The Upcoming Eclipse

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6NYA, Aug 10, 2017.

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  1. W6NYA

    W6NYA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Iam reposting this from anther thread in the interest of safety. Some of this might seem like common sense, but we are approaching an event that will involve millions of people and depending on the application of common sense amongst all of them might be a stretch. The more folks that understand, the more folks that can be there to guide those who may not. There was some discussion about the potential effects of the total eclipse on communications and other parts of our infrastructure on August 21. Here is what I posted:

    Something like this (pic below I captured in 2012), but pointed in our direction, would create far far more trouble with communications for us than any total eclipse. But the issues the eclipse will cause in terms of traffic, and overcrowding in portions of the path of totality could still be serious in some areas. I think the police and fire dept/paramedics will be busy. You are inevitably going to have people using binoculars to look at the sun, thinking they will only use them during totality--the danger is the moments just before or just after totality when they "think" they have judged the right moment to look. Those people are going to have a potentially irreversible medical emergency. The time after the eclipse will likely being more hectic for our first responders than the time leading up to it. You have potentially hundreds of thousands of people either traveling to the path of totality a few days in advance (those that could get overnight reservations) and then maybe even a greater number thinking they are going to be able to hit the road the day of the event and still be able to get there (good luck). Depending on where on the path you are talking about, the issue could be very minor or very major. Good luck to all and be safe. Looking at the sun without proper filtering WILL CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO YOUR EYES. If the eclipse is total where you are, it is safe to view the sun unfiltered ONLY for the 2 minutes or so of totality. Err on the side of caution, use filters right up until just after totality has started and begin to use then again before it has ended. DO NOT observe the sun with unfiltered binoculars or an unfiltered telescope unless during totality and if you are with someone who has the right equipment and knows what they are doing. If the eclipse is not total where you are, it is not ever going to be safe to view the sun without proper filtering. Even a 99% eclipsed sun can damage your eyes without proper filters.

    W6NYA 01sunnn.jpg
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  2. N6QIC

    N6QIC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. N2SUB

    N2SUB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. N7AHE

    N7AHE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree wholeheartedly with the OP about the danger of looking at the Sun unprotected. However, I personally will err on the side of extreme caution (I've had UV burns to my eyes).
    1. Find a piece of paper or card stock.
    2. Punch a smooth hole in it. (the size of the projected image is related to the size of the hole - the larger the hole, the larger the image, but also the longer the focal length)
    3. Turn your back to the sun and let the sunlight strike the paper.
    4. 'Focus' the projected image onto a smooth surface by moving the paper closer to or farther away from the surface, as needed.
    No chance of eye burn, great images of the Sun and eclipse.

    This also works to count Sunspots.

    Note: this is an ancient technique. If you arrange for the hole to illuminate the inside wall of a dark box (or even a room in some cases) it is know as a camera obscura.
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  5. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got a retinal UV burn also but not from the sun... Happened about 40 years ago and it's there to this day. I've gotten used to the shadow just to the right of my line of sight but I don't wish this on anyone! Stay safe and protect your eyes!

    "Mama always told me not look into the eyes of the sun..."
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  6. K5RCD

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    K7WFM, W4IOA, W6NYA and 2 others like this.
  7. AE9AM

    AE9AM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The sunlight filtering between tree leaves will cause it to project a mosaic of little images of the sun onto the ground as well. Definitely something to watch for.

    I don't think we're going to be able to make the trip down to totality, but we're supposed to get to 87% here in the Chicago area, so it should at least be worth going outside for even if it won't get all that dark.

    Besides being a very long drive, there's the risk of hitting the mother-of-all-traffic-jams before you even reach the totality shadow area, and a possible 50% chance of cloud cover. Should have gotten off my butt two years ago and made hotel reservations somewhere lol.
  8. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Something I discovered at the last eclipse we had here... if you have a round, flat mirror you can project an image of the sun onto a vertical surface, like a building. I imagine that a simple hand mirror, like the kind you use to look at your face, would work. The key is distance... the farther you project the image, the sharper and larger it will be. Try to project onto a shaded wall. I was able to cast a 6-foot image about 100 yards away.
  9. W6NYA

    W6NYA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Keep in mind that even at 95% eclipsed, your eyes wont detect any darkening of the sky--the sun will still look as bright as ever.

  10. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    For those who still want to get the eclipse glasses, you probably have about one more day to get them. I have updated information at my blog:

    At this point, I would _not_ get them on eBay or Amazon. Amazon is out of stock for orders fulfilled by Amazon. Some of the third-party vendors may be reputable, but most of the listings I've seen are either too expensive or scams. Many of the pictures are of approved glasses, but buyers are getting cheap imitations, and not the ones pictured. Yes, you can probably get your money back from Amazon, but then you won't have the glasses in time. Most retailers who had them just a couple of days ago are now out of stock. I predict that you have about one more day to get them, at the normal price of $2-$3 each.

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