View Full Version here: : Digital Compass at Bargain Price

19-09-2006, 09:53 PM
I was at our Ballarat Aldi Store today getting the kids a whole stack of Munchies (it's school holidays here at the moment) and I accidently came across the Ascot Digital Compass. I have seen these on the net before and in ebay etc. They usually go for about $35-$55. You can set them to TRUE North/South too.

It gives True & Magnetic Direction, Temp, Time, Stopwatch for Photography etc.

Aldi has them for $19.95!!!!! So obviously I bought one. Works great!

Race out to Aldi and get one!

Here is the exact item on Oztion for a 'Buy it Now' price of $45.

20-09-2006, 07:11 AM
Looks like a good buy Ken. I have a digital compass and have found it needs to be dead level before giving accurate results, I'll be curious to see if yours has the same traits. :thumbsup:

21-09-2006, 12:01 AM
Any idea of both the pointing and timekeeping accuracy? From the readout on the compass it looks to give a readout to a degree (many cheap ones only give you direction if 5 degree increments). I wonder if its timekeeping is better than +/- 1 second a day?

21-09-2006, 12:32 AM
Phil, this one seems to work fine even on a slight angle. The instructions say to use it horizontally but It gave no variation when tilted.

Without sounding like their salesman I can assure you that I have no idea to it's accuracy, but it has a 'Calibration' mode.

Yes, it is in single degree increments. The Compass actually shows direction using 3 different methods at the same time!!

To correspond with True Cardinal Points (as on a map) you can set in a Declination angle to align for + East or - West.

It also has an 'Error' message if the Earths Magnetic Field is distorted in the area it is being used.

As for time accuracy, so far the time is still matched to my computer.

The Thermometer has a +/- 1 degree accuracy.

I have no idea as to the actual quality of this product but $19.95 for a $35 - $55 product I ain't complaining. All I know is mine works well, and it will come in very handy. :thumbsup:

21-09-2006, 01:58 PM
is the screen backlit so you can read it at night?

21-09-2006, 02:08 PM
Ving also wants to know if it comes with fluffy dice, a foxtail aerial and woofers...........:P :D . yep i have one, well actually 2, i thought I lost the one I bought, so then bought another one from aldi last year, then found the first one in a bag my son has. he still plays with it. good to go!;) :thumbsup:

21-09-2006, 02:24 PM
you answer sir hough-a-lot is most ambiguous... is that a yes or no :confused:

21-09-2006, 03:09 PM
Yes Ving it has the backlight in a soft blue and my one has all the Extras that Houghy wanted

21-09-2006, 03:16 PM
hahahahaha!!! i'll have to get one :)

21-09-2006, 04:19 PM
Mine is a slightly different shape to Terry's. But same item :thumbsup:

The Blue backlighting in it isn't annoying which is good. Doesn't seem to wreck my dark adaption.

21-09-2006, 04:43 PM
Interesting, I've never heard of a digital compass. Do they use GPS to acquire the bearing and time ? Are there ones that point to celestial N/S vs magenetic N/S ?

I need a new compass, I'm wondering if this is a good choice. My old one is cheap and anoys me that it's so easily affected by metal and electromagnetic objects. Put it under the telescope tripod and it won't know N from E.


21-09-2006, 06:38 PM

22-09-2006, 07:05 AM
Roger, these devices use an electromagnetic sensor called a flux gate to detect magnetic north. Here's a simple explanation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluxgate_compass).

25-09-2006, 12:01 AM
These look great, nice find, do you know if they have any left?

25-09-2006, 10:51 AM
It depends where you live.. I bought one on Friday in the North Sydney store....

25-09-2006, 11:37 PM
FWIW: I bought one today at North Sydney and they still have some left.

26-09-2006, 03:48 PM
It works goddammit - got mine from aldi at warringah mall plus a 2 year warranty-wierd but true

26-09-2006, 06:04 PM
aldi? never heard of them, what do they sell besides the compass? Trying to find a supplier here in Adelaide.

26-09-2006, 07:52 PM

Aldi is a German Supermarket chain that has stores all over the world and they are spreading across Australia too. Very cheap on just about everything!

They mainly sell groceries (their own brand only) but they also sell electrical items and a bit of everything else.

23-03-2008, 11:07 AM
I just came across your thread while I was searching google.

Could you please update me how is the compass that you had bought it from Aldi,,,,Are you happy with it ?

Could you please post the picture for that compass, because the link that you had posted says : "Sorry! This listing cannot be found.".

I will try to contact Aldi and see if they have got more in the stocks


23-03-2008, 12:17 PM
How do you sight with it? Is it going to be any more accurate than a basic orienteering style compass you can get for around $20?
I ask because i tend to avoid battery powered gizmos where a non powered one will give a good enough result, ie bathroom scales.

