IPhone Mount for Telescopes




Introduction: IPhone Mount for Telescopes

I've recently become interested in amateur astronomy.  I picked up a very used telescope from a garage sale and after a little TLC, took it outside.  I wanted a way to take pictures through the eyepiece but I did not want to spend any money.  After searching the web, looking for DIY iPhone mounts, I came up empty handed.  I thought of this design for a very rough quick way to accomplish my goal.  This can be done a lot nicer, and I will do so in the future.  But, if you don't want to spend the money on an after-market accessory, then perhaps this will suit your needs as well!

Step 1: Step 1: Materials and Tools

I was determined to use just things I had around the house.  here is what you will need:

  • Some type of pipe clamp
  • long bolt with two nuts (preferable one wing nut)
  • L bracket
  • Small piece of wood (I used 1/2" plywood)
  • Assorted nuts and bolts
  • Felt (optional but recommended)
  • Elastic (could probably use thick rubber bands instead)
  • Drill
  • Saw (to cut the wood to size)
  • Hot glue gun

Step 2: Make the Eyepiece Clamp

Drill a hole in the bottom of your clamp to insert the long bolt through.

Assemble the clamps together, with the long bolt inserted.

Put this around your eyepiece and tighten just enough so it doesn't move.  You don't want to damage your eyepiece.

Step 3: The Wooden Base

Glue a small piece of wood to the bottom of your base, to act as a "shelf" for the phone to sit on.

Draw a "slot" on the wood where you want your bolt to sit.

Drill a large hole half way through the wood.  The hole needs to be large enough for the head of your bolt to completely go through the wood, but only half way.

Now drill in those same holes with a smaller bit.  Make the hole size just slight larger than the shaft of the bolt.

When you put the bolt in, this allows the head of the bolt to be counter-sunk so it sits flush (or a little under), the surface of the wood.

Step 4: Attach Felt and Elastic

Use hot glue to cover the wood in felt.  Once it is dry, cut out the felt around your slot for the bolt.

Insert your bolt and check to make sure the head of the bolt does not protrude where it would scratch your phone.

Mark where you want the elastic bands to be attached and staple them to the back of the wood.

Now that your base is complete, attach the L bracket to the bolt coming through the back of your mount.  Cutting the slot in the wood, as we did, allows for horizontal adjustment.

Attach the other end of the L bracket to the long bolt coming from your eyepiece.  Screw one nut onto the bolt before the L bracket and the second nut (wing-nut preferably) after the L bracket.

Adjust the mount to the proper height and tighten the nuts together.

Step 5: All Done!

That's all there is to it!  It may take a minute to get it adusted properly, but once you do, you're good go!

Please let me know if you have any questions, I will be happy to help any way that I can!

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    7 years ago

    I made some small modifications to my rig, to allow for the use of multiple lenses, like my Barlow...

    15, 7:23 PM.jpg15, 7:23 PM.jpg

    Reply 2 years ago

    I know this reply is about 5 years late... I've been busy :)

    Seriously, very nicely done! Yours looks great!

    Great idea! I'm in the same boat, but instead of the plywood "shelf" I'm gonna try the clip on belt case that came with my iPhone5 Ballistic case. I don't use it so what the heck!

    I'm curious as to how close you need to be to the lens and how much adjustments you had to make before you got it right.

    If I get anything useful I'll post it. Thanks!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! also you could attach a cheap rubber case, line up the camera hole and eyepiece and you could easily slide in and out of the mount. Great idea!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is perfect. My wife bought an old telescope for $5, which works great and turns out to be worth over $500. My son has an iPod, which is even better for this than an iPhone, since our photo session will not be interrupted by phone calls :).

    I might put a scrap of felt between the metal clamps and the eyepiece. If that slips to easily, a thin piece of rubber might work.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds great! I'd love the see any good pics you get :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Is that last shot, of the Moon, one you took this way?