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

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Re: How Many Chronometers?
From: George Huxtable
Date: 2009 Sep 22, 09:55 +0100

```Gary wrote-

"Back to using cheap quartz watches for chronometers. I have stopped my
experiment since there is a very obvious change in their rates at -5� F
(-20�C)compared to my room temperature which is very close to the 25�C at
which quartz watches are designed to work. After accounting for the fact
that all three watches had been gaining every day, the three watches showed
a change of rate -4.6, -3.7 and -3.3 seconds per day when operated 45�C
colder than the designed temperature. After running this result through the
formula for predicting this change in frequency it appears that the constant
in that formula, for these watches, should be .02 ppm rather than the
commonly quoted .04 ppm. Using this constant, a temperature change of +/-
5�C from a cabin temperature of 25�C would only cause a change of rate of
.04 seconds per day."

==========================

Gary has deduced, from the change in rate between two temperatures, that the
coefficient of temperature change of the crystals in his watches is more
like .02 parts per million per degree-squared that the commonly-quoted value
of .04. And he may well be correct. But he may be jumping to conclusions;
there are other possibilities.

John Huth ("Apache Runner") had suggested previously that some degree of
temperature compensation can be applied to a crystal oscillator to improve
its timekeeping. Which is perfectly true, though I suspect unlikely in the
cheap watches that Gary is discussing.

Rather more likely, in my view, is that the crystals in Gary's watches may
have been cut so that, intentionally or otherwise, the central temperature
at which the rate is greatest is at a rather lower temperature than the 25�C
that Gary has asssumed. If the rate peaked around 15�C rather than 25�C,
then the rate changes Gary observed between his two trial temperatures would
fit in reasonably well with that coefficient of .04 parts per million per
degree-squared. That could be determined by another rate check made at a
more elevated temperature, perhaps 35 or 40�C.

====================

As a non-navigational side-issue, I told only half the story about using
hot-water-bottles in British winters in my childhood.

Rubber hot-water-bottles were, to us, an innovation. They had recently
supplanted stoneware jars: half-gallon vessels with screw caps (returnable
to the shop for a refund) that were sold with "pop" (fizzy lemonade) or
cider, being bomb-proof against internal pressures.

I come from a large family, with never enough rubber bottles to go round on
a cold night, so if you were unlucky you got a stone jar instead. They did
their job well enough, but the problem arose when the bottle cooled off. It
could be pushed to one side, but woe betide the child who let it slip out of
bed. The noise as it crashed to the floor could (and did) wake the entire
household.

George.

contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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```
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