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    George's test
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2004 Nov 12, 18:06 -0500

    About 2 years ago, (Sat Apr 21 2001 - 07:38:22 EDT)
    George Huxtable proposed the following test
    for the sextant rigidity.
    Measure some vertical angle which does not change
    much with time. Then take your sextant upside down and
    measure the same angle. (With a good sextant the result
    should be the same).
    George proposed to measure parallax of a neighbor's roof
    (it does not really matter what you measure, it's the
    precision of your measurement that does. He proposed to
    take all possible precautions, like rotating your screw
    in the same direction etc.)  I think this is a good test indeed
    for checking the RIGIDITY of your sextant.
    On my opinion, this is a really crucial property of a sextant.
    (For everything else, you can determine "corrections" by all
    sort of experiments and then apply them). This is also a very
    important property for the Lunars, where your sextant is frequently
    in an unusual position.
    I did this test today with my usual test for the index error.
    Here are the results.
    Sextant: SNO-T, made 1990, scope "inverting".
    Time: about noon, Lat approx 40, AltSun approx 32d,
    SD=16.2, (sun semidiameter), 4SD=64.8'
    Sextant upright position:
    Up     Low     Sum    IndEr
    32.5   32.5    65      0.0
    32.5   32.4    64.9    -0.05
    32.4   32.4    64.8    0.0
    Sextant upside down:
    Up     Low     Sum    IndEr
    32.4   32.4    64.8    0.0
    32.5   32.6    65.1    +0.05
    32.7   32.3    65      -0.2
    Now, if we average all 6 observations (Low and UP) we
    get 64.9 for upright position and 65.0 for upside down.
    Which gives 0.025' for the "non-rigidity error".
    1. My SNO-T is pretty rigid.
    2. Index error is probably 0.
    3. My random human error is about 0.3 for the Sun.
    In fact, this 0.3 (human?) error causes a lot of trouble for me.
    a) I almost always tend to overshoot. So the correction
    (when it is substantial) is always negative.
    b) The error varies from 0 to -0.6' in my observations, and
    it is most frequently about -0.3' (if exists), but
    c) for very long distances (more than 120 d) it is sometimes -0.6'
    What is the resaon I cannot understand. Either it is
    a sextant instrumental error, or really some human error.
    All collimation tests I could do show 0.

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