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Old 07-25-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default Cheap Camera Mount

Not really sure where to post this, so I'll throw it here.
In my quest for a better cheap/free camera mount than the tripod that I had haphazardly wedged in place inside my car, I came up with this design. It is a metal tube clamp strap thing with a rubber insert to provide grip, clamped to the rear-view mirror arm, using a camera-mount threaded bolt, washers, and nuts. Pics:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

The advantages to this are that the mounting location is pretty solid, the angles are completely adjustable, and you can use a variety of cameras (I use a Flip HD).

The issues are that it places the camera upside-down, so you have to rotate the video 180* to watch it. Not really a problem for me since I can just upload the raw footage to Youtube and then use their editor to rotate the video. For the price (free), I can handle the inconvenience of having to rotate the footage.
Additionally, it is awkward to screw some cameras on due to the mirror blocking installation of the camera. Not an issue in my particular case.
Also, I doubt it would support a heavy camera or have room for a heavy camera. Again, not an issue for me.

I'll post some videos tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Yes, I know the axle bearings need to be replaced:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp7K_ZtPFDU
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:53 PM   #3
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Well dang, I've been trying to think of a way to mount my flip, I'm in for one! Make this with stuff you had laying around I take it?
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:38 PM   #4
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Well dang, I've been trying to think of a way to mount my flip, I'm in for one! Make this with stuff you had laying around I take it?
Yup. Should be easy to find the parts at Home Depot or Lowes.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:48 AM   #5
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Nice! Is that the BLS kit in the night video?
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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Nice! Is that the BLS kit in the night video?
Yeah, I still need to realign it. I have some new alignment springs/screws that I can use but I have been too lazy to install it.

Also, what came with the BLS kit was supposed to be a 5000k 55W HID kit, but what I received looks suspiciously like a 35W 6000k once installed... So, I might be ordering another HID kit through DDM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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I've been wanting something exactly like this for my flip. I always wanted to buy a mount for the car, but felt like if I paid for a decent one, that I should also buy a better quality camera(not that these flips are bad at all IMO).

This is perfect and mounts exactly where I've always wanted to mount it. I literally sat in my car trying out different places with different methods(ghetto rigging in every way imaginable).

I'm gonna go buy pick up the parts today. Anyone know what the thread size is of that bolt?
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:02 PM   #8
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Thread specs should be 1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch, length depending on strap/washers/nuts used.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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Just picked up the clamp and bolt, already have washers and nuts.

Great idea ZexGx, thanks.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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What exactly is the clamp for, so I know what to look for when I run to the Depot tomorrow?
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #11
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What exactly is the clamp for, so I know what to look for when I run to the Depot tomorrow?
I have no idea - it was in my dads misc junk parts bin. It's a pre-shaped metal tube clamp with stamped edges that loosely hold in a thin piece of rubber for insulation. Maybe SSkull can post up what he had to buy.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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I just went by osh and picked up a little generic anchor shackle(closest thing I could find and I didn't want to drive to home depot since I had other things to do). As for the bolts I ended up buying a small bag of the screws and nuts(realized afterwards they're goddamn screws but it's still good) since I was rushing and just grabbed the first thing I saw.

I'll post a pic up in a moment of the exact packaging. Price total was like 3 bucks, half of it was for the shackle.

Edit: Here's the picture, forgot to mention, just pull out the bolt that comes with the shackle and replace it with your other bolt for however much length you wanted.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:24 PM   #13
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^ if you don't feel like returning the screws, you can always carefully remove the mirror from the windshield mount to screw the clamp on.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:30 PM   #14
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I just slipped the clamp over the base and slid it up. It's practically a perfect fit for the mirror.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZexGX View Post
I have no idea - it was in my dads misc junk parts bin. It's a pre-shaped metal tube clamp with stamped edges that loosely hold in a thin piece of rubber for insulation. Maybe SSkull can post up what he had to buy.
I'm off tomorrow so I'll have to go look into it. It's hard to tell in the picture but did you use the rubber insert in the clamp?
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:06 AM   #16
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I'm off tomorrow so I'll have to go look into it. It's hard to tell in the picture but did you use the rubber insert in the clamp?
Yes. Without it, the clamp would just slide around on or dig into the mirror arm...
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:36 PM   #17
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So this is what I came up with. I couldn't find the same type of clamp with the rubber insulator so I grabbed a 3/4" pipe strap, 1-1/2" 1/4-20 bolt, wing nut and bolts. I had some foam rubber laying around that worked out real well. I hogged out the holes in the strap, bent it around a socket and was good to go. Going out to test it in a few..

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Old 07-27-2011, 04:55 PM   #18
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Impressive. What camera are you guys using? The video came out nice.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Impressive. What camera are you guys using? The video came out nice.
I use the Gen 1 Flip MinoHD. It's basically a current-gen Flip MinoHD, without image stabilization, or 60fps, or an HD video output for displaying directly to a TV in HD. Got it as a gift a while ago but didn't use it much since it was hard to get usable footage from it.

IMO, mine was pretty useless because it didn't have image stabilization. Until I made this camera mount for it. Any attempts to hold it by hand and the video is just a jerky distorted compilation of awfulness. The newer MinoHD's and other small handheld HD recorders have image stabilization, so that should help with that problem.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZexGX View Post
I use the Gen 1 Flip MinoHD. It's basically a current-gen Flip MinoHD, without image stabilization, or 60fps, or an HD video output for displaying directly to a TV in HD. Got it as a gift a while ago but didn't use it much since it was hard to get usable footage from it.

IMO, mine was pretty useless because it didn't have image stabilization. Until I made this camera mount for it. Any attempts to hold it by hand and the video is just a jerky distorted compilation of awfulness. The newer MinoHD's and other small handheld HD recorders have image stabilization, so that should help with that problem.
I've got a second gen. As far as I know the only difference on it was more space(2 hours of recording time/8gb memory) between 2nd and 1st gens. Quality has always been good and only time I've seen focus problems was from when my friend was recording(tries to hide the camera for some dumbass reason and is basically zoomed in on the door panel until we've already started.

First times I used it it looked like ok quality, but after checking a video out on my computer, I really liked how clean every video was on everything. Anytime I paused the video it looked like it was pretty good quality picture(text and everything clearly visible even in videos where that text may only be on the screen for a second as we're passing by it at 60+mph.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:31 PM
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