Coronado PST Sunshade

The Coronado PST is a great, little solar scope. The views of the sun are amazing. However, as with any solar viewing, time and effort are needed to learn how to properly use it and to train your eye to see the maximum amount of detail. Small adjustments to the filter will vary what is visible and different eyepieces will have dramatic differences. A simple eyepiece, like a Kelner or Plossl, tend to show the most surface detail, while a 9mm Nagler really shows the prominences while making most surface detail invisible. Also, the PST tends to have a small “sweet spot” where it really shines.

The biggest difference you can make though is to block the sun from your vision. The light reflecting off of the surface of the eyepiece robs a lot of contrast. A hat is a big help, but I keep banging the scope with the brim and have to slide the hat back on my head to get to the eyepiece. I’ve tried umbrellas, awnings, etc., to block the sun, but none worked real well. I’ve seen sunshades in catalogs and didn’t really want to spend money on one before I could try one and see for myself if they worked as advertised.

Being an avid woodworker, I decided to build one from scraps I had and give it a try. What a difference. Build one for yourself and be amazed at the additional details you can see. I wouldn’t make it any smaller, if anything increase the dimensions if you want. Make the base too small and your head will hit the front, make the front too small and it won’t block enough light.

Step by step instructions (PDF) opens in new window

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