Author Topic: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT  (Read 32937 times)

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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2015, 11:57:29 PM »
Wolfy,

You should get a job doing infomercials on cable TV!   8)

Just ordered one and also downloaded that manual (pdf) you posted a link to.

Thanks! It looks like a good deal to me.  :)

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
Well, being a hopeless geek, I had to have one of these.  I did not choose the lowest price, I ordered from the vendor with the highest rating.  Cost an extra $2. I also downloaded th Brunton Manual, thanks.  Now that I have an elegant solution, I need to go find the problem.
I hope you guys get as good an example of this thing as I did and that you come back and give your unbiased evaluation of them after wringing them out.  Good luck! :thumbsup:
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Offline FlaMike

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2015, 03:04:19 PM »
Guess what showed up  today?



I've only played with it a bit, but I am impressed! Best $20 I've spent in quite a while. And I'm glad I downloaded that pdf that Wolfy posted a link to, as the instructions that came with it are in Chinese. (So, it's Greek to me!  :) ) And I don't read either language.  :-[

I don't think anyone will have a problem using this after reading through the instructions (in English.) It is pretty straight-forward and not nearly as complicated as it first appears.

I really appreciate your original post on this, Wolfy!  :hail: Love it!  :banana:

Mike S.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2015, 03:51:52 PM »
So good to hear that you're happy with it, Mike! :banana:     In looking back in the thread, it's been about 2 weeks since you ordered it.......not too bad for an order to China.  I think mine even came faster than that!

Anyway, practice doing all of the things it's capable of and you will be surprised at the number of times you will dig it out to hasten the solution to a problem! :thumbsup:
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2015, 05:15:44 PM »
Well, it took 4 days to get to Chicago from China and 6 days from Chicago to Cypress, Tx.  Thank you, Unusually Slow Postal Service!  For $22 this little knock-off is a bargain but you would never mistake it for a real Brunton. With a little, care, it should last a long time, though.  Havn't checked it against my Suunto but It should be close enough for Government Work.  :thumbsup:
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Offline kamayok3

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2015, 01:17:27 AM »
Bought one just now...... Now wait for it to arrive and test it out. Thanks for the great review.

Does it come with any pouch???
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 01:47:39 AM by kamayok3 »

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2015, 07:28:00 AM »
No pouch included with mine.
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Offline kamayok3

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2015, 07:54:04 AM »
No pouch included with mine.

Thanks Wolfy. Appreciate your time and effort. Actually I spend a lot of time choosing between this and the prismatic compass w/inclinometer. Just I dont read topo map and hiking/trekking a lot. So, in the end I choose this pocket transit. Thanks for your great review.

1. How is the casing feels like? Is it a solid block of plastic or a soft type?
2. How about the hinge? Does it stay at that angle firmly?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 08:07:59 AM by kamayok3 »

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2015, 08:25:09 AM »
The case on mine is beginning to crack a little at the hinge. It still stays together and functions, but eventually it could fail. For the price it is a nice compass.

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2015, 08:36:26 AM »
Kamayok3......The plastic is not the 'soft' type and so far, the lid-hinge on mine has maintained enough friction to keep the lid at any angle I select.  I suspect it will stay that way for quite a long time because the hinge pivot-point is a roll pin.


PW.....Can you dribble a couple of drops of superglue into the crack to 'weld' it?  :shrug:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2015, 08:31:30 PM »
Kamayok3......The plastic is not the 'soft' type and so far, the lid-hinge on mine has maintained enough friction to keep the lid at any angle I select.  I suspect it will stay that way for quite a long time because the hinge pivot-point is a roll pin.


PW.....Can you dribble a couple of drops of superglue into the crack to 'weld' it?  :shrug:

Probably. I was thinking about epoxy putty also. It is only on one side of the hinge, so the other side is intact. I am not sure how or why it happened because I am careful with it. But it is possible the plastic was just not mixed well. Sometimes molded plastic gets flow lines, particularly in intricate areas like the hinge that could make it weaker in that area. In any case it is still fully functional.

