Disappointment is the mother of invention. After failing to win the "Animal Innovations" contest grand prize, a nifty action camera that mounts on a dog's back to record their adventures, I was miffed. Though I was happy with a runner-up place for one of my dog agility instructables, I really wanted that dog camera. After awhile, I thought, "Heck, I'm a maker. I'll fabricate my own dog camera." Here is the result, consisting primarily of a dog harness, an action camera, and a bike mount. It was remarkably fast to build.
It cost me next to nothing, as I already had nearly all the materials. I like to do skatejoring and skijoring with my dogs, so I have harnesses for each of them. I found the Kurgo Journey Harness on sale at one of the big chain pet stores. It has the advantage of a large padded piece along the top, which provides a site for attachment of the camera mount. I have had the action camera for a few years. It's a Polaroid; and much cheaper than a GoPro. The bicycle mount came with it. I had the bucket and plumber's tape in the garage. I took a trip to the hardware store only for the nuts and bolts.
Bicycle mounting bracket for action camera
Plumber's tape: a thin metal strip with holes in it
8x32x3/4" bolts, nuts & washers
Reamer or drill
Plumber's tape has got to be the most useful material for those of us with limited metalworking skills and no welder. It is flexible, easy to cut, and often fits just where you need it. The bike mount for the camera is made to be affixed to the handle bars. My idea was to clamp it onto the top of the dog harness. However, the bottom bracket is rounded and has the adjustment knobs, which would be quite uncomfortable for the dog. All I needed to do was make a bottom bracket that was flat. First I took apart the bottom bracket. I measured up the plumbers tape to the top bracket, lined up the holes and cut off the appropriate amount with tin snips. I used needlenose pliers to bend over a bit of each end of the tape to eliminate the sharp edges.
I bolted the bracket directly to the top of the dog harness using the plumber's tape for a bottom bracket and attached the camera. This set-up worked fine for a first attempt, but it was a bit bouncy and wobbly from front to back. Hence, I decided to add a stiffener to stabilize the camera.