Picture of Poor Mans GPS
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A cheap version of GPS for navigation on a bike..... Well Kinda
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Step 1: The Idea

Picture of The Idea
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Firstly I would like to apologise for the images, (and my spelling) my camera is broken, so this is the webcam, lol.

I was on holiday by the seaside, and was looking round some shops; you know the ones which sell all the tourist junk.

I came across one of the "floating" compasses, if you have never seen one, look at the picture below, I wasn't thinking of an instructable when I was making this so there is only pictures of the finished product- sorry!

Basically it’s a sphere, which is filled with a fluid of some kind; inside the sphere is a hemisphere which is weighted at the bottom, and with compass markings on the top. There is probably a piece of magnetised metal inside too to actually make it point to north!

The idea of these is to be able to point to north no matter which way up the sphere is! they look quite freaky rolling across the table, because it doesn’t look like rolling!!

Right back on topic- I saw this and thought about using it on my bike, as it is able to always point north, unlike normal compass's which will only point north if they are perfectly flat.

Basically this instructable is about making a mount for this. I call it poor mans GPS, because if you have a map holder (a future project) then you can navigate!, lol, more of a gimmick than a necessity.

wobbler1 year ago
Lots of comments along the lines of "it won't work". It does depend on the bike (especially if it's got steel handlebars), but the easiest way to check it's working (or not) is to fit it and then lift the bike up and slowly spin it round. If the compass doesn't keep pointing north then you know the bike is interfering with it, if it does keep pointing north you know it's ok.

When I've tried this on my bike, it turned out to be useless but I've got a lot of ironmongery on mine I suspect. I wouldn't discount it though and it's cheap enough to try.
hed4204 years ago
Nice job.
I was thinking of doing the same with a flat compass that came off a watch someone gave me. I prefer a round compass though. Where'd you get yours?
steed11726 years ago
wooot ..... ... you should post another Instructable on how to use it, or how to geocache with it ;P
actually.. geocaching with this is pretty useful, you use it as a ring, and punch coords into GOOGEARTH or another mapping program, print out, and go.
I belive they call a poor mans gps a "compass"

Screw compasses, theyre WAY to hard lol
Tommi Potx7 years ago
Well done! The bike will interfere, as the metals in the bike throw the magnetic compass needle off; but...who cares? It'll give you a basic north, enough to keep from getting fubar'd.. Good for you.
not it's an aluminum bike, or if ur lucky, carbon fiber
ruktion3607 years ago
i dont know why the bike would interfere... it wirks on my bike. only thing i can suggest is a new camera
CpHarding (author) 8 years ago
Hey- Any comments welcome, as long as they are constructive = D
Sorry to say it wont work, the bike will interfere with the magnetic field and wont even give you an accurate north.
AKinBK akanigel7 years ago
not if you used to be rich and purchased an invisible gas based bike. . .
antirem8 years ago
poor mans compas, not poor mans gps
It is better than a compass, so you wouldn't call it a "Poor man's compass" I think that "Compass for Unlevel Grounds" would be better. So CUG!
Whatnot8 years ago
common superglue isn't that waterproof, perhaps use another adhesive for outdoor use, unless you live in a completely dry area I guess.
Kikke8 years ago
Nombre, ches mmadas con las que sales, ese no es un gps para hombres pobres, es un gps para pendejos como tu.
dropkick8 years ago
I wanted to say something obvious that would make me appear not very bright, like "That's not a GPS" but that's already been said. So I'll just say "Neat idea". Only problem I see is that most people don't know how to use one anymore. You might want to add some form of declination chart somewhere to make it more useful no matter where you travel too.
Joe938 years ago
I have a magazine that has how to mount a map to your bike but i have 2 find it
cpf8 years ago
Global positioning system. Positioning is there for a reason-a compass tells you which direction you are pointing, not where you are (as a GPS does).
Ian018 years ago
That's not a GPS. It's a ball compass.
about your crappy photos, just load them onto a photo editor and crank up the brightness then upload them onto instructables!!!!
theRIAA8 years ago
i compas on my bike would be pretty handy... then again i could probly just duckttape on my REAL gps
JJ_Jackson18 years ago
It needs to use sateillites in order to be called GPS! Though wither way, this works!
CpHarding (author) 8 years ago
ok, not quite a GPS, need maps and mapreader to qualify as GPS
jnixon8 years ago
...It's not a GPS. It really can't even be called a poor-man's GPS, because you still would need to buy maps, and even that won't position you the way a GPS does.