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    Re: Learn the stars, by phone
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2009 May 14, 23:06 +0200

    Having been a tank commander for many years I remember dismounting many
    times and taking a long walk out in front of the tank with my lensatic
    compass to take an azimuth, brings back memories.
    I spent even more years in the field artillery using an M2 Aiming circle
    to "lay" the the four, eight inch howitzers in my battery (establish a
    common direction of fire for all the guns in the battery) having to set
    it up at least 75 meters from the nearest artillery piece or large metal
    object (150 meters from power lines) and I had to "ground" my rifle and
    web belt (take it all off and lay it on the ground) at least 10 meters
    from the aiming circle so as not to disturb the compass needle in the
    aiming circle.
    While I was setting up the aiming circle my gun guides would be using
    their M2 compasses (actually Brunton Pocket Transits marked in mils
    instead of degrees http://www.brunton.com/product.php?id=144) to guide
    the guns into position before I could lay them. It is amazing how
    accurate and sensitive these instrument are to any ferrous metal and
    these precautions were necessary for accurately determining direction of
    James N Wilson wrote:
    > George:
    > Your discussion of problems with compasses reminded me of an ancient
    > experience--putting a compass in a tank. I headed a team to advise the
    > army, and they were looking for a more modern way than the existing one:
    > the tank commander stopped the tank, got out and walked fifty feet away
    > and read his hand compass. They had been sold on a scheme which had an
    > aircraft fluxgate compass on a fender, but it was awful. Deviation of up
    > to 300 degrees! I couldn't believe it. The only way it worked was with
    > the tank stopped on level ground pointing north. Not very utile.
    > A general asked me could GPS be used to get a heading. I asked our JPL
    > navigators about that, and they came up with two schemes that could do
    > the job. Of course, that's common now, and a lot more.
    > Jim Wilson
    > ____________________________________________________________
    > Digital Photography - Click Now.
    > >
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