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Looks like the Coast Guard is considering doing away with the system, or automating it, or farming it out: USCG LORAN PEIS » Background

I would've thought we'd keep it just to have an alternate to GPS?
 

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Looks like the Coast Guard is considering doing away with the system, or automating it, or farming it out: USCG LORAN PEIS » Background

I would've thought we'd keep it just to have an alternate to GPS?
Apparently Loran-C isn't seen as a viable alternative PNT source to GPS, unless upgraded to eLoran. The Coast Guard doesn't see benefit in upgrading the system and wants to get it out of their budget.

eLoran has been mentioned as a possible backup to GPS as the FAA moves from radar based surveillence to Automated Dependent Surveillence-Broadcast (ADS-B). ADS-B is a cooperative system in that the aircraft must be equipped and the aircraft must have a PNT source, so it knows and can broadcast its position and vector information. Using ADS-B, if GPS goes out, ATC won't know where you are, unlike with radar where they at least get a "skin paint" return even if you don't have a transponder, so some sort of back up is required. eLoran is one alternative or they could revert to radar (though that negates the benefit of ADS-B's lower costs and maintenence). I'm not sure if the FAA has ruled eLoran in or out as an alternative, but clearly the DHS/Coast Guard would like to either pass Loran to the FAA or shut it down.
 

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They have been threatening to shut it down for years but, every time the date gets near, they extend it. Probably someone in some congressmans district has the maintenance contract.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau, Bahamas
 

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They are up grading Loran-C to eLoran. That is going from tubes to solid state circuits.
The manufactors of GPS and Loran-C receivers are starting to combine them together for redunancy in electronic navigation. Which you should have and be doing is using two or more methods of navigation. Along with using Dead Reckoning.
Anyone that depends 100% on the GPS alone is a complete IDIOT!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Kewel. Thanx, all, any insights appreciated, I caught the vacuum tubes part and the get-it-out-of-our-budget deal, but didn't get the FAA connection. Wow, I actually totally legitmately got to post on SailNet while in the course of doing my day job as a Washington bureaucrat (I think that's a first) :)
 

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Thanks Courtney.
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Anyone that depends 100% on the GPS alone is a complete IDIOT!!
Anyone???? Don't you think it kinda depends on where you are, and what you're doing???? Not a very smart generalization.

My Loran C went away. (I gave it to Sway- last week!)
 

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Well some of those GPS units in vehicles have had the driver going the wrong way on a one way street...
 

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And besides... If you GPS goes kaput... Do you have the skills to find your way to port?
 

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They are up grading Loran-C to eLoran. That is going from tubes to solid state circuits.
The manufactors of GPS and Loran-C receivers are starting to combine them together for redunancy in electronic navigation. Which you should have and be doing is using two or more methods of navigation. Along with using Dead Reckoning.
Anyone that depends 100% on the GPS alone is a complete IDIOT!!
Tell that to Cam.:D :D
 

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Anyone that depends 100% on the GPS alone is a complete IDIOT!!
That is the most ridiculous statement I have heard in a long time.

Wow! The wrong way on a one way street! GPS places you ON that streets lat/long within 100 ft. or so. Anything else is mapping and databases which can have errors and should never be totally relied on...but a Loran using the same underlying mapping would give the same result only not as accurately. Loran won't even WORK far off shore or in foreign countries. I threw mine out a couple of decades ago. That is ALL.
 

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I'm quite the happy owner of my new-to-me Loran unit. Any navigator who fails to take advantage of all the navigational tools available to him is, yes, an idiot. While GPS is fairly reliable it is nowhere near as valuable as a compass or a fathometer. Loran sufficed for many years for off shore navigation and there's no reason to think that it will not continue sufficiently in that role.

GPS has contributed to the dumbing down of recreational navigators everywhere. My only question to those enamoured with it is, what's your back-up system? Just another $100 plastic black box?
 

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No...4 more $100 plastic boxes and paper charts. Now you're gonna tell me that in the event of an enemy attack I won't be able to find my way home? Of course in the same attack...home and the loran towers would be vaporized.
Or perhaps the EMP strike might blow the loran towers but leave me and my little GPS's happy at sea with our satellite signals.
Of course the sun could really blow a big one and I might lose a signal for a half hour. Once every 150 years or so I am told this happens and we are WAY overdue. I guess you can just call me crazy for taking the chance that this WON'T happen while I am piloting the boat, and haven't recorded my position on the chart and don't know where to steer around the reef that just happens to be within a few hundred yards of me when the sun plays its' dastardly trick.
More risky behavior on my part. Fortunately my risky behavior does NOT require massive doses of penicillin! :D
 

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I'm quite the happy owner of my new-to-me Loran unit. Any navigator who fails to take advantage of all the navigational tools available to him is, yes, an idiot. While GPS is fairly reliable it is nowhere near as valuable as a compass or a fathometer. Loran sufficed for many years for off shore navigation and there's no reason to think that it will not continue sufficiently in that role.

