View Poll Results: What heading sensing device(s) do you have on your boat? Select all that apply
Traditional magnetic compass 59 85.51%
Fluxgate compass 42 60.87%
Rate compass 23 33.33%
Satellite compass 12 17.39%
None (only use GPS or other) 5 7.25%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-2016, 05:30 PM   #21
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3 sources (Magnetic, AP and GPS).....all read differently. I've gotta get on that..
They likely will never read exactly the same.

Nor should they in some cases.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:05 PM   #22
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Interesting results in the poll so far.

- 20% don't have a traditional magnetic compass. I would have expected close to zero.

- 17% have sat compasses. That's more than I expected. I figured less than 10%.

- Unfortunately I didn't design the poll well enough to figure out what % have some sort of electronic compass (fluxgate, rate compass, or sat compass). 55% have fluxgates, so it's at least that many. And 40% have rate compasses. Some of those could have fluxgates too, but probably not all, so the percent with electronic compasses is somewhere between 55% and 95%.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:15 AM   #23
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Magnetic compass at both helms, compass in autopilot, compass in chart plotter, compass in each of our smartphones. Oh and I forgot the compass in the binoculars.

Like the man with 2 watches...he never knows the exact time!
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #24
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Interesting results in the poll so far.

- 20% don't have a traditional magnetic compass. I would have expected close to zero.

- 17% have sat compasses. That's more than I expected. I figured less than 10%.

- Unfortunately I didn't design the poll well enough to figure out what % have some sort of electronic compass (fluxgate, rate compass, or sat compass). 55% have fluxgates, so it's at least that many. And 40% have rate compasses. Some of those could have fluxgates too, but probably not all, so the percent with electronic compasses is somewhere between 55% and 95%.

Twistedtree,

Good poll and enlightening.

I'm also surprise that 100% don't have a whisky compass. Also surprised how many have fluxgate/or rate compasses.... might suspect a lot were necessary for AP or radar input.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:11 PM   #25
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When I participated in the poll, I entered "Rate compass" before I actually read the question and saw "Select all that apply", and there is no way to correct after the fact. 4 fingers of scotch does that to me.

I actually have Rate, Fluxgate (standby) and Magnetic compasses onboard. I wonder if I'm the only participant that did that
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:53 PM   #26
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Based on a prior thread I still wonder how many say they have a "satellite compass" but really only have a GPS plotter. Perhaps those who answered that they have a sat comp, could give us the brand and model and how they use it?
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Interesting results in the poll so far.

- 20% don't have a traditional magnetic compass. I would have expected close to zero.

- 17% have sat compasses. That's more than I expected. I figured less than 10%.

- Unfortunately I didn't design the poll well enough to figure out what % have some sort of electronic compass (fluxgate, rate compass, or sat compass). 55% have fluxgates, so it's at least that many. And 40% have rate compasses. Some of those could have fluxgates too, but probably not all, so the percent with electronic compasses is somewhere between 55% and 95%.
Most of the above.

Com Nav now gets its compass from Maretron solid state compass. Works much better than Flux gate, which is standby.
Three more gps compasses, radar, vhf radios.
Plus my tablet gps and cell gps that both have Navionics charts.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:39 PM   #28
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I installed several compass apps on my android phone for fun.
I just never need a compass, I have my GPS and OpenCpn with ENC charts from NOAA free, and Cmap, on a PC screen.

Actually only would use a compass if all my charts broke and then I still wont know exactly where I am.

I also have several ENC chart apps installed on my android S4 phone as backup. They plot my course and show me where I am.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:38 PM   #29
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Based on a prior thread I still wonder how many say they have a "satellite compass" but really only have a GPS plotter. Perhaps those who answered that they have a sat comp, could give us the brand and model and how they use it?

Good question, and I think you are correct. i see lots of people referring to their "gps compass" or something similar. Most likely they are talking about the course over ground reported by a GPS when it's moving, and only when its moving. COS is not necessarily the same as HDG.

And to seevee's comment, I agree that it's likely an autopilot or radar that has motivated the installation of an electronic compass of some sort.

Getting back to sat compasses, we have a Hemisphere V103 which is the same as a comnav G2, simrad HS80, and pretty much all other comparable devices other than Furuno who make their own.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:46 PM   #30
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Based on a prior thread I still wonder how many say they have a "satellite compass" but really only have a GPS plotter. Perhaps those who answered that they have a sat comp, could give us the brand and model and how they use it?
Furuno SC-50 on my boat. My autopilot, AIS, chart plotter and radar use it by default. I believe my chartplotter (or, more accurately, my NN3D network) provides position, time and other nav info to radios and other equipment, and I believe that it gets all of that info, by default, from the sat compass.

Now that I think about it, the scanning sonar (which is not an NN3D peripheral) adjusts for pitch and roll, and gets that information from the sat compass, too. There are probably other uses I am forgetting.
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
When I participated in the poll, I entered "Rate compass" before I actually read the question and saw "Select all that apply", and there is no way to correct after the fact. 4 fingers of scotch does that to me.

