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    An Astra IIIb Anecdote
    From: Thomas Alley
    Date: 1998 Jan 16, 6:21 PM

    Although not related to the quality thread of this discussion, my comments
    are about the Astra IIIb.
    Last year while talking to my mother she mentioned that she and her sister
    were going to go to Hong Kong one more time before the city was returned to
    the mainland government. She then asked if I wanted her to bring back
    anything, so I asked her if she could look around a little bit to see if
    the Astra IIIb sextants were available there. My assumption was that, since
    they were made in China, they should be cheaper to purchase there.
    After some searching, my mother was directed to "Mr. Smith" (I don't
    remember his real name...) because he was the local authority on sextants.
    According to Mr. Smith, a Brittish gentleman, the Astra IIIb is not
    available in China as it is built solely for export. In can be purchased in
    China, but must be imported from an American company called Celestaire.
    After the appropriate duties are paid, the price is considerably higher
    than in the U.S. Mr. Smith's advice was to stop in Kansas on the way home
    and buy a sextant there.
    At least my mom got to see some parts of Hong Kong and China that she
    hadn't seen before. Enjoy
    Thomas Alley                                               alley@acm.org
    KD2VH, Youngstown, New York                Alberg 35 Sloop, "Tomfoolery"
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