LumberJocks

Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #35: DROID X Vehicle Dock to Tripod Mount Conversion

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 03-16-2015 11:32 PM 1619 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 34: "Hard Maple Rocks!" Headphones Rack - Mounted Part 35 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 36: Wine & Glasses Rack Finalized and Hung »

I have started down the path of video creation for YouTube, mostly so I can participate in build challenges, but possibly in time as another revenue stream for the business. Presently, my video recording hardware is minimal at best, quite ancient if I include my old Panasonic VHS-C camcorder.

I had hoped my 10 Megapixel Fujifilm S1500 would be able to handle my needs. It maxes out at 640×480 at 30 fps, which means 480p is about as good as it will get in YouTube. The best camera is in my DROID Ultra, not quite a year old, but it is my business phone. It can’t be tied up with lengthy recording sessions. Next in line is my previous cell phone, a DROID X, which is capable of 720p at 24 fps. Additionally, I invested in several hands-free docks and mounts for it over the years. It was this point that lead me to attempt a dock-to-tripod conversion.

The first Motorola DROID X Vehicle Dock I purchased was right around the time I acquired the cell phone, the second only a few years ago.

The Vivitar VPT-360SE uses a quick-release plate, allowing multiple camera mounts that snap in as needed.

The Motorola Dock comes with a round plastic plate that can be mounted to a flat surface, like the vehicle dash, via double-sided tape. I used that plate, sans adhesive mounting tape, as the liaison between tripod quick-release mount and the wood spacer that will be permanently attached to the swivel mount for the dock. Note the threaded center hole: I tapped an appropriately threaded nut into a slightly smaller hole in the wood spacer and drilled a small hole to allow for the tripod plate’s spring loaded centering pin.

Here is the conversion assembled and ready for tripod mounting.

Because the photo/video taking end of the DROID X is at the back of the dock, I had to be sure that the swiveling mount elbow wouldn’t be in the line of sight. Moving the mount about 20-30 degrees off center was enough to clear the recording path, as can be seen where the plastic base attaches to the wood spacer.

The finished conversion and camera ready to take a picture.

Between the ball socket connection of the dock mount and the 3-dimensional tilt capability of the tripod, I have infinite possibilities for leveling, tilting and camera orientation. The dock has a power port. I plan on zip-tying a 5v DC power converter to one of the tripod legs, allowing for AC power via extension cord—I won’t have to worry about the battery dying on me while recording lengthy events.

Prior to starting this project, I made a few short videos to make sure the phone was capable enough for my needs before. A Bluetooth earpiece should give me better sound quality and volume with the camera at a distance.

A simple project that temporarily takes a costly investment in a video camera out of the needs list.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



10 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 855 days


#1 posted 03-17-2015 01:08 PM

Nice set-up Paul. Are we going to see you on camera? When should we expect your first Emmy? ;)

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#2 posted 03-17-2015 04:56 PM

Thanks, Ed. No Emmy will be coming forth from this dungeon workshop. :D

The last video I did (yesterday) is of me cleaning up the workshop area. The place is such a mess, and there is really no place to put the stuff laying around, that I decided no one needed to see me confused and befuddled while putting things away. By the third viewing I was bored, so I am imagine no one will get through it the first time without the same happening. ;)

I watch a lot of YT videos of my favorites. Some of them do a great job with silent productions, at most their hands and arms in the frames, letting the annotations present important information and the video itself tell the story. I probably will do this initially. The videos are a lot easier to edit and I can do voice overs if I want to talk through the process. Age and experience has taught me to work within my limitations instead of setting goals and procedures that match the best I could hope for. Also, I have some focus issues that have come with age and genetics. I wasn’t happy with the way I presented myself on camera. I saw a tired old man. Watching yourself on video is like watching yourself though someone else’s eyes. It can be disappointing. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 855 days


#3 posted 03-18-2015 01:19 PM

Yeah…I’ve never won an Emmy either. But I did get to pose with one!

This photo is from back in 1983 when I worked for Ampex. They won an Emmy that year for a studio-grade digital effects machine. They brought the statue in and let everybody on the product team heft it and pose for a pic. I’m the tall geeky-looking bloke second from right….

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#4 posted 03-18-2015 01:29 PM

Tall, geeky-looking, and a handsome dude, as well. Not bad, Ed. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1034 days


#5 posted 03-19-2015 10:04 AM

Paul,
to retain credibility with your on-a-shoestring philosophy,
I would expect you to come up with novel (and cheap) solutions
to any film-related problems you encounter.
As to your physical suitability for starring roles…...I have no comment to make on that.
However, perhaps you could add a filter and do your videos in a Film-Noir style.
Woodworking in a Fedora, now there’s an image to ponder.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#6 posted 03-19-2015 12:04 PM


Paul,
to retain credibility with your on-a-shoestring philosophy,
I would expect you to come up with novel (and cheap) solutions
to any film-related problems you encounter.

I hope I haven’t misrepresented who I am and what my intent is. I am not poor. In winding down a business I don’t have the cash flow that I used to have, therefore I have to make due with what I have. The Motorola docks, tripod, DROID phone…these are all a part of a past when I had that cash flow and the need.

In this project I used a three inch circle cut out of pallet wood (which cost me nothing), and four screws and one nut that came out of a set I bought about 25 years ago. Everything in this build is a scrounge of what I have laying around. Not one dollar bill was forfeited in this build, so I am not sure what you are referring to. Why would I want to create from scratch what I already have within my means to repurpose?


As to your physical suitability for starring roles…...I have no comment to make on that.

Tongue-in-cheek? You are not familiar with me enough to know I make light of what I perceive to be my shortcomings. :)


However, perhaps you could add a filter and do your videos in a Film-Noir style.
Woodworking in a Fedora, now there s an image to ponder.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

I spent decades ‘performing’ to achieve financial goals. I have little interest in going back to that role. I just want to bring back the tinkerer and craftsman of long ago. Hopefully, it’s not too late. It may come to where I won’t want to bother with post-production investments and decide to limit videos to getting a point or procedure across. I don’t need the money bad enough to blunder into what I can’t support and have no talent for. So, we will see where this goes, James. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 855 days


#7 posted 03-19-2015 01:14 PM

Paul, I think you should definitely go with the Fedora!

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#8 posted 03-19-2015 01:21 PM



Paul, I think you should definitely go with the Fedora!

- handsawgeek

Hmm. I always thought Fedoras and prominent Roman noses don’t get along well. And how am I going to get my ear muffs and respirator over a Fedora? :D

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1034 days


#9 posted 03-19-2015 08:48 PM

Paul,
my comments were wholly tongue-in-cheek with no slight intended upon your character,
or your endeavours.
It’s just that my Scottish blood gets excited at the thought of money-saving exercises.
We Scots have a well known penchant for parsimony.
Cheers again.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#10 posted 03-19-2015 09:44 PM



Paul,
my comments were wholly tongue-in-cheek with no slight intended upon your character,
or your endeavours.
It s just that my Scottish blood gets excited at the thought of money-saving exercises.
We Scots have a well known penchant for parsimony.
Cheers again.

- jinkyjock

James, thank you very much for clarifying. I hadn’t had my first mug of morning coffee and I wasn’t quite sentient. I wasn’t sure if you were being that way or snide. I’m so glad You were picking on me. I don’t mind being picked on. It shows someone cares. :)

But this Fedora thing…I don’t know… :D

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com