How To

GoPro Panoramic Mount

GoPro Panoramic TimerA recent project of mine was to use a simple kitchen timer to build a GoPro Camera panoramic time-lapse mount.  This basically lets the camera spin 360 degrees to evenly film the surrounding area.  Either periodic stills can be taken or video can be recorded that can later be sped up into a time lapse.

I started with a basic kitchen timer.  It’s best to find one that doesn’t have a dial on it.  There are numerous egg-shaped timers that seem to work best for it.  Stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or Walmart should have them.  The first one I found happened to be shaped as a lady bug and cost something like $3.99.  The GoPro tripod mount is $8 so with the nut and washers the total was less than $13 to make.

Parts Needed:

  • Kitchen Timer
  • GoPro Tripod Mount
  • 1/4-20 half inch bolt
  • washer [optional]
  • finishing washer [optional]
Tools Needed:

  • drill with 1/4 drill bit
  • needle nose pliers
  • screw driver required
    to take apart (mine didn’t)

GoPro Timer Parts and Tools

I took the red top off the timer by simple pulling it apart with my hands.

GoPro Timer pulled apart

Next I drilled a hole slightly off-center.

GoPro Timer hole drilled

Followed by threading the bolt with the washer on it up from the inside.

GoPro timer bolt threaded through hole

On the outside I put an upside down finishing washer.  This isn’t a must do, but I think it made a better fit for the tripod mount.

GoPro timer added finishing washer

Finally the tripod mount was added.  The needle-nose pliers were used to turn the bolt from the inside while holding the tripod mount straight by hand.

GoPro timer with tripod mount

Complete assembly from the front and side:

GoPro Panoramic TimerGoPro timer complete from side

Gallery of images:

No ladybugs were harmed in the making of this mount.

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Nikon D7000 Pelican Case

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Closed CaseI’m planning on doing a lot of sailing this summer and when I’m on bigger boats than my Laser I want to be able to have my Nikon D7000 DSLR close at hand.  I can’t use the camera while I’m actually sailing, but there will be plenty of downtime while aboard when there is no splashing and I could easily pull the camera out if it were handy.  I plan to use the camera for both stills and video so I’ll need to have extra batteries and a Sennheiser MKE400 Shotgun Microphone. To make this work, I need:

  • A hard case that would absolutely protect the camera no matter what was thrown on top of it
  • A waterproof case that could take some splashes, rain or even a little water over the bow
  • A case that is as small and light as possible to save weight and space
  • A case with a handle so it could be tied into the boat or tethered in place

I found the Pelican Storm iM2075 for $45 that was just the right size for Nikon D7000 and a 17-55mm lens without the grip or my side-plate mounted microphone holder.  It’ll fit the camera with the lens hood, plus the microphone, 3 EN-EL15 batteries and a couple of AAA batteries for the microphone.

Completed case with camera and accessories in place:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Camera and accessories

Basic case with foam:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Open Case

The case comes with two pieces of foam blocks.  I cut one of them roughly in half to form the bottom of the case that the camera will rest on.

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Cut Foam

Used toothpicks to plot the size of the camera on the foam on the uncut block foam:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Pinned foam

Remove the 1cm x 1cm foam squares for a custom fit around the camera:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - cut foam

Put 1/2 of the foam in the bottom of the case, and then cut 2 of the 1cm blocks at half of their height so that the AAA batteries are sitting on foam and not the bottom of the case where they’ll clank and make noise:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - AAA batteries

Put the customized piece of foam over the flat piece of foam and put the Camera and batteries in place:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Camera in place

I then added the strap to the camera and placed the Sennheiser mic alongside the camera:

Pelican Storm iM2075 - Camera and accessories

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GoPro Laser Mounting

Edit: A more comprehensive list of GoPro mounts and mounting locations for a Laser can be found here.

Saturday I got my boat ready for Frostbiting on Sunday and ultimately for Midwinters in a little over a week. I also put together some mounts for the GoPro camera.  I had already mounted the camera to the compass mount that yielded this video from last weekend.

GoPro Compass Mount

Pictured above is the GoPro mounted to the compass bracket just in front of the compass.  This works because most of the time when I’m using the compass I’m hiked out and thus looking at the side markings on the compass.  The few times when I actually want to look at the compass head on are usually when I’m checking the wind when I’m not looking and it’s easy enough to just look over the camera.

GoPro Mast Mount

This picture is of the GoPro mounted to the Laser mast just below the goose neck facing aft on the port side of the boat.  The ‘roll cage’ bracket is the right width, but the screws that come with it aren’t long enough to fit the width of the mast.  A quick trip to the the hardware store for some longer screws and nuts fixed that.

GoPro Bow Mount ShortGoPro Bow Mount Tall

To mount the camera to the bow I drilled a hole in the top of the bow eye and took one of the GoPro tripod mounts and used a bolt from underneath the bow eye to secure it.  Pictured is are both the short and tall versions of the setup.  The taller version gives a better perspective back to the cockpit, but being taller, it might vibrate a little more.  I also plan to wrap both in tape to be sure nothing gets caught on them.

GoPro Masttop MountGoPro Clamp Mount

GoPro Top of Mast View

These photos show the clamp mount I made to fix the camera to the top of the mast. I used another tripod mount and bolted it to a hole I made on the side of the clamp.  This mount could be used at the top of the mast, the aft end of the boom, or even on the rudder head during training.

GoPro Dolly Mount

The final location I mounted the camera to is the dolly.  Normally the dolly rides upside down on top of the boat, so by mounting the camera to the side of it I can video scenes on the way to regattas to help frame the location.  When the boat is on the dolly the mount can also be used to film while moving the boat around.

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