Illuminating your compass.^

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Owen
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Illuminating your compass.^

Post by Owen » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:14 pm

For a deck compass I use a Silva type 85 which is great but isn't illuminated.

Image

To see it whilst paddling at night I have to use my headtorch, which kills my night vision.

How do other's light up their compass when night paddling?

Bertie..
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Post by Bertie.. » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:55 pm

Owen,

I use the mini-snaplights that you can buy from most angling shops. They're about 2 inches long, and can be taped to the glass dome of your compass, such that you can easily see the compass markings and don't get blinded by the light.

Obviously, some colours work better than others in the dark.

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:04 pm

Silva 85 also comes in an illuminated version. You could try studying it to find if yours might be adapted. I believe it uses 12V though, so you may have to install a bulky battery box if this is at all possible.

A how-to of using a 5 mm LED as external light is found here though. The LED is fed by two easy-to-hide AAA batteries.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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Martin S
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Post by Martin S » Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:12 pm

Bertie.. wrote:Owen,

I use the mini-snaplights that you can buy from most angling shops. They're about 2 inches long, and can be taped to the glass dome of your compass, such that you can easily see the compass markings and don't get blinded by the light.

Obviously, some colours work better than others in the dark.
It would appear that this is what John Willacy is using http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p16817935.html

Owen
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Post by Owen » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:05 pm

Thanks,

I've just been experimenting with a light stick and various way of fixing it to the compass dome. Sticking it to the back of the dome with black duct tape seems best. I have to look out for some mini-snaplight next time I'm in town.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:27 pm

Geoff and Phil have both fitted compass lights for long crossings, there might be a description in the almanac or in an old thread here about how they did it.

Silva 70UN is also available with a backlight (70UNE), some of us cheapskates that have one compass for multiple boats (although I only have one boat) use this type, mine isn't the electrified version though.

Jim

geoffm
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Post by geoffm » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:46 pm

I have a Silva 85 on my Alaw Bach. Inquired re fitting illumination to a non illuminated compass and the response from Silva is below.

Geoff

"The current consumption of the illumination is 90mA @ 12V which means 1.08W
There is a illumination add on for the 85 but the cable is squezed between the memory ring and the capsule so when you add the illumination you can not turn the ring because it will worn out the cable. To prevent that, we have a special ring on the illuminated 85 compasses that has stop bars to disable the rotating function.
Art.no’s:
34479 Illumination for 85
35776-0 Ring with stop bar black
35776 Ring with stop bar white"

Owen
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Post by Owen » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:20 pm

Thanks for all the reply's.

Not being that keen on having electric's around my compass and not sure it's worth the trouble of retro-fitting I decided to try the light stick approach first. I played around with different ways of fixing the light and different positions last night; I found this the best place for the light.

Image

Please excuse the junk in my garage.

I just taped it on so I'm not sure how well it will stay put on the water but duct tape usually works well enough. Having the light stick at an angle lit up the compass card well. Sometimes the simplest answers are the best.

Image

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:25 pm

How about having it face the other way so it lights the compass but with a shield on the backside so you don't see the light at all (I know lightsticks shouldn't ruin your vision), the shield will probably be the tape that holds it on....

Jim

Bertie..
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Post by Bertie.. » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:38 pm

try getting the smaller snaplights, they're less likely to be knocked off, and also by taping it to the top it's possible to position it so that you can't see the light, but it illuminates the compass.

Owen
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Post by Owen » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:09 pm

Jim,
Yes, tried that but the stick was either in the way or didn't shine in the right place; where it is actually lights up the card really well.

Bertie,
I'll be keeping an eye out for some smaller snap-lights next time I'm in town.

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waltfos
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Illuminating

Post by waltfos » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:35 pm

Owen

This may seem daft but as your compass is not fixed what about bringing it closer to you at night and put the light stick on the deck this will double as a map light at the same time.

Also a small bracket from a plumbers merchant on to the detachable base may give you a fixing point for the stick. But again your way and this means you have to have company to mount [light stick] silly

If it gets glary drop it over the side remembering to put in fishing line too.

When you need it pull it out and put under deck line

Possible w'not work with a fixed deck compass

Shoogle aboot

Walt

John W
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Compass

Post by John W » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:47 pm

Owen

Here are a couple of pics of what I use on my compass. I have been using it successfully for a few years now. Apologies for the quality of the pics, it was a bit of a rush job. I can retake them if it of use to you.

http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p35481611.html

http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p35481614.html

Basically, 2 straps of thin shockcord. One has a loop that the lightstick fits into. The other passes through the hole in the tag at the end of the lightstick and is then clipped to the small krab.

JW

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catman
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Post by catman » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:19 pm

Hi Owen

Why dont you try a radioactive particle, they can be found on the beaches around Doonray, just stuff it into you compass. Works a treat!
Phil

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Post by Owen » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:29 pm

Hi Phil,

I don't have to go that far, there some down the road at Dalgety Bay.

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Geoff Seddon
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Post by Geoff Seddon » Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:58 pm

Jim wrote:Geoff and Phil have both fitted compass lights for long crossings, there might be a description in the almanac or in an old thread here about how they did it.

