Timing Lights - Ships Nostalgia
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Timing Lights

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  #1  
Old 10th April 2008, 09:36
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Binnacle Binnacle is offline  
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Timing Lights

Sailing without radar or stop watches etc, it was necessary to quickly identify flashing/occulting navigation lights. It would be interesting to hear what methods were preferred to time light intervals ? . I usually worked with 1231 1232 1233 1234 1235 1236 up to 10 and then repeated. I presumed this question had been raised before, apparently not according to my search.
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  #2  
Old 10th April 2008, 11:47
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson is offline  
 
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1 and 2 and 3 served me well. A pronounced and
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  #3  
Old 10th April 2008, 12:26
JimC JimC is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binnacle View Post
Sailing without radar or stop watches etc, it was necessary to quickly identify flashing/occulting navigation lights. It would be interesting to hear what methods were preferred to time light intervals ? . I usually worked with 1231 1232 1233 1234 1235 1236 up to 10 and then repeated. I presumed this question had been raised before, apparently not according to my search.
Hi there!

The one andtwoand bit did it for me as well but I'm curious as to your timing. Is that waltz 3/4 or 6/8 time? Tried to count as you illustrated but got an extra 'beat'. Never was any good at dancing anyway!

Cheers!

Jim.
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  #4  
Old 10th April 2008, 12:56
Chouan Chouan is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Wilson View Post
1 and 2 and 3 served me well. A pronounced and
Good enough for me. Third Mate on my first trip timed me and said that it was close enough and I maintained it ever since.

We agreed!
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  #5  
Old 10th April 2008, 12:59
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Jim's and method for preference.
Bored on watch practicing the auto alarm signal (12 x 4 second dashes with one second between each) until I could match the clock every time.
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  #6  
Old 10th April 2008, 13:00
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson is offline  
 
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I would suggest the 'Binnacle' method is frought with danger....too many numbers. From memory one was talking 15/16 seconds for 'star sights' bridge wing to Chronometer.
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  #7  
Old 10th April 2008, 16:47
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I agree 100% with Dave. The and method served me well for lights and sights.
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  #8  
Old 10th April 2008, 22:26
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I vaguely remember having to occasionally practice this at College!

"Once you've taken your sight, count the seconds to get to the chart table." Or something like that.

I still do it occasionally when the microwave is counting down reheatiing my dinner. I rarely get it spot on.
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  #9  
Old 10th April 2008, 22:52
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Just a small rider on this. On taking the sight and commence counting did you continue counting until the second hand of the chronometer hit 15/30/45 or conversely did you keep counting until say 20 (or whatever) and then note the time??
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  #10  
Old 10th April 2008, 23:17
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Counted until 15/30/45, unless you had a handy cadet to shout "Mark" to once you'd taken the sight.
Saw a few people use stopwatches, with the watch started at a round time, eg XX05, XX40 etc.
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  #11  
Old 10th April 2008, 23:27
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Jim,
That's the way I preferred.
Brgds
Bill
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  #12  
Old 11th April 2008, 09:46
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I found that counting up to 10, a banana is a second long, one banana, two banana etc
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  #13  
Old 11th April 2008, 09:47
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_C View Post
Counted until 15/30/45, unless you had a handy cadet to shout "Mark" to once you'd taken the sight.
Saw a few people use stopwatches, with the watch started at a round time, eg XX05, XX40 etc.
Cadet! What's that?
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  #14  
Old 11th April 2008, 10:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Wilson View Post
1 and 2 and 3 served me well. A pronounced and
I would suggest the 'Binnacle' method is frought with danger....too many numbers. From memory one was talking 15/16 seconds for 'star sights' bridge wing to Chronometer.

