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It was fun getting the GoPro Hero camera. The 1080 HD video quality is surprisingly good, especially in outdoor condition. A great deal for $120 :o)

I found with the helmet mount, however, the camera produces very shaky and hard to watch videos. Since the camera is so versatile, lightweight, and waterproofed against the element, I use it for most of my video now. Especially for outdoor purposes. The video quality indoor is not as good as my Sony HandyCam, but for the family outings, ski and camping trips, this GoPro will be the camera of choice for me.

This DIY steadicam is based on similar designs seen on the web and I've designed it with the weight and balance in mind. I first CAD it in AutoCAD, use the Massprop function to figure out the centroid for the curve section and calculated the balance point for all the pieces. The overall weight of the stabilizer with the camera mounted is roughly 625g or 1.38 lbs. Still fairly light.

Here are a couple YouTube videos of the build and test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcZtqE5zYXU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSwAWa6MJr4

Surprisingly for roughly $14 and 2 hrs of build (cut, grind, paint) time, the stabilizer works as planned. The camera location is best adjusted directly above the gimbal/handle, so add a few washer weights at the 90 deg bend. My flashlight handle is 5-1/2", but a 3 to 4" LED flashlights at the dollar store will work just fine as the bottom button on/off switch can be remove and the gimbal bolt can be fed through without any drilling/modification required. The shorter handle will also reduce the overall weight and permit a greater rotation of the gimbal. The nuts and bolts are standard, but you have to match your drill holes/threads to match the gimbal (rod ends). That's all, enjoy your build! Send me feedback and share your comments.

<p>Pneumatic rod is cool idea!</p>
<p>I'm not sure if that was the proper name for it. I think it's just a ball bearing swivel rod end. It was stocked in the pneumatic section of the store. Here's the link to the store that I bought it from.</p><p><a href="http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-mm-pneumatic-cylinder-swivel-eye-rod-end/A-p8004014e" rel="nofollow">http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-mm-pneumatic-cylinder-swivel-eye-rod-end/A-p8004014e</a></p><p>Up in Canada we have Princess Auto that sales odds and ends for farm/hydraulic supplies at a cheap price. I'm not sure if Harbor Freight in the States or TSC Store would carry something similar.</p>
<p>This stabilizer looks pretty good! </p><p>Thanks for sharing this. Did the gimbal swivel freely enough as it came, or did you have to add any oil or lube of some kind?</p>
<p>I didn't have to add any oil to have it swivel freely. I did try out a few of these rod ends at the store and pick the one with the least resistance. It does have a grease nipple to allow for greasing. I find that the more weights you put at the bottom, the more likely it is to swing when you make sudden stops. Other than that this simple design allows for a very smooth selfie video and keeps the camera level very well. You may also want to have additional holes drill at the bottom to allow for adjustment.</p>

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