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Enginneering Geologist Review
on November 9, 2009
Preface: I'm an engineering geologist. I take geologic measurements. I don't do surveying; that's what surveyors are for. That said... ditto what Gary said. I have a composite (plastic) Classic, and a Geo. For the record, the so-called "plastic" Classics are just as accurate and bomb-proof as the rest of them. I've been using my composite Classic for 5 years with no problems... except for that dog-gone hinge. No, it doesn't break, but it sure gets in the way when taking measurements. Then came the Geo... I lusted over one of these for several years; then, about a year ago, took the plunge. The new hinge design works just as expected... which is to say miraculously! It allows you to put your lid on ANY surface, regardless of orientation, and get your measurements. And you can adjust the hinge friction! Try THAT with your Classic! There are 2 little bubble level tubes set into the bottom edge, right in front of the hinge, and they're a huge help when taking measurements over your head. Another feature I love is the ability to use the compass with the needle swinging freely like the classic, or lock it down so that you have to push a little button to release it, then release the button to lock it down again. There's a little swing-arm on the bottom to switch between these 2 modes. The 2nd mode I described is great for general use, but is particularly nice for taking measurements where it would otherwise be almost impossible to read the dial, like over your head. This way, you can level the compass using either the round bubble level (viewed in the mirror) or the little ones on the side (but be careful, the little ones only read in 1 direction), push the button to let the needle swing, watch it in the mirror until it stops, then release the button thereby locking the needle with your reading so that you can read it when you remove the compass from the outcrop. And since your dip value is on the hinge, you're done. Cool, huh? It's kinda hard to explain, but it's sa-weet! And as solid as the case and hinge are, you know it's perfectly precise. Oh, and the bottom is flat; no ring like the Classic. So those are the technical benefits; but these things are as COOL as they are functional! There's just something about precision machined aluminum... I guess it's a guy thing, I dunno. It's the perfect compass in my opinion, and it's way cool!
I also second something else Gary said: If you're still using strike and dip, try dip direction and dip value (dip/dip direction). Basically the trend and plunge of the dip line. Once you're used to it, it makes way more sense. And the Geo makes it a snap to take measurements this way in 1 step, not 2. And lastly, get the 0-360. If you're still using quadrants, you should be retired by now.
Get the Geo; it's well worth the bucks; you won't regret it!