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Letter to Casio Comp. Corp. converting the Patherfinder series for astronomy

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Old March 9th 05, 07:08 AM
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Default Letter to Casio Comp. Corp. converting the Patherfinder series for astronomy

The following is a letter I sent off the the Casio Computer Corp.
suggesting that they adapt their "Patherfinder" PAS-400B model watch to
an amateur astronomy variant:

Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
6-2, Honmachi 1-chome, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo, 151-8543, Japan

Product development suggestion - modifying the Model PAS-400B into
a true amateur
astronomy watch


This letter is to suggest that Casio develop a variant of its existing
Model PAS-400B "Pathfinder" watch to target another niche market -
amateur astronomy. The PAS-400B "Pathfinder" is currently designed to
serve the fishing recreation market. There is a sufficient amateur
astronomy niche market to warrant another variant of the Model
PAS-400B. An article in the September 2004 Sky & Telescope
magazine(n.1) shows how the existing features Model PAS-400B is already
used by the amateur astronomy community for this purpose.

There is consumer demand among amateur astronomers for a watch -

- that will cycle through various types of time:

Local time (hh:mm:ss format)
Local time (decimal format)
Local apparent sidereal time (hh:mm:ss format)(n.2)
Local apparent sidereal time (decimal format)
Universal time coordinated (hh:mm:ss format)
Universal time coordinated (decimal format)
Julian date (a form of decimal day)
Decimal date (year plus decimal portion of year)

- that will show:

Sunrise, Sunset
Lunar day, Moon phase, Lunar-Solar co-longitude(n.3)
Moonrise, Moon transit, Moonset

- and that will have the timer, stopwatch and event memory
functions present in most digital consumer watches.

Currently, amateur astronomers use a variety of computer programs to
ascertain these time frames. One software example is the "Astronomer's
Digital Clock"(n.4) http://users.zoominternet.net/~matto/ . This
application illustrates the types of time used by amateur astronomers.

Alternatives are not always convenient or affordable. Laptop computers
can be used to run programs that display various times. But it is not
always desirable to take a laptop computer to dark sky site. Competitor
watches, like the "Yes" watch(n.5), have a high price point and do not
have all the needed features.

The Model PAS-400B's existing features are close to such a watch. This
Casio watch already determines sunrise, sunset, lunar phase, and lunar
transit. Only lunar time and lunar set are
adjusted to a non-astronomical algorithm suitable for hunters and

The cost of developing an astronomical version of the PAS-400 was not
be excessive. Computer code for the algorithms for astronomical
features are readily available in books(n.6) or royalty code.(n.7)

The potential market could be assessed by contacting the many amateur
astronomy clubs. Astronomy Clubs.com(n.8) provides links to groups
throughout the world.

In conclusion, please consider developing a variant of the Model
PAS-400B watch that would meet the needs of the amateur astronomy
community within the current price-point range of the
Pathfinder - around $50 U.S. Such a watch can be marketed profitable
by your company.




Morris, Robert L. Sept. 2004. A Novel "Astronomer's Watch". Sky &
Telescope. 108(3):98-99
Screenshot of the "Astronomer's Digital Clock" software

1. Morris, Robert L. Sept. 2004. A Novel "Astronomer's Watch".
Sky & Telescope. 108(3):98-99
2. Local apparent sidereal time is used to determine what
constellations are currently overhead.
3. Lunar-solar co-longitude shows where the Moon's terminator is
presently located on the face of the Moon. This number converted to
lunar latitude and longitude and identifies what features on the Moon
(at that lunar longitude) are well positioned for observing with a
4. Oltersdorf, Matt. 2003. Astronomer's Digital Clock. (Software
application) http://users.zoominternet.net/~matto/ .
5. Wild Seed, Inc. 2005. Yes Watch. (Website)
http://www.yeswatch.com/ .
6. Muess, Jean. 1999. Astronomical Algorithms. 2nd Ed. Willman-Bell,
Inc. http://www.willbell.com/math/mc1.htm
7. International Astronomical Union. Standards of Fundamental
Astronomy. (Software Library) http://www.iau-sofa.rl.ac.uk/
8. Astronomy Clubs.com. 2005. Astronomy clubs worldwide. (Website).


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