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    Re: Bubble sextants on eBay
    From: LJ Dram
    Date: 2007 Jan 07, 04:49 -0000

    I bought a Kollsman periscopic sextant from a surplus dealer about a
    month ago, and have found the lamps and averager work OK with ~27 VDC
    from three 9-volt batteries in series.  Mine was about $65 from Surplus
    Shed at http://www.surplusshed.com.
    
    Their current stock seems to be fairly recent surplus -- my sextant
    arrived with a military service tag in the case indicating it was
    removed from service in 1998 (from a C-130H aircraft) because the
    silica gel in the dessicant chamber was saturated. It has the
    electronic averager, not the older clockwork mechanism.  The sextant is
    in good working condition and came in its original fiberglass carrying
    case with several spare light bulbs, a Y-cable for the 28-volt power
    supply, and miscellaneous 8-year-old military paperwork.
    
    After some difficulty figuring out how to form a bubble and adjust its
    size, I've had little trouble using the sextant.  I agree with earlier
    comments about the bubble illumination system, and found no problem
    taking sights of Polaris and Diphda (mag 2.06) from my back yard.
    Hand-holding the Kollsman sextant is not all that easy, since it has no
    handles or grips, weighs about 7.5 pounds, and the 10-inch tall
    periscope assembly makes it a bit top-heavy.  It helps a lot if you can
    brace it against something solid.
    
    The electronic averager is a masterpiece of 70s-era technology, with
    what looks like a miniature Nixie tube for the seconds display and
    several LEDs that light up to indicate if you have the altitude set
    above, below, or right about at the average value for the sight.  In my
    experience, altitude can be read to within about +/- one minute when
    using the averager.
    
    
    Cheers,
    
    ljd
    
    
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