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HOW TO USE / DECLINATION AND INCLINATION

Declination And Inclination

There are two natural phenomena which always have to be taken into account when working with a compass.

DECLINATION

The earth is like a huge magnet with two poles, North and South. As a result this polarity, the red end of the RECTA compass needle will always point to the north magnetic pole, which is not the same as the geographic (true) North pole. This angle between the geographical (true) North pole and the north magnetic pole is called DECLINATION. Most RECTA compasses are equipped with a fixed or adjustable declination correction.

To check the local need to adjust declination online, please visit National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) website.

INCLINATION

The vertical intensity and direction of earth’s magnetic field, the INCLINATION, influences the horizontal plane of a compass needle according to the latitude where it is used. Due to inclination, compasses must be balanced for several zones in order to keep the needle in a horizontal position. RECTA’s engineers were not satisfied with this multibalancing solution, and developed the famous patented “RECTA Global System” – one compass that works perfectly all over the world and is the ideal compass for globetrotters.



TRADITIONAL COMPASS NEEDLE

1. The needle swings; the tip touches the capsule base.


3. In these latitudes, the classic compass needle remains horizontal

5. The needle swings; the tip touches the capsule glass.




Deviation

Deviation is a local magnetic field produced by e.g. the presence of steel or current carrying wires. If this local magnetic field is stronger than a magnetic field of the earth, compass bearings can be effected and may not be accurate at all. This is why a compass might not work properly inside a car. In fact, strong magnetic fields could even reverse the polarity of the needle.





GLOBAL SYSTEM NEEDLE

2. With the GLOBAL SYSTEM the needle remains absolutely horizontal.

4. With the GLOBAL SYSTEM the needle remains absolutely horizontal.

6. With the GLOBAL SYSTEM the needle remains absolutely horizontal.