HOW TO MAKE A CLINOMETER
Clinometers are used to measure the height of tall objects such as building and trees. Astronomers use clinometers to calculate the degrees above the horizon where objects can be seen in the night sky. A clinometer can cost quite a bit, but a homemade clinometer can be just as effective and easy to make.
1. Step 1
Buy a plastic protractor or make one from heavy posterboard or cardboard.
2. Step 2
Tape a standard drinking straw to the straight edge of the protractor. This will be your scope.
3. Step 3
Attach string to the straw at the 0 degree mark.
4. Step 4
Tie a light weight to the string. You can use a washer or a screw or anything else that can balance the clinometer and be unobtrusive.
5. Step 5
Sight a tall object to make sure the clinometer was constructed correctly.
TIPS & WARNINGS
• If you're making the protractor piece of the clinometer, make sure you mark every 5 degrees so that your measurements will be accurate.
• To use the clinometer, look at an object through the straw and mark the measurement where the string hangs. Subtract that number from 90 degrees to get the angle of elevation. Then measure the horizontal distance between you and the object and the vertical distance between your eye level and the floor. This works best if you're working with a partner. Plot the measurements on graph paper.
• If you're making the protractor part of the clinometer, make sure you use a heavy paper or cardboard since the bulk of the weight could tear the protractor.
How to Use a Clinometer
A clinometer is an instrument used to measure indirectly the height of objects at a distance. Clinometers take advantage of the geometry of triangles to allow you to determine height visually rather than by measuring height physically. For example, clinometers are commonly used to measure the height trees and plants, buildings and towers, poles and other objects for which taking physical measurements might be overly...