Underwater/Stability Rig for GoPro Camera




Introduction: Underwater/Stability Rig for GoPro Camera

In this instructable you can make a underwater and stability rig for the GoPro camera using some PVC pipes/connectors and the GoPro Tripod Mount.
I bought the GoPro, it is great how small the camera is, but that also makes it is hard to keep it stable. And because I go diving for 2 months in Indonesia next summer i needed a small lightweight rig. I only could find the normal heavy and expensive rigs, so i made one myself.
Also the rig can be extended by putting end caps on the handlebars, this would be nice for filming lights.
And don't worry about the tripod mount, you can still use it on a tripod ;)

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Step 1: Get Materials

For the rig you will need these things:
- GoPro Tripod Mount > $ 7,99 GoPro website
- About 50 cm  1" PVC pipe > about $ 2 (local hardware store)
- 2x 90º PVC elbows > about $ 2
- PVC Tee > about $ 1
- PVC End cap or PVC Male adapter (I used an old damaged adapter) > about $ 2
- PVC glue (or you should only use PVC pipes with fittings)

And to make it you will need this:
- Drill (with size 20/22 mm)
- Saw
- File

Step 2: Make the Rigs Body

Start with making the body.
See the pictures notes for the sizes I used.

Making the body is pretty easy, just saw 2 pipes for the bottom and 2 for the handlebars. (it looks better if they are the same size).
Then put some glue on the ends of the pipes and the inside of the connectors.
Push the pipes into the connectors and let it dry for about 1 hour, you can already start on the next step while you wait!

Step 3: Make the End Cap With the Tripod Mount

On this website I have seen a lot of instructables were you use a lot of bolts and screws to fit tripod mounts, I like that too, but it takes a lot of space for an underwater camera (really because the GoPro is so small). So I decided to put the tripod mount into the end cap, to save space.
And you will still be able to use the tripod mount on an tripod if you do not glue the end cap to the body.

First drill a hole in the end cap, a 20 mm should do fine.
Then file out the end cap until you can fit the tripod mount though it.

Step 4: Attach the End Cap to the Body

There are two ways you can attach the end cap to the body, just push it on or glue it.
If you still want to use the tripod mount on a tripod it is better if you do not glue it.

When you glue it:
- Put some glue inside the cap and around the middle pipe. Also put some glue on the tripod mount, to make it stay in place.
- Push the end cap on the body and let the glue dry for about 1 hour

When you do not glue it:
- Just push the end cap with the tripod mount onto the body
- Put a rubber ring between the tripod mount and the body to make it stay better in place
- Use some oil or teflon to make the end cap easier to take off or put on
- put a cord on the camera, of you are diving and the end cap flies off, the camera will float to the surface. To prevent this put a cord at the back door hinge and wrap it around the body.

Step 5: Finished, or Keep on Building

Take your GoPro for a nice dive trip, or use the rig for better stability when filming above water.

You can also extend the rig. As you have noticed on the handlebars are 2 open places where you can put lights or mics or whatever you need. (I hope you will find a way to fix this yourself, try something with an end cap and some screws/bolts!)

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16 Discussions


5 years ago on Introduction

Wow. Great idea. I'll be building this for sure.


6 years ago on Introduction

Thanks a bunch! Bought some piping and set it up myself.

Used the following:
- 0.5m Piping
- 1 Tee
- 2 90º
- 3 adapters (weird pipe fittings)
- 1 cap fitting (where gopro goes)
- Electrical tape (grip)
- 1 Black spray tin
- 1 flat sticky go pro mount.

Basically did the same as you, except I sprayed the rig black to give it a nice finish. I used electrical tap since I couldn't find any grip tape although it seemed to work just fine. I also decided to use the flat sticky mount instead of drilling a hole. At first I was sceptical it wouldn't hold, however it hold just fine. Thanks again!


7 years ago on Introduction

First time i took my gopro out for a dive the latch worked itself open because of the pressure pushing the back in, anyone else noticed this?


