Intro: Contour HD Video Camera - Universal 1/4" Mount
If you have a Contour Camera then you know that the commercially available mounts are pretty pricey. On top of that the 1080p model is lacking a built-in 1/4" (female) tripod mount, so you either cough-up the money for a Contour adapter or you start thinking DIY. This mount will set you back about $1.25 each. I made 5 variations for $6.00.
NOTE: I have tested this on the older Contour HD 1080p model. I can’t swear to it but all the new models appear to be a similar size and shape. This mount may work equally well with them. If anyone gets to try it out, I'd be happy to hear about it.
Step 1: Tools
You'll need a minimum of tools - but a drill and drill bits are crucial to make the 1/4 inch holes. Other things needed are a crescent wrench and pliers. A bench vise is really handy to hold things down while drilling.
Step 2: Parts
This is where the magic happens. I visited my local Home Depot (Toronto, Canada) and found these parts at extremely reasonable prices.
- 3/4” Rigid Conduit Straps (pack of 5 - $1.59)…..$0.32 ea.
- 1/4” Coupler Nut…………………………………....$0.69 ea.
- 1/4” x 1/2” long Hex Bolt…………………………..$0.17 ea.
- 1/4” Lock Washer……………………………….....$0.07 ea.
- TOTAL .........................................................................$1.25
Step 3: Assembly - Part 1
The 3/4" metal conduit strap has an almost perfect 'pinch fit' on the base of the Contour camera. It can be bent slightly for a tighter or looser grasp.
They have 2 holes already but these are a wee bit small. I drilled them out with a 1/4" drill bit... you may be able to force a 1/4" bolt through with some elbow-grease and patience. I then put a third hole in the curved section, starting with a 5/32" bit and following up with the 1/4" bit. Try your best to get the apex of the curve.
NOTE: While in the electrical dept I also found 3/4" metal straps with only one side arm. I don't recommend these since they seem to lack the required 'pinch fit'.
Step 4: Assembly - Part 2
Now it's possible to create a tripod mount with the hardware on hand. Insert the 1/4" hex bolt into the center hole and attach the 1/4" coupler bolt. Use a crescent wrench to tighten it firmly. Tada! You'll find the open end of the coupler nut is a perfect fit for any standard camera tripod screw. These are known as 1/4" - 20 because of the thread count.
If you want to make it a little safer try the next move. Bend the side arms down using a bench vise or pliers. Add a rubber band and you have additional peace of mind that the camera will stay put.
For another option, try bending the arms upward. Check the pinch fit is still tight. If necessary simply adjust by bending the metal strap in or out.
And finally, consider mounting the coupler in a side hole. For this option you will want to use a longer bolt (3/4") and add a spacer between the hole and the coupler nut (as shown). It brings the mounting surface below the bottom of the strap bend. .
Step 6: Assembly - Part 3
This is my first configuration... works like a charm once everything is tightened up. Add a thick rubber band for security.
Step 7: Assembly - Part 4
This configuration is nice and compact - hugging the camera exterior. I like to use it with a plastic cable tie for a bomb-proof hold.
Step 8: Assembly - Part 5
This set-up allows for a lower profile - bringing the camera center of gravity closer to the mounting plate. Notice that you can still easily attach a rubber band for more security.
Step 9: Assembly - Part 6
Eventually I came up with this combination of bends for side mount. Sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered!
And lastly, this adaptation of the previous side-mount came about. Not much difference from the previous - just a bit more compact.
And there you have it - five camera mounts for $6.00 plus tax. (Rubber bands and cable-ties are extra - available at a Dollar Store.) For even more security try adding lock washers or Loctite glue if you are in risky situations.
I hope it works for you as well as it has for me! Happy filming.