Author Topic: Suunto Compass  (Read 7139 times)

Offline Barny

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Suunto Compass
« on: July 11, 2010, 06:40:45 pm »
I have cracked the housing and lost all the dampening oil out of my suunto compass. Is it cost effective to have it repaired? If it is, where should I send it to get the repair done?
Thanks for any helpful suggestions.
 

Offline robjones

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 07:48:49 pm »
Try the manufacturers' website; there should be contact details for UK distributor who should be able to advise. I'll be interested in the reply you receive, as will a numbe rof people on this forum I'm sure.

Offline Pie Muncher

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 08:00:12 pm »
Second that. I also have a clino with the same problem.
Maybe someone will give a bulk discount if we all send them in?
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Offline Burt

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 12:56:29 pm »
It probably won't help you, but out of interest, Silva can repair compasses - see their website.
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Offline graham

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 01:17:10 pm »
Two minutes with Google threw up this page. No idea how useful it will prove in practice.
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Offline hydrophobia

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 02:04:16 pm »
Silva are in Livingston. Whilst they will do some repairs (when I lived there I went in and they repaired my Ranger housing on the spot) they are not consistent. I recently posted them another compass to have the liquid dampening replaced (it had leaked) and they wrote back saying it was out of warranty. So was the previous repair which was done without question and without charge. Suggest you similarly check with Suunto with regards to what they can/will do. 

Offline Joel Corrigan

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 04:58:26 pm »
I had a similar issue (the Dachstein expedition instruments are screwed) and I was told by Wookie that Suunto have raised the price on repairs as to make it totally pointless, thereby guaranteeing more new sales.  Hopefully he (or another surveying guru) will see this thread and confirm/deny as my memory is awful....

Offline Barny

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 09:12:17 pm »
Finally got a reply tonight from Suunto after calling one of their helpline numbers to chase them up. Somewhat surprisingly I hadn't thought of googling, just typed in Suunto.com some days before posting on here.

They quote an approximate price for a replacement capsule (KB 14 or PM 5) of €100 plus there would also be a carriage charge. Given that the KB 14 retails at €135 locally (and the same at expe) and I get a hefty discount on that it really is a no brainer. It stays broken and I get a new one.

Just a forlorn hope that there might be some economically viable method of repair.



Offline hydrophobia

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 05:00:22 pm »
Both Silva and Suunto are clearly missing a business opportunity here (green repair vs. wasteful scrap/replace). I'm pretty sure if they did the maths it would equal out. Playing the green card would ultimately bring greater returns in the long-term. I remain annoyed with Silva's lack of service and basic business foresight. Fancy new gadgets aren't the only way to keep/win customers.

Offline jarvist

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 06:23:16 pm »
Certainly with sailing compasses, repairing them once they start losing oil can be throwing good money after bad.

If you're leaking through minuscule cracks, Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure can be used - in essence it's just a very very thin glue that penetrates and seals. You can easily make a really big mess though.
If you've actually cracked it properly, you'd need to do a proper windscreen repair job on it - using a high speed drill to make a hole beyond the end of the crack to stop the propagation, refill the oil, then sealing it all up.

It's not really surprisingly the cost of repair - I'm sure they'd just drop a new compass unit in, and the rest of the instrument is just a hunk of CNC'd aluminium. Its the actual compass bit that has the jewel bearing, calibration and micro scale etc.
And considering your compass will be demagnetising with age, and the jewel pivot wearing an uneven hole in the card (+ any damage from transport once the oil leaked out and the was no longer neutrally buoyant), you should probably accept this as an excuse to possess a shiny new one.  :)

We (Imperial College CC) smashed a Suunto clino of ours on expo last summer, it makes a lovely object d'art. The crack went right over the metal pivot arm, and the clino wheel itself is now wonky and wobbles like a top as it spins. There's also grains of mud (swilled around by the departing oil I assume) covering the optical window. No real chance of repair.  :(

Offline SamT

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 10:52:02 pm »

It's not really surprisingly the cost of repair - I'm sure they'd just drop a new compass unit in, and the rest of the instrument is just a hunk of CNC'd aluminium. Its the actual compass bit that has the jewel bearing, calibration and micro scale etc.


Thats a very good point actually !!

I've got two (compass/clino)  in bits in the shed, EPC's old ones, and have always wondered about just getting new units to drop into the old casings, but as you say - they are the really really expensive bit, so best off just getting new.

Offline wookey

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 03:40:08 pm »
Both Suunto and Silva used to do repairs in the UK for a reasonable price (GBP 40-odd), but the guy doing it retired. I have also on occaision managed to get replacement capsules out of Suunto and done it myself, but it's hard to get them well-aligned as you have to glue the little locating lugs on yourself, and they don't really want to sell capsules: last time I asked they said no.

