Introduction: GoPro Waterproof Time Lapse Box

Picture of GoPro Waterproof Time Lapse Box

I searched the Internet high and low for something to mount my gopro camera too, in order to shoot extremely long term time lapse footage. I had ideas of converting a trail cam box, to just attaching the camera to a tree. The latter was just asking for me to get my camera stolen.

After weeks of searching and no luck, I decided to build my own. It is not only waterproof, but secure and safe as well. here is how I did it.

Step 1:

Step 2: Find a Box

Picture of Find a Box

First I order a Pelican 1120 box from Amazon. The most expensive part of the build, but also the main part as well. (About $30)

Step 3: Find a Lens Adapter

Picture of Find a Lens Adapter

I then ordered a 52mm lens adapter for the camera. I also went to Amazon and found one that came WITH a UV lens and a couple extra filters. mainly for protection more than for their intended purpose. (About $12)

Step 4: Cut a Hole for the Adapter

Picture of Cut a Hole for the Adapter

I then used a utility knife to cut a square hole in the box, small enough a to barely squeeze the adapter through so that it would snugly fit without glue. I then used marine waterproof caulk to seal any gaps.

Step 5: Drill Holes to Attach Mounting Hardware

Picture of Drill Holes to Attach Mounting Hardware

In my situation, I was mounting my camera to a 2.5" square pipe. Therefore, I turned the box over and drilled holes into the existing mounting screw areas. Picked up a couple U bolts and slipped them into place. ($5)

You could just as easily drill these holes and mount a metal bracket to be used as a mounting device.

Step 6: Build Mounting Base

Picture of Build Mounting Base

In order to mount the camera to the box, I needed raise the platform inside the box. I wanted to be able to close the lid and have the camera FLUSH with the adapter. I used a 1x6 piece of pine and cut it to fit inside the box. I Drilled the holes through the back to allow passage of the u bolts. This wasn't quite deep enough, I still needed about an 1/8" raise to get flush. I used a scrap piece of plywood that worked perfectly.

I then used the mount that came with the camera. It's the one that actually held the camera in the box attached to the cardboard box for display. I drilled a few holes and used some washers with wood screws to keep it in place.

Step 7: Cut Passage for USB Cable

Picture of Cut Passage for USB Cable

Next, I drilled a couple holes in the bottom of the box and then used a utility a knife to square up the hole. All to be able to pass the USB cable through.

When it was finished, I used the marine grade caulk to seal the hole up.

Step 8: Purchase a Dummy Battery

Picture of Purchase a Dummy Battery

Which brings me to why I need the hole.

I purchased a Switronix DV-GP3 GoPro battery adapter. It replaces the actual battery (which has a very short life span) it has a USB attachment and provides constant longer power to the camera from a car battery. (~$23)

In my case, I used an old lawn mower battery and put it in a battery box from a boat.

When you use this adapter, the standard door to the gopro case will not close. You will need to use the one with the rectangle openings in the top and bottom. My camera came with this extra door.

Step 9: Purchase a 12V Converter

Picture of Purchase a 12V Converter

Now, In order to hook it up to the battery, you will need a power converter. There are hundreds out there. I chose a Dual 2 USB Port Power Charger Socket 12V 1A & 2.1A Outlet. (<$15) It's made for motorcycles and works great. Hook it straight up to the battery, then hook the camera battery to the USB port.

Step 10: DONE

Picture of DONE

Hook everything up and test it out.

I also attached 2 Master Locks to try to keep out unwanted fingers.

TIP:

If you desire longer than 1min intervals in your Time Lapse, you need to use this EASY hack from Konrad Iturbe - chernowii.com

It's called Megalapse!

Get it here. https://github.com/KonradIT/autoexechack

Select your camera and follow the directions.

Happy Lapsing!!!

Comments

mwjc7 (author)2017-07-12

Great setup. Looking to do something similar for the build of my house. Curious if you would share a few things:

1. What size memory did you use and how often did you have to download and clear it?

2. Did you use any type of scheduler to try and reserve power and memory at night?

Sajimo (author)mwjc72017-08-13

I used a 32g card ( all I had at the time) I actually used 2, replaced the full one with a clean one.

I checked it more times than I technically needed to. But it seems that the camera kept turning itself off. I don't know if the neighbors were unplugging the battery or if the camera itself had a glitch, but it was annoying. So I checked it about every other day or so. But when it worked, I think it took 10,000 photos if I'm not mistaken, before it would become full. Easy math will tell you what you can get out of a card. Just take a couple practice shots at peak day and at night when its black.

The peak day will of course be larger, but the night time black pictures will be very small. You should be able to calculate from there.

I did not use a scheduler, but I did contemplate using a program you can install on the camera that will let you take shots at any increment you desire. But after loading it in and messing with it, I realized for my purpose, I would not need anything other than the program made with the camera.

Hope that helps! Thanks!!

Flapjak (author)2016-07-05

Really great setup!
I'm curious as to how long the car battery was able to keep the gopro running for.
1 week? 2 weeks?!!?

Sajimo (author)Flapjak2017-08-13

wow. very late response. Sorry. I used a Marine Battery. I had it run all night and day. 1pic per min. Battery lasted about 2 weeks.

Sajimo (author)Flapjak2016-07-05

Thank you! It all depends on the size of the battery and the amount of shots the camera was taking in a day.
I used a deep cycle battery for a boat and mostly shot 1 picture every minute. at that rate I had 1440 pictures per day. 10080 per week. I tried to charge it every week but had let it go for 2 weeks before. It has been a while ago, if I recall correctly, I could get 2 weeks and that was pushing it.

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