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Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners

Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.110).

#Lunar New Year, #Tết Nguyên Đán , #Tết Nguyên Tiêu, #Lunar Calendar, #Festival, #activities, #custom, #survival,

Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners.

To many Western and Vietnamese people, it is hard to tell when East Asian Lunar New Year (“Tết Âm Lịch” in Vietnamese) will come. To add to the confusion there are also different New Year days for its neighboring East Asian countries like China, Korea, etc… When the Festival comes they are again surprised at the activities or inactivity! This blog helps them understand the festival and know the custom to plan their activities to avoid any inconvenience.

In short description, the traditional New Year Festival (“Tet” in Vietnamese) is a period of long holidays and prolonged shut downs of normal trading. The details are explained in the following.

1. When is a Vietnamese New Year Day?

Figure: Moon phases.

The first new Lunar month after Winter Solstice is always named the Final Month (“tháng Chạp” in Vietnamese; the name may come (?) from the word “tháng LẬP Đông”). The end of that month is the Lunar New Year. Neighboring Asian countries (China, Korea) all use this rule but the New Year day of each country may differ by one day or sometimes one month due to their different time zones [1].

All months here denote Lunar months unless otherwise specified. Month are name Month 1 to Final Month and there may be 13 months in a Lunar Year with the Leap Month bearing the name of its preceding Month appended with the word “Leap”.

Note that the Final Month may be either a 12th month in a non-leap or a 13th month in a leap year.

2. What are the Vietnamese New Year Holidays?

Seafaring Vietnamese people finish their fishing activities before the stormy season (Stormy seanson in Central Vietnam extends over months 9,10,11 and Final month of Lunar Year.). Agricultural Vietnamese people in the countryside finish their harvest before Winter Solstice. So the Final month of a Lunar Year is ready to be a time for preparation or enjoyment of New Year Festival.

The Festival holidays may begin in the Final Month and continue through Month 1, 2, 3, 4 (“tháng Giêng, tháng 2 3, 4” in Vietnamese), If there is any leap month falling between Month 1 and Month 4 then the holidays are also extended by that extra month.

The popular quotes in Vietnamese is “Tháng Giêng là tháng ăn chơi, tháng Hai cờ bạc, tháng Ba hội hè”. It means First Month is for Enjoying Pleasures, Month 2 for Enjoying Gambling, Month 3 for Festivals, Carnivals, Meetings”

Agricultural people have to come back to their work on Lunar Month 4. Since Lunar Month 2 the sea becomes calm and fishermen can resume their work. Vietnamese fishermen are most busy when the star Arcturus Bootes is shining (Note that Arcturus Bootes is a star of the night on April 25th; it is called “Sao Một”, top ranked star, by Central Vietnamese people).

3. What are the activities in Vietnamese New Year Festivals.

a. Food and drinks are to be stored up to the brims of containers in each household (to make a wish of having prosperity for the coming New Year.). Food and drinks are supposed to be adequate for all requirements of the household for more than two months. “Tết” can also be considered a practice run for survival in disasters, for that Vietnam has had many).

The concept of “just in time” does not apply here. Prices are outrageously higher in some areas including Saigon (up to 10 times higher when buying from traders originating from Northern Vietnam)  in the month long New Year Festival period.

b. Most trading activities (including non-emergency transportation) are to cease from New Year Eve to the 10th day of First Month [5].

Everyone is provided with an opportunity to come back to his or her home town for Family Reunion. People already in their home town are also provided with a practice run for survival with reduced transportation and without trading.

Transportation people expect to be showered with 100% to 200% tips.

Example: During Tet Festival, economy class return air tickets by Vietnam Airlines from Melbourne to Saigon may cost AUD1500/person (too high?) while an economy class return air ticket on Thai Airway from Melbourne to Bangkok may cost only around AUD600/person.

So your own transportation is almost basic essential.

c. People from distant places may have additional holiday time to travel to their home town and back. Boat travelers may need encompassing full Moons to travel by rivers, canals to their home places.

d. All houses are to be cleaned up and decorated to celebrate the New Year. This activity commences early and does not end until New Year Eve. Houses and monuments are to be decorated with whole trees or cut branches of “cây mai” (Ochna integerrima or Ochna) which have been made to blossom flowers on the First day of New Year.

e. Food, preserved food and offerings are to be prepared to Festival days. Vietnamese food for New Year includes “bánh chưng” (steamed cooked loaf), “bánh dầy” (thick loaf), “bánh tét” (loaf that can only be cut by Splitting its wrapping made of banana leaves). “xôi vò” (rolled and squeezed sticky rice), “cơm rượu” (fermented cooked sticky rice) , “rượu đế” or “rượu nếp” (Vietnamese distilled alcoholic spirit made from fermented cooked sticky rice), “rượu nếp than” (Vietnamese distilled alcoholic spirit with the colour of charcoal, made from fermented cooked purple sticky rice). “tôm khô” (dried salted prawns), “khô mực” (dried salted squid), “củ kiệu ngâm dẩm” (pickled leek bulbs in vinegar).

f. Permanent Indoor Altars are to be decorated with white or red lilies (“hoa hụê” in Vietnamese). Incense and candles are to be lighted on altars.

Figure:Lilies from a Vietnamese stall in Melbourne at AUD 15/bundle.

Figure: Gladio Li from a Big W Supermarket in Melbourne at AUD 12.88/bundle.

Figure:Lilies from an Aldi Supermarket in Melbourne at AUD 4.99/bundle.

g. On the 23rd of Final Month, people have to make Farewell Ceremony for Three Inhouse Monitors from Heaven (“Hai Ông Một Bà Táo” in Vietnamese; they resides in the family earthenware stoves and have charred, blackened, faces). The three Inhouse Monitors from Heaven work similarly to real life Resident In-house Monitoring Agents of Ward Police (Ward Police = “Công An Phường” of current Socialist Vietnam; a ward is a subdivision of a district which, in turn, is a subdivision of a town or city). They leave the household riding 3 carps (not submarines!) to go to report to the Jade Supreme God of Heaven (“Ngọc-Hoàng Thượng-Đế”) of all the good and bad deeds of the household from the first day to 23rd day of final month of the preceeding Lunar Year.

i. Without the Three In-house Monitors from Heaven all activities in the household are now off-the-records!

j. Good-time boys and good-time girls now may do non-righteous things without worrying about having bad records made in Heaven. Some people from Northern Vietnam takes this off-the-record time to do  go out eating dogs!

k. On the last day of Final Month a temporary Altar have to be made and placed on top of an upright long pole for the Deceased Ancestors to reside (the assemblage is called “cây Nêu” in Vietnamese) and enjoy New Year celebration with their living descendants.

l. From Sunset to New Year Commencement at midnight, people have to make Welcome Ceremony for new Three In-house Monitors from Heaven (“Hai Ông Một Bà Táo” in Vietnamese). The new Three Monitors have been rotated by Heaven from some other household to ensure equality and impartiality.

m. All good and bad deeds from people in the household are from now observed and recorded again by new Three In-house Monitors until they in turn depart near the end of the current Lunar Year.

o. Incense and candles are to be lighted on the small Altar in the front yard for the Jade Supreme God of Heaven (“Ông Thiên” or “Ngọc-Hoàng Thượng-Đế”). This altar for the Supreme God does NOT have any statue, drawing and no more than the words “Môn-Khẫu Thiên-Địa” (The doorway to Heaven and Earth”).

p. Incense and candles are to be lighted on the small Altar on Ground Surface for the local Custodian God of the local Land (“Ông Địa”). People from North Vietnam now have the local Custodian God of the local Land sharing his altar with the White Eyebrow God (“Thần Bạch Mi”), the Patron God of Prostitutes.

Figure: Custodian God (having big fat belly) of the local Land sharing an altar with White Eyebrow God (having white eyebrows) . 

Note that the White Eyebrow God (“Thần Bạch Mi”) is totally different from the God of Lucks (“Thần Tài”), who rides a horse and wears an Imperial Court Administrative Official suit with WINGED Head Wear. The God of Lucks is usually depicted with a gold colour dress with black circular emblems, with the motto “Kim Ngọc Mãn Đường” -a court yard full of gold and precious jewels- ).
q. Midnight comes. This is the commencement of New Year. Trading (buying and selling) is a taboo for the next 72 hours. Higher prices are expected both before and after this 72 hours period.

r. New Year Celebration begins with detonation of fire crackers to scare away any bad spirits.

This is just like scaring away robbers and bandits during any change of guards.

Figure: Two Fire-crackers chains (in red colour) are hung from the ceiling to the ground. They are carefully guarded before they are burnt. 

Figure: Fire-crackers make crackling sounds and flashes. This Lion Dance is on the third day of New Year (2018Feb18z) in Sunshine, Victoria, Australia. Identical firecrackers are burnt in traditional Celebration at commencement of a Lunar New Year.

 

s. People make offerings to their ancestors at the indoor permanent altars for ancestors.

t. People go to Pagodas to break and take home (vandalize?) any of blossoming branches of “mai” trees there (“Hái lộc”).

u. First day of New Year is for Family reunion. Note that married women are considered family members of their husbands and not of their maiden family.

v. Second day of New Year is for Married Women to come back and reunite to their maiden families WITH their husbands and children.

w. Third day of New Year is for visit to former Teachers and people who brought/made working people to their current status.

x. Fourth day of New Year: People can enjoy their own chosen festival activities.

y. Seventh day of New Year: The temporary Altar (“Nêu” in Vietnamese) have to be dismantled and Deceased Ancestors are sent back to their Heavenly place.

Some shops may reopen on the Eighth day of New Year.

z. First Full Moon of New Year is “Hội Trăng Rằm” in Vietnamese (Carnival of Full Moon, “Tết Nguyên Tiêu” in Chinese written literature/history). People go to Pagodas to pray and make offering. Unmarried people go to the Carnivals of First Full Moon to select their matches (as described in the folk song of “Hát Hội Trăng Rằm”).

aa. New Year Festivals close. People relax to enter Month 2 for leisures.

Prices of good fall back to new levels which are not necessarily the old level. The high prices during the Festivals have been their stress-tests. Traders have evaluated supplies and demands during those tests and will confidently apply their new prices!

