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Building an inexpensive PVC camera mount for your vehicle.

When I bought my Triumph TR8 I was pokng around on some of the various sites out on the internet and found a really pretty in car camera mount, and then I saw the price tag! Well, considering that most of my dollars on this project need to go in to actual parts for the car, I figured buying an expensive camera mount was non-sensical.

But then I got to thinking, and figured that I should be able to make one. Now here's the catch. I have a lot of cars here, and I didn't want to have to go make a separate mount designed for each and every car. In addition, over half of the cars here don't have headrests, so that wasn't an option. So the goal is to make a modular assembly that I can rapidly modify to suit any vehicle!

Watch the build!

The first trick is the camera mount itself. Turns out that's a relatively easy thing to do. I found a video on youtube of someone who'd already built one for his own use. Using the mount as the beginning point of the design the next step was to figure out how to stabilize and mount the camera.

Here's where things get a little tricky. I went out and surveyed all the cars that were sitting here at the shop. Basically, the only thing they all have in common is that they all have sides and they all have a floor. After that anything's fair game. As I mentioned before, most of the camera mounts I'd seen before are for head rests. There's a number of other kits designed for roll bars. Now, as cool as these are, they'd be pretty useless in a 1953 Studebaker Champion which doesn't have head rests and will likely never ever have a roll bar installed.

Then I remembered the travelling salesman trick, expansion hanging rods in the back seat to hold business clothes while driving. I figured if that could take the weight of all those clothed, then some form of it could hold a camera. Only, this introduces a bit of a problem that is not relevant when hauling clothes around: accelleration and deacceleration creates a moment of inertia around the pipe because of the weight of the camera. We needed to find some way of offsetting that. Turns out it's pretty simple, just add a third leg to the overall design.

The final item was how to make it fit any car. That involved using threaded couplings to make extensions to the arms. from there you can custom fit it to any width or height. So see the full build watch the video! The best part about this build is the total cost of the project is about $20.00 depending on what you may have already out in your garage.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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