I needed a video camera mount for bicycles so i could video other bicycling type activities and give the whole production a "swooshy cycling feeling". This turned out to work pretty well with what I had, many of the parts will be substitutable by other materials.
Step 1: Camera Choice
I have a new video camera (SONY PDX-10 - it's a fab 3 chip miniDV that does native 16:9, i got PAL because it's got more pixels that i can screw with post production). i wanted to video some tow-in-skateboarding, so I needed a mount for the bike that would give me hands free operation of the cam...
Step 2: Fitting Mount to Frame
I contemplated lashing the mount to the frame with inner tubes then realised I had these old chemistry kit mounting brackets that fit half inch tube or rod. I put one mount on each of the rear stays. keeping them all loose as i fitted the rod meant they self aligned and tightened nicely.
Step 3: Fitting Clamps to Rear Stays
detail of the fitting to the rear stays. convenient big thumb screws so i can pull it on and off the bike quickly.
Step 4: Pan and Tilt.....
I wanted to be able to fix the camera in different positions for different angles. Not live while riding the bike, but to setup different shots.
i had a bunch of ideas and eventually went with this one. in effect it gives pan and tilt. by rotating around and tightening against the horizontal rod (the one fixed to the bike) i can tilt the camera up and down then hold it in place, byb rotating around the shorter rod i can get tilt. I used a cute little aluminum block from some old optics kits i've got but you could make one of these easy. drill 1/2 in holes at 90 degrees to eachother in an aluminum block then drill and tap two fastening holes for bolts, one that enters into each hole.
this is the expensive version of these clamps but i'm sure you can see how to do a cheap version:http://www.newport.com/Opto-Mechanics/1/productmain.aspx
Step 5: Camera Mount Detail.
here is the camera mount detail. conveniently the little rod i had had 1/4-20 threads already tapped in the end so i just had to use a set screw to fix it into the camera. probably should use a spring washer between rod and camera to ensure camera doesn't unwind / untighten.
Step 6: Fitting Camera to Bike
voila. how to strap $2500 to the side of your bike....
Step 7: Making It More Secure....
so i added a big washer on both the attachment rods, so even if the sets screws all come loose, the rods can't fall out and leave the electronics on the footpath
Step 8: And Adding Another Safety Factor
i looked at it a couple more times and realised if everything went wrong it should at least be tied to the bike so if it falls it will not hit the ground but get caught in the spokes instead.
Step 9: Remove the Lens Cap
it was dangling by the attachment cord and an obvious hazard..
Step 10: A Lucky Coincidence.
turns out i can turn the camera screen around so i can look down and make sure it is actually recording as i'm riding and that the subject matter is in the right place.
Step 11: Test Riding.
Here it is being tested for the first time.http://web.media.mit.edu/~saul/hidden/everybodyshouldbedoingit/towinrmsg.mov
or in the link below. I really like the shakey look. I think the fact the bike it was on has 12mm
wheels at 120psi on a stiff frame contributed to this as much as the bad streets of Emeryville.
Probably best to fix this to a mountain bike with soft fat tires. occasionally you can see the heads
jump so much that the vid misses a frame....