10$ - 15min - Pan Head for Action Cam




About: I'm a physiotherapist with a great passion for science, bricolage, DIY, photography and first of all astronomy. In the last years i started to approach to Arduino, Makers and this comunity.I wanna realize wa...

A light, simple Pan Head for an Action Cam, around 10 bucks, 15min of work? Can be done. Let's do it

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Step 1: Material

  • Kitchen timer: cheapest and I commend, chose the simplest one. Cylinder shape is the best. Search it in cheap Chinese shops. Check that you can open it (screws, pull the rotative part). This seems to be perfect but "expensive"... Timer
  • 3/8" to1/4" double male adapter on Amazon
  • 1/4" screw camera mount (female/male) for photography on Amazon
  • Epossidic Plastic Paste or HOT GLUE or other Glue...

Step 2: Hardware

  • Vise (optional, helps)
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Mini drill (optional)
  • Metal cutter disc for dremel (optional)
  • Metal saw
  • Metal rasp

Step 3: Let's Go

  1. Pull the rotative part.
  2. From the inside, in the centre do a small hole with the drill.
  3. Make it larger as you can, to fit with the largest diameter of the double adapter.(if you can, look next step).
  4. The depth... necessary to insert all the male part of the adapter.

Now take 1/4" screw :

  1. Cut the spindle.
  2. Now with the handsaw cut gradually the base of the spindle.
  3. If you cut with dremel stay at the low rotation, make a pause or you will fuse the plastic part.
  4. Make all at the same level with a rasp.

Step 4: Variation: Lathe the Adapter

In my timer I could not do a 9mm hole, otherwise, I would lose the insertion of the mechanism. So I did a 8mm hole and reduced the diameter of the spindle:

  1. Put s wired drill in the wise (is better).
  2. Insert the small part inside the drill, lock it.
  3. Switch on the drill and lock it on.
  4. Take a metal rasp and lathe the spindle.
  5. With the rasp's border do some incision (for the glue).


Now you can use the Hot Glue or the Epossidic Plastic Paste, in every case is simple:

  1. Apply the Glue / the Paste in the top hole
  2. Apply some Paste around the spindle.
  3. Insert the spindle.
  4. Apply the glue/paste on the base.
  5. Apply the screw.
  6. Make a border of paste/glue around the side of the screw.
  7. WAIT.

Step 6: ENJOY IT

Is Done:

  1. Put it on a tripod (gorillapod, normal tripod...).
  2. Set Time Lapse Mode on the Action Cam.
  3. I COMMEND TO SET 1 SHOT AT SECOND: if you set over 3-5sec the frames will be too much shifted.
  4. Starts the time lapse.
  5. Enjoy it.

YES, there is a limit... he rotate in only one direction, but the appropriate adapters you can reverse the timer (upside down) and change the rotation.

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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Ese video! Si por favor, lo esperamos con gran espectación!!


    2 years ago

    Nicely done. There will certainly be plenty of folks who thought of this or made it (albeit differently), but you published it and it looks workable. One question, does the movement of the timer (I.e. Vibration) affect the camera?

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Awesome. Just FYI Camera mounts use regular 1/4" course thread so you can also use regular nuts and bolts instead of specific photo mount pieces (cheaper and common) :)

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    In Italy like other countries, aren't avaible those pitch. And usually not totally compatible :/ we need to buy it specific.

    SkyfinderAlex 2Q

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh Thanks :D To be honest, I've discovered later that I'm not the one did it. But everyone find different timers and made variations... In this case I had every pieces yet, I saw the motorized version on Amazon and the rest is history :D