Friday, September 21, 2007

Compass Calibration Run

All the real estate provide by my BMR shelf has left me a bit lacking in terms of farkle to place on it when riding. The center position has been allocated to my Nokia N800 Tablet which functions as a MP3 player/GPS on my longer trips; but this left the small winglets at each side unoccupied since I don't use a Radar Detector and haven't decided whether to mount my XM Roady.

Today I went to Advance Auto Parts and picked up a cheap Airguide Compass for $9.60. It's got the controls to adjust it against the motorcycle's electric interference when its running.

So, right after buying it, I mounted it and went to the Aurora Reservoir which was a few miles down the road. It's got straight East-West and North-South Roads for me to use when calibrating the new compass. It made it really easy to do, though I did have to stop several times and do minor adjustments.

Some Notes: You have to cushion the compass against the motorcycle's vibrations. When stopped and idling, the sucker would just spin in circles like it was in the Bermuda Triangle or something. I placed a disposable earplug under it and that spinning went away and made it more steady.

The way its made, jolts cause it to go into "free spin" at times, so the cushioning is key.

You have to make your adjustments with the motorcycle in Neutral and the RPMs at around 4000 which is cruising rpm for my motorcycle. YMMV.

Finally got it adjusted and it's pretty accurate for the most part. It has a tendency to jump a bit on jolts and flicks of the throttle but for the most part steadies up on the right bearing. Not as accurate as a GPS of course but I can leave it on the motorcycle and if someone takes it, no big loss.

Here's some pics of it mounted on the winglet attached to the BMR shelf.

The object in the center is the holder for the Nokia N800

update: The compass did not last long, it clouded up after a few rain showers...if I buy another one, it'll be a boat compass, made to get wet!

No comments: