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Old 26-07-2014, 02:21   #1
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What will Happen to you when GPS goes Down

How many people here even know how to get simple 3 point fix? I see so many computer geeks here talking about their Ipads and Iphones and crap.
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Old 26-07-2014, 02:48   #2
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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
How many people here even know how to get simple 3 point fix? I see so many computer geeks here talking about their Ipads and Iphones and crap.
you could hold up your am radio,and tune into a local radio station,then turn it till you find the "null" point direction then sail down that bearing.

used to work great for finding islands in the pacific and caribbean!

a 3 point fix is not much good if you don't have the chart to plot it on!
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Old 26-07-2014, 02:55   #3
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

If my GPS dies I'll just call for directions on my sat phone.
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Old 26-07-2014, 03:16   #4
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

As it happens, we carry paper charts, sextant, and can plot possies; also, we can do coastal piloting. So, the situation is aggravating, but not hysterical. Also have spare GPSes,. having backups for your backups is not a bad deal. In the old days, we have run DRs. For far too long, given overcast skies.

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Old 26-07-2014, 03:25   #5
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
you could hold up your am radio,and tune into a local radio station,then turn it till you find the "null" point direction then sail down that bearing.

used to work great for finding islands in the pacific and caribbean!

a 3 point fix is not much good if you don't have the chart to plot it on!
And it's also not much good out of sight of land. It's only good for pilotage.
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Old 26-07-2014, 04:17   #6
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

Guess I will fire up the VLF / Omega long range nav unit and plot the fix on paper. This should keep working until the big boys stop talking to submarines .
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Old 26-07-2014, 04:57   #7
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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
How many people here even know how to get simple 3 point fix? I see so many computer geeks here talking about their Ipads and Iphones and crap.
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?
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:00   #8
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

I will navigate like the ancients.... Follow a bigger ship into port.

Either that or hove to, get drunk, and wait till the GPS un goes down
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:05   #9
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

*HEAVE* !!!!
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:20   #10
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

If you know where you are and have a compass, you should be okay.
If you know where you are and need to get to an island, head for a large, unmoving cloud bank. Watch the birds if you see any.
If you can find the Big Dipper, you can find Polaris.
The sun will give you roughly east and west early and late in the day.
You can use the sun at any time of day and an analog wrist watch to determine South fairly accurately.

But you really need to know where you are. And you need a mental image of your relationship to the planet around you. and one of the biggest potential problems I see in myself when navigating via GPS alone is that with GPS I typically don't know where I am. Oh, I mean, I know in general terms, but not to any precision. I glance at that symbol on the screen and see that it needs to go a few more inches to get to that other blob on the screen, but this is definitely not the same as when navigating with charts or maps. Even driving, it's the same. I used to be monitoring my position on a map when looking for something. And I knew very accurately where I was. I was at the intersection of this and that street, or I was five point six miles from the turnoff.
With a paper chart or map, I have a constant spatial orientation and know, for example, that if I miss this turn, I can go about x distance and make the next left, etc. I have that image in my mind from studying the map, or marine or aeronautical chart.

The last few years we've been using a Garmin GPS to navigate when we're driving during our visits to the USA. And I've noticed that when using the GPS to direct our every move, we really don't know where we are. Oh, we could take a moment to look at the map on the GPS and orient ourselves if we wanted to, of course. It's not difficult. But the thing is, we don't do it. We don't need to. We have "Jack" ( the voice) to tell us when to turn next. And if we miss that turn, I suddenly realize just for a second, that I do NOT know where I am. It's not a panic, because I know that I will very shortly hear "Recalculating..." and then "Jack" will tell me what to do.
My typica situation is driving along, my mind totally on something other than navigation and relying on the GPS to tell me my next move, and I am so disconnected from the navigation mentally that I miss the turn even after being told three times that it was coming up. Now, at that point, just as I drove by the turn without making it, if the GPS went dead, would I know what to do? Would I have the mental image of the area right there clearly in my mind? Nope. Probably not.

If You ( and not your GPS) don't really know where you are to start with, it's going to be a little tougher to get where you're going.

Does anybody else still put pencil dots on their charts to keep track of where they are?
I was reduced to doing this again a couple years ago.
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:31   #11
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
If you know where you are and have a compass, you should be okay...
But you really need to know where you are. And you need a mental image of your relationship to the planet around you. and one of the biggest potential problems I see in myself when navigating via GPS alone is that with GPS I typically don't know where I am....
Well-said! I can't add anything there.

My contribution is that, yes, I'll be fine if the GPS quits, as long as I'm well off shore or on some sort of a longish course.

What the GPS brings me is the ability to get instant "local knowledge" of the tighter passages I'd probably otherwise avoid. Knowing for sure that the buoy or rocky islet ahead is the RIGHT one. In other words, with GPS I can run a course much closer to charted hazards, and with many more waypoints.

Without GPS, I'd probably stay further off shore, and run between a smaller number of easily-distinguished waypoints. And in a pinch, point the bow in the general direction of my destination and figure out the details as I got closer.
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:34   #12
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

We have the technology today to build electronic sextants using servo motors, and cameras to take sights automatically,you producing very accurate fixes, similar accuracy to gps. By using magnetometers measuring the earth field, it becomes possible to get a position fix from a single body shot.

Also take note that with the right equipment you can pick up the RF signature of heavenly bodies and therefore it is possible to make this fix with cloud cover and during daylight hours.

Using this technology would in fact make gps no longer needed, however the cost to build, physical size and power consumption would be a lot higher. The time when an amateur launches rockets which destroy a gps satellites is not far off.
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:48   #13
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

People who actually know how to navigate will be fine. I have always wished they would randomly turn it off one day a week. That way those folks who have no business out there would stay home!
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:00   #14
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
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?
To tell you the truth mate, I am afraid of how reliable the gps is. now you will laugh and say...ha! my gps has worked perfectly for the last 20 years! well thats 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 am not scared of electronics. An automatic sextant (that would also take im much other info) sounds like a more secure means of navigation.

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.

Whale blubber lamps are a fire danger on my ship.
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:22   #15
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Re: What will happen to you when gps goes down

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With tensions growing between Russia, China, Europe and USA, the likelihood of that happening increases.
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.
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