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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 03:17 am
Joe LaVigne
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Default Wierd Magnetic Fields?

OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me
baffled...

I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of
on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.

So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash, suctioned
to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.

The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
from there... ;-)

Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
out of the car and walk around, it works fine.

So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be causing
this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is
pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same
results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area, on
top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.

I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the
stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but I'd
still love to know what on earth is going on...

--
Joseph M. LaVigne
jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com
http://www.thelavignefamily.us/MyPipePages/ - 9/8/2006 4:11:03 AM
Tobacconist Brick and Mortar Database: http://bam.tobaccocellar.org/

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither
inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for
the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage
than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater
confidence than an armed man."
-Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 08:13 am
R Flowers
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

"Joe LaVigne" <jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com> wrote in message
news:12le1y3j8bq3$.dlg@hits-buffalo.com...
> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash,
> suctioned
> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>
> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
> from there... ;-)
>


When you move it around to various locations in front, does the direction
deflect slightly? If there were something inside the car that created a
magnetic field - under the dash or hood, etc. - it seems to me that the
lines of magnetic force would not all be lined up. In other words, in an
area that small, there should be a 'point' of origin somewhere. You could
even approximate the location by observing the compass deflection.

Unless the car is somehow acting as a coil, and the compass is 'inside' the
coil.

> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>


What about close to the car? Is there a clear line of working/not working as
you leave the car, or does the effect 'fade out?'

-- R Flowers


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 08:17 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

Joe LaVigne wrote:
> OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me
> baffled...
>
> I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
> compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of
> on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.
>
> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash, suctioned
> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>
> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
> from there... ;-)
>
> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>
> So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be causing
> this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is
> pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same
> results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area, on
> top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.
>
> I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the
> stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but I'd
> still love to know what on earth is going on...
>

there's two things, the second being most likely:

1. the car's full of electrical gear - all of which generates
electromagnetic fields of some degree. you can figure out if that's the
cause by turning everything off and seeing if the needle moves.

2. the car's made of ferro-magnetic steel. that always has some degree
of "set" to it. theoretically, it's possible to neutralize this with
big electromagnetic coils running around the perimeter of the vehicle
[as used in shipping], but reality of course is that it's not practical.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 08:54 am
RickaTTic
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

No don't spend that kind of money for a compass. Just go to Sears and buy
the yellow digital one with the 2 rubber suction cups. I paid $25 bux and
it is excellent. You do a calibrate by driving in a circle and it
compensates for any magnetic variation in the vehicle. I love the thing.
RickOn Fri, 08 Sep 2006 04:17:39 -0400, Joe LaVigne
<jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com> wrote:

> OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me
> baffled..
>
> I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
> compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of
> on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.
>
> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash,
> suctioned
> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>
> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
> from there... ;-)
>
> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>
> So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be
> causing
> this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is
> pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same
> results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area,
> on
> top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.
>
> I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the
> stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but
> I'd
> still love to know what on earth is going on...
>




--
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 11:49 am
Zephyr
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?



Does it make a difference if the car is on or off?
that could lead you in the direction of what is causing the pull.

Dave DeJonge




" I don't like guns"
- Dave DeJonge

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08 Sep 2006, 06:48 pm
Michael Pardee
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

"Joe LaVigne" <jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com> wrote in message
news:12le1y3j8bq3$.dlg@hits-buffalo.com...
> OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me
> baffled...
>
> I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
> compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of
> on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.
>
> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash,
> suctioned
> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>
> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
> from there... ;-)
>
> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>
> So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be causing
> this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is
> pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same
> results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area,
> on
> top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.
>
> I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the
> stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but
> I'd
> still love to know what on earth is going on...
>
> --
> Joseph M. LaVigne


My guess is that the car body is magnetized. I used to work in aviation and
would periodically see the problem in fabric covered planes that had steel
tubing frames. We would try to compensate the compass and we wouldn't even
get in the ballpark. (If the problem is electrical, you will see the compass
jump when you turn things on and off.)

It is theoretically possible to degauss the car body - it's the practical
part that gets in the way. The essense is to wrap the body with wire (the
way you are probably already thinking, from the side over the top and down
and around). The wire is connected to AC power - you'd want a few amps
flowing - that is slowly decreased. I've never done it because it was beyond
the authorization of our avionics/instrument shop. Whether you want a
compass enough to pursue that is up to you.

