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Author Topic: Deployed Soldier Locator  (Read 14693 times)
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Neil Garra
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« on: 09 Nov 13, 2206 hrs »



“Where’s Daddy?” When the compass North arrow aligns with the N, the directional arrows point exactly in the direction of the deployed soldier, in this case it’s Kabul, Afghanistan.

How to Build


First, get the Direction & Distance


Obtain direction from home to deployment location using Google Earth.
1. Find your home and the deployment location in Google Earth.
2. Record Latitude & Longitude of Home.
3. Use Ruler to draw line from home to deployment site, then record distance and heading.
4. For later reference, save Home location, Deployment location, and the Path between them if you wish.

This heading is measured from the North Pole, the Earth's rotational axis. A compass points to the magnetic north pole... a different location! Since the angular difference varies from place to place, we must convert this heading from true to magnetic:
1. Go to: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag-web/
2. Use Latitude and Longitude of Home to get the ‘G-M Angle’ at Home.
3. If it’s a Western angle (ie 12 deg W), add it to the heading. If it’s an Eastern a (ie 6 deg E). Subtract it from the heading. (There are 360 degrees in a circle, so:  350 + 20 = 10, and 10 - 20 = 350 )

Why the painstaking precision? So you don’t have to lie about it being the exact direction! Besides, the kid will be a Soldier some day and needs to know this stuff.


Second, create the base.




Schedule 80 gray electrical conduit is cheap ($4 for a 10-foot piece) and available at Ace Hardware, Home Depot, etc. Schedule 40 will work, but isn’t as thick. Cut with a saw, then soften with a torch or heat gun and then snip with scissors, flatten and size. Great stuff!

Of course, any material will do: wood, fiberboard, cardborad, etc.


Third, assemble.


Use MS Word (etc) to create the graphics, then print them out in color (No B&W, cheapskate! Poor kid’s Dad is deployed, so spend a buck at Staples for him!) If you scale them in the software they should print out at the correct size… just as printing out the .pdf file below will give you a template.



Front should have a picture of the deployed Soldier. The back can be anything from a map to an appropriate Bible verse. Since this is for a 3-year-old, I went with the map.


Fourth, make a second one.


If the kid doesn't lose it, he might pack his ruck and start marching toward Dad: you'll need one to find him!



PDF version of this article to use as a template.



* 1_hand-holding-card.jpg (125.13 KB - downloaded 2031 times.)
* 2_Assembling_the_card.jpg (121.13 KB - downloaded 1625 times.)
* 3_cut_conduit.jpg (34.92 KB - downloaded 1456 times.)
* SoldierLocator-HowTo.pdf (157.39 KB - downloaded 562 times.)
« Last Edit: 10 Nov 13, 1104 hrs by Neil Garra » Logged

Neil Garra
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The S2 Company
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