Mic Stand Camera Mount




On a recent show, I needed to have a view of the stage. Normally there's plenty of room to put a tripod up at the back of the room and have a camera send me a feed of what was happening. In this particular venue, there was no extra space at the back of the room, and no room for a tripod.

What I needed was something stable with small footprint that I could slide between two seats and not take up any space in an aisle. I spied a microphone stand on stage, which was just what I needed. The remaining obstacle was to figure out how to mount a camera to a microphone stand.

Cameras come with a 1/4"-20 hole in the bottom to affix a tripod or a shoe. Microphone stands use a 5/8"-27 thread for mounting clips and goosenecks. Hmm. 1/4"-20 is common... but 5/8"-27 isn't and I figured I wouldn't find "just the right thing" so I set off to the hardware store.

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Step 1: The Pieces

My criteria was simple: my solution had to be small, attach securely enough to the mic stand to allow the camera to stay in position and not fall off if it got nudged. Oh, and cheap and easy. I had limit tools and no desire to dump a bunch of money on an untested project.

After wandering through the local hardware store, I came up with the following list of pieces to fashion my camera mount.

A non-threaded female-to-male threaded adapter for 1/2" PVC
A threaded PVC cap that fit on the previously procured adapter
One each 1/4"-20 nut, wingnut and 1-1/2" long bolt
The minimum purchase (12" in this store) of 5/8" ID flexible water hose.

I probably could have done this with just the non-threaded version of the PVC cap, but I figured that building it this way would give me a way to interchange caps that might have new and different purposes in the future.

Step 2: Modify the Threaded Cap

What needs to happen first is we need to drill a hole in the cap to accept the bolt.

First, I used a paperclip heated over a lighter to make a dimple in the center of the cap. Then drill an 1/8" hole using the dimple to keep the drill bit from skipping and sliding.

After the 1/8" hole's been drilled, change out your drill bit and use a 1/4" bit to make the hole the final size.

(Note: I didn't do this on the first cap, and the hole ended up off center. Luckily, knowing my personal handicap when it comes to doing things right the first time I bought spares.)

Step 3: Assembly

This part is easy...insert the bolt up through the inside of the cap and snug the nut up nice and tight.

Then, put the wingnut on. In this case, though, we want to put the wings on the cap-side so we have a nice flat surface to tighten up against the camera later.

Now it's time to turn our attention to the PVC adapter.

Step 4: This Will Won't Hurt a Bit, Mr. Gopher

The non-threaded side of the adapter has an inner diameter of about 7/8 of an inch. The 5/8" ID water hose has an outside diameter of a little more that that.

It's not tough, but sliding the tubing inside the adapter takes a bit of effort. The upside of this is that the fit is snug enough you don't need to glue the pieces together. Just make sure to insert the hose as far into the adapter as it will go. You can peek in the threaded end of the adapter to check your progress if you're in doubt.

Step 5: No Bloodletting Allowed

With the tubing inserted fully, grab your trusty razor knife. Using the adapter as a guide, draw the knife through the tubing. Don't saw as back-and-forth motions will cause the tubing to flex and produce not-so-smooth cuts.

This is the step your mother warned you about. Be careful not to cut yourself or gouge your cutting surface. Go back two spaces if you use the palm rest of your audio mixing board as a cutting surface.

Step 6: The Pudding

Here you see the finished product.

One you've cut the tubing flush with the adapter, assemble to the two pieces of PVC. Hand tight is fine...the threads are tapered, so you don't go too many revolutions before you've achieved a tight fit.

You can now thread the assembly onto a microphone stand. Sure, you could just push it down, but I twisted it into place so as to not mess up the threads of the mic stand or rip up the tubing on the threads.

Once it's on the mic stand, you can mount your camera. Spin the camera onto the the bolt until it bottoms out, the back the camera off about an 1/8 of a turn. Spin the wingnut up and tighten it against the camera.

