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Locating the sun for solar charging while camping
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Locating the sun for solar charging while camping Reply with quote

Wondering if anyone is or has used the Sun Surveyor app or something like it. Only a few dollars to get
the fully functioning app and you are in business. I like to plan ahead, and for the most part I am a
reservation making kind of guy. This app will help me long before I arrive at any campsite, it will
make parking my Westy so much easier. No more will I have to survey the campsite for the best
position to catch some rays. Using the GPS feature you'll be able to see what a site looks like and
see where the Sun will be at all times. The app also gives the location of the Moon and the information
will help when planing out picture taking.

http://www.sunsurveyor.com/
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SCM
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see that being pretty fun for some folks. I've once used Google Earth to figure out where best to put my tent on a backpacking trip. But other than that, I'm not techy or patient enough to want to use it.
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Apps......

Navigational Apps NEED cellular connections to determine location thus planetary locations.

No Cell Service...... No App......

Edit: I'm obviously behind technology, Cell phones pull GPS Satellite info now... Embarassed

Rule of thumb...... Sun Rises in the East, Sets in the West and hovers in changing degrees in the Southern Hemisphere.

Simple compass..... Look for shading trees or mountains...... Set up accordingly.
No compass? Look at a tree...... Moss really does grow on the North side of them.

Dave
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Last edited by djkeev on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have indeed used "something like it" - an hp 67 pocket computer/calculator that I programmed and skied into various alpine study sites for microclimatology studies (!). Just like a Svea stove or frostbitten hand, I stuck it into my crotch to warm it up so it would read the magnetic tape card strips for the programs.

Here is the Bottomline:
sun often rises & sets beyond east & west - unless you are right on a solstice, those are just rough guides

the sun position is a pretty complicated trig. calc. but maybe east & west will be enough for you - it depends on the off-axis efficiency of your panel's cells

the app will want to know your location, but might be able to get that before you turn off into the back country - should be easier in maine than in the Western US

it is only a few bucks so why not try it out
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EL31415
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of the navigation/Gps app only need clear view of the sky no need for Internet connection.
And a good sun tracker app will not need any internet connection at all.
I haven't tried this specific app. But use many topo app in iOS and android with no internet.

You can use google map offline just type "ok map"

Unless you are a geek and like to make thinks more technical than they are. Just look at the sun and shadow around you and place the solar panel accordingly
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merian wrote:

the app will want to know your location, but might be able to get that before you turn off into the back country - should be easier in maine than in the Western US

it is only a few bucks so why not try it out


Exactly!

Tried it out on a campsite I know that even cell service can be problematic
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uther
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Navigational Apps NEED cellular connections to determine location thus planetary locations.

No Cell Service...... No App......


Not true depending on the phone. My phone speaks GPS and navigation apps work just fine with no cell connection.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uther wrote:
Quote:
Navigational Apps NEED cellular connections to determine location thus planetary locations.

No Cell Service...... No App......


Not true depending on the phone. My phone speaks GPS and navigation apps work just fine with no cell connection.


X2
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some (maybe all newer?) cell phones contain GPS antennas and can get sat signals - but my iPhone 4s did a very poor job of geolocating itself, even on paved mtn roads

my new iPhone 6 might be better at it - we'll see

a real GPS unit will do a lot better

but the key thing might be whether the app uses cloud services for lookup tables or does its own calculations internally -
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one more thing to keep Americans preoccupied with their phones and not what's going on around them.
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like my"toys", but I like to get away, and like the simple life. No gadgets, no cell, I don't even use the radio. I like silence.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Sorry for the slight hijack, but others would benefit from this use of high tech and Vanagons.

Last summer while planning a surprise trip in the Van with my wife, I hit on the idea of using Google Earth to find spots to pull off and stealth camp. The trip was through British Columbia, so the object was to look at imagery and find dirt roads off the rural highway we'd be traveling on that either led to nowhere, or quickly had another road to turn on or something likely to provide a spot to park for the night. It worked great. After a few minutes, I would also look for a screen of trees to be sure passing headlights would not easily light up our bright yellow van. You can even use the 3D effect to see how a spot would be on the other side of a rise from the road and thus both quiet and not visible.

Then, I compared a significant feature in the road, such as a sharp left curve or a bridge on my paper map and penned in the spot. That was because there is no cell access in many spots, so we use maps or the GPS. I did the marking (also marked the GPS) because everything looks different when you are there - especially at night.

With Google Earth, you can look at a promising road, then scan down it a mile or two and find a home - realizing it is a rural driveway. Something you'd not know turning down it at night and likely really piss off the owners when you are discovered. Or actually see the remains of a bunch of big bonfires and tire tracks and realize you'd found the local high school party hangout - not a good choice.

Ended up in a couple pretty nice places and I had a back up as well in case we either got a late start, or something was amiss when we arrived.

YMMV
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atomatom
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the app you want is google skymap - not google earth. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.stardroid&hl=en

i don't think it needs an internet connection. you just wave it around and it shows you the names/locations of the stars, including the sun.
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