Intro: Cheap Shock Mount for Handheld Audio Recorder
For under $5 in parts, you can have a very serviceable, tripod-mountable shock mount for a handheld audio recorder like the Zoom H2/H4 or the Sony PCM-M10.
— 4" diameter PVC pipe or coupling, about 3" long
— 1/4-20 threaded, prongless tee nut (to match a standard tripod thread) without prongs (also called a "weld nut")
— epoxy putty
— rubber bands
— 5/16" drill bit
— saw of some kind (if you don't have the hardware store cut the PVC tube in half lengthwise for you)
— file, sandpaper, or Dremel tool
Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe or Coupling in Half Lengthwise
I had the folks at the hardware store do this for me. I cleaned up the cut edges with a Dremel tool.
Step 2: Drill a Hole for the Tee Nut
Drill a hole for the tee nut. I used a 5/16" drill bit and ended up with a very slightly oversized hole.
Step 3: Insert the Tee Nut and Embed It in Epoxy Putty
There are two kinds of tee nuts, the kind with prongs (for hammering into wood) and the kind without prongs (also called "weld nuts"). Although prongs would probably go into PVC fine, I decided to go with a prongless tee nut and embed it in epoxy putty.
I simply mixed up some putty, placed it all around the flange of the tee nut, and pressed the tee nut firmly into the hole, thus embedding the nut in the putty.
Step 4: Attach the Tripod Mounting Plate
The tripod mounting plate should screw right in.
Step 5: Add Rubber Bands
After you attach the mounting plate, you can add rubber bands.
I used a total of 4 rubber bands, 2 for support from below and 2 for downward pressure. I used some rubber bands from vegetables (broccoli, to be precise) as well as a sturdier garbage-can rubber band that I wrapped around the holder twice.
Step 6: Insert the Recorder and Start Recording!
Tuck the recorder into the bands whatever way makes sense.
I found it easiest to leave the top microphone-side rubber band off, insert the other side of the mic in between the two rubber bands on one side of the apparatus, and then add the last rubber band to hold everything in place.
You may want to place the rubber bands more carefully than I have in this picture. But since the PCM-M10 has a wired remote, I didn't actually need access to the buttons that are covered up here.