Introduction: $5 GoPro Frame for Tripod
I wanted use my GoPro to do a 5 hour time lapse of a plant reaching toward the sun. The GoPro battery won't last this long, so I needed to keep it plugged in. It also needs to be on a tripod. But when it's plugged in, it can't fit in its housing, which is the usual way to mount it on a tripod. So I needed a way to mount a un-housed GoPro on a tripod.
- In this corner, the commercial solution: the GoPro frame, weighing in at a hefty $39.95. A minimalistic enclosure that wraps around the GoPro but has cut outs so that you can plug in power.
- In this corner, the challenger: a $5 / 5 minute diy. Sounds like a knockout to me!
- 1/4 x 20 T-nut.
- JB Weld - this is a two-part epoxy made for metal.
- small piece of steel flashing or other bendable sheet metal.
- tin snips.
- rubber band.
Cut a rectangle of sheet metal about the sideways width of the GoPro, and a bit wider than the base, about 5.5cm x 3cm.
Insert the sheet metal a little ways into the vice, 5.5cm way horizontal, and clamp it. Bend it 90 degrees to make a a little lip that will hold the GoPro in. Now remove it and bend the opposite side. Place the GoPro against the bend you made, and use the GoPro as a guide for how deep to go when you insert the second side into the vice. Clamp it and bend again, to make a second little lip to hold the GoPro in.
The T-nut looks like a little tube glued to a throwing star. The throwing star has four spikes that point down, such that you could hammer this into wood. Remove or pound those spikes flat.
Now mix the JB Weld and glue the T-nut to the bottom of your holding tray. I used a magnet on the opposite side to hold the nut firmly to the metal tray. Let it cure, and you are done.
Put the GoPro into the tray, secure with rubber band, and screw onto the threads of your tripod.
To use your new frame with your PVC Mounting System, all you need is a PVC cap, a half-inch 1/4 x 20 bolt, and a nut to match.