Introduction: Solar Eclipse Viewer for Your Phone.

Picture of Solar Eclipse Viewer for Your Phone.

Greetings,

First, I would like to give a shout-out to my former engineers from IDEA Allan in Austin Texas. You were my original engineering group and I hope this Instructable will provide enjoyment during the Total Eclipse.

For my current Engineers at Athlos Leadership Academy, this is a REALLY cool project. Not to rub it it (but I am), I will be taking life shots from Imperial Missouri during the eclipse.

**Disclaimer**

This is the part where I have to state that I am not liable for any damage to you, your phone or any other equipment. Use common sense and best safety practices.

*******************************************************************

This project uses easy to find, materials from around the house. Let's begin.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

Materials

Empty cereal box - Larger the better.

Heavy duty black trash bag (non-textured)

Duct Tape

Old Andriod (or iPhone) with good camera.

Two small binder clips

A rubber band (I used my wife's hair bands - don't tell her.)

Tools

Scissors - tough enough to cut cardboard.

Needle nosed pliers

Permanent marker


Step 2: Cut

Picture of Cut

Cut the materials box and plastic.

  1. Cut open cereal box.
  2. Then cut into two parts - set aside one part.
  3. Cut a 2x2 inch square from the plastic bag.

Step 3: Mark Position and Cut Camera Hole

Picture of Mark Position and Cut Camera Hole

All that is being done here is marking a spot for the phone. Since each phone is slightly different - use your best judgement for position and area for the camera.

  1. Place your phone on the cardboard and trace the shape.
  2. Use personal insight and estimation to trace a space for the camera.

Note: The cereal box is a bit flimsy. Double is up or use additional material to strengthen the box.

Step 4: Create the Phone Mount

Picture of Create the Phone Mount

The point of this step is to make a holder for the phone. I wanted to avoid duct taping the phone to the cardboard. Among the obvious use, binder clips are dead useful for a number of hacks. A phone holder being one.

  1. On the top and bottom of your marked area, make a small slit wide enough for the binder clips.
  2. Open the binder clips and place it in the slot with the opening facing away from the phone (both sides.)
  3. Part of the binder clip must be on the phone side while the other on the outer side.
  4. Once placed, remove the phone side lever (I used needle nosed plyers) from the outer side of the box.
  5. Place the rubber band inside the lever and reattach to the binder clip. Repeat for the other side.

Step 5: Slide Camera in and Check Camera

Picture of Slide Camera in and Check Camera

Slide the phone onto the mount and test the camera. If done correctly, there will be no obstruction over the camera lens.

Step 6: Cover Lens and Test

Picture of Cover Lens and Test

With the 2x2 plastic bag, cover the lens in the following steps:

  1. Place the material over the lens.
  2. With the duct tape, place the tape over one side of the material.
  3. Once placed, stretch the material tight and smooth.
  4. Add tape to keep the plastic material tight.
  5. Do the same for the remaining sides.

The key here is to make the plastic material tight.

Once your filter is in place. Head outside and test with the camera. I took the shot of the sun using this filter with great results. I would recommend turning off auto-focus in favor of manual settings.

I have only tested this on my Android phone. I have not done any testing one regular cameras and urge extreme caution should you decide to do this on a regular camera. Not responsible for damage to your phone, your camera or if you do look directly at the sun,

Use common sense and your best (or borrowed) judgement and enjoy the Total Eclipse.

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Bio: Elementary school teacher and writer with a degree in IT Security and Elementary Education. I have been voiding warranties since 1975. Created a surround sound ... More »
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