Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Name or NavList Code:
    Re: Measuring (and Calculating) Dip
    From: Bruce J. Pennino
    Date: 2013 Mar 9, 17:24 -0500
    Hi Paul and All:
    Thanks for comments on instrument error.  I just drove around looking for objects at long range I can sight . I want to get some sense of my repeatability with my Topcon theodolite/EDM.   We just got 24" of heavy wet snow,so these measurements must wait for it to melt. I found a spot where I can sight the top of a rounded water tank, distance a mile or so.  I can see the same water tank from 5 or 8 miles away when I'm standing on the top of a dam. I've also found two spots where I can see Mt Wachusett (local ski hill) from a few miles and maybe 7 miles or so. I'll scale the distances from a map.
    My logic is I can bring the horizontal crosshair from top down and from bottom up to these rounded surfaces and estimate the top elevation. The mountain has an irregular top so I'll have to "balance"  the   horizontal hairline to get an average top reading.  The tank has a regular shape , so I would expect the vertical angles to show less scatter.  When I'm on the dam I can sight the opposite waterline a  1 or 2  miles away.
    Brad, you reminded me to calculate  the random error that can result if one sights a water wave and tries to set the horizontal crosshair on the average top or average water level, whichever you intend to sight. If height of eye (Topcon or T2  horizontal crosshair)  is 3 meters above water (10 ft), the horizon is about 4.1 miles away (6,686 m).  Then a 1 FOOT error ( mismeasurement ) of the water line (horizon)  introduces a 9.5 seconds arc error  in measuring dip.  Hopefully if you take ten or twenty readings this error cancels. But there is always bias of some sort. This is a tolerable error because my  instrument precision (not accuracy) is probably only about  +/- 3-5 seconds.   An ordinary metal sextant only reads to 6 seconds, and the index error/correction  is probably precise/accurate to +/- 6 or 12 seconds.  I'm sure someone on the LIST knows far more than I do about the precision of index error.
    So, big  irregular  waves could be a problem in measuring dip with a theodolite, but an error band on the data could be estimated.  
    I'll take the mountain top and water tank sightings in a week or two , then I'm going to find a quiet  ocean cove, inlet or harbor.
    Best regards,

    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2013 4:16 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Measuring (and Calculating) Dip

    Bill Morris wrote:
    > When I checked it, the theodolite turned out to have a substantial index error, quite enough to account for most of the differences between the dip from the NA and the dip I measured.
    >  I have negotiated another visit to the beach with the staff (wo)man and have removed nearly all the index error, a none-too-easy task with a bubble that has a sensitivity of 15 seconds per 2.5 mm movement. I will take readings off each face (not strictly necessary with the T2) if my assistant's patience will allow it.
    Bill, a mean of the readings on both faces is always good technique. It
    simultaneously reveals and eliminates index error. The T2 manual
    discourages single face vertical angle readings, except when one minute
    of error is acceptable and the theodolite is known to be in good
    adjustment (index error not more than 30 seconds).
    That is from the Wild manual for the late type T2 with automatic
    compensator. I understand yours has the manually centered vertical index
    bubble. However, I believe the recommendation above is still applicable,
    since the compensator only removes the effect of minor dislevelment, not
    index error.
    Even for their first order theodolite, the T3, Wild says the horizontal
    collimation and vertical index errors should be left alone unless they
    exceed 15 or 30 seconds, respectively. I have been able to adjust to
    that modest accuracy indoors by sighting through a window - far more
    comfortable than fiddling with the instrument outdoors.
    For your dip measurements, perhaps a reasonable compromise would be to
    do half on one face, half on the other. Or, begin by taking the vertical
    angle on both faces to some suitable target (not necessarily the
    horizon). Then do all dip measurements on one face. Finally, take
    another pair of vertical angles on both faces. The final target need not
    be the same as the first. In fact, a different target would be better -
    you would be unlikely to make the same reading blunder in the
    microscope. Before leaving the site, calculate and compare the initial
    and final index errors.
    I agree with your remark that the scale reading microscope "has its
    limits and variations." The U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey first order
    triangulation manual says two successive readings on a Wild T3 should
    rarely differ by .3", and usually agree to .1". I'm not that good -
    "usually within .3, rarely within .1" is closer to my standard!

    : http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=122745

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Get a NavList ID Code

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    A NavList ID Code guarantees your identity in NavList posts and allows faster posting of messages.

    Retrieve a NavList ID Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your NavList code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    NavList ID Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site