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Magnetic compass compensating weight.

Asked by: 567 views Aircraft Systems, Commercial Pilot, General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

Hello everyone,

This has been my life long issue, trying to find out where the compensating weight is located in the actual magnetic compass.

From the book, I understand due to the dip towards the pole, manufacturers place weights on south end where we read N on lubber line.

I tried my best to understand this topic but not sure exactly where this weight is located inside the instrument.

Connor.

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2 Answers



  1. Russ Roslewski on Mar 13, 2017

    I don’t have an answer.

    Are there compensating weights? I know there are small compensating magnets, but don’t know about the weights.

    However, I really am curious why you want or need to know this. It seems to me that the only reason to know this is if you are actually repairing magnetic compasses for a living.

    If this is a test question on some flight school test, it’s testing a level of knowledge that is completely unnecessary for any pilot or most mechanics, and is therefore a lousy question. Incidentally, almost this identical question was asked on the POA message board back in September. So either two people have this unique fascination with the compass, you go to the same school that has ridiculous questions, or possibly you’re the same person with a different username over there.

    If it’s just idle curiosity (“life long issue”? Really?) then you really must like amazing levels of trivia.

    But you say you’ve found in the book that it’s located on the south side of the compass, where we read north. That sounds to me like the answer you want, what more are you looking for?

    This question was partially answered in that POA thread: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/magnetic-compass-compensating-weight-clarification.98418/

    If you really want to know, go find an old one and open it up. That would be the best way, in my mind. Then you’ll see exactly what it looks like and where it is.

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  2. Russ Roslewski on Mar 13, 2017

    I misspoke in my third sentence (wish we could edit on this site). There is a compensating weight. But I was able to find out pretty much everything anyone would want to know by a quick Google search, which you have undoubtedly already done. So I’m still not sure what more you’re looking for.

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