Re: Determining az/el

From: Brian Howell (
Date: Wed Aug 29 2001 - 19:21:56 PDT

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    They also have a price for their "August Special" of $170
    listed under their "everyday price" of $268.50.  I
    actually bought mine from
    Natropolis International, they sell Satellite TV equipment, when I ordered, they added $30 to their "Dealer" price of $153.95, nince I'm not a sat dealer.  I'm not sure of it's accuracy, I thought I remember reading that it is accurate to .5, I'm not 100% sure. 
    It would be hard to use it with binoculars.  You look through the eyepiece, that's the black part on the bottom and right side of the Tandem.  It has a compass/az scale on the top, in the bottom round window on the Tandem, you look through the eye piece to see the az scale printed side of the compass.   As you turn yourself around you can see the scale move.  Once your pointed in the az direction you want, you twist your wrist to look through the other eyepiece on the right side of the Tandem, which shows you elevation.  You just tilt your head as you look through the eyepiece to find the elevation you want.  Unfortunately, the Tandem is not lighted, you can only see the scales through the eyepiece using surrounding light.  You could use a red flashlight for night time use to help light the Tandem so you can see the scales in the dark.  It may be to cumbersome to try and hold the Tandem, flashlight and binoculars all at once.


    At 08:16 PM 8/29/2001 -0500, you wrote:
    on the website link you posted the cost of The Tandem is $263.50,
    and it does not exactly explain how the clinometer functions.  how
    do you use it?  could I strap it onto my binos and 'forget' about it
    and read it in the dark without needing a 3d or 4th hand as it mentions
    click of a button to switch between compass and clino, and for that
    price how accurate is it?  < 1deg, <0.5 deg. 

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    On 08/29/01 at 19:13 Brian Howell wrote:

    I got a Suunto Tandem last week.  It is very very handy for finding the az/el.  The Tandem is kind of expensive, the cheapest I have found is around $170.  If you have never seen or heard of one, I hadn't, I'm including a couple links.  Hope this helps.
    Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and look for 'The Tandem'


    At 12:19 AM 8/30/2001 +0200, you wrote:
    On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:47:50 -0700, you ("Matson, Robert"
    <>) wrote:

    >This is where you can get into "trouble".  Contrary to what
    >you might think, most people are very poor at determining
    >the zenith location, and are even worse at estimating the
    >elevation halfway between the horizon and zenith (45 degrees).
    >Nearly everyone grossly underestimates the elevation, and
    >points around 30 to 35 degrees above the horizon.

    That's very much correct, yes. Happens to myself often enough. :)
    Simply holding out your arm for pointing at the sky indeed gets you pretty
    much nowhere, that's just a guess like any other.

    Maybe I should have stated more clearly what my take at this is. If you
    hold your hand flat out and in front of your eyes, and then turn it
    straight up, you have an imaginary reference frame/angle of 90 that helps
    you to figure where the "half", 45 is in this frame, and then hold your
    hand at that angle. Now simply look up (sideways) along your hand and there
    you are (and maybe you get this "boy, is that high up" feeling :). Again,
    this is not very accurate, just a small trick. Works equally well with
    holding your forearm in front of your eyes instead of your hand, and your
    arm also gives you a longer line to aim along.

    And maybe I should have added that all of this surely needs practice and
    experience. As usual, you're getting better over time.

    CU!     Markus

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    Paul Gabriel
    26.2431N 098.2163W 35m 
    the stars at night are big & bright...sometimes

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