A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2012 Oct 4, 11:44 -0700
Brad, you wrote:
"There are various apps that are capable of setting your android cell phone time to a high degree of precision. "Clock Sync" and "UTC Time" are two, there are others."
Yes. I've used UTC Time for quite a while, though it seems that some of its functionality is no longer available (the map?).
And you wrote:
"The main problem with these is that you need to 'root' your phone, not a terrific idea IMHO. "
For folks who may not know what this means... "rooting" the phone means breaking the phone's built-in operating system security so that you can treat it like a home computer and basically install any compatible software on it including modified versions of the operating system (the Android operating system is available "for free" as part of Google's evil plan for world domination). I don't quite agree with those who say that you have to root the phone to get correct time on earlier Android phones. This only applies to the system time, which is the time displayed by ordinary clock applications. But there are plenty of apps that can display standard time accurate to a fraction of a second. These ignore the system time and get time from either of two independent sources: Internet time servers or the GPS satellites. And there's probably an app out there that does both. When I want to know the exact time, accurate to a fraction of a second, I launch "UTC Time" for Internet time or "GPS Test", which is a really nice app in many ways, for GPS time.
Brad, you added:
"Of course, this delta is just a watch error, something that can be adjusted for. Simply correct for the delta in the sight reduction. Knowing what the error is makes this a trivial exercise. Many of the older forms even have an entry for watch error."
Excellent point, and I should have said so earlier. The time offset in earlier Android phones is nearly a fixed offset, like a watch error, of about 15 seconds, and I used my old Android phone to time celestial sights without any issues. It was only a minor inconvenience to back out the 15 second offset. The variable offset is almost always l