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Thread: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

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    Default Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC



    I looked at this filter: https://www.celestron.com/products/e...sct-and-edgehd

    But besides being sold out forever it seems because of the recent eclipse, since I've been researching solar filters, I've read that the Baader Planetarium solar filter film is better anyway.

    It seems that solar granularity shows up better when viewed in the blue wavelengths rather than in the yellow.

    So, I'm thinking about making my own solar filter using Baader Solar filter film. Problem I'm finding is that the smallest sheet they sell that would accomadate an 8 inch STC is pretty large. They (annoyingly) sell a sheet that is 7.9" by 11. something or other.... for $37.00

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...-sheet-asolv-s

    then I saw this:

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...er-cell-az1009

    Off axis filter for a 14 inch STC...

    and this:

    How to make an inexpensive filter cell - AstroSolar.com

    Which makes me wonder, can I do this off axis filter design using the smaller sizes of Baader solar film?

    Like this one at 177mm or 6.96 inches:

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...er-cell-az1009

    Or this one at 140mm x 155mm:

    https://www.amazon.com/Baader-Planet...er+planetarium

    Hoping someone can give me some input on this.

    I am having a hard time with the notion that using only a small amount of my aperture is reasonable and would give me the views I'm looking for.

    Thanks in advance, and hopefully some day, Clear Skies for everyone.
    Clear Skies
    ~ DeeFitz

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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    Also, what happens if I make the solar filter out of the 7.9 inch sheet and am forced to reduce the aperture by that much?

    i mean, that's tiny right? It shouldn't interfere even as much as the secondary mirror does right?
    Clear Skies
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    Here's a quick thought for you.
    Apperture is to gather as much light as possible ( think of faint fuzzies ). The Sun is the brightest object in the sky. It's way too bright so why worry about apperture ?
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    Just got my Eclipsmart filter from Adorama ($50), iv'e seen them at different sites... but I'm thinking they are all cutting back on stock after the Eclipse. Works as stated on the 8".

    (Normal view 8")
    https://flic.kr/p/Y3gN1d

    (.7 reducer view 8")
    https://flic.kr/p/Y82wtA
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    I suspected this but wanted to hear it from someone else.

    I poked around a few other forums, Stargazers Lounge, and Cloudy Nights, and they all had pretty robust discussions regarding Baader Solar Filter Film and how much better they liked it than higher priced glass filters or other solar filter films such as the Thousand Oaks Solar Filter Film.

    So I was probably not specific enough regarding my two questions and should have prominently displayed them: Can I get away with an off axis solar filter for my 8STC?,

    and

    whether or not Baader Solar Filter Film is superior for any reason whether it is just less expensive and just as good, or better than Thousand Oaks, etc.

    I was just reading that the sole purpose of a larger aperture is to gather light not magnify it last night. So the off axis solar filter should work since the one thing that really doesn't need the extra light coming in is clearly the sun. After all, we're talking about a solar filter that lets, preferably, .01% of the light from the sun. Still, I am enough of a noob to wonder about the quality of the image I might gather if I use the off axis design on my 8STC.

    You've admirably answered the first question, but I was wondering if you have any input regarding the superiority of Baader Solar Filter Film?
    Clear Skies
    ~ DeeFitz

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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    The baader solar film lets about a stop more light in than the thousand oaks solar lite film.

    The thousand oaks will be orange and the baader pure white. With a monochrome camera, there is no difference.

    However, if you image at F20 or F30, the baader will give a bit of an advantage. I have read the Baader ND 3.8 versus the ND5 that is commonly available might be better for larger focal ratio but it is for astrophotography only. Too bright for your eyes.

    My favorite filter for viewing is my thousand oaks glass filter for my FLT98, again organ. I think the Baader is a bit bright for visual.

    although they all claim to be the same ND 5.
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    I did this yesterday - thousand oaks glass filter .6 msec exposure - baader solar film .23 msec exposure - ASI174M mono - FLT98

    3000 frames - stacked best 64 - registax wave filter

    baader film top - thousand oaks glass bottom



    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    Those are awesome images!

    And thank you so much for the comparison!
    Clear Skies
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    I guess to my eyes I'd give a very slight nod to the baader film. I've done this before and not noticed much if any difference so might be some variation in the capture or just a small advantage to the baader.
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    Default Re: Thinking of a DIY solar filter for my 8 inch STC

    Quote Originally Posted by Purdyd View Post
    The baader solar film lets about a stop more light in than the thousand oaks solar lite film.

    The thousand oaks will be orange and the baader pure white. With a monochrome camera, there is no difference.

    However, if you image at F20 or F30, the baader will give a bit of an advantage. I have read the Baader ND 3.8 versus the ND5 that is commonly available might be better for larger focal ratio but it is for astrophotography only. Too bright for your eyes.

    My favorite filter for viewing is my thousand oaks glass filter for my FLT98, again organ. I think the Baader is a bit bright for visual.

    although they all claim to be the same ND 5.
    Naturally, I have to choose: What is my primary purpose in this? Solar Viewing? Or Solar Images?

    Thank you so much for clarifying things!

    In reading about this, I've come to the conclusion that an off axis solar filter is totally reasonable and since I can now actually afford a solar filter, assuming I make it myself, I can have both if I want them since I can make one for close to the cost of the filter film itself. In fact, I'll likely be able to make several nice ones out of each film and be able to share those with my astronomer friends.

    And thanks to your help, I now believe that the Thousand Oaks is the best choice for me since viewing is the primary purpose. I enjoy sharing the view with my friends and neighbors. I do love photography and have been an amateur photographer since I was about 12. So I'll always want to capture images of what I'm looking at. Mostly as documentation really. But it's nice to share those as well. But I only have one telescope and it's mostly for observing. I can see giving an evening up to photography when I'm alone in the backyard and no one is there to interrupt my addiction to capturing images.

    A friend loaned me a ZWO ASI120MC-S to use, to see if I like it and maybe buy it. I have a new computer coming that should run nicely with it and I'd love to capture some images of the sun, since practicing on it might be a bit more accessible than waiting for a clear night and the moon, or testing it on Saturn. It just expands my options quite a lot to have the sun as an object to view as well.

    Clear Skies!
    Clear Skies
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