23-03-2008, 03:52 PM
Bring out your dead! (posts) :lol:

23-03-2008, 05:42 PM
Lol oops!

No more reviving old threads :whistle:

23-03-2008, 08:17 PM
I have often wondered the same thing, though, with those compasses, as there doesn't seem to be an obvious alignment reference on them. What good is 1 degree accuracy if you can't figure out just where on the case that degree is to be read out? Why can't they build them like a normal compass with straight edges?

24-03-2008, 02:06 AM
Unfortunately both photos posted previously of the 2 "variants" are showing the unit in time/date display mode and not compass mode.
(My compass, and camera, are at home and I'm not, otherwise I would have rectified this situation by adding a pic.)

I have the variant that is shown in spudricks post, when in compass mode from memory you get four of those "block" sections you can see in that image circling the screen come up, one dead top of the screen and one a bit either side, then a fourth at the deadbottm of the screen. It is possible to gain a site line using the 2 blocks top and bottom, though I agree 1 degree accuracy isn't really aided by the case/display type. Perhaps thats why these sell so cheaply, but having said that for all normal purposes I've used it for so far it has proved adequate.

If your doing serious navigation somewhere remote and isolated where the difference between 1° and "a couple of degrees" is critical - and you're relying a $20 chain store electric compass gizmo - then you deserve to get lost!

For other stuff these are a fun and useful gadget! I personally like the temperature display when out observing, the attached neck strap allows me to hang it over the focussor of my scope and get an idea of how cold it is "rght there" where I'm observing.

24-03-2008, 03:14 AM
I have an old two way radio with built in electronic compass, and it was never really that useful for me due to the lack of a frame of reference. Where is North? Roughly up, I guess. In the context of using these with a board to align a leg on your scope with the SCP, you are left without an accurate reference. If your mount only adjusts 3 degrees either side of your initial setup, every little bit helps. I ended up lifting my mount, scope, and all the other night to get a better alignment. I think that is something like 90Kg in my case.

24-03-2008, 07:29 AM
I got one in my watch works good for me. It also has
temp, Bar.

24-03-2008, 08:14 AM
They represent what we call “the diminishing returns of technology”.
Accurate to 1-degree (allegedly) but with no method of transferring this accuracy to a map or up a string to a telescope mount. A good $60 orienteering compass with 2-degree steps and an arrow pointer will serve you much better for astronomical purposes I think. I use one and never fail to get the octans group in polarscope. :thumbsup:

27-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Hey Phil,
You are the only other person I know who owns a Casio with the works.
Yours looks like the Sea Pathfinder.
I own the titanium ProTrek model
Has a compass, altimeter , tempreture and baromter as well as the normal digital watch functions.
Great watches.

28-03-2008, 07:31 AM
Hi Grant i have the Sea Pathfinder. Like you say great watch. Not cheap but.

28-03-2008, 09:19 PM
You are right. They are not cheap.
I bought mine in Hong Kong as a Xmas present to myself - saved about $150 au doing so
Probably the best watch I own.
Highly recommended

03-04-2008, 07:47 PM
How did you go?
I heard somewhere that Aldi is opening in Perth soon(maybe already?) and is also looking to open in Adelaide, maybe try ringing the Aldi head office to find out when/where...

Peter Bodiam
31-08-2008, 07:50 AM
I have a Ascot Digital Compass ex Aldi but have lost the setting up instructions, can anybody help me or email copy of instructions to me? it would be appreciated, thank you

31-08-2008, 08:04 AM
I,m in the same boat never heard of aldi ?

19-01-2009, 09:01 PM
Hi There

I have just bought an Ascot Digital Compass but it didn’t come with the instructions.
Does any out there have a copy of the instruction?? Could you please email it or post it?? It is driving me nuts not being able to configure my new compass….

Many Thanx

19-01-2009, 10:35 PM
:hi:Tone,:welcome:to iceinspace:)
Is this the one you want?

20-01-2009, 08:35 PM
I've posted this before but I'll do it again for those who are having trouble finding this Ascot Digital Compass.
I bought this one http://members.optushome.com.au/clarry/2588589069_0e592ba03b_b.jpg on eBay for $15 delivered, some time ago. It's not an Ascot but it does a bloody good job. I've tested it by looking up the azimuth of a celestial object on Stellarium then using the compass to get that bearing and sure enough it's always within a degree or two of the target. I have marked out a line on my Dob base that is directly parallel with the cradle, then I place the compass on that line ensuring that red marks top & bottom line up with the new line. Works for me.

20-01-2009, 11:08 PM
This page all goes back to E-bay shops .... but a few good ideas here

28-06-2009, 10:47 PM
I have the same problem i.e missing instructions. Did anyone have any or can someone tell me how to set the date and time etc?


28-06-2009, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the posted instructions, all sorted now.