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COMPASS CALIBRATION AND DECLINATION
October 16, 2011
1:54 am
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phild31
Nashua, New Hampshire USA
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I've been using paper maps and compasses for over 40 years, so setting declination is second nature to me.
Especially since most of my hiking/trekking has been in New England with a 15 to 17 degree west declination!

The firmware upgrade should fix your compass calibration problem, hopefully.

When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout

October 16, 2011
1:40 am
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phild31
Nashua, New Hampshire USA
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Here's a handy web site for figuring magnetic declination from anywhere.
Magnetic Declination.com

Of course with the map on my 710 I really don't have to set my compass declination to match a map for bearings like I do while hiking with a compass & map.

But if I'm making or checking a map I would have to know the declination of the spot I'm on.

Magellan made a GPSr (the GC) expressly for Geocaching and got the terminology used by geocachers wrong, creating some confusion.
Obviously they did not consult a geocacher. :blush:
So it wouldn't surprise me if they made an expensive tool for accurate surveying and cartography without consulting a surveyor or a cartographer. :S

When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout

October 16, 2011
1:24 am
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Thanks for all of the replies.

I have been talking to the project manager in charge of developing the Pro 10 and received a firmware upgrade. I haven't tried it yet but thought I would respond to the posts on this forum in regard to declination.

I have it on her authority that the compass and GPS are standalone hardware features and Magellan does not link them so declination is not set automatically on any of their instruments.

In some parts of the US, declination is not a major factor in the accuracy of your heading. However, on each coast it does become significant enough to lead you astray if you are doing a map and compass traverse. If you are in Canada or Europe it is even more significant. Here are a couple of sites that you may find enlightening.

Wikipedia

A map that gives you the local declination

A calculator that gives you the local declination

Magnetic declination is so fundamental to using a compass that even a ten dollar compass from Walmart has a means to set it. Too bad Magellan has not understood this in the past. Perhaps the addition of a geoscientist to their development staff would help.

Happy navigating!

October 15, 2011
5:23 pm
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phild31
Nashua, New Hampshire USA
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These seem to be the first comments about the Explorist Pro 10 on this board.

I have an Explorist 710 so I can not offer any real help for the Pro 10 but I would assume that the Pro 10 should have declination settings or a way to check the declination if it sets it automatically by coordinates.
For my purposes, using the 710 for recreation, I have no real need for accurate declination settings.

For such an expensive unit I would suggest contacting Magellan directly about your questions and problems.

Oh yeah, several 610/710 users have been having problems with compass calibration, it seems to be a firmware problem.
I have no idea if it's related to your problem with the Pro 10.

When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout

October 15, 2011
1:24 pm
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denisetdoris
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I could be wrong but I believe I had read that the compass automatically adjusts for declination using the current location as its basis for the adjustment. Do a search for Compass in the search bar above, maybe you'll find it in here somewhere.

Denis Gionet, OGA Executive Member - Northern Ontario.

October 15, 2011
4:53 am
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jmebd
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Ok, I'm no cartographer by any means but will venture out an attempt at a simple answer from my simple mind LOL. Anyhoo....if I remember correctly, doesn't that vary only 0.1 deg per year? And if it needs to be that critically precise I would think one would spend MANY more dollars for a unit that what this cost...but I'm just guessing. I believe those type units are mainly reserved for either military, researchers, or other persons with unlimited funding. The only settings that are available that I recall is the one that changes from True North to Magnetic North. If you search further in the forums you'll see that the calibration issues are fairly spread out depending upon what firmware your unit currently has installed. But just generally speaking....if you've got 3.xx then I'd stay with that version. If you have a later version then the problem becomes more varied. You may have to re-calibrate several times before it takes properly and you have to do it in a steady (not fast) motion with turning of the wrist. You'll loose calibration whenever you travel faster than 4 mph as it switches into GPS compass mode and like the rest of us just have to do the figure 8 whenever you get out of the vehicle (only takes a few seconds).

As far as an aftermaket app...really don't know on that one. There is a user coded mod for the units but I've not used it and I don't believe it's what you're wanting to begin with. It's in the forums as well just look around under software I think...

Hope that gives you some sort of knowledge base to go from. Just tryin to help.

October 13, 2011
10:24 pm
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More questions about my new eXplorist Pro 10. It has what looks to be a useful compass except there does not appear to be a way to set the declination! I wonder if the Magellan engineering dept thought to consult a cartographer when they designed this tool?

To make matter slightly worse, calibration results in a message "Magnetic Sensor Cal FAILURE"

Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

Is there an aftermarket compass app out there?

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