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The Chao Goes Mu
10-11-2004, 11:50 AM
A friend was telling me that you can use your wristwatch as a compass by pointing the hour hand in the direction of the sun and then something about the distance between the hour and minute hand cut in half will give you North. She couldn's remember exactly how it worked. So, how does this little trick work?

Tapioca Dextrin
10-11-2004, 11:54 AM
There you go (http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/skills/seton/watch_compass.htm). Not sure if it works for digital wtches though :dubious:

10-11-2004, 11:58 AM
Point the hour hand of the watch towards the sun, South is halfway between the hour hand and 12. North is obviously opposite.

RealityChuck
10-11-2004, 12:03 PM
Works with digital watches if you imagine one point on the circle is 12.

The Chao Goes Mu
10-11-2004, 12:11 PM
:cool: Thanks folks. This is perfect information for the overly prepared such as myself. :D

yabob
10-11-2004, 12:36 PM
Of course, it's only roughly correct, because the local time isn't set so that the sun reaches its zenith at exactly noon. And if you are on DST, you should probably imagine using standard time instead - subtract an hour.

("probably", because if you are at the extreme edge of a time zone warped by political boundaries, it's possible that the DST figure would actually work better)

For instance, I just went outside with a clock and tried this. it's 10:30 PDT, and the directions give me something pointed decidedly southeast instead of south. Using 9:30 gives me something closer, but still a bit SE.

RM Mentock
10-11-2004, 12:42 PM
Works with digital watches if you imagine one point on the circle is 12.
But you also have to imagine an hour hand too.

Also, the equation of time comes into play. The Sun can be ten or fifteen minutes ahead or behind, depending upon time of year. Check out analemma.com