People who donít want to
spend the money for a full-fledged GPS navigation system for their
car have a cheaper alternative: a directional compass. These have
advanced well beyond the ball-floating-in-water variety.
Step One Determine how much money you want to
spend. Compasses can cost as much as $250.
Step Two Decide whether the compass you
finally buy should look stock in your car. Battery-run and
bubble-in-water-style compasses are designed to be mounted directly
on the dashboard of a car. But there are more sophisticated
compasses that are part of a rearview mirror, work off the carís
battery, and look like theyíre stock.
Step Three Consider the technology used in the
compass. Some of the less sophisticated compasses can be adversely
affected by steel bridges, buildings or even railroad tracks, and
may have to be re-calibrated often. Thatís not the case with the new
varieties that feature Pathpoint Technology, developed by Johnson
Controls, or Precision Navigation (PI) technology.
Step Four Consider installation. Some
bubble-in-liquid compasses and those powered by batteries are
installed fairly easily. Others rely on the carís battery for power.
The more sophisticated compasses are more reliable and probably
should be placed by a professional installer. The 12-volt compasses
can be installed and calibrated by car audio retail shops that are
familiar with 12-volt products.
Step Five Note that compasses can be purchased
from automotive parts stores as well as car dealerships.