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Hands-free extended camera mounts, poles, frames, etc for riding?

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Hands-free extended camera mounts, poles, frames, etc for riding?

Old 03-11-20, 08:10 PM
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KC8QVO
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Hands-free extended camera mounts, poles, frames, etc for riding?

What are some devices that you have used to extend the view of a camera out away from you while you ride?

I am tossing around 2 ideas - one elevated view from behind over top looking forward and a view from the front looking backwards. The front view I would like to have the option on for rotating side to side also so I can get some views to either side.

Of course there are the "selfie sticks". However, what I am after is something I can set up and ride using without any manual interaction with it once set up.
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Old 03-11-20, 09:07 PM
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Hi Steve. Many ideas here:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...e+camera+views
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...nock+off+gopro

One I liked but didn't build is a head mounted whirlly bird helicopter blade with $20 knock off gopro that twirls around while cycling. Fun stuff Steve.
Another I liked mounted forward on top tube/steering tube to avoid handle bar skakiness.
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Old 03-12-20, 08:17 AM
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How to Build a GoPro 360 Swivel Helmet Mount DIY

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Old 03-12-20, 09:55 AM
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I just have an entire film crew follow me with a drone. Gps tracker on my bike. Or not. One can mount on the handlebars or helmet. I usually just stop on occasion and take a few pics.
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Old 03-12-20, 02:10 PM
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This thing is weird in that is has a really good, solid mechanism to clamp on to the handlebars (and I bet you could clamp it other places as well), but I find that upper, adjustable section to be difficult to get tightened. As a result, I have to take some care in how I use it. I have a selfie stick with standard, camera mount threading on the bottom, so it goes on to this clamp (with the GoPro attachment part removed) quite easily. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074Z7F4WQ/

I also have a 360 degree camera. One nice feature is that I can put it on the selfie stick, and stick it out far enough away from my bike so that I can capture the surrounding terrain and/or me on my bike. It's handy because you don't have to worry about pointing the camera anywhere. you just capture everything and frame the shot however you want to later. This is a poorly-done video of a ride though the local art museum park. It's a poor example of what can be done with a 360 camera because I somehow exported it with a weird frame size, and some of transitions are choppy, too, because I don't have a great handle on the editing software (or much patience, I guess, for spending more time editing than riding), but you can see how sometimes the focus is the stuff around me and sometimes it's me and the bike. The camera was on a stick and mounted to the handlebars. I would move it to where it's in front of me, or behind me, or above me, but the choice of where the camera is focused is all made after the fact.

I like the camera, and I like the concept, and I like playing with all the shiny electronics. I just don't like it well enough to refine the process enough to make something worth watching, but for your use case, a 360 camera might be easier than a camera that you want to somehow move to catch different views while you're riding.

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Old 03-12-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I also have a 360 degree camera. One nice feature is that I can put it on the selfie stick, and stick it out far enough away from my bike so that I can capture the surrounding terrain and/or me on my bike. It's handy because you don't have to worry about pointing the camera anywhere. you just capture everything and frame the shot however you want to later. This is a poorly-done video of a ride though the local art museum park. It's a poor example of what can be done with a 360 camera because I somehow exported it with a weird frame size, and some of transitions are choppy, too, because I don't have a great handle on the editing software (or much patience, I guess, for spending more time editing than riding), but you can see how sometimes the focus is the stuff around me and sometimes it's me and the bike. The camera was on a stick and mounted to the handlebars. I would move it to where it's in front of me, or behind me, or above me, but the choice of where the camera is focused is all made after the fact.
Thanks fort the thought. I'd be interested to see a better quality video and a comparison between the 360 view and the "normal" view. That is my understanding of what you described - that you can use the software to edit the picture to "aim" the camera where you want it within the 360 view. That seems like a lot of work.

Overall what I am after is just a fixed "selfie stick" that is long enough to get the camera out away from me while I ride to get more in the picture while also being totally hands-free. That may require some fabrication.

