Monday, December 31, 2018

Bicycle Camera Mounting Hardware

I'd been thinking of some more ideas on how to mount my camera when recording footage for my Bicycle Quests series, and in general so I don't have to take my tripod with me on my bike.

Here's some modifications I made to some stuff so it can hold a camera.  On the left is my bike mic stand, and a home made C-clamp on the right.  Simply by drilling and tapping 1/4"-20 threads in them, they become camera stands with the addition of a short 1/4"-20 rod and some knurled 1/4" nuts I made of aluminum.
Here the camera is attached to the C-clamp, now it can be clamped to anything and become a camera stand.  I'd drilled tapped holes in 3 sides of the clamp for more versatility.

The convenient shape of the clamp allows it to fit into my light mount.
I probably will only use this for stationary shots, (or really slow moving ones) since there is no provision for anti-vibration.
Prior to this, I'd been using my phone's camera clamped in the light mount with one of those rubber wristbands.  I didn't really care for this, since there's more potential for damage.
The mic stand I was planning to use for shooting toward me while riding.  Prior to this, I was using my tripod strapped to the basket with bungee cords, which wasn't very sturdy (examples of this in the Laguna Beach Quest video and "My Bike" music video)
This Flipcam I found for $2 at a rummage sale was the test subject.
I tried taking some footage, which came out comically shaky.  However, I wouldn't entirely blame this camera mounting for the problem.  What I discovered, was that the threaded piece embedded in the camera body was actually loose causing it to oscillate at the base of the camera. 
I later realized that the the tripod threads in the Flip cam were cheaply designed, and would actually extrude out of the camera body if tightening the threaded rod too far since it's a through hole with the plastic of the camera body on the other side. 

Since mounting the camera directly to the bike while moving turned out to be too shaky, I experimented with the improvised-shirt-pocket-go-pro, and had moderate success.
This was a fun one, the "GoPro VHS".  This was mounted directly to my front rack with a 1/4" bolt with some welding gloves in between for vibration dampening.  Pretty successful nonetheless, I think the massive size of the camera helped prevent the video coming out too shaky.  The original battery for the camera was long dead when I bought it, so I had wired it up to a motorcycle battery, which here is in the rear saddlebag with the wire strung all the way to the front of the bike.  Sadly, this camera died when I accidentally connected the wires backwards in haste to film a train passing by.  You can tell this is an older photo since my bike still has the first set of pedals I made, and this was before the stem upgrade.

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