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The Satellite Sundial

If you travel by boat and enjoy watching TV, you may sometimes want to put up a satellite dish. The problem is, how do you know which way to point the dish? And how do you find the gap in the hedge which will let you "see" the satellite?

The answer is here with the Satellite Sundial. All you need to do is to hold the sheet of paper so that the "time of day" points at the sun, and the arrow on the page will be pointing directly at the satellite. Just point the dish in the same direction, and you should be able to find the satellite within a few seconds.

Also, by knowing the direction in this way, you can position your dish (and the boat if necessary) so that you have a clear path to the satellite, unobstructed by trees or buildings. If you want extreme accuracy, hold the paper down on a flat surface with the tip of a pencil at the point on the dial which corresponds to the exact time, and rotate the paper until the pencil's shadow passes directly over the centre point.

There are 12 sundials (one for each month) because the sun moves across the sky in mysterious ways. Just click on the small picture below, to be taken to the set of sundials which you can print out.



If you have any questions about using the Satellite Sundial, or would like to know more about  the mathematics behind it (based on the principles of an "analemmatic" sundial, please feel free to e-mail me and I will try to help.

Allan Jones



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