Author Topic: Monthly Project - December 2012  (Read 6783 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Monthly Project - December 2012
« on: November 29, 2012, 10:59:03 PM »
Alright folks, this will be the last monthly project for 2012.

We've already done a solar compass project a couple of months ago, but for this month's project, we'll be making an improvised magnetic compass.

Most of the classic survival manuals recommend making a compass by floating a magnetized needle on a leaf in a puddle of water. But, you don't have to limit yourself to magnetized needles. Think outside of the box. Is there an old pair of headphones somewhere that might have a tiny magnet inside? Perhaps you have earrings or other jewelry with a magnetic clasp? Maybe a magnetic screwdriver tip? Some wire and a battery to make an electromagnet? You might hang your magnet from a thread instead of floating it on water.

Anything you can use to find north (as verified with a real compass) will be fine. Be creative! The more you think about this and the more unconventional the idea, the better prepared you will be to improvise a compass (or anything you might need).

Have fun and let's see some improvised magnetic compasses! :thumbsup:

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 04:52:14 PM »
I have a video uploading to youtube right now, probably about 35 minutes remaining. :thumbsup:

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Improvised Magnetic Compass video
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 05:28:45 PM »
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 05:33:55 PM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline Barbarossa Bushman

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 09:17:39 AM »
Great vid and love the bottle cap trick. Nice compasses too both of them.
"When times get rough and times get hard, the fat get skinny and the skinny die. Good thing you had a little fat on you when you did." An old friend

Offline Binalith

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 03:21:32 PM »
nice job man! hopefully I can try this soon.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 03:58:01 PM »
Thanks guys! Bump for those who havent seen the December project yet.

Offline Binalith

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 01:40:36 PM »
this is definitely using fancy tactical gear, but I was excited that it worked:

I pushed the magnet from the tip back to the end probably 20 or 30 times. Those are round neodymium magnets so I think the poles are on the  perpendicular axis to the plane of the round....i think. Since this seemed to work so well I think I will get a marked bar magnet and keep it on it when I'm at home so I can be assured it will always be aligned correctly.


heres the compass in action.


« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 05:58:30 PM by Binalith »

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 02:49:29 PM »
Awesome! I have one of those ESEE arrowheads. That is a really neat choice of compass "needles". 

Offline Binalith

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 03:23:22 PM »
thanks, ya, I was pretty excited that it worked so well.

check out this video, gave me the idea to get a marked magnet and let it sit:



question: I read a bunch today about how if you use this method in the southern hemisphere it will point toward the south pole. Is this true for compasses...I ask this sooo haltingly haha, feeling real dumb right now, I just never considered this before.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 04:52:31 PM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 03:39:39 PM »
It shouldn't matter what hemisphere you are in, north is still north.


Offline Binalith

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 03:45:34 PM »
thats what I thought, so why do I keep reading the needle will point to whatever pole you are nearest??

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 04:33:58 PM »
thats what I thought, so why do I keep reading the needle will point to whatever pole you are nearest??

Well the south end will point to the south pole and the north end will point to the north pole, no matter where you are on the globe. The thing that will change is needle balance. In the northern hemishphere, the north end of the needle will tend to pull down toward the ground. This is because it want to point directly at the north pole, right through the earth. This is corrected in some compasses by adding a weight to the south end of the needle.

In the southern hemisphere, you will be closer to the south pole. So the south end of your needle will have a stronger attraction to its pole than the north end. There the needle will tend to dip down on the south end, needing a counterweight on the north end.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 04:53:46 PM »
Fixed (well, figured out, anyway) the youtube problem. You need to remove the "s" in the "https" URL prefix in order for the videos to work with the youtube tags. ;)

Offline wolfy

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 08:16:46 PM »
I just happened to notice a blurb about this month's project in Seidman's book this afternoon.  I went to my wife's sewing kit and shoved one of her non-magnetized needles through a small pea-sized wad of paper and floated it on top of some water in my coffee cup.  I used a brand-spanking-new one right out of the little paper envelope in the sewing kit just to see if it would work without any magnetizing on my part.  Lo & behold, it aligned N&S just like Seidman's book said it would, but it was pretty slow.....probably around 20-30 seconds, but I didn't time it, either.  Just the naturally charged N&S poles of the steel needle, although weak, did point to magnetic North :banana:

Then, I tried another method of magnetizing the same needle to see if I could make it react faster.  Seidman suggests stroking the needle in one direction on a plain old stone or a piece of synthetic cloth material to magnetize the needle if you don't have a magnet.  I didn't have a stone handy in the kitchen, so I stroked it on the arm of my synthetic expedition-weight U.S Army style long-john top that I was wearing for a shirt.  I've noticed that the shirt seems to hold a lot of static electricity because when I take it off over my head, sometimes my hair will stand straight up :P

That worked quite well and the needle reacted much faster than the virgin needle did!  It swung into position within 6 or so, seconds :popcorn:   Anyway, FUN STUFF & thanks, PW for prompting me to try something new that I'd read about, but never tried :cheers:
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Offline Bearhunter

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 08:42:13 PM »
I think I might have to give this a try. I'll try to think of something inventive!
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 08:44:47 PM »
Nice Wolfy, glad you had some fun experimenting! I have also read of using wool to magnetize a needle this way.

I wonder if the unmagnetized needle is purely reacting to the Earth's magnetic field? Still it would have to have some kind of polarity in order to align.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 09:07:45 PM »
Nice Wolfy, glad you had some fun experimenting! I have also read of using wool to magnetize a needle this way.

I wonder if the unmagnetized needle is purely reacting to the Earth's magnetic field? Still it would have to have some kind of polarity in order to align.

Look it up in your copy of the book, PW.....page 65 of the 2nd edition 8)
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 10:22:37 PM »
Oh, man! I know I have it, but there is no telling what box it is in, or what house it is in!

Offline wolfy

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 10:35:03 PM »
Oh, man! I know I have it, but there is no telling what box it is in, or what house it is in!

If it's any comfort to you at all, I do have it narrowed down which HOUSE my books are in :P.  However, out of pure exasperation and after days of fruitless searching, I have had to order a duplicate book when I couldn't find a book that I KNOW I ALREADY OWN :doh: :cheers:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2012, 10:14:49 AM »
Bump

Offline diogenes

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2013, 01:04:38 PM »
Worked a late shift last night so I'm taking it easy at home today.

Took a sewing needle, rubbed the non-sharp end in my hair for a minute or two, grabbed a leaf from the backyard, and voila.  I tested it by turning the needle around several times and every time it turned back to point north(-ish).



I'm really enjoying these projects.  Thanks, guys.
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2013, 05:43:06 PM »
Good one!
:thumbsup:
D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2013, 05:48:01 PM »
I like how you pierced the leaf with the needle. :thumbsup:

Offline diogenes

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Re: Monthly Project - December 2012
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2013, 06:46:19 PM »
Thanks! :D

A couple things about the method I used: The container used, if you're using a cup, seems to need to be brimming full. Otherwise, I've noticed the leaf tends to want to move over to the side.  The other thing is that the needle was only mildly magnetized by the static from my hair.  It didn't immediately snap towards north like some of the other methods, like using a magnet; it took a few seconds for it to get turned around.  The nice thing, though, is that you don't need anything but a needle or something like one to do this.

Thanks again.  I'm gonna keep going back and doing more of these projects.
"Go away," Chuang Tzu said. "I'm dragging my tail in the mud."