Now here's the only downside to this design. You can adjust height and you can adjust the pan. Angle adjustments are limited. As you can see, I'm using this for a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera which gives me lots of latitude. If you need more tilt adjustment, you can either install this device on a boom arm or you can buy a ball mount and mount it onto the cap.

But for less than $4.00, I had a nice, secure, portable camera mount to use with a mic stand.



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    11 Discussions

    Interesting. I love DIY versions of many items, some of which are unavailable from manufacturers.

    This, however, is readily available through camera supply houses, etc. A sturdy, compact metal version is available for $7 or $8 and a ball & socket pan/tilt version is available for $13 from Musician's Friend. I salvaged a work box containing two adapters, the first adapting the standard U.S. mic mount to the smaller, European mount. The second adapts the European mount to the standard camera screw mount.

    DIY is great for convenience and saving money. In this case, however, I don't see why you wouldn't buy the commercially available solutions.

    3 replies

    I came across this post while looking around for how I can attach an XBox Kinect to a mic stand. I have a camera-mount base for the Kinect, and needed some kind of adapter. I was all set to build my own, but I discovered that I can get something ready-made and durable for $5 from Amazon or a local store. The only advantage I can see for DIY here is if you build it in a way to do something other than attach something in rigid position.

    All props to the maker, and if it scratches an itch, all the better. But if you're just looking to solve a practical problem there are pre-made, more sturdy, same cost options.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Aye, that there is. However, I was in a bit of a hurry, and not willing to overnight a cheap item and pay 8x the cost for shipping.

    And besides...I haven't done my "How to Order Things on Amazon" instructable yet. ;-)

    Thanks for the comment. Alway's nice to see that something I put a wee bit of effort into still garners somebody's attention from time to time.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It's funny, because as I was looking at the Amazon offerings I was kicking myself for not thinking things though. I had just received an XBox Kinect wall-mount unit, purchased specifically because it had a camera mount screw-slot in it.

    But I hadn't taken a close look at what was involved in mounting it on a microphone stand (the ultimate goal). Had I realized I would need another middle piece (I had assumed I had something workable someplace in the house) I would have it made part of the original Amazon order. To get it now means either paying for shipping or order more stuff I don't need right now just to get free shipping. And then wait.

    So the prospect of building one instead is tempting.

    I'm skeptical that I would assemble it to be sturdy enough so, for me, I'm more comfortable waiting until I manage to get a factory-built adapter.

    But I can see where building one, even though pre-mades are available, would win out. Plus, your project can also be the ground work for variations for assorted special cases.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    How's this for irony? The Zoom H4, a pretty nice handheld digital recorder with built in stereo mics, has camera mount threads. So this is exactly what I need to mount an audio recorder on a mic stand! Whoda thunk it?!

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Even more ironic...the cheaper Zoom H2 includes a mic stand adapter, while the H4 doesn't. Apparently, the new Zoom H4n does include a handy mic adapter. I guess I bought mine too early. Darn. This project makes me happy, though!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Just used the H4n last night. The "mic adapter" is more like a tapered finger that slides onto the stand like a tapered handheld mic would. not very secure looking if youre planning on booming above people's heads!!

    something like this instructable looks much more secure!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    Awesome idea i may adapt this to the camera pole mount i am building........

    doo da do

    10 years ago on Step 1

    nice idea, seems to be simple and easy to make


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I've actually stuck my camera into a shock mount (I know some cringe at the notion...) to keep it stable while on a boom arm. Worked pretty damned well, if I do say so myself. However I'm probably going to end up making this once I finish my other projects. Good 'ible!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Grab a microphone stand with a boom arm. Unscrew the microphone clip and put that end about 2" above the elbow. This should allow clearance for the camera to move as much as possible. Adjust your height with the base, and the angle with the boom arm. The camera should not move outside the center of gravity range for this mount. If you think it will, weight down the base of the stand. Don't forget to replace the microphone clip. Great Instructible!