Compass bearings from my phone?

Can anyone recommend an app for an android phone that will give me a compass bearing to a place I can pick from a map from my GPS location?

I can’t find a way to do it easily in either Google maps, os maps app or all trails. It’s seems like a huge oversight to me!

Specifically, I want to find a bearing to a location so I can turn my beam antenna in the right direction (and be better than dead reckoning and estimating from a map!) I now have a portable 2m/70cm log periodic beam I want to use to the greatest effect by pointing it as accurately as possible in a direction!

I know you can get S2S bearings from the sota database, but I was hoping to drop a pin on map and it tell me the bearing based on my current GPS position. Seems like this should be easy to do, but I can’t find a way.

All help appreciated and thanks in advance

73 Dave


I’m using Locus Map on my Android mobile and it does just what you need (among many other things). Uses online and offline maps.
But it may be overkill for just one thing that you need.


It must be one hell of a LP if you need a compass to aim it. :slight_smile:
Most have beamwidths measured in tens of degrees. The Wimo 14(28) element 2/70cms LP has a horizontal beamwidth of 60degrees. That’s not something that is going to need exact pointing accuracy.


OS locate.


I also use OS Locate (but on my iPhone - I assume it’s functionally the same on Android). Comparing it with my Silva compasses it seems accurate.

And I too use it to point my (3-element) 2m Yagi in roughly the right direction (though I ‘fine-tune’ that direction during the chaser’s over).

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Thanks, Valdi.

I’ve downloaded the app, but not figured out how to get the bearing similar to your screenshot. I’ve only opened it for about a minute, so I’m sure it’ll be obvious when I actually dive into the app!



It is the wimo antenna. I’m aware that it is not hyper-directional! :smiley: but there is an OCD part of me that wants a bearing, I’m an engineer and I like precision :wink:

I more surprised that the os map app didn’t do this. When navigating a predefined route using the app it puts your position and direction on the map, but it’s indicative rather than super accurate. The last couple of summits I did I realised that, had the weather closed in, I would have struggled to walk on a bearing as I only had digital maps with me and couldn’t get a bearing easily from them. I usually have a Silva compass in my pack and paper maps, if I already own them, but digital is more convenient and cheaper!

Ah, it’s off by default. Look in “Hamburger menu” - Settings - Maps - Auxiliary graphics - Cursor to position line.

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Precision with a 60deg beamwidth? :slight_smile: You can have accuracy in that you’re pointing it the best way but precision? Well you need to be within 30degs of the target as 30deg either way of pointing the main lobe at the target and you’ll see 1/2S point difference in the signal strength.




I check my yagi bearing plots before I leave home. I use Garmin Basecamp software for Win or MAC.

The best iPhone app to plot antenna bearings is DBHamPlus.

73, Andrew VK1AD

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Hi Andrew yes nice free App, but you have to know the target locator :wink:

73, Éric

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Or you can plot the bearing by selecting two points (with your finger) via the map interface page.



In the UK we have various beacons that can be used to roughly align the beam - we used to have more, but sadly some have been QRT for many years. I use a 5 element yagi and a quick check on the Kent beacon usually suffices for me to mentally orientate myself on the summit. One thing I’ve had to remember is how far west most of Scotland is relative to the meridian. Although I’ve never used OS Locate to align my beam, it does help me get the right path off the summit which saves trekking across rough ground after having taken the wrong path. :wink:


I hope you get what you want, Dave, but in practice it is very rare to actually need a bearing: perhaps if you are looking for a very weak beacon signal then that antenna needs to be aimed with an accuracy of 10 - 15deg, but for an activation you will just peak the beam on any reply that you hear. That reply will not necessarily peak on the direct compass bearing to its location, with the vagarities of V/UHF I have worked stations well off the direct bearing and in a few cases about 180deg off where the direct path was blocked but there were useful reflections. Its all part of the fun!


A good compass will do just as well and doesn’t need a battery.

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