Late last year, I upgraded the monitors on my PC to two rather nice 27" 2K Dells. The only problem with them is that I now dont have quite enough room for the sensors of my Oculus Rift; they dont seem to like being quite as wide apart as they are with respect to my seat. So for ages, I'd been thinking about brackets or shelves or something to put the sensor stands on.
Then I had a tiny little epiphany. I came across a 3D printed bracket for the Sensor, and started paying attention to the fact that the stand actually unscrewed from the Sensor, with a 1/4" threaded hole in the short rod attached to the Sensor, and a 1/4" male thread on the rod that's part of the stand.
Now, ages ago, I'd bought some cheap flexible coolant hoses after seeing an Instructable on making a soldering aid made from them. So I though, maybe I could make a new stand out of them, Gorillapod style.
So I dug them out, and spent a little more time looking at the Sensor and its stand. And I dug out the little bag of 1/4"-to-3/8" thread adaptors I had for using a field recorder on a genuine Gorillapod, and had a think. And that's when I realised I didnt need to make an entirely new stand, I could extend the original one. So I bought a bag of assorted 1/4" to 3/8" adaptor parts, and when they arrived quickly figured out a configuration that would let me join the coolant pipe to the stand.
And when I tried making one, the height was absolutely perfect; the stands can sit on the same shelf as the monitors, right behind them, and the Sensors are now high enough to 'see' over the screens.
It took about an hour to make a pair of them.
- 2 or more oculus sensors and original stands
- 1 x flexible coolant water/coolant pipe per sensor (mine are about 29cm long)
- 1 x 1/4" to 3/8" reducer screw per sensor (they're a 3/8" screw with a 1/4" threaded hole inside)
- 1 x 1/4" to 1/4" double head stud per sensor
- Tapered Reamer
- Wide-bladed screwdriver
- Glue Gun
- Heavy pliers (or whatever will grip the plastic moulded 'hex nut' on the end of the coolant pipe)
- 1 x 1/4" quick release screw (optional)
- Flat file(optional)
- Scalpel or Knife (optional)
I bought the coolant pipe and a small set of various 1/4" and 3/8" screw adaptors from Amazon. Total cost was £3 for 6 pipes and £7.50 for a set of five of each of four different screws/adaptors. The set also came with a couple of 'quick release screws', which actually helped make the assembly easier.
Step 1: Parts in Detail
These are the main parts plus the quick release screw:
- the flexible coolant water/coolant pipe
- two 1/4" to 3/8" reducer screws
- two 1/4" to 1/4" double head stud
- one 1/4" quick release screw
- oculus stands
Step 2: The Reducer Screw : Joining the Extension to the Stand
The first step is affixing the coolant pipe to the stand. It was immediately obvious that the fitting I needed had to provide a 1/4" thread for the Sensor stand to screw into. Since the hole at the bottom of the coolant pipe was just under 3/8" in size, the best solution seemed to be a 3/8"->1/4" reducer screw.
I figured there were are a couple of ways this could be done; the reducer screw could be screwed in, or glued in, but in either case, the existing hole in the pipe needed to be enlarged, which was done with a reamer.
Step 3: Fitting the Reducer Screw
I didn't want the walls off the coolant pipe to get too thin, so I decided to enlarge the hole just enough that the reducer screw could be properly screwed in. The process is fairly simple.
- Ream out the hole in the coolant pipe until the reducer screw can be partially inserted
- Screw the reducer screw all the way into the coolant pipe
This took me a little while to get quite right, though. As the reamer was tapered, it created a slightly conical thinning of the pipe; even if the reducer screw can get threaded in partway, you may find you need to remove it and ream the hole a little more before you can get it in fully. It took me 3 attempts for the first Sensor extension, but only one for the second one.
The other thing that I realised was that screwing one of the quick-release screws into the reducer screw gave me much more leverage when the reducer screw started biting into the plastic. Of course, it wont help with unscrewing the reducer screw (it unscrews itself from the reducer), and you'll almost certainly need to use pliers to do that.
Step 4: Aligning the Reducer Screw
The process of getting the reducer screw in properly was a little bit experimental; be prepared to have to unscrew the reducer a couple of times if its not going to go in exactly straight. (Once its in, you remove the quick release screw if you're using it.)
If you make sure you ream out the hole enough, and are fairly careful about ensuring the reducer screw goes in straight, it should sit flush with, or only very slightly proud of, the original plastic.
It actually doesn't matter that much if its not perfectly straight, since the pipe is flexible anyway, but I felt it was better to make it as straight as possible, even though it was a little bit more work redoing it a couple of times.
Step 5: The Double Head Stud : Joining the Extension to the Sensor
The second step is affixing the coolant pipe to the sensor.
Again it was obvious what fitting I needed, this time a 1/4" screw for the Sensor stand to fit onto. The nozzle end of the pipe was a little larger than 1/4", but not by much, so it looked as though one end of a 1/4 double head stud would fit.
Step 6: Fitting the Double Head Stud
The nozzle of the coolant pipe is tapered, and I wasnt sure if that would be the case inside. So for this part, I decided to glue the stud in place.
The process is fairly simple.
- First cut the nozzle short, then file it flat.
- Next, apply hot-glue to the inside of the nozzle and one side of the stud.
- Insert the stud into the nozzle, pressing it firmly (and straightly) into place until the hot-glue hardens.
Step 7: Final Assembly
Now that the extension is complete, you can complete the stand.
- screw the exposed stud of the extension into the short rod of the Sensor
- screw the rod on the base of the stand into the reducer screw of the extension
Please note that there's only so far you can flex the pipe before the weight of the sensor is unbalanced enough to cause the whole thing to fall over. If you fix (eg clamp or velcro) the round base to something, then that should enough to prevent that from happening, though.