The popular quotes in Vietnamese is “Tháng Giêng là tháng ăn chơi, tháng Hai cờ bạc, tháng Ba hội hè”. It means First Month is for Enjoying Pleasures, Month 2 for Enjoying Gambling, Month 3 for Festivals, Carnivals, Meetings”

 

References.

[1].  tonytran2015, When-is-lunar-new-year-khi-nao-la-tet-am-lich , posted on 2018 January 1st.

[2]. tonytran2015, Simple-determination-of-east-asia-lunisolar-new-year , posted on 2017 January 19th.

[3]. http://www.bbc.com/vietnamese/vietnam/story/2006/07/printable/060704_lichvietnam.shtml

[4]. https://m.thanhnien.vn/van-hoa/vi-sao-nam-nay-viet-nam-an-tet-truoc-trung-quoc-mot-ngay-317188.html

[5]. https://tuoitre.vn/khach-bay-bat-ngo-vi-gia-ve-may-bay-tang-nhu-tet-20171003082319591.htm

Added after 2018Feb19:

[6]. https://perspectiveofawriter.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/lunar-new-year-in-south-korea-and-asia/

[7]. http://fragilemyths.com/2018/02/17/thoughts-lunar-new-year/

Related LIVING blogs:

Herbal noodle soup of stewed fried duck / Mi vit tiem, posted 2017/11/23

The agonizing choice of Vietnamese food dishes, posted September 27, 2017

Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016

20161230_192839ricegrains2c60.jpg

Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance.

mung_beans.jpg

LatestLongan Fruits.jpgLIVING  blogs:

Authentic Herbal Noodle Soup of Stewed, Fried Duck (Mì Vịt Tiềm chánh gốc)Herbal noodle soup of stewed fried duck / Mi vit tiemThe agonizing choice of Vietnamese food dishes,   ,   , Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance. , Rice as emergency food.,…all.

RELATED SURVIVAL blogs:

Using polarized light to locate the Sun when it is hidden from view. . Posted on May 9, 2015. This is a useful technique.

Using GPS in off-grid situations., posted December 6, 2016

Adding longitude and latitude lines to a map, posted August 23, 2017

Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted January 17, 2017

radio sony

Latestdivider43.jpgSURVIVAL  blogs:

, Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, The Scorpius constellation, Quick fire making using sunlight.,The Orion constellation, Rice as emergency food , Using GPS in off-grid situations, Identifying moderately bright navigational stars, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars,…all.

Click here to go to Divider63D400 Home Page (Navigation-Survival-How To-Money).

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Dried sweet fruits as energy food

 

Dried sweet fruits as energy food

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.100).

 

#dried, #sweet, #fruit, #longans, #banana, #survival, #food,

Dried sweet fruits as energy food.

In general, any sweet fruit can be dried by the Sun and kept as an emergency energy food supply. Dried sweet fruits may also be used as components of food for survival (similarly to chocolate bars).

Many sweet fruits can be dried and kept in this way. They include bananas, longans, jack fruits, apricots, persimons, plums.

1. Advantage of naturally dried fruits.

a/ Dried fruits have practically no water content and is resistant to spoiling by mould.

b/ Dried fruits can be preserved at ambient temperature for a long time.

c. Concentrated sugar inhibits cell growth and bacterial growth. Dried sweet fruits can be preserved at ambient temperature for an even long time.

d. Well prepared dried sweet fruits which are properly kept in refrigerators  can be easily preserved for more than 10 years.

e/ The same fruits may be dried to different extents for totally different market requirements.

Example: Roll pressed bananas may be dried to a dark colour but still in pliable state for consumption in less than a year. They may be dried even further until becoming crunchy and can be preserved for more than a year.

f/ Naturally dried sweet fruit contains NO PRESERVATIVE, is less objectionable to health food enthusiasts.

2. Traditional method of drying fruits by sunlight.

a/ In tropical countries like Vietnam sweet fruits are just peeled and may be additionally cut or pressed into thin slices and placed on aerated plates.

b/ The aerated plates are placed on hot tin (or tiled) roofs every day from 9am to 3pm for about 14 days.

c/ The drying is completed when the fruits or fruit slices reach their individual required dryness.

d/ The drying of plates of fruits needs someone’s watching. The watcher keeps away birds, flies and ants. 

3. Improved method of drying fruits by sunlight. 

Fruit drying operators may place aerated trays of fruits in aerated enclosed glass boxes under sunlight.

This keeps birds, flies and ants out. 

4. Industrial method of drying fruits.

The fruits are placed inside a vacuum vessel and water eveporate from it. 

5. Roughshod methods of drying fruits.

a/ Fruit trays are placed on hot, black bitumen surface of paved roads. This method has been practiced in Vietnam. The dried fruits are then dirty and may have sands small gravels sticking to their surfaces.

b/ Fruits are placed in wire baskets in the hot  exhaust streams of the tractors or the transport trucks. There are rumours that the method may have been practiced in China. The dried fruits then have smoky smells and are contaminated with heavy metals from the exhaust streams.

6. Eating dried fruits.

Figure: Longan Fruits

Figure: Dried longans packed, wrapped and packed in paper box. This box was bought in year 2002.

The Vietnamese name for longans is “long nhãn” (long= dragon, nhãn= eye, long nhãn= eyes of dragons}.

Figure: Boiled longans. The longans come straight from the paper box bought in 2002 in the previous figure, having been kept in a refrigerator for 15 years.

a/ Some can be eaten without further preparation (roll pressed bananas, dried banana).

b/ Some are best boiled before eating (dried longans).

c/ AVOID eating any dried fruits prepared by roughshod methods.

d/ You must clean your teeth thouroughly after eating dried SWEET fruits, they have high sugar contents. They may cause TOOTH DECAY.

CAUTIONS:

1. Warning on lead and heavy metals contamination of some imported dried fruits may be only the tips of some bigger icebergs.

2. Smoky smell of a dried fruit may be the sign that it had been dried by hot exhaust streams from tractors.

3. Sand and gravel contamination is the sign that the dried fruits had been dried on a road surface.

7. Where to find dried fruits.

Dried fruits may be found in Specialty Asian Foodstores.

The small pack of dried longans in the first figure may cost around 2AUD.

References.

[1].

Related SURVIVAL and HOW TO blogs:

Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016

20161230_192839ricegrains2c60.jpg

Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance.

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Latestdivider43.jpgSURVIVAL  blogs:

 , Navigating with an AM MW radio receiverThe Scorpius constellationQuick fire making using sunlight.,The Orion constellationRice as emergency food , Using GPS in off-grid situationsIdentifying moderately bright navigational starsSlide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars,…all.

Click here to go to Divider63D400 Home Page (Navigation-Survival-How To-Money).

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Cashless bartering for survival

Cashless bartering for survival

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.54).

#cashless, #bartering, #survival

After the collapse of an issuing government of some fiat money, or even after a government’s sudden demonetization or confiscation of its own fiat money the population is left with only bartering for their own survival.

1. Choice of universal exchange medium

As the existing fiat cash has no authority to accept it as a tax payment (such as right after that government is toppled by an occupation force or by a revolution), it may become just a worthless piece of money (see references [2],[3],[4],[5]).

People can do direct bartering of their locally produced goods and needed items or they can do better with indirect (double) bartering using an intermediary bartering medium. For examples on bartering medium, they can use five lemons or five oranges or two chicken eggs rather than one dollar, a spark plug to rather than 2 dollars etc…Bartering items are to be valued close to their former cash prices. For the long run, people have to adopt some “universal” trading medium (to replace the former currency) for their daily or weekly exchange (trading).

People should choose some medium with intrinsic values and with the following characteristics for their bartering:

1a. Usefulness to everyone,

1b. Being durable, not perishable, easy to maintain,

1c. Being neither dangerous nor illegal,

1d. Can be naturally consumed by the owner over time if trading is slow,

1e. Sub-divisibility into any suitable amount is an additional optional advantage.

Examples:

a. Rice (food grains that can be kept for up to 10 years) had been used as an exchange medium in Vietnam during World War 2, as French issued, Japanese issued or Vietnamese issued currencies all have uncertain backing by their respective, competing issuing authorities. Various grains and flours are used in their respective regions.

Figure: Close up photo of rice grains, each grain is about 7mm long.

b. Salt (only in ancient time), peppers, fuel, bicycle spare parts, clothing fabrics had been used in some countries in time of embargo, time of uncertainty and in ancient time. These goods (except bicycle parts) have also been the trading goods on the trans-national Silk road.

c. Clothing fabric, silver and gold had been used in some countries in ancient time.

Vietnamese gold slabs for trading

Figure: Vietnamese gold slabs for trading.
d1. Lighters, matches, cooking items, hygiene items, essential workshop tools (hammers, nails, piers), books and pencils had become desirable bartering goods in poor countries during WW2.

d2. Solar cells, of solar rechargeable batteries, radios, walkie talkies and phones may be desirable in modern time.

e. Decorated painted vases, live stocks (chicken, rabbits, boars, sheep, buffalo) have also been used as short distance trading stocks. (You need to check local laws regarding transportation and owning of live stock or wild life stock.).

f. Liquid fuels are valuable but they are highly flammable and are not suitable for bartering over long distances. Fire wood and coal may be kept in your house as handy bartering stocks.

2. Traders to keep no money!

Trading stocks of traders are to be bartered or sold and immediately changed into new type of stocks. The longer a trader hangs on with some uncertain money the more he may lose through sudden demonetization or inflation.

Remember that money owners (or rather renters?) always pay a RENT ON the MONEY in their custody, the rent is at least equal to the inflation/depreciation of that money. Why should someone rent something he doesn’t need?

3. Trading by bank transfers will carry prohibitive costs!

The move to outlaw cash is actually a herding of people into the control of the banks. The (crooked ?) banks will charge people for:

3a. Annual fees for having an account with them (about $20AUD unless …!)

3b. Inquiries on their current balances ($0.60AUD for each printed stub).

3c. Unknowing withdrawal of more than available from the balance (penalty of about $10 for going into “overdraft”).

3d. For accepting bounced checks ISSUED BY THOSE SAME CROOKED BANKS through their untrustworthy check writers (or are they the actors of the banks?). Banks charge about $30AUD to $60AUD for each bounced (baiting?) check issued by their own actors!

3e. A bank check (with no chance of being bounced) issued by a bank will cost a fee of $7AUD each.

