DIY position locator thingies
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DIY things to locate your position

If you're not interested in making things for the hell of it then go back. You probably won't save any money by following these instructions, you could go out and buy the commercial VorTrak product for around 20. You won't have as much fun though!

The idea is very simple, take a bearing and distance arm and stick it to your chart so that you can spin it around and read off the bearing and distance from a beacon. Use several and you can easily cross cut to locate your position.

Kit of parts required




One chart Anyone who does laminated charts  
Bearing and distance arm NP-2 PFA Pilot Shop (01442) 851220 Item 211806 6.50
Compass Roses PFA Pilot Shop 10 pack Item 611617 2.75
Clothing poppers Clothes shop 4.20
Gas cooker Any gas appliance supplier Varies with complexity
Pin Just the one, it's just a pin! Pinch one if you can't find one
Pliers Small pliers from your toolbox - you do have a toolbox?  
Bit of time You! Varies


Start by modifying the bearning and distance arm, hereafter referred to as the NP-2. All this needs is a suitably sized hole in the middle but since I wondered if this would wear through with use, I decided to fix a popper socket to it. In order to fix the socket you need to push the one side of the popper through the arm, however to make this a little easier, try holding a pin with a pair of pliers and heat the pin to red hot in the flame of a gas cooker. (Feel free to improvise here!). When you've made the required pilot holes (no pun intended) you should be easily able to push the pronged bit through the plastic. Of course, if you're feeling fancy you could use a small drill.

Next you need to press on the socket recess onto the spikey bits. Ensure that your poppers come with the special tool to aid this. The next diagram shows the two unfixed parts on the right and the finished assembly pushed together.

Next step is to fix the studs and compass roses to the chart, don't forget to stick the roses on first!, I find it easier to align the spikey bit by holding the chart up to a window with the back to me so that you can find the beacon you want to stick the stud to.

The finished product!