Last updated: 16 October 2005
Subject: Cheap solar finder Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 14:14:07 From: iancandler (email@example.com) after viewing your site and finaly going out and buying my first etx (yes i did buy mainly due to your sites info.) I decided i wanted to view the sun. I followed the articles on your site and sucessfuly made myself a solar filter (it works perfectly and ive now made one for my camera as well) I had but one problem as i was now out of money and that was a dirt cheap but fairly rugged solar finder. after messing around with card for a day or so i came up with this cheap version of a commercialy available product. this one cost me all of about 50p (75cents) and just a little brain scratching. the main area where this differs from others is in using a laminate of two strips of thick card for its construction, this along with the superglue strengthening the areas where the end piece's are scored then bent up results in something that when painted up is as rigid as plastic would be. the simplicity of using blu-tack to mount it to the scope tubes make it quick and easy to use and leaves no marks on the tube. I hope this is of use to you and you can pass it on to others via your site. Take 2 strips of thick card 150mm long and 30mm wide. They must be square at each end. Glue them together as a laminate with pritt or any other paper glue and leave to dry overnight. When dry mark out as follows. Measure 30mm in from each end and using either a set square or triangle protractor score the card halfway through. Bend the card up at 90 degrees at each end making sure the cut is on the outside of the bend, when you reach 90 deg run a bead of superglue along the now open score and hold for a min or two until it dries, repeat with the other end then run a bead of superglue along the inside of each bend as well. This will stiffen the card and give you a rigid upright at each end. Using sharp scissors cut the top of one end piece on each corner at 45 deg to match the picture below. It is now a good idea to paint the whole thing to further stiffen it also it looks a lot better!! I personally used black acrylic artists paints as I had them to hand. Now we need to make the sights to go on it. I made mine using Microsoft publisher, I first drew a box exactly 30mm X 30 mm then I drew a line in the centre from top to bottom and another from left to right. I then copied the result and pasted it next to the original, then printed it out onto white paper at the best quality I could. When you have printed the sights, cut them out carefully and using you paper glue stick one onto the inside of the straight end piece and the other onto the out side of the other end piece, make sure you line them up properly when doing this stage. For the dog eared end piece just fold the excess over carefully and make sure it's well glued. All you have to do now is to drill (using a 2-3 mm drill bit) or prick with a drawing pin a small hole on the dog-eared end piece exactly in the centre. You now have a complete solar finder. Attach in to your scope using 2 small blobs of blue tack with holed end facing the front, move the scope manually until the small dot projected onto the rear screen is in the centre of the cross hairs and that's it. Your all lined up. cheers for the great site.. Ian (in the uk)
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