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Old 01-10-2016, 09:13   #166
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

But can you communicate with someone in the distance using smoke signals?


Nobody ever changes someone else's mind in these Internet arguments. They just escalate to the point of the ridiculous or personal insults.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:43   #167
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Zboss, what happens when the military turn off the GPS modern GPS sattelites don't even have this capability. The cost to industry is too high for GPS to ever be turned off again. The only way it will come down is an all out space war involving most of the worlds major economies...

...as happened during the first Gulf War? even during the Gulf War they didn't turn it off, just degraded the accuracy to about 100m

What happens when/if you suffer total 12v system collapse? i have battery backups

If you are struck by lightning mid-ocean? handheld and spare batteries stored in a metal box
I have mentioned this before in this thread... but while I accept accept as a theoretically possibility that the entire GNNS constellation could come down, I just can't see being able to navigate as a real issue. It would take WWIII for it even to be an issue, likely a multinational nuclear war.

Frankly in those circumstances navigation simply isn't going to be my concern.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:49   #168
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Zboss, what happens when the military turn off the GPS as happened during the first Gulf War?
The military did not turn off GPS in the first Gulf War. It was one of the first times it was used extensively in warfare.

GPS and the World's First "Space War" - Scientific American

GPS has pretty much replaced theodolite surveying in all forms of construction. Our local university has a highly reputed geomatics engineering department.

Geomatics Engineering | Schulich School of Engineering | University of Calgary
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:27   #169
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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. . . Nobody ever changes someone else's mind in these Internet arguments. They just escalate to the point of the ridiculous or personal insults.
If that's what you think, Ron, you're not doing it right. And you're not getting anything out of these forums. 99% of the arguments on here in fact end up with everyone understanding a lot more than they started with.

A good argument is a fine thing. The things you are right about, you learn to formulate and understand better, as you get challenged on them by people who disagree. They are doing you a big favor by disagreeing. And even far more valuable is wheen something you believe turns out to be wrong, and someone sets you straight, which happens to me almost every day. Just yesterday I found out, because someone argued with something I posted, that I had been living with a completely wrong idea about how echo chargers work.

If you have decided, before you even start, that you're never going to listen to or be convinced by anyone who challenges something you post, then what's the point of participating? What do you get out of it?

Good luck and regards, DH
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:57   #170
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Jackdale....that is not correct. Had you been sailing at the time then you would know this. I have stated this before so I shall remind you again.....it was turned off for a couple of days - there was apparently a concern that the Iraqis would use it. It was then reinstated.
Its incredible how many people can misrepresent someones posting in order to criticise it.



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The military did not turn off GPS in the first Gulf War. It was one of the first times it was used extensively in warfare.

GPS and the World's First "Space War" - Scientific American

GPS has pretty much replaced theodolite surveying in all forms of construction. Our local university has a highly reputed geomatics engineering department.

Geomatics Engineering | Schulich School of Engineering | University of Calgary
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:03   #171
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I couldn't help but add to a simply complex situation here.........

I learned this long ago.....it can cross over to sailing easily. Just substitute nautical terms..


Cat & Duck Method of Instrument Flight

The basic rules for the Cat and Duck method of instrument flight are fairly well known and are extremely simple. Here's how it's done:

1. Place a live cat on the cockpit floor; because a cat always remains upright, he or she can be used in lieu of a needle and ball. Merely watch to see which way the cat leans to determine is a wing is low, and if so, which one.

2. The duck is used for the instrument approach and landing. Because of the fact that any sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow her to the ground.

There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist, a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you, your passengers, and even an occasional tower operator:

1. Get a wide-awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all. It may be necessary to carry a large dog in the cockpit to keep the cat at attention.

2. Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will spend all their time washing. Trying to follow a washing cat usually results in a tight snap roll followed by an inverted spin (flat).

3. Use old cats only. Young cats have nine lives, but old, used-up cats with only one life left have just as much to lose as you do and will be more dependable.

4. Beware of cowardly ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright, she will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are no better in IFR conditions than you are.

5. Be sure that the duck has good eyesight. Nearsighted ducks sometimes fail to realize that they are on the gauges and go flogging off into the nearest hill. Very nearsighted ducks will not realize they have been thrown out and will descend to the ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is very difficult to follow in an airplane.

6. Use land-loving ducks. It is very discouraging to break out and find yourself on final for a rice paddy, particularly if there are duck hunters around. Duck hunters suffer from temporary insanity while sitting in freezing weather in the blinds and will shoot at anything that flies.

7. Choose your duck carefully. It is easy to confuse ducks with geese because many water birds look alike. While they are very competent instrument fliers, geese seldom want to go in the same direction as you. If your duck heads off for Canada or Mexico, you may be sure that you have been given the goose. From Instrument Flying by Richard Taylor
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:10   #172
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

...as happened during the first Gulf War? even during the Gulf War they didn't turn it off, just degraded the accuracy to about 100m. Not correct, it was turned off for a couple of days.

