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Why won't a northern hemisphere compass work in the southern hemisphere?

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the north end of the needle points north no matter were you are. Unless you are on the north pole, then the needle wants to point straight down. Thus the need for weights on the needle based on how close you are to the north pole.

There are five regions for compasses based on proximity to the North pole - going from zone 1 for North America to zone 5 for Australia. The difference is tiny weights on the needle that prevent the needle from 'grounding out' and stopping moving by having the needle touch the inside of the case. But simply tilting the compass until the needle floats free will solve this. But you may not be able to hold the compass level or use if flat against a table unless you tilt the entire table until the needle is moving freely.

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