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Astra IIIB Deluxe Sextant - $699.99

Astra IIIB Deluxe Sextant

The Astra IIIB has somewhat revolutionized celestial    navigation. Never before has such a high quality, accurate metal sextant been    available at such a low price. Over 24,000 sextants of this model have been    sold in the US alone in the past 27 years; far more than any other serious sextant.    Its popularity has spread throughout the rest of the world as well, making it    the the most recognized (and supported) sextant worldwide.

Its low price, excellent    optics, and choice of horizon mirrors and other accessories makes it the perfect    selection for beginners. Yet, we know several professional navigators who prefer    the ASTRA IIIB merely because they can leave their expensive models at home    without sacrificing noticeable accuracy. The Astra IIIB is made by the Changzhou    Celestaire Instrument Co. in China, with whom Celestaire is joint-ventured,    and it is produced in accordance with our specific quality guidelines.

Construction Details

The frame is made from lightweight aluminum alloy which    resists corrosion. Aluminum alloy is not new to sextant construction. It has    long been used by many manufacturers for lightweight versions of their heavier    brass or bronze sextants in order to reduce arm fatigue and unsteadiness among    infrequent users. The sextant is electrically lighted by an LED on the arc and    drum.

The Astra IIIB is considered by many to be the easiest sextant to use. Its light weight and excellent balance makes it a pleasure to hold and makes sights easier to take under dynamic weather and sea conditions. Even reading the sextant is easier under low light conditions by having white degree marks against a black background as opposed to scribe marks on a brass arc.

The index mirror is rectangular in shape and is the same size as used more expensive sextants. This shape allows more aspect of the mirror to be available for high angle sights. This means the sextant does not have to be held as steady for them. An index mirror upgrade kit is available for older models having smaller, round, index mirrors. It comes mounted in a rectangular frame and has instructions for easy installation.

We are impressed with the    degree to which each component of the sextant is tested. For example, each mirror    and shade glass is tested for perfect flatness by the Fresnel diffraction pattern    method. The sextants are assembled and tested in a clean, professional, environment.    Random units have been tested by us and several professional navigators, with    results that rival the most expensive German and Japanese models.


The ability to quickly and economically change the type of horizon mirror is an    attraction of this sextant to many navigators. This is because whole horizon    mirrors are generally preferred by beginners who later may wish to change to    a traditional mirror as proficiency is attained (see "Selecting A Marine Sextant").

Maintainability is appreciated by schools and other groups who because    of heavy usage need inexpensive replacement parts due to the threat of student    mishandling.

Included and Optional Equipment

The sextant has LED lighting of the arc and    drum powered by two standard size AA batteries (not included) which install    in the handle. It comes in a varnished wooden case, with instruction book, certificate    of accuracy, and adjusting wrench. Case external dimensions are 6.5 x 13 x 11    inches. It includes a 3.5x40 monocular telescope as standard equipment.

Optional    accessories include a 7x35 prism telescope, a slip-on rubber eyecup for use    while wearing glasses, and a zero-magnification sight tube. A    practice bubble horizon (see page 11) is available which facilitates effective    back-yard practice without the need for a sea horizon. Although the sextant    comes with a choice of either whole horizon or traditional split horizon mirror,    an extra mirror of either kind is available at nominal cost, and comes already    mounted in its frame. Changing mirrors is done quickly by means of two easily    manipulated screws.

Shipping weight includes all accessories ordered from this    page. Nat'l Stock Number (NSN) 6605-014382949. SW 20 lbs.

Arc -5° + 130°, radius 153mm
Accuracy ± 20", throughout the arc
Micrometer Drum 1' scale, vernier to 0.1'
Horizon Mirror 51mm diameter
Index Mirrors 56x42mm
Shades 4 index - 3 horizon
Weight 2 lbs., 10 oz


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