Introduction: Sun Spotter Solar Eclipse Viewer

Picture of Sun Spotter Solar Eclipse Viewer

On August I will travel to the USA so experience the total eclipse.Because I am traveling on a very low-cost fare, I cannot take a big telescope or tripod.

I will only take my Nikon D70s camera, a small tripod on a small backpack the fits in the airplane cabin.

So I made this "Sun Spotter device, to see the sun during the eclipse using the 210 mm lens from the camera and a scope adaptor.

Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection.

Step 1: Choosing the Lens

Picture of Choosing the Lens

First I had to decide what lens to use.

In previous project (Venus transit) I used my Old 500 mm Nikkor reflector, but it is way too big for carrying it the trip.

I have seen other projects in Instructables using binoculars or readings glasses, it is difficult to attach a plate as a shade in the front of the binucular.

Using a reading glasses lens gives a good sun image as origamiwolf did gives a good sun image but the device is big and the projection screen has to be far apart or need to use a mirror.. and a lot of parts to take in the trip.

Because anyway I am taking my Camera (NkonD70s) I opted for using the Nikkor zoom 70-210.

Step 2: Attaching the Lens to the Tripod

Picture of Attaching the Lens to the Tripod

The problem is that you cannot attach the lens to a tripod without a camera so I had to make and adaptor to attach it.

I used a 1/4" nut (that is the standard thread for a tripod screw and molded a base to the lens using epoxy putty.

I wrap the putty in saran wrap so it won't stick to the lens or tripod. when the putty is fully I attached it to the lens using a metal adjustable band.

Step 3: The Nikon Lens Scope Adapter

Picture of The Nikon Lens Scope Adapter

Unfortunately, this incredible device is no longer made by Nikon

You attach the 210mm lens ant it converts it to 20x scope

I bought mine a few years ago from Ebay.

Step 4: The Shade Anf Filter Holder

Picture of The Shade Anf Filter Holder

This piece of 5mm plywood (25cm x 25cm) is the base of the construction.

in the center, I made a 6mm diameter hole of and carefully sanded it to fit and glue a 62mm UV filter.

two more holes near the border, one to hold a perpendicular screw that will be used as a pointer.

When there is no shadow the lens perfectly aligned to the sun.

The other hold is used to screw the metal threaded rod that will hold the projection screen.

I also glued metal washers to the plate to keep everything firm and perpendicular.

Step 5: The Projection Screen

Picture of The Projection Screen

For the projection screen, I choose 8mm Foam Cardboard (20cm x 21 cm)

It is very lightweight and sturdy.

I used metal washers here too to keep the rod perpendicular to the screen.

Step 6: Putting All Together

Picture of Putting All Together

Enjoy and again:

Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection.

Comments

rubenzilzer made it! (author)2017-10-01

The day of the eclipse (21/8/2017) in Clayton GA. this was the start of the show!

Covo (author)2017-09-04

I made this using a pair of binoculars I bought on Craig's List. GREAT results. thanks!!!! link to 2017 eclipse video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0ctMpc7Tp0

Swansong (author)2017-07-10

Awesome! I hope you have fun on your trip and have fun watching the eclipse :)

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