Mike


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09 Sep 2006, 01:13 am
Big Al
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

It's the radio speaker.

Al


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09 Sep 2006, 02:43 am
Joe LaVigne
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 08:13:30 -0500, R Flowers wrote:

> "Joe LaVigne" <jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com> wrote in message
> news:12le1y3j8bq3$.dlg@hits-buffalo.com...
>> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash,
>> suctioned
>> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>>
>> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
>> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
>> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
>> from there... ;-)
>>

>
> When you move it around to various locations in front, does the direction
> deflect slightly? If there were something inside the car that created a
> magnetic field - under the dash or hood, etc. - it seems to me that the
> lines of magnetic force would not all be lined up. In other words, in an
> area that small, there should be a 'point' of origin somewhere. You could
> even approximate the location by observing the compass deflection.


You'd think, wouldn't you? ;-)

I do not find any serious movement from location to location. It always
shows ENE.

>
> Unless the car is somehow acting as a coil, and the compass is 'inside' the
> coil.
>
>> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
>> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>>

>
> What about close to the car? Is there a clear line of working/not working as
> you leave the car, or does the effect 'fade out?'


As soon as I get out of the car with it (even holding it out the window) it
acts normally. Strangest friggin thing I have ever seen...

--
Joseph M. LaVigne
jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com
http://www.thelavignefamily.us/MyPipePages/ - 9/9/2006 3:41:52 AM
Tobacconist Brick and Mortar Database: http://bam.tobaccocellar.org/

"Voting Democrat or Republican is like voting for which vehicle will carry
you to hell the slowest."
- Harry Browne, Former Libertarian Presidential Candidate
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 09 Sep 2006, 02:44 am
Joe LaVigne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 06:17:57 -0700, jim beam wrote:

> Joe LaVigne wrote:
>> OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me
>> baffled...
>>
>> I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
>> compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of
>> on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.
>>
>> So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash, suctioned
>> to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
>>
>> The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE
>> according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of
>> the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive
>> from there... ;-)
>>
>> Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it
>> out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
>>
>> So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be causing
>> this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is
>> pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same
>> results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area, on
>> top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.
>>
>> I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the
>> stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but I'd
>> still love to know what on earth is going on...
>>

> there's two things, the second being most likely:
>
> 1. the car's full of electrical gear - all of which generates
> electromagnetic fields of some degree. you can figure out if that's the
> cause by turning everything off and seeing if the needle moves.
>
> 2. the car's made of ferro-magnetic steel. that always has some degree
> of "set" to it. theoretically, it's possible to neutralize this with
> big electromagnetic coils running around the perimeter of the vehicle
> [as used in shipping], but reality of course is that it's not practical.


That certainly sounds most likely to me, too. The effect is the same with
the car on or off...

Thanks for the possibility...

--
Joseph M. LaVigne
jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com
http://www.thelavignefamily.us/MyPipePages/ - 9/9/2006 3:43:47 AM
Tobacconist Brick and Mortar Database: http://bam.tobaccocellar.org/

"If you can't sent money, send tobacco."

-George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 09 Sep 2006, 02:46 am
Joe LaVigne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Wierd Magnetic Fields?

On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 09:54:29 -0400, RickaTTic wrote:

> No don't spend that kind of money for a compass. Just go to Sears and buy
> the yellow digital one with the 2 rubber suction cups. I paid $25 bux and
> it is excellent. You do a calibrate by driving in a circle and it
> compensates for any magnetic variation in the vehicle. I love the thing.


http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=02823009000
http://tinyurl.com/ja56j

This one? It isn't yellow, but it looks like what you are describing. I
think I'll go get one tomorrow.

Thanks!

--
Joseph M. LaVigne
jlavigne@hits-buffalo.com
http://www.thelavignefamily.us/MyPipePages/ - 9/9/2006 3:45:47 AM
Tobacconist Brick and Mortar Database: http://bam.tobaccocellar.org/

"Man, the creature who knows he must die, who has dreams larger than his
destiny, who is forever working a confidence trick on himself, needs an
ally. Mine has been tobacco. "

-John Boynton Priestley
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