Rear Pocket Camera Mount

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Introduction: Rear Pocket Camera Mount


This is a camera mount that uses the rear pocket of your cycling jersey.

The grey section (a piece of PVC pipe) slides tightly in the rear pocket of your jersey. The metal strip acts like a clip and secures the camera.
If your cycling technique is good and you're not sprinting, your pelvis is fairly stable and this simple device will produce surprisingly clear pictures. Provided that your cycling jersey fits well (= tight).

It costs almost nothing and weighs slightly more than a Mars bar.


*** UPDATE ****: now ready available at www.cameraclip.eu !!!
 
 
 

Step 1: What Do You Need?


* A PVC pipe, diameter 125 mm (4,9 inch)
* The casing of an old CD player (or Tuner or computer, just as long as the metal is thick enough).
* 2 bolts and nuts, 4 mm thread (0,16 inch).

* A cycling jersey that fits well (tight).
* A camera with interval setting.

Step 2: The PVC Pipe


Picture 1
Measure the size of the pocket of your jersey. Cut the PVC pipe to the appropriate length and width so that it will fit firmly in the rear pocket. In general a length of 15 cm (5,9 inch) and width of 11 cm (4,3 inch) will be quite right. Note that due to the curvature, the largest part of the pocket is still available for stashing your goodies.

Picture 2
Smooth the edges of the pipe. Trim the pipe to a slender shape (optional).

Step 3: The Metal Strip


Picture 1 & 2
Take the casing of the CD player and set out the dimensions of the camera. Account for a fairly long strip (it can be cut to the appropriate length later). The length of the strip is at least 13 cm (5,1 inch), width is 25 mm (1 inch).

Picture 3
Cut the camera support and strip. Drill the hole for the camera screw (6mm thread, 1/4 inch) and drill two holes (4mm). 

Step 4: Folding and Bending


Picture 1
Using a work bench, fold a 90 degree angle at the base of the strip (accurately!) Fold a 90 degree angle just above the 4 mm holes. Folding once again, accounting for the thickness of the PVC pipe. Now the strip can be cut to the exact length. 

Picture 2
Fit the edge of the strip around the PVC pipe and drill the upper hole through the PVC pipe while pressing the strip down with your thumb or a tie rib. Mount the first nut and bolt. Repeat for the second one. The strip will be naturally bent.

Step 5: Camera Setting & Pictures


Install the camera, tighten the screw and secure with a tie rib. The first time on your bike: have someone check the position and angles and adjust slightly if necessary by bending the strip.

Camera settings to conserve power:
1. Screen brightness: lowest possible (1).
2. Picture review: off
3. Sound: off.
4. Auto off: 30 seconds.

Set interval @ 60 seconds. With these settings, I can take over 250 photographs with one battery pack. That's more than 3 hrs riding time.

Guidelines for good pictures:
5. Wide angle (35 mm).
6. Interval 60 seconds. Synchronise the clock of your camera with the clock of your cycling computer. Then you know when a picture is taken (so you don't have to lead the pack all day!).
7. When the weather is cloudy: fix sensitivity ASA @ 200. This  tends to increase the shutter speed, giving more clear pictures. " ASA automatic"  tends to lead to low ASA values and thus to low shutter speeds.
8. Autofocus: center of the field, especially if you take pictures of persons that ride at the same speed. Focussing based on "an average field" can confuse the camera when speeds go up.
9. Vibration reduction and motion detection: this can help if it means that slightly higher shutter speeds are chosen. However, most of these options are designed to compensate vibrations while shooting out of your hand. If the vibrations on your bike are very different, turning these options on, can become counterproductive (read your manual).
10. As with photography in general: try riding towards the sun for nicer pictures. So when riding with the sun in your back: stay in the pack and conserve your energy. Once the group has turned towards the sun, take your chance.

My experience is that 95% off all pictures have the right composition, approximately 75% will be sharp (an Aluminium race bike with high rims and a tyre pressure of 8 bar can be unforgiving)
If you set the interval @ 60 sec, you will come home with a lot of great pictures.

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21 Comments

This could easily be converted into a solor panel holder for a usb charger. Phones and gps and such on those long rides.

Good idea.

Very useful for taking pictures of the hot cyclist behind you... 

 would be great in the large group rides such as five borough or ms rides where a photog on the side of the road is only going to capture a minute feeling of the bunch.
a good rider could position themselves  in many different groups of riders for some great dynamic shots.
i also am interested in a good rear-view video system for capturing cellphone or other dangerous  drivers as they pass.  They  kill so many local cyclist here and the law enforcement just chalks it off as an "accident"

Well, you could probably hook up a video camera attached to a small "T.V." sort of thing, such as an ipod, which would be on your handlebar. Then, you could see behind you, using this as a sort of "rear-view mirror." 

Or you could, you know, use a rear view mirror.  There are dozens of models.

For video on the bike, I use one of the 640x480 video recorders that DealExtreme sells for $20.  They record to MicroSD, have decent video quality, and the whole camera weighs about 25 grams and is the size of your thumb.

could you post a link? I'm interested in getting one...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32022
Note that DealExtreme shipping is surface from Asia, and it is not uncommon for them to take 2 weeks or more to ship.  Don't order from them unless you're OK with waiting anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks.  If you want it faster, you can find them online in the US, just expect to pay more.
You can see sample video on youtube, search for MD80

Thanks! I just ordered it. I love Dealextreme, and I've dealt with them many times before. I've learned that patience is key when ordering from them.



rearview mirrors don't stay put enough to look through them without adjusting all the time,  sony globe ball 360 i am hopping will work. Be easy to  re make
One of the guys in nyc built a full size one using a prosumer  camera, it worked great . Was not small! Great 360 video from a bike. used a half globe plastic mirror.
i have a couple of those peanut cams, real nice for the money, but battery ,too small and  havent looked to see if a external source would power it while  it was filming. external batttery would be easy to build. Just mount them backwarrds, i use one of the hd digicams with AA batteries for my forward bike cam i have about 3 or 4 models.
i don't think any of the small video cams would come close to a decent non video digital set to sequential as the OP has done
 

Rearview mirrors are fine, you just need to find one that works.  I prefer a helmet mounted mirror, and I use the CycleAware Reflex.  I've been using one for about 20,000 miles now and it doesn't move unless I move it.   Bar mounted mirrors vibrate too much for me to be useful, don't provide enough view, and as you say, move around by themselves when you hit holes/etc.

You're right, the little video cameras do not have nearly the quality of stills that a camera like the OP uses would deliver.  However, it's two different purposes.  Those of us putting video cams on our bikes are usually using them to provide evidence the the police against reckless and aggressive drivers.