Offline kamayok3

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2015, 08:33:13 PM »
Don't quite understand why there are 2 different model selling in Ebay?

vertical angle clinometer scale has a range of 90 degrees VS vertical angle clinometer scale has a range of 70 degrees

http://www.ebay.com.my/itm/Army-Green-Pocket-Transit-Plastic-Compass-For-Hiking-Surveyors-Foresters-/111556442428

http://www.ebay.com.my/itm/Black-Plastic-Pocket-Transit-Compass-0-360-Scale-New-/251982177246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3aab4ee3de

Any pros and cons with only 20 degrees difference?

Thanks.

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2015, 10:09:38 PM »
Just less capacity to measure in certain situations.  If I could have purchased one with the ability to go to 90* I would have, but there was no choice when I bought mine.  Definitely, go with the 90* model.  I would. :thumbsup:

There are many vendors offering these things on EBay, now.  Just seek out the one with the lowest price and a high approval rating.  Most come from China w/free shipping, so just pay attention to the shipping charges......THAT'S usually where the REAL difference is. :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 10:15:19 PM by wolfy »
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Offline kamayok3

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2015, 10:20:12 PM »
Just less capacity to measure in certain situations.  If I could have purchased one with the ability to go to 90* I would have, but there was no choice when I bought mine.  Definitely, go with the 90* model.  I would. :thumbsup:

There are many vendors offering these things on EBay, now.  Just seek out the one with the lowest price and a high approval rating.  Most come from China w/free shipping, so just pay attention to the shipping charges......THAT'S usually where the REAL difference is. :rolleyes:

NVM, since I already made payment for the 70 degrees version. Will use it for some times and get the 90 degrees version if spoil. :) BTW, I also emailed the seller and ask about this. Let see what the seller reply.

Cheers...

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2016, 10:56:07 AM »
I noticed that the instruction-sheet link that I provided for the pocket transit in post #13 is dead, so.....

4" class="bbc_link" target="_blank">https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0217/7948/files/Transit_Manual.pdf?1723003962549935157 4

And from another source....

https://www.wou.edu/las/physci/taylor/es406_structure/compton_map.pdf
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 11:18:14 AM by wolfy »
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2016, 12:42:41 PM »
Here's a file reproduction of the manual that came with the 1957 Ainsworth/Brunton pocket transit.....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz0ZKN4l6fZfdXMtcC1RaTNyWEU/view

This comes courtesy of Brian Haren's blog, Northing & Easting.....

In 1957 an Ainsworth manufactured pocket transit would set you back $48.50. Wow! Compared to current pricing for the same item made today by the Brunton Company - $400 - that was quite a bargain.

Or was it? There's no direct comparison between 1957 prices and 2016 prices. If we calculate for inflation using consumer price index numbers, $48.50 in 1957 dollars = $409.09 in 2015 dollars. So the pocket transit buyer in 1957 was actually paying a bit more for his compass.

Any way you calculate it a new pocket transit is a pricey piece of equipment. It wasn't (and still isn't) a purchase decision a young college student or newly graduated geologist made lightly, but it was a necessary and critical piece of his professional kit. That probably explains why there are so many well used but well cared for examples available today on auction sites like eBay.

Brian
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2016, 02:54:58 PM »
Whew!  Makes me feel better.  $64 last year.  Mine is in quadrants.  wolfy, do you have a good source for dating these?

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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2016, 03:41:14 PM »
I think I paid around $75 for mine, but it is an azimuth 'international' model.  I was fortunate enough to get a leather case with mine, too.  Both compass and case look brand new, except for a small defect in the mirror-coating at one end of the lubber-line.  The more I've used the quadrant 'survey compass' models, the more I like them....much simpler notations and easier & faster to visualize in my mind's eye than the azimuth and it's reciprocal.

There is not much that I've ever been able to find on dating them besides this page....
http://web.archive.org/web/20090209070639/http://brunton.williamjhudson.net/index.html

You might also like to read what's available at www.compassmuseum.c om also. :)
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2016, 04:11:38 PM »
I'll have to do some more reading there, thanks!  I found this, too.  Near as I can figure mine was made 1926-1946, but I haven't researched or read enough on either the reference you posted or this one to be sure about that.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eyNbLhdh0Zm0Jus3GSCXNvdrLLwIMBfWY2dP5Mama7g/pub?output=html#
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2016, 04:54:43 PM »
Yeah, they sure do help.....I remember seeing the list of those serial numbers on Hudson's page, but they disappeared in 2004 and then Brian Haren republished them on his blog.  I bookmarked them again and then promptly forgot where I filed them. :P

Thanks a lot, JB! :cheers:
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2016, 09:19:09 PM »
Quadrants would definitely make it easier to use for following metes and bounds descriptions.

