Early Prep for August

Sun Test 2017-02-26 4-51pmThis is our star as seen from my porch at 4:51pm on this day. The dark patches are because I waited until the afternoon to start my testing – pure laziness. They are a few tree branches that began to occult the star at the time I started the camera tests.

The camera worked well enough, though I need to tinker with it. It does not allow a full range of focus. Buy cheap – get cheap. It also does not allow a full scope view, which will be a bit of a disappointment in August, but may allow for some good Luna edge images. The biggest difficulty with this cheap O-Cam is getting it on, which requires removing the eyepiece and then putting the O-Cam in place. During the event, seconds will be precious. I may opt for an external smartphone mount.

The solar filter is wonderful. Direct viewing was crisp and clean, without any noticeable distortion with low and high power eyepieces.

Targeting required developing new techniques. Initially I avoided the targeting scope as it does not have a solar filter and a burned retina would be certain. Sighting down the barrel of the scope proved difficult. It had a similar problem – staring at the sun. I have gotten good using this technique to get general aim prior to using the targeting scope to pinpoint planets and stars, yet I could not get good enough aim on Sol with this method alone. I eventually opted for the same star targeting method – a barrel sight for general aim, and using an indirect view of the target scope – looking at the solar image on the surface of the target scope’s eyepiece, rather than looking into the eyepiece.

More tests to come as I wait for August.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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