# NavList:

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

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Re: Tables of Trig Functions and Logs of Trig Functions
From: Robert Eno
Date: 2007 May 2, 12:48 -0400

```Lu,

I was going to give you a smart-arsed answer like: "if you have to ask such
a question, you don't belong on the list", but that would be rather rude of
me.

Essentially, for the same reason why I persist in using a sextant: the
challenge of doing it the hard way. Oddly enough, I find it rather
therapeutic to perform the odd sight reduction the old way using the trig
and log tables. It also hones my basic understanding of the mathematics
behind the calculations. It also gives me another level of independence of
electronic gadgetry should the latter fail me absolutely some day. Don't
misunderstand me: I still use a scientific calculator (and if I am
particularly impatient, my Celesticomp V) but for every round of sights that
I take, I reduce at least one or two using the tables: the hard way.

I currently use a slim volume called: "McGraw-Hill Five-Place Logarithmic
and Trigonometric Tables" (1933). Wonderful little book. For the logs of
trig functions, there is at least a proportional parts section in the right
hand column which allows one to interpolate for 10ths of a minute; tedious
though it is, it works reasonably well. Not so for the trigonometric tables
which only provide entries to the minute of arc.

So there you have it: I am an anachronism in more ways than just one.

Robert

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lu Abel"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 10:56 AM
Subject: [NavList 2790] Re: Tables of Trig Functions and Logs of Trig
Functions

>
> Pocket scientific calculators (\$15 at a lot of discount stores) provide
> this sort of accuracy.   Why the need for tables, if I may respectfully
>
> Lu Abel
>
> Robert Eno wrote:
>> I am looking for a set of tables which provides trig functions and logs
>> of trig functions down to the 10th of a minute of arc. Is anyone aware
>> of any publications that provide this?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Robert
>>
>> >
>
> >
>

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```
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