Silva Ranger 27 - how to use sundial?

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gregorach

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 15, 2005
3,723
26
47
Edinburgh
OK, after getting completely cheesed off trying to take bearings with the good old Silva Type 3, I finally bit the bullet and bought a better sighting compass - the Ranger 27.

Now apparently this compass includes a sundial... I can plainly see the markings on the bottom of the baseplate, but I can't for the life of me figure out how you'd actually use it. And of course the instructions supplied are completely silent on this point... :(

Anybody know how?
 

gregorach

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 15, 2005
3,723
26
47
Edinburgh
Yeah, I know the basic principles, but I was wondering more about the specifics... My initial thought was to do with casting a shadow with the sighting notch, but the geometry's wrong. But using a shadow is definitely better than aiming at the sun...

After a bit more fiddling and thinking, I reckon I was probably off on completely the wrong track. What I'm thinking now is that you stand with your back to the sun, so your shadow is straight ahead of you, orient the compass baseplate north-south on the needle, then rotate the housing so the arrow is lined up with your shadow, and read off the time (remembering to correct for GMT).

Don't have a photo, sorry.
 

Riven

Full Member
Dec 23, 2006
364
69
53
Nottinghamshire
To use compass to tell the time turn compass over,position it facing North(the needle is reflected in the mirror when closed)now note the position of the sun which will be somewhere between east and west on the bottom which should be marked with numbers from 6am to 6pm.This is the time roughly.
Hope this helps.Riven
 

Dark Horse Dave

Full Member
Apr 5, 2007
1,688
33
Surrey / South West London
I thought it might be helpful to resurrect this old thread, mainly for Riven's explanation above.

I suspect a few of us might be tempted to buy a Silva Ranger 27 after having read Paul Kirtley's interesting piece mentioning them (here: http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2011/bushcraft-survival-kit/), and like me be less than impressed with the instructions provided - ie they don't mention the sundial feature at all!

I bought mine here by the way: https://www.dash4it.co.uk/store/. I've been using this lot for a few years now - mainly for OS maps - and have always been impressed with their prices and speed of delivery. I'd recommend them.

Cheers,

DHD
 

WeThePeoplexfbm

New Member
Dec 27, 2010
658
0
Australlia- NSW.
one of my old brass stanley london compass has a sun dial....i got no clue how to use one, that mainly why i use a len-compass ^^ mainy for azimuth or quadrant bearing ^^

you could youtube it?
 

hoppinmad

Forager
Dec 7, 2009
123
0
Swansea Valley
Hi,
I have a silva 29, with sun watch
Riven is correct, align the compass to north...then point the orienting arrow on base of compass to sun and read off the approx sun time
I do not have the destructions, but if you search for silva huntsman, it will give the use of the sun compass
hope this helps
regards
stu