Introduction: Easy Build TelePrompter for Your Video Camera

Picture of Easy Build TelePrompter for Your Video Camera

This is how I made a TelePrompter for my podcast to save me having to memorize lines. Which I am terrible at. I found a application on the itunes store for the ipod touch and iphone for TelePrompter but could not afford the hardware they offered to sell me. So I made my own out of Coroplast and a CD case.... The movie file shows it in action:

The podcast I built this for is shown on the last step and showcases the build of the prompter.

Step 1: First Get All the Stuff You Will Need

Picture of First Get All the Stuff You Will Need
You will need for this:
  • Coroplast (In the picture I only had red left so I thought that better than nothing in the picture. Red will work but black is best)
  • Utility knife
  • Needle nose pliers
  • DuckTape or my favorite Gorilla tape
  • Slim CD case
  • 1/2 inch long 1/4"x20 bolt
  • Pattern (There are two CAD files attached for Sketchup for the Canon HV30 and the Sony PD 150/170)
  • Tripod for your camera (Not necessary but nice to have)
  • iPod Touch or iPhone
  • Software for your iPhone or iPod Touch (I have no affiliation with this company) ProPrompter
  • Free CAD software to view the files Sketchup
  • CAD files for HV30
  • CAD files for the Sony PD170
  • You can likely fit most consumer cameras with these two patterns

Step 2: Print Out Pattern and Cut Coroplast

Picture of Print Out Pattern and Cut Coroplast

Print out a pattern and cut out the coroplast  and cut half way through the coroplast at the fold lines as well as the slot for the cd case lid. Finally a extra piece to cradle for the iPhone or iPod touch

Step 3:

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Fold up the coroplast and add the panels and tape that bad boy up!

Step 4: Mount Camera and Make Final Cuts

Picture of Mount Camera and Make Final Cuts

You will need to mount the camera so that the lens is at the back of the unit and trace out the circle to cut out and also mark where the mounting hole is for the camera on the bottom. I drilled a hole for this but you can simply cut a 'x' and push the bolt through

Step 5:

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Remove short screw from the tripod hot shoe (Generally this is held in with a snap ring so you use the pliers to pull it and the screw will fall out and you can now place the 1/4inch bolt up into its place.

Step 6: Home Stretch

Picture of Home Stretch

Finally mount the camera to the frame, add the cd case lens, place the iPod cradle and bring up the proprompter software. This works by allowing the phone to reflect to people in front of the camera but the camera can see through the CD case lens without showing what is displayed to the people in front. So it goes without saying that you need to keep the CD case plastic clean and also this will render most autofocus systems useless and you may have to manually focus your camera.

Suprisingly you can read this prompter from quite a long distance. I have used it up to 25-30 feet away from the camera. With the software you can enlarge the text and control the scroll speed.

A few things to take into account, this is set up for a static camera (i.e. on a tripod) if you want to move around I suggest you tape the iPod in place so it does not fall out.

This is my first instructable so let me know what I am doing right and wrong... Hopefully you find this useful and as handy as I do...

Here it is in action again

Lastly here is the podcast I did on this, the prompter is the first segment and long time user Dave Spencer here at instructables is on this in the second segment check out his other builds!:


JoaquinandRene (author)2011-02-08

I really need help on printing it out. I tried my best and I also watched the video on your website. Can I get the print page for both cameras? I have a Sony Model DRC-TRV120 and I want to see which one fits best. My email is:

edusampa (author)2010-07-22

Hi Ben, I need help! I dowload the GoogleSketchUp to try print out a pattern and cut out the coroplast... But... I could do it. I am sorry... I don't have any experience with software CAD... But I would like to print the pattern in real size, but I could not do it. Ben, what a need to do... To print this pattern to real size? Is it possible you print it to PDF in real time? Ben, I am really sorry... But do you see one way to help a dummies to print this pattern? (lol) Thank you very much! Eduardo

edusampa (author)2010-05-10

 Behnt, I bought the access to see your project. Congratulation, this project expand my mind. But, Behnt, I can not see the pattern printed out to be cut, into the pdf file. Please could you send it for me? I would like to do some one equal about your project. And try to expand it to do a big one.

