The discussion re: determining beam headings has been
very interesting. Here's a technique for determining North
that I've found very accurate, although not always convenient
for rush jobs:
1) Determine the date of next spring or fall solstice.
(whichever happens first)
2) Prior to sunrise, using a 36" carpenters level, install a 5 foot
vertical stick in a location where the sun will cast a shadow.
(in the event of cloudy weather, +- a couple of days will
produce satisfactory results)
3) Approximately 12 minutes after sunrise, mark the location
of the "tip" of the stick's shadow with a Susan B. Anthony
dollar. (don't get cheap here!)
4) Using a surveyor's transit, document the locations of the
base of the stick as well as the shadow "tip" for future
5) Now, using a National League baseball baseline marker, plot
a line between the base of the stick and the shadow mark.
This line closely approximates East-West "true."
6) Wearing a pair of welder's goggles, stand erect at the West
end of the line and look toward the sun. (On non-election-year
days, the end of the line closest to the sun is East.) Now
slowly (arthritis) raise your left arm.
It is pointing North!!
7) If you achieve unsatisfactory results, attempt one through
six every six months until satisfied, or you no longer care.
I hope this is of some help. If anyone is interested, there is also
method using an analog watch that the boy scouts used to teach.
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