3f. Bank transfer fees of about $2AUD for each completed smooth transaction.

3g. Fees for damage to your cards caused by their faulty machines.

3h. Fees for objections to phantom fees and balance loss through scams.

3i. Threat of account closure through none of your faults.

By now, we all should be aware of the creeping demands by bankers!

4. Conclusion:

Think ahead and be prepared !

References:

[1]. Preparing for cashless trading.

[2]. , posted on December 1, 2016

[3]. India’s cash crisis explained, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37983834

[4]. Venezuela follows Indias footsteps in demonetization scheme, econotimes.com, http://www.econotimes.com/Venezuela-follows-Indias-footsteps-in-demonetization-scheme-445257

[5]. India rupee ban: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh rubbishes Modi crackdown, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38088177, 24 November 2016.

[6]. Neha Sharma and Shalu Yadav, The Indian village that has returned to bartering, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38180075, 5 December 2016.

[7]. Patrick Bodenham, Will Spain’s coal belt survive through online barter?, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38731808, 2 February 2017.

[8]. James Melik, Haggling and bartering gain appeal, BBC News Services, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7883050.stm, 12 February 2009.

[9]. Mark Lowen, Greece bartering system popular in Volos, BBC News Services, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17680904, 12 April 2012.

[10]. https://us-issues.com/2018/07/16/venezuelas-socialist-hyperinflation-turned-people-back-to-barter-system/

Added after 2018 July 31st:

A SPECTACULAR BARTERING

[11]. https://michael1942.com/2018/07/27/how-pepsi-briefly-became-the-6th-largest-military-in-the-world/

[12]. https://ogaziestheory.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/how-pepsi-briefly-became-the-6th-largest-military-in-the-world/

BARTERING IN HYPERINFLATION

[13]. https://akahinews.com/2018/07/29/venezuelas-bolivar-currency-worthless-as-inflation-hits-1-million-percent/

[14]. https://www.alloutdoor.com/2018/07/09/barter-is-the-new-currency-in-socialist-venezuela/

RELATED SURVIVAL blogs

Gold for storing wealth, posted on 28 April 2017

Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted January 17, 2017, The Scorpius constellation, posted January 8, 2017, The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016, Rice as emergency food., Using GPS in off-grid situations, Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.

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Quick fire making using sunlight.

Quick fire making using sunlight.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.44).
#make fire, #making fire, #fire, #Sun, #sunlight, #crystal, #glass #ball, #sphere, #lens, #ocular, #monocular #sun-rays, #survival.

You may already have in your possession some excellent lenses for making fires. Knowing about them will help you make fire quickly from sunlight when facing an emergency. All lenses described in this blog can make a cigarette smoulder in less than 30 seconds and can light up that cigarette afterwards.

1. Concentration of radiating heat flux by a lens.

The radiating heat flux from the Sun is concentrated by a factor C given by

C = Pi*d*d/(Pi*f*a*f*a) =

C = (d/f)*(d/f)*(1/a)*(1/a).

where d and f are respectively the diameter and focal length of the lenses and a is the angular diameter of the Sun (a = 0.5*3.14/180radian = 0.0087 radian).

The angular diameter of the Sun cannot be changed. It is obvious that we have to increase the ratio (d/f), which is called the aperture number of the lenses, to increase the heat flux concentration. The deciding factor for success is the aperture ratio of the mirror or lens system.

C = 13200*(d/f)*(d/f).

This concentration of heat flux is remarkably high for any lens system with D/f of more than 1/3 and can be used to ignite properly prepared tinder to make fire in survival situations.

The calculated concentration of radiating heat flux can only be achieved using precision optics. Any imperfection on the surface of the lens disperses the image of the Sun and reduces the concentration drastically.

2. A transparent perfect sphere.

crystalballc70.jpg

Figure 1 : A small clear sphere (25mm diameter).

crystalball2c70.jpg

Figure 2 : Small clear sphere (close up view).

You may have a small clear glass sphere somewhere in your household either as a decorative item, or as a bottle stopper, etc…

The small transparent sphere I use here is a small (25.4 mm diameter) clear quartz sphere often used as an item of curiosity and often called a “crystal sphere” by fortune tellers.

Calculations using geometrical optics show that (for n=1.5) the focal point is about 0.5 radius outside the surface of the ball and the equivalent focal length of the sphere is about 2r×(3/4)= 1.5r

Even if only rays of distance less than 0.5 radius (from the central ray) converge on the spot, the aperture of the sphere is still
D/f = (2*0.5r)/(1.5r) = 1/(1.5),

a high value for aperture.

At an aperture value of 2/3, the concentration of radiating heat by sunlight is

C = 13200*(D/f)*(D/f) = 6000.

The actual aperture number of this clear sphere is higher than 1/1.5 and the sphere can be used as a lens to light up cigarettes using sunlight.

Figures 3 : Lighting a cigarette by a small 25mm clear quartz sphere.

The above photo also demonstrates the danger of leaving clear glass balls on any combustible surface. When the afternoon Sun comes down to an elevation of 41degree (= arcsin 0.6666), the image of the Sun is exactly on the combustible material and combustion becomes a real possibility !

The concentration factor of C = 6000 is only realized with a perfect sphere. For any body of revolution of nearly spherical shape, the concentration of radiating heat flux is much lower, and may come down to C = 100 when there is some appreciable astigmatism. For this reason, PRECISION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIZE for transparent spheres.

I prefer having a small perfect sphere to a large approximate sphere.

3. A watchmaker double staged ocular.

Figure 1: A watch maker monocular.

Figure 2 : A watch maker monocular (rear view).

Figures 3 : Lighting a cigarette by a watch maker monocular.

A monocular is a compound magnifying lens used by watchmakers to see small details of watch movements. It is a simple version of the oculars used for each eye in common sport binoculars.

Every first aid kit for hikers should have this light weight and useful device and a pair of sharp tweezers for detecting and removal of hurting spikes or splinters sticking in the skins.

The lens nearer to the eye of a proper ocular has a large diameter to give the eye a wide field of view. The double stage makes tiny object has a large image at infinity.

When sunlight travels in the reverse direction from the back (big) end to the front (small) end it will focus at a tiny spot outside the ocular and about 20mm from the front lens.

The aperture ratio D/f of this compound lens is about 1/2.

If the dark end of a cigarette is placed at that bright tiny spot smouldering will begin in less than 1 second on a sunny day.

If the oculars of your binoculars are thread removable then you can also use them in emergency but keeping in mind that taking apart a pair of binoculars will allow dirt to contaminate it.

The concentration factor of C = 13200*(d/f)*(d/f) is only realized with a lens having perfect spherical surfaces. For any lens with only approximate shape, the concentration of radiating heat flux is much lower, and may come down to C = 100 when there is some appreciable astigmatism. For this reason, PRECISION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIZE for any monocular.

I prefer to have a small quality monocular than a large one with low quality.

4. Aspherical condenser lenses.

Figure 1: A fused quartz aspherical lens.

Figure 2: Fused quartz aspherical lens viewed from another direction.

I was lucky to be given a fused quartz, thick aspheric lens. Its aperture ratio is about D/f=1/1.5 while other thin spherical, glass lenses have a ratio of less than 1/2.5.
The concentration of solar heat flux is much higher when using it than when using an ordinary magnifying glass.

Figure 3: A one battery LED torch with a thick aspherical lens at the front.

The front lenses of zoom focus LED torches are low cost substitutes for such aspherical lens. They do work exceptionally well and are even unbreakable since they are made from (acrylic ?) plastic.

Disadvantage.

The disadvantage of using any such aspherical lens for making fire is that it is heavy and it has very short distance from its flat side to the bright focal point. Sunlight coming to this bright focal point from many widely separated directions and it is difficult to direct them all to the trough of the dimple at the center of the end of a cigarette. I found that it is less easy to light up a cigarette using an aspherical lens than using a good monocular of the same diameter.

Again, it is important to also note that PRECISION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIZE for any aspherical lens.

I prefer to have a small quality aspherical lens than a large one with low quality.

5. A flexible Fresnel lens for wallet.

Figure 1: A thin flexible Fresnel lens for wallet. Concentric grooves can be noticed at the right hand corners of this picture.

The lens is usually made of thin, flexible, soft clear plastic of the size of credit cards. This type of lenses is sold as wallet sized magnifying glasses for map reading.

A Fresnel lens has high aperture ratio and can be used to light up cigarettes with ease. However it needs to be properly cleaned after each use as it is easily scratched.

6. Method of lighting up a cigarette using a small lens.

1. A cigarette or its imitation made up from rolled up toilette tissue sheets with darkened ends seems to be the readily available suitable tinder sticks for making fire using sunlight.

2. A conical dimple should be made at the dark end of a cigarette. The depth of the dimple should be about the size of its radius. That is a conical concave surface should be made out of the dark flat tip of the cigarette. This tiny concave surface reduces radiating heat loss from the fire to be started at its trough.

3. A precision lens is used to focus sunlight onto the dark end of a cigarette. PRECISION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SIZE as the high concentration of sunlight depends on precision of the lens surface.

4. The axis of the lens system should point exactly at the Sun to have maximum amount of sunlight converging on the focal point.

5. Sunlight should be focused on one point on the surface of the dimpled end of the cigarette to blacken it. Smoke should be seen arising from the spot within 10 seconds after focusing. Other points of the surface should then be smothered to have all the surface gradually blackened.

6. Sunlight is now focused on the trough point of the dimpled surface. Smoke will be seen and the trough will glow red when assisted by gentle wind blowing toward the other end of the cigarette.

7. The cigarette should now be smoked or blown externally so that hot fume from the flame end travels toward its other end to heat up the adjacent zone to ready it for combustion.

8. A strong red glow indicates that the cigarette has been burning. It can now be used to start up a fire.

References

[1]. tonytran2015, Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight, posted on February 27, 2016

[2]. tonytran2015, Mirror for making fire using sunlight, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Mirror for making fire using sunlight, posted on April 13, 2016

Appendix: Calculations for the spherical lens.

