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    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2008 Jan 07, 10:45 -0800

    A couple months ago there was some discussion about theodolites for
    sextant calibration. I see that Chinese companies are now producing
    amazingly inexpensive electronic theodolites. How about a new 2-second
    theodolite for $1100?
    This auction ends in a few hours, but the seller seems to keep one of
    these listed all the time. (The last auction I watched, there was no sale.)
    The company web site has more details:
    Accessories include a right angle eyepiece and sun filter.
    Even cheaper is this theodolite, which claims the same accuracy:
    However, it's not as professionally marketed as the other theodolite.
    The eBay page is riddled with spelling errors, and unlike the other
    company, there's no U.S. distributor. You have to buy direct from China.
    But the $440 price is incredible.
    Even $1100 is very cheap for a new instrument. You can get a used
    1" theodolite like a DKM2A or T2 on eBay, but not for $1100, at least
    if you want one in good condition from a seller who knows about
    these things. And if you're interested in celestial, right angle
    eyepieces are hard to find. In addition, their optical micrometers need
    careful manipulation and a practiced eye to get good results.
    For the hobbyist who wants to set up a sextant calibration range,
    investigate the effects of refraction, or shoot the stars with a
    theodolite, these new Chinese instruments may be worth a look.
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