Thanks for your help.

From Brazil

 The files are at the beginning of the ible. Look at step 1 at the bottom you will see that you need to get sketchup and the files to print them off.

I cannot seem to ad links here in the comment so you will need to go to step one and look for the last few bullet points, they are links so if you click on them it will get you what you need 

halvis (author)2010-04-17

Excellent! Thank you! :) I might even make something inspired by this!

Patented (author)2010-03-01

That thing is so simple but so awesome ! Thanks a lot !

Thank you! And it was my pleasure. Dont forget that there are more builds in my profile and on my podcast

jimmytvf (author)2010-03-01

this would film the refraction of the podcast?

No this will not film the refraction.

iamtoats (author)2009-12-26

If you built it on a larger scale, with a webcam, and a small computer monitor, you could have a much more direct webcam conversation.

 Absolutely! There are some similar ideas out there like this one put out by the same guys that make the software you need for mine link . I still want to put out there that I have no affiliation with Bodelin.

 Bodelin Technologies' ProPrompter software for the iPhone/touch is a great product - well worth the $9.95 they ask for it!

jgderuvo (author)2009-12-02

Would it have killed you to provide the pattern?  LOL.  Great tutorial though.

Get the 3D model mentioned in the first step and print out the pattern. I will see about making a PDF for this though.

rygi13 (author)MechanicalMashup2010-01-01

 how do you print the pattern

MechanicalMashup (author)rygi132010-01-02

 I realize now that I have an extra thing with Sketchup Pro that others dont have and that is layout. Which allows you to print this out. Now we can see what we can do to accomodate you. First the pattern is basic enough that one could easily lay it out on the coroplast or card quite easily since the measurements of the part can be obtained from Sketchup and the model provided. 

We can also look at me making some PDF's for you if really necessary. But for that I will need to know what size of paper your printer can handle. i.e. 8.5x11 or 11x17 or 24"roll or 36"roll etc. Next would be for me to make the PDF I would need for you to tell all your friends how great the podcast/Webcast is and send them to my site :) 

All the best in the new year !


rygi13 (author)MechanicalMashup2010-01-02

Thank you but I ended up making one with a tissue box but used the same stuff

MechanicalMashup (author)rygi132010-01-02

 Great! you should share some pictures of what you created, I am curious as the next guy as to what you built.

molchmensch (author)2009-12-22

Definately my next project! The Idea is really cool. Thanks for sharing - I like that podcast too by the way ;)

 Great!  If you need any help on the build do not hesitate to ask. Glad you like the podcast! Please spread the word about the cast to anyone you know. 

Also make sure to post your pics of the finished product here, I would like to see what others are building and any cool mods used. 

Merry Christmas!

Tardis-One (author)2009-12-05

 I have used my iPhones own box to make an TelePrompTer, I took only 2 mins to do that :-) I am very happy with that, cool idea! saved a lot of money! 

Great idea! I forgot the boxes phone cradle would be perfect! Do you have a picture of your rig? I am sure others would love to see it as well


Here are the pictures Ben :-)

smmidealab (author)2009-12-04

Cool stuff!  I think this device would also be useful as a mini Interrotron

You could record videos of someone asking questions and then people would respond directly to the image of the person.

frollard (author)2009-12-01

sometimes it takes hours or days to appear in listings...the ibles robot only builds the search index every so often.

I was just a very over eager first timer jumping up and down screaming look at me look at me :) A little patience would have served me well.

Goodhart (author)2009-11-30
When I search for your Moniker, i.e. behnt, using the ALL option, I get this listed as the second entry.
MechanicalMashup (author)2009-11-30


dave spencer (author)2009-11-30

well done Ben, congrats on your first instructable!

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