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simon84

Baader solar film.

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Well my packet arrived from FLO this morning, thanks Steve.

Within seconds of it coming through the letter box I was upstairs with craft knife in hand.

Its flimsy stuff but the info sheet and the instructions are more than enough to make you feel confident enough to handle it.

The instruction sheet takes you through making a solar filter but I was lucky enough to get one of the ones that screw onto the dew shield from Astroboot for £6.

I made two rings from magnetic printer paper and sandwiched the film between them and cut to size. The magnetic paper wasnt that great as cutting the rings 10mm wide made it lose alot of power. So after popping it in the cell it was securely fixed using electrical tape.

Popped it onto the end of my Equinox 80ED and lined everything up and had my first look at the sun in white light. Was a little bit wobbly as I only had my camera tripod to hand and I was just doing my viewing from the patio door.

Blew me away though, started off with my Baader Zoom at 24mm and had a look at the whole disc. Was just a great big white disc but when you start thinking about what it is it starts to look quite incredible.

I started increasing the mag but my poor old camera tripod couldnt really take it so I had to stop. Next view will be from the NEQ6 on the pier so I should be able to wind the mag right up and get a good close look at the surface of the sun.

All in all the Baader film really impresses me and the fact that I was able to have a sloar filter for £25 made it even better, and I have enough film left to make another 5, so very good value for money.

I really enjoyed my first look, cant wait for the second and I believe I'm going to ask Santa for a full on Lunt scope......well here's hoping.

Just one word of warning, when aiming your scope at the sun, be careful to not try and have a sneaky peek at the sun to see where it is. I lined the scopes azimuth up with the sun and then looked through the EP to get the altitude correct. Also I have no guide scope on my Equinox but if you do be sure to pop the cover on.

P.s. If your trying to hide the fact you've bought a huge Newtonian, do what I did, try to disguise it as a stripe on your wallpaper or a curtain extension. :D

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thanks for the info im now in a mega rush to make one before the Venus transit

but what if i dont have a screw on dew shield ?

what else can i use instead and get hold of quickly

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I wrestled with the idea of getting a special solar finder for my solar scope until someone told me a simple trick: If your tube is not pointed directly at the sun, the sun will shine on one side of it or another. Point the tube so that the dew shield shadows the entire lower portion of the OTA.

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Thanks Will, good tip. Just need the sun to come out and play :-)

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As a kind of extension of that method you can also look at the shadow the OTA casts on the ground and try to make it as circular as possible. I've found that works pretty well to get you close and then you may need to just pan about a little to get the sun in the eyepiece.

Making a solar finder isn't that hard. There's a rather gorgeous one on this scope: http://platypusart.com/wetherell/sculpture_georgian.html

I happen to have a junk 8x20 finder though and I'm quite tempted just to fit a permanent solar filter to that.

James

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I love the Baader solar film! Because of it I was able to see the Transit of Venus! It's great stuff!

I created a cardboard dust cap to attach it to my scope and It works brilliantly (even if it doesn't look aesthetically pleasing!

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ignore the stuff in the background, that's just left over from when I was a kid.

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It cost a bit more but if you are a refractor type person then a Herschel Wedge is a cost effective idea as you can use it on any refractor that you have (as long as it doesn't exceed 150mm aperture). The other good thing about it is that you cannot damage it easily as you can the film, as it is in the form of a diagonal. I have just purchased a Lunt Herschel Wedge 1.25" for about £175 from Telescope Express in Germany. Marvellous service too. Ordered it one afternoon and it arrived two days later.

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I am very tempted by a Herschel wedge. Something to think about next year, perhaps. I have other things to sort out first.

James

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