Instructables

Cop Car Camcorder Mount

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Picture of Cop Car Camcorder Mount
Rig an onboard camera like the cops and NASCAR, for 15 bucks. Inspiration for this project from Make Volume 13. Mine adds a swivel mount that makes it much more useful. Enjoy!


 
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Step 1: What You Need...

Picture of What You Need...
1. 3/4" Square Aluminum stock tubing. About 2 Feet long
2. (2) "U" bolts with matching wing nuts
3. Dollar Store mini-tripod
4. 4mm 1 1/2" long bolt

Step 2: Build the Mount

Picture of Build the Mount
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This mount installs on your headrest supports so you need to:
1. Measure across your headrest to in-between your seats.

2. Cut the aluminum tubing to that length.

3. Hold the cut tubing up to the headrest and make marks using the eyebolt where the bolt will go around the mounts.

4. Drill them with a bit larger than the eyebolt.

5. Drill a hole larger than the size of your bolt for the swizel mount.

Step 3: Prepare the Swivel

Picture of Prepare the Swivel
Finding that Dollar Store mini-tripod was the score of the day! One screw removes the swivel section from the leg assembly and it's ready to install on our mount.

Step 4: Final Steps

Picture of Final Steps
Run the 4mm bolt through the tube and screw it into the swivel mount. (Your screw size may be a different size based on the tripod you find)

Install the mount to your headrest supports using the eyebolts and the wingnuts. Install your camcorder to the swivel mount and you are ready to test it out! Have fun!
tripseven5 years ago
To reduce or eliminate the reflection on the windscreen or windshield you'll want a circular polarizer. You can get them for most camcorders directly from the manufacturer of your camcorder ~or~ you can get cheaper ones from Ritz or Wolf Camera. Be sure to match up your filter with the correct size filter. You can save yourself time and money by checking the ring size of your camcorder as it should say on the inner ring or somewhere on the lens what the size of the filter threads are. Simply match that up and head to the camera store. Put the filter on your camera, dial it in (you rotate one part of the filter to eliminate the reflection on the windshield) and voila, you have a MUCH cleaner image.
Or just place some dark clothing on the dash...
That's a great suggestion!
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Looks like you need to add some kind of vibration damping. Maybe some rubber grommets to the bolts or steadycam fluid-counterweight thingy.
I've tried this and the rubber addition doesn't work. The vibration is because of the movement of the actual seat, you'd have to find a way to tighten up the reclining part of the seat.
tonz0phun Jay$4 years ago
Perhaps mounting this on the back seat will reduce the vibration? My car has the same head rests front and rear so I'm sure that could work.
Or just do what i did take out the front seat and install a tripod and a computer stand ..... just a thought
So why mount it on you headrest why not a dash mount will have less vibration that way ....... remember when we all had disk-man in our cars and it use to skip well they made a thing that had springs in it to reduce the vibration couldn't you do the same......
Nice, but can we see where the tripod mounts to? I don't really get where you put it
twocvbloke5 years ago
You know, this has just reminded me, I used to have one of thode cheap camera tripods, but it collapsed under the weight of my old Sony TR417E 8mm camcorder!!! I forgot what I did with the mount though, could have used it now I know of this... :( Oh well, they're cheap enough... :D
snakeii5 years ago
Nice idea.

Instead of using that regular aluminum tubing, try out some of the 80/20 1" extrusion (part number 1010). With it you could simply adjust the bolts to fit various vehicles. They offer tons of various brackets and accessories, and you can make other non-80/20 stuff work as well.

Check out their site (http://www.8020.net/) for local dealers, or just go to McMaster-Carr (page 1888). McMaster doesnt carry all of their stuff though.
amakerguy5 years ago
hey I have that same mini tripod (but the legs are red).
drsteevo5 years ago
That looks like 275 in Pinellas county, I can't quite make out the road signs but I used to drive on that highway all the time.
This is cool! But one warning, that tripod is a piece of crap. I used mine a few times and the screw part broke right off! it took me hours to get it out of my camera.
Plasmana5 years ago
5/5 star rating for your great work!
codester5 years ago
Speeding KipKay?
It looks like it, he probably put his camera on fast motion...
9995925 years ago
hey you know cop cars actually have the cameras mounted on the front end so that it has a much clearer view of whatever is going, instead of having to video through the windshield. So its not quite the same as a cop car, however I have no doubt that it is similar to those in NASCAR. :)
jam3s5 years ago
This is great, I started making this yesterday, although had to improvise on a few things.

For a start, I didn't get the U Bolts, but two bolts with wing nuts and a mending plate was fine and still does the job.

Second of all, I didn't get the aluminum square tube, instead I got hold of an L shape aluminum piece of material. This does no where near have the strength to do the job properly.

When I put my DSLR onto it, it kinda bends and warps. It is strong enough to hold it, but it isn't strong enough to keep it in place whilst driving, so may result in fuzzy shots.

Great idea though =]
Hey Kip Great job as always. I had actually just picked up the same tripod at my dollar store. By the way, those are not eye-bolts. Eye-bolts have a circular 'eye' and a single threaded end. You're using what I would call 'U' bolts. Keep up the great work!
Kipkay (author)  StrangeRover5 years ago
Thanks for the 'bolt' correction.
A little thing about bolts for the camera mounting...

If you want to attach the camera direct ot the rail the mounting point uses a 1/4 inch coarse thread bolt.
comodore5 years ago
Yet another great, awsome, best project from Mr KipKay! Bravo! rate:*****
You drive fast!
HEHE his cop-style camcorder mount will catch the cops catching him!
Thornburg5 years ago
Very nice, favorited.
trebuchet035 years ago
Sweet - better implementation than the one I did a year ago :).
Pumpkin$5 years ago
KIPKAY RULEZ! 5 stars you gus should do the same>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Rockerx5 years ago
Cool! This would be great for those who want to make a movie with something to do with police work. It would give it a lot more realism since this is how it works in real life.
Dr. Cool5 years ago
I have always wanted to do this, now all I have to do is get a car! ; ) Doc Cool
bumpus5 years ago
Sweet!
This is really cool, might have to do this for senior week!
:D

If anyone is interested I have a camcorder, just like the one seen in the video for sale, here...
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