Since reapirs are now done outside the UK by the time you've paid postage to the UK dealer, then postage to the repair site, then had the capsule replaced and aligned and had it send back again this costs more than a new instrument. This has been true since around 2004 I guess so I've given up even asking and just tell people to buy a new one. I have a great pile of poorly instruments here, which are only any use as table-weights to hold surveys unrolled :-)

Note that whilst the ali block _ought_ to be very cheap in comparison to the precision-engineered capsule, both companies sell the same (compass) capsule in plastic-bodied instruments (silva type 80, suunto KB-20) relatively cheaply. That is probably actually the wasy to get a spare for cheapskates, although I haven't checked that this really does fit/work. Sadly neither company does a clino in this format (and in my experience clinos break more often because the pins get bent).

I can still supply instruments to cave surveyors at good prices, although people very rarely ask anymore as we've all gone digital (and the reapirs market is dead, as above)


Offline ian mckenzie

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2010, 11:43:20 pm »
This topic has been covered a couple of times before under Equipment.  See Tips on sealing... November 17 2006 and What a Bargain Feb 23 2004.

You can repair the leaking modules but it is not always successful.  But you have nothing to lose from trying.

Offline jarvist

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 01:23:43 am »
Ian:
Tips on sealing... November 17 2006:
http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php/topic,2921

What a Bargain Feb 23 2004:
http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php/topic,359

The 2004 thread appears to be cleaning a dirty/dusty eyepiece, and the 2006 one concerns condensation problems within the scale. Unless I'm missing something?

The 2006 thread has some nice disassembly photos by SamT.

Wookey: I wouldn't say everyone has gone digital!

How difficult is the alignment of the capsule? Is it just about getting it rotationally lined up with the eyepiece, or is there something more subtle going on? Would the 'locating lugs' on the capsule in a fully made up instrument survive disassembly, or would you be starting from scratch?
Some of our old instruments are dusty inside, and I'm considering a DIY cleaning.

Does anyone know if there is a source for those lovely rubber housings? Ours are perished to the point of falling apart.
Similarly, what about the light inserts? We have one that still lights up, but it's rather dim.

Offline ian mckenzie

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2010, 08:40:55 pm »
The 2004 thread appears to be cleaning a dirty/dusty eyepiece, and the 2006 one concerns condensation problems within the scale. Unless I'm missing something?
I posted within both of those old topics about disassembly, which is half the battle.  The repair of the leaking module is hard to describe, so in the second post I mentioned a publication where the information resides.

On your second question, alignment of the module is easy, as the plastic tabs certainly survive disassembly and the thing just slips back into the grooves in the aluminum.  That is, assuming the basic construction is unchanged from years ago.   Just make sure that the sighting lens faces the viewing port.

Offline ian mckenzie

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2010, 10:23:16 pm »
Repair notes are temporarily at  http://members.shaw.ca/karst.almighty/karst_almighty/Suunto.pdf
Note that any hot work makes the plastic brittle, so really should be a last resort.  But what do you have to lose?

I have also successfully repaired sticky clinos by drilling directly thru the centre of the face, easing off the axle screw a quarter turn, and resealing, though this is hard to accomplish without leaving a fair bubble - not so critical for a clino though.

Does anyone know if there is a source for those lovely rubber housings? 
You can modify the blue vinyl case that it comes with, by cutting off a bottom corner and threading the neck string thru the hole.  Then you just wear the string round your neck as usual, but you can unsnap the case and slide it up the string when you want to use the instrument. 

« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 10:42:03 pm by ian mckenzie »

Offline kdxn

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 10:22:40 pm »
Are there enough broken clinos and compasses out there to justify someone getting a bunch of spares and offering a UK based repair service ?

Just had Suunto confirm the Euro100 repair cost plus shipping for my KB14. Not worth it, hence trying to get some spares.

I know some like the digital solutions out there but there seems to be quite a few with horror stories about calibrations changing.

Offline graham

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2010, 10:33:14 pm »
I know some like the digital solutions out there but there seems to be quite a few with horror stories about calibrations changing.

And a lot of extremely good results as well. I don't know much about the SAP, but the DistoX is a diminishing resource as neither the original A3 Leica nor the additional board are now available. I hope that any replacement will be based on one of the more robust - waterproof - Distos that are now available but as I have none of the skills available to produce one, all I can do is hope.

We also need a replacement for the associated PDAs with which they are used as I rather suspect that half the still extant Dell Axims in captivity are currently being trashed by enthusiastic cave surveyors.
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Offline kdxn

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Re: Suunto Compass
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2010, 12:12:37 pm »
Beat has looked at the new 'robust' Disto DXT to make into a next generation DistoX but has very limited internal space to work with. Hopefully he can work his magic................

Will be getting a few Disto DXT's for some serious testing.

Suunto unwilling to provide spares for KB14 - does not seem a good recycling policy.

It would be nice to see a 3D IMU based solution for cave surveying that could potentially be used by one person or by cave divers. Next project perhaps.............