Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Almanac For Computers
    From: John Kabel
    Date: 1996 Aug 22, 10:10 EDT

    A favourite tool for many navigators, including Space Shuttle pilots and Apollo
    astronauts, seems to have been the older Hewlett-Packard calculators.  One
    series allowed you to insert a magnetic media strip about 1.5 X 7.0 cm into a
    special reader on the top of the keyboard.  I doubt that a lot of these are
    still in service, however.  But, I got a nice new HP48-GX for Christmas.  This
    allows the insertion of programs in the form of ROM (Read-Only Memory) cards,
    which are not as susceptible to magnetism, sparks, etc. as the older magnetic
    strips.  The ROM cards do not depend on batteries, and should not be confused
    with the RAM cards that are also available for the same calculators.  And they
    hold a lot more program.
     I recently purchased the Celestial Navigation Pac from Sparcom in Corvallis,
    OR.  Now that is a hadny thing to have.  But, it makes you dependent on an
    electronic device.  So, you have to be careful to heed all the warnings about
    batteries for the calculator, etc.  And you must heed the "Sage Advice" section
    in the manual that tells you to learn all about celestial navigation, and not
    to become dependent on the program.  And it works only with the HP48 SX and GX
    series.  So you need to spend the big bucks on one of those scientific
    calculators first!
    Having said that, I will tell you that the Pac is great!  An almanac good till
    at least 2030 and probably far beyond that with slight errors, and many
    subroutines for calculating sailings, rhumb line vs great circle courses (and
    lengths), simulating great circles with a series of rhumb lines, and all the
    standard sight reduction tools you could ask for.   At about US $100, it's paid
    for in three to four editions of the NA.
    I am having some difficulty in that some of the nicer features are not
    described in the manual.  Apparently there have been programming enhancements,
    such as inclusion of  a dip short calculation, and other add-ons like saving
    dead reckoning positions under variable names.  These aren't in the manual.
    Any help or discussion from the group about these undocumented goodies would be
    much appreciated.
    John Kabel, AP  Phone: (519) 453-9376 (H)
    937 Apache Rd.   (519) 667-7716 (W)
    London, Ontario  FAX: (519) 667-7725 (W)
    N5V 2V7  E-Mail: John_Kabel.ault@XXX.XXX
    This mail list is managed by the majordomo program.
    To unsubscribe from this list, send the following message
    to majordomo@XXX.XXX:   unsubscribe navigation
    For help, send the following message to majordomo@XXX.XXX: help
    Do NOT send administrative requests to navigation@XXX.XXX -ben

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site