PNI V100 Digital Vehicle Compass

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Know Where You Are Going - PNI V100 Digital Vehicle Compass

Mar 29, 2004 (Updated Mar 29, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Simple, easy to install and use, good battery life

Cons:You don't get anything more than 8 directions

The Bottom Line: There are those of us out there who want to know what direction we’re heading when we’re driving and the V100 is the perfect product for those of us


The PNI V100 Digital Compass for vehicles is a nifty gadget for those of us who don’t have digital compasses standard on our vehicles.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what direction you were heading or carious about the direction of a road – then you’re exactly the kind of person who would be interested in having a V100 digital compass for your vehicle. It’s a simple tool that shows you the direction that you are traveling in so you can finally answer the question of what direction your heading in.

Details

The V100 mounts on your vehicle dashboard easily and quickly with a suction cup mount. No glue or sticky tape to mess up the dashboard. The suction cup is strong and is unlikely to pop off while driving. The compass itself fits into the mount and can be removed and stored outside of the car.

The V100 can be used in any vehicle and the calibration of the V100 is straightforward. Set the calibration mode on the V100 and then drive the car around in a circle twice. The V100 calibrates itself as you drive around in those two circles. The V100 reads magnetic directions and therefore, there is no need to set any declination corrections – just be aware that you are looking at magnetic directions and not true directions. The compass is accurate to about 10 degrees of the true magnetic directions, which in an overall sense is not too bad – just don’t depend upon it for precise orienteering.

The V100’s display is clear and easy to read – it shows you the eight main cardinal directions: N; NE; E; SE; S; SW; W; and NW. There is also an alert should the compass encounter magnetic interference that affects the compass’ accuracy. There’s an auto shut-off feature on the V100 that turns it off if your vehicle hasn’t moved for 10 minutes. Two AAA batteries that last about a year or so with normal use of the compass power the V100.

Experiences

Not every vehicle nowadays comes with a built-in compass (my 02 RAV4 doesn’t have one) and it’s always useful to have an idea of what direction you are traveling. The V100 is small enough to sit on your dashboard without being in the way and gives you a clear indication of the direction you are traveling. I’ve found the accuracy to be fairly good – when traveling on roads that I have checked the direction on a map. It did take a bit getting used to magnetic directions as opposed to true directions – the declination here in Massachusetts isn’t that great – but it’s enough to throw you a bit when you think you are traveling in one direction but look in the compass and see something else.

The V100 is inexpensive (I picked mine up for about $30), easy to install, and has survived just over a year in my car without any ill effects. I just recently had to replace the first set of AAA batteries in the V100 – giving it about a year’s worth of life with my daily driving.

I’ve enjoyed having the V100 and while I won’t be traversing trackless wilderness with it, I find it to be something useful (and fun) to have.

Final Thoughts

There are those of us out there who want to know what direction we’re heading when we’re driving and the V100 is the perfect product for those of us. It’s basic, simple to install and use, and provides basic directional information for drivers (and passengers) to figure out what direction they are heading in.

Automotive Reviews

2002 Toyota RAV4 / 1993 Subaru Impreza / Whistler 1733 Radar Detector / 2000 Subaru Forester


Recommend this product? Yes

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