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    Re: The Noon Fix
    From: James N Wilson
    Date: 2009 Apr 12, 13:10 -0700

    Gary:
    
    I still think that a few steps on paper are easier than wrestling the
    whole boat around.
    
    It takes me about five minutes to reduce a sight, using my programmed
    calculator. Five more minutes for a second sight, and five minutes to
    plot the two LOPs totals fifteen minutes. My method takes less than five
    minutes total. But the time isn't that important. What is important is
    that the extra time means more steps, more keys punched, etc., and with
    that comes a greater possibility for error. That's really the big gain by
    being so much simpler. Less possibility for error.
    
    And the method requires a knowledge of celestial, specifically to be able
    to do everything except calculate Hc and Zn. It's not for the
    uninitiated.
    
    My definition of an emergency where this method would be beneficial is
    one where GPS data is unavailable for any number of reasons. But I did
    envision something relative to the boat rather than the demise of all the
    satellites. I first navigated using GPS when it was brand new, and all
    the satellites weren't up yet. It was still great. A blackout period of
    about two hours around midnight was the only consequence. I spent a lot
    of time explaining to the captain what was going on, even though I was
    learning as I spoke. For instance, he insisted on physically adjusting
    the fluxgate compass to compensate for variation changes. I thought that
    if SatNav could compensate for that automatically, then GPS should also
    be able to. And sure enough, I found the right buttons to push by reading
    the instructions.
    
    Jim Wilson
    ____________________________________________________________
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