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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question Compass

I mounted a small compass below the dash-lights and noticed the compass always said I was heading south. At first I thought the compass was messed up but then realized there apparently is a magnet in the bike's dash panel. The compass works fine if I keep it away from there.

Anyone know why there would be a magnet in here?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 02:59 PM
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one question - does it point south even with the bike off? or only when the bike is on?

No idea why the panel would have a magnet but electrical current can be sensed by a compass

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 03:51 PM
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Perhaps it's just too close to metal? Handle bars, tank etc..

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Aren't most of the parts aluminum?
Yeah it does do it even while off so perhaps it's just some metal. Maybe the ignition housing.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 06:10 PM
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actually... a quick search revealed that the speedometer (and I assume the tachometer) has a permanent magnet in it... so that'd explain it

Curtis - Albany Oregon.
Currently receiving therapy from "Doc" - My 1985 VN700.

Daily rider in NorthWET Oregon.
Ammo Can Saddlebags
Shaved and Rejetted. Coastered. Degoated w/ Hardley pipes.

Bought Feb 2007 with 12K miles.
Hit the 24k mile July 2008

http://photobucket.com/curtis97322
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Ah! That explains it then.
I had tried hovering some metal around the compass and it seemed like I had to press it right against it to have any effect. Seemed odd that the mounting surface would mess it up that much.
Thanks for the info!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 08:09 PM
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I got one of THESE digital compasses from Walmart, originally for my Vulcan. It worked fine... until I started the bike. Then it didn't do anything
Shut the bike off and it worked normally.

I ended up mounting in my truck, but then found out that the battery only lasts a little over a month or so Even when it wasn't being used.

IMO, GPS units seem to be the best option for any kind of compass.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed, I've got a mount for my PDA which I use for GPS. But I only bring it for long rides and it'd be nice to have something as a backup if the GPS looses signal or something.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2007, 09:56 PM
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The only magnetic instument is the fuel gage, then again maybe the tachometer also.

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