This over the shoulder mount is perfect for a GoPro and an old unused Camelbak or other hydration pack. These unused items became a very useful rig...with storage!! It also keeps my head in the shot to prevent the footage from appearing too shaky from my steps. This is great for indie film makers! I honestly only spent $10 for all of the pvc and primer and cement. If you don't already own a hydration pack then the cost goes up
This is catered towards the Rouge Camelbak pack that I owned, but this can easily be modified to work with what you have. I wanted a mount that I could shove into the pack where the water bladder is supposed to go.
5 90° 1/2” PVC Elbow Fittings
4 1/2” PVC Tee Fittings
1 Four way 1/2” PVC Fitting
1 Coupler 1/2” PVC Fitting
1 Cap 1/2” PVC Fitting
8ft Section of 1/2” PVC Pipe
Paint for plastic
GoPro extension mount
Unused hydration backpack
GoPro, SJ4000, or any other action cam
A scroll saw (or anything that cuts PVC)
PVC Primer and Cement
Hot Glue (and hot glue gun)
Drill (drill press works great too)
Tape Measuring Device
Sander (or just sand paper)
Step 1: Design on the Fly
Take the bladder out and trace it onto a large sheet of paper. Layout the pipe fittings over the outline. Dry fit the bottom section and put it in the pack. It needs to be snug so it is better to test many many times before glueing. After you are satisfied with the size, start building towards the top. The bladder is tapered so I want my frame to match. I cut my pipe to length and keep test fitting all of the PVC fittings until everything fit snug. After that glue up all of your pieces and time to focus on the camera mount.
Step 2: Making the Mount
I purchased an off brand action camera that is not a GoPro, but it came with many mounts that work with GoPro. I wanted this to be as minimal as possible so I chose a mount extension that was an extra. I used my drill press and drilled a starter hole. I marked a square on top of the cap that matched the size of the mount I had. I used my scroll saw with the smallest blade I had to cut out the square. It was very close to the edge so becareful if you aren’t comfortable with a scroll saw. After cutting the square and filing it down smooth, I shoved the mount in. It was so tight that I decided to just dump hot glue on the other side to keep it steady and firm. I hammered the cap into the coupler without glue. The fit was so tight on this that I don’t think I could get it out. I shaped the cap that mounts to the camera to make it look less like PVC.
Step 3: Custom Fit To....you!
I used a hand sanding block that had a curve to it. I used a heat gun and heaters to get the PVC soft and malleable. I forced the PVC to conform to the jig to better match the curve of my back. Make sure it fits in the pack properly still. I took many many test fits to get it to the shape I wanted it at.
Step 4: Test Fits and Footage
I put on the pack with the curved frame in it. I had my wife help my get the position correct for the camera. The mount that I have still allows for pan and tilt adjustments, but putting the camera in the correct spot is critical. I chose not to glue any of the pip coming out of the pack because I might want to change the position later. An alternate method is to have a screw pipe adapter coming out of the pack. This would allow you to have several different versions depending on what you want to film. I am filming timelapses at conventions, but I might want to film hiking trails..etc
Step 5: A Little Splash of Paint
I sprayed the PVC with a plastic friendly paint job. I sprayed the parts that will be exposed in black to match the camera and CamelBak.
Step 6: Final Shots
I feel like a total tool wearing this, but as long as I get the shot I need! It actually doesn't look too bad. I have full range to move the camera about. It has a great field of view and stays pretty steady when I walk. I can switch this out to the water proof case and still get the shots I want. I have been wanting to make one of these for years now, but I finally got the camera and the will power to make one. I highly recommend using PVC for your projects. This was my first major encounter with PVC for a project. It came out far better than I expected. You will need to get used to the creepy stares. When I am out shooting indie, the general public gets really freaked out when a camera is on them. I love feedback good and bad. Leave me all the comments you want below.
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