Compass Lighting

I have a Brunton Nexus 70P compass on my NDK Explorer. I’ve been doing alot of nightime paddling, and would like to have a light system for the compass. I noticed GRO sells a light hood and energy pack for the 70P. I can’t find a picture of this setup anywhere.

Does anyone have this? How is the energy pack stored? How large?



Do me a favor and let me know
when you find something good. Lots of folks just use a lighstick in a holder of some sort. I’ve never seen even that rig.

  • possible alternative
    * Use your spare, handheld compass, under the deck bungy. Not good positioning for accurate reading, but probably will do.

  • use a star for a bearing (though check against handhelp compass or GPS every hour or so).

    What I do for ‘land out of sight’ crossings - is to use a handheld or stars and occasionally check the GPS


Stars “move” 15 degrees every hour.
You can’t hold a good course by trying to align your course or something on the ground with a star.

not familiar
with the hood.

I use a Suunto Orca with a tiny fisherman’s lightstick taped under it. It lights beautifully and is close enough to read in the dark.

The cat’s meow is the Nexus UNE model. It’s battery driven (2 watch) and supplies a nice red glow. kinda pricey tho, $110. It doubles as a hand bearing compass, too.


thanks! and crucial question
If I’d known that abou the UNE I’d have put bracket on every boat bought, one compass and saved myself a bundle! But the my boats would be less beautiful. But that might be a small percentage of the change when I am in them. But not if I am smiling with delight!

Crucial question! Is the thing waterproof, I mean really waterproof in the surf zone.

Nexus 85 with LED illumination…

– Last Updated: Jan-28-04 11:24 PM EST –

When I purchased my VCP Pintail the guy I bought it from threw in it a Nexus 85 compass with LED illumination (red). The compass is the "bungy on" type, not permanently installed. It looks like the LED illuminator was added by the previous owner: it is a small (about 3/4" dia.) encapsulated LED that is glued to the bow side of the clear compass dome. It looks like a small black button; all the light from the LED is directed into the clear compass dome. Two small wires run to a 9V battery that tucks into the foam base of the kayak. There isn't a switch, I just attach the battery to turn it on.

Anyone have a source of this type of an LED assembly? I'd like to add the same sort of illumination to the built-in compass on my Foster Silhouette.

we’ve sold a bunch and never had a problemo.

IMHO they stick up too much for everyday use. great for the occasional night nav mission, tho.


pretty sure
it came that way. It’s a 85 E. for electric, I guess.

I’d double check and make sure the 9V is not causing deviation.

I’ll bet there are some LED lites that are adaptable.


Think I’ll just bungie
on a lightstick near the thing or find a mini lighstick carrier.

Thanks once again Steve, so nice to have you around.

it’s a Nexus COMP-U 85E. It’s actually a 12V LED. I imagine a 9V will just be a little dim, but work fine.

I bet there is some deviation. The leads are 18" long and could easily be taken a bit farther from the compass.


Princton Tec Aurora headlamp?
I almost always wear one when it’s dark even if it’s off…would that sort of thing work for you? Hey, it even flashes!

you don’t
want a bright, white lite to read a compass.

there’s a bunch of beta threads on headlamps.


I have alot to learn…
I guess some of my backpacking gear may not work in a kayak…I’ll do a search and try to learn why a white light won’t work…thanks for not slamming me…

white light
It’s not that the white light won’t work, but rather that it will screw up your night vision.

That’s why the Navy runs red lights on the bridge at night.

also the aurora
has a reputation for not being waterproof! I’ve owned three! Nice to meet you matahari !

the solid white light will ruin your ability to adjust to the low light. Red works well.

the compass needs a warm, red glow, on all the time. Like a glow stick.

The headlamp is good for chart reading and signaling other boats. Bright, white is ‘required’ on our waters to signal other boats.


No need to search

– Last Updated: Feb-01-04 12:20 AM EST –

Here is the fast and dirty explanation. There are two major kinds of receptor cells in your retina.

One kind are the rods. Rods provide night vision. They react very poorly to red light, they are not easily stimulated by that color. They take 10 to 20 minutes to adapt once they get fatigued by a blast of white light. (Notice how long it takes your vision to get to its best level when you go into a dark room)

Cones see color quite well but offer poor night vision, it takes quite a strong signal to activate a cone cell so you need more light. They are particularly sensitive to red light. So if you use a red light of moderate to low brightness you cones will pick it up and you will see it, but your rods will not pick it up as they do not respond to red light very well. Thus the rods will not get fatigued and you will retain your night vision.

you ROCK. Thanks for the explanation.


Hello…nice to meet all of you…
should I have introduced myself?? I guess I live up to my name by just appearing out of nowhere…perhaps unwise and not very thoughtful…there’s so much experience on these boards and I like reading! I’m not on EST but CST time…I can’t figure out how to change it…