Recently, I purchased a Kinect for mys…er…my son. The Kinect is pretty fun. Finding a place to put it, particularly with my layout, is not.
My couch (and a wall) is opposite the TV about 7’, great distance for sitting and watching TV, or sitting and playing video games, or sitting and surfing the web..standing and jumping up and down like a buffoon while making sure it’s caught on camera, not so much. It worked okay with one player, but two players – particularly with one player being 6’ tall and the other 3’ – gave it fits. Not to mention the limited space we had.
In order to satisfy both the Kinect’s field of vision and the player’s personal space, we turn the TV to face an adjacent open area when multiple people are playing (the TV is on an articulating wall mount). I cruised the internet and discovered I could either buy the PDP TV mount for $40 or make my own. I may have gone for the PDP mount, but it doesn’t swivel. Since we don’t directly face the TV some of the time and do face it head on at others, I needed it to swivel and move with the TV.
Now you know why I wanted a swiveling mount, even though you surely don’t care. Here’s how I made it, in case you do care. Keep in mind, I didn’t put a lot of engineering hours in this thing, and I used stuff I either had laying around the house or can be picked up at the local hardware store (with the exception of the PDP wall mount). Additionally, it is unique to my TV's wall mount, although it may work with others.
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Step 1: Parts
I tried wishing for the mount to materialize and assemble itself, but I ended up needing to buy some stuff…
• PDP Kinect Wall Mount (You only need the base) - This is where the 'Kinda' in the title comes from. I’ve seen other DIY mounts made using either Velcro or tape to hold the sensor in place, but I needed a more secure hold on the sensor given that I will be turning the sensor frequently.
• Pipe/rigid tubing – Length will vary with TV size and diameter is up to you. I actually used a piece of a curtain rod I had laying around.
• Flexible tubing – Again, length will vary. The diameter of tubing should be such that it fits closely over the pipe/rigid tubing, making a sleeve.
• 1/4-20 thread stock. You could also cut the head off a 1/4-20 bolt.
• 1/4-20 nut
• Spring (make sure it can fit around the 1/4-20 thread stock)
• 1/4-20 expansion anchor (not shown). The piece of curtain rod I used already had a threaded anchor in the end.
Step 2: Put Threads and Backer Nut on Base
Turn the thread stock into the recessed nut on the bottom of the base. You don’t need to turn it until it snugs – just a couple of turns will do the trick.
Thread the nut on the thread stock and tighten it to the base. This will act as a backer, so when you swivel the sensor the thread stock moves with it
Step 3: Add Spring and (optional) Cover
Place the spring over the thread stock, so it’s resting on the top of the backer nut. The spring will provide a bit of resistance to swiveling the sensor, it isn’t necessary. It would feel a lot looser without it though.
I also put a small section of flexible tubing to cover it, this is purely cosmetic. The tubing needs to be cut a bit shorter than the spring. When you tighten this to the rod, the spring will compress and eliminate the gap.
Step 4: Add Female Threads to Pipe
Place the expansion anchor into the rigid pipe.
Again, I used a section of curtain rod, which already had the female threads, but you want something that is functionally equivalent to what is shown.
Step 5: Join Base With Rod.
Place the washer over the spring and thread the assembly to the curtain rod (or expansion anchor/pipe if you don't happen to be a hoarder that has extra curtain rods laying around).
Step 6: Put U-bolts on the Wall Mount
I used u-bolts to hold the assembly to the articulating mount. I put them in loosely and then put the assembly through the ‘U’ part.
I put the flexible tubing over the rod to add friction. It really helps lock everything in place.
Step 7: Adjust and Enjoy
Adjust the rod to level the sensor, tighten everything down, and, assuming you have a Kinect, the same wall mount as me and a need to swivel your Kinect, you’re good to go.
Step 8: Something to Consider?
Since the sensor mount is attached to the TV bracket and not the TV, it can interfere with tilting the TV if the sensor were to be mounted too low. It isn't an issue for my set-up, but might be worth considering.