The focus point is about 0.5 radius outside the surface of the ball. D/f is about 0.7.
Front face

1/f = (n-1)(1/r1 + 1/r2)
f = r/(n-1)

f = 2r front

Let d be the distance from the front surface to the focal point.

d = r/(n-1) in air, rn/(n-1) in glass

d=2r in air, 3r in glass
Let d1 be the distance from the Rear surface to the focal point to.
d1 = rn/(n-1)-2r = r(-n+2)/(n-1) in glass,

r(-n+2)/(n×(n-1)) in air

d1 = r in glass, 2r/3 in air

1/d2 = 1/(2r) + (n×(n-1))/( r(-n+2) )

=(1/((2r)× (2-n)))×(2-n+2n×(n-1))

1/d2= (1/((2r)× (2-n)))× (2n*n-3n+2) for n=1.5,

1/d2 = 1/(2r) + 3/(2r)
d2 = 0.5r

Rear magnification:

0.5/(2/3) = 3/4

Equivalent focal length of the sphere is

2r×(3/4)= 1.5r
Calculations using geometrical optics show that for n=1.5 the focal point is about 0.5 radius outside the surface of the ball and the equivalent focal length of the sphere is about

2r×(3/4)= 1.5r

Aperture is

D/f=4/3.

Obviously actual parallel rays at one radius distance from the axis of the ball cannot converge on the bright spot.
Note that the radiative heat flux from the Sun is concentrated by a factor C given by
C = Pi*d*d/(Pi*f*a*f*a) =
C = (d/f)*(d/f)*(1/a)*(1/a).
where d and f are respectively the diameter and focal length of the lenses and a is the angular diameter of the Sun (a = 0.5*3.14/180radian = 0.0087 radian).
The angular diameter of the Sun cannot be changed. It is obvious that we have to increase the ratio (d/f), which is called the aperture number of the lenses, to increase the heat flux concentration. The deciding factor for sucess is the aperture ratio of the mirror or lens system.
Even if only rays of distance less than 0.5 radius converge on the spot, the aperture of the sphere is still

D/f = (2*0.5r)/(1.5r)

= 2/3 = 1/(1.5),

a high value for aperture.

At D/f of 2/3, the concentration of solar heat is

C = 13200*(D/f)*(D/f) = 6000.

PREVIOUS SURVIVAL blogs

Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight. Posted on February 27, 2016

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Mirror for making fire using sunlight., posted on April 13, 2016

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Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016

20161230_192839ricegrains2c60.jpgThe Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

Rice as emergency food.

Using GPS in off-grid situations.

Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes.

Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars..,,..all.

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Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes.

Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(blog No.28)

#find North, #finding North, #direction, #time, #slide, #sky, #star, #map, #disc, #disk, #star disk, #slide sky map, #slide sky disk, #slide star disk, #navigation, #declination, #right ascension.
Feature Figure: Illustration of a rotatable Sky map with an overlaid grid mask showing azimuths and latitudes of stars for a user at 40 degree latitude.

(Note: There was a software error which initially set the publication date wrongly on October 19th, 2016. The true publication date is Nov 3rd, 2016.)

It is an advantage to know the arrangement of stars for the nights before engaging in nightly activities such as going to the country side or navigating your way by stars. It is difficult to have a good display of the night sky with current commercially available circular star maps as they are equidistant-azimuthal and have a lot of distortion for visualization whereas easy visualization requires that groups of stars should appears with the same shape as actually observed in the sky and the constant altitude curves should be nearly circular around the zenith point.

The device given in this posting gives the desired displays with low distortion for the night sky. I give it the name Slide Sky-Disk (which is similar to the name Circular Slide Rules of similar looking mathematical devices used before the age of calculators).

It is made of two maps of stars and of interchangeable viewing grids to give elevation and azimuth angles of stars to observers located near to 0 degree, 20 degrees, 40 degrees and 60 degrees in latitude.

It will be useful to people who want to learn the stars by themselves or need to refresh their nightly detailed knowledge of the sky before going out. It is low cost, light weight, small, flexible, durable and quite portable. If made from waterproof materials, it may also be used as a low cost standby star maps for pilots, travelers, hikers and seamen (My is made from CD discs, flexible CD cases and plastic films, they are all waterproof).

The device is made by following instructions in the next 4 steps. PLEASE READ THROUGH ALL STEPS BEFORE STARTING ANY CONSTRUCTION.

Step 1: Making the base maps for the Slide Sky-Disks.

Sky-disk for Celestial Northern 3/4-sphere

Sky-disk for Celestial Southern 3/4-sphere

Figures 1, 2: Two base maps.

The two maps of the North and South regions of the Celestial sphere made by Inversion Projection (Stereoscopic Projection) are used for the Northern and Southern hemispheres respectively.

The maps are to be printed on both sides of a thick sheet of A4 paper to make a base disc. Alternatively they can be printed on ordinary A4 papers and pasted on the opposite sides of a thick disk used as the base disc. I used 2 CD discs and print the maps as their labels.

Step 2: Making rotatable overlaying masks giving azimuth and elevation on the Slide-Sky-Disks.

altitude azimuth grid mask for 00 degrees of latitude

altitude azimuth grid mask for 20 degrees of latitude

altitude azimuth grid mask for 40 degrees of latitude

altitude azimuth grid mask for 60 degrees of latitude

Figures 1, 2, 3, 4: The grid masks for observers at 0 degree, 20 degrees, 40 degrees and 60 degrees in latitude.

A grid mask is placed on top of the base map to read the azimuth and the elevation of the stars drawn on the map. The grid masks must match the type of coordinates used for drawing the Celestial sphere. An observer must use the mask drawn for his latitude.

Description of curves on grid masks:

The smallest circle of each grid is graduated into 12 intervals of 30 degrees each to show the azimuth angle of the star or direction from True North (or True South for Southern latitudes). The curves radiating from the center represent the great circles from the zenith to the terrestrial points of 0 degree (North), 30, 60, 90 degree (East) , 120, 150, 180 degree (South), 210, 240, 270 degree (West), 300, 330 (The North line points toward the map’s center in Northern hemisphere and away from it in Southern hemisphere.). The red circular arcs represent the constant elevation circles in the sky. They are placed at 30, 60 and 90 degrees from the zenith. The circle at 90 degrees from the zenith represents the horizon on flat locations. The graduation can also be read from the horizon circle toward the center to show the elevation angle of the star. The position of any star in the sky can be read against the grid.

Four grid masks are given here for use with both Celestial spheres. You have to select one that is based on a latitude nearest to your current latitude.

For latitude between 0 degree and 10 degree select the mask based on 0 degree latitude.

For latitude between 10 degree North and 30 degree select the mask based on 20 degree latitude.

For latitude between 30 degree North and 50 degree select the mask based on 40 degree latitude.

For latitude between 50 degree North and 70 degree select the mask based on 60 degree latitude.
You can make all four masks as each can be easily fit into and removed from the device as you move to a location with a different latitude.

Make each mask with the CORRECT size and print it at the CENTER of an uncut A4 waterproof transparent film by a photocopier. If this cannot be done you may have to print the mask on an ordinary piece of paper, place a transparent film on top of it and trace the grid lines onto the waterproof transparent film using a pen with waterproof ink.

Step 3: Making the grid holder for a Slide-Sky-Disk.

Figure: The grids holder is made from a flexible CD case.

The grid holder is made from a flexible plastic CD box. The front circular window has been cut for viewing the map. A small rear window is cut for moving the map. A grid is drawn onto a square transparent film and fitted to the front cover. It is to be held in place by the four plastic lugs (visible in the picture). The base map will be fitted on to the holding stub on the back cover and it can be rotated relative to the case and the grid on the front cover.

Step 4: Final assemblage of a Slide-Sky-Disk.
slide-sky-disk

Figure 1: Photograph of an actual Slide Sky-Disk fitted with a mask for 40 degree.

slide sky disc rotated

Figure 2: Photograph with Sky-Disk rotated anti-clockwise by about 25 degrees.
Push the CD with the picture of the chosen hemisphere onto the holding stub of the CD case. Make sure that it can be easily rotated inside the holder. Close the case and the Slide Sky-Disk is ready for use. The disc is rotated by access through the small window on the back cover.

Step 5: Using the Slide-Sky-Disks.

The sky at night is represented by the circular sky map centered on the corresponding Celestial pole under the transparent window carrying the grid showing azimuth and altitude (that is the disc rotates under the viewing window).

1/- Check that the center cross of the grid is on the declination line corresponding to your required latitude.

2/- Rotate the map to place the current date on the opposite side of the window. The map and the grid gives the view of the mid-night sky for the date.

3/- Then rotate the core map by half a division (15 degree on the equator or half a month) to decrease or increase the Right Ascension for every hour ahead of or after midnight. R.A. increases in the clockwise direction for Northern and counter-clockwise for Southern hemisphere.

4/- As the latitude for the grid is not being exactly that of the observer and the true time at the location is not being equal to the zonal time the slide star disk may not give very accurate values of elevation and azimuth angle for the stars within 30 degree of the zenith. However the lines joining these stars still give accurate directions and they help identifying other stars near the horizon. The stars near the horizon can be read from the Slide Sky-Disk with more accurate values of azimuth and elevation angles.

Examples:

The sky of December 21st can be visualized for any latitude using these Slide Sky-Disks in combination with a Slide Sky Map [3] .The view is CORRECTLY ORIENTED WHEN its December marking ON EACH DISK IS AT THE BOTTOM. You may have to click on each image to have a clearer view.

Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 60°N

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 40°N

Figures 1,2: Night sky on Dec 21st at latitudes of 60°N, 40°N, up side down view. The view is CORRECTLY ORIENTED WHEN its December marking ON EACH DISK IS AT THE BOTTOM.

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 20°N

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 20°N

Figures 3,4: Night sky on Dec 21st at latitudes of 20°N, upside down view. The view is CORRECTLY ORIENTED WHEN its December marking is AT THE BOTTOM ON THE DISK.

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 0°

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 0°

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 0°

Figures 5,6,7: Night sky on Dec 21st at latitude of 0°N. The view of Figure 5 is CORRECTLY ORIENTED WHEN its December marking is AT THE BOTTOM ON THE DISK.

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 20°S

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 20°S

Figures 8,9: Night sky on Dec 21st at latitudes of 20°S.

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 40°S

 Sky map for Dec 21st at latitude of 60°S

Figures 10,11: Night sky on Dec 21st at latitudes of 40°S and 60°S.



