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Train camera mount

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A camera mount that uses the doors of a light-rail train to hold the camera in place and shoot video from the outside, while the train is in motion. This mount can be adapted to fit almost any automated transit door system.


Light-rail for mass transit was brought to my city in 1985. At that time there was plenty of infrastructure in place already, so much of the track is either tunneled or on an elevated guideway. When the new transit system was introduced, it was so futuristic. Almost the entire system is computer-controlled, eliminating the ticket vendor, door men and even the conductor. Who knew the ultramodern future would be so impersonal?
They even thought up a neat way to automate the door closure safety by using a pressure-sensitive strip along the edge of the door, ensuring no one gets their arms caught in the doors and lopped of at the elbow at the first approaching tunnel. Bummer, some people ruin all the fun.
Luckily, the door safety mechanism can be overcome easily enough to allow for a camera to be located outside the train and take some unique footage.

This mount uses the doors to hold a camera outside of the train without interfering with the pressure-sensitive safety-strip on the doors. The mount is physically stuck when the doors are closed and requires the doors to open in order to be released.

Here's a video:

WARNING:

This instructable is for information purposes only and should not be replicated.
Tampering with private property is an offense.
Overcoming safety devices on public transit is an offense.
Projectiles or objects affixed to fast moving vehicles poses a potentially fatal hazard.
DO NOT ATTEMPT.


Enough talk...train camera!
 
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Step 1: Tools + materials

This mount uses:

    tools:
  • drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • vice grips (x2)
  • emery cloth
  • hacksaw
  • safety goggles
    materials:
  • aluminum foil
  • paper + pen
  • putty knife
  • camera mount screw (1/4"-20 x 3")
  • small digital camera capable of taking continuous shots or movies

sonu76683 years ago
Nice one ... (-: BTW I'm also from Vancouver (Now in Surrey) ((=
caitlinsdad3 years ago
Filming or taking pictures without a permit in the NYC subway is actually a terrorist activity and what you did is...blah, blah, blah....

Did you hold on to the handle on the inside or was it sufficiently counterweighted so that the door seal acted as the vibration dampener for the camera.  The movie was actually quite smooth for a moving shot.  I guess you could go and mod this for your car window and stick it out there.
mikeasaurus (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago
Some doors on trains are less stiff than others, and were prone to being shook ajar for a brief moment unexpectedly while the train was in motion. The handle was held onto almost the entire time, for safety and peace of mind, though was able to be released without incident.

Wind and track conditions contribute greatly to video footage, it would also have helped if the weather was sunnier to create better lighting. This mount would definitely be adaptable for a car window, and could create an awesome time-lapse video if taken on a sweet road trip.
The Skytrain in Vancouver has doors that can actually be opened with your bare hands up to about 5cm while the train is in motion. Vancouver doesn't have any laws prohibiting taking pictures on the transit system; the whole Skytrain system is fairly lax. There aren't even turnstiles. The whole thing pretty much runs on the honour system. Also, the rules say you can't project any objects or body parts out the window of a transit vehicle - it doesn't say anything about the door ;) (http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/10_87_99 , Paragraph 8, section 3(g) ) Nice instructable.
Skytrain! Makes me miss my home town.
Zinventor3 years ago
I have a similar question, This is an awesome idea, don't get me wrong, but why post an instructable to something that is illegal on most trains and can get you barred from the transit network or even arrested? I know you say it's to document, but it seems odd to me to document the process of defeating safety systems and deliberately braking posted rules! With that said, this is an awesome instructable, and is very well written, and it seems that you had a lot of fun writing it!
I think he left it on the outside before he got in.
onrust3 years ago
The first thing that popped in my head was the old gun made to soot around corners. Cool footage...... no matter how you got it!
images.jpg
Great instructable! and BTW if he isnt caught, he isnt fined.
I have but only one question, how much were you fined for sticking your camera out of the light rail and tampering with door security measures?
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