In this cool instructable I'm gonna show you how to make a Dome Port for any action camera spending just 1$. It's a really easy and quick project that will take about one hour of work (included the boring time needed to let the paint dry).
In order to make it I used just a 1$ clear plastic ball used in crafting and a 2mm thick plexiglass leftover. (Obviously I also used a waterproof case for my action camera. I have 2 of them from 2 years and, since I always used just one of them, I was able to "sacrifice" the other one.)
In the 3rd photo you can see what kind of videos and photo you will be able to do with this kind of camera mount.
P.S. If you want to know how to make the red handle mount of 2nd photo you can check this instructable.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- clear plastic christmas ball (10cm of diameter, 50cents)
- sheet of plexiglass (at least 11cm x 11cm, I used some leftovers)
- waterproof case for your action camera
- marking pen
- black matte spray paint
- hot glue
Step 2: Dismount It
First of all I removed the four screws of the waterproof case and I replaced them with four longer ones.
In my case they were pressing the black ring (photo#1) which in turn was keeping in place a clear flat lense inserted in a black rubber ring.
Step 3: Mark the Circle
Take one half of the clear plastic ball and lay it down on a sheet of plexiglass.
Make a first mark all around the edge and mark another one about 6mm bigger.
Finally take the black plastic ring removed before and mark the spots for the four screws.
Step 4: Cut the Circle
Use an appropriated cutter for plexiglass to engrave some straight lines. It's a lot easier to cut it helping yourself with a ruler but be sure to use a metal one or you will surely ruin your plastic one.
Carefully bend the plexiglass to break the piece along the lines.
Then remove the excess material around the bigger circle using a pair of nippers. Be sure to cut away small pieces at a time or you will break the circle in half. (Obviously there are lots of other methods as using a hole saw drill bit or a circle cutter tool, but in my case it was quicker to use a plexiglass cutter and a pair of nippers.)
Finally round the edges with a file or sanding paper obtaining a perfect circle.
Step 5: Drill the Holes
Use a thin drill bit to drill the holes for the screws.
As you can see in the pictures I used a rotary tool mounted in my homemade drill press.
Step 6: Screw the Back on the Case
I gave a couple hands of matte black spray paint just on one side and I let it dry.
Then I used my rotary tool to make a hole in the center (obviously you could use a normal drill).
At this point you should have something like my back plate in photo#3. The matte black paint is needed to avoid light reflections between the back plate and the (lucid) internal side of the dome.
The next step is to tighten the 4 screws to fix the round piece onto the waterproof camera case.
In order to make it watertight I cut 2 round gaskets from a thin piece of plastic, I made 4 small holes for the screws and a bigger one in the center using a hole puncher.
Step 7: Secure the Dome in Place
Once the back plate is well fixed to the waterproof case we can use a lot of hot glue to attach the half plastic ball in place.
Be sure to clean well the inside of the dome by any fingerprints or dust, and also be sure to glue the dome on the spray painted side of the plate in order to avoid possible light reflections.
Step 8: Test It
Once you applied enough hot glue you can actually check if your dome is watertight.
Make two tests. First of all close the waterproof case but WITHOUT the camera.
If the dome is actually watertight you can make the real test inserting the action camera in the case.
In photo#3 you can see how good works my DIY Dome Port...and how my toothpaste looks cool :P
Step 9: Optional Steps
If you want to be 100% sure that it is watertight, you could apply more hot glue between the dome's backplate and the black plastic ring situated in the front of the waterproof case. (photo#1)
A useful thing to do is to mark on the back of the back plate a center waterline indicator. (photo#2)
I also did not cut the hanging ring in order to insert a lanyard. (photo#3)
And last but not least... Why not?! An Instructable Robot sticker to add style! (I cleaned the case with alcohol, I attached the sticker, and then I gave a couple hands of clear protective paint just on the top part of the waterproof case.)
Step 10: Enjoy It and Make Cool Shots
As I told you in the intro, this is a cheap and quick project to make in less than an hour.
I hope that you liked my instructable.
(I'll upload more photos when I'll go in a swimming pool or at the sea. Sorry but now it's too cold to swim.)
Thank you for reading it till the end. ;)
Feel free to comment and ask if you need to know something!