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    Re: Astra IIIb: First Impressions
    From: Sean C
    Date: 2014 Apr 10, 22:06 -0700

    "I envy your access, ready access I assume, to a 'natural horizon'." -Alan

    Oh, yes indeed! I am extremely fortunate to live on a peninsula with a 4 to 5 nm horizon to my west & south and a virtually unlimited horizon to my east. However, much of the available horizon has a distant shore or bridge cluttering it up. This can make discerning the actual horizon difficult, especially in low light conditions. But hey, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. :)

    The program I mentioned is advertised in the commercial edition of the NA. It's an all-in-one application for recording and reducing sights as well as plotting the fix. There's also a built-in almanac. It's very handy, although not quite as feature rich as I'd like.

    I did pull my Davis out this morning for the first time in quite a while. I was just as surprised at how light it felt as I was at the heft of the Astra when I got it. The Davis feels like a toy now, although I still remember getting some extremely good results with it. The primary difference between the two, for me anyway, is stability of the index error. Having been very careful with both, the Astra has held it's error. The Davis I had to adjust frequently. When you need so many things to go right, as in celestial, it's nice to have one less thing to worry about.

    Thanks for the advice about the fix. I was also thinking about using the natural horizon to shoot a couple stars and my AH to shoot the Sun or Moon over the land. That way I could get a good triangle. I see no reason not to try both methods. If I do get the chance between chores tomorrow I'll report back with my results.

    Sean C.
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