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

isnt there a O ring?, in between the rear closure and the case? i will have to look at my go pro and check myself. I used to dive and do UW 35MM 20 some years ago , plus a lot of wreck diving with, at that time "super lights". All my ikeonous strobes and dive lights , including the Nikonis had orings for the seal. The eqipmeant eas easy 10X more expensive and big, the bulds for the lights were the size of autolights, but from aircraft landing lights. Most had latch type closures, All ha O rings for the seal. Putting in the o ring was a critical part ,since a grain of sand or strand of hair, and it was bubbles and equp ruined.A little quarter size container had silicon gel in it. You put the silicoln grease on the Oring, only enough to coat it, no extra. The silicoln never sried and wasnt to seal it, It was ised to lubricate the O ring, which could be 6 inches in diamater. The lubing of O ring would ensure that it could move under pressure,to make up for the change in pressure. All the underwater gear was made this way, I am sure you could make a gasket out of surgo, that would be reusable and would do the same. Some of the cameras , like the nikonis had a square o-ring ,that fit in a grove on the housing, it too had to be taken out ,inspected and lubed , always making sure to make sure nothing interfered with the seal, or $$$$ gone.A thin piece of silicon, could be made into a gasket, as long as it was thin you dont want to put to much pressure on the locking device and cause it to fail after xx uses. Nice set up ! you could mount lights on the top. Without lighting the colors are lost near 30 feet. i think red lasted the longest and it was gone by 80 feet in the 300 foot vis of the caymens Luckily the price difference for waterproof high power lights with batteries that last and the size and cost is at least 1/10th . Go pro fish eye probably works great UW too! Keep up the great work. We used to pack all our high cost cameras in coolers to prevent theft while traveling.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

When diving the I also noticed there is less pressure on the latch, but there is never that much less pressure that it will open itself.. Luckily the pressure will hold the housing closed whatever happens underwater. Anyway, if you have the problem more often maybe consider just wrap an elastic around the housing. When it is placed between the lens and the mode button it wont fall off, only your display will be covered a bit (if you have the bacpac).

Funnily enough, I had imagined an identical object for mounting a gopro for filming while scuba diving. I would imagine however, that water inside of the pipes would not drain easily when it is lifted out of the water, and that upon entry trapped air would give the rig a very awkward positive buoyancy. I imagine a rig with T-joints where you used L-joints, and perhaps holes drilled in the lateral pipe to further allow draining. Is there any actual cause for concern, from your perspective?


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Hi Taco guy,
I already drilled some holes in the bottom pipe to let the water drain out, and one in a side handle to attach a cord, but i haven't edited the instructable yet.. Than choosing between a T-joint or drilling holes is just a matter of weight (and on a dive trip to indonesia every gram counts)
I will edit the instructable later next week with some pictures, and good luck with building your rig!


8 years ago on Introduction

Hi, would you buy a Gopro camera again.?
i am going on a trip and wonder if it would be good for video and stills at various tourist places.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Hi, I would really buy a Gopro again, the video quality is good and clear. But if you also want to use it for stills you have to keep in mind it has no flash, so in the night and in dark rooms the image is not so good.
The image always is wide angle, so lines are always rounded. This also has some nice effects, but is not always.
Preview, pictures taken in Singapore last summer: and Video, underwater: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=231383263548423&set=vb.100000302528558&type=2&theater, above water: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=253272771359472&set=vb.100000302528558&type=2&theater, and timelapse from 484 pictures: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=253276094692473&set=vb.100000302528558&type=2&theater.
On the Gopro site i saw the new type. When you use it for stills i think it is better to take this new type (Hero2), because it has an 11mp instead of an 5mp chip and some more new options.
I hope I helped you with this,, if you have any questions just ask.


thanks for posting this build its is a great simple and cheap build. i was trying to find a a rig for my gopro when i go snorkeling and this is perfect. i actually sealed all the piping and it floats so i dont need to worry about it sinking and losing it. thanks again.


8 years ago on Introduction

Great Build!

Have you looked into the "Chesty"? Its Go Pro's chest mount that I use and does pretty well. Its a tad awkward in the water to aim it but its one less item to fumble with.

This is my video of Myrtle Beach:


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! Also a nice video! (but why not in 1080p??)
I was thinking about the chest mount, but I also have the lcd-bacpac (small screen you can click on the back of the camera), so you can actually see what you are filming.
Than this rig is a stable way to film. (and you don't have the BCD inflator blocking your view)
But off course when you need your hands free the chest mount is also nice for diving!


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Haha it was taken in 1080p but due to Youtubes condensing its not anywhere near as clear as what I have on my computer.

I actually looked into getting one of those LCD screens, if I get one I do very well see a point to your rig, I did hate how I always had to swim upright at times hoping I got the shot I wanted. If I get it I'll be back to copy the instructable ;)