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Time to dust of the Nories?

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Old 15th March 2012, 18:22
Bilge rat's Avatar
Bilge rat Bilge rat is offline  
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I remember using 'Consol', crouched in a quiet corner counting and listening for the moment when the dots changed to dashes but it was never as simple as that as they tended to merge. This meant you had to write down your count, add them together subtract the resulting count from 60 then halve the difference and add that to each count. Not very accurate, and you generally nodded off whilst listening. Just as you are probably
nodding off reading my post.

(Reality is an illusion seen through the bottom of an empty glass)

Last edited by Bilge rat; 15th March 2012 at 21:00..
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Old 15th March 2012, 20:04
nav's Avatar
nav nav is offline  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Sonne invented by the incredibly talented Germans in WW2. It was all about counting dots and dashes as explained here (along with the name.)


For those of you looking for a deeper technological explanation, look here:


We used it for some very early oil exploration work although how we found our way back escapes me.
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Old 15th March 2012, 20:59
Bob Murdoch Bob Murdoch is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1956 - 1964
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 591
Used the Consol system on one trip across the Atlantic in 1959. The 2nd mate found it very useful in fact he had suggested I try for it. From memory, no special charts. Also used the DF frequently during 1958-60 on British ships. Usually with very good results which checked out with the eventual visual bearings. It, the DF, was very useful during a season of runningup the St Lawrence, Sydney to Montreal with all the fog present in that neck of the woods. Again always tied in with our eventual visual bearings.
Cheers Bob
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Old 14th May 2012, 19:23
janmike janmike is offline  
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Posts: 73
Believe consol finished when the IRA blew up Bushmills. Used it many times to find that we were in the North Atlantic in the 1950's
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Old 14th May 2012, 22:20
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ninabaker ninabaker is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Active: 1972 - 1979
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When I was on Cable Venture in 1979 there was another 3/o who had come back to sea after a few years ashore as a computer programmer. There was almost no normal navigation on the cable ship - all by early satnav and radar. he was so bored he reprogrammed the satnav to produce charts for everyone's "biorythms"!
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:38
Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Active: 1966 - 2009
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I recall trying all sorts of permutations to get a 'fix', well a fix of a sort. Consol crossed with DF or sun sight position line. In other situations crossing a visual bearing of a distant island eg Mauritius with a sun sight position line. DF bearing with sun sight position line.

I don't know about other companies but the crowd I worked for were happy for us to buy US Charts of the US Gulf. This was handier than one might suppose because all the fixed production platforms were charted and the patterns they made could be identified on radar and thus positions obtained. As I recall the UK charts only charted the safety fairways. I did sail with one master who was highly sceptical of the US chart idea and made the deck officers take a series of sights to check against the US charts and the platform positions; needless to say the intercepts were miniscule!

Also recall when 2nd mate 1974ish, departing from Rotterdam and heading down channel to Land's End without seeing land or sky until we cleared Land's End! Achieved by doubling up watches and using DF the whole way - in the days when the DF stations were grouped and the good old Marconi gear could be set to auto. Radar performance was useless and intermittent. Seem to recall every time we heard the sound of an engine out in the fog we stopped or went to dead slow. Happy days. After Land's End it was back to sun sights and stars with air nav reduction tables
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