A marine gyro compass assembly is a modern gyroscope designed to automatically find geographical directions. Although gyroscope is one important component of a gyro compass, these are not the same devices; a gyro compass is built to use the effect of gyroscopic precession, which is a distinctive aspect of the general gyroscopic effect. Gyroscope consists of a perfectly balanced wheel arranged to spin symmetrically at high speed about an axis or axle. The wheel, or rotor, spins about its own axis and, by suspending the mass in a precisely designed gimbals assembly, the unit is free to move in two planes each at right angles to the plane of spin. There are therefore three axes in which the gyroscope is free to move.
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