Offline Unknown

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2016, 09:38:34 PM »
does quadrants mean the scale is laid out in 90's rather than 360?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2016, 10:07:58 PM »
does quadrants mean the scale is laid out in 90's rather than 360?
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Offline Unknown

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2016, 11:00:26 PM »
This is one of those threads that makes ya think..I do have one more spot on the elevated flat surfaces in my home where I could set something else, and this seems like just the right size to fit.

It seems like something I would enjoy learning how to use, as well as something that I should know. Though I think it would be better for me to wait on a nuke, wolfy kind of bargain deal than ordering from china. I'll have to think bout that

My main compass that I use now is the silva Landmark type 27. which I think you might say is a miniature Ranger but really dont know if the quality is similar.
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2016, 08:34:10 AM »
I bought one for sentimental reasons; I had to take a Land Surveying course in college and the Brunton was the first piece of precision equipment we were taught to use.  I have no real application for it and it is just a dust magnet on my curio shelf.  However, if I ever need to map our homestead lot (7500 square feet of pure suburban jungle) it will be handy.  For navigating around the local parks, my Camenga works fine.  I am throwing away all the button compasses in my sundry BOBs as I find them.  So far, none that I have found were capable of remembering where North is.  Must be a Chinese "thang".
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Online wsdstan

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2016, 09:06:10 AM »
I have one good compass and several of those button compasses.  One of them is cased in a brass housing and pins on your coat if you wish.  When I got it North was pretty accurate.  These days it points around about everywhere and if there is a large knife next to it then it points at that. 
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Offline Punty

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2016, 06:45:43 PM »
I have one good compass and several of those button compasses.  One of them is cased in a brass housing and pins on your coat if you wish.  When I got it North was pretty accurate.  These days it points around about everywhere and if there is a large knife next to it then it points at that.

  Now, what in the world would you be doing with a large knife? :shrug:

  My CCA (Cheap Chinese Alternative) arrives Monday. :D
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Offline Unknown

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2016, 09:33:37 PM »
I saw what I think was the Brunton conventional model go for 42 bucks. Looked in great shape. I checked to see what kind of stuff the high bidder had been buying- lots of the same kind of stuff. So I didn't try to do battle.

I re-read Wolfy's review again. One of the things, the main thing I can think of now that keeps me from the knock-off is the plastic mirror. I found a different model that was looking kinda nice so I asked if it had a glass mirror, case material, rare earth magnet. Glass, metal case, no REM. $47.69

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Type-Harbin-Geologic-Compass-DQL-3-Professional-Surveying-Outdoor-Sports-/301791767548?hash=item464430ebfc:g:QT4AAOSwhcJWPA5D

This one does have rare earth magnet.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Harbin-Geological-Compass-DQL-8-Magnet-needle-with-damping-/301790913130?hash=item464423e26a:g:PFgAAOSwAKxWZSHW

 Still looking to see what more I can learn first. Any opinions would be appreciated
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 09:58:19 PM by Unknown »
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2016, 10:30:02 PM »
That looks a lot like one that Petrified Wood reviewed here a while back.   Maybe you already saw it. :shrug:

http://bladesandbushlore.com/index.php?topic=3156.0

I guess you've got to ask yourself how much you intend to use one of these things in determining how much you want to spend.  NONE of the knockoffs are Bruntons, but I sure couldn't gripe about the accuracy and ease of reading the plastic Chinese model.  PW has both kinds.....maybe he'll pop in and give you his impressions of what he feels is the better value. :shrug:
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 10:37:40 PM by wolfy »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2016, 06:41:20 PM »
That Harbin is the same one sold by CST Berger here in the US, and is the same one I reviewed. ;)

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2016, 07:30:36 PM »
It sure looked like the same thing to me.......Thanks, PW! :thumbsup:
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Offline Unknown

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #81 on: February 19, 2016, 08:34:37 PM »
Sorry I missed the OR, PW. Wolfy set me to it and I read it. I don't recall if you said whether yours has dampening and rare earth magnet- mind resaying if you did?(PW)
  Thanks for the "still not Brunton", reminder Wolfy. Sure, I know it's not...yet, way in the back there is a notion of- hey I'm gettin' a brunton for next to nuton.

