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UWATEC FS-1 Compass September 26, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Equipment.
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My New UWATEC FS-1 Compass

My New UWATEC FS-1 Compass

I just bought a new UWATEC FS-1 Compass to replace the ScubaPro Compass I bought in 1983 to do my NASDS advanced course. The ScubaPro is lying at the bottom of Lake Simcoe after it slipped off the wrist band. I usually say I just threw it away as the card had locked in position and thus no longer pointed North, which made navigation much more difficult.

The new one is much nicer, anyway, and I will try it out tomorrow, again in Lake Simcoe, even though I also have a compass in my console. Why do I need two? Well my technical rig doesn’t have a console, so I need a separate wrist-mounted compass so I can find my way around on technical dives. In fact, there’s very little of my rec gear that I can actually use for technical diving. My 2 AL80s are kitted up to sling on my BC, but I’m planning to get a separate steel deco bottle of lower capacity for better balance. The AL80s will still be useful for staging extra gas for wreck diving, but they’re too big for comfort to carry around just for deco.

Anyway, it’s a nice looking compass, and reads from both the top and side. It will work with a tilt of up to 15 degrees, which should be plenty. One thing that puzzled me was that the instructions listed separate part numbers for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. I had had to turn to the trusty Internet for an explanation. It’s something to bear in mind if you’re travelling south to go diving. I’m diving my new compass when I assist with an Open Water class at Lake Simcoe tomorrow.

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1. deepstop - September 27, 2008

I took the compass into the water today. Also allowed a couple of students to use it. Not surprisingly it works as advertised.

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2. deepstop - September 28, 2008

Funny thing was that one of the students told me she was about to go to New Zealand and Australia for two years to work here and there. So I was immediately able to put my new-found knowledge about different compasses for the Northern and Southern hemispheres to good use right away.

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3. deepstop - September 30, 2008

I also have an Apeks compass on my recreational regulator console (at least I think it is, the only writing on its face is “Italy”, which is where the other Apeks equipment is made).

It is very similar to the UWATEC. The markings on both the face and bezel are different. On the face, the UWATEC has a boat shaped marking with the bow pointing north, while the Apeks doesn’t. Both are numbered every 30 degrees but the UWATEC has little circles under the numbers while the Apeks has filled in triangles.

On the bezel, the UWATEC is more rounded and has N/E/S/W where the Apeks has 0/90/180/270. Both have double index marks on North, but the Apeks alone has a single index mark on South. The lubber line is black on the UWATEC but Red on the Apeks.The maximum tilt angle looks about the same.

The UWATEC instructions talk about a 2 year warrantly. I don’t have the Apeks instructions but other Apeks gear I own is covered for two years. So I’d say there’s not a lot to choose between the two.

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