For an upcoming snowboarding trip, and after watching some pretty awesome GoPro footage on YouTube, I decided to try to build my own chest harness / mount for my digital camera.
Here's some of my inspirations for the project:
- DIY Camera Chest Mount by SnapShot83
- GoPro HD HERO camera: The Snowboard Movie
UPDATE - The snowboarding trip has now passed and here's the video shot mostly with the harness:
Step 1: Materials & Tools
You will need the following things to build the basic harness:
- Two 1" wide, 36" long nylon straps with adjustable buckles (I bought mine at Academy for like $1.99 each)
- 2 yards of 1-1/2" wide elastic strap (Joann's Fabric - ~$4)
- 1-1/2" adjustable plastic buckle (Joann's Fabric - ~$2)
- 5" x 5" piece of hard plastic (I used an Ikea Legitim chopping board - $1.99)
- 1/4" - 20 x 3/4" long screw
- 2 fender washers
- 1 friction washer
- Small Piece of craft foam
You will also need the following tools:
- Utility knife
- File / Sandpaper
I used the following additional items to complete my setup:
- Pedco Ultramount - Universal Ball Head (Amazon.com - $12)
- Opteka 0.43x HD² Full Fisheye Lens 37mm (Amazon.com - $30)
- Zeikos Universal Adapter for 37mm Lenses (Amazon.com - $19)
Step 2: Cutting the Plastic Center Mount
This is probably the most important step build. I made a simple template on the computer which I used to transfer my shape to the cutting board.
To cut the cutting board, I used a utility knife and a steel ruler to score a square area on the board and then carefully bent it until it snapped along the scored lines.
Once I had a square 5" x 5" piece, I used the utility knife and ruler again to score the lines in the corners and snapped those off too.
I used a file and then some 80 grit sand paper to round off the corners.
To make the strap holes, I used a drill to drill multiple holes along a line and then joined them all together. I tried using a routing bit with my Dremel, but it was hard to control, as you can see on the mangled vertical hole on the right.
I drilled my center mount hole and finished the whole thing by carefully passing it through a flame to smooth out all the sanding and drilling marks.
Step 3: Installing the Center Mount
This is how I put screwed the center mount to the plastic.
Step 4: Installing the Chest Strap
Here you can see how I assembled the 1-1/2" chest strap.
I first cut the 2 yards of elastic to the proper size, leaving a few extra inches for adjustment, threaded through the buckle and used a few staples to secure the fixed side.
Step 5: Installing the Shoulder Straps
Here's how I did the shoulder straps.
Step 6: Final Strap Assembly
Here's how I finished the strapping.
I used five keepers in all to hold all the strapping in place.
Step 7: Finished Harness
Here's the finished piece.
I originally intended the camera to rest above the plastic center plate, but found that having it below made it more stable. That's a great advantage of using the Pedco mount, because you can modify and adjust the position to your liking.
I hope to post some sample videos soon.