A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2016 Feb 13, 14:15 -0800
Gary LaPook, you wrote:
"... while you reach for your smart phone than has the voice recorder app running."
This seems like a good place to bring up a simple solution to the whole problem of recording times and sights, at least for practice sights on land, but also for real sights when basic electronics are permitted. Use video-recording. Any smartphone can do this, and these days even in twilight. It's helpful to have some sort of stand or support for your phone, like a selfie-stick. Turn on the video recorder, point it at an accurate UT clock at the beginning. When you take a sight, call out "mark" as usual, then let the camera look at the sextant for the reading, and repeat. At the end, you may want to point the camera at a clock again. You can review the video at your leisure in some app/software that shows tenths of seconds timestamps, and it will give you the times of your sights to a quarter of a second accuracy without difficulty, and of course you have plenty of time to read the micrometer from the video allowing you many more sights sequentially. I bet you could quadruple your sights this way, and by averaging, assuming no other issues, increase your fix accuracy by a factor of two.