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First light baader solar sheet on binoculars


proflight2000
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As always be warned that looking at the sun through anything other than seriously proved devices is a total no no and can make you go blind. Anyways, I have been looking at finding something that would allow me to just pop out when the sun was around (not often I know) and have a look at it. I had contemplated a new filter for my next scope like the one I used to use on my old ETX but I was after something easier and a little cheaper for now.

I chose to be sent a sheet of BAADER AstroSolar™ Safety Film which basically looks like its come off the roll of a tube of baking foil. My aim was to make a couple of little solar filters which I could place over the ends of my binoculars and go and have a quick look. The sheet itself is very flimsy looking until you realise that it does not tear and requires a good pair of scissors to cut it to shape. What I did was to follow the instructions on the sheet and make mine from Cardboard. Basically, you get a reasonable thickness of cardboard, wrap it around the front lenses and cut to size. You then glue the ends together to make the circle, I also used modellers masking tape as it is thin yet pretty strong, seeing as this is the sun I'm going to be looking at I did not want any mishaps.

Next you get another thinner bit of cardboard and wrap it around the first carboard ring leaving a slight space. You then cut the solar sheet to fit over the first cardboard ring the push the second cardboard ring over the top of the first one trapping the film in between. Once the film is in place you then wrap a good electrical tape around the whole ring to keep it together. To make two of these to go on the ends of the binoculars took me 30 minutes to make.

I have just taken them outside to view the sun and they are as good as the £77.00 filter I once paid to fit on my meade etx105. I can see the sun as a white globe and can see a couple of sunspots which has chuffed me no end. Of course eye safety is paramount so if you do make any make sure you look through the bino's first at normal daylight so ensure you can see no light at all coming through the lenses. For the grand sum of £14 quid, I now have a reasonable set of bino's which I can view the sun in.

When my big scope arrives I will try the same process with this film but I will be ensuring I make the fittings from more ridgid materials, all in all a good blue peter cardboard scenario with pretty good results.

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I can only back up what CC has just said any filters for solar astronony the sun MUST go IN FRONT of any lenses.

If not you are gonna find out the hard way that solar viewing can be very dangerous.

Don't take the chance (you will only get one)

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OH! I see now. I read the post briefly and just assumed he was describing filters for the lenses, as CC suggests. I think that may be what proflight was suggesting, but the eyepiece bit just slipped out. Please tell me I'm right!

Andrew

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I used an offcut last year to convert a really shoddy £4 pair of praktica 14x25 bins into dedicated solars. Used a couple of spair ep caps for the frames as they fit around the objective lenses perfect like. They're better now at checkin for sunspots than they ever where at anything else. I think a pair of 10x25 binomites are around £60 so they weren't too bad a buy after all - they probably ain't gonna be QUITE AS GOOD, but have higher mag. At the total cost they are still a great bargain.

They even look the flippin same as Binomites too!!!

post-13013-133877340046_thumb.jpg

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Cool stuff,

One sheet and I have my 80mm scope covered, (absolutely amazing with binoviewers - faculae, granualtion), binoculars and even a little cover for my telrad - bit of cardboard, fold down the side and thin strips of adhesive velcro - works a treat.

Champion stuff

Ant

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Quote from SteelRat "I think a pair of 10x25 binomites are around £60 so they weren't too bad a buy after all - they probably ain't gonna be QUITE AS GOOD".

SR, I have a pair of binomites and they are carp. You did the right thing by converting an old pair of binoculars. I intend to do the same with a pair 0f 8-16x50s that I have.

Tom

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I have a pair of binomites and they are carp. You did the right thing by converting an old pair of binoculars.

I was struggling for a subtle and less direct way of saying the same thing - I guess I don't have to now :D

Whilst Coronado's Solar telescopes are superb, the compact Binomites are not!

PS: Why use an old, cheap, rubbish binocular? Baader's solar film is optically very good and deserves better than that.

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Thanks for the warning chaps. I've nearly bought a pair of Binomites on more than one occasion.

EDIT: Steve, any thoughts on the PST? I've got a small bonus coming next month from work, I'm tempted but I don't know enough about the subject.

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Why use an old, cheap, rubbish binocular?

Heh - got this £4 Praktica pair a couple o years back thinking they'd be OK to keep with me at work. But with x14 mag with 25mm obj. they gave a narrow and darkish view so they just stayed at the bottom of m'work bag. Their alignment was very good though and when I ended up with a handy ammount of the excellent baader film last year just right for a pair of 25mm objectives - well it was pretty much a no-brainer really. They really were absolute carp for everything they were meant for - but turned out to be flippin great for sunspot watchin.

Yer right of course though Steve - a pair of baader objective filters would be GREAT on a really nice binocular. Next time I buy film I'll make sure I got enough to make removable (but very VERY securable) filters for the old russian 12x40's 8)

And thanks for the BM info Tom - made my day :D

Terry - what size bins did you use?

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Steve, any thoughts on the PST? I've got a small bonus coming next month from work, I'm tempted but I don't know enough about the subject.

Your first view of the Sun through a PST will be like your first view of Saturn - breathtaking!

Still getting my head around the difference between the HA and Calcium K (CaK) models (hope to have them both, for comparison, at the SW Astronomy Fair).

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Hi Steel, they are my 27x50 Bino's that I normally use for my aircraft spotting. I also had enough to make one for my 36x50 spotting scope. Must admit though, im looking forwards to making one for the skywatcher 200, the view I used to get through my ETX was pretty good so ponders what the view will be like through the 8".

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Full aperture on a 200? Wow! Take all precautions though eh mate.

What make are the x27s? Thats big mag Terry - are they zoom?

We get plenty o the usual air traffic over us but get a treat every so often; the local stately home has classic flybys - Spits n stuff, some nice old birds from the local flying clubs; couple o Yaks, a lovely old Tiger Moth. Always keep my ear's open and the x12s handy around airshow season for stuff goin back an forth - a grand old Hurricane twice one day last year low and fast right over the house.

O'course the Hercs and Globemasters (probly out of B.N.) are bumblin about alot again nowadays, low jets and stuff too. Gotta say I prefer the olduns mself :D

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Hi Steel. not sure what make they are, I had them bought for me for someone who went to Japan, the zoom on them is excellent for across airfield scenarios but too handshaky at high level. I wanted a large apeture for number gathering at distance in places like manchester airport when you have to view right across the otherside of the airfield for taxying. I have seen a number of people there with hugh binoculars who seem to spend their time looking into the clouds to spot aircraft in flight, something i used to do with my ETX with a camera attached.

Strange really as I bought my first scope after scouring the internet for a super dooper spotting scope, I went from one extreme to the other but im glad i did now as a high grade spotting scope would have been too much although I may start looking again for another one with a straight through view and a at least a 70mm lens. As for the lobemasters, well I am five miles from RAF Lyneham and on the decent path to the runway so I get some good snaps of all sorts coming in around here.

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Full aperture on a 200? Wow! Take all precautions though eh mate.

The Skywatcher comes with a smaller hole/cap moulded into the original that can be utilised - you will see what I mean when you get the scope.

I was thinking of doing the same thing with mine. What's the big deal? Doesn't the filter come in A4 sheets? That is just 2cm too small, but you could make a cardboard border to cover the rest. I could do Steve's suggestion and just make one for the small hole in the aperture cover. What would be the difference?

Andrew

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Done my bins. The objectives were covered by a rubber cup that I was able to drag off. Cut the sheet bigger, then pushed the cups back on over the sheet. Doddle, and very secure.

Had a look at the sun but couldn't see any spots, but then there weren't any to look at when I checked space weather.

Great project!

Captain Chaos

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