Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

author
Swansong made it!(author)2017-07-10

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

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