References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars. Posted on August 28, 2015

[2]. tonytran2015, . Posted on May 25, 2016

[3]. tonytran2015, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars, posted on October 7, 2016

RELATED SURVIVAL blogs

, posted on Circumpolar Stars Nth
, posted July 22, 2016

NorthByKnownStar

Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted January 17, 2017, The Scorpius constellation, posted January 8, 2017, The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016, Rice as emergency food., Using GPS in off-grid situations, Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.

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Measuring angles and distances for outdoor survival

Measuring angles and distances for outdoor survival

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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#angle, #distance, #estimate, #measure, #bare hands, #parallax, #slope, #survival

Measuring angles and distances for outdoor survival (Blog No. 21).

When you are outdoor, you often need to work out the distances to various objects around you so that you can plan your activities and know exactly where you are on your map to be in control of your trip, to make your plan to get back to safety, or to inform your rescuers of your exact position. However the challenge arises you have to make angle and distance measurements but neither can nor should employ any instrument, such as when hiking, when riding a motor-bike, or when on a touring bus. In such cases measuring angles with bare hands is the only method left. (Accurate measurement of angles allows determination of distances in survival situations.)

The method is described here and it uses the edges of the index and middle fingers as parallel guide lines for measuring angles. (Measuring posture must be correct to keep the viewing angles separating them nearly constant.)

1. Frontal measurement of angular separation at eyes level (Basic posture).

BasicVert

Figure: Basic arm posture for angle measurement. The two outer edges of the measuring fingers form the marks on a scale of 0 to 10 for measuring vertical angular separations. The fraction of (10/200)rad in this figure is only for an angle of 3 degrees, the denominator will be different for other values of the angle.

This measurement uses the basic posture for angle measurements.

User has his face and chest facing the object to be measured. His shoulders are kept level, one of his arms stretched out, to have its measuring fingers precisely in front and on the symmetry plane of the torso.

The index and middle fingers of that hand are curled. The two outermost joints of each of these fingers are kept horizontal, straight and at right angle to his line of view. The edges of those finger extremities form three regularly spaced parallel guide lines to make a scale for measuring angles. The two outer edges are separated by an unchanged angle depending only on the bone structure of the user. This angle is constant over a long time for each individual and can be used to measure any angular separation. It can be easily measured by comparing it with the diameter of the Moon. It is usually between 2 and 5 degrees (which is 4 to 10 diameters of the Moon; each diameter sustains half a degree). The user must know how to find out the value for his own body structure:

1 finger has nearly 1.5 degree width in frontal measurement (for most people),

2 adjacent fingers have nearly 3 degree width in frontal measurement (for most people).

User can also have those index and middle fingers pointing in any direction from 1 to 7 o’clock to measure any non-vertical angular separation.

When the object in view is not level with eye level, the user can raise or lower his stretched arm, tilt his head and bend his upper torso to keep the distance from the measuring hand to the eyes constant. By raising and lowering the arm, the aiming line can reach an elevation of 80 degrees and a depression of 90 degrees.

Measurement of overhead angles is more difficult and has reduced distance from eyes to hand. The resulting angle must consequently be increased by some percentage to compensate for that.

To have consistent results, all other measuring postures should be immediately alternated with the basic posture to check for the constancy of the distance from eyes to hand.

2. Conversion of the angle into fractions of radian or mil.

BasicHor

Figure 1: The two outer edges of the measuring fingers form the marks at 0, 5 and 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 for measuring angular separations; the scale is oriented horizontally in this illustration. The fraction of (10/200)rad in this illustration is only for an angle of 3 degrees, the denominator will be different from 200 when the angle is not 3 degree.

Angle7C30

Figure 2: The two outer edges of the measuring fingers form the marks at 0, 5 and 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 for measuring angular separations; the scale is oriented vertically in this illustration. The fraction of (10/200)rad in this illustration is only for an angle of 3 degrees between the two outer edges of the two fingers, the denominator will be different from 200 when that angle between the two outer edges is different from 3 degrees.

The angle between the outer edges of the two fingers is next converted into a gradient (or slope) value which is more useful.

3 degrees is nearly equal to a slope of 0.0523 (= tan (3 degree) = 3*0.01745) which is next written as 1/19.12 = 10/191.2 # 10/200 (You can use 10/191 but rounding the ratio to 10/200 make field calculations much faster.).

The separation angle of 3 degree has thus been converted into an angle of (10/200) radian (see the step on Units for angle measurement).

Similarly, the separation angle of 4 degree is converted into an angle of (10/150) radian.

Each user has to determine the value for his own individual angle which is determined by his body structure, convert it into a fraction of one radian with a nominator of 10 and remember his own denominator value. The denominator may be any rounded numbers between 100 and 400.

The two outer edges of the measuring fingers thus form a scale from 0 to 10 for measuring angles. Angles are measured against the nominator of the fraction for the angle between the outer edges of the two fingers.

Readers may skip to Units for measuring angles on first reading.

3. Measurement over the shoulder.

This is used when it is not practical to assume the basic posture, such as when standing on a tight spot.
User has one of his shoulder facing the object to be measured, his two shoulders in line with the object , the arm nearer to the object fully stretched out, its index and middle fingers placed between his eyes and the object. This is for measuring angle over the shoulder. The parallel guide lines formed by the fingers are now separated by a smaller angle. The angular separation of the guide lines is now reduced by about 25%.

4. Measurement at 45 degrees to your shoulder line.

This is used when it is not practical to assume the basic posture, such as when standing on a tight spot.
User has his measuring arm stretched out, pointing to the object. The user can raise or lower his stretched arm and tilt his head and upper torso to keep the distance from the measuring hand to the eyes constant. By raising and lowering the arm, the aiming line can be reach elevation of 60 degrees and depression of 90 degrees. The angular separation of the guide lines is now reduced by about 20%.

5. Units for angle measurement.

Figure: A full circle is designated to be 360 degree. This is given on most compasses.

The angle for a full circle is divided into 360 degrees, or 2X(3.14159) radians. As it is not convenient to use any compass scale in radians, the US military compasses use their scales in mils. A full circle is divided into 6400mils, so

6400mil = 360degree = 2*3.14rad,

1 rad = 1019mil # 1000mil (This is a convenient conversion formula).

Quick reference values for angle measurement:

An equilateral triangle has 3 equal angles of 60°.

1 degree angle is equal to (2*3.14159/360)rad # (1/60)rad # a slope of (1/60).

6 degree angle is equal to (2*3.14159/60)rad # (1/10)rad # a slope of (1/10).

10 degree angle is equal to (2*3.14159/36)rad # (1/6)rad # a slope of (1/6).

The diameter of the Moon varies between 0.5degree and 0.55degree. It can be taken to be 1/2 degree and is used to conveniently calibrate the angular spacing of your index and middle fingers.

Note: The mils on Chinese compasses are NOT US mils; 6400 US mils are equal to 6000 Chinese mils.

6. Application 1- Estimating distance to an object of known size on the ground.

LandMark

Figure: A distinctive building with known dimension can be used to estimate your distance to it.

Objects of known sizes such as your companion and his survival walking stick or of standardized sizes such as train track widths, street signs, car lengths or of very similar sizes such as fully grown plants and animals can be used to estimate your distances to their nearby objects. Your distance to it is given by the simple formula:

(inverse of angle in radian) * (size of object) = (distance to object).

A numerical example will be given in Application 6.

7. Application 2- Estimating distance to an intersection along a road of constant width.

DistIntersection

Figure: A straight road of constant width. The arrows on the right correspond to the distance to the intersection, 1/2 and 1/4 of it.

(Estimating distance to an intersection along a straight road of constant width.)

The width of the road must be constant in this application. You first find an observation point higher than the surface of the road to observe the width of the road with SAFETY and ease.

Measure the angular width of the road at the intersection. The point on the road where the angular width is double that is at half the distance. The point on the road where the angular width is double that new width is again at half of that new distance. Use the method repeatedly to obtain 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 of the unknown distance, until the last one in the sequences can be accurately estimated by any other method such as comparison to your height. Note that suitable adjustment should be made for the height of your observation point.

8. Application 3- Estimating distance to a point along a straight line on the ground.

DistLine

Figure: A straight yellow line to an object of unknown distance, which is placed at the smallest arrow on the line. Your observation point is at the center of the bottom edge of the figure. The arrows on the right correspond to the distance to the object, 1/2 and 1/4 of it.

You should choose an observation point on one side and away from the line. Imagine a parallel hand rail at your eye level on top of that line. The hand rail runs from your eye to the intersection of that line and the horizon. Use the method of the preceding section to repeatedly divide the distance into half until the last one so obtained can be accurately estimated by any other method such as comparison to your height.

9. Application 4- Measuring distance to a ground object by traversing horizontally.

DistPole

Figure 1: A pole of unknown distance from the observer who is at the short base of the triangle drawn by the dotted line. Top inset: The pole seems to move against the distant background when the observer moves at right angle to the line of view.

PoleMovement

Figure 2: On the scale 0-5-10 formed by the edges of your two measuring finger, the pole seems to move by a value of 17.

DistOblique

Figure 3: A movement at an oblique angle can be made and the traverse is obtained from the projection of this angle onto the normal to the line of view.

Measuring distance to a ground object by traversing horizontally is also known as measurement by parallax angle.

Notice the position of the object on the distant (far) skyline (or low clouds). Traverse 10 parade paces (7.5m) in a direction at right angle to the line of view. Observe the relative horizontal displacement of the impression of the object on the distant sky line and measure this angular displacement. (If at night, observe the relative horizontal displacement of the object against the low elevation stars and measure this angular displacement.)

(inverse of angle in radian) * (traverse) = (distance to object).

When it is not practical to move at right angle to the line of view, a movement at an oblique angle can be made and the traverse is obtained from the projection of this angle onto the normal to the line of view.

(The result will be more accurate when the traverse and the angle are determined more accurately such as when using a tape measure and an accurate sighting compass.)

Example:

1. The distance to a transmission tower may be known if the you can walk around it in a circle and measure the length of the circle.

Distance = (Length of circle)/(2*3.14)

When the whole circle cannot be made, part of it (a circular arc) can be used instead and the distance is given by

Distance = (Length of arc)*(360degrees/(angle of arc in degrees))/(2*3.14)

or

Distance = (Length of arc)*(6.28318radians/(angle of arc in radians))/(2*3.14)

or

Distance = (Length of arc)*(1radian/(angle of arc in radians))

2. If the direction to the transmission tower changes by 5 degrees (=5*0.0174 radian) after you have traversed 7.5m, as in Figure 1, the distance will be

(1/(5*0.0174))*(7.5m) = 86m.

