Why I Crafted a Binocular Mirror Mount
Have you ever gone outside to view the stars, only to have extreme neck and back pain 30 minutes later? Me too! I realized how much it bothered me and figured out a solution: the binocular mirror mount. Now I am able to sit down, look slightly downward, and view the stars by using a glass first surface mirror to get a high quality reflection of the sky.
What You Need
When looking for materials to create this, I looked at a ton of builds- most of which had the mirror mounted in such a way that it could not be moved. I feel this is a huge benefit, especially when and if you have a larger mirror. The larger the mirror, the further back you can go with the binoculars which can provide more unique views in general. Depending on what you want to see in the sky, having some wiggle room to be flexible is usually never a bad thing. However, if you are worried about breakage, I would stick with a smaller set up to be on the safe side.
Finding the Right Binoculars
When I was looking around for the best binoculars for night time viewing, there are a lot of things I had to consider. This guide really helped me choose the best one for my purposes. I wanted something that was easy to travel with and could pick up the stars and planets.
Selecting the Right Mirror
For binocular mirror mount set ups it is really important to get a high quality glass first surface mirror. The 1-wave flat glass first surface mirror is a great fit because it features an enhanced aluminum mirror coating that does not degrade over time very easily. In addition to durability, it has a better surface flatness than standard float glass, so you can go up to 40x magnification (or greater) with the binoculars. To be able to use higher magnification, you will want to consider the 1/4 wave and 1/8 wave glass first surface mirrors. This is because there is less distortion per 1″ circle which will give you better clarity.
How to Protect the First Surface Mirror Coating
There are a few different products that can be used to protect the mirror coating. The precote 33 spray is nice for smaller mirrors – just be sure to apply at least 3 coats to create the laminate, otherwise it will not be thick enough. For larger mirrors, the blue laminate from CR Laurence is nice and very fast to apply to the mirror.