I imagine they are not all equal, but let me say "rare earth magnet", is it just that they are far less likely to become demagnetized, or is it less prone to interference by magnetic objects, or both. What relevance do you(anyone) place on that in real world activities.

Wolfy, I hear you saying the plastic mirror is not to bad, eh? I've had plastic signal mirrors, polished stainless ones. I've never needed to make a signal, but never liked them for trying to see what got in my eye, or trimming my mustache so I got glass(a small one). Equally important though,  I've never payed 30 for a tiny little glass mirror either.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #82 on: February 19, 2016, 09:52:29 PM »
Well, I don't really know what to tell you, Unk......I will say that the plastic (or whatever it is) mirror on the CCA has not been a problem for me at all in viewing the reflected image of the dial face when sighting with the peep/vanes.  It is not as good, however, when viewing a distant target point via the mirrored terrain image. 

Another important, but so far unmentioned fact, is the ease of viewing the exact degree that the needle is pointing to.  Remember, there are 360 very closely placed tick marks on that dial and the sharpness and distance from the needle's point to any one of those 360 increments can become a trial for older eyes.  Even Brunton recommends carrying a non-magnetic hand lens for ease of reading the azimuths on their transits!  The needle on the CCA is sharper and closer to the degree marks (and consequently easier to get an accurate reading) than are the blunt needles with the further spaced needle to azimuth ring spacing of the more expensive aluminum knockoffs.  Just one more thing to confuse you and make your decision more difficult! 8)

Read all of the user/buyer comments for both models on Amazon, too.....that may help. :shrug:
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Offline Unknown

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2016, 11:21:36 PM »
A non-magnetic hand lens. (?) Is that a magnifying glass?

I'm approaching 3 years in my current glasses/frames. The usual recommendation is what; 1 year(this is my first pair) I am unusually picky, it seems, so I postpone the inevitable $$$ expense.

Actually, I would like to have a 20x loop to help unlock some edge sharpening issues, but that's probably not the thing for this.

Yeah right. That needle was bugging me. All I could think was- that needle looks dumb(and I did).. equating it to some aesthetic thing. But it's more than that...

Wolfy has more than one, Pw has more than one type. I dont need or want to pay for The one, so I only want to ferret my best option even if it sounds like I am  :deadhorse:  for  :banana:

and what I am looking at is $13 for the plastic OP(per shopping advice), 47-61 for the 2 models linked above, not $116 in PW review. FWIW to exclude ebay brunton bargain. (Pricing approx, shipping + or -. )
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2016, 09:45:58 AM »
The Harbin aluminum one that I reviewed sold by CST Berger is induction damped.

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2016, 12:10:22 PM »
A non-magnetic hand lens. (?) Is that a magnifying glass?

Yes......and they DO help! :thumbsup:     You just have to make sure that the frame of the 'magnifying glass' does not contain ferrous metal or it will deflect the needle.  There are enough outside influences out there now, that do that anyway without introducing another to the mix.  I just use an unmounted objective lens that I recovered from a pair of junk binoculars......wor ks great. :)
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Offline esagittario

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #86 on: September 16, 2016, 05:26:14 AM »
Good morning. I very much appreciated in your website your analysis of the validity of the Chinese copies of the compasses of "Pocket transit"
type. I would kindly to know if you had also experience with other Chinese copies of compasses type Suunto Tandem (www.ebay.it/itm/252022562242?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) and type Brunton 15TDCL Compass (http://www.ebay.it/itm/141951285337?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)
, and what do you think. Thanks and many greetings.
Esagittario

Offline wolfy

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Re: CHEAP CHINESE ALTERNATIVE TO A BRUNTON POCKET TRANSIT
« Reply #87 on: September 16, 2016, 08:25:17 AM »
I will never know since they are both probably liquid-filled and neither one of those compasses will ship to the United States. :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX