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    Re: LORAN-C to be shut down.
    From: Jeremy C
    Date: 2009 Dec 4, 15:43 EST
    Yeah, not so much RDF anymore.  The long range stations are all shut down, the short range stations are shut down, and this past year they even removed the requirement for the RDF exemption certificate (the piece of paper stating that you didn't need to carry it any more.)  I haven't seen a working RDF Rx since 1998 on the training ship and even then, the only stations I could take bearing on were commercial AM stations.  Those of course weren't too useful as you didn't know where the actual antenna was located.
     
    Very soon after I took my 2nd mates license in 2002, the USCG eliminated all of the ocean LORAN lattice and RDF questions from the pool.  They still have the short range piloting LORAN problems on the coastal chart plots, but with the demise of LORAN, they will surely change those questions as well.
     
    The SAR folks still have RDF for their searches, but it's not used for navigation in my experience.
     
    Jeremy
     
    In a message dated 12/4/2009 2:48:32 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, brucerhamilton---.com writes:
    If GPS goes dark, Jeremy will be in a great position to negotiate a salary raise.

     I had great hope for e-loran as going to a single system with no redundancy seems risky at best. Even when Loran C coverage was poor, even the information from a single chain would give you something to work with. In the middle of Lake Superior, coverage was always spotty, and on the East Coast of Canada we would often be on a single chain only 50 miles off the coast.

    Jeremy, do you still have a working RDF?  I used them on aircraft all the time, but must admit the one on the first ship I was on was not often used and this was pre-gps. I have a working portable (Ray Jefferson) RDF that I am going to try in a friend's boat. It is a pity that the technology got left behind in the GPS age as the modern RDF's are apparently very good and very quick. The signal from the multiple antennas is instantly processed and you get an bearing read out.  The Canadian Coast Guard use them to get instant fixes from distress signals in pre-GMDSS days. They have remote stations they use to get a cross bearings from. No GPS required.

    I know we have some commercial air pilots on the list and was wondering if they thought an aircraft RDF unit could be easily mounted on a boat. The aircraft industry seems to be the only ones making small units these days.  I might go ocean cruising with a friend who is presently re-fitting his boat, and I am a big fan of redundancy, and thought this might be a workable solution.

    A fine page of old RDF units <http://www.angelfire.com/space/proto57/rdf.html>



    On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 8:09 AM, <Anabasis75---.com> wrote:
    I read the following on a maritime forum site.  Looks like LORAN-C systems run by the US will be shut down sooner than we thought.
    -----------------------------
    The US Coast Guard released an internal message advising of the imminent termination of the long range aid to navigation Loran-C. Current plans call for the termination process to commence on 4 January 2010. The process is expected to take several months. ALCOAST 675/09 (11/25/09). Note: This will mark the end of an era that started during World War II. The Loran system has improved greatly over the years and was on the edge of yet another advance: to enhanced Loran (eLoran). It is unclear how other nations, which operate their own independent Loran-C systems, will react to this development.
    Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 1 December 2009
    ------------------------------
     
    Not that this will affect many large ships.  My ship hasn't had LORAN capabilities since the antenna broke 3 years ago and the captain was too afraid to order a new antenna.  Most merchant ships are utterly dependent on GPS at this point, and would have a tough time remembering how to use the sextant if it came down to that point.  It will only get worse when the younger generations take command, having never known a time without GPS.
     
    JCA

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