Category Archives: CAMERA AND AUDIO/VISUAL HACKS

Volume Control Knob and Start/Stop Button Accessory

After signing up for Spotify Premium, I found that I often needed to stop and start songs to concentrate on various tasks, as well as adjust the volume. My keyboard had shortcuts built in, but as seen here the ergonomics weren’t exactly to my liking.

What I needed was something that had start and stop buttons, and a knob to control the volume. That way I could do these tasks without moving my mouse or trying to stretch my fingers to hit the function key and whatever else was required. What I came up with can be seen in the video below, using an encoder to indicate which way is turned by the knob to the computer. Along with a button, this should give me all the control I need:

To interface with the PC, I chose a Trinket board from Adafruit (also available here on Amazon). After a very brief amount of searching, I found that someone else had already thought of this, providing code and schematics. Originally, I thought I’d use a series of resistors in order for me to use multiple buttons, but this was easier said than done due to the way the board is made. I instead settled for pretty much their exact setup. Here is my very lightly modified code.

Given this, I could have done away with the yellow button, and just used the one built into the encoder. For whatever reason I kept it, and it did make for a nice display in the end. In order to get the button to stick out just a little bit, I put a piece of scrap MDF under it before soldering everything, making the world’s worst Read more »

A Miniature GoPro Catapult-Style “Tripod”

After building a “catapult style” floor lamp, and publishing a howto article on it here, I soon adapted the design to hold a GoPro camera instead of a light. Instead of a bulb assembly, I put a piece of metal that a magnetic GoPro mount could hold on to, which has worked quite well for filming around my garage.

The disadvantage of this device, which stands as tall as a person when fully extended vertically, is that it doesn’t work well in restricted spaces like a workbench. For this I came up with a much smaller version outlined in the video seen below.

The little guy uses several pieces of furring strips that I had left over from another project. I cut each length to around 9″ to begin with, then made the bottom sections a bit shorter so the top could Read more »

GoPro Hero5 Black Voice Control Fixture Finished!

As you may have seen if you’ve been following along here or on YouTube, I recently made a new fixture for my GoPro Hero5. The idea behind this is that it can use an audio signal controlled by an Arduino Nano to trigger the Hero5. Originally it didn’t work very well, but after some revisions outlined in the video below, it worked quite well “in the lab,” AKA my garage.

It’s sort of downplayed in the video, but once I took it to the beach, with its inherent wind and noise, things didn’t perform quite as well as I’d hoped. The device would often miss the “GoPro take a photo command.” Although frustrating, I was able to get it to take several panorama sequences, and stitched them together using Photoshop Elements (Amazon)*.

Here’s one I though twas pretty great. On the left side is the other end of the bench, the device is resting on, so I was able to get a roughly 180 degree view of everything automatically. I’m using this as my background on a dual-monitor setup, and I’m pretty impressed with how it looks that way!

Dunedin causeway panoramaI gave a very short summary of the initial build in the video embedded here, but if you’d like to see what went into the prototype, check out this post. Also, the title says “finished,” but is something like this ever really finished? In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that I could put even more holes on the top, or perhaps adapt it to work with my DSLR…Finished seems to be a relative term!

*I’m using PSE 13; 15 is linked there. Hopefully it’s even better.