With the advent of ‘good enough’ mobile cameras, it is imperative we get the right accessories to use them to the fullest. For keeping your camera still, a tripod is a must have.
Way back in the day, when Nokia launched the N93, it had a standard camera tripod jack, in which any normal tripod screw would fit. Sadly, the trend did not pick up, and that particular gem disappeared.
There are a few mobile tripods available online, but they charge a premium, and cost above $15. When a normal tripod is available from $1 upwards, this price difference doesn’t seem fair.
Here is a guide to build your own mobile tripod, in under 15 minutes, at a fraction of the cost of buying one.
Note that this tripod works for devices with a thickness of 0.55 inches/1.40 cm and below.
1) A standard camera tripod.
The tripod we used cost us Rs. 50/$1, and was widely available at all camera stores across the city of Bombay. Find a tripod you are comfortable with.
2) Audio Cassette Case.
In the age of multi layered Blu-Ray discs, we don’t expect you to be using a cassette player, but surely you have your Walkman and tapes stashed somewhere.
3) Basic Knowledge of Soldering.
We will be using a soldering iron to melt some plastic. Even if you haven’t used one before, you can attempt this. Just remember, keep your skin away from the metal.
Detach the parts of the Cassette Case.
Too much pressure isn’t necessary. Just snap it out of the socket and you’re good to go.
Melt away one side of the case.
Most phones will be too tall to fit into the case, so we have to melt away one side of the case. Once your soldering iron is hot enough, just melt away one side. Try to remove all the melted plastic from the case, as it’ll make the base uneven if you let it stay. This will tilt your phone.
Place your cell phone in the case.
See if its fitting properly. The melted plastic shouldn’t raise the right hand side of the phone.
Get a marker and mark out where exactly your camera is going to be in the case. Draw a circle there
Also find the exact Center of Gravity of your phone or the case, whichever is LONGER. This is where we will attach the screw of the tripod. It is important that you find the center, as it needs to be balanced to be stable.
Melt a small hole in the base of the stand.
Start out small and keep trying to screw the tripod in. Ideally, your hole should be just a little bigger than the screw. You then need to twist the screw into place. It should be a tight fit with no wiggle room.
Make sure the balance is right. Also, make sure the hole in the case coincides exactly with your camera lense. There should be no blurry grey gunk around the edges.
If you want the cell phone to remain in the case despite tilts, find a long enough rubber band. wrap it around the phone and case and it should be firm enough.