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    Re: Buying a sextant- a cautionary tale.
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2006 Apr 28, 08:54 -0400

    The pictures on eBay are down-sampled.  A full 3-5 Megapixel shot of
    the arc, about 1-3 Megabytes of storage --too large for eBay-- should
    be magnifiable enough to show the entire arc at the desired resolution.
    On Apr 28, 2006, at 4:37 AM, George Huxtable wrote:
    > Thanks to several list members who responded to my question about
    > buying a sextant on ebay, with helpful suggestions.
    >> My experience shows up the problems that can occur when you buy
    >> something as finicky as a sextant, sight unseen, at auction. Will I
    >> be tempted to try again? Probably, yes. What more can I do to avoid
    >> another disappointment? I have no idea. Perhaps others, with
    >> more experience of these matters, can offer suggestions.
    > Such as Fred Hebard who wrote-
    > "As Robert Gainer said.  The other thing to do is ask the seller to
    > email pictures to you.  Most people should have or have a friend with
    > a digital camera with enough resolution to show all the arc
    > divisions.  Of course you would need two pictures to avoid the index
    > arm obscuring.  Not everybody will have the skill to take a usable
    > picture, but...."
    > ====================
    > Well, that ebay listing showed several photos, rather good ones.
    > One showed the complete sextant with its arc, but the divisions of
    > a Vernier sextant are so fine (at one-sixth of a degree) that you
    > couldn't expect them to show up on such a picture. And such
    > markings, on a highly reflective silver surface, are hard to
    > photograph at the best of times. But there was a photo of a small part
    > of the arc, taken close up, which did indeed show the divisions of
    > the arc rather clearly, and satisfied me that all was well.
    > Needless to say, the part of the arc that was pictured was NOT the
    > section in which the divisions had been polished away! You live
    > and learn, I suppose...
    > So I'm still unsure what more I could have done to ensure I was
    > getting a useful instrument. In many cases, a seller will plead
    > ignorance about the technical details, which could make matters
    > worse. In my transaction, I was dealing with someone who was, or had
    > been, a professional navigator, and should have known better.
    > I am apprehensive, now, about further ebay transactions; but I  may
    > get tempted again.
    > George,
    > ================
    > contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    > or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    > or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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