What happens when/if you suffer total 12v system collapse? i have battery backups

If you are struck by lightning mid-ocean? handheld and spare batteries stored in a metal box

Battery back up in mid-ocean? Good luck with that before all the batteries die.Hope you can keep the batteries fresh and have a plentiful supply. Not withstanding, you still need a handheld with preloaded charts and any such unit will eat batteries with all the zooming in and out. People that rely on this shall probably not have a paper chart. People forget that in the event of such a collapse (rare event, I grant) that engines wont be able to be started and radio’s wont work etc etc. Even basic items like modern compasses can be taken out by a lightning strike – so remember to add a hand bearing compass to your tin.
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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I have mentioned this before in this thread... but while I accept accept as a theoretically possibility that the entire GNNS constellation could come down, I just can't see being able to navigate as a real issue. It would take WWIII for it even to be an issue, likely a multinational nuclear war.

Frankly in those circumstances navigation simply isn't going to be my concern.
Not querying or disputing that!
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:43   #173
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

When I go offshore along with other redundancies I'll be taking a copy of Emergency Navigation: Pathfinding Techniques for the Inquisitive and Prudent Mariner
by David Burch.
It's jam packed with techniques depending on having little or no functioning devices. Have some kind of watch but not perfectly accurate, still useful. Have a piece of string and a board, that can give some useful information. Just methods to continue steering a straight course are pretty darned useful.

Are multi-frequency "GPS" receivers for the other systems (Galileo, Beidou, GLONASS) available yet?
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:16   #174
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Not 100% sure where this lecture came from, I never said anything for or against any form of navigation or piloting, just related what I saw on tv about the us military using paper when an "enemy" jammed their gps. Was interesting that they were set up and ready to go "old school" in the event of jamming.
The point is it's irrelevant to the discussion.

Military operates differently from civil. A military ship must expect at some point the opposing side will use any means available to get the better of them, including jamming GPS signals.

If a passing carrier group decides they don't like me and my boat. The status of my GPS is irrelevant.
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:22   #175
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
...as happened during the first Gulf War? even during the Gulf War they didn't turn it off, just degraded the accuracy to about 100m. Not correct, it was turned off for a couple of days.

What happens when/if you suffer total 12v system collapse? i have battery backups

If you are struck by lightning mid-ocean? handheld and spare batteries stored in a metal box

Battery back up in mid-ocean? Good luck with that before all the batteries die.Hope you can keep the batteries fresh and have a plentiful supply. Not withstanding, you still need a handheld with preloaded charts and any such unit will eat batteries with all the zooming in and out. People that rely on this shall probably not have a paper chart. People forget that in the event of such a collapse (rare event, I grant) that engines wont be able to be started and radio’s wont work etc etc. Even basic items like modern compasses can be taken out by a lightning strike – so remember to add a hand bearing compass to your tin.
Actually, it's not that hard to keep a reasonable supply of backup batteries. In the event all charging systems are out. Just turn the unit on for a couple minutes get a fix and then turn it off. A handheld should hold up for several days in that mode.

Also in a direct strike, the handheld compass may be off also but handheld or fixed, start estimating directions based on sun and stars and adjust you compass accordingly. The compass likely will still work, it will just not show the correct direction for north.
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:45   #176
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
...as happened during the first Gulf War? even during the Gulf War they didn't turn it off, just degraded the accuracy to about 100m. Not correct, it was turned off for a couple of days.

What happens when/if you suffer total 12v system collapse? i have battery backups

If you are struck by lightning mid-ocean? handheld and spare batteries stored in a metal box

Battery back up in mid-ocean? Good luck with that before all the batteries die.Hope you can keep the batteries fresh and have a plentiful supply. Not withstanding, you still need a handheld with preloaded charts and any such unit will eat batteries with all the zooming in and out. People that rely on this shall probably not have a paper chart. People forget that in the event of such a collapse (rare event, I grant) that engines wont be able to be started and radio’s wont work etc etc. Even basic items like modern compasses can be taken out by a lightning strike – so remember to add a hand bearing compass to your tin.
The GPS Sattelite has never been turned off since it became operational. Selective availability was turned on, decreasing the signal accuracy, and sattelites were repositioned during the Gulf War to increase TOS in the Middle East (in 1990-91 on 16/24 sattelites were in the air), but it was not turned off. They only turned on SA for a few days because there weren't enough military receivers, and a huge percentage of the GPS receivers in the field were civilian models bought privately by troops.

But even assuming that's the case, there are now multiple constellations flying, all owned by different countries. So it would take a coolition of the US, China, Russia, and the EU to turn off their sattelites, and most of the ones flying don't even have the capability for SA. In fact only the oldest US sattelites even could be degraded, none of the modern sattelites from any other country are even technically capable of SA anymore because the disruption Tom world commerce would be too high.

