This is a step by step instructable showing how you can make a padded rig for the Go Pro Hero cam that attaches to a standard canine shoulder harness . See the world as your dog does! Build time is about 4-5hrs. Send me a message if you have any questions.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Tin snips
- power drill
- pop rivet gun
- box cutter/exacto knife
- foam padding (some extra firm, some soft)
- fabric for upholstering the pad (I used a faux sheepskin)
- plastic sheeting (I used a 2mm ABS, but it doesn't matter as long as its reasonably stiff)
- nylon webbing & buckles
- contact cement
- industrial strength velcro
- mounting piece for Go Pro camera (comes standard with your camera)
- dog harness
Step 2: Overview
The basic idea behind this camera mount is to provide a flat platform on your dog's back. I accomplished this by building a padded platform with two halves - one half goes against the dog, the other above the harness for the camera to mount on. It can be thought of like a sandwich, with the two pieces of the mount being the bread, and the dog's harness the meat.
The padded component consists of a plastic plate which is upholstered with foam and fabric, and a second plastic plate that finishes the upholstering and provides mounting points for webbing. The camera mount plate then has receiving points for the same webbing.
Step 3: Creating Your Template
The first step is designing the base plate that will serve as the basis for the entire shape and size of the rig. How you make yours will depend on two factors:
- The shoulder harness being used
- The size of your dog
The harness I used cost me about $35 and has a Y-configuration across the shoulder blades, acting as an excellent point on which to build. I built this platform for a medium to large sized dog (the airedale pictured on the front page).
The platform should be big enough that it provides some measure of stability, but not so big that it doesn't have good contact with the dog's back. Remember, you are building a flat platform that needs to be stable against a curved surface.
The template should also take into consideration the configuration of the straps on the harness, so that the webbing that joins the padded plate to the camera mount plate effectively anchors around the dog harness. When designing the template you must also take into consideration the mounting piece for the camera, so that the webbing straps do not interfere with its function.
As you can appreciate below, my template is set up so that there will be webbing going around each of the arms of the "Y" of the harness. These are the straight slits in the template. The holes are the points at which I will rivet the two components of the padded plate together.
Step 4: Building the Plates
This step is fairly easy - it basically consists of transferring the template to the real world - building the three plates that will form the basis of the platform. While all three have the same shape, each has different holes. The first is the one that will be upholstered, and only has rivet holes. The second attaches to the upholstered plate with rivets, and also houses the webbing, so it has both rivet holes and slits for webbing. The top plate is where your camera will mount, and only requires slits for webbing. Cutting each plate out is fairly easy with a good pair of tin snips. Holes should be drilled with a power drill using a bit size appropriate for the rivets you use. A tip for making the slits is to drill a hole at each end of the slit, then cut between them with an exacto knife.
Step 5: Upholstering the Base Plate
In order to ensure doggy comfort, you want the underside of the setup to be nicely padded. I did this by using contact cement to apply two layers of foam, then covering this with a synthetic sheepskin-like fabric.
The foam can first be cut into the basic shape, then contoured with scissors once when in place. This process is repeated when applying the second layer of softer foam.
When applying the fabric, tack it in place using contact cement. It will be further secured in the next step. In addition, if the fabric you use has a thick furriness to it you may want to trim this back on the side that will be sandwiched in the next step.
Step 6: Attaching the Middle Plate
In this step, the middle plate is riveted to the upholstered base plate. Be sure to feed the webbing through the slits before riveting - it will be impossible to do this after the fact! This step proved to be the most challenging for me, owing to difficulties with matching the rivet holes and getting through the fabric between. Make sure that the two plates are well squeezed together when riveting, otherwise the rivet will only go through the top plate!
Step 7: Applying the Top Plate
Now the top plate can be put in place. I also applied some heavy duty velcro between the middle and top plates to further secure them (not shown). Once when the straps have been secured with the buckles, the stick-on mounting plate for the camera can be adhered to the middle of the top plate. Excess nylon webbing can be cut off and the ends finished with a torch.
Now you're ready to go! Feel free to share your footage!