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Northseeking gyro-compass

It is well known that the gyro-compass uses an inertial wheel to keep the same bearing for orientation. However, it is less known that it can find the geographical north by itself and without any assistance - before leaving the port. How is it possible? How does it work?
Question asked by: dariovid

Asked on: 05 Mar 2010

I don't know what a gyro compass is so I can't tell you the answer, but maybe it uses a combination of an ordinary compass together with a satellite signal using GPS?

No idea whatsoever if that's right but might be something worth looking into!

By: knowitall
Replied at: 10 Mar 2010
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NORTH SEEKING GYRO-COMPASS. It is well known that a gyro-compass uses a heavy fast-turning wheel (36000 rpm!) which keeps steady direction by means of its inertia. However it is little known that the gyro-compas can also find the direction of the North Pole on its own, without anybody's assistence - if it was switched on some 80 minutes before its ship leaves the port. It would take too long to describe the details. There are two bottles half-filled with mercury. They are connected with each other with a tube some 20 cm long. The mechanism uses the centrifugal force of the rotating Earth - however small it were. After 80 minutes the bottles take a position paralell to the Equator, which means perpendicular to its meridian showing to the North Pole. However, it does not work above 60 degrees of lattitude because then the centrifugal force is too small. dariovid
By: dariovid

Date of comment: Sat, Mar 13th 2010

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gyrocompass  northseeking  

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