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Old 07-31-2009
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New guy - sextant question

Hello everybody. Found the forum through several google searches looking for info on sextants. Im an airplane and sailplane pilot, after reading Guy Murchie's Song of the Sky and Bob Buck's North Star Over my ShoulderI've got a real fascination with learning celestial nav. I know where to get the tables and other books that I need but I'm looking for some advice on where to get a sextant. I'd obviously like to have one with a bubble level so I could use it in flight. I also really don't want to break the bank as this is more of a curiosity than anything. I have seen many posts warning against getting a plastic sexant due to warping issues. However I'm wondering if anyone produces a plastic sextant with a bubble level as that would be a cheaper way for me to get started and then see if I like it enough to go for the higher dollar equipment. Any advice/suggestions is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2009
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See Celestaire - Navigation Equipment . Buy an Astra IIIB and you'll never need another Sextant.
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Old 07-31-2009
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I doubt that the airforce navigators still use bubble sextants but they used to. Maybe search in surplus shops or possibly online for military surplus.

And of course you can find most anything on E-bay.

Good Luck

Gary
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Old 07-31-2009
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Davis instruments has a line of low cost sextants. The prices range from $60 to $300. While these are not "the world's finest" instruments they are certainly an in expensive learning tool. I keep one of their mark 25's in my duffel as a spare.
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Old 07-31-2009
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gary, thanks for the suggestion.

I've looked at the Astra and it looks pretty nice but is a little out of my price range at the time. If I knew that I was going to be doing celestial nav for a while i'd be happy to spring for it but I need something cheaper just to learn on for now.
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Old 07-31-2009
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The www.carib1500.com site has an Astra IIIB sextant available in the used gear section. Contact the seller and make an offer.
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Old 08-04-2009
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I think Im going to try to find a Davis Mk 25 with a bubble level so I can shoot stars at night. Thanks for the suggestions!
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