Introduction: DIY Solar Projector for Watching the Eclipse Safely
I wanted to create a way to view the sun during the solar eclipse that was safe, and also that projected the sun in a larger way so several people could gather around it, and not rely on using the solar eclipse glasses to experience the event. So I made a simple projector using a few things I had around the shop.
Step 1: Materials Needed
To create the solar projector I used the following materials:
- scrap plywood
- spotting scope / photography lense
- foam board
Step 2: Assembly
The basic concept is to create a holder for the spotting scope and place a white surface (foam board) directly in line with it.
I cut up two square pieces of plywood which I cut a circle in each, in order to hold the spotting scope in place. The two squares are connected together with a narrow strip of plywood underneath, which the two squares are screwed into.
On the end of the narrow strip I attached another piece of plywood with screws, and then I attached a piece of white foamboard to that.
Step 3: Connection
So the end of the spotting scope or the lens, is what you place towards the sun, and the section which you usually view through (or connect to a camera) is what you project towards the white screen.
I placed a couple of screws on each plywood piece and secured the spotting scope in place with a few rubber bands. I also added some additional cardboard on top of the plywood to block the sun as much as possible.
Step 4: Tripod
On the underside of the narrow strip of plywood, I added 1/4- 20 connection piece so that I was able to screw the whole unit onto a tripod.
Another option is to hold the unit on your shoulder as you find the position of the sun.
Step 5: Focusing
By using a spotting scope I was able to focus the image on the scope, as well as zoom in and out as needed. If on the other hand, you're using a camera lens, then you may need to be able to adjust the distance of the lens in relation to the white board. You could also use a pair of binoculars, however the distance between the binoculars and the white board would need to be a lot greater.
Step 6: Benefits
By creating a projector like this, you will be able to see a much larger image of the sun, than if you made a pinhole camera, or if you were simply looking at the sun using eclipse glasses. Anyone who will experience a partial eclipse, or total eclipse would benefit from making a similar projector, and then you can always take cool photos of the projection!
Step 7: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, and to see the projector in action, make sure to check out the video!