Another idea is a telescopic painters pole if I need something "long" with some kind of camera mount on it and a way to fix the pole to the bike.
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Old 03-12-20, 08:55 PM
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You inspired me. Found my gopro knockoff and ordered another. With the video lens 90 degrees each figured I mount them to take 180 degree wide angle shots up front, outback & 360 degrees. I can do side by side clips using my VSDC free video editor or was it the $20 pro version. I use it occasionally the past five years. YT is full of tutorials and anti-shake features.
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Old 03-14-20, 12:44 PM
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My only experience with it is watching the posted video, but there are drones with a "follow me" setting that can provide a bird's eye view of you as you ride.
Good luck
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Old 03-14-20, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
My only experience with it is watching the posted video, but there are drones with a "follow me" setting that can provide a bird's eye view of you as you ride.
Good luck
One of my riding partners got a drone last Fall. His doesn't have the "follow" ability, but it will stay in place. I've seen some footage where it was used on a test ride and the view from about 300ft above the road/trail is pretty cool. It does a much better job of explaining the local terrain than frames from ground-level can in places. I may look in to a drone at some point, but that is down the road a ways.
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Old 03-24-20, 02:31 PM
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After 5 years the original battery is caputs. The SJ4000 gopro knockoff battery replacements for $10 includes 4 batteries & 1 dual charger. The new camera was $13 with oodles of accessories. My first knockoff was $20. Going to do a top tube forward mount since I can't find my helmet for the 360 degree mount for now.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
One of my riding partners got a drone last Fall. His doesn't have the "follow" ability, but it will stay in place. I've seen some footage where it was used on a test ride and the view from about 300ft above the road/trail is pretty cool. It does a much better job of explaining the local terrain than frames from ground-level can in places. I may look in to a drone at some point, but that is down the road a ways.
I just bought a Mavic Mini Drone. It was about $500. It's super cool. Weighs in at 249 grams. Many FAA restrictions don't apply to drones that light. Takes awesome video. One downside is that it is so light, it has a hard time in high wind.
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Old 03-24-20, 09:01 PM
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Ordered another $13 SJ4000 videocam & $5 32GB micro SD card. Also for $21 got the VSDC Pro version to stabilize hand videos.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:45 PM
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I worked on some gear today. I got out an old A frame tent. Last time I used it was around 2008. I've used it for local/car camping and took it on 1 backpacking trip. Then I upgraded tents to a dome style. My thoughts are the A frame is easier to set up. However, the tent isn't waterproof and doesn't have a fly. In years past I've used tarps as flys. The last over-night trip I did I just used a tarp on the ground folded as a bivy. It worked, but I want more space without going to my dome tent. Hence the gear experimenting...

When I was using this particular tent before I had made some wood risers for the 2 poles (one on each end). The poles held up the tarp fly then I tied the tent underneath, hung from the poles instead of directly attached as before. However, I am experimenting with swapping out the poles with my trekking poles. The name of the game is to string up the poles as guyed supports with a taught ridge line between them from which to hang the tarp fly. I need to work on the set up as I can't get the ridge line as taught as I would like. It may need some heavier duty stakes that will take the load.

I know, way off topic from cameras....

However, it occurred to me that the trekking poles, if I make the tent idea work better and have the poles along anyway, could be just what I need to make a camera mount also.

Then they will serve 3 purposes:
1. Tent frame
2. "kick stand"/prop to hold the bike up (I don't have a kick stand on my big touring bike)
3. Camera mounts of various set ups

As to how exactly to set up a camera - I am not sure on that one. However - I use a Ram Quick Grip mount for all kinds of things. I have an X-grip for holding my phone. If I can mount a trekking pole securely enough on the bike somewhere (such as paralleling the top tube extending out front) and the Quick Grip clamped to the pole for the phone mount is as secure as it is on the bike it might just work.

Now I have more gear to work out...

First up, though, is finishing up the tent idea. I have to close in the tarp to make a more protected fly.
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Old 03-30-20, 04:07 AM
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Steve my top tube mount uses a inch wood dowel rod and two stainless steel hose clamps around the dowel and top tube for a solid attachment to my two videocams.
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Old 03-30-20, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
Steve my top tube mount uses a inch wood dowel rod and two stainless steel hose clamps around the dowel and top tube for a solid attachment to my two videocams.
I've been thinking about the hose clamps. Lashing is another idea. I suppose a couple hose clamps don't weigh much.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
I've been thinking about the hose clamps. Lashing is another idea. I suppose a couple hose clamps don't weigh much.
Be interested in what you use. I've tried zip ties, bungee cords, duct tape and cordage but returned to hose clamps for that tight snug grip and quick removal from the local building centers plumbing dept.
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Old 04-05-20, 08:59 AM
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Mark - I gave the trekking pole mount a try the other day. Not much luck. The clamps I had easy to use were not really big enough. With the grip on the top of the trekking pole along my top tube it stuck out too much to get a clamp around that side, so I only got 1 clamp on up by the headset. I used a black rubber bungee chord for the grip side.