The value of 5 degrees was supposed to be obtained by an accurate measuring device and is equal to the angle of the arc. The value of 5 degrees is only an example, you have to use whatever value given by your angle measuring device.

3. Since the transmission tower appears to move against the distant skyline when you traverse 7.5m, as in Figure 1, the angle of this movement relative to the distant skyline can also be used to work out your distance to the tower without using any measurement device as in the following.

We first assume the ratio measuring the angle between the outer edges of your two measuring fingers to be 10/200 (This is the ratio for most people). On the scale of 0-5-10 formed by the edges of your two measuring fingers, the transmission tower seems to move by a value of 17 units (which is a rough value of 5degrees (=0.087radian) read on a scale of (1/200)radian per unit) against the distance skyline (Figure 2). With this reading of 17, the distance to the tower can be worked out to be

(1/(200/17))*(7.5m) = 88m,

So, the distance has been worked out in a simple way with an error of about 5%, using only your bare hands.

4. If you are on moving along a track at 30° angle to the line of view, you don’t have to leave it only to make a traverse at right angle to the line of view. Just keep moving along the track for about 15m, the transmission tower will move against the sky line by some angle. The traverse distance is now

15m*cos(90°-30°)=7.5m.

Other calculations remain the same.

10. Application 5- Measuring distance to a ground object by traversing vertically.

DistTree

Figure: A tree of unknown distance to observer. Inset: The horizon seems to follow the observer and moves against the tree when he stands up and crouches down.

Measuring distance to a ground object by traversing vertically.

Notice the position of the object on the distant (far) skyline (or low clouds). Crouch down and stand up to move your eyes at right angle to the line of view. Crouching reduce your eye level by half your height. Observe the relative vertical displacement of the impression of the object on the distant sky line and measure this angular displacement.

(inverse of angle in radian) * (change in height) = (distance to object).

11. Application 6- Locating your position on a map relative to a tall land mark.

LandMarkNightView

Figure 1: The tall, distinctive building of step 6 is used as a landmark for navigation around the city.

LandMarkMap

Figure 2: The location of the landmark on a map with distance scales. Notes on the map: The map data are used under Open License from Open Street Map, the data are owned by Open Street Map Contributors.

Use the known size of the distinguishable parts of the landmark for estimating of its distance (as given in preceding section). The direction of the landmark from the observation point gives the direction of the observation point relative to the landmark.

Example:

The landmark building is observed to be in the direction of 0° to 10° (North) of the observation point.

Measurement of the top segment of the landmark building by using the scale 0-10 of the method in step 1 gives a value of 6. The angle thus is (6/10)*(10/200)rad = (6/200)rad.

The top segment (from the helipad to the top) of this building has a height of 71m (from data provided on the internet). Therefore its distance from the observation point is

(200/6)*71m = 2400m (10% accuracy).

The observation point is thus on the thick faint red arc drawn on the map and in the direction 180°-190° (South) of the landmark.

So the observation point should be somewhere close to the Southern end of a bridge on the map.

This method for positioning is found to be quite good for this example as the actual observation point is right on the South end of that bridge.

12. Estimating distance by the speed of sound.

At the moment of seeing the cause, such as a firework, an explosion, you should start counting “one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, . .” . Your “one” , “two”, “three” will correspond to 1second, 2seconds, 3seconds after the flashing. The sound will come against the your counting to give the time for the sound to come to you. It gives your distance from the source of the sound.

1 second corresponds to 340m, 2 second, 680m, 3 second, 1020m, . . .10 second, 3400m.

Estimating distances to thunder storms.

When you are outdoor in the wilderness, it is vital to avoid lightning strikes. Lightning strikes occurs when there is discharge to the ground by electrically highly charged clouds. Highly charged clouds usually discharge among themselves creating lightning flash. At the moment of flashing you should start counting “one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, . . ” to determine your distance to the lightning discharge.

When the lightning strikes is closer than 2000m (that is when any thunder arrives within 6 seconds of its flash) you should think about your safety and your plan to avoid lightning strikes.

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Beware of perilous flips by magnetic compasses

Beware of perilous flips by magnetic compasses

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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#compass, #flip, #reversal, #compass reversal, #compass flip, #re-magnetize, #navigation, #survival, #find North, #finding North,

There has been warning by a Mountaineering expert that many people got into perilous situation when their compasses unexpectedly flipped direction prior to critical use. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has issued warning on this danger.

This posting gives a method to re-magnetize and set at will the direction of any compass needle. The basic steps in guarding against unexpected flipping of magnetic compasses are also shown.

One possible cause of flips by magnetic compasses.

When a magnetic compass is stored its needle can not swing or cannot swing fast enough to follow the change in magnetic field.

If a strong magnetic field is forced through the needle from one end to the other, the needle will be magnetized by this strong field.

Therefore when your compass is stored in your bag and a strong magnet approaches it faster than the needle can rotate to adapt to change, the new field may be able to force a magnetic flux from one end of the needle to the other end and re-magnetize the needle. This occurrence is not rare.

Proof and applications.

compassflipMEDIUM

Figure: The reverse-magnetized needle of the compass with clear case

The first pictures shows that the needle of the clear based compass is pointing in the opposite direction to that given by the reference, metal cased compass. The needle has been magnetized into the flipped condition.

Re-magnetize the needle again

compassRestoredMEDIUM.jpg

Figure: The re-magnetized needle of the compass with clear case.

The compass needle was then successfully re-magnetized back into normal condition. It again points in the normal direction.

So I have been able to re-magnetize (in any direction of choice) the needle of a compass (the clear based compass with a mirror) as shown in the first two pictures. The magnet I used costs me under $0.30USD and is shown in the third, composite picture.

Re-magnetizing the needle of any compass

CompassToolsMEDIUM

Figure: Tools for Re-magnetizing the needle of any compass.

1/- To re-magnetize a compass, it is preferable to have a single pole P of a strong magnet far away from its other poles. Lay the compass up-side-down. Find out the end A of the needle that is repulsed by P. Push that pole P to the center of the needle, then move P towards that end A. When P has reached the end A and attracted that end, the needle has been re-magnetized.

It is even better if you can supply another single pole Q of opposite polarity to also touch the other end B of the needle. Otherwise, just use the compass just re-magnetized by the single pole P.

2/- The above re-magnetization shows that it is preferable to have long, observable needles for compasses.

3/- If you carry any strong magnets make sure that they are closed by closing irons to keep their magnetic lines within the vicinity of the magnets and the lines do not affect your compass.

The magnet I used is a fridge magnet of the rare earth type, it costs under $0.30 USD.

Avoidance and detection of flipping of a magnetic compass.

On acquisition of a compass, you should

1/- inspect it for any damage,

2/- count the swing, roll, and pitching vibration frequencies of its needle and make a written record,

3/- check the pitching of the needle and make a written record.

Before packing the compass for each field travel, you should

1/- inspect it for any damage,

2/- compare its swing, roll, and pitching vibrations of its needle with the written record made on acquisition,

3/- check the pitching of the needle and compare against the written record made on acquisition.

4/- have the polarities of the strong magnets on your phone case marked on a sketch (showing which magnets attract which ends of the needle). A copy of the sketch should be carried with the compass.

Before each field use, you should

1/- inspect your compass for any damage,

2/- carefully check the pitching of the needle (If a flip has occurred, the pitching also changes as the North pointing end usually balanced to point horizontal. If the North end pitches in any other way, the needle may have flipped.),

3/- slightly and slowly move the compass towards the phone case to see if the attraction pattern is still the same.

4/- If the vibration patterns are noticeably different the compass may have been damaged or may be in a stronger or weaker than normal (abnormal) magnetic field. You need to think about possible causes and effects.

5/- The above steps only help to detect any unexpected flipping, you still has to carry out all other procedures recommended by the maker of the compass.

Your compass usage should be more reliable with these extra precautionary steps.

Reference.

[1]. Heather Morning, Calling ALL Hill Walkers,The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, http://www.mcofs.org.uk/navigation-reversed-polarity.asp, posted on April 2013.

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Determining local magnetic declination by a magnetic compass, posted on March 31, 2016

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Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight

Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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#make fire, #making fire, #fire, #Sun, #sunlight, #sunray, #lens, #magnifying glass, #mirror, #survival.

StormWatchDiagram

Figure 1: Diagram of making fire by a mirror.

StormWatchBurnsCig

Figure 2: Lighting a cigarette by sunlight. Smouldering is visible after 27seconds.

I used here

1. a device consisting of a lens and a mirror right behind it (see following pictures),

2. then another alternative device being the dial face of an unusual Storm brand Remi watch (in the above pictures).

The combination of a lens and a mirror right behind it produces a large aperture system giving high power concentration and it also has light weight and convenience for cigarette lighting. My 60mm lens and mirror system with aperture ratio of d/f =60/65 = 1/1.1 regularly makes cigarette fire in 15seconds.

The Storm brand watches has an interesting unusual Remi model that has a mirror face with 2 small and 6 tiny windows for displaying painted numerical hours, minutes and fraction of a minute. The rest of the face acts like a concave mirror of 38mm diameter. The pictures show one such watch I could get hold of. The equivalent mirror has a focal length of 75mm (aperture ratio of d/f = 1/2.5) and I had been able to use it to light up a normal (dry, not wet) cigarette in less than 60seconds!

Having a lit cigarette is having a fire on hand.

The advantage is that a normal cigarette can be lighted on any sunny day in 5 minutes with minimal set up.

The disadvantage is that smoking is harmful to your health. You have to light up a cigarette but smoking it is not encouraged !

The steps are described in details as in the following.

1. Selecting a magnifier with large aperture.

MagnifierMirror

Figure 1: A mirror attached to a 60mm clear, colourless glass lens. This system with aperture ratio of d/f=1/1.1 can light up a cigarette in only 15 seconds. This is my favourite set up.

SphericalSpoonForBurning

Figure 2: Even a polished spherical soup spoon with high aperture ratio can also light a cigarette.

It is shown here the success of this method depends on having a high aperture ratio.

