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Old 03-30-2016, 11:04 PM   #1
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Hand Bearing Compass app

If you want an electronic version of a hand bearing compass that works as well, if not better than an 'analog' version, check out Compass Eye for iPad/iPhone. It's only $5, compared to over $100 for a traditional hand-held. It uses the iPad camera and has a zoom feature. I like it!
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:58 PM   #2
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There are also many free apps. My blackberry has a compass built in, and I've tested it. It's quite accurate. Same with the GPS. Not a bad backup.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:30 AM   #3
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My experience with the IPhone compass is it couldn't reliably find the north side of my house. Two IPhones will never agree on a bearing. Put them close together and they change position.

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Old 03-31-2016, 12:51 AM   #4
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This app works like the iPhone compass when laid flat. When viewed through the camera it allows you to shoot lines to fix your position on a chart. A good back up tool and easier than a hand bearing compass. My binoculars don't have a compass so this is a decent replacement.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpbrady View Post
Two IPhones will never agree on a bearing. Put them close together and they change position.
Amigo, what happens when you bring lay a wrench next to your compass?????
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drb1025 View Post
This app works like the iPhone compass when laid flat. When viewed through the camera it allows you to shoot lines to fix your position on a chart. A good back up tool and easier than a hand bearing compass. My binoculars don't have a compass so this is a decent replacement.
I have the commander compass app too. Would be nice if we added a telephoto lens to the camera, and make it a compass enabled monoc. I use mine to orient where the launch will happen up on the north end of Merritt Island. You can position points of interest and make sure you're watching where it will be launching.

So far I have not had problems with the compass on the iphones or ipads.

It also lets you put points in space, so you can do look angle tests to check for trees and other obstructions blocking the view.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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Mako

Two IPhones 10 feet apart rarely agree on where they are looking. We use compasses every day in our work, and the first thing we have to tell our people is don't use your IPhone compass. "We gave you a Suunto to work with." We would love not to have to provide them a $100 compass in addition to an IPhone but the IPhone compass at this point is not usable for any type of precise bearing.

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Old 03-31-2016, 02:00 PM   #8
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Not sure about the iPhone, but I read somewhere that you need to calibrate the compass on my Android devices. I took it to mean "before each use". Indeed, it seems if I use one of the night sky apps, or navigation apps, it can be way off until I do that. Luckily it's easy enough.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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A quick word from Macworld on the IPhone 5 compass:

"That said, Apple does note in the above-mentioned support document that “you should use the digital compass for basic navigation assistance, but you shouldn’t rely on it to determine precise locations, proximity, distance, or direction.” Though it’s an annoying caveat for users who want to use their iPhone for precise compass navigation, it’s to be expected: Sensors such as the one in the iPhone aren’t necessarily as good as a traditional mechanical compass."

How to recalibrate the motion sensors in your iPhone 5s | Macworld

I can't speak for the IPhone 6 but I suspect it has some of the same limitations. One of the key features of calibration is the IPhone is laid flat. When you shift to an app that uses the camera the compass no longer indicates the same direction with it being off anywhere from 1-5 degrees assuming the original bearing was accurate.

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Old 03-31-2016, 04:46 PM   #10
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So your "cocked hat" may be a bit large using this app. Still, it might be useful, unless you are running close in.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:40 PM   #11
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I have my onboard computer, furuno radar and chart plotter, iPad with plan2nav, iPhone with gps, and backup battery powered gps. I doubt I'll ever need to fix my position manually, cocked hat or otherwise, but I do like to take bearings and check my position on a chart for fun on occasion.
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