For sturdyness of mounting it was fine. That wasn't the issue.

The weight of the mount and camera (my phone and Ram X Grip) attached to the trekking pole was enough weight that the pole did nothing but bounce - and by bounce I mean move a few inches up and down and around side to side. That was going to translate in to the same "motion" problem of a camera on my helmet the whole time so I dropped the idea for the time being.

I still like the idea of a mount out away from the bike, however a sturdy material will have to be sourced. I would think a larger diameter pole would be on order. As for what material - probably aluminum, not sure what grade or thickness.

I am not sure on the Ram Quck Grip for securing the mount, either. The Quick Grip uses clamping pressure. On a thin wall tube that clamping pressure could collapse the tube quicker than it would get tight enough to be secure. In fact, that was a concern with my trekking poles also. For the test I did it was fine but that may not be the case after miles of vibration and bumps.
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Old 04-05-20, 03:07 PM
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Had experience with selfie stick telescoping hallow tubing collapsing with hose clamps. Thus the interest in solid home center building hardwood dowels. Measured clamp diameter with string/yarn wraped around taped dowel & tubing divided length by 3.14 for diameter of hose clamp.
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Old 04-28-20, 08:16 PM
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The Spring winds blew some branches down for my camera sticks fastened with hose clamps to the cycle frame for front & side view videocam mounts. My $24 4K SJ9000 videocam came and no 170 degree lens fish eye. Takes good stills and video. Need hose clamps soon for the 60s and possible 70s F this weekend. Still raining but found the mask.
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Old 04-30-20, 10:46 AM
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I haven't done a whole lot with video on the bike. I've been working on some other projects.

Let me know how the camera works after some more trials. If it is decent I may be interested in getting one. I am using a dashcam and my phone at the moment - and they do work.
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Old 04-30-20, 12:32 PM
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OK Steve and here's my bike with DIY front & side view camera mounts. Video rail trail test run this weekend.


Front mount with SJ9000 videocam.

Rear sideview mount and my China Orkan folder.
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Old 05-05-20, 12:02 AM
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Stuck around home taking care of minor adjustments to VSDC free video editor too. Videocam up front SJ9000, sideview SJ4000 in this demonstration color home 3:35 minute:second video:
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Old 05-06-20, 11:03 AM
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can you read a license plate number with your set-up?
seems like inexpensive way to do it.
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Old 05-06-20, 12:34 PM
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License plates, street corners, mail boxes? If you crop it I suppose but haven't tried. Yes it is inexpensive all around photography. I'm fond of both and ordered another SJ9000 with remote.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
Stuck around home taking care of minor adjustments to VSDC free video editor too. Videocam up front SJ9000, sideview SJ4000 in this demonstration color home 3:35 minute:second video
Mark - thanks for the sample and the mounting pictures. I've been busy with several other projects and haven't even been on the bike a whole lot in the past couple weeks. The weather here hasn't been the greatest for it, either, however.

What comments do you have on the two cameras? Some of the reviews of the higher number models seem to point to the SJ4000 being a better buy.

Can you route an external microphone to the cameras?
Can you run the cameras live through the USB port to a computer? As in use it in place of a "webcam"?

I played around with VSDC a little but didn't like it. I am trying ActivePresenter. Between that and Windows Video Editor I have been able to accomplish the types of editing I have wanted to do. I need to get more comfortable with ActivePresenter. The split timeline "tracks" (rows) and "scenes" (columns) might come in handy, but aside from lining up the tracks (video, audio, and object - like text boxes and arrows) it has been too complicated. I did run in to a problem loosing the links to reference files for the Project file (that the program used to host all the reference files) in the middle of trying to organize files on a new storage device. So I have been a bit shy of trying to do much with the software. However, the projects I have run since (without disturbing the file structure) have run great. I wish the "project" files were easy to back up, and not have threads spiderwebbing all over the computer that need to be intact for the "project" to work at all. That is another project - try to work on a dummy project then save it different ways and see if I can transfer it to another computer.

Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
can you read a license plate number with your set-up?
seems like inexpensive way to do it.
I like the way you're thinking. I have done several rides on a "new" route to get off the bike trails around here and on to roads. The bike trails are so crowded with everyone "at home" during the crazy'ness its a pain. So on to the road it's been. A lot of drivers are less than courteous to bicycle riders. So far I haven't made contact. However, in Ohio where I am the law is vehicles have to pass with 3ft clearance. Somehow a mirror passing my arm within an inch doesn't seem like a 3ft space.
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