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Brunton 8096 GPS Eclipse

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Brunton 8096 GPS Eclipse handheld compass

Pros: Mechanically accurate, lightweight, affordable. Lots of map scales. One of the few compasses with a 1:24K right-angle romer scale for use with USGS topo maps, making it ideal to plot one's position when traveling in the U.S., especially when using GPS. One-degree compass markings, adjustable declination.

Cons: Baseplate markings wear off with use. The 8096's degree markings are printed on cardboard, and the circle-on-circle indicators are NOT luminous, so the compass is entirely unreadable in low light (a flashlight is a must). The direction-of-travel arrow is TINY and difficult to precisely align with a small landmark to take a precise compass bearing from the waist. While the 8096 may be GPS friendly, it is NOT really MAP friendly in my opinion. Its curved shape loses you the valuable upper straightedge normally most used to trace routes on the map, and the large 'circle-of-error' position marking holes just waste space. The declination adjustment is weird and rotates the compass dial in relation to the capsule, so that the compass cannot be properly used as map protractor unless reset each time back to zero, then reset again when used to take field bearings (forget to reset the declination just one time, and all your field bearings are going to be off). Also, there are no orienting lines on base of capsule, just a couple of tiny red lines on the compass dial, which makes it rather difficult to align the compass with map north.

Excellent compass to use with map and GPS. Adjustable declination and large baseplate make for easy use in conjunction with a map. Brunton's 'Circle on circle' north orienting system is fast and easy to use. Designed to be used with a GPS in order to plot position (either UTM or lat/long) on a topo map, the 8096 is excellent for this purpose. One of the few compasses with a 1:24,000 scale for use with standard U.S. topos.

Negatives are that it does not possess sights for precision sighting to landmarks, and the 8096's scale/degree measurements are not engraved into the baseplate but only printed on, these wear off with use.

Price Paid: $20

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Price MSRP: $38.00
Historic Range: $24.95-$39.50
Reviewers Paid: $20.00
Weight 1.7 oz
Overall dimensions 5.2 in x 2.8 in x 0.5 in
Baseplate scales Inch, mm
Map scales 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k
Roamer scales 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36 k & 1:250 k UTM
Template tool scales 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k
Lat / Long scales 1:100k
UTM scale 1:100k
Product Details from Brunton »