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#245520 - 05/02/12 02:53 AM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2537
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Well, since you guys are so utterly adamant, I'll give it another try in more controlled conditions. And with a bigger stick.

I have come across other references that line up with M_a_x's thoughts (and with my initial, admittedly crude experiments). These don't invalidate the technique in any way, they simply note variations that creep in based on time of day, lattitude, and season. This, I assume, is celestial mechanics doing what it has always done.

If it works best around noon, I'll start with that. And then I'll try to get a sense of early/late results, and what kind of correction factor I should keep in mind. I don't mind that at all, provided I know what to adjust for. It's in the same vein as compass declination, which for the record I have been adjusting for long before I started posting on ETS.

#245536 - 05/02/12 04:02 PM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
I do most of my navigation while hiking via the sun, but there are times when the clouds are out and I just can't see it.

Look at it this way. At 6 am, the sun is more or less in the east. At noon it is due south. at 6 pm it is more or less due west. use standard time.

If it is 3 pm, the sun will be in thw SW. At 9 am in the NE.

It is not perfect but has always been close enough for me to navigate from a trail map.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#245566 - 05/03/12 03:29 AM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
Nomad Offline

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 454
Loc: Just wandering around.
While in Greenland I was trained to use a polarizing filter to judge the suns location when the sky was obscured by fog or clouds. Worked well. I wonder if it would work with polarized sun glasses? I will have to give it a try. I am in sunny southwest now so it will have to wait awhile.

Compasses were useless most of the time as we were well above the magnetic pole and the earths electrical field was a real mess. Compass would just spin.

I can't remember all the details of the solar polarizing compass. Perhaps there is information on the net.

...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

#245584 - 05/03/12 04:59 PM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Nomad]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2652
Originally Posted By: Nomad
While in Greenland I was trained to use a polarizing filter to judge the suns location when the sky was obscured by fog or clouds. Worked well. I wonder if it would work with polarized sun glasses?

This has worked for me in the past. If the cloud cover is very thick it can be problematic.

#245585 - 05/03/12 05:38 PM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
JerryFountain Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
The sun compass was designed in the 1830's for work where the magnetic compass failed (work in Wisconson near the iron ore brought about the invention). They were common in arctic exploration till at least the 1980's. The fancy ones had a precision clock movement (like a mariners chronometer) so that they could be read without movement. Most had a dial that was turned to set the time from a chronometer or radio signal (you got good at listing to WWV). They worked whenever you could tell the position of the sun.

The polarizing sun compass was developed by SAS (the airlines) in the 1950's to allow navigation during twilight and can be used to some degree during cloudy weather. The polarizing compass works on the principle that light from the sun is polarized at right angles to the line toward the sun when you look directly overhead. That angle will give you a line toward the sun and with a time hack direction like a sun compass. See: http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF8/865.html



Edited by JerryFountain (05/03/12 05:42 PM)
Edit Reason: reference

#245772 - 05/09/12 08:38 PM Re: Navigation by the Sun [Re: Outdoor_Quest]
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1147
Sorry that this has nothing to do with the sun, but it has to do with navigation , and improvisation (which I love)


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