The concentration of sun-ray heat is proportional to the square of the aperture of the lens and mirror system. Concentrated heat burns fuel easily. Select a lens and mirror system with a large aperture (high ratio of diameter to focal length) for fire making by sunlight.

A reflective mirror right behind a convex lens nearly doubles the aperture ratio of that single lens and increases concentration of power by nearly four times around the new focal point (on the Sun’s side).

Transmission media absorb energy. Select magnifying glass made from clear, colourless material. I found that clear, colourless glass is best for this purpose.

Only 40% solar radiation energy is in visible sunlight, the other 10% and 50% are in Ultra Violet and Infrared respectively. Some materials may not allow these part to pass through in the same way as visible light. The choice of materials is thus important in making collimated solar power.

Aperture ranking of various systems:

The aperture ratios of familiar systems are

d/f = 1/1.1 for the system in the pictures (lens plus mirror),

d/f = 1/1.5 for the aspherical, plastic front lenses of most focusing LED torches,

d/f = 1/2.5 for the Storm watch,

d/f = 1/2.5 for common magnifying glasses with medium thickness,

d/f = 1/4 for common magnifying glasses with thin thickness.

The spoon head in use here is almost a concave spherical mirror with quite high ratio of d/f=1/0.4 . However it does not light up the cigarettes very quickly as expected because it is not an ACCURATE mirror and the picture of the Sun at its focal surface is not clearly defined and too spread out.

It takes 12sec, 15sec and 40seconds to light up a cigarette using that spherical spoon (when WELL POLISHED), the lens with attached mirror (in the picture) and the Storm watch respectively. When the spoon was dull and unpolished, it took up to 120 seconds to light the cigarette.

A common, colourless, thin magnifying glass with d/f = 1/4 can still make a well prepared cigarette/tinder stick smoulder (in less than 5 seconds) using sunlight from even a late afternoon Sun at low (20 degrees) elevation.

Even a small, 16mm diameter, plastic front lens with d/f=1/1.5 of a focusing LED torch (powered by a single AA-battery, pictured at the end of the article) has been successfully used to consistently ignite (in less than 5 seconds) my well prepared charred stick of rolled up (10cmX10cm) sheet of toilette tissue by focusing afternoon sunlight (from the Sun at 30 degrees elevation, in a clear sky) onto it.

2. Alignment

StormWatchDiagram

Figure 1: Aligning the Storm watch and the cigarette for making fire.

StormWatchFront

Figure 2: Front view of the unusual Remi model of watches by Storm.

Align the axis of the watch toward the Sun.

From the 3 o’clock direction of the watch (in front of the dial windows which do not reflect much sunlight), hold a normal (dry, not wet) cigarette to have its tip reaching the focal point.

It may help to have the mirror axis pointing slightly from the Sun so that the cigarette and the hand holding it cast no shadow on the mirror.

The cigarette should be nearly parallel to the watch dial. The butt of the cigarette should be slightly away from the dial and the tip should be near the focal point and be brightly shone by collimated sunlight reflected by the mirror dial.

If a concave mirror or a lens is used instead of the above watch, align its axis towards the Sun to minimize the picture at its focal plane.

3. Focussing

The distance from the tip of the cigarette to the center of the dial should be varied until the reflected sun-rays is collimated into the smallest spot on the dark tobacco cuttings (fibers) at the central axis of the cigarette. Do not focus sun-rays on the enveloping white paper as white objects bounce back more radiative heat than dark objects.

WARNING: Prolonged looking at the concentrated (focused) sun light reflected off white enveloping paper of the cigarette may injure your eyes.

4. Smouldering needs time.

StormWatchFocussng

Figure 1 : Lighting a cigarette by the Storm Watch at 27sec.

SphericalSpoon

Figure 2 : Lighting a cigarette by a spoon 12seconds.

Figure 2 shows smouldering using the polished, spherical head of a stainless steel soup spoon.

Keep the center of the cigarette tip so heated (by collimated, reflected sun rays) for about 3 minutes until there is sign of smouldering with steady smoke rising from it.

Smouldering takes 5sec and 12sec respectively for system of the lens plus mirror and for the WELL POLISHED spherical spoon. The spoon does not have an accurate spherical shape and its reflected sunlight is not well focussed.

5. Turning smouldering into fire by gentle wind

For smokers: Suck air in through the butt of the cigarette to intensify the smouldering into a red glow of cigarette fire.

For non-smokers: Directing your gentle air blow from the tip to the butt of the cigarette may also have the same effect.

Due to the required flow of hot fume through the inside of the cigarette, it is best to start the smouldering with sun rays on the dark material at the tip of the cigarette to start smouldering then slowly tilt the cigarette at angle, keeping the smouldering, to have sun rays heating the hot spot through the side while hot fume can go up inside the cigarette and exit at the other end.

This method of lighting a normal cigarette by sun rays using the watch face has been actually tested successfully on a dry (Summer) day at 15hr, on November 11th, 2015 in Melbourne (39 degree South in latitude), Australia. It has been successfully repeated on many subsequent sunny, dry days.

A roll of tinder made of dried fibers or charred cotton may be used instead of a cigarette. However cigarettes seem to be the best rolls of tinder readily available for this method of making fire.

A rolled up sheet of well crumbled newspaper material (non-gloss material with loosely adhering fibers) in the shape of a long cigarette may partially provide the flammability of a cigarette and may also be used here instead of the cigarette. You may expect longer time to smouldering in this case.

Note:

A smouldering rarely turns into a cigarette fire without AIR FLOWING FROM THE TIP TO THE BUTT INSIDE the cigarette.

6. Making a stick of tinder for making fire by sunlight.

TinderToiletTissue.jpg

Figure 1: A rolled up sheet of toilette tissue to be made into a tinder stick. Inset: The remaining last third of such a stick after ignition started by concentrated sunlight from a magnifying glass.

TinderCharredTissue.jpg

Figure 2: A stick of rolled up toilette tissue with charred end.

A stick of tinder can be made by rolling up moderately tightly a 20cm long sheet of toilette tissue into the shape of a long cigarette. A DARK MARKING of more than 2mm diameter should be made with a pen or a ball pen on the outside surface of such a stick to let it absorb sunlight heat to start the smouldering. Such a stick burns almost like a cigarette when externally blown with steady, gentle, fresh wind.

Loose rolling allows the fume to flow inside the stick from the fire end to the other end to heat up and deposit flammables on the next section of tinder, readying it for the fire but may make the fire propagate unevenly across the cross section of the stick. Tight rolling gives the fire time to spread evenly across the cross section but may restrict the flow of the fume to heat up and deposit flammables on the next section of tinder. An optimal balance can be found between the two extremes by fine tuning the tightness in rolling.

A tightly rolled up sheet of crumbled newspaper material (non-gloss material with loosely woven fibers) in the shape of a long cigarette may also make an alternative (but admittedly poorer) substitute for a cigarette. A DARK MARKING of more than 2mm diameter should be made with a pen or a ball pen on the outside surface of such a stick to let it absorb sunlight heat to start the smouldering. You may expect longer time to smouldering with this roll.

A roll of broken dried leaves inside a rolled up dried leaf can also be used as a (poorer) substitute for a cigarette. The enveloping leaf may get slightly broken when rolled up. The broken dried leaves inside the roll should be tightly packed (and even refilled and compacted again and again after rolling the enveloping leaf) to be able to maintain the smouldering. A DARK SPOT of more than 2mm diameter should be created on the side surface of the roll to let it absorb sunlight heat from the side for smouldering so that fume can flow upwards inside the roll. You may expect longer time to smouldering with this roll and you may have to exert a lot of wind blowing onto the tip of the roll to intensify the smouldering into a red glow.

Commercial cigarettes seem to have been optimized for such burning and appear to be best (although costly) for use as tinder sticks. A stick of rolled up toilette tissue ignites and burns as well as a fresh cigarette. A stick of rolled up crumbled newspaper is a close replacement. However, a stick of fake cigarette or fake cigar made from broken dried leaves inside a paper roll ignites very poorly due to loose packing.

Without the dark spot, the time to smouldering for a rolled up sheet of toilette tissue is more than 20 times the corresponding time with the dark spot. I suppose that the white tissue reflect more than 97% of sunlight heat while the dark spot allows it to absorb about 50% of sunlight heat.

Making a charred stick of tinder out of a rolled up sheet of toilette tissue.

A charred tinder is made up of almost pure carbon. It has higher ignition temperature, but it does not conduct heat and it is black, absorbing sun ray heat most efficiently. Since it absorbs sunlight heat and has poor heat conduction, its temperature can rise quickly past its spontaneous combustion temperature when shone by concentrated sunlight. It is thus most suitable material for starting fire with sunlight, burning even with a moderately concentrated beam.

A well prepared charred stick of rolled up sheet of toilette tissue can even be ignited by using only a small, plastic, 16mm diameter front lens of a LED torch to focus afternoon sunlight (from the Sun at 30 degrees elevation, in a clear sky) onto it.

Any combustion of organic materials is a combination of many competing chemical reactions. By reducing the concentration of oxygen in the surrounding gas, the burning of carbon can be drastically reduced while the decomposition of organic compounds into carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen can still proceed, producing a skeletal frame, made entirely from carbon, of the material. This gives a charred object in the shape of the original object.

A charred stick of tinder can be made as in the following:

Make a red glow at one end of the stick (with a magnifying glass or with another source of fire). Hold the glowing end of the stick downward, stick it into the center of a fully blown up, clear bag of poly-ethylene (of 500mL of 1000mL capacity), away from the wall of the bag, and twist the open end of the bag around the stick to keep the bag pressurized and the red glow away from its wall, then keep twisting past the stick. The result is a closed blown up bag with a tinder stick burning inside it, away from the wall. After about 1 minute, the inside of the bag is starved of oxygen and the red glow reduces to a low temperature fire charring it adjacent material. Wait for 10 minutes for any fire to extinguish then take the stick out of the bag. One such stick with a charred end is illustrated in the figure.

7. Some unusual but fast ways to light up a cigarette for making fire.

FireFromSpoon

Figure 1: Lighting a cigarette by a WELL POLISHED spherical spoon head with d=50mm, f/d=1/0.4 at 12s, 9s, 7s, 4s, 0s.

FireFrKeyRingMagnifier

Figure 2: Lighting by a small glass lens with d=21mm, f/d=1/2.5 at 16s.

