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Old 01-11-2014, 15:49   #1
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Loran is back

I doubt that this will have any effect on our community, but eLoran has been activated along the UK coast as a backup to GPS. Go figure!!!

World War II tech eLoran deployed as GPS backup in the UK
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Old 01-11-2014, 15:53   #2
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Re: Loran is back

It's also coming to a few other places in the world (e.g. Korea). But not likely to be a full on contender to GPS.
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Old 01-11-2014, 17:00   #3
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Re: Loran is back

Interesting stuff, just did a bit of googling
Didn't come up with the info that I was after, which was if my fathers old Loran- c ( in the cupboard- still with.aerial) improved unit from the ninties would work with eloran

I found a pdf file from a report in 2010 which was discussing whether eloran was sustainable - which came up with a 60 upgrade cost,

Any body know any more?


Sent from my iPad.......i apologise for the auto corrects !!!
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Old 01-11-2014, 17:41   #4
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Re: Loran is back

Sweet! I've had this bad boy sitting on eBay for a couple years now. Pay dirt!
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Old 01-11-2014, 18:08   #5
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Re: Loran is back

BBC had a similar article about eLoran, and no mention that it was anything except "all new". I'd rashly assume that if there was any compatibilty with LoranC, in the receivers or transmitters, that would have been mentioned.

Of course if the system is only deployed at a half dozen British locations, there's zero incentive for mariners to install it. A number of us wrote in to the USCG saying it was a dumb idea to kill LoranC because having all the eggs in one disruptable basket wasn't a good idea, but that only bought it a little more time. To bring up a whole new system from scratch now...sounds like someone in Britain found a stash of leftover opium.
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Old 01-11-2014, 18:55   #6
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Re: Loran is back

No, they found a stash of leftover Loran transmitters...

Britain was really late coming to Loran, and fired up a bunch of new transmitters in the mid-90's - which were considered obsolete just as they were coming online. With other nations nearby shutting down Loran sites in the mid- to late-90s it didn't seem to make much sense.

Personally I think it was a huge mistake - updating instead of shutting down was the right thing to do. GPS is subject to interference from solar flares, and we have been fortunate lately that we are at an historic low. A terrestrial system like Loran is a very sensible backup. I guess we needed the money for Bush's wars...
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Old 02-11-2014, 00:42   #7
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Re: Loran is back

One consideration for the US at least is that LORAN is a coastal system that doesn't cover the entire country let alone the world. If something is going to "backup" GPS it has to have at least the same coverage and capability of GPS. LORAN can't provide near real time speed and direction like GPS. To get that requires inertial supplementation. Its positional accuracy is improved with eLORAN but still isn't better than GPS.

There are good reasons for some small countries to put up eLORAN but most of those reasons don't apply to the US.
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Old 02-11-2014, 00:54   #8
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Re: Loran is back

[QUOTE=CarinaPDX;1668142]
Britain was really late coming to Loran, and fired up a bunch of new transmitters in the mid-90's - which were considered obsolete just as they were coming online. With other nations nearby shutting down Loran sites in the mid- to late-90s it didn't seem to make much sense./QUOTE]

The UK (and Europe) of course had Decca. For a long time there was not really a need for Loran.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:17   #9
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Re: Loran is back

Yes, it is true they had Decca. And Loran in Norway and the eastern Mediterranean since Polaris subs came in (late 50's to early 60's IIRC). So although it would have been easy to fill in with Loran with some of the existing stations, Decca obviated the need. I understand Decca was quite good but very short range - Loran would have added a lot of coverage area at a much lower operating cost (there were LOTS of Decca transmitters in the British Isles, while 3 Loran transmitters would likely have done the job, plus they would be part of other continental chains). I think it was a missed opportunity, but then again tearing down the old Loran system in favor of GPS was an even greater lost opportunity.

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:47   #10
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Re: Loran is back

I miss twiddling thumbwheels and aligning pulses on the old Loran A sets. That was real science fiction stuff back in the day. Miss the smell and sound of the old stylus type fathometers, too.
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