I actually have Rate, Fluxgate (standby) and Magnetic compasses onboard. I wonder if I'm the only participant that did that
+1

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Old 09-22-2016, 08:34 PM   #32
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So we definitely have some polling errors, which is probably true of every poll.

Does anyone want to fess up to not having a traditional magnetic compass, aka a whiskey compass?

Any by the way, where does the term "whiskey compass" come from? Would people use whiskey as the dampening fluid? Or is it something else? I had never heard the term until this thread.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
So we definitely have some polling errors, which is probably true of every poll.

Does anyone want to fess up to not having a traditional magnetic compass, aka a whiskey compass?

Any by the way, where does the term "whiskey compass" come from? Would people use whiskey as the dampening fluid? Or is it something else? I had never heard the term until this thread.
Me either ...not in the USCG or baby boat commercial world. Will be interesting....
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
When I participated in the poll, I entered "Rate compass" before I actually read the question and saw "Select all that apply", and there is no way to correct after the fact. 4 fingers of scotch does that to me.

I actually have Rate, Fluxgate (standby) and Magnetic compasses onboard. I wonder if I'm the only participant that did that
I did too , Larry but in my defense i only had 3 fingers of scotch!
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:22 PM   #35
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I did too , Larry but in my defense i only had 3 fingers of scotch!
3 fingers, 4 fingers . . . could this be the real origin of term "Whiskey Compass?"
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:45 PM   #36
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So we definitely have some polling errors, which is probably true of every poll.

Does anyone want to fess up to not having a traditional magnetic compass, aka a whiskey compass?

Any by the way, where does the term "whiskey compass" come from? Would people use whiskey as the dampening fluid? Or is it something else? I had never heard the term until this thread.
A quick Google search found:

"One theory out there about why the standby (magnetic) compass on an airplane earned the name whiskey compass is that the name served to remind a pilot to refill a compass that lost its fluid with whiskey and not water because of its lower freezing level. Supposedly this is when airplanes lacked pressurization and heating."

"Another theory says that the standby compass is filled with kerosene earning the name Wet Compass. In aviation Phonetics, Whiskey is for W, explaining Whiskey Compass or W-Compass."
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:09 PM   #37
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Magnetic compass at both helms, compass in autopilot, compass in chart plotter, compass in each of our smartphones. Oh and I forgot the compass in the binoculars.

Like the man with 2 watches...he never knows the exact time!
So...you could say, a pretty all encompassing set-up..?
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:20 PM   #38
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I haven't responded to the poll.

1 I have never heard of a "rate compass" until this thread. I doubt that i have one.

2 I have heard of a "Fluxgate compass", but when I look up "Raymarine Autopilot" to confirm that mine uses a Fluxgate, their site describes only their latest offerings, and calls the heading sensor a "Digital Compass".

3 I have never heard of a "Sattelite Compass". I expect that term to describe the directional information your GPS displays, but that information is only available when your GPS is in motion, so really isn't a compass.

4 I have a compass app on my phone, but it is again only a clever electronic means of displaying direction. It doesn't seem to need to be in motion, but it gives such a wide range of erroneous readings that it shouldn't count at all.

5 To have a proper "heading sensor" from your GPS, at least 2 separate GPS are required. Then when you are not in motion, the plot of the relative positions of the two receivers can be used to determine your heading. This is still not a kind of compass, but is a true "Heading Sensor". I don't have one.

I do have several magnetic compasses. I rarely refer to any of them.

I usually steer by using my autopilot to maintain heading along a route shown on my chart, displayed on my laptop screen. I think my autopilot refers to a fluxgate compass for its diretional information, and I know the chart program accept input from my GPS, so both of those are used at the same time. sometimes they even agree!
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:27 PM   #39
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I haven't responded to the poll.

1 I have never heard of a "rate compass" until this thread. I doubt that i have one.

2 I have heard of a "Fluxgate compass", but when I look up "Raymarine Autopilot" to confirm that mine uses a Fluxgate, their site describes only their latest offerings, and calls the heading sensor a "Digital Compass".

3 I have never heard of a "Sattelite Compass". I expect that term to describe the directional information your GPS displays, but that information is only available when your GPS is in motion, so really isn't a compass.

4 I have a compass app on my phone, but it is again only a clever electronic means of displaying direction. It doesn't seem to need to be in motion, but it gives such a wide range of erroneous readings that it shouldn't count at all.

5 To have a proper "heading sensor" from your GPS, at least 2 separate GPS are required. Then when you are not in motion, the plot of the relative positions of the two receivers can be used to determine your heading. This is still not a kind of compass, but is a true "Heading Sensor". I don't have one.

I do have several magnetic compasses. I rarely refer to any of them.

I usually steer by using my autopilot to maintain heading along a route shown on my chart, displayed on my laptop screen. I think my autopilot refers to a fluxgate compass for its diretional information, and I know the chart program accept input from my GPS, so both of those are used at the same time. sometimes they even agree!

A "satellite compass" is what you describe in (5), plus some other stuff to make it work better.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:13 PM   #40
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Four sources:

Fluid damped card compass
AP 35 with rate compass
Furuno GPS chart plotter
Laptop with Coastal Explorer and hockey-puck gps antenna

All are within a few deg of each other in calm conditions.
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