Finding north with a watch.

Shane

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Alright I already know how to do this and even made a video on it but I can't seem to find a solid answer to a question I have asked and someone just asked me.

6 am and 6 pm - if it's spot on or before or after respectively, which way to do you go around the watch?
 

Wave Man

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I would personally sit down till after 6am and 6pm so you can get a bearing (as in point the 12 at the sun, and then 1/2 way between the hour hand and the 12 and that is north).
 

Templar

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That early/late I just look at the big thing in the sky and work out my direction of travel... if you have enough sun light to cast a shadow then it shouldn't be too hard to figure out which way to go.
 

Templar

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Or Option B: I like this one....

The 24-hour clock method. Take the local military time (24 hr. time) and divide it by two. Imagine this result as the hour hand.

In the Northern Hemisphere, point this resulting “hour hand” at the sun, and the 12 will point north.

For example, it is 1400 hours. Divide 1400 by two and the answer is 700, which will represent the hour. Holding the watch horizontal, point the 7 at the sun and 12 will point north.

In the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 at the sun, and the resulting "hour" from the division will point south.

So at 1800/0600:

1800/2 = 900 or 9:00

0600/2 = 150 or 3:00

Note: Use whole hours only otherwise you end up with weird numbers, also if the time is before half past use the current time, if it's after round up to the on-coming hour. As always this will give a "ly" direction...

Hope it helps...
 
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Templar

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was my post ass about? if so I will edit it....
Nope... it's right.

The Northern Hemisphere you point the hour hand & half way between is the N/S line.

The Southern Hemisphere you point the 12 and half way between is the N/S line.

You then need to know if it is am or pm to work out which way is N. And remember that in the NH the sun will be due south at noon and due north in the SH at noon. (Solar noon, not watch noon)

Option B above actually points to N in the Northern Hemishpere and S in the Southern Hemisphere... just remember to use whole hours or you come up with some funny numbers... before half past use the current hour after half past use the next hour...
 

Shane

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Well crap, that's a whole new method lol. I told the bloke that before/after 6 you should be able to simply look up and tell the sun's direction but still, I'd like to give him a solid answer. See to my thinking, before 6 am you should still be splitting clockwise. You do at 7 am and on as it's the closest side. After 6 pm, you should be still considering anti clockwise for the same reason, at 5 pm you're splitting anti clockwise to 2.30. That would make the most sense anyways....
 

Templar

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Found this:

If you have an analog wrist watch, you can use the time to find north. Hold your watch up in front of you, and let the short hand, red on the figure, that indicates hours point at the sun. While holding it like this, cut the angle between the red arrow and 12 o'clock in two, (noonwards if the time is before 6am or after 6pm), that way is south. (The reason you need to cut it in two, is because the clock takes two rotations while the sun takes one around the earth, it is of course the other way around, but never mind.)

Here: http://www.learn-orienteering.org/old/nocompass1.html

now after much thinking and experimenting my brain hurts... so basiclly keep to clockwise movement... always head towards 12.
 

Ash

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Just a question. Is the north it finds the true north or magnetic north.
 

auscraft

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A suggestion about the reciept print out the ebay reciept of purchase this will include who sold it . IF it was new item that would be able to confirm in a warranty issue if they were a recognised dealer
As I said it is not everyone on ebay
 

Shane

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Noonwards - wouldn't that mean per my last post? I wouldn't read that as shortest route to the 12 but in the direction around the face to noon. 6 pm would be winding back, 60 winding forward. It's apparently NOT in the dictionary though. Lemme ask some other peeps.
 

Moondog55

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The only problem with this method for most people would be the need to go out and buy a new watch, I don't think I have used an analogue watch or time piece for 20 years, I can't wear a watch at work ( Food trades ) so got out of the habit and like most people now I use my mobile phone as a timepiece
 

Shane

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You don't need an analog of course and you can also use your phone for the time and then simply make your own dial facing the sun. I myself have a watch with a built in compass but I still need to find an answer. No luck elsewhere, everyone seems to think you should be asleep between 6 and 6 though I still need an answer. Sigh.
 

Templar

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@ Shane: Ok been thinking about this...

So in the North: (Hour hand to sun)
0600: cut counter-clockwise to 3 = N,
1800: cut Clockwise to 9 = N

In the South: (12 to the sun)
0600: cut counter-clockwise to the 9 = N
1800: cut clockwise to the 3 =N

Thats the simplest solution I can come up with to the problem...

The problem is that the watch method is only meant to give you a N/S line then use local time to turn to the left or right for the correct heading. A little common sense tells us that if it is 0600 and I'm facing the sun (E), then if I turn to the left it will be N and at 1800 I'll be facing W so if I turn right that will be N.

At least thats what makes the most sense to me.
 

Shane

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See and to that it should be opposite. 0700 is clockwise to the 12, why would 0600 be the reverse? That's a massive polar flip in the space of an hour lol.
 

Templar

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OK... so cut clockwise and get due South instead of North... which is what the watch method will tell you. Since in the NH, you are actually looking for South (where the sun is at solar noon) with this method, same as you would with the shadow stick method, if you want to locate North instead you have to go against the clock... so it is opposite to standard proceedure.
 
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I_♥_Knives

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I found this forum looking for the same thing. Been playing around with the watch method for a few days trying to work it out.

My understanding (guessing by what seems to work by already knowing what way is north)....am time bicecting the 12 and the hour hand travelling anti-clockwise from the 12 will give north....pm going clockwise will give north? Does that sound right?

Also if it's early/late enough the sun riseing in the east, setting in the west would make the watch method redundant anyway....or is it more accurate?
 
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