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Old 05-08-2011, 16:42   #1
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A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

We have been getting reports all day from folks that are experiencing failures of their GPS on board their boats and in their cars. Be sure you are carrying your paper charts for back up......
Recent solar flare may disrupt your GPS - CNN.com

Chuck
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Old 05-08-2011, 17:00   #2
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
Be sure you are carrying your paper charts for back up...
What does carrying paper charts have to do with GPS availability? Be sure to see if your compass or sextant works might be better advice.
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Old 05-08-2011, 17:17   #3
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

My compass will tell me what direction I am going but not where I am and a sextant is of very little help if you can't use it to plot your position on a chart. And the point had more to do with the solar flares affect on GPS than taking the post literally about the chart. Chuck
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:13   #4
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

I carry my sextant in my car where ever I go. A good noonsite is invaluable on I-80 in Nevada...

(BTW point well taken- this was brought up years ago when a fishing derby off the Atlantic coast and there was massive failure. I hear boats showed up from Georgia to North Carolina. Some didn't even have working compasses on board)
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:35   #5
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

Here is a YouTube video from NASA yesterday,

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Old 06-08-2011, 08:40   #6
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

When it comes to a sextant it is practice, paractice and practice.
You can plot your position on a universal chart, then transfer that position to you ECDIS.
Though the GPS may be down. The ECDIS is working and you can do DRs on it while backing up the DR with positions from either a sextant or coastal plotting.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:50   #7
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

If the GPS doesnt work for a day its still giving you better, more accurate positions than a sextant that at best can ever only be used one a day.

Mark
PS I saw 2 satellites fall out of the sky last night.
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Old 06-08-2011, 18:32   #8
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop Outs

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
If the GPS doesnt work for a day its still giving you better, more accurate positions than a sextant that at best can ever only be used one a day.

Mark
PS I saw 2 satellites fall out of the sky last night.
I've found that people with little or no experience with a sextant are always putting them down. The Acturacy comes from the skill of the user and not from the unskilled useless nah-sayers.
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Old 06-08-2011, 18:50   #9
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

Even when the GPS is working well it is worth it noting down your position on a paper chart or at least in the logbook every few hours just in case everything goes kablooey when you're offshore.
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Old 06-08-2011, 19:16   #10
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

Being a newbie, I just stay in the harbor and watch for big clouds, so I can beat it back to the mooring in under 15 minutes - 1/2 KIDDING. I JUST bought a boat to live aboard, and cannot wait. I think this winter will be spent taking a coursem watching some of those Annapolis Sailing DVDs just for refresher, going over paper and computer charts, learning the basics of all my equipment - even playing with rope to learn different knots, etc. And of COURSE - looking at toys to buy, like accessories.

Seriously, I am NOT a nerd, but I find charts fascinating, and I WILL also learn to use a sextant, as I think that is a good skill to have. A GPS, like most equipment, is nice to have (some would say vital), but not to rely on as the only way to know where you are/navigate, etc.
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Old 06-08-2011, 19:19   #11
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

What's a comp...compuss? Some new kind of iphone or something? Oh I remember, it has something to do with deadly reconnoitering.
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Old 06-08-2011, 19:48   #12
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

A sextant is a wonderful instrument to use. my problem was the tables and calcs which I ovecame with an astro calculator. Nowerdays there are cheap computer programs to do the same calcs for you....easy!
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Old 06-08-2011, 20:59   #13
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

Here is a photo from Spaceweather.com that shows a "hole" in the sun which is "supposed" to eject massive bad stuff at the Planet Earth.
- - Forget the 2012 Mayan Calendar dooms day stuff, the latest "doomsday" UTubes have the world's electrical power grids wiped out next year and we all get thrown back to the "dark ages" before electricity.
- - Supposedly sextants will not help any as your electrical calculators will not work.
- - So the only thing to do is to run around in circles screaming "The end is coming" as quickly as you can and then dig a hole and crawl in - - or - - set sail in your minimalist budget sailboat and laugh all the way to paradise.
- - Oh! us folks with bigger and fancier boats will have to get used to doing things the simple way without the fancy electronics and autopilots, etc. But still, isn't it nice to be a cruiser?
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Old 06-08-2011, 21:01   #14
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

I was using my GPS all day Friday, no problems.
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Old 06-08-2011, 22:17   #15
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Re: A Lot of GPS Drop-Outs

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Here is a photo from Spaceweather.com that shows a "hole" in the sun which is "supposed" to eject massive bad stuff at the Planet Earth.
- - Forget the 2012 Mayan Calendar dooms day stuff, the latest "doomsday" UTubes have the world's electrical power grids wiped out next year and we all get thrown back to the "dark ages" before electricity.
- - Supposedly sextants will not help any as your electrical calculators will not work.
- - So the only thing to do is to run around in circles screaming "The end is coming" as quickly as you can and then dig a hole and crawl in - - or - - set sail in your minimalist budget sailboat and laugh all the way to paradise.
- - Oh! us folks with bigger and fancier boats will have to get used to doing things the simple way without the fancy electronics and autopilots, etc. But still, isn't it nice to be a cruiser?
Absolutely. And, after the initial panic and scramble, the cruising community (must be commies or sum'thin) with sort it out and begin adapting to the new techniques of getting from here to there. Look forward to seeing you there.
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