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Old 19-08-2014, 12:52   #1
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Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

I need to get a hard copy of HO 249 and the Nautical Almanac to use with my sextant.

Does it matter greatly if I don't get the latest and greatest edition of either book? I don't want to wreck because of using out of date material...if that's any indication.

What do you recommend?
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Old 19-08-2014, 13:09   #2
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Re: Which to get? Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Vol 1 of HG249 (selected stars) is good for an 'epoch' of, I think, 10 years. Beyand that still useable but with diminshed accuracy and few take stars on yachts any way. Vols 2 and 3 good for ever.
An Almanac? Good for 1 year but can be used for another few years for stars and sun but not moon and planets, wait for a 2015 edition.
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Old 19-08-2014, 18:40   #3
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

You mean HO 249 don't you?
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Old 19-08-2014, 20:52   #4
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Just to make your life easier I'd get the current year nautical almanac. The commercial version is a little less expensive and if you are not going to use it until late spring or summer months you can get it cheaper by waiting until it is a few months old. I've watched prices get progressively lower as the months of the year get a little later.
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Old 19-08-2014, 22:27   #5
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

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You mean HO 249 don't you?
yep HO , finger trouble sorry.
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Old 20-08-2014, 00:55   #6
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Query: is there no place to access these tables on the web? I would have thought it to be a natural sort of thing to appear there. And what about the HO books... are they not published by the US Hydro folks (whatever they are called these days)? Things like the pilot books are IIRC available for free downloading.

Haven't done this research personally, and not interested enough nowadays to do so. Still have my 249 and 229 in storage somewhere!

Good luck, and good onya (OP) for wanting to do the celestial exercise.

Jim
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Old 20-08-2014, 12:27   #7
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Yes, they are on the web. I used to buy them because I liked to take them with me while sailing and I didn't have web access while at sea. The last one I bought I left with my friend so he could practice taking celestial shots.
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Old 20-08-2014, 14:50   #8
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

I've only been able to find dead links to the HO249 volumes. However almanacs can be found here Download
I can't imagine trying to use HO249 as a PDF..... you might as well download an electronic sight reduction program. Mike Harris (pangolin) and Mike Pepperday produced good stuff in that regard. Simple programs letting you make your own program using Basic... dunno whats out there these days.
By the way... the OP was enquiring about hard copy so we are drifting a bit. Speaking of thread drift... I am trying to resist the urge to buy a Frieberger sextant out of India... lots of good ones coming off ships that have gone to the breakers... but then I keep telling myself that I really don't need a third sextant.
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Old 20-08-2014, 15:00   #9
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Correct- I want a hard copy but don't want to have to keep buying new copies every year. It's understood that some of the material becomes out-of-date, however.

I did find HO 249 on the web. Looking at a PDF (on the screen) of HO 249 is very difficult and not as fast as paper.
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Old 20-08-2014, 15:08   #10
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

I think the current epoch for the 'selected stars' volume is 2015.. after that you hve to make small allowances for precession(sp) and nutation (aka in 'pingspeak' as earthwobble).... but its not a large amount ... the tables would still get you out of trouble in 10 or 12 years time...
Using the almanac in the following year involves adding so many hours, mins and secs to your times... can't remember what the actual figure is... info is in the back or maybe the front of the almanac somewhere... the bit full of interesting stuff that no-one reads.
That said I do find the Navsoft almanac pdf simple enough to use on a computer but I just can't imagine doing it with ho249... how do you position your ruler under a row of figures on a vertical screen
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Old 20-08-2014, 16:43   #11
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

I believe sun data is reusable in 4-year cycles. I tried this out and it more or less worked fine.

You can get astro data online and print out for the expected duration of your voyage.

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Old 20-08-2014, 17:22   #12
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I've only been able to find dead links to the HO249 volumes. However almanacs can be found here Download
I can't imagine trying to use HO249 as a PDF..... you might as well download an electronic sight reduction program. Mike Harris (pangolin) and Mike Pepperday produced good stuff in that regard. Simple programs letting you make your own program using Basic... dunno whats out there these days.
By the way... the OP was enquiring about hard copy so we are drifting a bit. Speaking of thread drift... I am trying to resist the urge to buy a Frieberger sextant out of India... lots of good ones coming off ships that have gone to the breakers... but then I keep telling myself that I really don't need a third sextant.
Those Friebergers are nice. I've used a couple of friends. I still like my ASTRA IIIB better. I don't think I'll be using them anymore so will probably offer it up to the CF before eBay.
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Old 20-08-2014, 19:22   #13
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

Uhh, guys, what I had in mind for the downloads was then printing out the parts that you needed for a given offshore passage. Using 249 (or any of the books with big rows/columns of tiny numbers) at sea was often instant mal-de-mer for me, and I quickly segued to using a HP-41 calculator with its little "Nav-pac" plugin rom. Later changed to a great old MS-DOS program called PCNAV IIRC which fit on a single floppy.

Anyhow, good luck with a suitable solution for your application.

Jim

PS I have on board a Freiberg sextant. I think I know where it is stowed... maybe! But it was a great deal back in the mid 80's when I bought it, and it served me well.
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Old 07-02-2015, 18:42   #14
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Re: Which to get Ho 249 and Nautical Almanac?

You can get The Nautical Almanac for any year here;

The Nautical Almanac

The site has links to get HO 249 for 2015

All free.
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