Category Archives: CAMERA AND AUDIO/VISUAL HACKS

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.

GoPro Voice Panning Fixture

I recently purchased a GoPro Hero5 Black (Amazon), which after some initial reservations on my part, appears to be a giant step forward for documenting my projects. Hopefully I can do a full review elsewhere, but one thing that I think will be very useful—even though I thought it was a bit of a gimmick when I first read about it—is its voice control capability. This means that I can now take a picture of myself operating a drill naturally, or start and stop video snippets when needed, rather than filming way too much and editing later. It’s paid dividends already, and was used extensively while making the video seen here:

As for what it is, soon after getting this camera, it occurred to me that voice control would be an excellent way to interface with the GoPro Hero5 using a microcontroller. I should say, an excellent way for me to do this, a mechanical engineer with a decent grasp on basic electronics and programming, but not well-equipped to sniff out network signals or whatever. The idea was that I could record voice commands, Read more »