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    Re: What do offshore recreational navigators really do?
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2005 Jun 7, 19:42 -0400

    Trivial exercise, Peter. NiMh AA cell, capacity now about 2300mAh, price
    about $3.50 each and less in bulk. $14 for one set of 4xAA cells. They will
    keep a GPS alive without use over the non-sailing season, i.e. 6 months. And
    that capacity is enough for some 12-24 hours of constant use in most GPSes.
    (Or 48 hours for a unit that uses only 2 batteries.)
    Add a solar charger for $25, able to recharge that set of 4xAA in a day or
    So...let's say you buy 4 solar chargers for redundancy, 4 sets of batteries
    to keep all the GPSes loaded, and five spare sets of batteries for each GPS.
    24 sets of batteries, $336, probably $250 as a bulk order. $350 including
    the four chargers. Plus $500 for the four GPSes. Total? $850 for four GPSes
    with "perpetual power" to last at least five years between the units and
    spares with near-constant use available. And most of us would consider that
    to be way overkill on the redundancy, especially compared to "What, you only
    have one sextant?".
    By going to a more restrained pace, one could figure perhaps taking four or
    six GPS "shots" each day, and even the GPS wrist watches will do something
    like 600 shots one one battery. Using a low-power GPS and a restrained
    energy budget...no big deal. AA cells are also fairly universal on this
    planet, if someplace doesn't have them, something can always be improvised,
    like a FreeCell hand-cranked charger. Or a water or wind wheel supplying
    ship's power...and so on. Yes, it is nice not to need electronics. But they
    needn't be problem children.

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