Intro: GoPro - Steady Cam Stabilizer - DIY
It was fun getting the GoPro Hero camera. The 1080 HD video quality is surprisingly good, especially in outdoor condition. A great deal for $120 :o)
I found with the helmet mount, however, the camera produces very shaky and hard to watch videos. Since the camera is so versatile, lightweight, and waterproofed against the element, I use it for most of my video now. Especially for outdoor purposes. The video quality indoor is not as good as my Sony HandyCam, but for the family outings, ski and camping trips, this GoPro will be the camera of choice for me.
This DIY steadicam is based on similar designs seen on the web and I've designed it with the weight and balance in mind. I first CAD it in AutoCAD, use the Massprop function to figure out the centroid for the curve section and calculated the balance point for all the pieces. The overall weight of the stabilizer with the camera mounted is roughly 625g or 1.38 lbs. Still fairly light.
Here are a couple YouTube videos of the build and test:
Surprisingly for roughly $14 and 2 hrs of build (cut, grind, paint) time, the stabilizer works as planned. The camera location is best adjusted directly above the gimbal/handle, so add a few washer weights at the 90 deg bend. My flashlight handle is 5-1/2", but a 3 to 4" LED flashlights at the dollar store will work just fine as the bottom button on/off switch can be remove and the gimbal bolt can be fed through without any drilling/modification required. The shorter handle will also reduce the overall weight and permit a greater rotation of the gimbal. The nuts and bolts are standard, but you have to match your drill holes/threads to match the gimbal (rod ends). That's all, enjoy your build! Send me feedback and share your comments.