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Finding the sun without going blind!

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#1 steve-in-kville

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:10 PM

I've been doing some solar viewing (obviously with a filter). I am really enjoying it. However, since I do not have a filter for my finder scope, how should I go about finding the sun with my scope?

There has got be a nifty trick to this!! The first time I did solar I covered the finder objective with my fingers and was about to get it close enough I could find it with my scope.

I welcome and help.

#2 jgraham

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:16 PM

Oh yes, this is any easy one. To point your telescope at the sun don't look at or along your scope, look at its shadow. When it is pointing at the sun you'll see just the shadow of the tube as viewed from the end.

#3 Jeff Gardner

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:17 PM

Use the shadow cast by the OTA on the ground to align the scope. Another tip is to remove the eyepiece from the diagonal to provide a larger field of view while trying to find the sun. Look into the diagonal until the suns appears, then replace the eyepiece.

#4 StarStuff1

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:21 PM

It is easy to make a "Sunfinder" device. As mentioned, make the shadow of the tube as small as possible and use the SunFinder to fine tune. Nice sunspots lately.

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#5 steve-in-kville

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:23 PM

Ahh!! Never would have thought about the shadow!!

I did consider using my 42mm plossl for its wide view and then switching to more power.

I'm gonna go try the shadow trick first.... I'll let you all know how I make out.

#6 steve-in-kville

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:41 PM

Just came back in. This worked real sweet. I had my 20mm plossl in and I had the sun in my view right away. Just had to center it up a little.

Thanks for the help.

#7 MAURITS

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:00 PM

Steve, NEVER look at the sun without the right information and the right solar tools!

Keep in mind, without these above here, it is very dangerous! :graduate:

#8 jerwin

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:57 PM

These are pretty cheap and work great.
http://www.dynapod.com/dyna-hp1.html

Jim

#9 beatlejuice

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:14 AM

These are pretty cheap and work great.
http://www.dynapod.com/dyna-hp1.html



Yep, thats what I use now.

Eric

#10 Joe C

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:39 AM

I ended up getting an additional lens cover for my right angle finder. I cut it out and used black RTV and siliconed a small piece of Baader film to the cap.

There you have it. A solar friendly finder.

BTW...I use the shadow method first.

#11 core

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:38 AM

fwiw, my solution ...

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#12 core

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:27 AM

... 'Magic Tape' on the back; the one thing I like about this setup is that you can easily align the finder to the scope with a spot of sharpie ink on the tape.

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#13 MAURITS

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

This is my solution:

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#14 wiruna

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

Televue also make a solar finder
http://www.optcorp.c...r-sff-1006.html
I have one and it works well.

#15 Scott Beith

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:48 PM

Televue also make a solar finder
http://www.optcorp.c...r-sff-1006.html
I have one and it works well.


This is the one I use as well. Great little device. :waytogo:

#16 Starhawk

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:18 AM

You can also have a dowel point forwards from a flat for a version of the shadow trick. If feeling daring, you can watch a projected image from the viewfinder, but that's dangerous if not carefully put together with a screen.

-Rich

#17 jrbarnett

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:05 AM

Perhaps the easiest, low-tech, zero cost way is to simply minimize the shadow of the instrument and mount as it is cast on your chest and stomach when seated behind the scope. The point at which the shadow is as small and well-defined as it can be is the point when the Sun is dead-center in the objective, generally.

Regards,

Jim

#18 SteveC

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:59 AM

Perhaps the easiest, low-tech, zero cost way is to simply minimize the shadow of the instrument and mount as it is cast on your chest and stomach when seated behind the scope. The point at which the shadow is as small and well-defined as it can be is the point when the Sun is dead-center in the objective, generally.

Regards,

Jim


My stomach introduces too many visual distortions. I'd like to blame it on atmospheric conditions, but it's really all those Yuenglings that's to blame.

#19 jrbarnett

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:23 AM

:lol: I know what you mean, Steve.

"OMG! Look at that HUGEMONGOUS sunspot!!!! Oh, wait. Neverind. That's my belly button. Move along, ma'am. One of those other guys will let you look through their telescope."

- Jim

#20 SteveC

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:03 PM

:lol: I know what you mean, Steve.

"OMG! Look at that HUGEMONGOUS sunspot!!!! Oh, wait. Neverind. That's my belly button. Move along, ma'am. One of those other guys will let you look through their telescope."

- Jim


Okay, that's an image that needs to be deleted from my head. ;)

#21 gillmj24

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:13 PM

If you have a finderscope with two pairs of alignment screws, well, first make sure your finderscope is covered then align the shadows of one pair of the three pairs of alignment screws. You can use a paper or your hand for those, and you are looking AWAY from the sun the whole time. That should get you in the field at low power. It works best with a goto mount, slewing with the controller with one hand and holding up the card or your hand with your other hand.

#22 SteveC

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:14 PM

Ahh!! Never would have thought about the shadow!!

I'm gonna go try the shadow trick first.... I'll let you all know how I make out.


As a resident of PA, you ought to know what happens if you don't see your solar scope's shadow?

#23 audioaficionado

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:51 PM

Good price: Tele Vue Sol-Searcher Solar Finder.

#24 Terrance

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:35 AM

If some of those methods are not working for you, and you do not want to buy a solar finder, then an old trick is to get out a white index card or its equivalent and hold it up to any shadow cast by accessory equipment. Finder mounts can work well if there is a space between the mount and scope that light can shine through.

Also even better are shadows cast by inline symmetrical projections from your scope if you can find some. For example two screws from the tops of scope attachment rings will cast symmetrical shadows that can be lined up, etc.

Even two close together raised screws on the back of an SCT work OK as well if you make the angle of there shadows perpendicular to the back of the scope, and make their shadows of equal length while moving the scope up to meet the sun. When the shadows just disappear the sun is shinning into the corrector plate.

The general idea here, is to use the shadows cast by stuff on the scope, and not just the scope shadow itself as an additional potential solar finder. Usually when I get a new scope that I will use for solar observation, I will get the sun by any method and then go over it with a index card or white background looking for easy to notice shadow patterns.






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