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[TowerTalk] True, True North

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Subject: [TowerTalk] True, True North
From: (Roger L. Elowitz)
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 15:07:28 -0500
At 08:33 PM 4/1/98 -0800, you wrote:
>Hi Roger,
>Line the boom of your beam up on the North Star and you will be within

Hi Vic...and all the TowerTalkians.....

Thanks for your input. It was most appreciated.  

Since my beam (a Mosley TA-33) is on a 9-ft peaked roof TOWER on my two
story home.... messing around on the roof at night is not my idea of fun.
Then again...  I HAVE tried that recommendation.... trying to sight down
the boom in the dark towards the North Star and I can tell you it's darn
near impossible and very dangerous to say the least. It is fun however to
be able to find the North Star... and of course I believe everyone should
learn how to do that....IMHO.  (No! I can't explain why everyone needs to
be able to do that. Please don't ask!)

So... the very simplest solution was to determine the alignment of the my
home's roof edges which are, fortunately on my home, parallel with the
alignment of the street in front of the house.  That determination was
easily accomplished using my township's street map and also my home's site
plan. I used a protractor and a straight edge to determine the
direction of
the street relative to True North. Then, I set my rotor to indicate the
direction PERPENDICULAR  to the rear of my house and then turned the mast
below the rotor to bring my beam's director parallel to the rear roof's
edge as viewed from the ground level looking up.  My mast was then locked
in place and has stayed "dead nuts" perfectly positioned for over a year.

I've check the alignment direction (duplicating the surveyors work)
with an
expensive compass during the day (taking into consideration local magnetic
variation), and just for curiosity sake.... with the shadow cast by a
in the back yard  lawn (after it was plumbed) using a table for mean solar
noon at my location. Everything agrees within 1-degree or less.

Now you understand the joy of having all the time in the world of a
guy to play with these things. All of the above should underscore the
made by many fellas on TowerTalk... that it probably doesn't amount to a
hill of beans (accurate antenna aiming) when it comes to working DX on
With signals fluctuating up and down, it's really impossible to know if a
five or ten degree turn of the beam was really responsible for a signal
improvement or not.

Then again... too often I've heard signals coming from directions
perpendicular to the location of a station that were in fact stronger..
of course we have the long path scenario.  So... all this probably amounts
to a tempest in a teapot... but I enjoy the hell out of aiming the beam
anyway and doing it accurately.... and that enjoyment is all that really
matters anyway!

Have fun Vic,

Roger, K2JAS

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