sporting goods: Brunton Eclipse 8099 Compass
I plan to take the 8099 to the woods to test it at a Scouting event within the next two weeks and may report further if it does not perform as expected. Also, know that my use centers around Scouting use - from teaching boys various aspects of orienteering to competing in events to test those abilities (usually in a timed fashion) or use in real application such as trekking. Regarding what I have seen with it upon receiving it:
1) The rubber case - good idea, not perfect. I am sure that it will protect the baseplate and compass if I drop it during use, but its fit around the hinges makes it a little loose. Not a big deal, but it just doesn’t hug the compass equally at both ends.
2) The circle-in-circle design - as noted before, it makes alignment more difficult if you are using the mirror. This could be overcome by lines external to the circle so that in addition to being “in the circle,” both circles were “within the lines.” Not a big deal there either, as what is “center of the ‘N’ red circle” is evident and adequate to line up.
3) The lanyard - I like the fact that it has some substance to it. It is not the ideal length for a neck lanyard, but is perfect for a wrist lanyard. The quick fastener to allow you to shorten the loop so it will not come off your wrist is much better than the one for my son’s Wii. If the compass comes out of my hand, it is not far away, and definitely not on the ground.
4) The instructions - I like the instructions, which also include a few First Aid tips as well. Make the magnifier strong enough to start a fire on a mostly-sunny day and comment on using the mirror as a signaling device, and it becomes a multi-function tool.
5) Compass work - Setting for declination is a breeze. Acquisition is very nice - both fast and steady. This is the main reason I wanted this level of compass. There is nothing more irritating than waiting on a cheap compass’ needle to take a break from all its gyrations. The magnified numbers are great, and allow the 1 degree increments to be easily read. Most compasses out there give 2 degree ticks — fat, unmagnified ones at that.
Testing accuracy using Polaris, a topo map, and known surveyed landmarks, the accuracy is dead on.
Inclination - I didn’t seem to have any problems with the cover set at 45, 90 or 120 degrees; just realize that these angle stops are for sighting purposes and not for measuring purposes - they do not have to be “exact.” I was able to use the 8099 to determine height of a known building using the edge or the dial method with no problems at all. The clinometer arrow could be heavier, but a quick tap on the edge of the baseplate seems to be the fine-tune feature to make sure it is pointing straight down.
Its more than your average compass, that’s for sure. It will have more bells and whistles or be more accurate than some people need. Shop for deals online, or look for people selling used ones that don’t meet their needs to turn an already good buy a great buy. They didn’t have a 4.5, else that would have been its rating.
Tags: First Aid