A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2021 Feb 25, 12:33 -0800
Readers will remember that in a previous post I mentioned that I’d been given a plywood static model helicopter as a birthday present and that I’d been impressed by the precision of the laser perforated push out pieces and the way they were designed to lock together without using glue or nails. Realising how inexpensively these models were being produced in China, it struck me that the technique might also be used to produce inexpensive navigation and celestial training devices e.g. sextants, astrolabes, and course and distance computers. There weren’t as many similar toys on eBay as there were before Christmas, but I did manage to find this little orrery. I know the scale is hopeless and the model might easily give the wrong impression, but I only wanted it to see how well plywood gears worked.
It actually went together rather well except that the instructions are hopeless in places unless you’ve X ray vision or can read Chinese, and it’s as well to know that one or two smaller pieces are spares and not bits you’ve left out. I solved a couple of assembly problems by looking at other vendors photographs on eBay. It’s also a good idea to solder and heat-shrink the electrical connection electrical wires on rather than just twist them on as the kit seems to imply. I paid £6.58 GBP inc P&P, but you can get one for 2/3 of that price if you buy direct from China. You must thank Frank for making my ‘Orrery the Movie’ video work on NavList. DaveP