The Tertial light offered by Ikea is much more that a work lamp.  Its adjustable arm and many points of articulation make in an excellent platform for mounting things.  In this Instructable I'll show you how easy it is to combine the Tertial swing arm with a webcam to make an articulated camera.

Step 1: Supplies & Materials

Required materials:
- Tertial Lamp
- Sugru, or all purpose adhesive
- needle nose pliers
- philips screwdriver
- rubber bands (to stabilize the cam while the adhesive dries)
- a few zip-ties for cable routing (optional)

[If you don't already have a Tertial you can get one at your local IKEA for around $9.00]

For those of you who asked (<a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/Boomshadow/" rel="nofollow">Boomshadow</a>, <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/jackruby1123/" rel="nofollow">jackruby1123</a>), I did a little test to see how much the arm would support, both with and without the springs.<br> <br> I began with a starting weight of <strong>250g</strong> (8.8oz) and increased by 50 gram increments until the arm<em> failed</em>. &nbsp;&quot;Failure&quot; was the inability to maintain position at any given point in its range of motion. &nbsp;<br> <br> The Tertial held both with and without springs loaded to 250 grams. &nbsp;<br> 300 grams proved too much for the Tertial without springs, it couldn't&nbsp;maintain&nbsp;position fully outstretched. &nbsp;<br> <br> With springs it handled 300 grams just fine. &nbsp;350g also not a problem. &nbsp;<br> <br> At 400 grams it was clearly under strain, creaking springs and all.<br> <br> I wouldn't recommend a load of more that 400 grams (14.1oz) in an overhanging situation where the center of gravity is far beyond the anchor point on the desk/table etc. &nbsp;<br> <br> In a non-overhang situation the arm could hold more; how much exactly would depend on the particular position.<br> <br> So, if you want to mount a kindle touch (212g) - no problem. &nbsp;A kindle fire (413g), maybe. &nbsp;An iPad 2 (600-610g) - look elsewhere.
<p>Nice idea, i had thought about doing something similar to use with Evernote to capture notes and book pages. If you have any experience using your setup to do the same I would love to know. </p>
Thank you so much for sharing this! I did this project in school - many years ago and forgot how to do it. Now that I have a son I have been wanting to share this with him.
Thank you so much for sharing this! I did this project in school- many years ago and forgot how to do it. Now that I have a son I have been wanting to share this with him.
Those pictures are amazing. I made this with my science class, but never that much. Wowzer.
I like it. Started my build at the moment I saw this one. But I actually put my webcam, a Trust spotlight pro, in the backpart of the shade. I also remounted the shade for better looks.
Very cool! Having the camera inside part of the original housing looks great.
Awesome project! How much would you say the arm holds with and without the springs? I would be interested in mounting other things on it, such as a microphone and reflexion filter.
look like 250 grams without the springs, around 400 grams with the springs (I made a comment describing my testing process <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Tertial-Webcam/" rel="nofollow">on the instructable</a> itself.)
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. (Clearly I won't be able to use the Tertial for my condenser mic/reflexion filter assembly, as the condenser itself weighs about 1 kg or so.)
For anyone who wants to know how much weight it can hold, just leave the springs on. Then, after you take the lamp bit off, weigh it (the lamp bit). The monopod thing will be able to hold that amount of weight, possibly more.
<span style="color: rgb(51,51,51);font-family: arial , helvetica , sans-serif;font-size: 13.0px;line-height: 16.0px;background-color: rgb(245,245,245);">about 250 grams without the springs, 400 grams with the springs (I made a comment describing my testing process&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Tertial-Webcam/" rel="nofollow" style="color: rgb(255,82,0);cursor: pointer;outline-style: none;font-family: arial , helvetica , sans-serif;font-size: 13.0px;line-height: 16.0px;background-color: rgb(245,245,245);">on the instructable</a><span style="color: rgb(51,51,51);font-family: arial , helvetica , sans-serif;font-size: 13.0px;line-height: 16.0px;background-color: rgb(245,245,245);">&nbsp;itself.)</span>
Fantastic idea! One question though. How much weight do you think i could put on the arm? i have a couple nice microphones that could use proper swing arms but they are considerably heavier than a small, cheap webcam is.
Did you remove the springs as well?
Nice catch, I did remove the springs. I've updated the project to mention that they're typically not necessary. Thanks!
It wasn't so much a catch, I have trouble doing these things and so.... Now for my next gotcha. The nearest IKEA is 5 hours away and the Tertial isn't available on the net. So I might go to a local big-box hardware store and try this with one of their lights. will let you know how it goes. :-)<br><br>... and thanks for your response
I love that lamp, I've used one as a microphone arm as well as a webcam document camera (like your project here). Currently at my workbench I have one of these with a webcam attached to the hood, so it also works as a lamp :)<br><br>Great instructable.
That's awesome, I love the Tertial's versatility.
I'm thinking that a further modification would be metal spike type thing to push into the ground. Maybe something like a tent stake. It would have a hole of the appropriate size drilled into the top so that this unit could be used to support a lightweight video camera such as the Kodak Zi8 or similar.<br>It could be folded and slipped into a backpack.<br>It's funny how things work out. I woke up in the middle of the night and was trying to figure out how to support a monopod for the same use. Then I crank up my PC and there's an 'Instructable' that would work better.<br>Thank you!
Glad to be of help!
Hello flexible microphone mount.
I've actually been using a similar set up (ie non Ikea) for about the last 3 years in my Voice over 'studio'
<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Professional-studio-boom-for-microphone/" rel="nofollow">(flexible microphone mount)</a>
Wow, I did almost exactly this with some broken lamps and a PS3 Eye. :)<br> <br> A couple of improvements I found;<br> * If you remove some of or change the springs used it helps retain the poise-ability. Just needs adjusting for the lighter weight.<br> * You need to get the webcam pan joint perpendicular to the ground and put the tilt joint on top of that, or as it turns side-to-side the picture will end up tilted.<br> <br> I ended up combining two broken lamps into one that had three spans per arm. Way more than needed, but was thinking of motorising it at the time so overbuilt it to take more load.
It may be off topic but could it support the weight of an iPad 1st generation?
Quality webcams and cameras (including most point n shoots) have a standard 1/4-20 SAE threaded mounting point. One could take the stand and thread the mounting point with a decent die, or if you know a machinist or mechanic that has a tap and die set they could do it for you.<br>Then after that, you could mount anything (within reason and weight spec) to the stand without having to redo the mount each time. You might have to tweak the springs and counterbalance it a bit for the heavier items but be reasonable when you go about it.
Nice! Might make sense to not remove the lamp and to add the camera on an arm attached to the lamp so you would get spot lighting for your camera too!
I am making a mobile Skype virtual tour cart for my department to host virtual tours for schools. It uses a similar articulated webcam arrangement. I have a picture here:<br><br>http://pltw.nmsu.edu/cPage.aspx?pageid=event&amp;queryid=skypevisit<br><br>
That's really cool! Thanks for linking to my Instructable!
Nice. I am thinking of all the Instructable action shots I could take if I had one of these. So many ways this would be better than a tripod mounted camera<br><br>Thanks for sharing,<br><br>Charles
Thanks Charles!<br><br>This first attempt was more proof-of-concept than anything else. I'm tempted to make another, namely one featuring a HD webcam. There's always next weekend right?

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am a remixer of products, a MacGyver of materials, and a Sugru guru.
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