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Old 12-02-2020, 12:24 AM   #1
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Ritchie Compass Light Fix

My old boat had two Ritchie Compasses on it. The one on the flydeck was in pretty sad shape with a huge bubble and lettering that was browning. I was considering topping it off with more compass oil, but it also seemed to have defects in the glass so I'm going to toss it. The other one is in OK shape except that the internal light was toast with the lighting wire broken and using an old incandescent bulb mount that was completely corroded. I replaced that socket with a LED and thought I would share some pics. Taking these pictures exposed some more glass flaws which really surprised me. Maybe these just are too old?
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:34 AM   #2
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Iíve never done it but I know Ritchie offers a rebuild service. Donít know what the cost is or if it would be worth it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:28 AM   #3
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Iíve never done it but I know Ritchie offers a rebuild service. Donít know what the cost is or if it would be worth it.
They also sell repair parts and you can get diagrams online. Repair is not difficult.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:44 AM   #4
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It may be the oil itself that has darkened.
Ideally it would be non photochemically reactive but who knows.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:51 PM   #5
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It may be the oil itself that has darkened.
Ideally it would be non photochemically reactive but who knows.
I think you will find Ritchie recemmends odorless mineral spirits for fill. I've done a couple and repair/refill was EZ.
Follow directions for putting it in freezer prior to use to help drive out any entrapped air.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. DB. Nice. I see the 280 ohm resister but is that a diode in the circuit as well?
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:47 PM   #7
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I rebuilt mine. Go to grandbankschoices.

New glass fluid, seals, oil.

Not much to it, looks like new.
They have cards too.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:46 PM   #8
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Yep! LED. Light Emitting Diode
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:00 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. DB. Nope. NOT the LED, that other "device" in series with the resister on the, I assume, +'ve lead of the LED or is that 2 resisters in series?
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:53 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. DB. Nope. NOT the LED, that other "device" in series with the resister on the, I assume, +'ve lead of the LED or is that 2 resisters in series?
Oh! Now I get that you are referring to the pics! Those are actually four resistors. Two 360 Ohms in parallel in series with two 200 Ohms in parallel to equal 280 Ohms total. I did this so I could keep the resistors within their power limits. I am dissipating about 1/2 Watt through them and I only had 1/4 Watt resistors in my tool box. Good question!
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:58 PM   #11
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I rebuilt mine. Go to grandbankschoices.

New glass fluid, seals, oil.

Not much to it, looks like new.
They have cards too.
I think mine has too much glass damage to worry about fixing. Here is a picture of that one. The cracks REALLY show up if you light it and look at it in the dark. Bummer.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:16 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. DB. Thanks. So I'm guessing a 1/2 watt 280 ohm on the + side is the way to go. I took "electronics" about 50 years ago and with my Dollarama spectacles and non-existent memory I just wanted to clarify.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:35 PM   #13
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I think mine has too much glass damage to worry about fixing. Here is a picture of that one. The cracks REALLY show up if you light it and look at it in the dark.
UV damage. Ritchie sells domes and o-rings. Simple repair and probably a lot cheaper than new compass (assuming you still have the model label attached.)
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:06 AM   #14
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Your choice...but as often as I have used a compass in the last 20 years, as long as I can see the card under the lubber line..... I might just fix the light and any bubble and call it good.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:21 AM   #15
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UV damage. Ritchie sells domes and o-rings. Simple repair and probably a lot cheaper than new compass (assuming you still have the model label attached.)
Exactly... Parts available. I found just cleaning the card helped brighten things up when I did a rebuild. There seemed to be a very fine/faint brownish haze on internal parts that wiped off easily when apart.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:24 AM   #16
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I went through my compass about 8 years ago. I replaced the glass and recall it was relatively cheap. I replaced the oil and a bubble showed up a few days later. I removed the fill screw, topped it off and put the compass in a small vacuum chamber for a bit. Compass has looked great ever since.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:48 AM   #17
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compass

I have had this company rebuild a compass for me:

Andrews Compass Service. (No affiliation with company) Just know from personal experience that they do good work.

www.andrewscompass.com

PROFESSIONAL MARINE COMPASS ADJUSTMENT SERVICE FOR DANFORTH ITT, RITCHIE NAVIGATION, PLASTIMO, CASSENS & PLATH, SUUNTO, DIRIGO, SESTREL/SIRS NAVIGATION AND C, PLATH COMPASSES

They are out of Mass.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:05 PM   #18
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I guess I'll keep it around in the Todo pile and see if I can clean it up and add fluid. Maybe after I get through my full-page of other fixes for the boat. I'm trying not to get overwhelmed! It would be great to do a complete overhaul and document it. It was fun replacing the light in the other one and am very happy about how it came out.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:49 PM   #19
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I guess I'll keep it around in the Todo pile and see if I can clean it up and add fluid. Maybe after I get through my full-page of other fixes for the boat. I'm trying not to get overwhelmed! It would be great to do a complete overhaul and document it. It was fun replacing the light in the other one and am very happy about how it came out.
To-do lists are great, as long as you look at them once in a while. Great stress reliever for me. Wake up in the middle of the night with a project on my mind? Reach over and tell the wife to remember - uh, NO!!! Forget that. I write it on a night stand pad.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:59 AM   #20
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The saga continues... I got my good compass all fixed up, took it to the boat yesterday adjusted it this morning to true North, went to install it later in the morning and BAM! a bubble has appeared. What the heck! It wasn't there before. I posted the pics above that prove it. Really not happy. Maybe need to get a new seal, and finally order more fluid. Ahhhhhhh! Also bought a cheap temporary one from Amazon that is all plasticky, that one actually seems to work ok for now.
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