Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Homemade Handlebar Cam

Saturday morning I got up early, went down to the garage and pulled out my box of bike bits and pieces. I've been looking into ways of mounting a camera on the bike to get some action shots. I've tried holding the camera while riding and it works, but tends to cramp my style a bit. While there are some nice suggestions for homemade helmet or handlebar cams on the internet, I really wanted something that would be easy to put on and take off, and something that would not disfigure the bike too much.

As I was looking through the box, I came across the handlebar clamp for an old bike headlight. I rummaged around some more and found the old light and as luck would have it, the clip that attached the light to the handlebar clamp was removable.

To make a long story short, I had hit the jackpot. I bought a bolt, did a little drilling, shaping and fiddling and came up with the Thirsty Bob Handlebar Camer-O-Matic!

Here's the handlebar clamp just waiting to be put to use:

Here are the parts for the removable camera mount--the modified headlight clip, the grippy rubber pad that also serves to level the camera and the 1/2 inch 1/4 x 20 machine bolt that threads into the tripod mount on the camera:

Here's the assembled camera mount:

The camera mounted:

And the camera clipped onto the bike (the Camer-O-Matic supports any camera with a tripod mount, but prudence argues for an inexpensive model):

The project went smoothly, so smoothly in fact that it had me worried. I'll admit to some butterflies as I took it out for a test yesterday at lunch--nothing too crazy for the maiden voyage, just something with a few turns and a bump or two to see what would happen.

Here's the unedited footage from the first test run (in future I'll be sure to replace the audio of wind, creaks and bumps with some nice new-age music).

Your feedback is of course welcome.


Lili said...

Holy cow, that's so cool.
It makes me want to get a bike.
And take it places.

Zina said...

Very cool!

Unlike Lili, this only confirms my wimpiness to me, since the movie kind of scares me (tho' not as much as did the penguin ski.)

nathan said...

Very cool. I'm kind of surprised a camera can handle that much abuse, actually.