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    Re: Using star-star distances
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2008 Sep 23, 23:42 -0400

    Hewitt S., you wrote:
    "I'm trying to restore an Ebbco sextant. What I need is a set of shades and
    the spring retainer for the horizon mirror or an entire horizon mirror
    assembly. The model I have is the later one with the larger mirrors and
    three index-mirror shades."
    If you don't get any hits on this after a week, let me know. There are
    several at Mystic Seaport (for classroom use, not in the collections) that
    are in various states of repair, and it may be possible to cannibalize the
    parts you need.
    And you wrote:
    "FWIW : I used an Ebbco for years and it always stayed true to the DR
    and always got me there."
    True to the DR meaning...? As long as the fix and the DR were not more than
    perhaps five miles apart, you would have considered that acceptable, right?
    So random errors even as large as +/-2 minutes (on top of inescapable
    observation errors) would have been hard to detect in the pre-GPS era.
    Just so there's no misunderstanding, I always recommend plastic sextants to
    people who want to do standard, basic LOP celestial navigation. But I would
    note that I frequently find that the sorts of people who are interested in
    celestial today are also interested in owning an instrument that they can be
    proud of, and for reasons which are only partly rational, plastic sextants
    don't make the cut.
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