GPS has contributed to the dumbing down of recreational navigators everywhere. My only question to those enamoured with it is, what's your back-up system? Just another $100 plastic black box?
My first resort would be another one of my 3 black boxes, then after that same way I do in my airplane, heading, speed and time and the MKI, Mod 1 Eyeball, keeping track on a paper chart. (I've had Lasik, most of you have just the MKI Eyeball).

Honestly, I'd be filled with angst if I had to do that and was on my last boat without GPS, just like I was flying before GPS. Still I apparently worry less about GPS than many sailors. In my flying, use GPS alone to fly approaches in non visual conditions to as low as 300' or less at 130 mph and it reliably has me exactly in postion for landing. If GPS is good enough for that, its good enough, and even regular GPS is more accurate than mentioned here something on the order of 30 feet and less if you have WAAS. Because aviation charting is far more precise than marine charts, I realize you can't use GPS to avoid small obstacles like in an airplane, but for getting you from one area to the next were coastal (visual)techniques can be employed it is simple and reliable.
 

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Loran-C is probably going away...not soon, but eventually..


I'd point out that Cam is RV-less and Boat-less... so what does he need GPS for???
 

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I'd actually put radar ahead of Loran or GPS in terms of utility for safe navigation myself. Assuming you've the boat to carry it on.

Beyond that, things get rather more primitive but much more reliable. Do you carry a pelorus on board your offshore or coastal boat. Do you even know what one is or how to use it? It's such a simple and accurate navigational device that it's utility is over-looked.

midlife's point on the utilization of the Mark1, Mod0, precision eyeball are all well and good, if one has the slightest idea on how to perform dead reckoning or coastal piloting. I'd wager that 95% of the readers here have no idea on what a bow and beam bearing is or it's utility. Nor do they likely have a rudimentary understanding of declination. You do not have to possess the complete catalog of celestial navigation skills to benefit from the knowledge that the sun doesn't exactly rise in the east for navigational purposes. Currently it's popping over my horizon almost southeast. If I was relying on it, after failure of other methods, it'd be nice to know I wasn't starting from a thirty-five degree azimuthal error!

Aviation charting is only more precise as to where the airports are located. Put your plane down anywhere else and you'll suffer the same inaccuracy or greater than any marine chart.
 

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Amazing to think that all those ships years ago ever made it to a port after reading this stuff. The Mk1 Mod 0 eyeball networked together with the Mk1 Mod 0 brainpan must truly be the most remarkable navaigational insturment ever used. To bad that so many sailors have forgotten how functional it is.........
 

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Aviation charting is only more precise as to where the airports are located. Put your plane down anywhere else and you'll suffer the same inaccuracy or greater than any marine chart.
I'm not sure I agree that marine charting is on a par with aviation charting and I defintely don't believe it is superior. Aviation charting is actually very precise as to hazards to aviation and not just in the location of airports. Some high end GPS units are now even offering synthetic vision, so you are presented with a 3D depiction of the surface beneath you if you had to land off airport. Yes, you'd still have to deal with structures and power lines when you got to visual conditions, but letting down the the muck knowing you are avoiding the "cumulus granite" of a mountain is a reassuring thing and I'm not sure I'd be as confident driving into a granite lined anchorage in fog using marine charting.

The GPS's in my airplane are not that leading edge, but do provide both terrain and obstacle warnings as well as procedures to line me up with a runway that I can't see, based soley on GPS, though I have other navigation equipment on board. There is no database of comparable procedures in the marine realm that I am aware of and marine GPS users are left to figure out for themselves a safe approach to a desired harbor.

I learned to fly in the days of ded reckoning and pilotage and learned land navigation in the Army so am comfortable I have the skills to find safe harbor in my near coastal marine endevours, should my all my GPS's suddenly quit, but I don't think that is a very likely scenario.

Your point on radar is a good one for coastal navigation as it allows you to "see" beyond visual range.
 
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