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A Simple Dashboard Cam Setup

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Picture of A Simple Dashboard Cam Setup
When I started autocrossing my car I wanted a way a dashboard cam to record the video. I looked at a few online and they were quite expensive and were only mounted to the car using a suction mount. I didn’t feel like spending the money on a camera with a suction mount as many actual race tracks don’t allow cameras to be mounted this way. There must a a physical connection to mount the camera.

I had a cheap point and shoot camera laying around. I decided to mount this to my car. It can shoot video at 640 X480 at 30 fps. I figured this would be good enough for short autocross races.
 
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Step 1: Where to Put the Camera

Picture of Where to Put the Camera
I needed a point on the car which to mount the camera. I chose the point where the sunvisor is attached to the headboard in the car. All cars have this point and there is a threaded fitting where the clip that holds in the visor is attached. My mount design is very simple and I was able to make it in just a few minutes with some scrap material.

Step 2: Mounting the Camera

Picture of Mounting the Camera
The only thing I needed to buy was ¼” X 1” long bolt with 20 threads per inch. This is the standard UNC threading for a ¼” bolt. If this confuses you any hardware store will know exactly what this means. You can even bring in your camera to make sure the bolt will fit into the camera. This will screw into the threaded fitting on the bottom of a camera normally reserved for a tripod.
Pat Pending3 months ago

Very nice and a lot safer than some of the suggested dashboard mounts I've come across. I always look for existing fixing points to use for 'add-ons' and this is a great example. Technically, the camera tripod threads are traditionally 1/4 Whitworth and 3/8 Whitworth (for larger equipment). Coarse thread UNC bolts are very similar and fine for a job like this but male/female thread types should never be mixed in any critical component or fastening.

hgannon9 months ago
How do you invert the video?
great idea. thank you.
As a storm chaser and frequent windshield-camera-mounter, this instructable is invaluable! I can't believe I never thought of it, or anyone else for that matter! Ingenious! Thank you times a billion and I'm going to go out right now and make one myself!
www.tru4orce.com

or

www.race-keeper.com ....

Someone else HAS thought of it ... either of these should do the trick for you, and do it quite well! These would be invaluable to you, as a storm chaser!
Ahh I meant I've never thought to tie into the sun-visor as a camera mount location. Though I've not seen these sites either, they're a bit out of my price range. Amazing and drool worthy none the less! Thanks for the links praise_song!
Rainh2o2 years ago
I use to install a lot of camera systems in police cruisers sort of like this, only it was a larger bracket that would span both visor clips and would hold not only the camera but a whole control assembly for the recorder in the trunk. (Idea here, I wonder if you want make a 3d movie, just make a piece of metal span both clips and mount the cameras about 3 inches apart on it?)Great instructible!
gomiboy2 years ago
Great idea! I was thinking of doing something for a cross-country drive I'm planning, so I could take time-lapse video on the road. This will work well. One thought on the upside-down video - maybe you could make a C bracket from 2 L brackets, bolt it on first, and then bolt the camera right-side up from the bottom?
wiglaf2 years ago
This is brilliant. I've been looking for something like this for a couple of months. I bought a ContourHD camera and a universal mount for it, and I've been trying to think up a way to mount it securely in the car. Brilliant!
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