So the only plausible way to envision a complete collapse of the GNNS constellations would be a world war involving all four of these countries. At which point I suspect I will have other issues.
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:21   #177
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

The relevance of communicating with someone in the distance is a moot point. The subject matter is navigation. If we dont have power, and even if I knew how to communicate with smoke then there is reliance on the other party having the same ability. I would also need to be able to generate the smoke. As a sail boat I also appreciate wind and the smoke would not. Frankly, if there is so much resistance to knowing the basics of navigation what is the point as those same boats likely do not know much more than how to power up their electronic devices.
I think I can still can remember my morse, tho', and I do carry a signalling mirror. More effective than smoke and the mirror can be directed.
I am aware that some people do resort unneccessarily to arguements / insults when they have realise that have made weak statements and then will even escalate it to alternative threads just to argue. Sad when people do that.
Notwithstanding, we are all allowed our opinion......mine is to carry the 'traditional / old fashioned / antiquated' or what ever the techies wish to call it. Of course, we also do use current technology as well as it makes life easy and saves a shed load of time. The main point is that we are not dependent upon it and that is my comfort and my right, and no amount of derision shall influence that.



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But can you communicate with someone in the distance using smoke signals?


Nobody ever changes someone else's mind in these Internet arguments. They just escalate to the point of the ridiculous or personal insults.
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:33   #178
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

Hmmmm, to keep a supply of batteries is easy on land but how many people do this at sea? In theory, yes, but in reality its doubtfull. I purposefully made the event mid-ocean - you'll not be getting anywhere in a couple of days. Just getting a sat fix and zooming in / out scoffs batteries.
Im happy you mentioned the sun and stars ....already getting back to traditional navigation! How many people can adjust their compasses accurately using the sun and stars, especially when you do not your own position to start with? I certainly cannot do this - how is this done? I would love to learn how to. If a compass is not displaying north correctly why do you believe the compass shall be correct on other points? Im ready to learn on this.



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Actually, it's not that hard to keep a reasonable supply of backup batteries. In the event all charging systems are out. Just turn the unit on for a couple minutes get a fix and then turn it off. A handheld should hold up for several days in that mode.

Also in a direct strike, the handheld compass may be off also but handheld or fixed, start estimating directions based on sun and stars and adjust you compass accordingly. The compass likely will still work, it will just not show the correct direction for north.
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:42   #179
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

I haven't read every post but if my feeble memory serves me right a few years back there was a story in one of the powerboat mag's about a sportsfisher headed into New York Harbor, not exactly sure where, but it was on GPS auto pilot with everyone below all cozy, when at O'dark thirty in the morning they hit the jetty full bore.

The insurance wouldn't pay up after a lengthy battle, even when they proved that Obama was in town and the GPS signal had been degraded just enough for the boat to hit the jetty. Their out...no one at watch!

And seeing first time pilots in the late 80's run into mountains cause they didn't understand it was direct great circle , made me realize the only dependable nav aid is the MK 1 eyeball and the hair on the back of your neck.

No amount of electronics can substitute for common sense and knowledge of what you do. KiSS principle, when all else fails.
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:54   #180
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Re: Nobody really needs to know how to navigate anymore, do they?

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Hmmmm, to keep a supply of batteries is easy on land but how many people do this at sea? In theory, yes, but in reality its doubtfull. I purposefully made the event mid-ocean - you'll not be getting anywhere in a couple of days. Just getting a sat fix and zooming in / out scoffs batteries.
Im happy you mentioned the sun and stars ....already getting back to traditional navigation! How many people can adjust their compasses accurately using the sun and stars, especially when you do not your own position to start with? I certainly cannot do this - how is this done? I would love to learn how to. If a compass is not displaying north correctly why do you believe the compass shall be correct on other points? Im ready to learn on this.
We have a bag full of misc batteries. If you have battery operated devices, why wouldn't you have replacements?

I have a 6yr old tablet that only goes for about 2hrs (battery is getting old). If I turn it on twice a day for 5 minutes to get a position, that's good for about 12 days. When it was new, it was good for about 6hrs or around 36 days. We actually have 2 tablets, 2 smartphones, 2 laptops with USB-GPS, plus a dedicated handheld, so if batteries go on one, we can use another (and this is fairly typical of modern cruising boats). That's going to generally be good enough to get you to land.

I can also use them to get a compass heading if the stars aren't out and then compare that to the analog compass so I can hold a heading.

Let's say all electronics are down. No idea why you think you need to know your position to adjust your compass. At night find the north star. Point the boat at it and mark what your compass says. Then point the boat away from it and read the compass. Do the same thing with it on each beam and you can now set a heading based on the cardinal directions.

If you want to do it during the day, watch where the sun rises and sets and make a rough estimate based on your starting location Ie: if close to the equator at an equinox, sun rises in east and sets in west. If north, guestimate that it's a bit south of east/west.

If you are that far from land, you have plenty of time to think thru solutions.
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