Prismatic Compasses

#1
Hello all

My dear old Dad has an old 1945 stamped Prismatic compasss, which has developed a bubble in it over the last few years.
Does anyone know if they can be "serviced"? And of course, if they can, who are the people to speak to.

Thanks

Bill
 
#2
I'd be interested in the answer to this one as well! I too have a vintage WW2 compas in my collection - and a "Cavalry School" compass from WW1! Both in their nice brown leather cases.
 
#4
I have a similar problem and some time ago put prismatic compass in to google. Got a shop in London who serviced them but the price was high and I took it no further.
 
#5
After a bit of Googling, I found that the manufacturer of British Army prismatic compasses (at some time in the past, at least) was Francis Baker & Sons. They no longer trade, having been taken over by Pyser SGI Ltd, but Pyser continue to make and repair prismatics.

I doubt they're cheap, but here's their web address:
http://www.pyser-sgi.com/
 
#6
I believe the Gunners still use Prismatic Compasses of this vintage and they are (or certainly were up until a few years ago) serviced by REME optronics.

It's been a while since I've used one but try again on the Gunners or REME forum and you should get the definitive on this.

GOTW
 
#7
They can be serviced, you need to find a REME Inst tech really. If I was still in I'd do them for you, as armourers used to them in NI
 
#8
putteesinmyhands said:
After a bit of Googling, I found that the manufacturer of British Army prismatic compasses (at some time in the past, at least) was Francis Baker & Sons. They no longer trade, having been taken over by Pyser SGI Ltd, but Pyser continue to make and repair prismatics.

I doubt they're cheap, but here's their web address:
http://www.pyser-sgi.com/
I have an older style M73 (brass case painted green , rather than ABS plastic case on current model) that has a bubble in it and the Tritum is dead. Just come off the phone from Pyser-sgi, and they say it will cost approx £80-100 to service, remove bubble, renew trtium and re-calibrate.

I'm going to drop in on Monday and get mine sorted out.

(This will be the second time I've had this one serviced. Last time it was done was the late 80s by W F Stanley & Co, of New Cross, London. They are no more, but the brand is owned by an american distributor and dealer of compasses. He does not do servicing!)
 
#10
Prismatics of this age may not be touched (repaired) due to the level of radiation inside them is higher than the present ones.
We only found this out last year during an LSI/ECI inspection, when one of our Divisions lost a prismatic so the CQMS bought a vintage one off of ebay thonking it the same, etched on the serial number and handed it in for repair/ exchange. When the guy inspecting saw it he flapped cleared the room and got out a rediation tester and the needle went through the roof.
So no one in the british army INCLUDING THE ROYAL ARTILLERY!!!) uses them any more they have the newer ones!!!!!!!
 
#11
Prismatics of this age may not be touched (repaired) due to the level of radiation inside them is higher than the present ones.
We only found this out last year during an LSI/ECI inspection, when one of our Divisions lost a prismatic so the CQMS bought a vintage one off of ebay thonking it the same, etched on the serial number and handed it in for repair/ exchange. When the guy inspecting saw it he flapped cleared the room and got out a rediation tester and the needle went through the roof.
So no one in the british army INCLUDING THE ROYAL ARTILLERY!!!) uses them any more they have the newer ones!!!!!!!
 
#13
I remember getting issued one of the old 'rib cracker' prismatic compasses at RMAS in the early 90s.

I know this is off-topic but what a waste of space a prismatic is for routine navigational use. Surely, they are only worth the extra bulk when you have a real need to, eg, steer bombs to within a few dozen mils.

Incidentally, it makes my blood boil to hear stories like the 'CQMS bought one off Ebay' above. What a plonker. Why on earth did he not simply report it? How stifled by the CoC can anyone be in this day and age to not have the courage to stand up and be counted, warts n all?
 
#14
pupgreen said:
is that why i glow in the dark,, or is it down to the ready break i had as a kid.
No. That's because you keep rubbing yourself.
 
#15
All they are used for is when the SASC courses do range recces. We dont issue them for tactics now cos its easier to use a silva compass.
 
#16
Bill_Zebub said:
Hello all

My dear old Dad has an old 1945 stamped Prismatic compasss, which has developed a bubble in it over the last few years.
Does anyone know if they can be "serviced"? And of course, if they can, who are the people to speak to.

Thanks

Bill
I dont know if this applies to the 1945 version, but later ones were designed with a bubble trap. The idea is that if you turn the compass upside down and back again repeatedly, the bubble gets trapped. The bubble in your dad's compass may be too big anyway.
 
#17
As for him buying it on ebay this guy seriously flaps. He had a set of binos go missing on the last course he had so instead of reporting it he snapped a pair into 2 and tried passing them off as 2 seperate sets!!!!!!!
 
#18
This lovely chap, Stuart, will repair/refurbish/clean a Stanley G150 prismatic compass for a reasonable price. He can be contacted by e-mail at:

bcco@btinternet.com

He just cleaned, refurbished, re-calibrated and replaced 5 GTLS lights in mine for £60. Very reasonable rates.

However, he does this as a hobby, not a business, but turnaround is fairly quick.

WOTW
 
#19
smudge67 said:
They can be serviced, you need to find a REME Inst tech really. If I was still in I'd do them for you, as armourers used to them in NI
You mean you'd:
a. 1043 it,
b. Send it to workshops,
c. Swap it for some one's that works fine?

CC_TA
 
#20
Hey im guessing this prob been asked but mate has a prismatic compass (quite recent issue) that he got during his service, and now has a bubble in it, anyone got a link to a company or person that will repair it without it getting noticed as "missing".

thanks
 

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