Author Topic: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely  (Read 4215 times)

Rob Goes Walking

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When I got to NY 48248 22238 yesterday the magnetic compass insisted I was looking east when I was looking north which confused me for a bit on where to walk until I realised no matter what direction I pointed it in none of the readings were north. I did a few figure of eights with the phone not knowing if this would help calibrate it since the phone wasn't complaining the compass needs calibration.

It's working fine now I just tested it. What could have gone wrong? Has this happened to you?

Owen

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #1 on: 12:49:44, 14/04/19 »
Were you standing still when this happened?

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #2 on: 12:50:50, 14/04/19 »
Were you standing still when this happened?

I was.

Owen

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #3 on: 13:03:16, 14/04/19 »
Yes, I have had this before. It as if you need to be moving for the GPS system to work out your heading. When you just stand still it bounces about all over the place.

sussamb

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #4 on: 15:47:50, 14/04/19 »
My phone doesn't have a compass so I have to be moving for it to work out direction.  If yours has a compass check VR is using it and not its gps for heading.
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richardh1905

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #5 on: 17:53:17, 14/04/19 »

Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.


..although even these can let you down, as I found out to my dismay last year on the mist shrouded summit of Ben Hope - I had kept it in a rucksack pocket alongside keys, whistle - and my mobile phone, which has a magnetic case clasp. Completely demagnetised the compass!

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #6 on: 17:59:31, 14/04/19 »
Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.


I know I should and learn how to use a paper map too but ViewRanger is so convenient and easy. I paused at Loughrigg Terrace to listen to instruction a group was receiving on map and compass usage but sadly as I've not used it I haven't retained any of it.


Do own paper OS Maps of the whole Lake District in the waterproof edition but never use them.

Mel

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #7 on: 18:16:56, 14/04/19 »
A map is great, if you know how to read it.  A compass is great, if you know how to use it.


To be honest, it's really easy to learn the basics of navigation but reading books/instructions make it seem WAAAAYYYY more complicated than it is.  I couldn't grasp the concept of map/compass navigation until someone showed me... and I was "huh? is that it?"


The LDNP used to run basic navigation workshops (for a small fee) ... might be worth looking on their website to see if they've any coming up.
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #8 on: 18:36:25, 14/04/19 »
The LDNP used to run basic navigation workshops (for a small fee) ... might be worth looking on their website to see if they've any coming up.

Yes I'll think about it. Make use of the 50 I spent on maps before I discovered ViewRanger (or this forum). I can use a map in a basic sense by looking at what's on the map and where you are as you pass things, I used to use them to walk around the South Downs when smartphones were new and I didn't own one, but don't know how you locate yourself by reading the compass in relation to landmarks and all that clever stuff.


richardh1905

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #9 on: 18:56:39, 14/04/19 »
Do learn how to use a map and compass Rob. By all means use Viewranger as well, but take your map and visualise where you are on it from time to time, perhaps taking a compass bearing or two as well, especially when leaving a summit. It gives you a much better sense of where you are in the landscape.

Dovegirl

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #10 on: 19:31:57, 14/04/19 »
Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.

And a backup map too, Rob, whether a paper one or one on another device.
Map-reading is something that comes with practise but it is so worth it. 

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #11 on: 19:56:45, 14/04/19 »
And a backup map too, Rob, whether a paper one or one on another device.
Map-reading is something that comes with practise but it is so worth it.

I've been thinking about buying a Garmin GPS as a backup incase my phone dies maybe I'll spend the money that would have cost on a navigation course, probably save a few quid too.

I'm not completely clueless with the map but I'm fairly clueless with the compass, I can use it to work out which way to turn when there's multiple choices that's about it. Using it to get a fairly accurate location is beyond me right now. I did understand when I heard it explained (and saw it demonstrated) to the group I eavesdropped on before joining this forum but never practiced it so it didn't stick.

Just checked the price of navigation courses 240! Maybe I'll just buy the backup GPS and try a few books on navigation out.

harland

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #12 on: 20:32:29, 14/04/19 »
Invariably I walk alone by choice but, I know it sounds daft, I think of a map and compass as a friend that I walk with - no I don't talk to it!  Certainly a great comfort (and some pride) that I am able to use them rather than look at a mobile phone - if I had one that was somewhat newer than the one I have that only makes phone calls and texts!

Owen

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #13 on: 20:38:23, 14/04/19 »

Just checked the price of navigation courses 240! Maybe I'll just buy the backup GPS and try a few books on navigation out.


Rob, whereabouts in the world are you?

ninthace

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Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
« Reply #14 on: 20:42:28, 14/04/19 »
Rob, I use a dedicated gps unit as my primary navigational tool and a phone with VR as my back up (with my intended route always loaded on both).  I also carry printed A4 sheets of the relevant map in plastic wallets, with my route printed on them, usuallly at 1:12500.   Despite this, I always have a compass and the relevant OS sheet in my pack.  The latter two items have not been used in anger ever since I got a gps with a map display but they are my final recourse.
The OS sheet can be used for a radical replanning of my route if I ever need to and the compass can not only be used to navigate if necessary but also to take bearings on distant feature to identify them.  Once you divert from your intended route a gps or phone is just a moving map display so you will need to map-read to interpret it.  As to the compass, using one isn't rocket science.
Finally remember, ViewRanger is just software - it doesn't know up from down let alone East from West.  I relies on your phone gps and compass (if it has one)or location information.
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