Inexpensive pocket transit

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Sandcut, May 15, 2018.

  1. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Although everyone likes to get a bunch of presents for Christmas, like many families, ours is expanding to the point that exchanging gifts between adults is just cost prohibitive and somewhat silly. As such, we all buy gifts for the kids, but the adults do a Pollyanna in which everyone enters their name into a bowl, and each adult draws the name of one person for which they’ll buy a small gift for. While cruising around the internet, I decided to check out a pocket transit (compass) that was so ridiculously priced in, comparison to a real Brunton pocket transit, that I thought it worth adding to my wish list to try.

    The compass in question was on Amazon and is marketed as a Ueasy pocket transit and cost about $26 at the time. They are even cheaper now the last time that I checked. Here’s a quick review of the compass for those that may be interested in buying a pocket transit, can’t afford or don’t want to spend the money on a Brunton, and don’t want to waste their money on a cheap piece of plastic Chinese crap.

    The Ueasy pocket transit is an absolute copy of the Brunton. There is no hiding that. However, having said that, it is actually a very good copy, especially in light of the ridiculously low cost. Unlike the Brunton, the compass body is made of plastic and not aluminum. The plastic body is surprisingly durable and much lighter than the aluminum body of the Brunton. The body is also formed with recesses to fit a tripod or Jacobs staff just like the Brunton. The lid snaps closed securely and has a cotangent table printed on it for surveying.

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    Looking at the face of the compass you’ll see that it is set up just like the Brunton. It is a direct read compass, so the E and W are switched. There are two bubble levels, one for compass reading and one for using the clinometer for measuring slope, which is also present on the face. The inside of the lid contains a mirror and both the lid and the body have folding peep sights for both shooting bearings and for shooting elevations/determining heights using the clinometer. Unlike the Brunton, the needle is actually marked with a N and an S, so you don’t have to bother having to remember which way the white or red side of the needle points.

    DSC_0342.JPG
     
  2. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    The mirror in the lid is used for sighting across the face and through the sighting arm and peep sight in order to avoid having parallax interfere with taking a correct bearing. This is what it looks like when sighting in this manner. When taking a bearing in this manner, you use the N side of the needle to mark your bearing.

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    The compass can also be used to sight through the sighting hole in the base of the lid past the sighting hair in the same manner that you would use a lensatic compass. When shooting a bearing this way, remember to use the S side of the needle to mark your bearing.

    DSC_0344.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  3. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    The compass has a lift pin, which is depressed and lifts the needle off of the pivot needle, preventing damage when the lid is closed.

    DSC_0334.JPG


    The azimuth scale is adjustable for declination by using the outside screw.

    The lever on the bottom of the compass is used for adjusting the clinometer scale and is adjustable to 90* in both directions.

    DSC_0348.JPG


    Having used it a bit when hiking, I’ve reinforced my opinion that pocket transits are not the best option out there for hiking compasses. But they do have their purpose. This Ueasy pocket transit is without a doubt a well made compass and is a real gem considering that you can buy it for less than $30 shipped. I’ve compared it to the Brunton that I use at work and, although not as durable as the Brunton, I can find no real fault with it. It points where it’s supposed to. The sides are square and the sights and sighting arm point where they are supposed to. The needle settles rapidly when released. (It actually settles faster than the Brunton). It is just a hell of a good deal all around.

    For anyone looking to try out this type of compass, you can’t go wrong buying one of these. I used to have an old Brunton Cadet, which was the “inexpensive” standard for geology students rather than buying the real thing. These Ueasy transits are head and shoulders above the Cadet. WAY better.
     
  4. x39

    x39 Supporter Supporter

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    Wow, that's a lot for the money! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thank you for the post young fellar. joe
     
  6. Harper

    Harper Guide

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  7. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    I just ordered the Harbin DQL-2A a couple days ago to see how that one looks.

    I think the DQL-8 is the compass that CST Berger markets as their own Brunton-like compass.
     
  8. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    I just got one and I’m also impressed, especially for the cost! I have spent a lot of woods hours with the genuine article in undergrad, and also with a Brunton Geo. This makes me miss them less with a 90%+ off price tag.
     
  9. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have done quite a bit of surveying (underground mostly, in caves) with a Brunton pocket transit. I bought one of the knockoffs and it is an excellent value, IMO. Works as good as the ‘real thing’ best I can tell.
     
  10. victoratsea

    victoratsea Supporter Supporter

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    I ordered the Ueasy Pocket Transit last Tuesday, and got the Brunton Ball and Socket mount at half price, from Ebay. Always wanted a pocket transit since I got to play with one in high school for earth science class, back in '73. They're far too expensive to pick up for playing around with, but these are cheap enough to splurge on. $21.99 for the transit and $40.00 for the mount, shipped. Thanks to @Sandcut for the heads up. Good looking out, Brother!
    Victor
     
  11. chickasaw_hunter

    chickasaw_hunter Scout

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    Several years ago there was a guy making the gun shows who was selling some sort of plastic cased Brunton hand transit. They were supposed to be real Brunton's just made for the military and using a plastic case. I'm not sure I believe that, but the unit looked good and was a good buy, with one little exception. They were used and many of them had a cracked or completely broken mirror. The plastic lid had enough flex in it that it could break the mirror. According to the the seller, the problem could be cured by making sure the thing was turned the right way when placed in the carry case. The mirror needed to be facing inward toward the wearer's body. If it was facing outward the wearer could bump or lean against something and flex the lid enough to break the mirror.
    I don't know if Sandcut's transit is the same transit that I saw those many years ago, but I think if I had one I'd pay attention too how I transported and stored it. I never wore one on my belt in any case. For what I did, I never really needed a Brunton hand transit, but I frequently went out with our geologist to mining claims and those Brunton's were like an extra appendage for them.
     
  12. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    I have one too. I bought it out of a sense of nostalgia from using a real one for Surveying Class in college. Not sure I could fly one today.
     
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  13. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Pretend it is a compass and you will be fine! :D
     
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  14. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    Wow... looks like a lot of features and quality gear for the money... I'd buy one except my regret is that I don't know how to use it or in what situation... I barely use (or know how to use) all the features on a basic, cheap lensatic compass from Wal-Mart.

    I wish somewhere around me there was a navigation and wayfinding class or ... an old man in a tent somewhere... where I could learn from.
     
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  15. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    Still not understanding why East and West are switched.
     
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  16. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    I downloaded the instructions for using a Brunton compass off the internet. Just Google it.
     
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  17. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    For constant use with the sighting mirror, I believe.
     
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  18. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    A bearing is read when you make a sight. The north end of the needle is read at the dial for the bearing. The sighting vane will be lined up where you are heading. If the needle is on the 45 between the N and E on the dial then the sighting vane is lined up to the correct bearing N45E. You can also do the reverse. If you know something on the map is N45E from your position, then you position the north end of the needle on the 45 between N and E on the dial, then your sighting vane will be lined up in the proper direction you wish to travel.
     
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  19. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Because it is a "direct read" compass. You are measuring the angle from north or south directly off of the needle. With a baseplate compass, that function is compensated for by "boxing the needle" and measuring the angle between the needle and the index line/direction of travel arrow.

    If I get time some day soon I'll do a tutorial.
     
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  20. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Thanks, @Sandcut for a nice review and introduction to transits. This is something I've always wondered about.
     
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  21. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

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    I took a surveying course at the Univ of VA years ago. Their transits were the same way. Professor said they "got a good deal" on them. :4:
     
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