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Showing 1-10 of 270 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 282 reviews
on April 14, 2010
i bought this as a decoration so im not complaining. it looks cool and the compass works (which is more rare than you might think, i go into stores and see multiple compasses pointing in different directions all the time) anyway, while it has adjustable feet and can be tilted/ raised for accuracy, there are no instructions telling you how or why to tip it and the designers messed up in one important way if they intend it to ever be used... it is shiny and reflective. ive tried to see if it is accurate but any day bright enough to cast a shadow is too bright for a shadow to show on the shiney reflective surace.
44 comments| 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The device isn't really a compass, though it has one, functional though not designed for real use (this item is unashamedly a desk toy). What it is (or would be if it were real) is a timepiece. You use the compass to orient the thing, swing up the gnomon (the triangular bit that throws the shadow on the sundial) and tilt the dial to match your current latitude which you read off the short curved scale shown on the picture in order to get the right time.

At least, I think that's what you do - there are no documents, instructions or descriptive matter included with it. I figured it out by thinking about it.

It's a nifty thing to look at, but isn't manufactured to the kind of standard that would make it truly functional. The latitude index isn't aligned with the dial hinge so it can't give an accurate setting, there are no indexing marks on the compass bezel to align the axis of the gnomon and though theoretically a device like this could be used as a compass by swinging the dial vertical and sighting using the gnomon base as the sight to get a bearing, it is too thick and probably isn't aligned with the compass pivot, and there's no marking on the case to align your eye with.

Indeed, mine wasn't manufactured well enough to withstand display on a desk since one of the screw-adjustable legs had been made smaller than the matching fitting in the unit itself.

I could probably have gotten an exchange but I'm going to be using this as part of a bigger steampunk prop, so I crazyglued the bad leg and saved myself the hassle.

So if you want a desk toy and can live with the chance you may have to return it, you'll get what you expect for a reasonable price. If you want a functional desk miniature, you need to look elsewhere and be prepared to spend a *lot* more money.
0Comment| 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 26, 2014
I got this astrolabe/compass for my husband for Christmas. What you ask do you get as a gift for the person who seems to know everything about everything when it comes to science, history and mostly historical science? I came across this and honestly did not know what it was but thought it looked super cool, I knew he did not have one, I also knew he probably already knew what it was and how to use it. I was right, when he pulled it out of the box his eyes lit up and he said it was the coolest astrolabe he had ever seen. I was right he knows how to use it and loves it as his new toy to play with and proudly put on display with all his other collectables he has.

It is a real pretty brass looking metal. I can not tell if it is very sturdy it looked a bit delicate to me to be honest I did not want to break it by messing with it so I just didnt. Though he did play with it for a while after getting it and it seemed to hold up to all that so I am giving it full stars at this time for super awesomeness and looking cool and lastly for seeming to be durable (at least to a reasonable point)

if for any reason it pops a spring (if it has one?) or falls apart for no reason (not counting kids and dropping it etc) then I will return and amend my post to reflect how durable it was not but so far it seems pretty good and I am extremely happy with it. (well I am happy HE is happy with it!)
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2016
Looks beautiful and functional.
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0Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 1, 2014
The instrument itself is gorgeous and wonderful. It only lost a star because the box in which it sits was poorly constructed on the inside and considerably low quality. The velvet was painfully thin and didn't cushion the instrument at all. It was sloppily glued into the box, and it had even begun to peel up in one corner. At least the instrument is gorgeous!
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 18, 2016
Came as described.....for the most part. A) it doesn't come with any instructions, but I at least already knew how to use it. B) if you're going to have leveling screws on it...for the sake of common sense have a leveling bubble on it. Otherwise you're just guessing. Yes, I realize it's 50/50 decoration/practical use, but still...add a leveling bubble on it and make it matching brass. C) some people have talked about a wooden box that came with theirs. Mine didn't. Thin box with hardly any bubble wrap. Although mine was not broken, I can easily see why other people's did arrive broken.

Anyways....that's my 2 cents worth. I'll be looking for others, but with this one, you get what you pay for. Just a few minor improvements would have made this purchase experience much better.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 29, 2016
The sundial is amazing, but the box it came in is really nice too! Great price for such a beautiful gift.
review image review image
11 comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 3, 2016
Totally wrong description
No Pouch.No Strap.No Users Manual.
Size descriptions are completely wrong.
Base is almost 5" across.
Clearly says in the description 2-1/8-Inch face only to arrive with over 4 inch face
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 16, 2015
I really like this brass compass and astrolabe. It is a great piece to set on your front room coffee table or tv stand. It is also functional as a compass and Astrolabe from historical times. I will try to see if I can learn to use the instrument as an star and planet guidance tool that it was designed for. It arrived very quickly after ordering and without any broken pieces on it. I will look at this sellers site again in the future if looking to buy any other types of instruments like this or others.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2013
This compass was awesome. It was everything I could have hoped for. It arrived quickly, was packaged really well and worked exactly as it should have. It was an all around great purchase.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse