A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2020 Feb 9, 04:57 -0800
Like Gary says, obtaining sextant mountings is not easy, because they always seemed to produce far fewer mountings as sextants. Like Gary says, a watch reminder on eBay is about the best bet. Expect to pay at least as much as you would for a Kollsman sextant. Take care however that you're actually buying a mounting and not a set of servicing instructions for one, which also appear on eBay. If no luck on eBay, you might try looking for a unit who are about to retire an aircraft to fire practce duties or similar, I got my Smiths mounting that way, or a museum with big aircraft stored outdoors. They occasionally remove the mountings to a cupboard somewhere and replace them with a metal plate, because they start to leak water into the aircraft after a few years.
If you don't actually need the azimuth facility, you could make a wooden base for your Kollsman and level it up with wedges or paper shims. I use my Smiths Kelvin Hughes sextants that way levelling them up on the bedroon window ledge with 'Postit' notes, becaust their bottoms are already fairly flat. It's not very 'Biggles', but hey it's lovely and warm in thewinter. A Kollsman might need more bespoke tailoring. A 'tank cutter' hole bored into 19mm ply might hold a pendulous reference Kollsman fairly well.
If yours is an ex RAF or Bundeswehr Kollsman or indeed any European Air force, they turn up in goverrment surplus stores occasionally , check on the side plate if it's a 3 volt Kollsman, because ideally, you need a 3v mounting for it; I think mine's ex Nimrod. If you choose to route power through a 24V mounting, there's a chance you'll blow all your bulbs and heaters if there're no step down circuits inside; you'd need to check the output under load. Fortunately, the 3v Kollsmans usually also provide a modified torch as a standby power supply. DaveP