences with Silva too
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,073 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2021, 06:39:46 PM »
Just realized the forum filter didn't turn this into a compsmurf thread...

 :whistle:

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,623 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2021, 06:42:55 PM »
Just realized the forum filter didn't turn this into a compsmurf thread...

 :whistle:

With that filtered we would have problems typing passwords :P
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2021, 08:20:06 PM »
Thank God they aren't called Comp$h1theads, or we would have a h311 of a time here today
No Life Club Posts: 2,605
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2021, 09:22:53 PM »
Cool thread, I have a few compasses and the Orienteering book by Kjellstrom.

I have Silva that I really like(ed).  It might be a Silva Ranger, or equivalent.  At some point, it somehow got an air bubble in the housing.  I was super bummed that this happened, and to my knowledge, there's nothing to be done about this. 

So true to my personality.... rather than find some healthy way to rectify the situation, I've neglected the hobby entirely and keep the compass in my EDC SAK basket ... for what, I don't know  :facepalm:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,558 Bon Journee!!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2021, 10:43:02 PM »
 :rofl: :rofl:
Thank God they aren't called Comp$h1theads, or we would have a h311 of a time here today

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2021, 01:14:03 AM »
Cool thread, I have a few compasses and the Orienteering book by Kjellstrom.

I have Silva that I really like(ed).  It might be a Silva Ranger, or equivalent.  At some point, it somehow got an air bubble in the housing.  I was super bummed that this happened, and to my knowledge, there's nothing to be done about this. 

So true to my personality.... rather than find some healthy way to rectify the situation, I've neglected the hobby entirely and keep the compass in my EDC SAK basket ... for what, I don't know  :facepalm:

A small bubble wont affect the compass much at all. A 1/4 inch bubble is where you start getting into trouble. Bigger than that, and the bubble can literally bump the needle. I think you'll find the colder it is, the larger the bubble gets.

The only thing that could possibly be done about it is to keep the compass in a very warm, dry room. The fluid should expand and push out the air from whatevereaky seal it entered. It is at that point, you might be able to put a bead of, say, silicone around the seals of the dial. That might work.

I was hugely disappointed when mine developed the little bitty bubble. Maybe I could have treated it better. I had no idea when I bought it that in the "future", compasses would be less quality than they were in the 80's. I have half a mind to go back and buy a second Suunto MC-2 just to keep it in the package, someplace safe, so I have it when the zombie apocalypse happens and theres no more electricity for GPs
No Life Club Posts: 2,605
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2021, 01:33:30 AM »
A small bubble wont affect the compass much at all. A 1/4 inch bubble is where you start getting into trouble. Bigger than that, and the bubble can literally bump the needle. I think you'll find the colder it is, the larger the bubble gets.

The only thing that could possibly be done about it is to keep the compass in a very warm, dry room. The fluid should expand and push out the air from whatevereaky seal it entered. It is at that point, you might be able to put a bead of, say, silicone around the seals of the dial. That might work.

I was hugely disappointed when mine developed the little bitty bubble. Maybe I could have treated it better. I had no idea when I bought it that in the "future", compasses would be less quality than they were in the 80's. I have half a mind to go back and buy a second Suunto MC-2 just to keep it in the package, someplace safe, so I have it when the zombie apocalypse happens and theres no more electricity for GPs

the bubble has slowly grown over time and is now about a 1/4 inch if not more.  It seems to bump the needle now.  Thanks for your help!  I'll move it to a warmer place and see what happens.   :hatsoff:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,468
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2021, 01:55:33 AM »
I have a compass addiction...

These are mine, only showing the different models I own, not their backups... (yes, even with compasses I have backups, and even backups for the backups... Every time I found one at a discount price, I just couldn't let it pass. So I can almost start a small compass dealership by now  ;)).

No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2021, 02:35:32 AM »
That mirror sighting Recta looks EXACTLY like my Ssunto MC-2. Exactly.  Did Suunto buy Recta, or are they producing for Recta? Nice M3 G as,well

Interesting Silva mirror sight. Hows the quality of Silva these days?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,468
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2021, 02:45:45 AM »
That mirror sighting Recta looks EXACTLY like my Ssunto MC-2. Exactly.  Did Suunto buy Recta, or are they producing for Recta? Nice M3 G as,well

Interesting Silva mirror sight. Hows the quality of Silva these days?

I seem to remember having read that Suunto indeed took over Recta (and also
 Recta's "Global needle system") .

The Silva mirror sight is fine, but it's not really fair to compare it to the Recta/Suunto mirror sight ones, since the Silva costs around half of what the other two cost.  And the global versions do work smoother and more stable than the regular ones in my opinion.

I'll try to post some individual pics of each one here, for better view.
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2021, 04:46:21 AM »
Sometime in the mid 1990's.

Interesting enough, most of Brunton's current offerings are global needle
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2021, 12:00:19 AM »
Just picked up a Brunton TruArc 5. It seems to be a good quality baseplate compass with global needle. Not very expensive either. Normally $29 usd,, got it for 26 at Kittery Trading Post in Maine.

Took it outside in 20 degree (Fahrenheit!) weather today to see if it developed a bubble. No, sir. So far so good.

Adjustable declination without any tools. Takes a bit of getting used to doing that but easy, once you get the hang of it. I still prefer the Silva way, with the screw on top of the capsule. That way you can lay it on the map compass and make an exact fit. But this is very good, and very good for the money - so far.

Makes me think about getting the Brunton TruArc 15, as I like a mirror site campass much better
No Life Club Posts: 1,825
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2021, 11:10:27 PM »
In tru MultiTool.org fashion, when faced with a tool purchasing dilemma, I did the obvious.

The other day I went back up to Kittery and picked up a Brunton TruArc 15. Nice compass.mirror sighting, global needle. Inclinometer in the capsule. Increments of 1 degree as opposed to the 2 degrees for the Suunto and Silva, and even the other Brunton.

Seems good. Will have to test more
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,558 Bon Journee!!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2021, 11:22:51 PM »
Let us know Thundah!

Barry
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,558 Bon Journee!!
Re: Compass compassion
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2021, 11:35:10 PM »
Here's mine.  Mrs. R has a Girl Scout Silva, and I have this Boy Scout version complete with Orienteering Book and instruction manual from Silva.  I've had a few Silva compasses over the years, but this is the only one I can find at the moment.  Also pictured is a compass from the USS Constitution that Noah picked up for Zach when he took the tour.

Barry

 

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