Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

For technical tips, questions etc. on all subjects except Engines and Boilers.
Post Reply
User avatar
Mfoxchicago
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:59 pm
Boat Name: PS Tule Princess
Location: San Angelo, Texas
Contact:

Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by Mfoxchicago » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:29 am

Have a 34yo gimbled Bergen-Nautik Compass in my Wheel House that has grown weak. Once I re-magnetize the magnets, what type of liquid is the medium the dial floats in? There was a very small amount of "something" in the housing, but couldn't make it out. Also, once the magnetized dial is ready to go back in, is the normal approach to completely fill and submerge the dial in the liquid?
Capt. Mack H Fox
TULE PRINCESS STEAMBOAT CO.
Lake Nasworthy, San Angelo, Texas


Follow us as:
Facebook - @Tule Princess
Twitter - @tuleprincess
Website - www.tuleprincess.com
User avatar
DetroiTug
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:56 pm
Boat Name: Iron Chief
Location: Northwest Detroit

Re: Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by DetroiTug » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:34 pm

Hi Mack,

I think it is mineral oil that is used. Yes, fully submerged in oil. I would leave a small air bubble for expansion of the liquid in direct sunlight etc.

Are you sure the compass is bad? I have a steel hull too and have compass issues, I have this beautiful Wilcox Crittenden compass that I planned to use, but it will not work at all in the wheelhouse, it needs compensators (two large metal spheres either side which cancel out errant magnetic field from the hull, which means it needs to be on a pedestal -which means it would take up too much room. I have a small Marbles brand antique hunting compass hanging on the back wall in a leather case that I use if needed, but it's rarely needed.

Have you tried the compass away from the boat?

-Ron
loggerhogger
Just Starting Out
Just Starting Out
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:36 pm
Boat Name: No Boat Yet

Re: Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by loggerhogger » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:50 am

A while back I bought a small compas that was liquid filled. I can't remember the name of the manufacturer, but they were still in business. I called to ask what kind of liquid they used, since it was low. They told me that regular cigarette lighter fluid is what they used. I tried it, and there doesn't seem to be any negative effects.
User avatar
Akitene
Warming the Engine
Warming the Engine
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:39 pm
Boat Name: No Boat Yet
Location: Bordeaux, France

Re: Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by Akitene » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:49 pm

Hi Mack,

Not 100% sure but I guess the liquid the dial floats in is glycerine.

Glycerine is used in manometers, I'd bet it's the same for compasses.

Regards.
User avatar
Lopez Mike
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:41 am
Boat Name: S.L. Folly
Location: Lopez Island, Washington State, USA

Re: Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by Lopez Mike » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:47 am

Compass fluid is a light and very clear mineral oil. There was a time when alcohol was used but those days are long gone.

You can buy it in moderate quantities on line for a very reasonable price. Also I have never had any problem buying it from compass repairmen.

Aircraft Spruce in the U.S. has it for cheap. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... 20Products
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Dalai Lama
User avatar
DetroiTug
Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:56 pm
Boat Name: Iron Chief
Location: Northwest Detroit

Re: Re-magnetizing a Bergen-Nautik Compass

Post by DetroiTug » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:11 pm

Hi Mike,

That is what I've always understood too is that it was mineral oil. One thing to keep in mind about using lighter fluid/kerosene etc, while they probably work just fine, if it gets broken or starts leaking around other electronics or a boiler, it could cause a fire. I'm surprised a compass repair place would suggest using a flammable liquid.

-Ron
Post Reply