8. Making fire with a serving spoon and a cigarette.

FireFrNewSoupSpoon

Figure: Reverse sequence of burning a cigarette by a 60mm, POLISHED, SPHERICAL serving spoon at 37s second. This spoon has a very high aperture ratio, D/f = 3.5.

An insulated copper wire has been wound on the handle of the 60mm, POLISHED, SPHERICAL serving spoon to hold the cigarette. The focal point is on the plane defined by the rim. No blowing is necessary with this large system. The smouldering turns into a cigarette fire by itself.

This was carried out in Vietnam (Saigon) on December 14 (mid-winter) under a clear sky; air temperature was 30degree C, the air was dry and the elevation of the Sun was 55degrees. The cigarette brand was Craven, readily available locally, with light brown leaves.

The cigarette can also be replaced by a stick of rolled up 20cm sheet of toilette tissue (with a DARK MARK made on the end or the edge of the end to absorb heat of collimated sunlight).

Selecting a spoon for collimating sunlight.

The easiest choice is with spoons having spherical spoon heads. The chosen spoon head should be well polished and should have shiny reflections. The focal point of any spherical surface is one half (1/2) of the curvature radius from the surface.

From a distant point on the spoon head’s axis, a very small spot on the cigarette tip placed at the focal point should be seen magnified to be bigger than the whole spoon head. All sunlight reaching the spoon head will travel backwards along those paths into that small point at the tip of the cigarette to heat it to high temperature.

For any common elongated spoon head, put the tip of a pencil at the estimated focal point and look at the spoon head from various directions. If any small part of the of the tip can be seen to be magnified to occupy more than 40% of the surface of the spoon head from some direction, it is possible to use such spoon head to heat up a small part of the tip using the sunlight coming from the viewing direction. The spoon must pass this test before you can try to ignite anything using its collimated sunlight. (Most common elongated spoon heads do NOT pass this test.) For common elongated spoon heads which have passed the test, the Sun usually has to be offset 60 degrees from the normal axes of the spoon heads for making fire. Only elongate spoon heads which can easily light up traditional match heads using sunlight should be experimented in lighting cigarettes/tinder sticks.

9. Notes on making fire by a magnifying glass.

MagnifierLEDTorch

Figure: Making fire, even with a small, 16mm in diameter, plastic front lens of the focusing LED torch (powered by one single AA battery) in this picture can be consistently carried out by igniting (to make fire) in less than five seconds a well prepared charred stick of a rolled up (10cmX10cm) sheet of toilet tissue (ambient temperature was 34 degrees C, humidity 30%, elevation of the Sun was 30 degrees in the tests).

Users of this method should remember that:

1. The radiative heat flux from the Sun is concentrated by a factor C given by

C = Pi*d*d/(Pi*f*a*f*a) =

C = (d/f)*(d/f)*(1/a)*(1/a).

where d and f are respectively the diameter and focal length of the lenses and a is the angular diameter of the Sun (a = 0.5*3.14/180radian = 0.0087 radian).

The angular diameter of the Sun cannot be changed. It is obvious that we have to increase the ratio (d/f), which is called the aperture number of the lenses, to increase the heat flux concentration. The deciding factor for sucess is the aperture ratio of the mirror or lens system.

2. As a concave mirror is expensive, a cheaper equivalent made of a lens plus a mirror right behind it is often in use. This alternative is also lighter and more convenient to use than a thick lens in lighting cigarettes.

3. It has been carried out on a summer day with a lot of sunray heat per square meter area. The steady focussing is essential and the method may not be suitable on a unsteady platforms such as boats, ships, trains …

4. It has been carried out in a dry day.

5. The cuttings of leaves inside the cigarette (acting as fuel, tinder) should have dark colour to absorb sun ray heat

6. Gentle sucking is required to intensify a smouldering into a fire. Blowing air out from the butt of the cigarette may not intensify the fire.

7. To check the sphericity of the head of the spoon, you have to look at your own upside down reflection inside the spoon head. Till the spoon in various direction to have your reflection moved from the center to various sides on the edge. The spoon head is spherical if your picture does not expand or shrink during the test.

Some unusual sources of fire and unintended fire can be found in the references.

References.

[1]. Anonymous Author, Brigade step up sunlight warning after another refraction blaze, London Fire Brigade, http://www.london-fire.gov.uk /news/LatestNewsReleases_warningassunstunscelebrity.asp#.VndyHOW4ZAg, 26 February 2015.

[2]. PF Louis, Metal dog bowls can start house fires from focused sunlight reflections, Natural news , http://www.naturalnews.com/040979_dog_bowls_house_fires_… href=”http://www.naturalnews.com/040979_dog_bowls_house_fires_fire_prevention.html”> http://www.naturalnews.com/040979_dog_bowls_house_fires_… ,June 28, 2013

[3]. Matt Payton, Jar of Nutella destroys family home and kills pet dogs, Metro.co.uk ,

http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/23/nutella-jar-helped-sun-rays-set-fire-to-family-house-and-kill-pet-dog-5076204/ ,23 Feb 2015.

[4]. Peter Lappin, Working on My Linen Shorts + How I Nearly Burned the House Down, Male pattern boldness, http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com.au/2014/0… , Aug 18, 2014.

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Finding North direction and time using the Moon surface features

Finding North direction and time using the Moon surface features.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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#find North, #finding North, #compass, #direction, #time, #Moon, #surface features, #natural compass rose, #navigation, #survival

This article shows how to use the Moon for finding direction and time.
The surface features of the Moon can be used as a compass rose for Earth inhabitants.

1. An upside down natural compass rose

Near to full Moon the phase (waxing-waning) and horn-line methods are not accurate. Right at full moon they are not applicable. However at those times we may obtain directional information from the global map of the Moon using the colour and shade of its surface (soil) features. Since moonlight is only reflected light from the Sun and is not intense and we may look at the Moon’s surface for the features.

We have to identify the features of the Moon associated with Lunar own rotational poles, so that the Moon can be placed and aligned on an upside down compass rose aligned for the rotation of the Earth.

Each of us may have have different individual visualization (or a simplified picture) of the Moon to orientate its poles on such compass rose. My own visualization for the shades on the Moon is a small lion licking the face of a kneeling monkey and it is drawn on the Moon in the title figure.

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Figure: The surface features of the Moon is used as the core of a compass rose.

2. An oscillating core of the compass rose !

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Figure 1: Moon as an oscillating core of a compass rose.

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Figure 2: Moon as an oscillating core of a compass rose.

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Figure 3: Moon as an oscillating core of a compass rose.

Consider that compass rose an UNDERNEATH view of a normal compass rose and you can use it for finding directions when it is high in the sky. (The leading side of the Moon, with a lion visualization, is on our West and its trailing side, with a monkey visualization, East). However the North of the Moon is the North pole of Lunar rotation axis and it makes an angle with the axis of the Earth, the angle sometimes reaches 23.5 + 1.5 = 25 degrees. Imagine that you can walk on the Celestial equatorial plane and the Lunar axis is planted on it at an angle of 90-25 degrees and you go around it once every 27.3 days.

Looking at that inclined Lunar axis, you will see that axis alternately tilted to your right hand then to your left hand. Looking from the earth, the axis of the Moon appears to oscillate clockwise and anti-clockwise (with amplitude equal to the lunar orbit angle, which requires complex calculations, and can be up to up to 25 degrees ) as the Moon orbits around the Earth. This compass rose only gives correct orientation when the Moon is made oscillating inside it ! The North of the Moon is aligned to 0 degree only when the Moon goes through its maximum or minimum value of Lunar declination (at furthest distance to the Celestial equator). When the Moon crosses the Celestial equator, the angle between Moon axis and Celestial axis is highest in absolute value..

So we have a natural compass rose but we must remember that Moonscape features does not easily give accurate direction and the Moon oscillate inside our Earth aligned compass rose between up to +25 and -25 degrees as well as tilling its poles toward or away from us. The title figure of this article is made for the reference, mean orientation of the Moon, when its axis is at right angle to the line of view and its equator is aligned to 90-270 degree marks of the graduation ring. Users intending to use the compass rose on any full Moon should check the orientation of the surface features against the East West directions (given by Waxing-Waning rule and by adjusted horn line method) two or three nights prior to the full Moon. Otherwise an uncertainty of up to 25 degrees should be allowed with this compass rose.

3. Lunar navigation needs a combination of methods.

MoonShapesNAngles5C

Figure 1: Moon phase chart for a Solar declination of (-20) deg (South).

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Figure 2: Panoramic view of the travel of the Moon.

MoonRosePath
Figure 3: Panoramic view of the travel of the Moon.

Navigating by the Moon becomes easier when we do it nightly on consecutive nights and keep records from previous nights. At half-Moon times we can use the Waxing-Waning rule and my improved horn-line method (given in p2) to draw the Celestial axis line on the Moon then record the position of the horn-line on the featured surface. At full Moon times we use Lunar surface features with the angle for the Moon obtained previously from the 3/4 Moon nights.We have to remember that the horn-line rotates almost steadily about each full-Moon.

Alternatively, the if we form the habit (when we have to navigate) of daily recording the direct measurements of Lunar declination, from the Moon and the Celestial pole (by either stars at night or the Sun before Sunset), we have accurate values of Lunar declination. The Moon and its declination can then replace the Sun in my method of determining direction and time (reference [3]). The accuracy is further improved if we combine the knowledge of our latitude, the phase and elevation angle of the Moon to predict its trajectory for the night (therefore we already have had an initial estimation of the North-South direction).

After the North-South direction has been found it is easy to tell time from a full Moon as the Moon is trailing the Sun by about 12 hours.The estimation is more accurate if we apply extrapolation to our own records of Moon rises and Moon sets on previous nights. When there is no Moon, we have to use stars and that will open new topics.

With lots of switchings among methods, the navigators may find that finding direction and time via the hidden Sun as given in reference [1] the simplest.

References

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time using the hidden Sun via the Moon,https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/finding-north-direction-and-time-using-the-hidden-sun-via-the-moon/, posted on July 6, 2015

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time accurately from the horn line of the Moon. https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/category/moon-horn-line/
posted on August 12, 2015

[3]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time using the Sun and a divider, http://www.survivaltricks.wordpress.com/, 06 May 2015.

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