Sight Reduction Tables
As part of my winter project to learn the black art I am now in need of a set so if any forumite has a set gathering dust on a shelf that are no longer needed PM me.
(I know I can download them but would prefer the book form)
Save your money. Lidl is offering a scientific calculator for £2.99. Use this to reduce the sights rather than expensive and heavy books of tables. All you need then is a Nautical Almanac. The theory behind sight reduction using the trig. equations is, imho, easier to grasp (no tricky approximations such as “chosen lat/long – base everything on your actual E.P.) and simpler to plot. If money is really tight and/or the Nautical Almanac is not available, all the data is on the US Naval Observatory website. Finally you end up with a much better grasp of the principles if you understand the pzx triangle rather than reducing by rote.
Choice of sight reduction methods is very much a personal one, but why not try "The Complete On-Board Celestial Navigator" by George G. Bennet. This is a compact and well laid out long term almanac and sight reduction table, based on a simplified form of the standard cosine-haversine formula. It contains enough information for complete beginners with no maths skills beyond simple addition and is almost as quick to use, for sun sights, as inspection tables AP3270/HO249. I bought a copy in a high street book shop and as an ex-pro user of everything from 5-figure log tables, through calculators and inspection tables, was very impressed with it,
No commercial interest, etc.