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Old 26-07-2014, 06:40   #16
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

What about a good solar flare like the one that almost hit us in 2012?

That won't just ruin the GPS network. It will kill your email, ATMs, satellites, electrical networks etc etc. There is a 15% chance of a repeat that hits the earth in the next 10 years! Are you ready?

We will just go back to what we did in the 80s..... sextant, water catching tarps, compass, wind vane, etc.

The latest newbies will press the EPIRB button and then die.
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:11   #17
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

There is too much commerce tied to GPS - It won't get shut off.

There are too many other things to worry about besides losing GPS.

True story from the only man I call "Captain" - Indian Ocean. Captain and 3 crew. Overcast for 4 days no sun shot no celestial shot. Blown off course. No idea where they are. Crew seriously about to mutiny and demanding they head for Africa - its hard to miss. Captain trying to keep order. 5th day got a shot.

Sextant navigation has its issues.
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:22   #18
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

Who has only one GPS on board? We have 10, and most of those snuck onboard hidden in other things. Our cameras have GPS's in them! Phones, tablets, HH, AIS, stand alone systems, a hockey puck, VHF - the list goes on.

The "military" isn't going to shut off the GPS system because it has no reason to. Europe and Russia have their own (and some of our equipment can use those too). The US economy would simply cease to exist if the GPS system was cut off, not to mention law enforcement issues, etc.

Solar flares? The last big one didn't do much to hurt things. Pretty much everyone can go dark for a couple of hours with no issues, if needed. Besides, the probability of being underway in an area where the GPS just happened to be critical at that exact moment is very rare.

But the OP makes the big, yet common, mistake of putting themselves above others and assuming those that use electronics for navigation don't know anything else. If you are talking about weekend warriors in Searays, then they will just point their boat to shore and go back home.

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Old 26-07-2014, 07:24   #19
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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Originally Posted by d design View Post
because the United states military has not pressed the off switch yet. With tensions growing between Russia, China, Europe and USA, the likelihood of that happening increases.

I don't think so. The last time the US went to war they did exactly the opposite of pressing the GPS of switch...


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Old 26-07-2014, 07:26   #20
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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The time when an amateur launches rockets which destroy a gps satellites is not far off.


Nah. Killing a GPS satellite isn't that easy. And you'd have to kill lots of them.


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Old 26-07-2014, 07:33   #21
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

What if ET's friends land in the space ship bend my VHF antenna, beat me with the handheld Garmin and then take my Raystar 130 for themselves to get back to the mothership?

This would seem to be the most likely scenario of all presented thus far
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:35   #22
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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I know how to build a gps jammer that I can use on a vessel to make it appear in a different location or shut it down all together.:
It is no longer to safe to admit knowing such things. At least anywhere in the world the US intelligence, military or law enforcement can get to you . . . . which is pretty much most places you'd want to be.
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:42   #23
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

The number of GPS units aboard is not as important as the number of distinct navigational skill sets.
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:55   #24
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

If the constellation goes down:
- we can use GLONASS,

If our main unit goes down:
- we switch to another, this is a 30'' job in our case,

If all our units go down (e.g. lightning):

deep offshore:
- we take our last sat fix, make a celestial fix,

offshore:
- we take our last sat fix, go DR,

inshore,
- we continue piloting.

So to say, I cannot see any problem.

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Old 26-07-2014, 07:56   #25
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

To answer your question, I know how to do it but I've never sailed in unfamiliar waters without a GPS so I've never had to.

Never seen a sextant other than in magazines and movies. Might be interesting to learn how to use one someday.
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:57   #26
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

If it really does go down then big bad things are happening so maybe best to stay offshore. Position is only one use.. http://www.gps.gov/applications/timing/
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Old 26-07-2014, 07:58   #27
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

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The "military" isn't going to shut off the GPS system because it has no reason to. Europe and Russia have their own (and some of our equipment can use those too). The US economy would simply cease to exist if the GPS system was cut off, not to mention law enforcement issues, etc.
The US military won't but that doesn't mean others couldn't such as Russia or China both of whom have anti-satellite weapons and their own alternative positioning systems. Of course we are on very good terms with both of those nations so that would be a very very very remote possibility to consider.

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Solar flares? The last big one didn't do much to hurt things. Pretty much everyone can go dark for a couple of hours with no issues, if needed. Besides, the probability of being underway in an area where the GPS just happened to be critical at that exact moment is very rare.
That depends on what you consider a big solar flare. The last big one was in 1989 which knocked out power in Quebec, affected some satellites and disrupted radio communication world wide. Flares that large seem to occur several times a year though the earth is only takes a direct hit (such as in 1989) about every 30-40yr.

And then there is the solar storm of 1859 which caused aurorae as far south as Hawai'i and damage to telegraph systems around the world. Such an event now would damage power systems around the world and damage or destroy a significant percentage of satellites currently in orbit. While it was a 500 yr event and was 165yr ago, that doesn't mean we have 300-odd years to the next one, that means the average interval is 500yr, we could have another one like that tomorrow.
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Old 26-07-2014, 08:32   #28
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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If it gets to the point that they turn off GPS then the world may have bigger problems.

In which case drifting in the middle of the Pacific suit me just fine.

Sounds perfect
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Old 26-07-2014, 08:41   #29
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Re: What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

like the OP said: when the GPS system goes down you may have much greater problems to face than finding your way to the next port. and make sure you have multiple devices with batteries onboard. just one geek's opinion.
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Old 26-07-2014, 08:53   #30
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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Do you have any electronics on your boat?

Why do you trust them?

You should remove them all and get some whale blubber lamps.

Perhaps you are just afraid of GPS and can't understand how to use it.

Would you like some help?
Help? From someone advocating building molotov cocktails from the flesh of murdered marine mammals?!?
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