Dave,
I was referring to Lights not Sights which seems to have become the subject for discussion. Contrary to your opinion, the old man who taught me that method was not the type to encourage his junior officers to engage in dangerous practices. He had started off in sail and survived two world wars, had considerable experience sailing world wide without radar. The reason for the 123 count was because of, in situations of stress your pronounced and will be less pronounced, leading to a greater chance of inaccuracy, counting 123 slows you down. Fortunately those who have never sailed without radar and modern aids will never have experienced such situations.
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  #15  
Old 11th April 2008, 10:32
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binnacle View Post
I would suggest the 'Binnacle' method is frought with danger....too many numbers. From memory one was talking 15/16 seconds for 'star sights' bridge wing to Chronometer.

Dave,
I was referring to Lights not Sights which seems to have become the subject for discussion. Contrary to your opinion, the old man who taught me that method was not the type to encourage his junior officers to engage in dangerous practices. He had started off in sail and survived two world wars, had considerable experience sailing world wide without radar. The reason for the 123 count was because of, in situations of stress your pronounced and will be less pronounced, leading to a greater chance of inaccuracy, counting 123 slows you down. Fortunately those who have never sailed without radar and modern aids will never have experienced such situations.
Binnacle,

Well aware you were referring to lights but I think you will agree the argueement holds good for both. Always eager to engage in good debate but feel your arguement a little weak. The 'old timers' have forgotten certain skills I never knew of but on this count (pardon the pun) I do not think so,

Cheers
Dave

Last edited by Dave Wilson; 11th April 2008 at 11:45..
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  #16  
Old 11th April 2008, 11:03
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Used Alligator 1 Alligator 2 and so on
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  #17  
Old 12th April 2008, 07:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binnacle View Post
Sailing without radar or stop watches etc, it was necessary to quickly identify flashing/occulting navigation lights. It would be interesting to hear what methods were preferred to time light intervals ? . I usually worked with 1231 1232 1233 1234 1235 1236 up to 10 and then repeated. I presumed this question had been raised before, apparently not according to my search.
I was always a great exponat of the 'thousand and...' method although I did briefly flirt with the 'elephant' system after my first trip tp Trincomalee in 1970. I suppose each must have been effective.
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  #18  
Old 12th April 2008, 08:07
jodalo jodalo is offline  
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HMS Leopard sometime in the early 70's nearing the Firth of Forth from the south, heard from the port lookout "Flashing white light bearing red # sir!" " How's it flashing " a long pause from the newly minted OD, then hesitantly "On. Off. On. Off, On.....................
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  #19  
Old 12th April 2008, 12:35
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Straying slightly of Thread, I heard that in the RN the count between signal guns was, "If I wasn't a Gunner I wouldn't be here. FIRE!"

Can any RNers confirm/deny this?
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  #20  
Old 12th April 2008, 21:15
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Does any of our older members remember this little piece of trivia.
Sailing up the English Channel, in the middle as was the way of many deep sea masters, the the lights (or looms) of lights from the French and English lighthouses used to turn in opposite directions, ie one clockwise and the other counterclockwise tho for the life of me I can't recall which was which.
Bill
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  #21  
Old 12th April 2008, 22:08
jodalo jodalo is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydeeare View Post
Straying slightly of Thread, I heard that in the RN the count between signal guns was, "If I wasn't a Gunner I wouldn't be here. FIRE!"

Can any RNers confirm/deny this?
Yes, but the timing is for gun salutes.
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  #22  
Old 13th April 2008, 11:48
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Thanks jodalo
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  #23  
Old 14th April 2008, 16:26
Dave Wilson Dave Wilson is offline  
 
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Originally Posted by Chouan View Post
Good enough for me. Third Mate on my first trip timed me and said that it was close enough and I maintained it ever since.

We agreed!
There is hope!
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  #24  
Old 14th April 2008, 20:26
MM˛ MM˛ is offline
 
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I used to count to the nearest 10 secs (usually 20). When using a stopwatch used to start the watch in the chartroom at the 'top of the minute' and write the altitudes and times onto a bit of paper folded into my watch strap.

I've just tried it again using my digital watch (now that would have been useful) and I'm bang on every time for 10 secs and for 20 secs as well if I count 1- 10 twice. Bit of an error creeps in if I start counting teens, twenties etc.
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