Jim
Can,t remember writing that up but yes we have 12 Lighting. Mine is a Brunton 70 which, I think, is the same as a Silva. The bulb is actually one out of a domestic illuminated bellpush and is white, but does not affect my night vision. I have put a very small piece of tape extending the shroud, because I could just see the bulb when lit, which I found irritating. The battery, stowed in the front hatch also powers the pump.

sparky2488
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Post by sparky2488 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:48 pm

I've fitted one of these to the deck of my Kodiak . . . . works like a dream in the dark :-)

http://www.sailgb.com/p/power_boat_dash ... 0fb_70fbc/

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nickcrowhurst
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Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:33 pm

I have sent the below listed e-mail to Kevin Thomson, the marketing guy at Silva U.K. He will forward the issue to the Swedish H.Q of Silva:

Kevin, further to our telephone conversation of today:
Sea kayaking is a fast-growing sport, world-wide. In my experience there is an unmet worldwide demand for a deck-mounted flush fitting compass for sea-kayaking, equipped with night-time illumination but without wiring and batteries. Tritium is one possibility. I currently use your 70 model, and many sea kayakers use other products in your range, including the 85. Here is a link to a UK sea-kayaking internet forum discussion of this topic:
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... e1b3c6ab75
You will see that your company figures prominently in the discussion. I paddle in various countries, including the USA, and I have been unable to find such a compass. Even if kayakers have no intention of paddling at night, there is always the chance of being delayed, and the marketing could include this safety aspect of the instrument, as well as the absence of a battery and bulb which would be vulnerable to the conditions in which sea kayaks travel. Submitted for your consideration.
Nick Crowhurst.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:43 pm

Could be a possibility, I still have an old military type 85 map compass with a radioactive sticker in the corner because the pointer and region of the bezel where you read your heading were done in uranium based "paint", although this seems to have long since decayed and the capsule is cracked.

Another option is photoluminescent material, many ships, particularly ferries use strips of the stuff for their emergency lighting, the only issue is that it needs to be charged with sufficient light before being plunged into darkness, so taking your boat out of the shed the same night as heading off on a night paddle wouldn't be any use. Also the decay rate is exponential and you lose a considerable amount of light output in the first 15 minutes, after an hour or so though the levels drop much less slowly. someone would need to work out the parameters:

How long do we need the light from it?
What intensity do we need the light at?
How much incident light is going to be on it in the day time?
For how long is it going to recieve that light?
Is the angle of incidence fairly steady or does the light source move significantly (answer to that is moves significantly)?

Might be just out reach now but I bet something can be done with PL materials in the not too distant future!

Jim

Owen
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Post by Owen » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:13 pm

Something a bit more low tech.

I brought a packet of mini snap-lights 25mm long and about 3mm diameter. They put out a surprising amount of light. With one taped to the top of the compass dome I could still read the numbers six hours later; that was from three metres away. The packet of two was 40p (from a fishing shop) so for the amount of night paddling I do, where I need to use the compass, they look like being the simplest answer.

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Post by Craig Addison » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:10 pm

Silva do (or did) make a light shroud for the 70 compass this is the type fitted to most decks, the kit consists of a shroud that fits to the front of the compass and a 12v led light that fits inside the shroud. It does require a small hole to be drilled to allow the wiring to pass into the bulkhead. I fitted mine a few years ago 7 with a small amount of silicone sealant when assembling have had no leaks, I have a battery box inside the front bulkhead and a waterproof switch in the cockpit, if anyone wants any info or photos let me know.
Craig.

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Post by Bertie.. » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:17 am

Have often thought there might be a market for a small led light contained within a suction cup (like on a kids bow and arrow set), powered by a small watch battery. You could simply suction it on to the outside of any compass.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:06 pm

Bertie.. wrote:Have often thought there might be a market for a small led light contained within a suction cup (like on a kids bow and arrow set), powered by a small watch battery. You could simply suction it on to the outside of any compass.
Or just tape one of these in place?

Jim

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Post by Bertie.. » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:04 pm

My standard practice is to tape a small snap light in place. I keep thinking the rubber suction cup idea would be neater than taping anything in place.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:25 pm

Bertie.. wrote:My standard practice is to tape a small snap light in place. I keep thinking the rubber suction cup idea would be neater than taping anything in place.
The likes of you are going to drag the image of kayaking up if you aren't careful! :-)

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Post by Bertie.. » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:48 pm

Jim wrote: The likes of you are going to drag the image of kayaking up if you aren't careful! :-)
There's no place for duck tape in modern sea kayaking..

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:23 pm

Bertie.. wrote:
Jim wrote: The likes of you are going to drag the image of kayaking up if you aren't careful! :-)
There's no place for duck tape in modern sea kayaking..
We don't do modern, only trad! :-)

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waltfos
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Illuminating a compass

Post by waltfos » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:47 pm

you could easiy fit a piece of fibre optic from the cockpit. Fee this throught the forwrad hatch, cut hole in deck and angle the fibre optic at 45 - 60 degree cut andled to compass.

15 -20 mm fibre

Resaeal deach and forward hatch

In cockpit fit torch which has same diameter as fibre or larger and fummel beem to fibre. Switch on and off as need be.

Remember this is low level lighting but depends on illumination strength of the lighting device ie torch.
A sample of lighting tips used by some armies to have night light under there vehicles

You could easy fit a piece of fibre optic from the cockpit. Feed this through the forward hatch, cut hole in deck and angle the fibre optic at 45 - 60 degree cut angled to compass.

15 -20 mm fibre

Reseal deck and forward hatch

In cockpit fit torch which has same diameter as fibre or larger and funnel beam to fibre. Switch on and off as need be.

Remember this is low level lighting but depends on illumination strength of the lighting device i.e. torch.

You also have a torch to use in need be on shore or to signal to fellow kayaker also the fibre running thru forward hatch works as a light for those midnight camping issues when you cant really see what you want and its in the hatch.

This idea is used in energy efficient houses using day light on the roof and via fibre to rooms where light would be a help but not task or duty lighting.

Trust this helps

If too much hassle then use a head torch or light sticks but then life is a compromise.

Keep shoogling

Walt

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