Setting Your Beam Direction Indicator – by Dan, N5AR

A recent post to Tower Talk gave an excellent route for finding your magnetic declination. It also gives your latitude and longitude in decimal notation which I like.

Go to this location:

Click enter your Zip Code at Get Location
Click Compute Declination

or enter your Latitude and Longitude in the Enter Location for a more precise location.
Click Compute Declination

This, with your compass reading, will give you true north once you subtract the declination from the compass reading to get true headings.

Of course, there are other ways to find true north. You can use the North Star or you can use my favorite method as follows.

Look in the newspaper for the times of sun up and sun down. Calculate the hours and minutes between. Divide this by 2 and that is the time of exact noon. At that time, look at the shadow of your tower or a vertical post and the shadow points to true north.

73, Dan, N5AR
Jan 1, 2006

Comments from Steve K7AWB Webmaster:
I did both ways. I entered my Zip Code and calculated; and then I entered my Latitude and Longitude from my GPS and recalculated. Both gave the same declination of 16 degrees 23 minutes East. Years ago, I marked true North at my house by finding the North Star at night. I saw that it was directly over my neighbors front door when I stand at the upper right corner of my front steps, with my feet together. So I can find true North in the daytime. hi hi