Introduction: GoPro Vehicle Mounts: Universal Safety Cable

UPDATE: Based on feedback from this site and a few forums, It is recommended that you make sure there is some thin cloth between the magnet and your car paint, as it will aggressively scratch the finish. This was originally made for a car that was going to be painted later.
I would use a thin enough cloth that won't compromise the strength of the magnet, but protects the paint. You could use some light spray adhesive like super 77 to attach. Just make sure to trim the cloth to only be a little larger than the magnet to not get it in any shots.

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The Bonneville Salt Flats have held an appeal to gearheads for nearly a century, the highlight of which is the annual "Speedweek" held in the month of August. For the past 3 years two good friends of mine have made the journey from Minnesota to Utah in a unique vehicle they built by hand, with each year adding to the already colorful history that they've created. This year is no different with the year's car being a completely rebuilt-for-racing 66' Coronet.

They recently decided that this year they were going to bring along a "GoPro Hero II" and attempt to capture some of the shenanigans that would undoubtedly ensue. A few days ago, they approached me to design and create several camera mounts and plan out several shots to add interest to their video. Overall we created three different mounts: A roll-cage mount, a magnetic hood-and-roof mount and a fender mount.

It's difficult to completely trust a camera mount, you never know if plastic will crack or if going over the railroad tracks 300 miles ago may have bounced the camera off it's mount. This 'ible will show you how to create a little peace of mind... knowing that your brand new camera wont get left in the dust (or turned into it)

We were inspired by a few GoPro car videos, primarily "Drift Battle 2" and Ken Block's "Gymkhana five". In the latter there is a scene where you see a GoPro tumble to the ground (after a wicked jump) It's worth checking both of these out whether or not you intend to build this mount. They are amazing videos.

Fun Fact! I took all of the photos for this 'ible with a GoPro!

I only have photos of immediately after I created the mount, but will upload photos of the mounts attached to the coronet soon

Step 1: Plans/Design

We started this project by really wanting to find a use for an awesome magnet.  It did not have a proper way for us to use as a direct mount, so after some thought we decided it would be a smart idea to create a "backup mount" or a fail-safe in case our GoPro feels the need to take a tumble.

We chose coated cable to avoid rust and scratching damage to the paint on the car
we wanted to use the magnet.
We didn't feel safe with the idea of losing our awesome new camera. 

Step 2: Materials

Materials and Approximate cost
1 "super magnets" high power carabeiner-clad magnet (menards)  $5
1 pack Cable couplers (menards) $2
1 4-5 feet coated steel cable (menards) $5/spool
(not pictured) Zip Ties 20ct (menards) $2

Step 3: Assemble! (Working With Cable)

1. We cut about 4-5 feet of cable.  It seemed to be a good length as it would be long enough to mount the camera anywhere without the camera just falling on the ground if it fell.

2. Feed 3-4 inches of cable through one of the couplers.  This may be quite difficult depending on the cable you purchased, it may require using a pliers to get more grip on the cable.

3. Bend the cable back into a loop and feed through the other side of the coupler.

4. Use a crimping tool (or I guess a hammer might work?) to seal the cable.  

5. Repeat.

6. Finished!

Step 4: Attaching Cable to Camera

Uhh..  Didn't really photograph this section very well, but I'll attempt to explain it best I can.

It's pretty simple I think.  So.  

We had purchased a "grab bag" of gopro connecting parts, leaving an articulating stem that attaches to the GoPro mount.  I just zip-tied (with the biggest sturdiest zip ties I could find) one of the cable loops directly to this stem.  I cut off the remainder of the zip tie and called it a day.  Be sure that you mount the cable in a way that it protrudes from the camera as to not be seen in the shot.

Step 5: Bingo Bango

Feel more comfortable mounting your GoPro in a precarious situation!


Step 6: Mounted on Vehicle

Here the cable is shown attached to various mounts I built for the project including the Fender Mount and the Magnet mount.

f you're going to be creating a DIY GoPro mount I seriously suggest using this safety cable...  You know what, even if you use official mounts I would reccommend it.. (I just can't trust suction cups)