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A Compass Installed

A GPS can show the direction of travel, but once the vehicle is stationary I find it of no use in telling me which way is North or any other direction. A compass is always useful.

danforth compass

The Danforth "Quest" Compass

This compass, available from Whitworths Marine, features a well damped 51mm dia. card and can be horizontally, vertically or overhead mounted. It comes with hi-flux corrector magnets (essential for mounting in a steel vehicle), 12V red LED light, adhesive mounting disk and 3 mounting screws.

Installing the Compass

I started by expecting to be able to mount the compass somewhere on the dash, but I could not find a spot where the corrector magnets were effective — there is too much steel, too unevenly spread, to allow a good installation. However, locations on the ceiling, even though there is a lot of metal close-by, work well because the nearby steel is uniform in all directions. And, it turns out, this is a good place for it.

To fit the compass to the ceiling, I temporarily removed the microwave oven from its location, giving access to the upper surface of the pressed board ceiling and used three bolts with large washers. Wiring in the LED light involved running a local earth and a wire down the door pillar to behind the dash panel near the driver's side fuse board to pick up the yellow/black wire (G/N colour in Italian) from D026 Pin 1 which is live when the running lights are on.

The relevant electrical wiring for the Fiat is shown here for reference. H001 is the Ignition Switch, B002 is the 'under-facia control unit' (fuse block on driver's side). D026 is a conveniently located connector block servicing the rear driver's side lights.

light circuit (89 kB) light wiring (176 kB)



compass installed (58 kB)

Compass installed on ceiling of Ducato cab.