February 21, 1997. I may have solved the problem. I found a derelict fiberglass hot tub, or jacuzzi bath, which has a suitable variety of surfaces and angles. Instead of many small objects, Why not one big one? Tipped up on an edge, it fits almost perfectly between the posts.
In preparation for realizing the dial, I tested the Laser Trigon on the tub. The original laser is not bright enough for this surface. I have acquired a much brighter laser, which is now being installed. The problem of mounting the trigon has, in principal at least, been solved.
March 4, 1997. The new laser has been installed and it gives a perceptible dot. The mounting also works. The morning hours have been laid out. These photographs were scanned from Polaroids, and I apologize for the poor quality.
The dial is being built near latitude 25° north, longitude 80° west; and it will include a longitude correction for the time zone.
March 15, 1997. A minor setback. During a windstorm yesterday, a heavy extension ladder was blown down and fell on the gnomon (which had been removed and placed on the ground for safety!). The gnomon was bent and will have to be replaced. The 35mm photos should be on line in the next few days.
March 20, 1997. The Vernal Equinox. The new gnomon has been installed. The node, which is a toy plastic globe, has been positioned so its shadow aligns with the equinox "line". The accuracy of the node's path as it moved across the dial was very good, except in the depths of the tub where it was off by about ¾ of an inch.
March 21, 1997. The 35mm photos have been developed and scanned. Some didn't come out. They are larger files which duplicate much that can be seen above, but in more detail. Click below to see them.
Photo 1 A good side view of the virgin hot tub showing the supporting tripod in place in preparation for removing the gnomon and replacing it with the Trigon.
Photo 2 The Trigon in position. The gnomon with its node can be seen in the foreground.
Photo 3 The dial as it looked on March 20th. The hour lines through 1:30 are complete.
April 3, 1997. All the lines are finished. I have designed some numerals, which will be cut from vinyl by a signmaker who cuts custom letters with a plotter. The numerals will then be applied directly to the fiberglass. Gaps can be seen in Photo 4 below for the numerals 1, 2, and 3. The time shown on the dial is just before 12:15 (the sharp eye will note - a bit after the equinox). The little numerals at the bottom are temporary.
Photo 4 The finished lines.
April 11, 1997 The numerals are finished, the dial is finished... but there is no sun for photographs.